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A Piece of History: Part - I
-Pradeep Chennavajjula*
The first motion pictures made were by E.J. Marey, a French physician, with a single camera in the 1880s. In 1889 Thomas EDISON developed the kinetograph, using rolls of coated celluloid film, and the Kinetoscope, for peep-show viewing. The LUMIèRE brothers, in France, created the Cinématographe (1895).

Projection machines were developed in the U.S. and first used in New York City in 1896. The first Movie Theater, a nickelodeon, was built in Pittsburgh in 1905. Movies developed simultaneously as an art form and an industry. They had enormous immediate appeal, and were established as a medium for chronicling contemporary attitudes, fashions, and events. The camera was first used in a stationary position, then panned from side to side and moved close to or away from the subject. With the evolution of sound films in the late 1920s, language barriers forced national film industries to develop independently. In the U.S. a separation of motion-picture crafts had developed by 1908, and actors, producers, cinematographers, writers, editors, designers, and technicians worked interdependently, overseen and coordinated by a director. Hollywood, Calif., became the American movie capital after 1913.

Films were at first sold outright to exhibitors and later distributed on a rental basis. By 1910 the star system had come into being. Directors became known for the individual character of their films and were as famous as their stars. During World War I the U.S. became dominant in the industry. In 1927 dialogue was successfully introduced in The Jazz Singer. Early color experiments were achieved by hand-tinting each frame. In 1932 Technicolor, a three-color process, was developed. The film industry in its heyday (1930-49) was managed by a number of omnipotent studios producing endless cycles of films in imitation of a few successful original types. In those great years Hollywood gave employment to a host of talented actors.

In the 1950s the overwhelming popularity of TELEVISION began to erode studio profits, necessitating technological innovations such as wide-screen processes, stereophonic sound systems, and three-dimensional cinematography (3-D). By 1956 studios were compelled to produce movies made expressly for television reruns. In the 1960s many filmmakers began to work independently of the studio system, producing low-budget films that departed from the glamorous, celebrity-packed works of earlier years. Costly and elaborate science fiction productions and horror films attained unprecedented popularity in the late 1970s and 80s. During the same period movies on videotape, either purchased or rented for home viewing on a VIDEOCASSETTE RECORDER, also became important. By the early 1990s computer, technology permitted interactive films, in which the audience controls some aspects of the plot
To be continued .....
* Prof. Pradeep Chennavajjula is working as the Dean, ICFAIan Business School, Mumbai

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