IT Management Slideshow: 10 Technologies that Changed Hollywood

By CIOinsight  |  Posted 02-27-2009

10 Technologies that Changed Hollywood

Lumiere Cinematographe

Before the Lumiere brothers developed a machine that could project moving pictures onto a screen, movies were seen on novelty toys and devices that allowed only one viewer at a time.

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Moviola

Its first incarnation as a home-projection system flopped, but it was repurposed in 1924 to help editors splice their reels and dominated for decades. Only in the digital age has the Moviola been mostly retired.

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Vitaphone

With help from Western Electric, Warner Brothers introduced a system that allowed audiences to hear actors speak. The talkie was born, and The Jazz Singer was a smash in 1927.

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Technicolor

Not the first, but the most successful, Technicolor changed the palette of movies forever. Color took off when it introduced a three-strip process that didn't need special projectors. Early adopter: Walt Disney, with the animated short Flowers and Trees.

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Greenscreen Technology

Officially known as chroma key technology, it lets directors filter out solid color backgrounds and add fantastic scenery during editing. Developed for The Thief of Baghdad in 1940.

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Computer Generated Imagery

Matte-painting artists painted realistic backgrounds, but they were limited by the static nature of the medium. CGI helped usher in a new era of realistic and kinetic scenery.

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Surround Sound

The 1970s saw, er, heard the introduction of Dolby Surround Sound, which let moviemakers to immerse audiences in a whole new level of auditory experience.

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Videotape

Introduced in the late 1970s, videotape brought movies into the homes of millions of viewers, changing the perception that commercial-free movies could only be enjoyed at the theatre.

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Digital Video

Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones was the first Hollywood blockbuster shot completely on digital. It provides editing flexibility, and is cheaper than film - thus advancing the art of cinema by letting more people participate.

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Broadband Internet

Streaming movies, downloading them, and sharing via P2P networks via broadband has changed consumption habits. In some ways, we've reverted to watching flicks all by our lonesome, just like the pre-cinematographe days.

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