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The History of Movies

General Knowledge | 5-14 yrs | Animation, Video

A brief history of film timeline

  • The story of the movies begins in the 1870s with Edward Muybridge.
  • He was one of the pioneers of photography and you could even say he is the father of the moving image.
  • He met a man named Leland Stanford who was occupied with a popular question of the day- Is there a moment when all four feet of a horse are in the air during a gallop?
  • Leland asked Muybridge to settle the debate once and for all.
  • In order to do this, Muybridge set up 12 cameras along the edge of a racetrack. Then he attached string across the track that would trigger the shutters on the cameras when the horse touched them.
  • He took the 12 images from the racetrack and copied the silhouettes onto a disc. These images or frames could be viewed in succession on a machine that he had invented called the Zoopraxiscope that made it seem like the images themselves were moving.
  • It is considered the stepping stone to motion pictures as we know it.
  • The very next year Thomas Edison, founder of the Edison Laboratory and inventor of the lightbulb, laid his eyes on this machine.
  • He immediately set his company’s photographer William Dickinson onto the task of creating a machine that would allow you to see more than just 12 images in succession.
  • What William Dickinson came up with at Edison Labs was revolutionary- the kinetoscope.
  • With this machine you were able to take many photographic negatives one after the other and display them very quickly producing a moving image.
  • Then inventors around the world began to develop cameras that could record multiple frames in 1 second and the cinema was born!
  • Technology has come a long way since the Zoopraxiscope, with high-speed cameras that can record thousands of frames per second.
  • So now you know- when you’re watching a movie, what you are actually seeing is actually many photographs one after the other!
  • Find a digital camera and ask your friend to complete one action extremely slowly. Try and get at least 30 pictures of this one action. Put it onto your computer and flip through them. What do you get?

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