Lights, camera, and… action! The well-known words of decades of filmmakers who have inhabited this beautiful, hill-scaped city.
As the story goes, H.J. Whitley, the “Father of Hollywood”, was standing atop the infamous Hollywood Hills during his honeymoon in 1886. A Chinese man in a wagon carrying wood came along, exited his wagon, and bowed to Mr. Whitley. When asked what he was doing the man replied, “I hauling wood”, although phonetically his accent made it sound like, “I holly-wood”. Whitley had an epiphany in that moment and decided to name the area, Hollywood; bringing together “holly” to represent England and “wood” to represent his Scottish heritage. Hollywood is one of more than one-hundred cities started by H.J. Whitley across the western United States.
Known for its ethnically diverse, densely populated neighborhoods, Hollywood is the home of several historic studios largely responsible for the U.S. film industry like Paramount, Warner Bros., RKO, Columbia, and Universal. In fact the name, “Hollywood”, has become synonymous with motion pictures and the people who both make and star in them. Which is why the city is also colloquially called, “Tinseltown”, to describe the glittering image of the motion picture industry.
In the early 1900’s most motion picture patents were held by Thomas Edison’s Motion Picture Patents Company in New Jersey, which made it difficult for other filmmakers to produce any new projects without being sued. In an effort to escape Edison’s reach, filmmakers began moving out west where the climate made for more ideal filming conditions anyway. The rest is Hollywood history!
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