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History of Filmmaking

Filmmaking originated in the 1890s with the invention of the motion picture camera. Photography itself was not much more than half a century old. In 1888, Frenchman Louis Le Prince created the first motion picture films, short, single-scene actions designed like stage productions. The oldest known film in existence is Man Walking Around a Corner, directed by Le Prince in 1887.

By the end of the Victorian Era, films were moving towards becoming art forms. By 1900, directors were adding techniques such as editing and story telling. Technique was advances with the development of a camera that could rotate and take panning shots. History of FilmmakingFrenchman Georges Melies built the first “movie studio” outside of Paris. His notable films include “A trip to the Moon” (1902). Melies soon added stop motion and double exposure to the repertoire of film technique.

Up until 1927, films were silent. Story was told through visual and thus a popular comedian such as Charlie Chaplin had worldwide appeal. The addition of sound to motion pictures was the next revolution in filmmaking, and doomed the careers of many silent-film era stars. By the 1930s, the Hollywood studio system was in full force, expanding the techniques that could be achieved with camera angles, dissolves and lighting. Citizen Kane is a technological breakthrough in film technique. Hollywood also began producing numerous genres to appeal to all audiences.

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