Early Film Pioneers

Early Pioneers
Film wouldn’t be what it is today if it weren’t for the following pioneers of 19th-century cinema. These film pioneers pushed the boundaries of what was possible, and their contributions have had a lasting effect on Film as we know it.

The Lumière Brothers (Auguste: 1862 – 1954, Louis: 1864 – 1948)

The French have been quite influential in the progression of cinema. Auguste and Louis Lumière created the Cinématographe in 1895, a device that records film stock and projects the footage on-screen. This invention marked the start of the silent era and film, as we know it.

These pioneers created minute-long “views”, such as L’Arroseur Arrosé and La Sortie de l’Usine Lumière a Lyon, and played them for paying customers. This was also the first time that cinema became a business.

Another influential film of theirs was L’Arrivé d’Un Train En Gare De La Ciotat (Arrival of a Train at La Coitat Station). While it was merely a train moving quickly down the tracks, it was the angle of the shot that made all the difference. As the train moved steadily towards the screen, the audience truly believed the train was going to hit them. It was the first time that a film provoked fear in its audience.

It might not impress many people in 2012, but in the 1800s, this was original and imaginative. People had never seen anything like it. If it weren’t for this film, no one would have thought of the idea of objects moving towards the screen in a realistic way, and we would never have the 3D special effects commonly found in films today.

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