Tag Archives: hollywoodland

The Sign of Dreams

Hollywood is a town that’s built its history on the backs of dreams. The dreams associated with Hollywood are dreams of stars, bright lights, fame, and fortune. What makes Hollywood special is it’s iconic landmark, the big sign. People associate the big sign with legendary careers. The sign is special but the truth is that the sign has a story behind it, unrelated to the dreams associated with it.

HollywoodLand Sign

The Hollywood sign was erected in 1923 as a way to promote Hollywood real estate. The film industry was actually in its infancy at that point and big stars were few and far in between. Film was actually not that big a part of California’s lore.  The sign originally read Hollywoodland.

 

HollywoodLandMuch like with anything the sign changed to just Hollywood and eventually it because the icon for an entire industry. Nearly 100 years after being put up the sign represents a bridge between the history of film and modern day entertainment hopes.

 

Hollywood, Hollywood!

The Seven-Year Contract

When you think about stars being under contract to do specific films you think about salaries that number in the millions and on top of that you think of back end points, merchandising and so on. If you go back about sixty years or more the case was completely different.

 

Marilyn MonroeStars that showed promise usually got signed to seven-year contracts for their specific studio. When stars signed contracts they were usually unknowns that were more than likely going to be used as either fillers or B-side attractions. During the 1930’ s, 40’s, and 50’s most of those studio system contracts paid something like $100 per week and were a good way for developing talent. Stars like Marilyn Monroe, and Clint Eastwood were developed that way.

 

Clint EastwoodThe seven-year contract was a way for the studios to also own their people and do with them as they pleased. Today the ball game is different and stars come and go as they please.

 

Those were the days, sort of.