From the Armory to Art Directors (1900-1920) Science, Tools,and Innovations


During the early years of the 1900’s, there were many new inventions introduced to film and motion picture technology such as backdrops, editing, and the overall flow of the films being produced.

One of the first and most famous movies made at that time (1903) was “The Great Train Robbery” created by Edwin S. Porter. It was a 10 minute long movie based on a true story of a train robbery in 1900. It became very popular at the time not only because it was one of the first films to actually have a plot and a narrative, but also since the movie used multiple cool techniques that were new at the time (such as parallel editing and jump/cross-cuts). Another thing introduced during the time was the use of continuity in which an event would be replayed over and over again, but in different angles. This can be seen in the 1902 movie called “The Trip to the Moon” where the rocket is seen launched several times until it lands on the moon’s eye.

Now for the next point I’m about to address makes me wish we still had this type of thing today. Around 1905, “Nickelodeons” were introduced, which were basically very affordable movie theatres available for the whole public to view for only five cents. This ultimately gave growth to the film industry as it helped build public appeal and helped produce money for filmmakers to make more movies. Another interesting usage for these theatres was that not only did they screen movies but they also helped show World War 1 propaganda. Since Nickelodeons started becoming very successful, many people started taking action and building more Nickelodeons which as a result helped them become available worldwide within just a couple of years. As well, lets not forget that the very first early movies from the 1890s to the late 1920s was a time of silence in film, but there was still very significant interest within the public held otherwise. In order to keep the audience interested, music was accompanied with occasional sound effects or with additional alternatives.

Here are some great sources in case you want more information on the whole process of film or other stuff…


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