Katrina Farmer Pd. 2 History Of Cinema What is cinema? Cinema is a film, a story captured as a set of moving pictures to be shown on a screen in a movie theatre or on television. It is a passage of expression and modern science. Cinema is the most tried and true form of storytelling. Cinema is a sequence of moments captured in time, to make you feel, to make you see and to make you understand. Cinema is theatre made more intimate, passion in motion. Cinema built everything that we see on televisions, computers, phones, etc.
It is a source of media that has a strong effect on society today. It has aided in the construction of an empire of technology and what our world undergoes to this very day. Many movies or shows affect people’s beliefs and ideals; they allow people to escape reality for about an hour and a half. Different themes in cinema may truly inspire people to think about unknown subjects that may guide them to different places in life, or provide the change they needed. Cinema affects our society with being controversial, by being heartwarming and sometimes just to entertain the public.
How did it begin? The history of film began in 1827 when the first still photograph was taken. But, the first moving picture started with the first technological precursors of film, the pinhole camera. The pinhole camera was a simple camera without a lens and a single small aperture with a lightproof box with a small hole in one side. Light from a scene passes through this only point and projects the reversed image on the opposite side of the box. This camera, nevertheless, was followed by the more advanced camera obscura.
Operating camera obscura, it was achievable to project a moving image but there was no ways of recording the image for later showing. Although, this was a long distance from motion pictures, as we know of them. The first commercial exhibition of film took place on April 14, 1894 at Edison’s Kinetoscope peep-show parlor. Each frame was printed separately onto paper sheets for attachment into their viewing machine, called the Mutoscope. The image sheets stood out from the border of a rotating drum, and flipped into view in succession.
It was clear though, that more money could be made by showing motion picture films with a projector to a large audience than displaying them in peep-show machines. “I am experimenting upon an instrument which does for the eye what the phonograph does for the ear, which is the recording and reproduction of things in motion …. ” -Thomas A. Edison The first films… For the first twenty years of movies, they were silent. Although accompanied by live musicians, sometimes sound effects, and with dialogue and narration presented in lines of dialogue.
Also, motion pictures were short, only a restricted amount of minutes in length. The standard length of a film remained one reel, or about ten to fifteen minutes. Through the first decade of the century, partly based on producers’ assumptions about the attention spans of their still largely working class audiences. The first films contained poor acting and footage, but that was due to it only being the establishment of video making. During the first decade of the cinema’s existence, inventors worked to improve the machines for making and showing films.
Before you know it, there were many studios going into production. Soon enough there was Hollywood, on the West Coast of the United States and for many of the early years of the 20th century it was the home to some of the world’s biggest movie studios. Ever since Hollywood, movie factory of the world, exporting its product to most countries on earth and controlling the market in many of them. Sound? Experimentation with sound film technology, both for recording and playback, was somewhat constant throughout the silent era, but the two problems couldn’t be solved.
Illustrated songs were an exception to this silent trend that began in 1894 in vaudeville houses and persisted as late as the 1930s in film theaters. The change was remarkably quick. The early sound-on-disc processes such as Vitaphone were soon suspended by sound-on-film methods like Fox Movietone, DeForest Phonofilm, and RCA Photophone. The trend convinced the largely reluctant industrialists that “talking pictures”, or “talkies,” were the future. Sound further tightened the grip of major studios in various countries.
The enormous expense of the conversion overthrew smaller competitors, while the innovation of sound lured, the amount of audiences for those producers grew. Film Technique The first moving picture cameras were fastened directly to the head of their tripod or other support, with only the original kind of leveling devices provided. The earliest film cameras were effectively fixed during the shots though, hence why the first camera movements were the result of mounting a camera on a moving vehicle. Though, soon enough, a man created a rotating camera head to illustrate one clear shot.
This device had the camera mounted on a vertical axis that could be rotated by a worn gear driven by turning a crank handle. Shots taken using this “panning” head were also referred to as “panoramas” in the film catalogues of the first decade of the cinema. As for lighting, low-key lighting (lighting in which most of the frame is dark) slowly began to be used for menacing scenes, but not for all scenes. Beginning in 1909, silhouette effects in scenes began to appear in both the US and Italy. But eventually Europeans began to use it more often.
The most important piece of this was that the shots involved have the sunlight scene from behind. This approach was used further by taking the reflected sunlight from a white surface below the camera to light up the shadow on the actor’s faces from the front. The screen Motion picture films ultimately affected the arts, technology, modernism, politics and economics. It has become one of the utmost important tools of entertainment, media, and communication. Movies became the most popular visual art form of the late Victorian age and in future ages.
It was easier because of the fact that before the cinema people would have to travel long distances to see major dioramas or to amusement parks. The cinema or what is known today as a movie theater was considered a cheaper, simpler way to provide entertainment to the mass amount of people. Initially films were mostly shown as a novelty in special venues, but the main methods of showing quickly became either as an item on the programs of different theatres, or by traveling showman in tent theatres, where they took it around to the fairs.
In 1907 there were about 4,000 small nickelodeon cinemas in the United States. The films were shown with the assistance of music given by a pianist, though there could’ve been more musicians. To sum it up, cinemas were set up in the established entertainment districts of the cities. In other countries of the Western world the film exhibition situation was similar. There was also very few large cinemas in some of the biggest cities.
Plus, the first actors went world wide; comedies of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, the adventures of Douglas Fairbanks and the romances of Clara Bow, just a few examples, made these performers’ faces well-known on every continent. “I think cinema, movies, and magic have always been closely associated. The very earliest people who made film were magicians… ” – Francis Ford Coppola Symbolism, Art, and Shots In the beginning years of filmmaking, the word “Art” was mentioned more often in connection with motion pictures. So as a result of the increasing artistic ambitions of filmmakers, poems began to be transposed directly into films.
The tremendous increase in film production necessarily brought specialist writers into filmmaking as part of the increase of labor, but even so the film companies were still forced to buy stories from outsiders to get enough material for their productions. This introduced a greater variety into the types of story used in films. The most intricate stories came from literature and past stage performances. Motion pictures were classified into genres by the film industry following the categories already established in other media. The main genre was into comedy and drama, but these categories were further divided.
Besides new categories of film, an even more important development or creation is using a variety of shots. Different types of shots made films more intense and diverse than ones before. Though, at first, this had only been used to convey the idea of what someone in the film was seeing. Either through a telescope (or other aperture) and this was indicated by having a black circular mask or vignette within the film frame. However, genres and views from various angles changed the way we look at films and the imagination it contains.