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The Motion Picture, Part 2

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Humans. Make a lot of stuff just piles of stuff. And it's got to go somewhere. Some of it is treasured. There was nothing else. Like this on early television, some of his junked they were totally indiscriminate own what take collected some of it is just forgotten about. There hasn't been a guess culturally that they matter. So they get thrown in the garbage the only thing clear to me is that nothing lasts forever. It's over. It's ephemeral. Summerell? They've used may twentieth. Listen on apple podcasts the iheartradio app or wherever you listen to podcasts. Learn more at a federal dot show. Welcome to invention a production of I heart radio. Hey, welcome to invention. My name is Robert lamb, and I'm Joe McCormack. And we're back with another part of our exploration of the invention of the motion picture. So as we were discussing in the previous episode. So I think one of the things we we've been trying to lay the groundwork for is that the idea of the motion picture like the movies. We watched today was not one of these inventions that just like comes out of nowhere. The Eureka moment that strikes some brilliant, inventors brain the motion picture very much grew out of several streams of existing technology. Right. Absolutely. Yeah. There's not just one individual has this dream of motion pictures, and then develops it in vincit in an unveils the motion picture of for a hunger for the hungry masses to view, right? And it's something also that I think people's taste for in a way had to develop over time. And I think we can explore that more as the episodes go on but. We're we're starting today. I think there are three major streams of technology that are feeding into the development of the motion picture. So one is something we talked about last time that we might call animation devices like the FINA kissed to cope or the Phoenix to scope it's been called both or the ZOA trope. These were toys that created an illusion of continuous motion by rolling through a succession of still images that took advantage of loopholes in the way that our is in our brains perceive images known as apparent movement. Basically, it was an optical losin. That allowed a bunch of still images to appear to us as something that is moving right. And these were devices that grew out of the age of autocracy. So these were not ancient by or really any older than photographic technology. Right. But the these early animation devices were mostly known for animating like drawings or silhouette cutouts. Right. But. An interesting question, you you might have wondered about it. The time say it's the eighteen seventies the eighteen eighties or so you might begin to wonder if you could combine the optical principles here in the in these animation devices of apparent movement generated by looking at successive still images really fast with another technology and development, which of course, is photography. So to replace these hand-drawn or hand cut still images with direct records of scenes in reality. Exactly. And then finally another technology that we've explored a lot less so far, but will become really important. In today's episode feeds into the history of the motion picture is something that's known as the magic lantern, and that's an invention that had existed for centuries by the time of the motion picture was invented. But essentially, you can think of it as kind of an early version of the slide projector you ever like go over to, you know, back in the day go over to somebody's house, and they wanna show you pictures of their vacation, and they go through the slide projector. It shows them up on a screen or up on the wall. Oh, yeah. I mean. I fondly remember my family's own slide projector, I was never really allowed to mess with it. And maybe that's why it was so fascinating. And then you broke it. No. I never never never got the chance. Oh, okay. I guess some some schools use these two occasionally. Yeah. I definitely remember projectors slide projectors coming up in in classroom environments as well. But basically, it combines a transparent plate on which an image is drawn or otherwise captured and a lens and a light source that shines through the plate that has the image on it. And through the lens projecting the image on a surface or screen. Yeah. I mean, I should also add that, of course, you have you have other old performance methods that involved, shadow puppets. Yes. Which would have also been a projection based medium. Well, that's a really great point. I mean one way to create a very crude version of a motion picture would be to use a magic lantern to project images. And then actually just move the plate or elements within the play. Eight around kind of like, you would move your hands in shadow puppet show. You know, like if you're projecting through a gr glass plate, and you've got things on the plate. You could can have them dance around and fight each other and all that kind of stuff. But obviously you'd be fairly limited in what you could do with that. So all three of these are not motion pictures, and yet they all kind of converge into the idea of the motion picture, right? If you combine these three principles you've pretty much got the earliest makings of a live action movie. But we're not there yet a sort of early combination of these three elements was another device that we mentioned in the last episode the ZOA practice cope, which was invented by Edward my bridge. The photographer and inventor around the end of the eighteen seventies. So you remember we talked about Edward my bridge in the last episode where he didn't just use