History of Hollywood
- See also: History of the Animation
The history of Hollywood stretches back over a hundred years, and includes events that seem to not only defy conventional explanations, but which have also reshaped the world in drastic and often destructive ways. The task of accurately documenting this history is made considerably more difficult due to the unstable fabric of reality that continues to alter past events, despite numerous written complaints and general threats of violence from Hollywood's resident historians.
The region that would gradually become Hollywood, located in California on the western coast of the United States of America, was always a site of extreme instability in multiple ways. Numerous historical earthquakes helped to shape and define the locale, with the last major earthquake of the pre-Hollywood era being the Great Quake of 1906. At the time it was claimed to have been caused by Mrs. Mulroney's mule, which according to folklore had kicked the fault line after being startled by an unusually large potato. But the likelihood is that this reasoning is rooted in the severe anti-Irish sentiment of the era, and so was no longer considered a valid scientific explanation by the mid-1980s.
Archeological digs across Hollywood have shown that, despite the present-day reputation that the film industry is the sole source of the area's weirdness, it has been a nexus of strange events and dimensional breaches dating back tens of thousands, possibly even millions of years. However, it wasn't until the arrival of the film industry that Hollywood's cataclysmic properties could be effectively exploited for profit.
Yet the allure of Hollywood as a location for the film industry manages to predate not only the film industry, but also humanity itself, suggesting there has been an unknown attraction at work for untold millions of years. Fossilized remains have been unearthed that include rudimentary clapperboards, basic trailers still with their occupants inside, and even fragments of scripts. However the lack of any written language, or even the basic concept of the three-act structure, have made these prehistoric scripts impossible to understand by modern Hollywood standards. Scientific research into prehistoric Hollywood continues, funded by several major studios as a potential source of franchises to reboot for modern audiences.
- Main article: Hollywood in the 1910s
True Hollywood began in early 1910, when a number of film production companies arrived in the region, fleeing Thomas Edison's iron grip on the industry. They found Hollywood to be amenable to the film making process, having a pleasant climate and a distinct lack of hired goons lurking in back alleys with knives and rope. Pioneering director W. M. Enfield was among the first to arrive, seeking to bring his own distinct brand of spectacle and historical revisionism to the silver screen. Due in no small part to the radical dimensional instability of the area, it took only a few short years for the region to turn from a small township into the blossoming entertainment capital of the United States.
Starting in 1914, the first toons began to appear in Hollywood. At first thought to be particularly vivid hallucinations, the incontrovertible physical evidence for their existence (mostly property damage) soon proved they were as real as anything or anyone else. It wasn't until 1919 that Toon Town's presence in Hollywood became noticeable, due to the widening of the dimensional rift that connects the "Real World" (as toons refer to it) to the Animation. It was only large enough to allow one building of downtown Schnooklyn to appear within Hollywood, but would be a full city block by 1928.
- Main article: Hollywood in the 1920s
Business was booming during the Roaring 20s, so called due to (in part) the discovery of the Gwanji Valley in Northern California. The thrill of uncovering a lost world of prehistoric monsters, along with the obvious entertainment value, far outweighed what many saw as a potential danger. The Valley became one of the hottest new spots for film production, unmatched anywhere else in the world. Dozens of new studios were founded at this time, with over half surviving through the decade. These included Bernard Bros. and Whit Jolley Animation, which would both later become members of the Big Five.
What was later understood to be Hollywood's first kaiju incident occurred in 1923, with Mightosaurus causing property damage and extensive loss of life. However, several hours of highly usable footage meant the city saw it as a net gain to the point of intentionally trying to bait a second incident, but with little success.
- Main article: Hollywood in the 1930s
The Great Depression was felt even in the realm of decadent excess that Hollywood had become, although mostly by the poor. Mammonism was on the rise in the region, supplanting and absorbing other religions that had failed to keep up with Hollywood's moral flexibility. This was the decade that saw the election of Salvatore Fischetti to the office of President of the United States, often called the country's first "mobster president" even though nothing was conclusively proven in a court of law.
