The Beginning of Movies What are movies & Where do they come from
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The Beginning of MoviesWhat are movies &Where do they come from
Joseph Antoine Ferdinand PlateauBlind Belgium scientist1829--publishes Certain Properties of the Impression Produced by Light Upon the Organ of SightPersistence of Visionthe ability of the human brain to retain images perceived by the eye for a brief period of time after they have disappeared from the field of vision
Persistence of VisionKnow as far back as the ancient Egyptians and ancient ChineseThaumatrope Flip BookTherefore--If you see something, and then it is taken away and a new image quickly replaces it (less than 1/10 of a second later), the two images merge together and appear to move
What are moviesSo what are you seeing when you walk into the movie theater or turn on your TV?
MoviesA movie is nothing more than a progression of still images flashed on a screen in succession for brief periods of time24 filmed frames alternated with 24 empty frames every secondFor TV, its 30 frames per second
Thomas Alva EdisonThe Wizard of West Orange1847-1931
EdisonWhere do many people believe movies were invented?New Jersey!!Edison had already invented the phonograph and wanted a device that would, do for the eye what the phonograph does for the ear.
Edison: The Inventor of MoviesMet with Eadweard Muybridge in 1888 to discuss ideaEdison gave the task of creating with motion picture machine to his assistant, William Kennedy Laurie DicksonDickson invented the Kinetoscope. A device that could showed some of the first movies.
Edison and New jersey1892--the first film studio in the world is created in West Orange, NJ.Called The Black Maria
The Black MariaEdison brought in popular vaudeville performers and filmed their actsThe Black Maria had an open roof to allow in sunlightAlso, the building rotated to follow the sun all day
Edison and the PublicEdison sold Kinetoscopes to entrepreneurs who opened their own movie parlors and began showing filmsSome of the more famous early movies:Fred Ottos Sneeze(1894)Buffalo Bills Wild West Show(1894)
Problems with the KinetoscopeOnly one person could view it at a timeSo whats wrong with that?
The VitascopeInvented by Thomas Armat in 1896 and then sold to Thomas EdisonCould project the image so that many people could view it at the same time
The NickelodeonYou pay a nickel and you get to see a movie!!Showed mainly actuality films. Films of live events recorded
However--Edison was not the only inventor of moviesIn Europe, others were experimenting with the same principalsMost notably--Auguste and Louis Lumiere developed the Cinematographe(1895)They held a public screening of their movies in 1895 considered by many to be the first movie theater in history
Film as MoreGrowth and Development from Early recordings to full narratives
Actuality FilmsFrom roughly 1895-1900 actuality films were the most prominent type of filmsThese showed famous speeches, boxing matches, theater performers and other motion pictures from everyday life
Geroge Melies (1861-1938)French directorCreated about 500 movies in his lifeMost notably--Cinderella(1899) and A Trip to the Moon (Le Voyage dans la Lune, 1902)
More MeliesOne day when filming passing traffic in the streets of Paris, his camera jammed.Melies cleared the aperture and resumed filming.When he watched the projected image he made an amazing discovery--A bus changed magically into a hearse!!
Melies MagicMelies continued to experiment with the ability of the new film mediumBegan using motion picture tricksMultiple exposaureSlow motionTime-lapesDissolvesHand tinting of the film
Edwin Stanton Porter(1869-1941)Former Kinetoscope engineer for EdisonBegan directing his own films in 1903 with Life of an American FiremanMost famous story--The Great Train Robbery(1903)Lengthy 12 minute film that scared the crap out of audiencesPorters Rescued From an Eagles Nest(1907) stars a young unsuccessful writer and encyclopedia salesman named David Wark Griffith
D.W. Griffith(1875-1948)Created the first full-length motion pictureThe Birth of a Nation (1915)Extremely racist film about the beginning of the KKK in the post-war south.
Innovations of GriffithPanning--moving camera left and right while filmingClose-ups--while not the first filmmaker to use close ups, he was the first to se them effectivelyDifferent camera anglesLong-shots--used to introduce actionFade in/out--used as a transitionCostumes--period piece costumesAuthenticity--shot on location with authentic imagesOriginal score--featured its own musical scoreLength--12 reels, or almost 3 hours
Sergei Eisenstein (1898-1948)Introduces the idea of film montage
Montage--literally, "putting together"; refers to a filming technique, editing style, or form of movie collage consisting of a series of successive short shots or images that are rapidly juxtaposed into a coherent sequence to suggest meaning;
Kuleshov ExperimentLeo Kuleshov--shows audience an image of a man with a smile and then three other images--a bowl of soup, a child and a knifeAudience interprets the mans smile in relation to what is also shownResult--film through editing becomes contextual--everything is understood in its context with other images
German ExpressionismStyle of painting and theater that was unrealistic and stylizedTypically expressionism showed distorted figures, slanting buildings and uneasy groundsExpressionism tried to convey inner emotions of characters through visual imagesFamous Expressionist Directors:Robert Wiene--The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari(1919)F.W. Murnau--The Last Laugh(1926)Fritz Lang--Metropolis(1926)
Das Kabinett des Doktor CaligariDer Letzte Mann