one camera, but he would use a battery of cameras to capture a bunch of images, really fast. Absolutely. Yes. Raza as a horse ran by this battery of cow of cameras would go off results. In this this this series of images. They portray the locomotion of the horse. Right. So if he wanted to like show off those images in a way that wasn't just like, you know, looking at them one at a time, he he could sort of animate them together. And that's what ZOA practice. Cope was four. He used a very complicated process to sort of treat and re render the silhouettes of all those still images taken really fast by a battery of cameras, and then it would put he would put them around the edge of a glass disc in sequence which could then be rotated in front of projected light source showing off the sort of realism of movement captured frame by frame. But of course, even if you look at this, this is sort of the principle of the motion picture, but I think most people wouldn't think that it was a movie just yet. Now at this point in the story, we have to reintroduce a character who has already shown up on invention in the past. I believe he made an appearance in our x Ray episode. Really? Yeah. He. He he shows up a lot in the especially like the second half of the nineteen hundreds. If you're dealing with inventions, whether or not he necessarily deserves all the credit for some breakthrough. He may show up in the story. Right, and you. Yeah. You can't remove him from the story was a major player. Right. So this is where Thomas Edison, enters the picture. So you may have heard that the prolific inventor and businessman, Thomas, Alva, Edison, invented the motion picture. And I think if that is what you believe you are sort of unwittingly part of Thomas Edison, these diabolical plan, though, he did play very important role in the early development of the motion picture. I don't want to play that game. A lot of people really love to sort of over demonize Thomas, Edison. I think there are some very valid critiques of the man, historically, but you know. A lot of people just like to they go the tesla versus Edison route. I like Tesla's the hero and Edison's the villain. But I do think it's basically true that a lot of what Thomas Edison did was come up with or catch wind of innovative technological concepts that are sort of on the edge of discovery. And then hire other people to do the heavy lifting of designing these things. So then Edison could reap much of the prophet and the credit himself in one of these assistance that at an hired who who worked for Edison was a guy named William Kennedy, Laurie Dickson also known often in books referenced his w k l Dixon and Dixon was a photographer. And this may have been part of the reason that in June eighteen eighty nine Edison selected him to actually design a device that Edison had kind of conceptualized, which he was calling the Connecticut scope, of course, from kinetico meaning movement in scope, meaning like to see or to watch. But you might wonder where did the same get? This idea from well, we can't know for sure all of what Edison had in mind before this. So I think there's some indication he may have already been interested in the idea of moving images. But one thing we do know that I was reading about is that in one thousand nine hundred eighty eight Edward my bridge visited Edison's laboratory in New Jersey. Apparently my bridge was there to suggest a partnership, see Edison and his lab workers had recently, invented a device or not not quite so recently. It was around eighteen seventy seven I think it was patented in eighteen seventy eight called the phonograph in the phonograph was huge. It was a big breakthrough. It was a sound recording and playback device that was immensely popular. It would later evolve. Into the record player, though, the original phonograph both recorded and played back cylinders. Not disks. You know, if I remember correctly these pop up in Brahm Stoker's novel, Dracula really some of the Aquino, it's all little bits tidbits. Various peoples journals and diaries, and in some cases, there cylinder recording. Doctor seward. Does he do dictate on phonograph cylinders? You see? I don't remember exactly. Which characters. I know. It's not Dracula this soldier, according to drag chapters from drafts perspective, all unfortunately. But yeah. So so Edison, and has people that they had the phonograph, and that was this very Popular Revolutionary technology could record and playback sound. And so in February of eighteen eighty eight my bridge showed up with an idea. He said, hey, let's collaborate a pair your phonograph with Mysore practice scope, and we'll have sound accompanying moving pictures. Which is perfect. That's exactly the direction things we're going to go in Edison past he was like not interested, but then pretty much immediately Edison moved on the idea of creating an improved motion picture capture and playback device quote to do for the eye. What the phonograph does for the ear? And this would be the Connecticut scope that we mentioned a moment ago. So I don't think you can say that Edison was stealing my bridges idea. Because what they would eventually come up with was so much better and more practical than the zone practice practice, go. But it it does seem right that he thought, you know, instead of partnering with this guy, I can just make a much better version of his thing. Whether that's crooked or not, I don't know. I leave that up to you to judge. So in eighteen eighty nine Edison tasks William Dixon, his his worker. Wwl Dixon with inventing this device that he is conceptualized to do for the eye with the phonograph. Rafted for the year, essentially, a video recording and playback