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A Brief History of Film

In many ways, the history of the world is the history of its art forms. From the earliest days of human consciousness, individuals had a deep-rooted need to express themselves. This is why the early humans painted cave walls and created crude music instruments. As the civilization evolved, so did the need to invent new and exciting ways how this need for artistic creativity could be presented. One of the most recent additions to the world of arts is the process of cinematography. Moving images, as a film was first known, is a relatively young art form, especially when it is compared to painting, composing or writing. However, it still has a very rich history that is full of events and periods that allowed the art of cinematography to move forward. Here is a short examination of the most important moments in the history of film.

The Beginning

All art historians agree that the history of this artistic medium started in 1890, where the first motion picture capturing cameras were created. Following the science and technology of the photographic art and industry, the motion picture cameras defined a methodology that allowed for a capture of a sequence of images which were played in a rapid succession. This allowed the observer to see the image move, which is the moment when film was born. In this first decade, movie production companies were made and they created films comprising of several shots, which lasted for several minutes. The first official movie studio was built and opened in 1897.

The Expansion of the Art in the 1900’s

With the first decade of the 20th century, movies became more complex, with things like the close-up shot being invented, along with more complex plots and longer runtimes. In 1906, the first feature length film was made in Australia, while a year later the first full-time movie theater opened in Pittsburgh. Just a few years later, movie theaters were a standard occurrence in most of the US and Europe, while new inventions like artificial a low-key lighting, special effects and shot continuity made the films a lot more engaging. The period of the First World War allowed the camera technology to be improved.

The Interwar Years

In the years between the two world wars, the history of film was marked by two genres: comedy and drama. But soon after, genres like war films and historical epics began to be produced. In California, a place called Hollywood was created as the cornerstone of a new movie industry which made annually over 800 movies. As of late 1920’s most theaters came with some kind of an external sound system, either live music or record players to accompany the films, but these were still soundless. The same period also saw a rise in movies used in propaganda purpose, especially when it comes to large nations of the world.

The Modern Period

The modern period of the history of film begins with the end of the Second World War. From this point on, the movie industry in most of the world begins to flourish, new techniques are invented constantly and places like India, South America, Japan and the Soviet Union enforce their roles in the global makers of films. In the 1950’s the US enters its Golden Age, followed by the French New Wave which reinvigorates the artistic vision of the unorthodox directors in the 1960’s. Emboldened, people like Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Francis Ford Coppola make history in the 1970’s. Their work continues to this day as many new generations embrace digital technology and the Internet to push the future of film across the 21st century and farther.

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