Filmmaking as an artistic medium has always been about innovation. Early filmmakers realized that to push the art form forward, the technology needed to advance as well. When we think of technology and innovation today, ones and zeroes pop into our heads. But back in the day, technological advances came about simply because the filmmaker yearned to tell a better story.
Smooth tracking shots were practically impossible because of bulky camera systems, so crew members shifts backgrounds to give the illusion of a moving camera. Before audio recording was possible, music and title cards allowed silent films to present dialogue in a meaningful way. Once the camera could move around, and sound was possible, it opened up a new world of on-location shooting, and movies would never be the same again. Here's a list of five of the top filmmaking innovations to come along since ‘Louis Lumiere’ gave us the first motion picture camera back in 1895.
Stereoscopic Imaging (3-D)
Some people believe that the final great filmmaking innovation is the advent of stereoscopic imaging, which you may know better as 3-D. Stereoscopy, the allusion of a three-dimensional picture, has been around since 1838. The first "golden age" of 3-D took place between 1950 and 1960, with movies like Albert Hitchcock's "Dial M for Murder." The technology and screening techniques were too limiting at the time, though, and it wouldn't be until the early 1970s that 3-D really took hold. Cardboard glasses for movies like "Jaws 3-D" and "Friday the 13th Part 3" did a decent job, but 3-D was still more of a passing novelty than a filmmaking revolution. The mid 1980s marked the beginning of the true stereoscopic revolution with the release of "Transitions," an IMAX 3-D film shown at a Canadian technology expo in 1986. Breakthroughs in screening technology and the cameras used to shoot in 3-D have spawned a boom in big-budget stereoscopic films. James Cameron's "Avatar" was the first...