device and apparently early prototypes. Did not work. Very well, one idea seemed to be inspired by the phonograph cylinder. And it was the idea that you would place tiny reflective photos on a cylinder that would simulate motion through reflected light as the cylinder spun you can kind of just like picture that not working very well. So you might wonder okay. How do we solve these problems? Well in the last episode, we talked about the French physiologist a t n gills Maure who in the eighteen seventies invented this device that was called the krono photographic gun. Or at least that's what we called it at the the krona photograph, and it was like this scientific instruments kind of like a machine gun for taking pictures. It's goal was to rapidly capture a lot of photographs very quickly around twelve photos per second on a rotating piece of glass on which photographic emotions had been prepared inside. And a drum that makes it look like a mutated Tommy gun. Yeah. It's super. It's like a wizards machine gun is what it. Yeah. That's right. So the so it's a precursor of the movie camera in a way, but it also straight up looks like a rifle and Marais was inspired by Edward my bridges work. And he used the krona photographic gun to take lots of pictures really fast of like birds in flight to get better idea of what's happening with the movements of birds wings and body during flight which normally happens too fast for us to see is just a blur. So Murray was very much in the in the spirit of science. He was not trying to create an entertainment device. He was trying to study nature study the locomotion of birds in this case. So in a way Murray's gun was a step in the right direction toward motion pictures, but because it has some limitations that either variously relied on either plate glass exposures or relatively fragile paper film. There's no way you could use it to record more than a very short period of. Motion maybe like a second or two and you couldn't effectively load and have ready enough of the medium it recorded the images on to make it, you know, something that could record for extended periods of time. But it seems Addison did draw some inspiration from Marais in principle. And this is where another individual from past episode pops up an individual who played an important role in the the development of photographic technology. George eastman. That's right. So Eastman, played an important role with helping come up with the medium, so Eastman of Eastman. Kodak? Of course, we discussed previously had created paper film roles that did not require glass plates. And this is this is an important step in in thinking about the media on which photographs are recorded because just think about if you had to create a movie camera this capturing I don't know. So you're trying to capture forty frames per second. Or even if you're going low and just trying to do like sixteen frames per second or something. And you want to do that all on like glass plates. How do you do that you use like glass glass plates framed with wood that are on like a belt chained together to go past the camera to get exposed how many times per second. You can imagine how the medium there makes the camera setup really unwieldy in it to a certain extent impossible to record more than a few seconds at a time. Right. Yeah. You're coming up against the hard limits of the of the material there, I would love to see one of these though, I'm sure there's a great version of like a steam pump video game or something that has like just like giant drums of glass plate belts rattling through as the cameras shooting on them. So one thing Eastman had created by eighteen eighty eight was paper film roles that didn't require glass plates. This wasn't the first paper film. But this was a version of paper film, and this is an improvement because you can imagine at least. Okay, paper can be like rolled up in great quantities that you could feed through a camera. If you needed to shoot tons of photos in quick succession, right? It begins to to to make it possible to really capture footage of of of the world in action. Yeah. But this paper film was relatively fragile flimsy difficult to work with it. Just wasn't very good. Meanwhile, a year before in eighteen eighty seven an American Episcopalian rector named Hannibal Goodwin who lived in Newark, New Jersey came up with the different ideas idea for a medium for photographic exposures. And that would be celluloid now celluloid is a transparent kind of synthetic plastic invented in the eighteen sixties and to to make it you can start with natural, cellulose, which is a plant polymer, the you'd find in cotton. Or would earn him a cotton is like mostly, cellulose. So you can just picture a ball of cotton. And then you take that sell, cellulose. And you treat it with nitric acid, and this gives you an extremely flammable. Plastic compound called. Nitro cellulose, and nitro, cellulose, and celluloid become the early basis of film technology, creating these continuous strips of plastic that could serve as film. Roles originally, though. It's funny reading about how celluloid plastic in the eighteen sixties seventies served all kinds of weird uses or at least people imagined it would like as a substitute for expensive precious materials like ivory, or it was also used in clothing. I read something about like men's shirts and stuff be having zone. Celluloid? Celluloid components. Another one was I read about somebody's idea to use celluloid to make billiard balls weird, but eventually Eastman and collaborators would switch over to producing roles of celluloid based film, and this could be manufactured in the kinds of long durable. Roles necessary for exposing the dozens or hundreds or thousands of shots. Necessary to record more than a second or two of motion picture, though, Eastman did have a long-running patent dispute with Hannibal Goodwin and his estate about celluloid film. They had to go back and forth about who had the rights to do. What with it? But once this durable. Plastic film celluloid film was available in bulk from Eastman, William Dixon, and Edison and colleagues suddenly had new kinds of options open to them like the this would allow you to do a lot more with filming the world. And boy did they ever filmed the world, we're gonna take a quick break. And when we come back, we'll continue our discussion the history of the picture. Do you sell stuff online? Then you knew what a pain shipping can be. It's time consuming. It's expensive. It's a hassle until now. 