TA: Matthew Perkins 1A
IDs – People to Know:
•Eadweard Muybridge (1830 – 1904)
oBorn in Britain, emigrated to US early in life, by the 1870s had become a very prominent photographer, mostly photographed nature and animals; very well known o1872 – Leland Stanford (one of the richest in the state) questions whether or not a horse has all its feet off the ground when it gallops, hired Muybridge to take pictures of racehorses and prove or disprove this o1877 – Muybridge built special track with a camera house with 12 electrically operated cameras, and a marked fence along the track to give precise measurements of a horse’s position in each shot → each camera fitted with an electromagnetic shutter that could take photos in succession = he discovered that horses do life all four legs off the ground; this was a huge breakthrough in visual study of motion oHe could put these photos into a zoetrope and make a moving picture * 1st motion pictures were moving humans/animals (hundreds)—he did not actually produce motion pictures, but was crucial in the development in technology that would → credited with the first projected movies o1879: developed the zoopraxiscope (a projector), which could project the images large size on a screen from a motion wheel oPublished book “Animals in Motion” and toured the world with his photos •Thomas Edison (1847 – 1931)
oLate 19th C: Brilliant American Inventor and Businessman, interested only in his continuing quest to link phonography and camera and attain sound motion pictures (very exaggerated) → obsessed with creation of motion pictures The light bulb, gramophone, Kinetoscope, Kinetograph, phonograph, motion picture camera oDubbed “The Wizard of Menlo Park” – credited with the creation of the first industrial research laboratory o1887 – Phonograph, Edison’s talking machine prompted him to think about projected photographs oEdison and Muybridge meet in 1888 and discuss uniting the zoopraxiscope with the photograph – neither machine could accomplish their goal: “to combine, and reproduce simultaneously, in the presence of an audience, visible actions and audible words” o1896 – Edison’s kinetoscope peep show emerged and in 1896 came large screen motion picture projection: movies then moved into vaudeville houses and penny arcades, but within a decade had found a secure and profitable home in working-class neighborhood storefront theaters o1896 – Edison’s working projector was used in vaudeville houses across the US oThomas Alva Edison was an inventor, entertainer and entrepreneur – his unique imperial cast of mind set him apart from others; he laid claim to everything he could imagine and most territory he dreamed about he then conquered o1890: telephone transmitter, phonograph, electric light
othe press and public began to believe that Edison’s fantasies were more real than any other man’s working invention; the inventor of a motion-pic projector agreed to market his machine under Edison’s name when he was persuaded that no one would buy his product because they were waiting for Edison to come out with his own > Edison is almost like this huge myth of greatness, living off his prior successes—sometimes he even abused the public’s trust and gave reporters false info to create his myth oEdison and Dickson
Edison took Muybridge’s motion pictures of humans/animals and gave them to William Dickson > ordered him to create a projector for the photos Dickson struggled in creating such an invention for Edison oContributions
Perforation of the film strip at equidistant intervals to that the film would run smoothly past the lens Kinetoscope (1893): Edison’s “peep show” viewing machine, showed short motion pictures of up to Trick Films—similar to George Méliès’ magical movies (disappearance acts, transformation, etc.); no copyright laws until 1912 1908: Motion Picture Patents Co. > wanted complete domination of the motion picture field;...