There’s hardly anyone who doesn’t know about Universal Studios. But do you know who owns it? We don’t think so! But it’s vital to learn about the origin of Universal Studios to understand how far it has come. After all, it’s stories like these that inspire and teach you that if you pursue something with dedication and commitment, you will find your way.
Universal Studios is an American film production and distribution company that’s currently owned by Comcast. But there’s a lot more to it. Universal Studios is an enigma! In fact, it has sparked curiosity and interest pretty much since its inception. And you are about to learn why.
How It All Began for Universal Studios
Carl Laemmle was the man behind Universal Studios. It was his dream to have a city solely for movies. What initially started off as a studio tour meant to attract an audience soon became so much more. Indeed, Universal Studios is now an empire, and that too, one that generates revenue in billions!
Carl Laemmle was behind the massive merger of his film production company, but soon after, he realized that he was in dire need of more land to keep things afloat. And thus, an incredible journey started. But to understand what made Carl Laemmle go ahead with Universal Studios, you need to go back a bit.
Carl Laemmle was an immigrant from Bavaria who came to America in 1884 with an obsession for motion pictures. His life took a drastic turn after a visit to Nickelodeon, a movie theatre. The flickering images were enough to trigger his imagination. And soon after, he opened his first movie theater in 1906, the White Font Theater. It became an instant success. But this was only the beginning.
A Roadblock Along The Way
No one has ever had an easy journey. Struggles are a part of all inspirational success stories, and this one’s no exception. The New York-based Motion Pictures Patents Company (MPPC) imposed a two-dollar license fee on independent theatre operators in 1909.
MPPC basically wanted to control the film industry, and since they had the patent on all motion picture cameras, the film industry was indeed at its mercy. But Laemmle was not the one to bow down. After all, he was always a rebel. He decided that if he produced his own movies, he wouldn’t have to pay the licensing fees.
Hence Laemmle moved to New York after a few months and started his movie company, Independent Moving Pictures. A playful impish demon became a logo for the studio, probably to display the owner’s true feelings for MPPC.
In 1910, he backed a merger of several established film production companies, launching Motion Picture Distributing and Sales Company with Laemmle as president. But Laemmle had no intentions of stopping here.
He faced constant challenges from the bigger corporations as he tried to bring a change to the radical ways, but he always found a way to proceed. After all, how else could be successful in his endeavor?
The Birth of Universal Studios
Production began in Laemmle’s company in Los Angeles in 1910. Laemmle joined them in 1912, and a month later, Motion Picture Distributing and Sales Company collapsed with the assets of the company transferred to Universal Film Manufacturing Company. And this is how the foundation of Universal Studios was established.
After landing in Los Angeles, the first thing that Laemmle did was buy the Nestor Company Studio at Sunset Boulevard and Gower Street. There’s a reason that he selected this building. It had spacious grounds ensuring that multiple movies could be shot here at the same time.
But Laemmle wanted to increase efficiency and avoid the cost of lugging equipment and personnel to location shoots. Hence, he came up with the idea of building a city dedicated solely to making movies. This is how Universal Studios Hollywood was conceptualized.
Laemmle bought the Taylor ranch, a 230-acre chicken farm, for $165,000 and started construction on the film city. He was laughed at for his idea even by his colleagues, but he was relentless. His vision was clear, and that helped him move forward despite all setbacks. And in 1915, Universal Studios Hollywood was officially launched.
Of course, a lot has changed since then. The studio is now under Comcast, which merged it with its own cable-television programming assets. Hence, NBCUniversal was created. But no one can deny the legacy of Universal Studios. It has continued to survive amidst all odds despite the changing hands of the owners.
Why the Journey of Universal Studios Is Inspirational
There’s so much you learn from how Universal Studios was established. Entrepreneurs can use it as a lesson and understand that if you truly believe in your vision, nothing can come your way.
Even the greatest ideas were met with ridicule when they were presented, but the world had to bow down to their brilliance soon after. It’s never too late! If you actually believe in your goal, pursue it with full enthusiasm. Eventually, everything will fall into place, just as it did for Universal Studios.