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So I guess we should discuss some design issues with the movie camera that William Dixon, Edison's lab was trying to create one problem would be this. Do you ever think about like how does a movie camera simulate motion in last episode? We talked about how it has to simulate motion by showing you still images in a very rapid succession. This is the way that the optical illusion works, and it doesn't work to take say a few hundred photos in succession, and then roll them past your is in one smooth motion. Right. Because what would you see there? Just a blur. Right. That won't cut it. Right. I mean, that's not showing you a succession of still images. That's just showing you images that are moving top to bottom or moving side to side too fast for you to look at them. So instead what you have to find a way to. Reject lots of distinct unmoving images very rapidly one after another. So how to do that? Well, if you've ever think about what celluloid film roles, look like, especially movie film, you know, those holes in the sides of the film strip. Well, that's where they come in these holes allow their devices to rapidly grab the film strip. They fast moving lever that had teeth to fit the holes advance exactly one frame project that frame through the shutter without moving it. And then close the shutter and advance the next frame. So you're hitting here's the image. Here's the new image. Here's the here's the next image. Again, not just running it through like, it's the the the belt on an engine, right? But dozens of frames per second, and it has to stop on each one. So in August, eighteen ninety one Edison filed for a patent on two separate machines, the Connecticut graph which was the movie camera and the Connecticut scope, which was the movie playback device. Were two separate things. So that the Connecticut Graf camera was this gigantic monstrous electrical device for shooting films it way like a thousand pounds or something. He was huge. It used components modeled on the internal workings of a clock to ensure the regular stop and start motion of advancing the film and stopping at one frame into time and to synchronize the opening of the shudder with the placement of the next frame, and this device initially filmed at a rate of about forty frames per second. Meanwhile, the Connecticut scope was a large wooden cabinet about four feet high that held a film strip inside. And this was the dedicated playback device for films made on the Connecticut Graf the viewer would look through a Lynn's at the top of the cabinet kind of like the IP for a view master. Did you ever have one of those stereo view? Yeah. Yeah. So it's not really a screen. It's like binoculars that you know, you put your is in and you look down into the machine. Gene in inside the machine the film hung from rollers and during playback, it would be advanced rapidly one frame at a time by an electrically powered sprocket with an electric lamp shining up through each frame into the viewing lens, which allows you to see the motion picture projected into your eyes. Right another. This is impressive. Don't get me wrong. But but obviously, the limitations are apparent like this is a device that can be used by one person at a time. It is a a large cabinet. It's more like a a peep show as opposed to what you might think of as as movie viewing certainly as a communal experience. That's exactly right. I mean, can you imagine a world where everybody was just walking around staring into their own individual devices to watch video and weren't interacting with each other. Yes. That's a great point because the the history of of motion picture technology, cinematic technology the ability to watch the moving image it, it's kinda you see these different trends like like like something will be individual. And then it will go communal and then nothing new ways to make it more individual again. Yeah. And generally with the we see it both ways. I here the advancements would make movie viewing more communal. Yeah. And then later on it would be in the different direction. Let's take let's take this thing that is that has to be communal. And let's let you do it in the privacy of your own home. And I imagine, you know, they're they're they're pros and cons with with both with both directions. Yeah. Exactly. I mean, this wasn't very different viewing experience even than looking at a video on your phone. Right. It was just extremely different because number one. We'll talk a little bit more about where these kinetics copes were deployed, but they would be out in public semi public places. You know? And you could go use one and while the kinetico parlor might be happening in hang out when you view the movie, you're viewing it alone with your face attached to a box. So that's not like going to a movie theater. Like, you're saying right completely different kind of