The History of Editing

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The History of Editing

The History of EditingByHannah Bibby

When the film industry first started out there was no such thing as editing, they filmed until the reel ran out or they got bored. Early films were short films that were one long, static, and locked-down shot. Motion in the shot was all that was necessary to amuse an audience, so the first films simply showed activity such as traffic moving on a city street. The use of film editing to establish continuity, involving action moving from one sequence into another, is attributed to British film pioneerRobert W. Paul'sCome Along, Do!, made in 1898 and one of the first films to feature more than one shot. The further development of action continuity in multi-shot films continued in 1899-1900 at the Brighton School in England, where it was definitively established by George Albert Smith and James Williamson. In that year Smith made Seen Through the Telescope, in which the main shot shows street scene with a young man tying the shoelace and then caressing the foot of his girlfriend, while an old man observes this through a telescope. There is then a cut to close shot of the hands on the girl's foot shown inside a black circular mask, and then a cut back to the continuation of the original scene.HistoryMoviolaMoviolais a device that allows afilm editorto view film while editing. It was the first machine for motion picture editing when it was invented byIwan Serrurierin 1924. Moviola the company is still in existence and is located in Hollywood where part of the facility is located on one of the original Moviola factory floors.Iwan Serrurier's original 1917 concept for the Moviola was as a home movie projector to be sold to the general public. The name was derived from the name "Victrola" since Serrurier thought his invention would do for home movie viewing what the Victrola did for home music listening. But since the machine cost $600 in 1920, very few sold. An editor at Douglas Fairbanks Studios suggested that Iwan should adapt the device for use by film editors. Serrurier did this and the Moviola as an editing device was born in 1924 with the first Moviola being sold to Douglas Fairbanks himself.

The Lumiere BrothersThe Lumire brothers, Auguste and Louis, were sons of well known Lyons based portrait painter Antoine Lumire. They were both technically minded and excelled in science subjects and were sent to Technical School.Their father, Claude-Antoine Lumire , ran a photographic firm where both brothers worked for him Louis as a physicist and Auguste as a manager. Louis had made some improvements to the still-photograph process, the most notable being the dry-plate process, which was a major step towards moving images. It was not until their father retired in 1892 that the brothers began to create moving pictures.It is believed their first film was actually recorded in 1895 with Lon Bouly's cinmatographe device, which was patented the previous year. The cinmatographe a three-in-one device that could record, develop, and project motion pictures was further developed by the Lumires.

The Russian CinemaThecinema of Russiabegan in theRussian Empire, widely developed in the Soviet Unionand in the years following itsdissolution, the Russian film industry would remain internationally recognized.The first films seen in theRussian Empirewere brought in by theLumire brothers, who exhibited films inMoscowandSt. Petersburgin May 1896. That same month, Lumire cameraman Camille Cerf made the first film in Russia, recording the coronation of Nicholas II at the Kremlin.

D.W. GriffithsDavid Llewelyn Wark was an American film director, mostly remembered as the director of the 1915 film The Birth of a Nation and the subsequent film Intolerance.Griffith began making short films in 1908, and released his first feature, Judith of Bethulia, in 1913The film has been extremely controversial for its negative depiction of African Americans, white unionists, and theReconstruction, and its positive portrayal ofslaveryand theKu Klux Klan. The film was subsequently both lionized for its radical technique and condemned for its racist philosophy.Filmed at a cost of $110,000, it returned millions of dollars in profits, making it, perhaps, the most profitable film of all time, although a full accounting has never been made.