How the U.S. Military Influences Hollywood – Cheddar Explains

by birtanpublished on September 14, 2020

What two transformers pitch perfect 3 and Top Gun all have in common well for one they all have this message in the credits a thank you to the United States Department of Defense Hollywood's connection to the military is as old as the Oscars themselves the

Treatment is reflected each year in the Academy Award the 1927 World War one film wings was produced alongside the Army in the Air Corps Air spectacle dominated by remarkable aerial stunts the aerial and battle sequences for Sean

On Kelly field in Air Corps facility in San Antonio the film featured around 300 pilots and 3,500 infantryman the film was so beloved it went on to win the first Academy Award for Best Picture at the inaugural Oscars in 1929 the only

Silent films are in the honor today Hollywood and the government still maintain a stable working relationship in a nondescript Los Angeles office building lies the media liaison offices for our nation's military working

Alongside the Department of Defense's special assistant for entertainment media these offices assist in film and television production the exact figures of how many projects the Department of Defense has worked on was unclear that

Is until a massive 2017 information dump but before we get into that subscribe to cheddar and hit that notification bell so you don't miss out on any our new content in 2017 a Freedom of Information Act request to the Department of Defense

Resulted in the release of nearly 4,000 documents regarding the military's involvement in film and television the first documented case of military involvement in Hollywood came out of necessity back in 1917

the United States had remained neutral throughout the first years of World War one the general public was split on u.s. involvement in the war but in 1917 after naval attacks on US merchant ships

Woodrow Wilson finally declared war against Germany to rally and divided public Wilson created the Committee on Public Information led by former muckraker George creel the CPI worked with magazines newspapers in film to

Spread propaganda to compel the American public to buy into the war effort the creel committee censored potentially damaging material that could hurt the war effort the CPI were so thorough in their work that according to historians

Every piece of news the average Midwestern family saw had been censored at some level be it in conception transit or delivery of the story creel was not alone in wanting to use film to sway public support William Brady head

Of the National Association of the motion picture industry had sent a memo to the White House where he urged President Wilson to work with Hollywood stating the motion picture could be the most wonderful system for spreading

National propaganda and little or no cost the relationship between the government and Hollywood didn't end with the war in fact it continued well into World War two the government created the office of War

Information a year after America's declaration of war it aimed to create a line of communication between the battlefront and the American public the OWI put out films pamphlets and magazines to boost morale and patriotism

Working as one spokesperson pointed to make sure that every man woman and child should be reached and moved by the message the bureau of motion pictures was placed under the discretion of the OWI further progressing the existing

Relationship between the government in Hollywood together the two assisted in oversaw a Hollywood production of war films and propaganda from fake Capra's why we fight series two anti-fascist films like Casablanca these films were

Widely marketed to the public during World War two Hollywood released over 1700 projects 500 of which dealt with war related material Elmer Davis head of the Office of War Information said the motion picture is the most powerful

Instrument of propaganda in the world the easiest way to inject a propaganda idea to most people's minds is to let it go through the entertainment picture when they do not realize they're being propagandized the motion picture

Production office n PP o for short has worked on films like Armageddon transformers and subsequent film Transformers Revenge of the Fallen and Iron Man the Department of Defense even has a document outlining the rules

Producers must abide by if they want to work with the DoD but so what extent does the Department of Defense influence Hollywood military representations not just one more film or one television show but a big mosaic of all these

Depictions put together we kind of have a big collective story about what the military is doing in the world what kind of institution it is making a hundred or a thousand little changes tends to kind of push the narrative in one direction

That's dr. Roger Stahl he's a researcher author of militating Inc an associate professor at the University of Georgia he's been researching military involvement in film for years looking at hundreds of film scripts and

Correspondence between the Department of Defense and Hollywood producers so why do production companies reach out to the military it costs money to go without help you want the most planes the most explosions and you also want the kind of

Credibility that comes with military actors like most things in life help from the Department of Defense isn't free there are conditions and contracts that producers have to follow in order to make their film you send them your

Script and also an application they're going to be monitoring the process all the way through and they get a final screening they want to know that the end product reflects the process that resulted in the contract sometimes they

Don't turn out the way the military wants and they ask for cuts at the very end transformers and Transformers Revenge of the Fallen are two action films that have both had massive success and been

Assisted by the military Ian Bryce a producer for transformers said without the superb military support we've gotten on this film it would be an entirely different looking film we want to cooperate with the Pentagon to show

Them off in the most positive light and the Pentagon likewise wants to give us the resources to be able to do that in this instance the relationship between Hollywood and the DoD is symbiotic that being said not every film with an

American soldier is a film that's been worked on by the Department of Defense I've been a soldier since I was 19 films like Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket and Francis Ford Coppola Zapata lips now were both originally slated to

Have military assistance but after failure to abide by DoD standards and being deemed too salacious all films parted ways with the Department of Defense however they also went on to receive critical acclaim and public

Praise for their portrayals of wartime let's review the Department of Defense has had a long-standing relationship with the powers that be in Hollywood they've made changes on hundreds of occasions to film and television the

Department of Defense acts similarly to a public relations firm in that sense the Department of Defense have wants to be portrayed in the best light as Ian Bryce said in reference to transformers to meet that end they assist in the

Production and writing of multiple film and television projects a practice that in itself harkens back to World War one this has been a part of American history for decades whether it's for the benefit of the public that's wholly up to

Context you know really this is a question of media literacy this is a question of knowing at least some basic things about what happens behind the scenes to shape the images that we see every day on our screen this is why it's

Important to be a conscious viewer it must absolutely be attuned to the forces that are working behind the scenes to produce the media that we consume if we're informed viewers we can not only spot instances such as this Opie and

Work together to urge the powers that be to do better and be more transparent with the public thanks again for watching I'm Jake Munoz for cheder explains and we'll catch you next time

If you made it this far then you already know what time it is if you haven't hit that subscribe button and that notification bill so you don't miss out on any of our new content and believe me we've got some good things coming

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