Early Cinema Flashcards

35 mm film
Terms Definitions
Phantasmagoria
...
minuscule
very small.
commonplace
ordinary; undistinguished or uninteresting; without individuality:
kinetoscope
an early motion-picture device, invented by Edison, in which the film passed behind a peephole for viewing by a single viewer.
vaudeville
theatrical entertainment consisting of a number of individual performances, acts, or mixed numbers, as by comedians, singers, dancers, acrobats, and magicians.
Vitascope
Publicly premiered at Koster and Bial's Music Hall in New York on April 23, 1896. Six films were shown on the projector.
Thomas Edison
United States inventor.
inventions included the phonograph and incandescent electric light and the microphone and the Kinetoscope (1847-1931)
lantern
a transparent or translucent, usually portable, case for enclosing a light and protecting it from the wind, rain, etc.
prerecord
to record beforehand or in advance.
Thomas Armat
He first exhibited the Phantoscope projector with C. Francis Jenkins at a commercial exhibition in Atlanta in October 1895. Then he improved the projector, called the Vitascope, and obtained backing from the entrepreneurial team of Norman Raff and Frank Gammon. Edison agreed to manufacture it and supply films for it. Thus, it was marketed as "Edison's Vitascope".
Amusement parks
A form of inexpensive entertainment. The 19th Century saw a proliferation of visual culture. One of the first places where films were shown, particularly during the novelty period of cinema (1895-1897).
Lumiere Brothers
Louis and Auguste invented a projection system that helped make cinema a commercially viable enterprise internationally. Their family company, Luniere Freres, based in Lyon, France, was the biggest manufacturer of photographic plates. In 1894, they designed the camera, the Cinematographe, which used 35 mm film and an intermittent mechanism. It could project when mounted on a magic lantern. Shot films at 16 frames per second. On December 28, 1895, they presented their films at the Grand Cafe in Paris (Auguste and his wife feeding their baby).
Gaumont
Pathe's main rival. A smaller French firm founded by Leon Gaumont. Also originated in dealing with photographic equipment. In 1897, it began producing films. In 1905, it built a production studio.
Vitagraph
United States movie studio, founded by J. Stuart Blackton and Albert E. Smith in 1897. By 1907 it was the most prolific American film production company. It was bought by Warner Bros. in 1925.
slide
to move along in continuous contact with a smooth or slippery surface:
fairground
a place where fairs, horse races, etc., are held; in the U.S. usually an area set aside by a city, county, or state for an annual fair and often containing exhibition buildings.
Chronophotographic camera
The photographic gun Marey used to study the flight of birds and other rapid animal movements. It was shaped like a rifle and it exposed 12 images around the edge of a circular glass plate that made a single revolution in 1 second.
Zoopraxiscope
A lantern used by Muybridge to project the moving images of horses (even though these were drawings copied from his photographs on a revolving disk). An early device for displaying motion pictures. The zoopraxiscope projected images from rotating glass disks in rapid succession to give the impression of motion.
Praxinoscope
An optical toy built in 1877 by Frenchman Emile Reynaud. It was like a spinning drum (like the Zoetrope), but one in which the viewers saw the moving images in a series of mirrors rather than through slots.
Pathé
Pathe Freres - a company created by Charles Pathe, who originally sold and exhibited phonographs. In 1901, he concentrated on film production and profits soared. In 1902, it built a glass-sided studio and began selling the Pathe camera, which became the most widely used until the 1910s. Pathe expaned abroad and would become the single largest film company in the world.
Etienne-Jules Marey
A French physiologist who studied the flight of birds and other rapid animal movements in 1882 by means of a photographic gun. Shaped like a rifle, it exposed 12 images around the edge of a circular glass plate that made a single revolution in 1 second. In 1888, Marey built a box-type camera that used an intermittent mechanism to expose a series of photographs on a strip of paper film at speeds up to 120 frames per second. He was the first to combine flexible film stock and an intermittent mechanism in photographing motion.
Black Maria
Edison's small studio built on the grounds of his New Jersey laboratory and was ready for production in January 1893. It was named after the police paddy wagons that it resembled. The slanted portion of the roof opened to admit sunlight for filming, and the whole building revolved on a track to catch optimal sunlight.
British musical halls
The British equivalent of American vaudeville theaters. Films were grouped together to be shown as a single act on the program.
spectator
a person who looks on or watches; onlooker; observer.
consumption
the act of consuming, as by use, decay, or destruction.
prizefight
a contest between boxers for a prize, a sum of money, etc.; a professional boxing match.
