January 3, 2011

William M. Drew

On February 14, 2009, with the help of a few friends, I set up a website with the intent of creating interest in the forthcoming anniversary in 2010 of the centennial of the simultaneous emergence of both Hollywood and the star system. To increase knowledge of these historic events, I included on the website many contemporary newspaper articles from the years 1909-12 documenting this period of early filmmaking. Additionally, I provided a gallery of photos from that era and authored a chronicle of the events leading up to the establishment in 1910 of Los Angeles as the principal center of American film production west of the Mississippi, a development which would culminate in Hollywood subsequently becoming the capital of the movie industry.

 Although more might have been done to mark this significant anniversary, there were nevertheless some efforts at a commemoration in 2010. Notably, TCM aired in November and December "Moguls and Movie Stars," an ambitious and always interesting if flawed seven-part documentary series tracing the history of the American cinema from the invention of the medium in the late 19th century to the end of the 1960s coinciding with the departure of the last remaining studio moguls from Hollywood's heyday. And fortuitously, as if to further underscore the importance of this centenary, a number of long-lost American silents, many of which dated from the early 1910s, were rediscovered this past year in New Zealand and are now being preserved with availability to the public soon to follow.

 With the anniversary year of 2010 now itself a part of history, I have decided to archive the original home page, leaving it just as it was, and linking it to this new opening statement. From time to time, new images and articles in keeping with the original focus of this site will be added to the gallery and news and article clippings. In addition, during the coming year I plan to post some entries, either commemorating notable anniversaries in film of significant events from the year 1911 or discussing other topics of importance to silent and early sound film history. While my involvement with various projects will likely preclude a steady blogspot, I will nevertheless try to keep you updated on film history, whether Hollywood or international.