culture around. How these things are viewed. But also, the film's had to be very different than and because of the technical physical limitations on the film strips on the Connecticut Graf and on the kinetic scope the way they were built you could only accommodate about fifty feet or about fourteen meters of celluloid film at a time and then play it back. So this severely limits. The link that the film can be it makes it, you know, it can be maybe fifteen seconds or so so let's say you saunter up to a kinetico. You know, you go you go to the local Connecticut parlor, and you're going to have a look see into one of these things. What did you watch in there? Well, Edison, essentially had to become not just an inventor. But a a media mogul like a film producer because. Nobody else was making films to go in this thing. He had to make the content to go in the device. So he founded a movie studio in west orange, New Jersey to record the the first real commercial motion pictures and these movies tended to be like short spectacles, again due to the limitations on the technology. They they couldn't be more than fifteen seconds or so, and they didn't have dedicated sound because even though Edison was into pairing this thing with the phonograph they couldn't figure out how to synchronize the movie in the sound, right. And at the time, there wasn't really a practice of film editing, which meant that the, you know, the the convention was that the film would be shot in one take. So what ended up on these early films were things that were brief and kind of interesting to look at and could be done all at once in one. Take many of them were like quick vaudeville acts, featuring slapstick comedy or circus performances. Like, you know, so ballerinas dancing or people at doing trap. Ps acts or a strong man lifting something, right? I mean, basically the technology allowed you to capture motion. And so you just had to go out and find interesting examples of motion person doing this an animal doing this machine doing this now that might sound boring to us, but these things people were very interested in seeing this was a hot technology people were into it. Yeah. Like, I mean, I can imagine you know, we can talk about how it's not a communal thing to watch it. But you know, you might go with somebody to see this. You would each have your turn looking into the machine witnessing the motion. And then you would inevitably talk about it. Did you see that that not amazing? You just you looked in it. And and there it was brought to life. Yeah. And so in the eighteen nineties, Canetti, scopes, the viewing machines were bought and put anywhere. I would say you might normally see some kind of cabinet attraction or game machine. So amusement parks, the lobbies of public buildings stuff. Like that dedicated Connecticut parlors also became popular starting in New York City. They were sort of like a. A video arcade where people would go and lineup at cabinets not to play streetfighter. But to look through the people and watched the films inside the boxes. I am trying to imagine. What it would what what it would have been like to be in one of these kinetico parlors because you'd have it was like a public setting, but you would be frequently while you were there like going into this other world for fifteen seconds or so were you would lose your body, and you disappear into the machine and the machine is your awareness. But everybody could see you. So you're just standing there with your face in this cabinet, and like you I don't know this this will Republic private kind of thing. I know exactly what it would be like I remember when when we went to New York City, and we went to premiere of one strange rock. Okay. And they had these helmets. When you put the helmet on. It was like part of the marketing thing. Yeah. The daft punk helmets staff like really cool helmets. Very well designed you put them on. And you would get to see and hear in this case. Like, a centrally a trailer for the show, and it was pretty impressive projecting. It inside a screen on the inside of the helmet. So you're just sitting there in a room full of people having cocktails and wandering around and you've got a helmet on. And you're like drooling. Well, yeah. So I imagine that's kind of what this was like. Okay. Well, that was I'm not saying, I didn't appreciate the experience. It was a little awkward sanding there in a room full of people with your own consciousness engaged inside the device. Yeah. But then when you put the device on pretty cool and likewise, the Connecticut had similar experience. Again. It's just imagine a lot of people standing around talking about it. Like a man what was it like when you looked into it? Did you see that horse running? Did you see that you know, whatever the the particular bit of motion that was captured? Whatever it was people would just be geeking out over it. Yeah. And so what did Edison think about the potential of this this thing? I mean, obviously people were excited about it. You get kinda mixed feelings reading about this that in some ways, it seems like he didn't it. I seem to fully realize the potential of films as their own extended medium. He obviously failed to make some certain leaps from the Connecticut scope and the Connecticut immediately, right? Like, it's easy to imagine. I I'm guessing where you're thinking like, okay, I've created an entertaining side show machine of for amusement, and I can see them continuing to be a successful thing. Like, maybe it's it's like a pinball machine. Exactly the one in the front of a pizza joint. Yes. Yeah. And maybe if you're like really savvy, you might see the future nefarious uses of essentially peepshow machines. But for the