Film History/Beginnings

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In the early days of cinema, films were typically short and simple, lasting only a few minutes each.[1] They were often composed of a series of single-shot scenes depicting everyday activities, such as people at work, children playing, and street scenes[1]. Some of the earliest films were actualities, which were non-fiction films that recorded real-life events and activities.[1]

In the United States, Thomas Edison and William Kennedy Dickson developed the kinetoscope in the late 1880s[2]. The kinetoscope was a motion picture viewing device that used a strip of film that moved continuously over a light source and a series of lenses, allowing viewers to look through a peephole and see the moving images[2]. These early kinetoscope parlors were popular in America[2] but the device was not publicly projected as it's design was not intended for it.

A drawing of the cinematograph (c. 1895)

Meanwhile, in France, the Lumière brothers, Auguste and Louis, developed the Cinematograph in 1895, a motion picture camera, projector, and printer all in one.[3] This machine allowed for the creation of the first movie theaters and the screening of films to audiences. The Lumière brothers also invented the first film stock, which was more sensitive to light and had better definition than previous types of film.

These early motion picture technologies helped to pave the way for the development of the motion picture industry and the creation of movies as we know them today. With the advances in the technology of film, movies began to be produced on a larger scale, and their length and complexity began to increase. Storytelling became more prominent, and special effects and editing techniques were developed to enhance the visual and narrative experience of the audience.

It's also worth mentioning that the earliest forms of cinema were not exclusively developed in Europe or America, but also in other countries such as China, India and Russia where similar experiments with motion pictures were happening around the same time.

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