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The Origins of The Film

Believe it or not, but no one created cinemas. Cinemas are the houses of films. During the beginning, films were very short, lasting only a few minutes or less. The cinema houses (movie theatre as we call it nowadays) were usually fairgrounds, music halls or any place a screen could be set up and the surrounding area darkened.

The rise of the film industry came about in the early 20th century particularly  in Europe. Countries such as Russia and Scandinavia became even bigger cinematic giants than the US itself. The films started to get longer, and storytelling was gaining prominence during this time. Now much harder labor was needed to produce these longer, more complex story telling films. Prices of cinema tickets increased and in perfect sequence more people started investing their money in going to watch a film. The developments of the film industry constantly drew the masses to enjoy a snippet of Hollywood’s finest without having to break the bank.

When it comes to color being incorporated into film, it was somewhat of a myth in the 20th century. The first type of color was added to black and white movies. By 1906, the European filming industry showed itself superior to the US again and showcased the principles of color separation to produce color on moving images. This was called the British Kinemacolor Process, first presented to the public in 1909.  It is known as the most successful natural color process introduced to the cinematic world.

Technicolor was a new process that was used from 1915 onwards. It was much more were expensive, meaning that color was not used more widely  in film until 1932. A few years in 1939 MGM film The Wizard of Oz was reproduced Technicolor.

Imagine a movie without sound? The first movie that incorporated synchronized scripts was a movie called the ‘Jazz Singer’ which was produced in 1927. Sound was added to the movie using the Warner Brothers’ Vitaphone System. The Vitaphone System was system that had to be manually set up for each movie. When the projector was extended and ready to go the projectionist would make sure that starting mark if the film would align with what is on the projection screen. At the same time, they would at the same time place a phonograph record on the turntable, perfectly align the phonograph needle to the markings on the record.

When the projector rolled the record would play the sound from the film in sync with the motion pictures. How complicated does that sound? Thank God for the ‘Golden Age’ of cinema. The Golden Age was a time when almost all full-length films had sound and were in full color too. This is the time in which the world witnessed the domination of cinema in the lifestyles of the people. Film has come a long way and its impact on the masses isn’t one that should be shunned by anyone.

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