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A film studio (also known as movie studio or simply studio) is a major entertainment company or motion picture company that has its own privately owned
studio A studio is an artist or worker's workroom. This can be for the purpose of acting, architecture, painting, pottery (ceramics), sculpture, origami, woodworking, scrapbooking, photography, graphic design, filmmaking, animation, industrial design, ra ...
facility or facilities that are used to make
film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art used to simulate experiences that communicate ideas, stories, perceptions, feelings, beauty, or atmosphere through the use of moving images. These image ...

film
s, which is handled by the
production company#REDIRECT Production company#REDIRECT Production company {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
. Most firms in the entertainment industry have never owned their own studios, but have rented space from other companies. There are also independently owned studio facilities, who have never produced a motion picture of their own because they are not entertainment companies or motion picture companies; they are companies who sell only studio space. The largest film studio in the world is
Ramoji Film City Ramoji Film City is an integrated film studio complex located in Hyderabad, India. Spread over 1,666 acres, it is the largest integrated film city in the world and as such has been certified by the Guinness World Records as the largest studio c ...

Ramoji Film City
, in
Hyderabad Hyderabad ( , , ) is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Telangana and the ''de jure'' capital of Andhra Pradesh. It occupies on the Deccan Plateau along the banks of the Musi River, in the northern part of South India. With ...
,
India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the second-most populous country, the seventh-largest country by land area, and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Oce ...

India
.


Beginnings

In 1893,
Thomas Edison Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847October 18, 1931) was an American inventor and businessman who has been described as America's greatest inventor. He developed many devices in fields such as electric power generation, mass communication, ...

Thomas Edison
built the first movie studio in the United States when he constructed the
Black Maria Black Maria may refer to: Art and literature *Black Mariah (comics), a character in the Luke Cage comics series *''Black Maria'' (novel), a 1991 novel by Diana Wynne Jones *''Black Maria'', a 1960 anthology of drawings by Charles Addams *''Black ...
, a tarpaper-covered structure near his laboratories in West Orange,
New Jersey New Jersey is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York; on the east, southeast, and south by the Atlantic Ocean; on the west by the Delaware R ...
, and asked circus, vaudeville, and dramatic actors to perform for the camera. He distributed these
movies A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art used to simulate experiences that communicate ideas, stories, perceptions, feelings, beauty, or atmosphere through the use of moving images. These image ...
at vaudeville theaters, penny arcades, wax museums, and fairgrounds. The first
film serial A serial film, film serial (or just serial), movie serial, or chapter play, is a motion picture form popular during the first half of the 20th century, consisting of a series of short subjects exhibited in consecutive order at one theater, gener ...
, ''
What Happened to Mary ''What Happened to Mary'' (sometimes erroneously referred to as ''What Happened to Mary?'') is the first serial film made in the United States. Produced by Edison Studios, with screenplays by Horace G. Plympton, and directed by Charles Brabin, th ...
'', was released by the Edison company in 1912. The pioneering Thanhouser film studio was founded in
New Rochelle, New York New Rochelle () is a city in Westchester County, New York, United States, in the southeastern portion of the state. In 2010, the city had a population of 77,062, making it the seventh-largest in the state of New York. History Etymology and ...
in 1909 by American theatrical impresario
Edwin Thanhouser Edwin Thanhouser (November 11, 1865 – March 21, 1956) was an American actor, businessman, and film producer. He was most notable as a founder of the Thanhouser Company, which was one of the first motion picture studios. His wife Gertrude Thanho ...
. The company produced and released 1,086 films between 1910 and 1917, successfully distributing them around the world. In the early 1900s, companies started moving to
Los Angeles, California Los Angeles (; es, Los Ángeles; "The Angels"), officially the City of Los Angeles and often abbreviated as L.A., is the largest city in California. With an estimated population of nearly four million people, it is the second most populous ...
. Although
electric light An electric light is a device that produces visible light from electric power. It is the most common form of artificial lighting and is essential to modern society, providing interior lighting for buildings and exterior light for evening and n ...
s were by then widely available, none were yet powerful enough to adequately expose film; the best source of illumination for motion picture production was natural sunlight. Some movies were shot on the roofs of buildings in
Downtown Los Angeles Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) is the central business district of Los Angeles, California, as well as a diverse residential neighborhood of some 85,000 people, and covers . A 2013 study found that the district is home to over 500,000 jobs. It is also ...
. Early movie producers also relocated to
Southern California Southern California (popularly known as SoCal; es, Sur de California) is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises the southern portion of the U.S. state of California. It includes the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the second mos ...

