History of Film and Cinema

Illustration of the Cinéorama system

Today’s modern entertainment cannot be imagined without the movie industry, industry that has not only helped to shaped our popular culture, but also empowered countless artists, crewmen and actors to test the limits of human imagination, emotion and fashion. They managed to do so by harnessing all the available technical resources and enabling artists to paint on the canvases that expended in their scope with each passing year for more than a century now. Today, just like one hundred years ago when silent movies were popular, films are enable us to dream little more and strive to be better.

Movie History

History of cinema has went through many changes that enabled transformation of the movie industry from the modest beginning with black and white silent films to the point that we can enjoy it today.

Movie Making

Producing a film from the ground up has always be a daunting job, and evolution of technology, tastes and film industry enabled creation of much more ambitious projects. Find out how films are made today here.

Famous Filmmakers and Movie Stars

Over the last 100+ years, film industry was home to countless movie stars, famous produces, screenwriters and influential film directors. Here you can find out more about them and their impact on film.

Brief History

History of movies started in late 19th century with the era of movie pioneers who worked on initial efforts of establishing movie business. During this time recording and projecting short single-camera films slowly expanded across Europe and United States, giving motivation to countless inventors and filmmakers to start expanding this business. Innovators like Thomas Edison created numerous devices that enabled movie reproduction, but his business decisions (patents) almost singlehandedly forced out the movie creators out of New York area and into the sunny California where they created Hollywood studios in 2nd decade of 20th century. However even before that popularization of film in the US and Europe can be mostly contributed to two influential companies - American Mutoscope Company that promoted short movies and created first cinema in the US (“The Nickelodeon” in Pittsburg) and on the other side of the Atlantic, French Lumière Company created over 1000 short silent films produced on all four corners of the world. It would be a great mistake not to also mention one of the greatest visionaries of the silent movie era - Georges Méliès (who has in first few years of 20th century managed to revolutionize the field of cinematic special effects), Charles Pathé (owner of the largest film company of that time), Robert W. Paul, James Williamson and G.A. Smith.

The cinématographe Lumière in projection mode

Sound era lasted until late 1920s with the tremendous successes of the films of Charlie Chaplin, Ben Huyr, Nosferatu, Battleship Potemkin and others. However, revolution in film arrived in 1927 in Warne Bros. film “The Jazz Singer” which marked the beginning of the new era – era of sound. From that point on, black and white sound films became immensely popular, birthing new stars and enabling directors and screenwriters to explore advanced techniques of storytelling. As the World War 2 faded away in memories, stars like Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire and others ushered new age of Hollywood, that promoted fast paced comedies, musicals, gangster and even few science fiction films.

As total domination of Hollywood over the entire population of US came to the end with the advent of the television and the government intervention where cinemas were forbidden to be owned by the studios themselves, film industry moved to the more serious themes, advances in storytelling, and actors whose performances blurred the line between protagonists and antagonists.

Carried to the 60s and 70s with the star talent of Marlon Brando, Gregory Peck , and Frank Sinatra, history of film industry again changed with the arrival of fist Blockbuster films (Star Wars). And from that moment on, film industry entered into the new age where summer blockbusters fight against winter Oscar contenders for attention of worldwide public.

Greta Garbo in a publicity still for film Anna KareninaPhoto of Max Linder
Producer clapper board