Motion-Picture Industry

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Motion-Picture Industry


a term embracing the motion-picture film printing and engineering industries and the manufacture of motion-picture film.

Film printing The film printing industry prepares prints of motion pictures for screening in movie theaters, on movie projectors, on television, and on amateur equipment. The prints are made on 70-mm, 35-mm, 16-mm, or 8-mm films, depending on their purpose. The chief consumer of these prints is the motion-picture network of the USSR. The number of prints made depends on the ideological and artistic significance of the film, as many as 1,500 prints are made of certain films.

One of the most important technical processes in the industry is the development of several intermediate positives from the negatives, followed by dupes (double positives), from which a large number of prints is made. Dupes are also necessary if the film is to be converted from one format to another.

Until 1930, prints were prepared in the studios’ own film-processing laboratories. However, the growth of the motion-picture network and the film industry between 1923 and 1930 called for greater numbers of prints. This led to the appearance of specialized film-printing enterprises. The first film-printing factory in the USSR was opened in Leningrad in 1930. Similar factories were opened in Moscow, Kiev, Kharkov, and Novosibirsk. In the postwar years, printing factories were restored in those cities destroyed during the fascist German occupation. The other factories were reconstructed and equipped with high-output equipment. The result was that their fixed assets grew from a million rubles in 1945 to 30 million rubles in 1971.

The film-printing industry is administered by Goskino through the industrial association Kopirfil’m, whose members include the Moscow (headquarters), Leningrad, Kiev, Kharkov, Novosibirsk, and Riazan’ factories and the Color Film Processing Laboratory in Moscow.

During the 1960’s film printing factories in the USSR each year prepared prints for more than 300 feature films, 750 popular-science and documentary films, and a large number of news-reels and special-order films made for various agencies.

The development of the film-printing industry has been marked by an increasing volume and variety of large-scale printings of 70-mm, 35-mm, 16-mm, and 8-mm color prints. The industry makes use of highly efficient equipment and it has mechanized its labor-consuming processes. Its development is also marked by industrial specialization. The industry in Moscow not only puts out prints on a large scale but also specializes in preparing the dupes, control prints, soundstrip negatives, and other materials from which large numbers of prints can be made at other factories. All of the factories are equipped with high-output processors, contact and optical printing equipment, and editing and projection equipment. They have also mechanized their transport and warehouse operations.


Motion-picture engineering The motion-picture engineering industry develops and produces motion-picture cameras and technical equipment for the professional and amateur cinematographer, for television, and for scientific research. The industry is made up of production, research, and design facilities. The production is handled by both specialized motion-picture engineering enterprises and general industrial enterprises of the optical instruments industry. They produce lenses, cameras, projectors, sound-recording and sound-reproduction equipment, videotape machines, processing equipment, and cutting benches for the production, printing, and screening of motion-picture films.

In prerevolutionary Russia there was no film-engineering industry. Instead, there were only small repair shops. The Soviet film-engineering industry began to develop in 1919. The first Soviet film projector (GOZ) was produced by the Leningrad State Optical Mechanics Plant in 1923. The same plant produced the TOMP-4 projector in the late 1920’s. These developments enabled the Soviet Union to cease relying on imported projection equipment and subsequently to expand its theater network.

By 1970 the industrial association Ekran and the Leningrad Optical Mechanics Association were the largest manufacturers of film-engineering products in the USSR. Modern technological processes are used in producing motion-picture equipment, and specialization has developed in the production of cameras, lenses, and projectors for 8-mm, 16-mm, 35-mm, and 70-mm film and processors. Articles completing the unit of equipment are made with the cooperation of specialized enterprises from other branches of industry.

Raising the technical level of the equipment for both professional and amateur cinematographers and increasing the variety of the necessary equipment available are the most important directions for technological progress in the motion-picture engineering industry.

Among the other socialist countries, the motion-picture engineering industry is most developed in the German Democratic Republic and Czechoslovakia. Of the capitalist countries the most developed motion-picture engineering is to be found in the USA, Great Britain, the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, Japan and France.


Film manufacture Motion-picture film is manufactured in the USSR by enterprises of the photographic chemicals industry. No motion-picture film was manufactured in prerevolutionary Russia, and the country was forced to rely completely on imports. In the USSR the first motion-picture film was produced in 1931 in the Pereslavl’-Zalesskii (Yaroslavl Oblast) and Shostka (Sumy Oblast) film factories, which were capable of producing 75 million m a year. The rapid development of cinematography necessitated the significant expansion of these factories and the construction in 1936 of a new factory in Kazan. Along with the increased output there was an increase in the variety of films produced and an improvement in their quality. The scientific research and technical development conducted at the Scientific Research Institute for Motion Pictures and Photography (NIKFI; founded in 1929) was of great importance to the development of the USSR’s domestic film production.

Photographic chemicals enterprises were reconstructed and expanded during the first postwar years, providing the necessary technical base for increased production and improvement of the variety and quality of motion-picture film. By 1950 the total volume of film production had grown to 2.3 times that of 1940. In 1948 the USSR began producing multilayer color film. Research and development conducted at NIKFI brought about a marked increase in the photosensitivity of the negatives with a simultaneous decrease in graininess and an increase in resolving power. Film production grew 4.1 times between 1950 and 1970, and the USSR now ranks second in the world (after the USA) in volume of film produced.

The photographic chemicals industry in the USSR produces a great variety of black-and-white and color films, including negatives for shooting films, positives for reproducing prints, double positives for making duplicates of the original negative in the reproduction of prints, black-and-white film with optical sound recording, and film with a magnetic track for magnetic sound recording. In addition to regular 35-mm film, the industry produces 16-mm, 70-mm, and 8-mm films. Until the 1950’s all films, with the exception of those under 35 mm, were made of flammable cellulose nitrate. As a result of intensive research to replace this material, production of a fireproof 35-mm film of cellulose triacetate was begun in 1952. The conversion of production entirely to fireproof film was completed in 1968.

Among the other socialist countries, the most developed industry in motion-picture film manufacture is found in the German Democratic Republic. Production in the capitalist countries is most advanced in the USA, Japan, Belgium, the Federal Republic of Germany, and Italy.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
As writers, actors, and others in the motion-picture industry struggled to "make it," they could expect help along the way from fellow Communist Party members in obtaining acting roles, screenwriting opportunities, and other jobs in Hollywood.
As the Cold War intensified, the role of communists in the motion-picture industry became a matter of concern to many in Congress.
Beyond selectively seizing on economics and overlooking the motion-picture industry's relentless use of other media, the peremptory dismissal of TV-based movies shrugs off an even more elemental truth regarding any film adaptation, whether the source is TV or Tolstoy: The quality of a movie's source is ultimately unrelated to how it turns out on the screen.
After working in the motion-picture industry and in journalism, Llewellyn wrote two successful mystery plays, Poison Pen (1938) and Noose (1947).
In Moving Pictures: Memories of a Hollywood Prince (1981), Schulberg described his childhood spent in the center of the American motion-picture industry; Love, Action, Laughter, and Other Sad Tales was published in 1989.

Full browser ?