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Film History

Film History

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Published by sai689

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Published by: sai689 on Oct 13, 2009
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encompasses individual motion pictures, the field of film as anartform,and themotion picture industry. Films are produced byrecordingimages from the world withcameras, or by creating images usinganimation  techniques orvisual effects.Films arecultural artifactscreated by specificcultures, which reflect those cultures, and, in turn, affect them. Film is considered to be an importantart form, a source of popular entertainment and a powerful method foreducating— orindoctrinating— citizens. The visual elements of cinema give motion pictures a universal power of communication. Some films havebecome popular worldwide attractions by usingdubbingorsubtitlesthat translatethe dialogue.Films are made up of a series of individual images calledframes. When theseimages are shown rapidly in succession, a viewer has the illusion that motionis occurring. The viewer cannot see the flickering between frames due to aneffect known aspersistence of vision, whereby the eye retains a visual imagefor a fraction of a second after the source has been removed. Viewersperceive motion due to a psychological effect calledbeta movement. The origin of the name "film" comes from the fact thatphotographic film (also calledfilm stock) has historically been the primarymediumfor recording and displaying motion pictures. Many other terms exist for anindividual motion picture, including
 picture show
moving picture
. A common name for film in the United States is
,while in Europe the term
is preferred. Additional terms for the field ingeneral include
the big screen
the silver screen
the cinema
the movies
A clip from theCharlie Chaplinsilent film,
(1918)Preceding film by thousands of years,playsanddanceshad elements common to film:scripts,sets,costumes,production,direction,actors, audiences,storyboards, andscores. Much terminology later used in film theory and criticism applied, such asmise en scene(roughly, the entire
visual picture at any one time). Moving visual and aural images were notrecorded for replaying as in film. Thecamera obscurawas pioneered byAlhazenin his
(1021),and later near the year 1600, it was perfected byGiambattista della Porta.Light is inverted through a small hole orlensfrom outside, and projectedonto a surface or screen, creating a moving image, but it is not preserved ina recording.In the 1860s, mechanisms for producing two-dimensional drawings in motionwere demonstrated with devices such as thezoetrope,mutoscopeand praxinoscope. These machines were outgrowths of simple optical devices(such asmagic lanterns) and would display sequences of still pictures atsufficient speed for the images on the pictures to appear to be moving, aphenomenon calledpersistence of vision. Naturally the images needed to becarefully designed to achieve the desired effect, and the underlying principlebecame the basis for the development of filmanimation.With the development of celluloidfilm for stillphotography, it became possible to directly capture objects in motion in real time. An 1878experiment byEadweard Muybridgein the United States using 24 camerasproduced a series of stereoscopic images of a galloping horse, arguably thefirst "motion picture," though it was not called by this name. This technologyrequired a person to look into a viewing machine to see the pictures whichwere separate paper prints attached to a drum turned by a handcrank. Thepictures were shown at a variable speed of about 5 to 10 pictures persecond, depending on how rapidly the crank was turned. Commercialversions of these machines were coin operated.A frame from
, the world's earliest film producedusing a motion picture camera, byLouis Le Prince, 1888By the 1880s the development of themotion picture cameraallowed theindividual component images to be captured and stored on a singlereel, andled quickly to the development of amotion picture projectorto shine lightthrough the processed and printed film and magnify these "moving pictureshows" onto a screen for an entire audience. These reels, so exhibited, cameto be known as "motion pictures". Early motion pictures were staticshots that showed an event or action with noeditingor other cinematictechniques.
Ignoring Dickson's early sound experiments (1894), commercial motionpictures were purelyvisual artthrough the late 19th century, but theseinnovativesilent filmshad gained a hold on the public imagination. Aroundthe turn of the twentieth century, films began developing a narrativestructure by stringingscenestogether to tellnarratives. The scenes were later broken up into multiple shots of varying sizes and angles. Othertechniques such as camera movement were realized as effective ways toportray a story on film. Rather than leave the audience in silence, theaterowners would hire apianistororganistor a fullorchestrato play music fitting the mood of the film at any given moment. By the early 1920s, mostfilms came with a prepared list of sheet music for this purpose, withcompletefilm scoresbeing composed for major productions.A shot fromGeorges Méliès
Le Voyage dans la Lune(A Trip to the Moon)
(1902), an early narrative film. The rise of European cinema was interrupted by the outbreak of World War I when the film industry in United States flourished with the rise of Hollywood,typified most prominently by the great innovative work of D.W. Griffithin TheBirth of a Nation (1914) and Intolerance (1916) . However in the 1920s,European filmmakers such asSergei Eisenstein,F. W. Murnau, andFritz Lang,in many ways inspired by the meteoric war-time progress of filmthrough Griffith, along with the contributions of Charles Chaplin,Buster Keatonand others, quickly caught up with American film-making andcontinued to further advance the medium. In the 1920s, new technologyallowed filmmakers to attach to each film asoundtrackof speech, music andsound effectssynchronized with the action on the screen. Thesesound films  were initially distinguished by calling them "talking pictures", or
. The next major step in the development of cinema was the introduction of so-called "natural"color. While the addition of soundquickly eclipsed silent film and theater musicians, color was adopted more gradually as methodsevolved making it more practical and cost effective to produce "naturalcolor" films. The public was relatively indifferent to color photography asopposed to black-and-white,
but as color processes improved andbecame as affordable asblack-and-whitefilm, more and more movies were

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