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FILM STUDIES VV301 Chapter 1 - Introduction to Film History

Introduction To The History of Film

fariza isa

on 30 July 2013

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Transcript of FILM STUDIES VV301 Chapter 1 - Introduction to Film History

Course Overview
Location 3
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Topics in the Course
Introduction To The History of Film

To Understand the History
Developments of Film Movements

To Interpret the Films Understanding
Types of Films
Story Analisis
Mise-En-Scene And Semiotic Elements
The Early Cinema

Eadweard Muybridge
an American photographer, made a series of
still photographs
of a running horse by using a
series of cameras.

Not Interested to do moving image , but only intended to
freeze the movement
of the horse.

Etienne Jules Marey
a scientist interested in
analyzing animal movement
, invented a camera that recorded twelve separate images on the
edge of a revolving disc of film

This was the
first step towards the motion picture camera.

Images Created by Eadweard Muybridge, 1887
Camera Used by Eadweard Muybridge, 1887
Camera Used by
Etienne Jules Marey
, 1882
Images Created by
Etienne Jules Marey
, 1882
Using The Camera by
Etienne Jules Marey
, 1882
develops the a crude flexible film base. This base is still used in film stock today.

Once projectors were developed beyond the state of showing slides (Magic Lanterns), long
strips of films were drawn past the light and len
s and projected onto screens using a device that Marey invented called the
Maltese cross gear.

The two most important firms developing films were
Edison in America and Lumiere in France.

The 1st Kodak Camera
Manual of Usage
Thomas Edison
was granted a patent for the "Kinetograph".

**Who is Thomas Edison?? What else did he invented?

He did the
electromechanical design, while his employee W.K.L. Dickson
, a photographer, worked on the photographic and
optical development.
They also developed the Kinetoscope, a peep-hole viewer.

These were installed in penny arcades, where people could watch short films.

Lumiere in France and Auguste
developed both a camera and a projector.

the Lumieres Brothers
held the first public
showing of a
motion picture at the Grand Caféin Paris.

1905 their interest
in the moving image
and they
ceased film making
Lumiere Brothers, France
The Projector by Lumiere Brothers
Magic Lantern / Projector
In 1896
Georges Melies
bought a projector and soon built his own camera.

He began by filming everyday activities like the

Melies was
a magician and soon discovered the possibilities of
simple special effects
. He built his own studio and began to experiment with elaborate settings to
create fantasy worlds
. He was the first
master of mise-en-scene.

During this early period, films were
circulated freely from country to country.

This was when companies, who
were dedicated to film making
, formed.

1904 onward the most prominent type of film
was narrative.

French, Italian and American films dominated the
world markets.

World War I restricted the free flow of films from country to country.

World War I Hollywood emerged
as the dominant industrial force in world
film production

Chapter 1
What is Mise-En-Scene??
What is Semiotic??
Introduction To The History of Film
Film History (VV301)

Why Study "Film Studies"?
Short Term-Goal
To prepare students of script writing purposes as well as for the application of short story in the following semester.

Long-Term Goal
To prepare yourself with knowedge of how a film was developed from time-to-time.
To develop how to appreciate what happens behind the scene of a film.
Course Learning Outcome (CLO)
Identify clearly the film history chronology, film types and film languages.
Describe in detail the elements and theories of film.
Write a proper film review based on the principles learnt.

Your Assessment for Film Studies VV301
2 Quiz
2 Assignments
2 Case Studies
Carries 10 % each
Total= 20%
A1 = 10 %
A2= 15%
Total= 35%
Carries 20 % each
Total= 40%
1 Presentation
Carries 15 % Total= 15%
Final Exam !!!
Classical Hollywood Cinema (1908 - 1927)

used in film history which
describe the style
for making motion pictures and a
mode of production
used in the
American film industry
between the
1910s and the 1960s

Classical style
mostly practice principle of continuity editing or
style (the camera and the sound recording must not get audients attention).


Classical Hollywood Cinema started with the movie release of "The Birth of a Nation." It incorporates both the Silent Era and Studio Era of filmmaking.

Mode of production during this timeframe encouraged film directors to view their work from the perspective of an employee of the studios rather than as auteurists who exercised creative control over their works with an individual film style.

The Classical Cinema time period ended in the 1960s, replaced by Post-Classical film style by auteurist film directors with the release of "Bonnie and Clyde" (1967) as well as other landmark films of that decade.

Silent Era /

The Silent Era is commonly referred to as the "Age of the Silver Screen" from 1917 to 1928.

There was no sound or synchronized speech accompanying the character's on the movie screen.

To accommodate for the lack of sound, on-screen captions were utilized to emphasize important points and dialogue in the story.

Oftentimes, the projection of silent films onto the big screen was accompanied by live instrumental music (pianist, organist, or even a large orchestra).

The Golden Age
Golden Age were the years starting from the end of the silent era in the late 1920s to the early 1960s.

It started with the release of movie The Jazz Singer in 1927. This was the first movie with sound and full talking sequences ever produced and it hit box-office.

