It is known as the ‘thirty-mile zone’ (or TMZ). It is a 30-mile radius found in the southern part of California. This is where the movie industry of America is based, but did you know that New Jersey used to be America’s film center?
Most of the patents held on motion picture cameras were owned by Thomas Edison. Through those patents, he was able to tightly control who was able to make films. Back in 1908, he formed the Motion Picture Patents Company. This licensing trust included other important patent holders for motion pictures, which included Eastman Kodak. Eastman Kodak sold the only camera stock that could be legally purchased by filmmakers.
These patents let the group use law enforcement to prevent any unauthorized use of their film, projectors, cameras or any type of equipment which had features which infringed on the patents. Sometimes thugs were also hired for doing the enforcement.
It’s not a big surprise that the tight restrictions stifled the innovation as well as crippled the industry. Independent filmmakers flocked to Hollywood because there was so much distance from Edison Trust, it was easy for them to work on films without tight patent enforcement and control.
The beautiful temperatures and sunshine also helped to make Hollywood a place that was more suitable for making films throughout the year.