The Soviet Film Industry

By Paul Babitsky; John Rimberg | Go to book overview
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V. Soviet Film Production and the Five-Year Plans

1.

For material support of the cinema in the Soviet Union, a vast complex of industrial enterprises has been developed during four successive Five-Year Plans. Industrial operations of the Main Administration of the Cinema, within the U.S.S.R. Ministry of Culture--such as mass production of cameras, raw film, projectors, and copies of completed pictures--plus all distribution operations at the republic level and exhibition operations at the local level provide employment for an estimated 125,000 to 175,000 persons at the present, time.1

The production of motion pictures may be considered a light industry. Its main purpose is to provide a service, the exhibition of motion pictures, to consumers, the audience. Motion pictures can reduce purchasing power and consume leisure time. These effects, characteristic of the goods and services of many other light industries, tend to decrease the amount of unrest among the population and to increase popular support for the regime if people believe that their money and leisure time have been well spent. It was in the interest of the Party to encourage the development of a successful motion-picture industry so long as this did not interfere with the heavy industries that had priority in the Soviet Union.

Certain aspects of the organization, administration and inspection of the motion-picture industry resemble those of other light industries. With the exception of "top-flight" artists, salaries are equivalent to those of workers in other light industries. Production of motion pictures is predominantly administered on the all-Union level, distribution on the republic level, and exhibition on the local level.2 The entire complex of industrial relationships between levels, and between enterprises on the same level, is planned annually as well as for five-year periods and is formalized

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