Most Hollywood pictures shared similar genre —Western, slapstick comedy, musical, animated cartoon, biopic (biographical picture)— and the same creative teams often worked on films made by the same studio.

Studio Era

Irving Thalberg was an important person for developing the Hollywood's Central Producer System during the Studio Era while he was Chief of Production at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM).

In fact, the successful transition of classical Hollywood film production style from the Silent Era's Director-Unit System to the Studio Era's Central Producer System at MGM took place under Thalberg's leadership.

His ability to produce a quality film with aesthetic value was demonstrated through his balanced view of budgetary controls, script and story development, and use of the "star system" in the successful movie "Grand Hotel."

The Big Five
The marketing strategies for motion pictures utilized by the major Hollywood film studios was very straightforward and uncomplicated because the studios obtained most of their money from theater box office ticket sales throughout America.

At that time, there were five major studios that owned a production studio, distribution arm, contracts with actors and technical support personnel, as well as a theater chain.

These studios wereknown as the "Big Five" and included
Warner Brothers
Paramount Pictures
Twentieth Century-Fox,
Radio-Keith-Orpheum (RKO),
Loew's, Inc. (owner of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/MGM).

Their revenues came from monies paid by the theaters for renting films from the studios.

Since the "Big Five" studios controlled almost every theater throughout America, they received the majority of their money from box office ticket sales.

The Downfall of Studio Era

To further extend their power over the movie houses throughout America, these studios took steps to control almost all of the smaller independently owned theaters, as well.

Through the contracting process of "block booking", theater owners were required to show a block of films (typically in blocks of ten) at their movie house.

If the independently owned theaters did not agree to purchase a block of films from a studio, they received no films from the studio at all.
Thus, during the Studio Era, the Hollywood film industry was tightly controlled by the powerful studio moguls.

However, in 1948, a federal court case outlawed block booking. The United States Supreme Court ruled that the vertical integration of the majors violated federal anti-trust laws and ordered the "Big Five" companies to divest themselves of their theaters over a five-year period.

This decision basically brought the studio system era to a close by 1954.


The mode of production came to be known as the Hollywood studio system and the star system, which standardized the way movies were produced.

All film workers (actors, directors, etc.) were employees of a particular film studio.

This resulted in a certain uniformity to film style: directors were encouraged to think of themselves as employees rather than artists, and hence auteurs did not flourish (although some directors, such as Alfred Hitchcock, John Ford, Howard Hawks, and Orson Welles, worked within this system and still fulfilled their artistic self).
Classical Style

The style of Classical Hollywood cinema, as elaborated by David Bordwell, has been heavily influenced by the ideas of the Renaissance and its rebirth of mankind as the focal point.

The Renaissance was a cultural movement that profoundly affected European intellectual life in the early modern period.

Beginning in Italy, and spreading to the rest of Europe by the 16th century, its influence was felt in literature, philosophy, art, music, politics, science, religion, and other aspects of intellectual inquiry.

Renaissance intellectuals employed the humanist method in study, and searched for realism and human emotion in art.

Thus, classical stories always narrate through psychological motivation, i.e. by the will of a human character and its struggle with obstacles towards a defined goal.

The aspects of space and time usually composed of two lines of action: A romance intertwined with a more generic one such as business or, in the case of Alfred Hitchcock films, solving a ditty/puzzle.

Time in classical Hollywood is continuous. The only permissible manipulation of time in this format is the flashback. It is mostly used to introduce a memory sequence of a character, e.g. Casablanca.

German Expressionaism

German Expressionism refers to a number of related creative movements beginning in Germany before the First World War that reached a peak in Berlin, during the 1920s.
These developments in Germany were part of a larger Expressionist movement in north and central European culture, especially in cinema.

Expressionism was a cultural movement, initially in poetry and painting, originating in Germany at the start of the 20th century. Its typical trait is to present the world in an utterly subjective perspective, radically distorting it for emotional effect, to evoke moods or ideas.
Expressionist artists sought to express the meaning of "being alive”, and emotional experience rather than physical reality.
The Period

German Expressionism, took place roughly from 1920 until 1931. Its features include exaggeration in acting, settings, and makeup, emphasis on emotional states, and lighting that stresses extreme contrast between light and dark.

The film Nosferatu (F.W. Murnau, 1922) is one of the more popular films from this movement.

German Expressionism was Germany's attempt to compete with Hollywood films being produced at the time, according to Dr. Ramsey. Many American horror films contain features of this film movement.

The Style

During the period of recovery following World War I, the German film industry was booming. However, because of the hard economic times, filmmakers found it difficult to create movies that could compare with the lush, extravagant features coming from Hollywood.

The filmmakers of the German Universum Film AG studio developed their own style by using symbolism and mise en scène to add mood and deeper meaning to a movie, concentrating on the dark fringes of human experience.