Southern California
to escape Edison's
Motion Picture Patents Company The Motion Picture Patents Company (MPPC, also known as the Edison Trust), founded in December 1908 and terminated seven years later in 1915 after conflicts within the industry, was a trust of all the major US film companies and local foreign-branc ...
, which controlled almost all the
patent NPOV disputes from March 2021 A patent is a title that gives its owner the legal right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention for a limited period of years in exchange for publishing an enabling public disclosure ...
s relevant to movie production at the time. The first movie studio in the
Hollywood Hollywood is a neighborhood in the central region of Los Angeles, California. Its name has come to be a shorthand reference for the U.S. film industry and the people associated with it. Many of its studios such as Disney, Paramount Pictures, ...
area was
Nestor Studios The Nestor Film Company, originally known as the Nestor Motion Picture Company, was an American motion picture production company. It was founded in 1909 as the West Coast production unit of the Centaur Film Company located in Bayonne, New Jersey. ...
, opened in 1911 by
Al Christie Alfred Ernest Christie (23 October 1881 – 14 April 1951) was a Canadian-born film director, producer, and screenwriter. Biography Alfred Ernest Christie was born in London, Ontario, Canada. One of a number of Canadian pioneers in early Hollywo ...
for
David Horsley David Horsley (March 11, 1873 – February 23, 1933) was an American pioneer of the film industry. He founded the Centaur Film Company and its West Coast branch, the Nestor Film Company, which established the first film studio in Hollywood in 191 ...
. In the same year, another 15 independents settled in Hollywood. Other production companies eventually settled in the Los Angeles area in places such as
Culver City Culver City is a city in Los Angeles County, California. As of 2019, the estimated population was 39,185. The city was named after its founder, Harry Culver. Originally founded as a whites-only city, or sundown town, since the 1980s it has become ...
,
Burbank Burbank may refer to: Places Australia * Burbank, Queensland, a suburb in Brisbane United States * Burbank, California, a city in Los Angeles County * Burbank, Santa Clara County, California, a census-designated place * Burbank, Illinois, a ci ...
, and what would soon become known as
Studio City Studio City is a neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles, California, in the southeast San Fernando Valley, just west of the Cahuenga Pass. It is named after the studio lot that was established in the area by film producer Mack Sennett in 1927, ...
in the
San Fernando Valley , photo = San Fernando Valley vista.jpg , photo_caption = San Fernando Valley looking northeast; from the Top of Topanga Overlook Park above Woodland Hills in foreground , map_image = Wpdms shdrlfi020l san fernando valley.jpg , map_ ...
.


The "majors"

The Big 5 By the mid-1920s, the evolution of a handful of American production companies into wealthy motion picture industry conglomerates that owned their own studios, distribution divisions, and
theaters Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usually actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place, often a stage. The performer ...
, and contracted with performers and other filmmaking personnel, led to the sometimes confusing equation of "studio" with "production company" in industry slang. Five large companies:
RKO Radio Pictures RKO Pictures was an American film production and distribution company. In its original incarnation, as RKO Radio Pictures, Inc. (a subsidiary of Radio-Keith-Orpheum, aka: RKO) it was one of the Big Five studios of Hollywood's Golden Age. The bus ...
,
20th Century Fox 20th Century Studios, Inc. (also known as 20th Century for short, and nicknamed 20th Pictures, formerly Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation) is an American film studio that is a subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Dis ...
,
Paramount Pictures Paramount Pictures Corporation (commonly known as Paramount Pictures, or simply Paramount) is an American film production company and a subsidiary of ViacomCBS. It is the fifth oldest film studio in the world, the second oldest film studio in t ...