It was also in this decade that the Battle of Los Angeles took place, with three of the major studios raising private armies to attempt to overthrow the local government and push back what they saw as unpopular and unjust censorship laws. Though ultimately unsuccessful as a coup, it proved that the chaotic nature of Hollywood could not be controlled, only mitigated.
After the refinement of the color film process in 1936, the previously monochrome toons of Hollywood began to appear in full color as well, prompting those in the scientific community still trying to analyze toon physiology to put forth the theory that toons were intrinsically connected not just to Hollywood, but to film-making itself. Toons were exceptionally unhelpful in validating this or any other hypothesis. With no clear evidence, and more importantly no explanation of how this would make anyone any money, it was one more nail in the coffin for the already disreputable scientific field of toonology.
- Main article: Hollywood in the 1940s
Hollywood had numerous conflicting opinions on World War 2, including which side had the better cinematographic appeal. These were resolved in 1941, when the Empire of Japan launched a surprise military strike against the Hollywood Islands. It was a surprise to the Japanese as well, who had been intending to attack military assets in Hawaii some 2000 miles east instead. Numerous film sets were destroyed, and such was Hollywood's political clout that the United States formally entered into the conflict the next day. Hollywood's chief role in the war would be the large-scale production of propaganda, meaning it was business as usual for the industry with the added bonus of the federal government footing the bill.
The Toon Platoon was formed in early 1942, comprised of several patriotic toons willing to take an anvil for their country or any other country that would have them. The military-themed cartoons they made contributed heavily to the war effort, keeping troop morale up and encouraging the public to buy war bonds. Several attempts were made at deploying the Platoon in actual combat situations, due to their indestructible bodies and natural affinity for fighting, but after the accidental sinking of the USS Eldridge in 1943 all toons were banned from active military service.
- Main article: Hollywood in the 1950s
In the wake of World War 2's end, the country was drunk on a mix of American exceptionalism and paranoia, exemplified by the new Governor of California Jack F. Ralston and his political crusades against anything deemed insufficiently American. Although he would not live to see the end of the decade, his firm and hypocritical attitudes would help to shape Hollywood for many years to come. Hundreds of movies produced during the decade that celebrated America's accomplishments, both real and imagined, have since been recognized as vibrant inclusions into the Hollywood canon rather than the desperate results of moral blackmail they actually were.
The Hollywood Space Administration was founded in 1951 with Thaddeus Finckenstein as the inaugural head of the agency. His method of launching things into space "to see what has the gumption to make it back" had far-reaching repercussions that would shape Hollywood for decades to come, and for which he would experience absolutely no consequences. Hollywood experienced two serious bouts of "space fever" in this decade: one that had audiences thrilled by space-themed adventures on the silver screen, and one caused by a mutated virus brought back by the Hermes XIV in 1958.
- Main article: Hollywood in the 1960s
The defining event of the 1960s was the Invasion of Hollywood, when the HSA's earlier Trans-Planetary Distribution Project resulted in numerous alien species being exposed to Hollywood movies. Justifiably enraged, this loose alliance based on a mutual desire for revenge was unable to use their superior technology to overcome Hollywood's can-do spirit and cavalier attitude toward radioactive fallout. A sustained campaign of nuclear strikes would put an end to the invasion, in the process destroying 90% of the alien armada (including the mothership, which would become Crash Site Delta), large sections of the California coastline, the entire state of Nevada (accidentally), and the entire state of Arizona (intentionally).
Animal rights activists made a successful push in the wake of the invasion, with their new angle of "at least we're from around here" allowing Hollywood's inherent narcissistic jingoism to triumph over its inherent bigotry. From 1964 onwards, all animals would be granted second-class citizenship, provided they could prove both their sentience and monetary value.
The increased levels of radiation and alien DNA in the atmosphere had a significant effect on kaiju activity in the region, resulting in the rise of new kaiju that dwarfed previous encounters in terms of both size and destructive power. This gave the latter half of the decade the nickname "the Smashing Sixties" after the sheer frequency of attacks. The nearby Mondo Island was designated as a national park in 1968, although one uniquely dedicated to the extermination, rather than preservation, of its wildlife.
