With the pandemic happening and everyone being shut inside, movie streaming platforms like Netflix and Disney+ have gotten a lot of traffic. With platforms like these, movies have become such a common form of entertainment for everyone that we often take them for granted. Even the art of making a film has become so much more viable with the age of the internet and the access of equipment at our fingertips.
But during its first days of invention, movies used to be spectacles. As you most likely know, there was no digital technology at the time. Making a film was a tedious process from the filming to the editing and even until distribution and its final premiere. But down the line, there were changes made to the process that created some of the key elements of a movie that we might not even notice today in Hollywood, one of which is the standard movie runtime.
Did you know that early Hollywood films only had about a 15 minute runtime? Nowadays, these would be called short films, but it wasn’t until later that 2 hours became the standard runtime for feature films. D.W. Griffith, who was a filmmaker that pioneered financing for the feature-length film, debuted “Birth of a Nation” with a runtime of 193 minutes, but he wasn’t the sole reason why longer movies became the norm. You can check out Vox’s video to learn more about why movies went from 15 minutes to two hours and how they came to be the way we see them today.