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Published on February 20, 2008

Author: Edolf


THE EVOLUTION OF THE MOVING IMAGE:  THE EVOLUTION OF THE MOVING IMAGE PART 1 THE HISTORY OF MOTION PICTURES BY DECADE:  THE HISTORY OF MOTION PICTURES BY DECADE PRE-1920’s - early cinematic origins, the infancy of film. 1920’s - the pre-talkies and silent era. 1930’s - the talkies, the growth of the studio and “The Golden Age of Hollywood.” 1940’s - the war and post-war years, the beginnings of film noir. 1950’s - the post-classical era, epic films and the threat of television. PRE-1920’s:  PRE-1920’s 1832 - The Beligian scientist Joseph Antoine Ferdinand Plateau develops the phenakistoscope, the first device that allowed pictures to appear to move. 1877 - Eadward Muybridge is the first to photograph motion when he set up 24 still cameras along a racetrack. Slide4:  1889 - Thomas A. Edison invents the kinetoscope. 1894 - The Kinetoscope Parlour opens in New York City, London and Paris. The parlour consists of two rows of coin-operated kinetoscopes. Slide5:  1895 - The Lumiere brothers publicly project a motion picture onto a screen for the first time in a Paris café. 1896 - Edison presents the first public projected motion picture in the USA using his latest invention, the projecting kinetoscope. 1899 - The French magician Georges Melies becomes the industries first artist by being the first to use movies to tell a story. 1900 - Movies become popular attractions in arcades, music halls and travelling fairs. 1903 - the American director Edwin S. Porter releases his most important film, The Great Train Robbery, which was the first movie to use modern film techniques such as filming out of sequence and later editing the scenes into the correct order. Slide6:  1907 - The first movie was made in Los Angeles. Previously films had been shot in New York and Fort Lee. Filmmakers saw that LA had good weather and a variety of natural scenery. 1910 - The rise of the movie star begins. Previously, acting in a movie was looked down upon by stage actors, so actors were never identified by name. 1911 - The Nestor Company builds the first studio in a district of LA know as Hollywood. It will soon become the movie capital of the world. 1912 - Film acting continues to gain respect. Movies become longer and more expensive. They move out of nickelodeons and into real theatres. 1913 - The American director D.W. Griffith is credited with defining the art of motion pictures. He used filming techniques such as altering camera angles, using close-ups in a dramatic way, breaking scenes up into multiple shots and more. Previously, filmmakers kept the camera in one position. Slide7:  1914 - World War 1 starts. The film industry in Europe halts from power and supply shortages, however demand for the escapism of film means the American film industry thrives in Europe. 1915 - Thomas H. Ince introduces methods for the mass production of films. As his company was producing a large number of films he was no longer able to direct each one personally. He appointed a group of supervisors called producers to oversee a certain number of pictures each. The “factory system” had different films in various stages of production systematically rotated through his movie studio. EDISON & DICKSON:  EDISON & DICKSON American inventor Thomas Alva Edison is credited with devising the original movie machine, the Kinetoscope, but his assistant, William K.L. Dickson, did most of the actual work. Dickson devised the sprocket system, still in use today, by which the film moved through the camera. The Kinetoscope, patented by Edison in 1891, ran about 15m of film in an endless loop past a magnifying screen for the viewer. The coin-operated machines opened in three international cities in 1894. THE LUMIERE BROTHERS:  THE LUMIERE BROTHERS Auguste and Louis Lumiere were sons of a well known portrait painter, Antoine Lumiere. Antoine, noting the financial rewards of new photographic processes, set up a business manufacturing and supplying photographic equipment. Louis & Auguste began experimenting with the photographic equipment. Antoine gave them a piece of Kinetoscope film and the brothers overcame two of the problems they found with the device; the bulk of the camera and the fact only one person at a time could view the film. By early 1895, the brothers had invented their own device that combined a camera with a printer and projector that they called the Cinematographe. Slide10:  The Cinematographe was lightweight and hand-cranked, with a film speed of 16 frames per second. Auguste and Louis kept the camera secret, organising private screenings to invited guests only. They made short films of the world around them, “actuality” films, or documentaries. Their first public screening was on the 28th of December, 1895, in Paris. They began to open theatres to show their films and in 1896 they had theatres in London, Brussels, Belgium and New York. In 1900 the brothers projected film on huge 99x79 foot screen, after which they devoted their time to the manufacture and sale of their inventions. EARLY LUMIERE FILMS:  EARLY LUMIERE FILMS GEORGES MELIES:  GEORGES MELIES When the Lumiere brothers unveiled their Cinematographe to the public, Georges was in the audience. He was extremely affected by what he saw and began making and showing his own work. His first films were one reel, one shot views lasting about a minute. However he sought to present spectacles not possible in live theatre and began combining traditional theatrical elements with motion pictures, manipulating and distorting time and space. He pioneered the first double exposure, the first split-screen and the first dissolve. He tackled a wide range of subjects but was most famous for the first science-fiction film, “A Trip to the Moon (1902).” 