Paramount Pictures
, Warner Bros., and
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (also known as Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, initialized as MGM; often referred to as Metro; common metonym: the Lion or Leo) is an American media company, involved primarily in the production and distributio ...
came to be known as the "Big Five," the "majors," or "the Studios" in trade publications such as ''
Variety Variety may refer to: Science and technology Mathematics * Algebraic variety, the set of solutions of a system of polynomial equations * Variety (universal algebra), classes of algebraic structures defined by equations in universal algebra Hort ...
'', and their management structures and practices collectively came to be known as the "
studio system A studio system is a method of filmmaking wherein the production and distribution of films is dominated by a small number of large movie studios. It is most often used in reference to Hollywood motion picture studios during the Golden Age of Holly ...
". The Little 3 Although they owned few or no theaters to guarantee sales of their films,
Universal Pictures Universal Pictures (legally Universal City Studios LLC, also known as Universal Studios, and formerly named Universal Film Manufacturing Company and Universal-International Pictures Inc.) is an American film production and distribution company ow ...
,
Columbia Pictures Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. (commonly known as Columbia Pictures) is an American film studio and production company that is a member of the Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, a division of Sony Entertainment's Sony Pictures Entertainment, ...
, and
United Artists United Artists Corporation (UA), currently doing business as United Artists Digital Studios, is an American digital production company. Founded in 1919 by D. W. Griffith, Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks, the studio ...
also fell under these rubrics, making a total of eight generally recognized "major studios". United Artists, although its controlling partners owned not one but two production studios during the Golden Age, had an often-tenuous hold on the title of "major" and operated mainly as a backer and distributor of independently produced films.


The minors

Smaller studios operated simultaneously with "the majors." These included operations such as
Republic Pictures Republic Pictures Corporation was an American motion picture production-distribution corporation in operation from 1935 to 1967, that was based in Los Angeles. It had studio facilities in Studio City and a movie ranch in Encino. It was best known ...
, active from 1935, which produced films that occasionally matched the scale and ambition of the larger studio, and
Monogram Pictures Monogram Pictures Corporation is an American film studio that produced mostly low-budget films between 1931 and 1953, when the firm completed a transition to the name Allied Artists Pictures Corporation. Monogram was among the smaller studios in ...
, which specialized in series and genre releases. Together with smaller outfits such as PRC TKO and Grand National, the minor studios filled the demand for
B movie A B movie or B film is a low-budget commercial motion picture that is not an arthouse film. In its original usage, during the Golden Age of Hollywood, the term more precisely identified films intended for distribution as the less-publicized bot ...

B movie
s and are sometimes collectively referred to as
Poverty Row Poverty Row was a slang term used in Hollywood from the 1920s through the 1950s to refer to a variety of small (and mostly short-lived) B movie studios. Although many of them were on (or near) today's Gower Street in Hollywood, the term did not ne ...
.


The independents

The Big Five's ownership of movie theaters was eventually opposed by eight independent producers, including
Samuel Goldwyn Samuel Goldwyn (born Szmuel Gelbfisz; yi, שמואל געלבפֿיש; August 17, 1879 January 31, 1974), also known as Samuel Goldfish, was a Polish-American film producer. He was best known for being the founding contributor and executive of se ...
, David O. Selznick,
Walt Disney Walter Elias Disney (; December 5, 1901December 15, 1966) was an American entrepreneur, animator, writer, voice actor, and film producer. A pioneer of the American animation industry, he introduced several developments in the production of ca ...
,
Hal Roach Harry Eugene "Hal" Roach Sr. (January 14, 1892 – November 2, 1992) was an American film and television producer, director, actor and studio executive, who was the founder of the namesake Hal Roach Studios. Roach was active in the industry fro ...
, and
Walter Wanger Walter Wanger (né Feuchtwanger; July 11, 1894 – November 18, 1968) was an American film producer active in filmmaking beginning in the 1910s, concluding with the turbulent production of ''Cleopatra,'' his last film, in 1963. He began at Para ...
. In 1948, the federal government won a case against Paramount in the
Supreme Court The supreme court is the highest court within the hierarchy of courts in many legal jurisdictions. Other descriptions for such courts include court of last resort, apex court, and high (or final) court of appeal. Broadly speaking, the decisio ...

