One of the most important changes to occur at the same time that the MPPC was formed was the adoption of the single reel (a 1,000-foot length) as the industry standard. This move to a standardized format had repercussions not only for industry practice but also for the formal properties defining story films during the next five years. Reliance on a single, interchangeable film length rendered print delivery and rental charges to distributors much more straightforward. Exhibition programs became more predictable, as audiences came to expect films to last a prescribed amount of time. In many ways, the move to a single-reel standard helped push films toward the status of a mass consumer good, insofar as they became a commodity whose value was now regularized.
The changes wrought by the adoption of the single-reel format also registered themselves at the level of production methods and formal features. Now that producers knew exactly how long a film narrative should run, they could fashion stories designed to fit within the specified 1,000 feet. Film narratives began to assume a structural sameness from 1908 onward, hastened in part
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