The birth of Cinema is one of the most revolutionary acts and innovative discovery of the Human race. Cinema plays a pivotal role in transforming the visual aspect of humans and transcending new boundaries to create art and imagination for films. The birth of cinema stands as an important moment of human history, marking a transformative leap in the realms of movie entertainment, film communication, and storytelling. This revolutionary medium of cinema, born from the convergence of technological innovation, artistic vision, and entrepreneurial spirit, has transcended barriers, cultures, and time itself, shaping the way we perceive, understand, and share movie narratives.
Cinematography originally creates a unique illusion of movement by subsequently recording and playing multiple still photographs within a fraction of a second. Initially stemming from scientific efforts in the 19th century, cinema has evolved into a widely consumed form of both film entertainment and film communication. Presently, it stands as a vast film industry worth billions of pounds.
Inventors and pioneers were experimenting with film photography and optical devices in the early years of the creation of Cinema. One of the key figures was Thomas Edison, whose creation of the kinetoscope in the 1890s laid the groundwork for moving pictures. This device allowed individuals to view short, looped films through a peephole, pioneering the concept of motion pictures.
However, the birth of cinema can be attributed to the Lumière brothers, Auguste Lumière and Louis Lumière, whose public film screening in Paris on December 28, 1895, is often regarded as the first cinematic exhibition. Their invention, the Cinématographe, not only captured moving images but also projected them onto a screen, marking the advent of projected motion pictures before a live audience.
The short films showcased during the Lumière brothers’ presentation, such as “Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat” and “Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory,” stunned and captivated film audiences. The lifelike depiction of everyday scenes transported viewers into worlds previously unseen, sparking wonder and amazement. The magical allure of moving images flickering on the screen was a sensation that reverberated across continents, captivating audiences worldwide.
Following this, filmmakers and visionaries across the globe embarked on a journey to harness the potential of this mesmerizing film medium. Early cinema saw the emergence of pioneers like Georges Méliès, hailed as the “Cinemagician” for his groundbreaking use of special effects in films and storytelling techniques in films like “A Trip to the Moon” (1902), which pushed the boundaries of imagination and cinematic storytelling.
As the film medium evolved, so did the technology behind it. Innovations such as sound synchronization for film, color cinematography, and various aspect ratios for films continued to enhance the cinematic experience. The Golden Age of Hollywood in the 1920s to the 1950s witnessed the rise of iconic film studios, legendary filmmakers, and timeless classic movies that continue to resonate with movie audiences today.
Cinema’s impact transcended mere entertainment. It became a mirror reflecting societal norms, cultural values, and human experiences. Films became a powerful tool for social commentary, fostering empathy, raising awareness, and igniting conversations on pertinent issues.
Initially, movies were incredibly brief, often lasting only a few minutes or even less. These short films found their exhibition in various venues like fairgrounds, music halls, or any space where a screen could be arranged and the room darkened for projection. The content of these films encompassed a wide array: local happenings, glimpses of foreign destinations, brief comedies, and noteworthy current events.
During film screenings, these films were complemented by lectures, musical accompaniment, and substantial film audience engagement. Despite lacking synchronized dialogue, these films were not accurately deemed ‘silent films,’ as they often had musical or spoken accompaniments that enriched the viewing experience.
Moreover, cinema’s influence extended beyond the film’s silver screen, shaping fashion, music, art, and popular culture. The movie medium’s ability to evoke emotions, provoke thoughts, and transport audiences to different worlds solidified its place as a universal language spoken and understood by people from diverse backgrounds and walks of life.
In the digital age, cinema has evolved further, embracing cutting-edge film technologies like CGI, virtual reality, and immersive experiences. Streaming platforms have revolutionized film distribution, making films more accessible to global film audiences while challenging traditional theatrical models.
Thousands of National Film Industries were established by the year 1914. In the primary years of movie-making, European film industry, Russian film industry and Scandinavian film industry were amongst the dominant film industriesof that era. American film industry played a very minute role and did not hold any important presence during the birth of Cinema. Films became longer and film storytelling, or film narrative, became the dominant form.
The initial three decades of cinema were hallmarked by significant milestones: the expansion and solidification of an industrial framework for the film industry, the prevalence of narrative-driven film content, and advancements in technological innovation of the film industry. These years were crucial for shaping the foundational aspects of the film industry as it evolved and matured.
With a burgeoning audience base willing to pay for movie experiences, the film industry experienced exponential growth. This led to increased investments in the film production, film distribution, and showcasing of films, prompting the establishment of major film studios and the construction of dedicated cinema halls. However, the landscape underwent a shift during the First World War, substantially impacting the European film industry while propelling the American film sector to a position of relative prominence.
Introduction of colour to films
Black and White Cinema was the basis of films during its birth period. The introduction of color into black-and-white filmsinitially involved techniques like hand coloring, tinting, toning, and stenciling. However, the advent of true color in moviesemerged with the inception of the British Kinemacolor process, which applied the principles of color separation. This groundbreaking process, unveiled to the public in 1909, produced what was termed as ‘natural color’ moving images.
Primarily utilized for documentary film or actuality films, Kinemacolor gained prominence. An exemplary showcase of its capabilities was seen in the epic “With Our King and Queen Through India” (also known as “The Delhi Durbar“) in 1912, boasting a runtime of over two hours.
Despite this early breakthrough, the initial Technicolor processes for films introduced from 1915 onwards were cumbersome and financially burdensome, limiting widespread adoption. It wasn’t until the debut of the three-color process for films in 1932 that color became more extensively utilized. This innovation facilitated iconic films such as “Gone With the Wind” and “The Wizard of Oz” in Hollywood, both released in 1939, along with “A Matter of Life and Death” in the UK in 1946, marking significant milestones in the use of color in cinema.
The birth of cinema marks a transformative chapter in human expression and communication, a testament to the boundless creativity and innovation of humanity. From the Lumière brothers‘ inaugural film screening to the technologically advanced spectacles of today, cinema continues to captivate, inspire, and unite audiences worldwide, perpetuating its legacy as a timeless art form.