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The History of Film. Rooted in still photography - early to mid 1800s Considered 1 st actual photograph,1826 by French inventor Nicéphore NiépceNicéphore.

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Presentation on theme: "The History of Film. Rooted in still photography - early to mid 1800s Considered 1 st actual photograph,1826 by French inventor Nicéphore NiépceNicéphore."— Presentation transcript:

1 The History of Film

2 Rooted in still photography - early to mid 1800s Considered 1 st actual photograph,1826 by French inventor Nicéphore NiépceNicéphore Niépce

3 Origins of Motion Pictures Early 1890s Simultaneous development:  U.S. - Thomas Edison  France - Lumiere Brothers (Auguste & Louis)

4 America  1891 Edison and W. K. L. Dickson invent THE KINETOSCOPE Individual viewing booths With film projected at 48 fps 1894, First Kinetoscope parlors  NYC  5 cents = 20 – 60 seconds

5 » 1893 – Edison builds the “ Black Maria ” in West Orange, NJ » Attracted famous vaudeville acts / performances » Shoots over 200 short films in its first 8 years. America

6 France Louis and Auguste Lumiere’s photo factory “ Cinematographe ” Lightweight and mobile; doubled as a projector and developed film. Creates global presence of film

7 France Cinema begins! –Lumieres have 1 st public screening on December 28, 1895 in Paris –10 “ Actualities ” shown Meant to portray actual life

8 America Cinema begins!  Edison has first public screening – April, 1896  New York City Koster and Bial’s Music Hall  Several single shot films as part of variety program (singing, dancing, performance)

9 The earliest films up to  Primitive techniques  Usually just “showed a view”:  1 angle  Stationary  generally less than 1 minute

10 Films after oMultiple shot productions oFiction films and theatrical films begin oTypes: Trick films – film increased the power of illusion Comedies – mostly nonsensical Chases – mini-stories Trick film – “The Golden Beetle”, 1907

11 Exhibition of new multiple shot films -- Nickelodeons --  Small (under 200 seat), family owned movie house.  They tended to have continuous daily showings of a few (three or four) short "feature" films.  These theatres attracted a wide clientele which included women and children.

12 Exhibition of new multiple shot films -- Nickelodeons -- 1st Nickelodeon opened in Pittsburgh June ,000 American Nickelodeons by The film industry evolved from the demands of these small store front theatres. Entrance to the Harris nickelodeon Smithfield Street in Pittsburgh, 1919

13 Narrative “story” films early 1900s  Classical or scenic moments from famous stories (the Bible, history, etc.)  2 pioneers of new multiple shot films:  Georges Melies (France)  Edwin Porter (USA) – hired by Edison

14 Georges Melies “The Cinemagician” Films characterized by:  “Special effects”  Fantasy  highly artificial sets  many shots, most scenes only one shot  dissolves

15 Georges Melies’ --- most famous film --- A Trip to the Moon (Le voyage dans la Lune)

16 Edwin Porter  Thomas Edison hired him to make films  Porter is credited with establishing an editing language (with “Life of an American Fireman”, 1903)  Use of cross-cutting - to dramatize the action inside and outside of the house  Various angles and shots  Continuity of action introduced

17 Edwin Porter -- his most famous film -- “The Great Train Robbery”, 1903  Considered the first real movie with a plot, it used:  Multiple scenes, locations  Frequent cross-cutting, parallel stories  Pans and tilts  Other directors had presented multiple scenes sequentially before, but their films played like condensed versions of stage plays, The Great Train Robbery played like a movie

18 Major developments after 1907 Shots were closer (within 9 ft.) POV shots used More cross-cutting Use of intertitles Screens with written dialogue Between shots

19  Major developments after 1907 Narrative (storytelling) techniques improved David Wark (D. W.) Griffith  Was the narrative pioneer  Made first feature length films  Made more serious films  Used moving shots: dollies, tracking shots, etc.

20 D. W. Griffith’s Most famous (and controversial) film The Birth of a Nation The Birth of a Nation (1915) The three hour ten minute film, based on The Clansman by Thomas Dixon, deals with The American Civil War and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan during the Reconstruction.

21 “Birth of a Nation” trailer, 1915 Considered to be technically sophisticated and ahead of its time but extremely backward in ideas Despite its controversial story, the film continues to get praise from film critics such as Roger Ebert, who said: "'The Birth of a Nation' is not a bad film because it argues for evil. Like Riefenstahl’s 'The Triumph of the Will,' it is a great film that argues for evil. To understand how it does so is to learn a great deal about film, and even something about evil. "

22 Narrative feature length films, along with the popularity of movie theaters, brought about the Rise of Hollywood… and… the first “talkie” (film with sound): “The Jazz Singer”, 1927

23 1927 and 1928 = beginning of Hollywood's Golden Age and the final steps in the establishment of studio system control of the American film business. The success of 1927's The Jazz Singer gave a big boost to the then midsized Warner Bros. studio. The following year saw the general introduction of sound throughout the industry.

24 Studio System = the practice of large motion picture studios: producing movies on their own filmmaking lots pursuing vertical integration -- ownership or control of distributors and movie theaters, guaranteeing additional sales of films through manipulative booking techniques.

25 During the Golden Age, only eight companies comprised the major studios in the Hollywood studio system. Of these eight, five were fully integrated, combining ownership of a production studio, distribution division, and theater chain:  Fox (later 20th Century-Fox),  Loew’s Incorporated (owner of America's largest theater chain and parent company to MGM),  Paramount Pictures  RKO, and  Warner Bros.

26 Film historians list a few reasons why many great movies emerged during this period:  Quantity! With so many movies being made, not every one had to be a big hit. A studio could gamble on a medium-budget film with a good script and relatively unknown actors.  In other cases, strong-willed directors battled the studios in order to achieve their artistic visions… this is less common nowadays, but helped produce many unique and interesting films for the time period. Famous Movies: The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, Casablanca, It's a Wonderful Life, the original King Kong, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarves …& many others!

27 “The Paramount Case” This 1948 Supreme Court case ruled against these unfair distribution and exhibition practices (vertical integration) and ended the studio system, which gave those “Big 5” studios control of basically the entire film market… this brought about the end of the Golden Age.

28 The Rise of TV s -- Movie attendance peaked in There several reasons why it has never reached the same levels of attendance: –The invention and widespread ownership of televisions –The post-World War II era led to: Suburbanization—suburbs sprouted up, making people less interested in traveling to the cities to see movies The Baby Boom—more babies made many people more family-oriented

29 The Rise of TV s Cinemascope New ways to attract audiences: Cinerama 3-D Smellovision!! a system that released odors during the projection of a film so that the viewer could "smell" what was happening in the movie. The process injected 30 different smells into a movie theater's seats when triggered by the film's soundtrack. Hilarious! A bigger, wrap-around Screen in theaters (similar to IMAX). 3 screens combined to project a much bigger Image = more expensive

30 New Hollywood Generally dated to the release of “Jaws” in 1975 New Hollywood characterized by the “Blockbuster Syndrome”– The Film industry is dominated by high cost, high stakes productions… studios generally fund movies that are sure to be successful. This leads to: Sequels High action / less dialogue movies Movies easily translated into other languages (for overseas success) 1975

31 New Hollywood more characteristics: Multi-plex theatres Sequels Remakes Younger viewers Series Less dialogue, more spectacle


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