The Progress of Film History

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The Progress of Film History

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The Progress of Film History

Copyright © 2012, by Jay Seller, Ph.D.


In 1894 Thomas Edison and William Dickson invented the Kinetoscope and Vitascope

1895 Birth of Cinematography


The Lumiere Brothers were the earliest filmmakers.1895 they created their own device combining camera with printer and projector, called the Cinematographe.

1895 Birth of Cinematography


1895 Birth of Cinematography

Robert W. Paul invented a film projector - Theatrograph, first public showing in 1895


1895 Birth of Cinematography

Films under a minute long and usually presented a single scene, authentic or staged, of everyday life, a public event, a sporting event or slapstick.


Silent Era 1895-1927

Paris stage magician Georges Méliès did films of fantasy and the bizarre, including A Trip to the Moon (1902).


Silent Era 1895-1927

Edwin S. Porter, pushed forward the sophistication of film editing in works like the first movie Western, The Great Train Robbery (1903).


Boom in nickelodeons, the first permanent movie theaters - 10,000 in the U.S. alone by 1908. (Cook, 1990)

Silent Era 1895-1927


Standard length of a film remained one reel, or about ten to fifteen minutes, partly based on producers' assumptions about the attention spans of their still largely working class audiences.

Silent Era 1895-1927


Silent Era 1895-1927

Leading the trend for longer movies, in America was director D.W. Griffith with his historical epics The Birth of a Nation (1915 - 190 minutes) and Intolerance (1916 – 197 minutes).


Birth of a Nation (1915)

Credited with securing the future of feature length films (films over 40 minutes) as well as solidifying the language of cinema.


Silent Era 1895-1927

1920s, U.S. produced an average of 800 feature films annually, or 82% of the global total. (Eyman, 1997)


Talking Pictures 1927

1927, Warner Brothers Studios released The Jazz Singer,.


Golden Age of Hollywood

1927-1940’sAmerican cinema reached its peak of efficiently manufactured glamour and global appeal during this period.


Golden Age of Hollywood

Top actors of the era are now thought of as the classic movie stars, such as Clark Gable, Katharine Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart and the number one box office draw of the '30s, child performer Shirley Temple.


Affordable for every householdBrought the world to your living room

Golden Era of Radio 1930’s


Golden Era of Film 1940’s

Started in 1939 with The Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind.


Television introduced to the American public at the 1939 NY World’s Fair

Golden Era of TV 1950’s


Filmmaking Process

Filmmaking is a collaborative effort, bringing an assortment of talented people together.




Pre-ProductionProductionPost Production

Three Stages of Production

Batman: Dark Knight

, (2008)



Everything that takes place before filming beginsScript, budget, locations, set construction, casting, etc.AFI Pre-Production Video

The Avengers,



Shooting of the script, the filming process.


The Hunger Games,



Editing and Marketing of a filmIncludes; advertising, printing, and distribution of a movie.

Post Production

Twilight: Breaking Dawn

, (2012)


Vaudeville, 1880-1920Burlesque, 1840-1930Follies, 1907-1931

Theatre Style Progression


Studio SystemComplete controlStudio contract players & staffIndependent SystemIndividual controlIndependent contract workers

Hollywood Systems


Motion Picture Association of America, 1967 to today.

Censorship in Hollywood

Production Code Administration

– 1934 to 1967, also known as the Hays Office

(Will H. Hays, MPAA Pres. 1922-1945)


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