The Films

The first Expressionist films;
The Student of Prague(1913),
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920),
The Golem(1920),
Destiny (1921),
Nosferatu (1922),
Phantom (1922),
Schatten (1923)
The Last Laugh (1924),
These films were highly symbolic and stylized.
Movie Still
Movie Plots

Various European cultures of the 1920s had embraced an ethic of change, and a willingness to look to the future by experimenting with bold, new ideas and artistic styles.
The first Expressionist films made up for a lack of lavish budgets by using set designs with wildly non-realistic, geometrically absurd sets, along with designs painted on walls and floors to represent lights, shadows, and objects.
The plots and stories of the Expressionist films often dealt with madness, insanity, betrayal, and other "intellectual" topics (as opposed to standard action-adventure and romantic films). Later films often categorized as part of the brief history of German Expressionism include Metropolis (1927) and M (1931), both directed by Fritz Lang.

Genres and Filmmakers

Two genres that were especially influenced by Expressionism are horror film and film noir. Carl Laemmle and Universal Studios had made a name for themselves by producing such famous horror films of the silent era as Lon Chaney's The Phantom of the Opera.
German filmmakers such as Karl Freund (the cinematographer for Dracula in 1931) set the style and mood of the Universal monster movies of the 1930s with their dark and artistically designed sets, providing a model for later generations of horror films.
Directors such as Fritz Lang, Billy Wilder, Otto Preminger, Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, Carol Reed and Michael Curtiz introduced the Expressionist style to crime dramas of the 1940s, expanding Expressionism's influence on modern film making.

Cinema and Architechture

Strong elements of monumentalism and modernism appear throughout the canon of German expressionism. An excellent example on this is Metropolis, as evidenced by the enormous power plant and glimpses of the massive yet pristine 'upper' city.
German expressionist films produced in the Weimar republic immediately following the First World War not only encapsulate the sociopolitical contexts in which they were created, but also rework the intrinsically modern problems of self-reflexivity, spectacle and identity.

French Impressionism & Surrealism
Soviet Montage
French New Wave Nouvelle Vague
Asian Cinema (Japan)
FINAS Background
Emergence of Digital Video

Digital video is a type of digital recording system that works by using a digital rather than an analog video signal.

The terms camera, video camera, and camcorder are used interchangeably in this article.
The Expansion of Digital

It’s amazing to think how far we’ve come since 1984, when the very first digital video format (H.120) was developed. Even though it just had a max resolution of 176 x 144 and a pithy 2 Mbit/s bitrate, this breakthrough set the stage for digital video.

Because of innovations that started with the H.120 digital video format, we are now able to stream very high quality videos and movies over the World Wide Web (in high definition). This infographic was created an an educational piece by the pioneers of video and AVI player technology, RealNetworks.
Video Formats:
MPEG-1 is used almost exclusively for Video Compact Disks (VCD), which are extraordinarily popular in some parts of the world but never caught on in the U.S. - the video quality is substantially lower than DVDs.
MPEG-2 (H.262)
MPEG-2 is a container format, but there is also a codec of the same name, which most people call H.262, so that it's not so confusing. Though a world where we call something H.262 is already more confusing than it ought to be. MPEG-2 is used for DVDs and pretty much nothing else with the exception of broadcast High Definition Television (HDTV).
Audio Video Interleave (.avi)

Developed by Microsoft and released with Windows 3.1 way back when false teeth were still made out of wood, AVI files have been a work horse of digital video. Although its popularity has been waning, lots of legacy video in AVI can be found all over the web. More recently, AVI has been abandoned for Microsoft's WMV (Windows Media Video).
Advanced Systems Format (.asf)
ASF is a proprietary Microsoft container that usually houses files compressed with Microsoft's WMV codec - to make things confusing, the files are usually designated .wmv and not .asf. The ASF container has the advantage over many other formats that it is able to include DRM (Digital Rights Management), a form of copy protection.
QuickTime (.mov or .qt)

QuickTime was developed by Apple and supports a wide variety of codecs. It's a proprietary format though and Apple decides what it supports.
Advanced Video Coding, High Definition (AVCHD)

AVCHD is a very popular container for data compressed with the H.264 - it comes to us through a collaboration between Sony and Panasonic as a format for digital camcorders.
Flash Video (.flv, .swf)

Flash was originally created by a company called Macromedia which was acquired by Adobe in 2005. Flash has been around for a while and comes in multiple versions, some better than others. Older Flash video often uses the Sorenson codec, newer Flash uses H.264. It's an extremely widespread container format used for streaming video across the web.
VLC media player

(informally just VLC) is a highly portable free and open-source cross-platform media player and streaming media server written by the VideoLAN project.

VLC media player supports many audio and video compression methods and file formats, including DVD-Video, video CD and streaming protocols. It is able to stream
Italian Neo-Realism
Dolby Digital Sound

Dolby Digital is the name for audio compression technologies developed by Dolby Laboratories. It was originally named Dolby Stereo Digital until 1994. Except for Dolby TrueHD, the audio compression is lossy. The first use of Dolby Digital was to provide digital sound in cinemas from 35mm film prints. It is now also used for other applications such as HDTV broadcast, DVDs, Blu-ray Discs and game consoles.
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