British and American Cinematography: more than art, it is culture.
Lights, camera, action! The first three words used in a cinematographic studio. Have you ever thought why cinematography is so important for some people? It is so important because it is part of their culture. Cinematography opens a world of possibilities, since it recreates thousands of aspects of daily life and also unreal aspects. It brings color, feelings, music and even flavors and smells that make you belong to the scene. This means that, cinema is the most powerful weapon in life due to its influence on people and the good lessons some films teach. When we talk about cinematography and cinema, we are referring to the art in general, from the recreation of the images to the representation of them in the screen.
In this case, we will see how immersed cinema and cinematography are in British culture and American culture, but first let’s take a little walk through the most relevant aspects of this topic.
British cinematography, a little bit of history.
Cinematography, being invented to offer entertainment and diversion, over the years has become a tool to teach good and bad life lessons. The birth of the British cinema arose before the 20th century. But, it was after the World Wars I and II disasters that cinema took a huge impulse, due to the necessity to distract people from those terrible events. From that moment, the British film production companies began to be born, such as “The Gainsborough Melodramas” and “The Ealing Comedies” (Bedfor, 2018). Such film companies had great success at the time. Unfortunately, “The Gainsborough Melodramas” film studio did not have the same luck as “The Ealing Comedies”, since the first one was forgotten as well as the 1970s British movies.
Certainly, over the years, the U.K. film industry grew up, giving place to companies like “Aardman Animations (Early Man)”, “Baby Cow Productions (Swing Time)”, “The Ink Factory (with a comedy film called Fighting with my family)”, among others (Mueller, 2018). But, we think British films are not so famous so to speak, and the British film industry in general is in constant competence with Hollywood. The truth is, that these thoughts are not totally wrong because in fact, Hollywood industry is much bigger than the British film industry. The question here would be why? And it is because of “Taxation, salary, lack of film infrastructure, geography and the lack of a home-grown distribution company”, just as David Haigh says in his article. Maybe one day, British film industry will reach as much popularity as Hollywood industry.
Now, let’s see the other side of the coin with American cinematography.
American cinematography, the cinema world.
As we know, Hollywood has been the cinema world for a long time due to its large amount of production, leaving out British films and in somehow blocking the progress of British industry. When all this started, Hollywood industry only exhibited “short films in storefront theaters called nickelodeons” (Gunsock, 2016) but then, over time, this industry took a dominant position, reaching in this way what it is today, a whole entertainment sector.
Hollywood industry has thousands of movies, which we can find online to watch them in the comfort of our house. It counts with a lot of action movies and 2017 was a good year production, highlighted by the following movies: “Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge, The Mummy, Wonder Woman, Fast & Furious 8, Logan”, etc (Spideyn, 2018), this last could possibly have been the most downloaded movie of that year due to its large number of votes. We cannot forget 2018, because it was a great year as well, with awesome movies such as: Black Panther and the most watched movie The Avengers: Infinity War.
Coming back to the point of how immersed cinema and cinematography are in British culture and American culture, we could say that both the British cinema and the American cinema take into account the mood, the identity, the people’s values, the way they are and their behavior and thoughts. And not only the mentioned features, British and American cinematography have represented on the screens a whole historical life and the several crisis they have been through.
And now, since you know this information, have you discovered the real sense or purpose of some films?
If you want to review some of the most popular names in the British and American cinematography, click on this link and learn it with us 🙂
Bedfor, T. (2018) The History of British Cinema Part 1: The Rise of the studio Film. Film Inquiry magazin.
Gunsock (2016) Hollywood – The History of a Movie Capital. ReelRundown website
High, D. (2018) Why isn’t the British film industry as big as Hollywood? Quora website.
Mueller, M. (2018) The Brit 50: the top film production companies in the UK. Film magazin Screen International.
Spideynw (2018) Top 30 Action Movies of 2017. Movie Database IMDb.