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Eadweard Muybridge captures movement, the beginning of cinema. Wikimedia
“Films can heal! Not the world, of course, but our vision of it, and that’s already enough.” – Wim Wenders

New Delhi, July 19, 2017: The history of cinema dates back to the end of 1800. It was in 1827 that the first still photograph was taken, and in 1878 that Eadweard Muybridge succeeded in capturing movement after five years of continued efforts. Muybridge was asked to settle a bet as to whether horses hooves left the ground when they galloped. He showed this by setting up a bank of twelve cameras with trip-wires connected to their shutters, with each camera taking one picture when the horse tripped its wire. Muybridge developed a projector to present his finding. By 1891, Thomas A. Edison and his assistant W.K.L Dickson invented their Kinetograph camera, and after two years build a studio to produce films from it.

However, The Lumière family remained the biggest manufacturer of photographic plates in Europe. Brothers Louis and Auguste were once asked to make films which were cheaper than the ones sold by Edison. Louis and Auguste, eventually, designed a camera which served as both a recording device and a projecting device and called it the Cinématographe. The camera shot films at sixteen frames per second, against the forty-six which Edison used. Sixteen frames per second became the standard film rate for nearly 25 years.


Also read: Indian Cinema has gone beyond song-dance saga, for International Audience it is still about Cultural Reflection of larger than Life characters.

Until 1927, there was no sound included in the motion pictures. Motion pictures emphasized just on movement in their first phase. This era is referred to as the silent era of film. There with practically no plot or story either. One of the earliest movie “La Sortie des ouvriers de l’usine Lumière” (Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory), a documentary in its most elemental form, showed exactly what the name of the film suggests, a single shot of dozens of men and women, all of whom happen to be wearing hats, leaving a factory for the day. People in Paris were delighted by the early Lumiere presentations, drawing huge crowds.

The first few years of the motion pictures showed the cinema moving from an insecure business to an established large scale entertainment industry.

David Wark Griffith, One of the most dynamic early directors, produced literally hundreds of one-reelers in the period from 1908 to 1912. Griffith and others in the industry wanted to do something different than the regular but the owners were reluctant to change the style of limited story telling. For this reason, they moved to a rural area near Los Angeles. It was at this place, Hollywood, that Griffith and others began to work with long feature films, and eventually, Griffith happened to produce the first full-length feature film, “Birth of a Nation”.

Many countries after that started to get involved in serious film production. Russia began its film industry in 1908. In Italy, production was spread over a number of centres. In Northern Europe, Denmark was the most important film producing country. The Indian film production, as the centenary celebrations suggest, began in 1913. But as a matter of fact, from about 1910, American films share the largest market in all European countries except France.

Cinema indeed was an idea that turned into reality, in fact, a sophisticated reality. It has undergone, without a shadow of doubt, a long course of research, creation and innovation, and because of that, it stands where it is now.

– by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha


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