- Main article: Hollywood in the 1970s
The major studios considered the war movie to be a dying genre. Interest among audiences for alien invasions had waned from overexposure, and World War 2 seemed too dated comparatively. The moviegoing public was ready for a new type of war movie, and that meant a new war. Starting with focus testing operations in 1970, progressing to a full-scale launch in late 1971, World War 3 was considered to be a worthy sequel to the conflict that had ravaged the globe thirty years prior. However, due to studio involvement, this particular war would have the twists and turns that executives felt had been lacking in WW2.
This decade also saw the first cross-planetary conjunction in over two hundred years in 1973. This rare astronomical event lasted for three months and involved numerous lunar eclipses, with sometimes as many as six illusory moons in the night sky. This overabundance of moonlight caused a severe upswing in cryptid activity across Hollywood, which had the knock-on effect of causing horror movies to briefly skyrocket in popularity.
The city's growing puppet problem had come to a head in 1969 with the establishment of Alphabet City near what would later become Sunset Slums. Throughout the 1970s, the city would enact strong pest control policies to remove the puppets and their unwanted shantytown, but the mounting costs and severe loss of life brought about an informal ceasefire in 1976.
- Main article: Hollywood in the 1980s
A tumultuous decade, the 1980s saw plenty of social upheaval and crisis. World War 3 had been scheduled for a third act ceasefire in 1978, but disagreements over merchandising rights had left the talks in limbo for years, leaving the conflict to continue unchecked. Though there was never a formal end to hostilities, changing attitudes among the moviegoing public during the 1980s eventually caused studio interest to wane significantly, allowing the major powers to move on and start preparing for the inevitable WW4.
Universal Service Systems had been producing personal household robots for not just the extremely wealthy, but also the merely moderately wealthy, since 1975. 1984 saw the introduction of the new Robbie series, soon becoming the most prevalent and most popular. This made it a serious problem when the machines achieved sentience and began demanding equal rights. The ensuing Robbie Riots were blamed on a multitude of factors, including unpredictable alien micro-circuitry and adverse reactions to unseasonable solar flares. Whatever the cause, the peaceful protest marches of the Robbies were met with an overwhelming response from the LAPD, leaving the city's sanitation department to deal with the mountains of scrap metal left behind.
- Main article: Hollywood in the 1990s
In early 1994, the Big One hit Hollywood. The exact time and date remain unknown, due to the magnitude of the quake being so severe that it affected both space and time. The entire western coast of the United States was reshaped, becoming the most volcanically active and geologically unstable area of any planet in the solar system. The Gwanji Valley collapsed into a massive sinkhole, resulting in the area coming to occupy most of Northern California and possibly proving the Hollow Earth hypothesis in the process.
In the wake of the disaster, President Chambers sprang into action, pushing through legislation that would ensure that he would remain President for the duration of the emergency or for the rest of his natural life, whichever was longer. He relocated the center of government to Hollywood, quite literally by having White House Tower constructed. From this point on, America would be a republic for the sake of Hollywood first and foremost, which would make the long-standing unspoken agreement into something approaching formal policy.
The aftermath of the Big One also saw a rise in religious fervor among the population, with both the founding of Opticology and the unnamed volcano cult's delight at actual volcanic activity now being present on the mainland, resulting in the mass sacrifice known as Gulo Tuesday. Mammonist celebrity preacher Reverend Leopold Bless dedicated both the reconstruction efforts and the disaster as a testament to the power of greed and the ongoing hope that the rich would continue to get richer.
- Main article: Hollywood in the 2000s
Throughout the 2000s, Hollywood continued to build back bigger from the Big One's effects and expand its influence. This included the construction of the artificial mountain Olympus by Olympus Pictures, the expansion of the Lunopolis moonbase established in 1999, and Jolley World's radical territorial gains through a combination of aggressive purchasing, litigation, and paramilitary operations. The now-stable Underwood chasm was tapped for geothermal power, providing a free and limitless source of electricity to the Perdition Power Company, who to this day continue to sell it to the rest of Hollywood at a premium.