most part like you're not seeing imagining the Academy Awards, but then at the same time. I mean Edison, he says like some grandiose stuff about it there. This was later. I think this was in like a in nineteen teens or something. But I found a quote where he wants remarked. I am spending more. Than my income getting up a set of six thousand films to teach the nineteen million students in the schools of the United States to do away entirely with booked dear God. That is an step back friend while. I mean, clearly he was he's he had doubled down on that point. And said, oh, we not only is this an important technology. It's the important technology. It's going to meet erase the written word from our schools now, Edison Dickson, and the people we've mentioned so far definitely were not the only people to serve in the creation of motion pictures around the, you know, the eighteen eighties. This was in the air and other people were sort of working on this. It does seem the Dixon Addison got their first with commercially viable patented machines. But it seems that a French inventor named Louie. La prince got there before Edison's lab to make a movie camera that worked though, he never got to capitalize on his work. La- la- Princeton vintage a motion picture camera shot several films in England around the eighteen eighty eight and he'd been planning to show off his invention in the United States in the year eighteen ninety but then something very. Range happened mysteriously he disappeared before he had a chance to show off his invention. And we're actually going to devote an entire episode to the subject to explore this mystery in an episode. We'll be joined next time by our friends got Benjamin. But the short version is that that Addison is the name that remains important here. Yes, certainly is getting the credit though. I think more recent historians would probably say it looks like Dixon did more of the work. And of course, Edison, just sort of like owned his work and was his boss, and then got the credit for it. All right. Well, on that note, we're gonna take a quick break. When we come back. We're going to discuss another pair of individuals who are exceedingly important in the development of motion picture technology. We're going to talk about the Louisiana readiness. Life insurance is a deeply unfunny topic. Most people don't like trying to figure out how it works. And they definitely don't like thinking about what it could cost, but actually having life insurance feels great and getting that peace of mind doesn't need to be complicated. That's where policy genius comes in policy. Genius. Is the easy way to get life insurance in minutes. You can compare quotes from top insurers to find the coverage you need apply online and the team at policy genius will handle all the paperwork all the red tape. Whether your shopping for disability insurance to protect your income. Homeowners insurance or auto insurance the policy genius mix of real human help and straightforward. Digital tools can help you get covered fast. If you've been intimidated or frustrated by insurance in the past head on over to policy genius dot com slash iheart today. It's the easy way to compare top insurers and find the best value for you. That's policy genius dot com slash iheart. All right. We're back Serabu. Tell me about the loom air brothers. All right. Well at just like it sounds. They are two of them. They're brothers. August Lumiere and Louis Lumiere. August lived eighteen sixty two through nineteen fifty four and Louis lived eighteen sixty four through nineteen forty eight. Okay. So they were the French sons of the painter turned photographer Antoine loonier. So in they would basically they were both born into the photographic world. And they both had an aptitude for science at the age of eighteen with his father's help. Louis opened a factory for photographic plates. And it was quite successful. And so this becomes this is the family business at this point. Meanwhile, their father he attends a showing of Edison's Connecticut scope in Paris and was really impressed by it. So he comes back, and he tells his sons about it and they began to work on the problem of animating projections projections. Okay. So now, remember the Canetti scope, we were just talking about is a cabinet where you have a private experience with a moving picture, right? Cabinet might be an parlor or business somewhere, and you go and you stick your. Face in it, and you can watch a fifteen second movie of, you know, a circus act or vaudeville show, right? Yes. It's it's like it's like going to gathering in someone is showing something on a like a tiny phone screen. Yeah. Get to look at it one at a time. Right. Yeah. That sort of thing. But so the the brothers here they questioned what else was possible. What can we do with projection? So they created a camera this cinematography and that could photograph and project project at sixteen frames per second and it had a number of advantages over Edison's invention. It was far lighter. Oh, yeah. Edison's? Now, remember, the the the amount of graph the camera they use that was like, it was gigantic thousand pounds or she had this was a lighter. It was more portable. And and then when we're actually projecting the resulting footage it moved into slower speed as well, creating more fluid mauve movement. It was also far less noisy. Because I was anything about the kinetic graph. Is that it was? It was noisy. Another key improvement, though, is that more than one person could watch the film at a time seems like a big deal to quote, Caroline, Slade in her two thousand twelve telegraph article about the brothers, quote, the Lumieres cinema- cinematography, not only created