Edwin S. Porter
Aug14

Edwin S. Porter

Edwin S. Porter is best known as the director of The Great Train Robbery (1903). Though short by today’s standards, the film was, at the time, an epic. It was the first western, the first movie about criminals, and is also widely considered the first violent movie.   From a filmmaking standpoint, Porter was pivotal in his use of camera work. He was the first filmmaker to experiment in a significant way with varying the...

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Nickelodeon Theaters
Aug14

Nickelodeon Theaters

Prior to the nickelodeon boom, movies in the US would primarily have been seen as part of Vaudeville shows, or other longer, more expensive expositions. Nickelodians were a relatively cheap way for the masses to see movies on a regular basis, and helped make movies not just a occasional treat, but a regular part of American life. It also vastly increased the demand for movies, leading to an increase in production. Some of the major...

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George Melies
Aug14

George Melies

George Melies was a French magician and theater owner who saw an early Lumiere expo and instantly became intrigued with the new medium. After the Lumiere’s refused to sell him a camera, he built his own, and began experimenting with what the technology could do. In 1896, Melies opened the first public theater in the world to regularly show movies.   As a filmmaker he became the first person to tell real stories (beyond the simple...

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Soviet Montage Film: A Brief History
Aug12

Soviet Montage Film: A Brief History

After the Russian Revolution the new Soviet government sought to develop film as one of it’s major art forms. Lenin considered it the greatest art form, recognizing it as an art for the people. He and other Soviet leaders hoped to develop it into an effective propaganda tool to promote  their interests both domestically and abroad. They turned to filmmaker and film theorist Lev Kuleshov to head a new film school to train the next...

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German Expressionist Film: A Brief Summary
Aug12

German Expressionist Film: A Brief Summary

In the time after World War I, Germany became cut off from the rest of the world. The government banned America films for a period of five years, leaving a large shortage of films for exhibitors to show. That, combined with extreme inflation of the German currencies, resulted in a boom in German film production. Some filmmakers of the time sought a way to differentiate themselves from American cinema. One of these people was a man...

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A Brief History of the Film Industry
Aug11

A Brief History of the Film Industry

In 1895 when the Lumiere Brothers first exhibited projected film in a Parisian cafe, they thought their new invention was a gimmick that would die in a few short years. They did not anticipate the creativity with which their successor would expand upon their work.   The majority of the Lumiere’s films were very simplistic by today’s standards. They were actualities, recording everyday commonplace things, or they were girls...

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