Supreme Court
, which ruled that the
vertically integrated In microeconomics, management, and international political economy, vertical integration refers to an arrangement in which the supply chain of a company is integrated and owned by that company. Usually each member of the supply chain produces a ...
structure of the movie industry constituted an illegal
monopoly A monopoly (from Greek el, μόνος, mónos, single, alone, label=none and el, πωλεῖν, pōleîn, to sell, label=none) exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity. This contrasts with a monopsony wh ...
. This decision, reached after twelve years of litigation, hastened the end of the studio system and Hollywood's "Golden Age".


Typical components

By the 1950s, the physical components of a typical film studio had become standardized. Since then, a film studio has usually been housed inside a "studio lot," a physically secure compound enclosed by a tall perimeter wall. This is necessary to protect filmmaking operations from unwanted interference from
paparazzi English singer-songwriter and entertainer Robbie Williams poses for a paparazzo photographer in London in 2000 Paparazzi (, ; ; singular: masculine paparazzo or feminine paparazza) are independent photographers who take pictures of high-profi ...

paparazzi
and crazed
fans Fan commonly refers to: * Fan (machine), a machine for producing airflow, often for cooling ** Hand fan, an implement held and waved by hand to move air * Fan (person), short for fanatic; an enthusiast or supporter, especially with regard to enterta ...
of leading
movie star A movie star (also known as a film star or cinema star) is an actor or actress who is famous for their starring, or leading, roles in movies. The term is used for performers who are marketable stars and whose names are used to promote movies, for ...
s. Movement in and out of the studio lot is normally limited to specific
gate 250px, Art Nouveau gate of Castel Béranger (Paris)">Castel_Béranger.html" style="text-decoration: none;"class="mw-redirect" title="Art Nouveau gate of Castel Béranger">Art Nouveau gate of Castel Béranger (Paris) A gate or gateway is a p ...
s (often capped with grand decorative arches), where visitors must stop at a
boom barrier Boom usually refers to an onomatopoeic word for the sound that an explosion makes. Boom may also refer to: Objects * Boom (containment), a temporary floating barrier used to contain an oil spill * Boom (navigational barrier), an obstacle strung ac ...
and explain the purpose of their visit to a
security guard A security guard (also known as a security inspector, security officer, or protective agent) is a person employed by a government or private party to protect the employing party's assets (property, people, equipment, money, etc.) from a variety of ...
. The
sound stage A sound stage (also written soundstage) is a soundproof, hangar-like structure, building, or room, used for the production of theatrical film-making and television productions, usually located on a secured movie or television studio property. A ...
is the central component of a studio lot. Most film studios have several; small studios may have as few as one, and large studios have as many as 20 to 30. Film studios also provide
office An office is generally a building, room or other area where an organization's employees perform administrative work in order to support and realize objects and goals of the organization. The word "office" may also denote a position within an ...
space for studio executives and production companies, and makeup rooms and rehearsal rooms for talent. If space allows, a studio may have an outside
backlot A backlot is an area behind or adjoining a movie studio containing permanent exterior buildings for outdoor scenes in filmmaking or television productions, or space for temporary set construction. Uses Some movie studios build a wide variety of s ...
. Finally, there is a studio "commissary", which is the traditional term in the film industry for what other industries call a company
cafeteria A cafeteria, sometimes called a canteen outside the U.S., is a type of food service location in which there is little or no waiting staff table service, whether a restaurant or within an institution such as a large office building or school; a ...
. In addition to these basic components, the largest film studios are full-service enterprises offering the entire range of production and post-production services necessary to create a motion picture, including costumes, props, cameras, sound recording, crafts, sets, lighting, special effects, cutting, editing, mixing, scoring, ADR, re-recording, and foley. Independent suppliers of all these services and more (e.g.,
photographic processing Photographic processing or photographic development is the chemical means by which photographic film or paper is treated after photographic exposure to produce a negative or positive image. Photographic processing transforms the latent image into a ...
labs) are often found in clusters in close proximity to film studios.
Nitrate film Nitrate is a polyatomic ion with the chemical formula . Salts containing this ion are called nitrates. Nitrates are common components of fertilizers and explosives. Almost all inorganic nitrates are soluble in water. An example of an insoluble ...