W.K.L. Dickson
Edison's assistant who did much of his work. He sliced sheets of Eastman film into strips 1 inch wide (~ 35 mm), spliced them end to end, and punched four holes on either side of each frame so that the toothed gears could pull the film through. 35 mm film stock with four perforations per frame has remained the norm.
Hale's Tours
Illusion rides, such as being on a train. Simulation of a journey, which combined sound effects with the projection of film.
Eadward Muybridge
He was the first to manipulate images to make them appear to move while simultaneously being projected onto a screen. (horses)
shore
the land along the edge of a sea, lake, broad river, etc.
Edwin S. Porter
Porter was a film projectionist and an expert at building photographic equipment. In 1900, he began working for Edison. In 1901, he began operating a camera. He made the 1st story film and invented modern editing techniques. He tried to match time and space.
Thaumatrope
A disk or card with a picture on each side is attached to two pieces of string. When the strings are twirled quickly between the fingers the two pictures appear to combine into a single image due to persistence of vision.
strike
to deal a blow or stroke to (a person or thing), as with the fist, a weapon, or a hammer; hit.
Briograph
...
readily
promptly; quickly; easily:
strip
to deprive of covering:
makeshift
a temporary expedient or substitute:
marvel
something that causes wonder, admiration, or astonishment; a wonderful thing; a wonder or prodigy:
phonograph
any sound-reproducing machine using records in the form of cylinders or discs.
Diorama
Painted backdrops with 3D figures depicting famous historical events. Popular with middle and working classes.
Georges Melies
french filmmaker began making narrative motion pictures in the 1890s
- often called the "first artist of cinema" because he brought narrative to the medium (linear editing) in the form of imaginative tales such as "a trip to the moon" (1902)
celluloid
a tough, highly flammable substance consisting essentially of cellulose nitrate and camphor, used in the manufacture of motion-picture and x-ray film and other products.
trick
a crafty or underhanded device, maneuver, stratagem, or the like, intended to deceive or cheat; artifice; ruse; wile.
Zoetrope
Invented in 1833. It contained a series of drawings on a narrow strip of paper inside a revolving drum. A device that produces an illusion of action from a rapid succession of static pictures.
Coney Island
An amusement park. Offered attractions like roller coasters and elephant rides.
Exhibitors
After the NY presentation of Edison's Vitascope in 1896, film venues spread rapidly across the country. Projectors were in use and films were shown in vaudeville houses, amusement parks, small storefront theaters, summer resorts, fairs, churches, and opera houses. 1895-1897 were the novelty period of the cinema.
Lumiere Bros.
First to complete the first satisfactory large screen projector
successive
following in order or in uninterrupted sequence; consecutive:
spectacle
anything presented to the sight or view, esp. something of a striking or impressive kind:
parlor
a room for the reception and entertainment of visitors to one's home; living room.
mass-produce
to produce or manufacture (goods) in large quantities, esp. by machinery.
Sideshow or freak show
Traveling shows crisscrossed the country, including dramatic troupes putting on plays, lecturers using magic-lantern slides to illustrate their talks, and even concerts featuring the newly invented phonograph. Offered opportunities for people to spend their leisure time and money on. Also included Burlesque and Vaudeville shows.
Dime Museum
A cross between history museum and freak show. Cheap, low-brow entertainment.
Optical toys
Toys invented during the 19th century that gave an illusion of movement by using a small number of drawings, each altered somewhat.
Edwin Porter
(The Great Train Robbery 1903) first to do editing, panning, chase scenes, innoative angles
showmen
a person who presents or produces a show, esp. of a theatrical nature.
Brighton School
A group of producers in England (who worked in/near the town). They built small studios that opened on one side to admit sunlight. They explored editing and special effects in ways that influenced filmmakers in other countries.
Magic lanterns
Used since the 17th century to project glass lantern slides.
purchase
to acquire by the payment of money or its equivalent; buy.
World's fairs
One of the first places where the new technology of film was displayed. In 1893 in the Columbian World Exposition Edison's first film was displayed.
Klinetoscope Parlors
The first one opened on April 14, 1894 in New York. They exhibited machines (available for home use in 1895), which were highly profitable for two years before it was eclipsed by other inventions.
Variety Format
A variety of acts were offered in a single program. Originated with Vaudeville.
Eadweard Muybridge
A photographer who set up a row of 12 cameras (each making an exposure in 1/1,000 of a second) to find a way of photographing running horses to help study their gates. The photos recorded 1-1/2-second intervals of movement. He later made a lantern to project moving images of horses. He contributed to anatomical science through thousands of motion studies using his multiple-camera setup.
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