Film history part i
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Film History part I:. The beginning. Modern History. There have been TWO major innovations in the arts in recent history: Photography Motion picture. Modern History. Motion picture was born of curiosity, technological ingenuity and the desire to visually record life and study movement.

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Film History part I:

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Film History part I:

The beginning . . .


Modern History

  • There have been TWO major innovations in the arts in recent history:

    • Photography

    • Motion picture


Modern History

  • Motion picture was born of curiosity, technological ingenuity and the desire to visually record life and study movement.

  • Motion picture was only possible due to advancements in photography!


Innovator: Eadweard Muybridge

  • A British photographer working in California

  • Took the first photos capturing motion in 1877 and 1878

  • He set off a row of cameras (12, later 24)

  • Each camera had a string connected to the shutter

  • He set up the cameras and had a horse run by; as the horse ran by, it pulled the strings and took the pictures!

  • So, he had a succession of photos showing the horses running


Check these out!

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eadweard_Muybridge


So . . .

  • The first “motion pictures” were simply a series of pictures strung together!

  • Muybridge influenced many inventors:

    • Including Thomas A. Edison and the Lumiere brothers.


Thomas A. Edison – 1890s

  • 1st films in the U.S.

  • He created a motion picture company and recorded circus acts and vaudeville performances.

  • Displayed the first commercial motion-picture machine in 1893

    • Called the kinetoscope.

      • One person at a time - “peep show” style

    • Replaced by projections on a large screen

      • For more than one!

  • First commercial projection in a theater took place at the Koster and Bial’s Music hall, New York, April 1896.


Kinetoscope


Check THESE out!

  • http://memory.loc.gov/mbrs/edmp/4014a.mov

  • http://memory.loc.gov/mbrs/edmp/4015a.mov

    A great site:

  • http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/edhtml/edmvhm.html


Louis and Auguste Lumiere

  • Used the kinetoscope idea from Edison

  • Used a lighter-weight camera and took it out into the everyday world.

    • For example, an early film showed a baby being fed its cereal.

  • The first paid public performances took place in the basement of a café in Paris in December 1895.


Le cinematographe


The orld’s first movie poster! 1895


Check these out!

  • http://www.institut-lumiere.org/francais/films/1seance/1seance01.html

  • http://www.institut-lumiere.org/francais/films/1seance/1seance06.html


While creating films:

  • Film makers learned that some subjects were more interesting than others.

  • For now, however, subjects were still bland.

  • The art was still limited:

    • Usually shot straight on, far enough back to get everything in frame, AND the film only allowed for a half minute at most.

    • AND films were silent, black and white and two dimensional.


Formative:

Artistic

Posed/arranged and manipulated

Theatrical in nature

Meant to record a ‘performance’

Realistic:

Capture unadulterated events

Documentary style

Two schools of thought

What could enhance this art? THE STORY!!!


It is difficult to say who added story to film . . .

  • One important figure sticks out:

    • George Melies

      • Had a background in the arts

      • Worked in theater devoted to Magic

      • He worked with ‘trick films’

      • ‘special effects’ were born!

      • “The Vanishing Lady” and “Haunted Castle”

      • Also worked with narrative by increasing the length of films from under one minute to 10 or 15 minutes in length!


  • http://www.archive.org/details/Levoyagedanslalune


D.W. Griffith

  • Important figure in American Film

    • READ ABOUT HIM!

    • View: THE BIRTH OF A NATION


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