Nitrate film
, manufactured until 1951, was highly flammable, and sets and backlots were and still are very flammable, which is why film studios built in the early-to-mid 20th century have
water tower#REDIRECT Water tower#REDIRECT Water tower {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
s to facilitate
firefighting Firefighting is the act of attempting to prevent the spread of and extinguish significant unwanted fires in buildings, vehicles, woodlands, etc. A firefighter suppresses fires to protect lives, property and the environment. Firefighters typicall ...
. Water towers "somewhat inexplicably" evolved into "a most potent symbol ... of movie studios in general."


Film to television

Halfway through the 1950s, with
television Television (TV), sometimes shortened to tele or telly, is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in monochrome (black and white), or in color, and in two or three dimensions and sound. The term can refer to a televisi ...

television
proving to be a lucrative enterprise not destined to disappear any time soon—as many in the film industry had once hoped—movie studios were increasingly being used to produce programming for the burgeoning medium. Some midsize film companies, such as
Republic Pictures Republic Pictures Corporation was an American motion picture production-distribution corporation in operation from 1935 to 1967, that was based in Los Angeles. It had studio facilities in Studio City and a movie ranch in Encino. It was best known ...
, eventually sold their studios to TV production concerns, which were eventually bought by larger studios, such as the
American Broadcasting Company The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) is an American multinational commercial broadcast television network that is a flagship property of Walt Disney Television, a division of Disney General Entertainment Content of The Walt Disney Company. ...
which was purchased by
Disney The Walt Disney Company, commonly known as Disney (), is an American diversified multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate headquartered at the Walt Disney Studios complex in Burbank, California. Disney was originally founded o ...
in 1996.


Today

With the growing diversification of studios into such fields as
video games A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface or input device such as a joystick, controller, keyboard, or motion sensing device to generate visual feedback for a player. This feedback is shown on a video ...
,
television stations A television station is a set of equipment managed by a business, organisation or other entity, such as an amateur television (ATV) operator, that transmits video content and audio content via radio waves directly from a transmitter on the earth ...
,
broadcast syndication Broadcast syndication is the practice of leasing the right to broadcasting television shows and radio programs to multiple television stations and radio stations, without going through a broadcast network. It is common in the United States where b ...
,
television Television (TV), sometimes shortened to tele or telly, is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in monochrome (black and white), or in color, and in two or three dimensions and sound. The term can refer to a televisi ...

television
,
theme parks Wonder Mountain at Canada's Wonderland An amusement park is a park that features various attractions, such as rides and games, as well as other events for entertainment purposes. A theme park is a type of amusement park that bases its struct ...
,
home video Home video is prerecorded video media sold or rented for home viewing. The term originates from the VHS/Betamax era, when the predominant medium was videotape, but has carried over to optical disc formats such as DVD and Blu-ray. In a different us ...
and
publishing Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the public for sale or for free. Traditionally, the term refers to the distribution of printed works, such as books, newspapers, and mag ...
, they have become multi-national corporations. International markets account for growing proportion of Hollywood movie revenue with approximately 70% of total movie revenue coming from international ticket sales and the Chinese domestic box office revenue is projected to outpace those of USA in 2020. The growth of film studios and
filmmaking Filmmaking (or, in any context, film production) is the process by which a film is made. Filmmaking involves a number of complex and discrete stages including an initial story, idea, or commission, through screenwriting, casting, shooting, sound ...
outside of Hollywood and the USA have produced popular international film studio locations such as
Hollywood North Hollywood North is a colloquialism used to describe film production industries and/or film locations north of its namesake, Hollywood, California. The term has been applied principally to the film industry in Canada, specifically to the areas of V ...
(
Vancouver Vancouver ( ) is a major city in western Canada, located in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia. As the most populous city in the province, the 2016 census recorded 631,486 people in the city, up from 603,502 in 2011. The Greater Vanc ...
and
Toronto Toronto is the capital city of the Canadian province of Ontario. With a recorded population of 2,731,571 in 2016, it is the most populous city in Canada and the fourth most populous city in North America. The city is the anchor of the Golden ...
in
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering , making it the world's second-largest country by total ...

Canada
),
Bollywood Hindi cinema, often known as Bollywood and formerly as ''Bombay cinema'', is the Indian Hindi-language film industry based in Mumbai (formerly Bombay). The term is a portmanteau of "Bombay" and "Hollywood". The industry is related to Cinema ...