1920’S:  1920’S 1920 - The movement of German film Expressionism was established with Robert Wiene's The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, filmed in 1919 and released in 1920. Its bizarre sets, angular camera angles and make-up influenced future literary and cinematic styles. 1921 - Director George Melford's The Sheik debuted and established star Rudolph Valentino as cinema's best-known lover. It was one of the first of numerous exotic and erotic romance/adventure films for men and women alike, designed to stimulate box office success. Silent comic star/director Charlie Chaplin's first feature-length film (a six-reeler) and first film as producer, The Kid, was released, with a star-making role for young Jackie Coogan. Slide14:  D.W. Griffith's film Dream Street, with experimental sound (in its introductory prologue) using inventor Orland E. Kellum's Photokinema, has been regarded as the first feature film to use sound. 1922 - Robert Flaherty's Nanook of the North, a record of Inuit Eskimo life, was the first feature film documentary or non-fictional narrative feature film. Nervous Hollywood censored itself by creating the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA) - later renamed as the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), a film review board (censorship division), was created to clean up the motion picture industry. German director F. W. Murnau's influential, expressionistic vampire film Nosferatu started a trend for Gothic tales of horror. It starred Max Schreck as Count Orlok - a rat-faced vampire. 1923 - The Hollywood (originally HOLLYWOODLAND) sign was built for $21,000. Slide15:  1925 - The great Russian filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein directed Battleship Potemkin. His influential film effectively established the dialectic film montage technique, as an important structural method to evoke a response from the juxtaposition of two clashing film shots. Non-linear editing in future films, such as Pulp Fiction (1994) owe their stylistic techniques to this film. 1926 - In New York, Warner Brothers debuted Don Juan, the first publically-shown 'talkie' - starring John Barrymore. It was the first mainstream film that replaced the traditional use of a live orchestra or organ for the soundtrack and successfully coordinated audio sound on a recorded disc synchronized to play in conjunction with a projected motion picture. The sounds in the film consisted of some sound effects and music, but no dialogue. 1927 - The effective end of the silent era of films came when Warner Brothers produced and debuted The Jazz Singer, the first feature-length talkie or movie with dialogue. The musical, starring popular vaudevillian Al Jolson, had accompanying audio which consisted of a few songs by Jolson and a few lines of synchronized dialog. In his nightclub act in the film, Jolson presented the movie's first spoken ad-libbed words: "Wait a minute, wait a minute, you ain't heard nothin' yet." The film had about 350 ad-libbed words. Slide16:  1927 - The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) was founded. Its president was Douglas Fairbanks, and its first awards ceremony was held in 1929. Motion picture film became standardized at 24 fps. 1928 - Walt Disney introduced the first popular animated cartoons with synchronized sound: Galloping Gaucho and Steamboat Willie. The gangster melodrama The Lights of New York was released by Warner Brothers as the first 100% all-talking feature film. It was unexpectedly successful. 1929 - The first Academy Awards were announced and awarded, with Paramount's Wings (1927) winning Best Picture (based on production). It was the only silent film to win an Oscar for Best Picture. 1929 - The first full-length sound motion picture produced entirely in color (two-strip Technicolor), On With the Show, was exhibited in New York City. 1930’s:  1930’s The most popular film genres of the time were musicals, gangster films, newspaper movies, westerns, comedies, melodramas and horror movies. This was the era which has been predominantly referred to as "The Golden Age of Hollywood" by film critics and historians, and considered the apex of film history. 1931 - The first of Universal's series of classic horror films was released: Dracula with Bela Lugosi, and Frankenstein with Boris Karloff. German director Fritz Lang's influential M was released, starring Peter Lorre in a breakout role as a child serial killer. One of the earliest talkies that effectively used sound, it was also the first serious psychological crime film/melodrama about a serial killer. Slide18:  1934 - An amendment to the Production Code established the Production Code Administration (PCA), which required all films to acquire a certificate of approval before release, or face a penalty of $25,000. The members of the MPPDA agreed not to release or distribute any film that didn't carry the seal. The first feature-length Technicolor film using an improved three-color system was RKO's Becky Sharp, starring Miriam Hopkins. 