the filmmaker. It created the viewer. That's interesting. Because again, there's no I mean when you when you create media, you create it for an audience, and when there was previously no wide audience for certain kind of media you have to make that audience. Somehow you have to like teach them how to receive what you're producing. Yeah. And kind of like what I said earlier cinema was for the longest time in large part still is about communal viewing. I mean technology is introduced different waves of private viewing over the years. You know, be it TV broadcasts or VHS tapes. Etc. Impacted the medium and the way we engage with it. But we still place a high priority on communal viewing. We may not like the people that sometimes we watched a film with if they're too noisy, or they, you know, either popcorn too loud. But you know, I think by and large if we want to share the viewing experience with someone. Yes. I mean, it's it's like the experience of going to play except of course, it's a movie I mean being an audience is a communal experience in there can be moving at times. Like when you go see a big new movie, that's really good and the audience is excited about it. And they're cheering and they're clapping. That's part of the experience to right? It's not just like, you know, you're there with the movie in there happened to be other people around you. I mean all movies today could be released directive. There's no reason that they that they couldn't be except that they're apparently just is still desire for people to go to movie theaters. Right. And I think about that a lot because I'm often the person who's like I have to. Wait for this ventures movie to show up on an airplane. Can't I just watch it legit. Now. You know, why? I don't want to go to a theater and spend three hours there. And sometimes if I'm more, you know. You know, I'm Grumpier about it. I'll think oh, it's just the nobody actually wants to go to a theater, this is just the theater industry. But, but no, I think people do I mean, we do want to go see films. We care about in a theatre. There's something about the theater experience. Especially at least there's something about the communal viewing experience, especially if something is supposed to be funny. Yes. That that is huge the laughter or I think actually also it's important with horror movies horror movies, the audience plays a role there too. And it might actually have to do with laughter. I mean, if if you see a horror movie in the theater, you will encounter sometimes as much laughter as you do when you're seeing a good comedy either. Because the horror movie is bad as it often is, and it becomes very funny or because it's very good. And there's a constant kind of low level nervous. Release going on whenever tension is alleviated somehow in the film. Yeah. Christian, and I did a entire episode of stuff to blow your mind about that future. Specs. So you can people can look for that stuff to blow your mind dot com. So let's let's get back to the French brothers here. Okay. And the and essentially they were in the same boat as Edison. Yeah. Like, you create this technology now you've got to create some films. I don't know what I'm sorry. I just realized I'm picturing both of them as the candlestick from beauty and the base that was his name. Right. Was it was it Leumi? He was Lumiere that was that must have been there. There the reference there they were they both looked more like cogs worth. All right. So their initial experiments for the most part involves simple captures of daily French life. Like, for instance, we look at the ten short films that they initially unveiled they were all less than fifty seconds each in most featured scenes such as workers leaving the Lumiere factory. Just you see a bunch of Frenchman like walking out of a factory, and it's, you know, given given the state of the technology of the time. It's impressive, right? There's also babies breakfast. Which is a pair of like a mom and dad, presumably feeding a baby. Okay. And yeah, it's it's impressive. But then the the crazy thing we talked about the importance of comedy, one of the film's is the gardener or the sprinkler sprinkled. And this is a forty nine second film of a in which a gardener is like spring garden and then a kid comes behind him and stands on the hose, and then the gardeners like what wine the water stop. And of course, he does the comedic thing. He looks at the hose stares down the barrel of the hose, then the kid jumps off the hose and the Gardner gets squirted in the face. And so that's good. It's really good clearly done for comedic affect. It is you know, it's you could compare it. I guess to like. Blooper show or candid camera or, you know, later on like, the jackass TV shows, you know, it's essentially. You know, it's it's all about the comedy. It's meant to generate laughter. So it's interesting to to to think about that. Like, this is the first crop of ten films. They've already touched on some sort of narrative comedy, a friend of mine in high school. Actually, remember talked about this short film. He talking about it. And he he said that basically if film is mostly the same today, except now would say punk to the end. Yeah. Exactly. Punked? So for you know, from there know, they would get into, you know, into shorts that were comedic, and they would later present the first newsreel and some of the first documentaries these covering the the Leon fire department and by eighteen eighty six they were sending crews out to capture footage from around the world and they amassed thousands of films. So they were not only inventors they're also some of our first cinematographers. I do think this is interesting. We're seeing with both