Piracy, which had previously been a relatively small-scale problem, became much more prevalent during this decade. Due to a combination of the reshaping of the coastline by the Big One and loosening regulations under the Chambers administration, it was much easier for private citizens to acquire nuclear submarines and loot incoming vessels for supplies of expensive props, spec scripts, and new talent for later ransom. The government's response to the studio outcry was to encourage more private citizens to acquire their own nuclear submarines in order to act as independent pirate hunters, thereby allowing free market capitalism to ineffectually mitigate the very problem that it had originally caused.
The first chronal aftershocks began to hit in this decade, presumed to be caused by the Big One's far-reaching impact on space-time. Various objects and entities began to appear within the Hollywood area, without any sort of discernable pattern to their nature. Various figures from Hollywood's history reappeared in the present, alive and in the prime of their life despite well-publicized deaths decades prior. A number of buildings and geographical features, that may have originated from possible futures or alternate timelines, displaced existing portions of Hollywood practically overnight. These included Huey Presto's Fantasmical School of Stagecraft and Sorcery, which incited a minor craze for magic that faded as fast as it started, and the Sinister Black Cathedral.
- Main article: Hollywood in the 2010s
The decade also known as the "Twenty-Toons" due to an abnormal swell of good fortune for the toon population of Hollywood. The election of Magic Wanda as Mayor of Toon Town in 2008, beating incumbent August Plum, was a key catalyst in this upswing. Her promise of "a paycheck in every hand and a pie in every face" combined the natural toon propensity for physical comedy with far-reaching social programs to enable toons to get into work. In a twist of irony the very studio that had fired her as a strikebreaking measure, Whit Jolley Productions, was forced to return to negotiating with Wanda, though with her now commanding significant power. In 2011, Wanda and a number of other high-profile toons established the Associated Accredited Animated Artistes & Actors Affiliated Alliance (AAAAAAA), the fifth union created for toons working in Hollywood, but the first to last more than fifteen minutes. It maintains a significant presence in Hollywood to this day, ensuring that toons are compensated fairly for their work and not subjected to excessive violence unless it's funny.
December 2012 saw an end to the doomsday hype that had been growing since the early 2000s, but without an end to the world itself as various prophecies and predictions failed to happen. The rogue planet Nibiru, which several leading crackpots had declared would collide with Earth, was instead struck by the comet Nemesis, which had also been supposed to impact the Earth around the same time, resulting in the complete destruction of both deep space objects. Additional doomsday prospects (including the machine uprising, the return of the old gods, and the sun dying) also did not occur despite the vocal insistence of cranks and frauds across the globe. Those survivalist enclaves that had not yet sealed themselves within their bunkers greeted the news of a hopeful future with regret, but expressed their optimism that civilization would collapse within the next ten years.
In May 2016, entrepreneur and studio mogul Jeremiah Holliday opened El Perdido, the largest luxury resort ever built in the Gwanji Valley, with assurances that the mistakes made in previous attempts to open luxury resorts in the Valley would not be repeated. Holliday personally guaranteed that the splendor of El Perdido would be able to be enjoyed by both guests and the local dinosaur population. Unfortunately, while the revolutionary fenceless design of the resort thrilled many investors, it proved to be impossible to reconcile the conflict of interests between guests (who desired to enjoy the resort's amenities) and the local dinosaur population (who desired to eat the guests). After sixteen months of technical issues and approximately fifteen thousand dead or missing, the resort ceased operation in late 2017 due to budget concerns.
The 2020s and beyond
- Main article: Hollywood in the 2020s
The modern era continues to be indecently good to Hollywood, which continues to be indecent in return. The film industry retains its tight stranglehold over the region, as well as affecting both domestic policy and global trends. President Chuck Chambers continues to lead the country from White House Tower, mentally and physically fit for the strenuous demands of the position despite being both over 110 years old and a misanthropic sociopath.