Discussion Topic: Photography and Early Film

In 1902, Georges Méliès released the first science fiction film, A Trip to the Moon (Le voyage dans la lune). The filmmaker spared no expense for special effects.  Review the approximately 11-minute long film and consider the following questions.  Do any aspects of the film recall the practices of early photography?  What are some differences and similarities between the photographic camera and the film camera?

There are many copies on the web of various degrees of quality.  The quality of the following version on YouTube is very good.

Georges Méliès’ A Trip to the Moon

Please post your responses and comments by Saturday, April 14.  Apologies for mis-setting the release time on the blog post last week (this should have appeared then!)  I’ve extended the comment time on this so that you can post over Spring Break.

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2 Responses to Discussion Topic: Photography and Early Film

  1. Boris Simkhayev says:

    Not too many aspects seem to relate to photography, except that compared to the modern day camera, it follows at some scenes wherever the character goes. In this film from 1902, the camera was completely still and worked around a specific scene, being so; the zoom in option was not available so at some parts the characters would get cut out of the image. By 1902, the camera had been a bit more developed so the images were more clear and had color, compared to the film which was fully negative. When filming this eleven minute movie, at some parts there would be a “glitch” and quickly go to a different scene, so the development of transition was not yet developed. The major difference between the camera and film was that the camera was much more developed and could be widely alter images with effects, but the film was pretty much like one of the new cameras that can only take black and white.

  2. John Rodriguez says:

    Well photographs and film camera share the same things, as in capturing a moment(s) and they have capability of both producing a film or animation. photographs camera’s would have to use stop motion to create a film using many shots frame by frame, like a flip book. Film cameras don’t have to go shot by shot, it’s more automatic constantly flowing and recording everything. Film took some basic foundations of photography, like placement of the subject, position, and time. Look at movies it takes months to produce because of retakes .

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