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Timeline of Early Cinema
Transcript of Timeline of Early Cinema
The 17th Century saw the development of the Magic Lantern an early image projector. There is much debate over who was the real inventor but credit goes to Christiaan Huygens.
A magic lantern works by using a candle and glass lenses. Glass with images on it is slid in front of the candle and behind the lens and the image is projected onto a wall.
This was the year of a very historic event - the first photograph. Taken by Joseph Nicephore Niepce a French inventor.
A metal plate was coated in chemicals that were sensitive to light. The plate spent around 8 hours exposed to light before the first permanent image was formed.
He called it a heliograph. Click the link below to watch how to worked in depth.
The modern zoetrope - there was an earlier one created in 180AD- was invented by William Horner. It gave the illusion of motion as when a person looked through the slits on the rotating drum the different images that were very similar to each other. As the drum began to spin, it looked as though the separate images were one scene.
What became known as the beginning of stop-motion animation, was all because of a simple bet. Leland Stanford hired Eadweard Muybridge to take photographs to help win a bet that there was a point when a horse was racing that all four hooves were off the ground. Using 24 cameras set up in a row, Muybridge used a device that set off the cameras so that they took a picture of the horse when it went past.
Invented by Eadweard Muybridge was the zoopraxiscope, a type of projector. It worked by having pictures drawn from photographs (not too different from each other) which were then placed onto disks that rotated in the zoopraxiscope and were projected onto a wall. As the pictures were rotating very quickly the scene appeared to be moving.
George Eastman - American founder of the Eastman Kodak Company - improves celluloid (a type of film that goes into cameras) and releases a hand held, cheap camera that works with this new type of film. After using up all the film, you would send it into Kodak and then would develop the photographs for you.
Created by Thomas Edison and developed by William Dickson was the kinetoscope. The person viewing the film would look into a peephole of a large box while a strip of images went past over a light source very quickly and created the illusion of motion.
The kinetoscope became a huge success and was the beginning of cinema as entertainment.
1889 was the year of the first motion picture camera was developed. It was created by Edison and Dickson and took around 46 photographs per second but later versions were only 30 frames per second as Edison believed that that was sufficient. It used the new sprocketed film so that It was not very mobile (as seen in the picture) as that was not an issue at that time.
The Lumière Brothers (Auguste and Louis) invent the cinématographe - a combination of a motion picture camera and a projector. It only shot pictures at 16 frames per second. The invention led to them opening a theatre to show off their films called Cinematographe Lumière Freres. One of their films shown was 'Workers Leaving The Lumière Factory' and that's all that really happens in the film.
This was the year for Edison, he opened the first motion picture studio in New Jersey which was nicknamed the 'Black Maria' and also the first Kinetoscope parlor was opened in New York. Viewers paid 25 cents to look through the peep-hole and watch a short film. It was also the year that the Edison Manufacturing Company produced the first copyrighted film 'Fred Ott's Sneeze' directed by Dickson.
Edwin S. Porter directs the first ever blockbuster movie 'The Great Train Robbery'. The 12 minute film was one of the first films to incorporate storytelling and was also the first Western (the genre) film made. It was a great success and had great editing and had camera movement.
The first Nickelodeon theatre opened in Pittsburgh and cost a nickle for entry (that's where the name came from). They very popular until around 1915. There were thousands of them in the United States after only a few years of the first theatre being opened. Films tended to be around 10-12 minutes long.
1927 - The beginning of the Sound Era with the release of a "talkie" 'The Jazz Singer'.!
The first feature length film 'The Story of the Kelly Gang' is released. Directed by Charles Tait it ran for around 60 minutes and had an approximately 1.2 kilometre reel! It was first played in The Athenaeum on Collins st in Melbourne.
Florence Lawrence is hired by Carl Laemmle to work in his studio becoming the first movie star. By 1911 there are credits in movies so the audience knows who the actors are. In 1916 actor Charlie Chaplin was hired by Mutual Studios and was earning $10,000 a week!
Charlie Chaplin together with Douglas Fairbanks, D.W. Griffith, and Mary Pickford (four important people during the silent film era) form United Artists. They wanted more control financially and with producing and distributing their films. They created their own studio and were successful for a few decades and is still running today but not as a major production studio.
Famous Actors and Actresses
Born in 1889 in London, Charlie Chaplin was a very well know actor and known for his comedic character 'The Tramp'.
He starred in many films over his career such as 'The Kid' and 'Modern Times'. He made the switch from silent to sound films. He died in 1977 after being married four times and having 11
Born in 1883 and died in 1939.
Fairbanks was known for his acting as a swashbuckling hero in films such as 'Robin Hood', 'The Thief of Bagdad ' and ' The Mark of Zorro'. He was married to Mary Pickford.
Douglas Fairbanks Sr.
Born 1892 in Canada and died in 1979 in America.
She was known as 'America's Sweetheart' and played in many films including 'Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm' and 'Poor Little Rich Girl'.
She was one of the founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
An Italian actor (made famous in America) born in 1895.
He was a sex sybol known as the 'Latin Lover' and was very popular with women so much so that his early death in 1926 caused a lot of hysteria.
He acted in 'The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse' and ' The Sheik' among other films.
A very famous director who started the trend of making movies longer than an hour. He used new techniques in his films and was part of the original United Artists.
His most famous film was an epic controversial film 'Birth of a Nation'.
Chaplin was not only a famous actor but also director, producer and composer.
Some of his most famous films were 'The Gold Rush', 'The Immigrant' and 'City Lights'.
Austrian born American director he was famous his films 'Foolish Wives,' 'Merry-Go-Round' and 'The Merry Widow'.
As he wanted complete control over his films he was very hard to work with.
Erich von Stroheim