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FINE 12b Film History

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Debbi Richard

on 17 March 2018

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Transcript of FINE 12b Film History

Film History
1834: Zoetrope
"zoe" = life
"trope" = wheel
"zoetrope" = wheel of life
Popular parlor toy in mid-1800's
Discovery: images must change faster than 10 images per second
Inventions and Innovations: 1888
George Eastman invents flexible paper for developing photographs - film
Thomas Edison (who has already invented the light bulb and the phonograph) decides to invent a device that will show moving pictures to accompany the phonograph music
Edison purchases Eastman's flexible film stock (called Kodak) and designs the "kinetoscope" with his assistant, W.K.L. Dickson
Dickson has the idea to cut the film into strips and punch holes in the edges so it can be pulled through the machine by gears with teeth
One of Edison's most famous films: "Serpentine Dances"
features famous dancer Annabelle Moore
made in 1895 with hand-tinted color
The problem with
Edison's kinetoscope:
European Developments
Edison places extensive copyright restrictions and patents on his inventions, so the French government seeks to start its own film industry
The Lumiere Brothers - photographers
Cinematographe - 1894
First Public Show
December 28, 1895
Grande Cafe, Paris
33 customers / 1 franc each
10 films by the Lumieres on the program - each film approx. 50 seconds long
Entire show lasted 25 minutes

Lumiere Brothers' name for their early films
No stories, just scenes of everyday life
"The Baby's Meal" - 1895
"Arrival of a Train" - 1895
Georges Melies - 1861-1938
Family business: boot-making
Interests: art and theater
Training: stage magic
1888: bought a theater, produce and performed in popular magic shows
1895: was one of the 33 customers at the Lumiere's first show at the Grande Cafe - he was hooked
1896: began producing films - 531 films in 18 years - all types, all genres
Georges Melies - Pioneer
Film techniques included stop-motion, multiple exposure, time-lapse, dissolve, superimposition, zoom, cross-cutting, and match cuts
Voyage to the Moon - 1902
Modern Times (Chaplin), 1936
Hand-tinting (Edison, Melies, others)
too painstaking & expensive
1922: Technicolor "2-strip" process used red and green filtered film - problematic & expensive
1932: Technicolor "3-strip" process used red, green, & blue filters - still expensive
1952: Eastman Kodak "Eastmancolor" 3 color layers on one film
1974: Last Technicolor film:
The Godfather II
Silly Symphony: Flowers and Trees (Disney) - 1932
The Wizard of Oz (Fleming) - 1939
Last word on Color:
Until newer technologies were developed, color films were difficult and expensive to make:
1947: 10% of all US movies were color
1954: 50% of all US movies were color
1979: 96% of all US movies were color
Studios embraced color in the 1950's to combat popularity of television
Color can be used symbolically, emotionally, psychologically
Silent films were never really silent
Problem was in getting the sound to be synchronized with the film
1927: "The Jazz Singer" introduced synchronized sound to the public
1929: "The Broadway Melody" - the first "all talking, all singing musical"
Intro of sound feared by some
The Jazz Singer (Crosland), 1927
Adding Sound to Film
Not always easy - experimentation
Silent films continued until 1936+
Actors' transition sometimes problematic
Scene from "Singin' in the Rain"
Kelly & Donen, 1951
Uses of Music in Film
Set mood
Add to realism
Eliminate silence or background noise
Anticipate events
Manipulate viewer emotions
Can music change your perception?
Next: Collaboration in Film - Cinematography & Editing
Full transcript