Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Movies to be Produced in Every Home (1925)

The September 5, 1925 Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV) ran an article titled, "Expect Movies to be Produced in Every Home," in which Cecil B. DeMille predicts not only home movies of the future, but the rise of the amateur filmmaker as a force in the film industry.

Alongside D.W. Griffith's 1923 prediction of future private movie libraries, it is quite astounding how forward-thinking the film industry was in the 1920s.
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 4 - Even as father now slices the beef roast and Sister Mary plays the piano, so may motion pictures in the future be produced in every American home.

This is the belief of several leading American producers.

"It is not at all beyond the range of possibility, and to me it seems probable, that within the next 20 years some householder with absolutely no studio training will produce a screen masterpiece, with no stage except that of his own parlor, dining room or bedroom." Cecille DeMille, the Los Angeles producer, declared today in an exclusive interview.

Explains His Theory

In explanation of his theory, DeMille said:

"Slow film and slow camera lenses requiring a great quantity of light have been the sole reason until now that especially equipped studios have had a monopoly on the making of photoplays.

"Very elaborate and expensive electrical equipment has in the past always been necessary to produce a great flood of light. Lenses and aim have not been developed to a point where they can pick up a moving figures in ordinary light and still give the sense of depth necessary is good photography.

"That time is rapidly passing. Every day better lenses are being developed and every day some new chemical is found which increases the speed of our film.

"It will not be long until anyone will be able to make motion pictures in no more than ordinary indoor daylight. And when that time comes we will find cameramen utilizing daylight to give far better results than at present. For such limited light will do away altogether with sharp lines and shadows, which often mar pictures taken in too dazzling an illumination.

Use to Be Widespread

"With the necessity of powerful lighting done away with, motion pictures can then be taken in every American home and the motion picture camera used in just the same fashion as kodaks are today.

"So one sees that as a prairie woman in Nebraska may produce the greatest novel of the year or a man in the mountain wilds of Montana compose the best musical composition of a decade, so may an ordinary householder produce a motion picture far superior to all others."

See also:
Movie Theater of the Future (1930)
Thinks We'll Do Our Reading On Screen (1923)
Robots vs. Musicians (1931)


Anonymous said...

Well, his time frame was rather optimistic but it seems technology is finally catching up to his prediction. What he probably would not have imagined is that now any amateur can not only shoot the film, but render special effects, edit and score it and even distribute it via the web! Amazing times we are in.

Anonymous said...

Amazingly forward thinking. As fredproggh pointed out, his timeframe was a bit fast, but his thoughts are indeed reality today. From the inseption of the home video camera, people jave been making movies, some for memories, and some imitating Hollywood fiction. Today, using digital cameras and computers, small groups can make brilliant films for very little money.

Anonymous said...

The amatuer porn industry was probably all over homemade film production before 1945. It probably wasn't really mass produced, but I bet lots of people made a nice profit off those productions. Nothing like the "10 Commandments", though, until Pam and Tommy Lee.

Anonymous said...

Wow. An incredibly accurate prediction of YouTube, 80+ years before its time.

Ready for my close-up, Cecil B. ;)

Anonymous said...

One word: YouTube.

Anonymous said...

Sweet, a non-rediculous prediction.
I even post my dreams on YouTube.