Otherwise known as a movie or a film, motion pictures were one of the most influential, and popular, forms of media throughout the 20th century, and are something that many tend used to take for granted. If you have ever wondered exactly how these motion pictures we know of today came about, read on to learn all about it.
What Exactly Is a Motion Picture?
By definition, a motion picture is a series of pictures that are projected onto a screen, which then creates the illusion of a moving picture. Photography, projection and motion had all been discovered by the 1800’s, but it was not until the 1890’s that these were finally put together, resulting in the motion picture.
An English photographer who was known for his ground-breaking work in photographic studies of motion, Eadweard Muybridge are who many would accredit the birth of the motion picture to. Muybridge conducted a photography session where he set up 24 cameras that were linked to tripwires, so that he could take photographs of a horse galloping. After developing the images, he projected them onto a screen, creating the world’s very first motion picture, albeit only two seconds long.
An Industry is Born
Since technology was extremely limited in 1890, motion pictures that were produced at this time were all under a minute long, with no sound. However, this was still a huge breakthrough, signalling the birth of a new industry, which proceeded to grow to huge scales from here. Films began to consist of several different shots, making them longer and longer, while new cameras were introduced, and film studios built. Special effects were soon introduced, as was film continuity, meaning that action could now seamlessly move from one sequence to another. In 1905, The Nickelodeon Theatre in Pittsburgh became the first permanent theatre to show only films, and then, in 1910, actors began to receive screen credits for their roles, leading to the creation of movie stars.
The First Movies
For the first eleven years after the first motion picture was produced, motion pictures grew from consisting of one single shot to a number of different shots, created by large companies in purpose-built studios. However, it was only in the early 1900’s that the first official movies were created, meaning that they had a form of narrative, as well as basic editing techniques. A number of different techniques were then invented, with masters of the industry shining through. George Albert Smith is known for perfecting the close-up shot, while Edwin S. Porter was known for being hired by Thomas Edison to develop a new projection model.
Whether you are an avid film buff or only watch movies on occasion, there is no denying the importance they have had on the progression of modern day life. Movies enable people to do just about anything, from travelling the world to experiencing emotions, making it no surprise that they are considered to be one of the very best forms of entertainment that has ever been invented.