Visual Encyclopedia


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George Méliès

George Méliès is considered to be the father of special effects. He had a huge impact on telling a narrative film. He began the process of effects like the zoom close up (seen in his film "A Trip to the Moon") which he did by moving the subject closer to the camera. As a magician he experimented with many other special effects for the camera that later filmmakers would draw upon to produce films that told a narrative story.

Contributed by Ben Fancher

The latham loop (that curl of film you see going to the top large reel in the picture) helped make filming even possible. It keeps the film from vibrating and moving around, and puts the film at the right amount of tension against the sprockets. Credited to William Dickson, Eugene Lauste, and Woodville Latham around 1896, it would be incorporated into most film projectors by 1905.

Contributed by Bridget LaMonica

This is an example of a kinetoscope, a film viewing device developed in the late 1800s. Later others would try to copy the design, until copyrights complicated that whole process.

Contributed by Bridget LaMonica

Dark Knight Villain philosophies

Contributed by Keri Potter

The 1,000 greatest films of all time. This list is the end all be all. Most researched, most comprehensive, most discussed.

Contributed by Jonathan Acorn

This is going to be the scary movie to see in July.

Contributed by Akiel Hunte

L'arroseur arrose', meaning "The Sprinkler Sprinkled" in English, was an early film created by the Lumiere brothers Louis and Auguste. These gentlemen were noteworthy for being the first filmmakers in history- when photography was a new art form, they figured out a way to take many pictures in sequence, which became film-making. They went around selling admission to see these films projected on walls, because movie theaters obviously didn't exist yet. Although created over a hundred years ago, this 45-second film is still accessible to- and beloved by- audiences today.

Contributed by Stephanie Harrison

There are many great movie musicals, but this one tops them all. It's the greatest of all time, and this scene proves it! :)

Contributed by Greggory Ohannessian

In 1895 Thomas Edison recorded the first kiss. This was a big deal because actors were rarely shown actually kissing (they'd usually turn their heads and fake smooch). Also, the woman being kissed was May Irwin, a popular vaudeville actress at the time,

Contributed by Taylor Jackson

The Great Train Robbery is supposed to be the first narrative story film & was produced by Thomas Edison & directed by Edwin S. Porter. The actors used for the film were theater actors which is why their performance is over dramatized. They were used to performing in theaters were everything had to be a big flair so the audience way up in the balconies could see it & tell what was going on. The bits of color seen in the film & other early films would have been hand painted, frame by frame! It is believed that at one time more of the film was colorized this way but over time most of the paint has faded off.

Contributed by Ben Fancher