Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lights, camera, action ...

On this day in history, Auguste and Louis Lumière give the first public demonstration of the cinématograph.

In Besançon, France, Auguste Marie Louis Nicolas Lumière was born October 19, 1862 and Louis Jean Lumière was born October 5, 1864 the sons of Charles Antoine Lumière, who ran a photgraphic firm. In 1870 they moved to Lyon, and attended La Martiniere, the largest technical school in Lyon. They later worked for their father, Auguste as a manager, and Louis as a physicist. Louis had made many improvements to the still photograph process. The most notable of these improvements being the dry-plate process, which was a major step towards moving images.

They had not, though, started to create moving pictures until their fathers retirement in 1892. They patented many significant processes all leading up to their film camera - most notably film perforations as a means of advancing the film through the camera and projector. The cinématographe itself was patented on February 13, 1985 and the and the first footage ever to be recorded using it was recorded on March 19, 1895. Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory was privately screened on March 22, 1895. Some consider this world's first movie.

The brothers stated that ``the cinema is an invention without any future'' and declined to sell their camera to other filmmakers. Consequently, their role in the history of film was exceedingly brief. They turned their attentions to photography.
The predecessor of motion picture was laterna magica (magic lantern) and toys called zoetropes. In the Shirt Factory that houses the teashop, there is a graphic artist well-versed in the subject of these devices. If ever you desire a truly entertaining show illustrating laterna magica, please contact my good friend Russell Serrianne!
(He's a really great graphic artist, too -- in case you ever need any professional artwork or logo development done)

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