Edison and the Lumiere brothers did in the eighteen ninety s again, there wasn't yet this division between the the technical side in the Arctic side they were like fully merged. You know, you're you're doing both. Because if you want to have an audience for this thing, you invented you've got to create media for nobody else is doing that yet. Right. So one thing I wonder is about what that divergence looks like overtime like wind is making films become an art and not something that's societas with the technical side of like inventing or maintaining equipment for making films. Well, this is something that becomes. Difficult to nail down. Right. Because even like these for I ten films have brothers. You know, they're not just like crude demonstrations of of technology like there is at least some art to them. So yeah, I would definitely in the sprinkler sprinkled. Yeah. I mean, like if you if you have to you're asking the question, like, what is the first film that is made for the joy of the film making. I don't know there's a lot of joy in the sprinkler sprinkled. Why just wonder I'm probably is an answer to this somebody's posited before. But who is the first filmmaker who had nothing to do with making cameras or anything? Well, that's I think that's a question. We'll have to come back to now as for the Lumiere brothers. You know, they were they were true innovators, and they were they were head of the curve on their invention. And yet kind of like Edison was at least initially. They may not have really seen the full potential of what they were. They were working with. I think there were also still limited by the technology. Do like longer than the Edison films, but still shorter than the films that would come later. Right. Yeah. They they were they were limited by what they could do at the time. But but even then there often quoted as having said, quote, the cinema is an invention without any future. They didn't sell their camera to other filmmakers, an part of it too with with both the Lumiere brothers. And Edison is they weren't like all in on films. Like Edison had a lot of interests. Right. And then the Lumiere brothers were also made important advancements in color photography. They had their. They had their whole photographic business going. Yeah. So, you know, it's it's not what like they were like clinging to this one invention or they had all their eggs in this one basket. So perhaps we can forgive them for not having, you know, the clearest vision of where this technology was going. But as we said before I mean as the danger of hindsight like it's easy to look back at this invention and say, well how come on brothers? How come you couldn't predict the box office success of the avengers in game based on this technology based on the sprinkler sprinkled? Well, I would have to think one reason they might not yet have been able to predict that is that artists hadn't come along. Just pure artists. Who would take the craft of filmmaking to new heights? I mean, one thing you have to consider now is that is is how crucial editing is too good visual storytelling right on on film. And these early things were seeing, you know, the stuff made by the Edison labs and by the Lumiere brothers. I I can't recall if the Lumiere brothers had used editing yet, they may have employed editing. But if they did it was certainly not to the extent that it would be employed by filmmakers later to really get the the best of of each angle and the best the best performances out of a number of takes into put things together in different times in places. Like, that's how storytelling really takes off through the visual medium of the motion. Picture, right? I mean, it's really it's almost like thinking about the difference between just marveling at the wonder of being able to say capture spoken language in written words, and in comparing in that to say the difference between just the w-. Wonder of watching footage of a horse running versus seeing and actually fully composed motion picture. Yeah. I mean, I think that's part of it. Like, we're still discussing examples of of the of motion pictures that are not truly telling stories yet in their certainly not manipulating our our our our senses in our cognition to the level that that films ultimately would manipulate us. Right. But we're going to have to come back and discuss all that in a future episode. That's right. We're not done with the motion picture yet. And next time. We got a murder mystery for you. That's right. All right. In the meantime, if you want to check out more episodes of invention head on over to invention, pot dot com. That's where you'll find him. And likewise, if you want to support this show, the best thing to do is make sure that you rate and reviews and subscribe where we have the power to do. So wherever you get your podcast. Find us us, reviews and subscribe, huge. Thanks to Scott Benjamin for research assistance on this episode and two are excellent audio producer Tory. Harrison, if you would like to get in touch with us with feedback on this episode. Or any other just to topic for the future? We're just to say Hello. You can Email us at contact at invention. Pod dot com. Invention is production of I heart radio for more podcasts from my heart radio is the iheartradio app apple podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite shows. Hey, it's Kim dasha Beatle fans. Don't miss my podcast, Kim, Dachau's Beatles revolution talking with other musicians. Like Lenny Kravitz or little Steven about how the Fab Four chains music. Forever listening. Subscribe at apple podcast or on the iheartradio app or wherever you listen to podcasts piece of love.

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