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The Father of Special Effects: Georges Méliès

The Father of Special Effects: Georges Méliès
The Father of Special Effects: Georges Méliès

The Father of Special Effects: Georges Méliès

Early Cinema: The Magical World Of Georges Méliès

"Cinema is more than a medium of entertainment: it is an art form of unparalleled versatility. Where science meets art, where reality meets illusion, fantasy and imagination, cinema comes alive. Born from a scientific invention, it is an all-encompassing art form, where elements of storytelling, painting, literature, theater, dance, and music all harmoniously come together and create ‘magic’.

The greatest pioneers of early cinema were Thomas Edison, Edwin S. Porter, D.W Griffith, W.K.L Dickson, the Lumière brothers and Georges Méliès. The current generation of technology savvy cinema goers, saturated by 3D and special effects, may not remember or even know that it was Georges Méliès who started it all, the first wizard of cinema, the maker of the first science fiction and special effects films..." from the article: Early Cinema: The Magical World Of Georges Méliès

"I love cinema. Everything about it fascinates me. And while today the industry is largely dominated by Hollywood or even Bollywood, I believe no country has pioneered cinema more than France. And one person, in particular, has made cinema the art form that it is today, Georges Méliès..." from video introduction

The Films of Georges Méliès

"The National Arts Club hosts a presentation by film collector Denny Daniel. Daniel leads a visual journey through the world of magician-turned-film director Georges Méliès." from video introduction

A short video covering a few editing techniques created by Georges Melies

Video from The Denny Life

Contributions of Thomas Edison and Others to Motion Pictures

"In the United States, Thomas Alva Edison enthralled an audience with astounding images of dancers, a comic boxing match, and even a seaside scene using his Vitascope in the year 1896. Around the same time, the Lumière Brothers also created films of one minute duration in France. Read on to find how the perspectives of the inventors differed, and what were their contributions to the world of cinema?

On 23rd of April, 1896, the audience at the Vaudeville theater in Koster and Bial’s Music Hall in New York city witnessed scenes of great waves of water rise up to crash onto them, but actually no water following. Thomas Edison had exhibited the first motion picture, and they had never experienced something like that ever before. Around the same time, the Lumière Brothers, Louis and Auguste, merged the process of filming and projecting to create short films, which they exhibited to the small audiences in the cafes of Paris.

However, the makers, Thomas Edison and the Lumière Brothers, had very different perspectives towards their inventions. The Lumière Brothers did not recognize the potential of motion pictures, and one of them even called it ‘an invention without a future’. Edison, on the other hand, considered motion pictures as a medium with a future and recognized its potential to appeal to a larger audience.

Early Life of Thomas Edison

Born in 1847 in Ohio, Thomas Edison was raised in Port Huron, Michigan. Though he spent a few years in formal schooling, Edison’s vast knowledge was through independent study. He was more interested in setting up his own labs and performing chemical experiments than attending formal school. His other pastime was reading, and he even called Thomas Paine’s Age of Reason a decisive moment of enlightenment in his own life. Struggling with deafness since childhood, Edison overpowered this limitation in remarkable ways..." from the article: Contributions of Thomas Edison and Others to Motion Pictures

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