Cecil Hepworth and the Rise of the British Film Industry 1899-1911

Simon Brown

Cecil Hepworth and the Rise of the British Film Industry 1899-1911

Simon Brown

Distributed for University of Exeter Press

256 pages | 6 1/5 x 9 1/4 | © 2016
Cloth $100.00 ISBN: 9780859898904 Published May 2016 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only
This book presents a thorough industrial, economic, and aesthetic history of the early years of the British film industry through a case study of one of the most celebrated pioneers of the period, Cecil Hepworth. As film production shifted from being a cottage industry to a complicated, large-scale national industry, Hepworth and his studio were at the heart of developments. Simon Brown presents a picture of daily life in Hepworth’s studio through these changes, along with analysis of the content, production, and marketing of his films. He also charts the larger development of the British film industry, with an emphasis on the changing nature of exhibition and distribution.
List of Illustrations and Tables

1. Film Production at the HMC
2. Hepworth, Film Sales and the Rise of the Renter
3. The HMC, the Rental Sector and Market Strategies
4. The HMC and Patterns of Exhibition
Conclusion: The Producers’ Response to the Crisis

Appendix One:
Filmography of Hepworth and Co and the HMC, 1899-1911

Appendix Two:
HMC Titles Listed in ‘Around the Shows’ Released 1 October 1908-31 August 1909

Appendix Three:
List of London-Based Rental Firms (1905-1911)
Foreign Film Sales Representatives (1907-1911)

Review Quotes
Stephen Neale, University of Exeter
“Lucid and well-informed, the argument posed is a stimulating one. I, for one, look forward to reading it.”
Richard Maltby, Flinders University
“Well-written and original, it opens up the subject in a thoroughly new way. This will be an important book.”
Joe Kember | Viewfinder
“Painstaking scholarship. . . . A book that significantly revises our understanding of one national production context.”
Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television
"Rich with historical context, Brown's book builds on the foundations laid down by the likes of John Barnes and Rachel Low, and more recent elucidations by scholars such as Luke McKernan (whose recent book, also published in the consistently excellent Exeter Studies in Film History series, did for Charles Urban and co. what Browns does here for Hepworth). . . . From the very first page it offers a vital addendum to our knowledge of the early years of British cinema. . . . Brown not only enhances our understanding of this particular film-maker, but of British film history more generally."
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