Bollywood
(
Mumbai Mumbai (, ; also known as Bombay , the official name until 1995) is the capital city of the Indian state of Maharashtra. According to the United Nations, as of 2018, Mumbai is the second-most populous city in the country after Delhi and the ...

Mumbai
,
India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the second-most populous country, the seventh-largest country by land area, and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Oce ...

India
), and
Nollywood Nollywood is a sobriquet that originally referred to the Nigerian film industry. The origin of the term dates back to the early 2000s, traced to an article in ''The New York Times''. Due to the history of evolving meanings and contexts, there is ...
(
Lagos Lagos (Nigerian English: ; ) is the most populous city in Nigeria and the second largest city in Africa after Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. With a total population of 14,862,000 as of 2021 within the city proper, the Lagos metro ...
,
Nigeria Nigeria (), officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa. It borders Niger in the north, Chad in the northeast, Cameroon in the east, and Benin in the west. Its southern coast is on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlanti ...
). As the studios increased in size they began to rely on production companies, like J.J. Abrams'
Bad Robot Productions Bad Robot is an American film and television production company led by J. J. Abrams. Under its Bad Robot Productions division, the company is responsible for the television series ''Alias'', ''Lost'', ''Fringe'', ''Person of Interest'', ''Revolut ...
, to handle many of the creative and physical production details of their feature films. Instead, the studios transformed into financing and distribution entities for the films made by their affiliated production companies. With the decreasing cost of CGI and
visual effects Visual effects (sometimes abbreviated VFX) is the process by which imagery is created or manipulated outside the context of a live action shot in filmmaking and video production. The integration of live action footage and CG elements to create re ...
, many studios sold large chunks of their once massive studio spaces or backlots to private real-estate developers.
Century City Century City is a 176-acre (71.2 ha) neighborhood and business district in Los Angeles, California. Located on the Westside to the south of Santa Monica Boulevard around 10 miles (16 km) west of Downtown Los Angeles, Century City is one of th ...
in
Los Angeles Los Angeles (; es, Los Ángeles; "The Angels"), officially the City of Los Angeles and often abbreviated as L.A., is the largest city in California. With an estimated population of nearly four million people, it is the second most populous ...
was once part of the
20th Century Fox 20th Century Studios, Inc. (also known as 20th Century for short, and nicknamed 20th Pictures, formerly Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation) is an American film studio that is a subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Dis ...
backlot, which was among the largest and most famous of the studio lots. In most cases, portions of the backlots were retained and are available for rental by various
film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art used to simulate experiences that communicate ideas, stories, perceptions, feelings, beauty, or atmosphere through the use of moving images. These image ...

film
and
television Television (TV), sometimes shortened to tele or telly, is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in monochrome (black and white), or in color, and in two or three dimensions and sound. The term can refer to a televisi ...

television
productions. Some studios offer tours of their backlots, while
Universal Pictures Universal Pictures (legally Universal City Studios LLC, also known as Universal Studios, and formerly named Universal Film Manufacturing Company and Universal-International Pictures Inc.) is an American film production and distribution company ow ...
allows visitors to its adjacent
Universal Studios Hollywood Universal Studios Hollywood is a film studio and theme park in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County, California. About 70% of the studio lies within the unincorporated county island known as Universal City while the rest lies with ...
theme park to take a tram tour of the
backlot A backlot is an area behind or adjoining a movie studio containing permanent exterior buildings for outdoor scenes in filmmaking or television productions, or space for temporary set construction. Uses Some movie studios build a wide variety of s ...
where films such as ''Psycho'' and ''
Back to the Future ''Back to the Future'' is a 1985 American science fiction film directed by Robert Zemeckis. Written by Zemeckis and Bob Gale, it stars Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, and Thomas F. Wilson. Set in 1985, the story ...
'' were once shot. In fall 2019, movie mogul Tyler Perry opened Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta. The studio lot is claimed to be larger than any other movie studio lot in Hollywood.