1937 - The first full-length animated feature, Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, was released - made for a budget of $1.5 million. It was the top moneymaker in 1938, when it made an astronomical $8 million. 1939 - This year has often been called the "greatest year in film history" by film buffs, movie historians, and critics, chiefly due to the inordinate number of classic films. Some of the greatest films ever made were released in 1939, including Gone With the Wind, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Ninotchka, Stagecoach, The Wizard of Oz and Wuthering Heights. The future rival to film -- television -- was formally introduced at the New York World's Fair in Queens. The Radio Corporation of America (RCA) unveiled a display of its first TV sets for sale to the American public. 1940’s:  1940’s 1941 - 24 year-old Orson Welles, directed and acted in Citizen Kane. Welles was the first to ever receive simultaneous nominations in four categories: as producer, actor, director, and writer. It has been the most highly-regarded film in cinematic history, with many ground-breaking film techniques. It was noted for its creative experiments with sound (i.e., overlapping dialogue and layered sound), for its numerous complex flashbacks (and non-linear storytelling), and for Gregg Toland's cinematography, including innovative camera angles (low-angle shots revealing ceilings), montage, mise-en-scene, deep-focus compositions, tracking shots, whip pans, lengthy takes, and dramatic or expressionistic low-key noirish lighting. Slide20:  1942-1943 - The war years had a distinct influence on Hollywood. The War Production Board imposed a $5,000 limit on set construction. Wartime cloth restrictions were imposed, prohibiting cuffed trousers and pleats. Klieg-lit Hollywood premieres were prohibited. 1946 - The Motion Pictures Code allowed films to show drug trafficking so long as the scenes did not "stimulate curiosity." 1947 - In Washington, D.C., the HUAC subpoened 41 witnesses in an investigation of alleged communist influence in the Hollywood movie industry. Many promising and established careers were destroyed by anti-Communist blacklisting - reflected in the growth of sci-films showing paranoia of aliens and anything foreign in the 50s decade. 1950’s:  1950’s 1950 - Hollywood began to develop ways to counteract free television's gains by the increasing use of color, and by introducing wide-screen films and gimmicks (i.e., 3-D viewing with cardboard glasses, Smell-O-Vision, etc.). 1951 - The Motion Pictures Production Code specifically prohibited films dealing with abortion or narcotics. 1953 - The Academy Awards were televised for the first time - (on March 19, 1953), on black and white NBC-TV. Slide22:  The provocative film, From Here to Eternity (1953), was at first considered unsuitable for the screen. The ground-breaking film's subjects included prostitution, adultery, military injustice, corruption and violence, alcohol abuse, and murder. 1955 - Movie studios opened their vaults for television rentals and sales. RKO Radio Pictures sold its film library to TV. RKO's King Kong (1933) was first televised in the US in 1956. Otto Preminger's The Man With the Golden Arm, starring Frank Sinatra, about a man with a drug addiction helped to loosen restrictions on such films. The MPPDAcode was amended to permit portrayals of prostitution and abortion as well as light profanity (the use of the words 'hell' and 'damn'). 1956 - The first practical videotape recorder (VTR) was developed by the AMPEX Corporation in 1951. The first commercially-feasible ones (with 2 inch tape reels) were sold for $50,000 in 1956. Slide23:  1957 - Island in the Sun, noted for its inter-racial romances, featured the first kiss between a white actress (Joan Fontaine) and a black actor (Harry Belafonte). 1958 - The naturalistic, documentary-like cinéma verite (Fr.) technique literally meaning 'film truth') began to spontaneously flourish in the late 50s and early 60s. It was characterized by the use of non-actors, hand-held cameras, on-location shoots, and non-intrusive filming techniques. 1959 - The French "New Wave" (La Nouvelle Vague) movement was marked by the works of forerunner Roger Vadim, and by the release of Claude Chabrol's Le Beau Serge (1958) followed shortly by Francois Truffaut's feature film debut The 400 Blows and Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless. These inexpensive films were typified by the use of the jump cut, the hand-held camera, natural lighting, non-linear storytelling, on-location shootings, and loose, improvised direction and editing. The innovative film movement would last until the mid-1960s and remain an important influence on later film-making (i.e., the works of John Cassavetes, Quentin Tarantino, and others).

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