Sunday, 24 February 2013

History of the Movies Part 1

When I first started this blog I not only wanted to review new and classic films and do top 5 lists, I also wanted to share my insight into the movies, what i have read, researched and learnt over the years. I hope you enjoy it.

The first moving picture camera, was called the Kinetograph. The Kinetograph was patented in 1891, and was designed by William Kennedy Laurie Dickson. Dickson was working under the watchful eye of Thomas Alva Edison in his factory, in New Jersey. This Camera used celluloid rolls, which came from another pioneer George Eastman. Eastman's rolls were known as Eastman Kodak film, these were 35mm wide. Together they were able to view films made with these instruments, on a viewing product known as the Kinetosocpe. Thus early film making and viewing was born. Here is the surprise, Edison decided to take this no further, regarding it as an expensive toy.

Advert for the Lumiere Brothers and their Cinematographe
Two  French brothers known as Auguste and Louis Lumiere. These brothers had seen Edison's invention, they decided to take it further, within a year (1885) they had developed and patented a projector, they went on to call this product a Cinematographe. This machine was used to project images on a large screen. They went on to develop some short movies of their own, they showed these movies to the paying public.
1896 another French man Georges Melies, who was a Magician as well as a filmaker, started to experiment, with new motion picture technology. I mention this man because for me, he is the father of motion pictures we see today. He developed and pioneered many special effects including stop-motion photography. I have seen one of his films from 1902 "A Trip To The Moon" (Le Voyage Dans La Lune). This film maybe just 10 minutes long but this man invented the science fiction movie with this film. The special effects are just amazing for the time, the use of such lavish sets for 1902 is just mesmerizing.

Georges Melies and on the left his most famous image the man in the moon.
1902 was also the year the first motion picture theater opened in Los Angeles, this was called The Electric. Early cinemas such as The Electric were called "Nickelodeons" because audiences paid a Nickel (5 cents) to watch a showing. By 1907, approximately there was 300 Nickelodeons across America.
That is the perfect place to leave the story. Next time I will be talking about the birth of Hollywood.
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