Tuesday, January 31, 2012

1st Horror and Vampire Film

The Devil’s Castle (1896) - Georges Melies

The Devil's Castle (aka Le manoir du diable), by Georges Méliès, is considered to be the first horror film, and arguably the first vampire film. The movie has been known by a variety of alternate names, including The Devil's Manor, The Manor of the Devil, The House of the Devil, and The Haunted Castle, though the latter is incorrectly attributed as "The Haunted Castle" is the name of a different movie by Melies, filmed 1 year later.

Music performed by Billy Duncan for Change Before Going Productions.


Monday, January 30, 2012

1st Animated Story

Fantasmagorie (1908) - Emile Cohl

Fantasmagorie, by Émile Cohl, is considered to be the first animated story in film. Though "Humorous Phases of Funny Faces" by J. Stuart Blackton pre-dates "Fantasmagorie" by 2 years, it did not serve as a narrative other than simply showing various facial expressions via the technique of hand-drawn animation.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

1st Animated Opening Title

Diving Lucy (1904) - Director, Unkown

Diving Lucy contains the 1st known instance of an Animated Opening Title Sequence (in this case, via Stop-Motion Animation). Though the Director is unknown, Diving Lucy was produced by James Kenyon and Sagar Mitchell.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

1st Time Shift in Film

Pan-American Exposition by Night (1901) - Edwin S. Porter

Pan-American Exposition by Night features the 1st switch from Day to Night in a single, exterior setting. The switch takes place during mid-pan, which shows all the buildings from the Temple of Music to the Electric Tower.


Friday, January 27, 2012

1st Camera Tilt

Panorama of Eiffel Tower (1900) - James H. White

Panorama of Eiffel Tower contains the first Tilt in film and shows the entire height of the tower.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

1st Time-Lapse

Building Up and Demolishing the Star Theater (1901) - Frederick S. Armitage

Time-Lapse footage of the demolition of New York's Star Theater at Thirteenth Street and Broadway. This was filmed from the Biograph Studios office accross the street, with exposures taken every 4 minutes during daylight hours over the course of the 30-day demolition. The film was then reversed to create the "building-up" effect. Theaters were given the option of setting the film order to either Build Up then Demolish, or Demolish then Build Up.

Music performed by Billy Duncan for Change Before Going Productions.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

1st Religious Movie

The Temptation of St. Anthony (1898) - Georges Melies

The Tempation of St. Anthony (aka La tentation de Saint-Antoine) is the oldest movie with a religious narrative. In front of an effigy of the crucified Christ, St. Anthony is tempted by beautiful women.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

1st "Adult" Film Containing Semi-Nudity

After the Ball (1897) - Georges Melies

After the Ball (aka Après le bal) features a maid assisting a woman (Jeanne d'Alcy, who would later become the wife of Georges Melies).


Thursday, January 12, 2012

1st Trademark Logo in a Film

Between Calais and Dover (1897) - Georges Melies

Between Calais and Dover (aka Entre Calais et Douvres) contains one of the 1st uses of a trademark on-screen in the form of Melies' Star Film company logo, for the purposes of claiming ownership of the work in pre-Copyright days. Also referenced is The Robert-Houdin Theatre, which was owned by Melies.

In the film, a ship rocks back and forth on turbulent waves, sending its passengers sprawling.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

1st Reverse Tracking Shot

Namo Village, Panorama Taken from a Rickshaw (1900) - Gabriel Veyre

Namo Village, Panorama Taken from a Rickshaw (aka Le village de Namo - Panorama pris d'une chaise à porteurs) was filmed by Gabriel Veyre in the Indochina village of Namo. With the camera set on a pulled rickshaw, a reverse "Phantom Ride" is created in the oldest known example of a reverse tracking shot.

Music performed by Billy Duncan of SEAGULLS (and RICER and AN ARMY OF TINY PURPLE DINOSAURS) for Change Before Going Productions.


Monday, January 9, 2012

1st Drawn Animation

Humorous Phases of Funny Faces (1906) - J. Stuart Blackton

The 1st animated film: Humorous Phases of Funny Faces is a silent cartoon by J. Stuart Blackton released in 1906. It features a cartoonist drawing faces on a chalkboard with the faces coming to life.

Music performed by Billy Duncan for Change Before Going Productions.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

1st Camera Pan

Fifth Avenue, New York (1897) - James H. White

One of the 1st camera pans: Fifth Avenue, New York, filmed in 1897 shows "the famous parade ground of Metropolitan fashion. Exquisitely gowned women, club men, actresses, millionaires pass by on their afternoon stroll.", as described in the Edison Catalog


Friday, January 6, 2012

1st PoV Close-Up

Grandma’s Reading Glass (1900) - George Albert Smith

The 1st POV Close-Up in film: Grandma’s Reading Glass by George Albert Smith features a young child who borrows a huge magnifying glass to focus on various objects, which was shot to demonstrate the new technique of close-up.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

1st Shot Continuity

A Kiss in the Tunnel (1899) - George Albert Smith

One of the 1st examples of shot continuity, A Kiss in the Tunnel by George Albert Smith begins as a phantom ride, cuts to within the train upon entering the tunnel, and then cuts back to the ride upon exiting.


Monday, January 2, 2012

1st United States President on Film

McKinley at Home, Canton, Ohio (1896)

The 1st United States President on film: McKinley at Home, Canton, Ohio is a reenactment of William McKinley receiving the Republican nomination for President of the United States in September 1896. The actual nomination had been several weeks earlier. McKinley is shown emerging from his house to receive the news from his secretary George Cortelyou. His wife Ida can be seen in a rocking chair on the porch. McKinley is seen removing his hat and wiping his forehead with a handkerchief after receiving the news.

It was filmed by a two man crew for American Mutoscope and Biograph Company on 68 mm film, 60.02 m in length. McKinley’s brother Abner and former US president Benjamin Harrison were stockholders in the film company.