Independent film and the studios

In the 1980s and 1990s, as the cost of professional 16mm film equipment decreased, along with the emergence of non-film innovations such as
S-VHS , the common initialism for Super VHS, is an improved version of the VHS standard for consumer-level video recording. Victor Company of Japan introduced S-VHS in Japan in April 1987 with their JVC-branded HR-S7000 VCR, and in certain overseas mar ...

S-VHS
and Mini-DV cameras, many young filmmakers began to make films outside the "studio system". Filmmakers and producers such as
Mike Judge Michael Craig Judge (born October 17, 1962) is an American animator, actor, voice artist, writer, filmmaker and musician. He is the creator of the animated television series ''Beavis and Butt-Head'' (1993–1997, 2011, 2021–present), and co-cr ...
,
Adam Sandler Adam Richard Sandler (born September 9, 1966) is an American actor, comedian, and filmmaker. He was a cast member on ''Saturday Night Live'' from 1990 to 1995, before going on to star in many Hollywood films, which have combined to earn more than ...

Adam Sandler
,
Jim Jarmusch James Robert Jarmusch (; born January 22, 1953) is an American film director, screenwriter, actor, producer, editor, and composer. He has been a major proponent of independent cinema since the 1980s, directing films such as ''Stranger Than Paradi ...
,
Robert Rodriguez Robert Anthony Rodriguez (; born June 20, 1968) is an American filmmaker and visual effects supervisor. He shoots, edits, produces, and scores many of his films in Mexico and in his home state of Texas. Rodriguez directed the 1992 action film '' ...

Robert Rodriguez
,
Steven Soderbergh Steven Andrew Soderbergh (; born January 14, 1963) is an American film director, producer, screenwriter, cinematographer, and editor. An early pioneer of modern independent cinema, Soderbergh is an acclaimed and prolific filmmaker. Soderbergh' ...
,
Quentin Tarantino Quentin Jerome Tarantino (; born March 27, 1963) is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, and actor. His films are characterized by nonlinear storylines, dark humor, aestheticization of violence, extended scenes of dialogue, ensemb ...
,
Kevin Smith Kevin Patrick Smith (born August 2, 1970) is an American filmmaker, actor, comedian, comic book writer, author, and podcaster. He came to prominence with the low-budget comedy film ''Clerks'' (1994), which he wrote, directed, co-produced, and ac ...
and
Richard Linklater Richard Stuart Linklater (; born July 30, 1960) is an American film director, producer, and screenwriter. He is known for films that revolve mainly around suburban culture and the effects of the passage of time. His films include the comedies ''Sla ...

Richard Linklater
made films that pushed boundaries in ways the studios were then reluctant to do. In response to these films, many distributed by "mini-studios" like
Miramax Miramax, LLC (also known as Miramax Films) is an American entertainment company known for producing and distributing films and television shows. Its headquarters are located in Los Angeles, California. Miramax was founded in 1979 by brothers Bob ...
the "majors" created their own in-house mini-studios meant to focus on edgier "independent" content.
Focus Features Focus Features LLC is an American film production and distribution company, owned by Comcast through Universal Pictures, a division of its wholly owned subsidiary NBCUniversal. Focus Features distributes independent and foreign films in the United ...
was created by
Universal Pictures Universal Pictures (legally Universal City Studios LLC, also known as Universal Studios, and formerly named Universal Film Manufacturing Company and Universal-International Pictures Inc.) is an American film production and distribution company ow ...
and
Fox Searchlight Searchlight Pictures, Inc. (formerly Fox Searchlight Pictures) is an American film studio within Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company, that focuses primarily on producing, distributing, and acquiring specialty films. Sear ...
was created by
20th Century Fox 20th Century Studios, Inc. (also known as 20th Century for short, and nicknamed 20th Pictures, formerly Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation) is an American film studio that is a subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Dis ...
for this purpose.


See also


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External links


Who built the first film studio in the United States?



A Film Studio for the Age of Virtual Reality
"A Montreal-based film studio is making movies that you’ll watch with a virtual-reality headset, pointing the way to a whole new form of entertainment." Rachel Metz, ''
MIT Technology Review ''MIT Technology Review'' is a magazine wholly owned by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and editorially independent of the university. It was founded in 1899 as ''The Technology Review'', and was re-launched without "The" in its name on ...
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