On December 28, 1895, the Lumiere brothers publicly demonstrated a number of their films at the Grand Cafe on the Capuchin Boulevard in Paris. This date is considered the birthday of the movie.
The unpretentious scenes filmed by the Lumieres – the exit of workers from the Factory Gate, the arrival of a train, playing cards, feeding a child, sailing a boat, the prank of a boy who stepped on a hose and doused with water the janitor who watered the garden, was a huge success. Spectators screeched and shied away from a locomotive hitting from the depths of the screen, laughed at tears over the watered waterer, marveled at the movement of people, crews, branches swayed by the wind. Within a few weeks, the Lumiere films appeared in Rome, Vienna, Berlin, Petersburg, Moscow, penetrated India, Australia, Egypt.
A few months later, countless “cinematographs”, “biographers”, and “illusions” appear in which films of the Lumieres, their competitors and their followers are shown. And at the beginning of the XX century, in all developed countries of Europe, in America, Africa and Asia, its own national film production is born.
Feverishly borrowing a plot from literature, a theater, a circus, a variety show – receptions, a painting – compositions, accompanying films with accompaniment of pianos and orchestras, and often with artistic reading, a new art contemptuously called a “movie”, a booth, a technical attraction, a theater for the poor begins to conquer the world victoriously.
Already in the first ten or twenty, not only the imitative possibilities of the cinema have been determined, but its own relationships with life, its own conventions, its own specific expressive means.
First of all, this is a change of plans. A film frame can accommodate a wide landscape, a crowd, and a huge building. This frame will be shot with a general or long-range plan. But in the frame, a sitting person, part of the interior, a machine tool, a window can be shot. They will be shot in the middle plan. And when the movie camera brings the actor’s face closer to the viewer, his hand, an object – this will be called a close-up.
A very close-up – an eye, a button, a knife, a wheel – is usually called a part. The larger the plan, the more concentrated the viewer’s attention is on a particular subject. Depending on the plan used by the authors of the film, the viewer can catch a glimpse of the vast expanse of the sea, and the regiment going on the attack, and the train racing along the steppe, but it can also look into the eyes of a person, catch the movement of his hands and lips. The most powerful, impressive and expressive means of cinema is the close-up.
The cinema viewer can look at a person, a building, a tree, a car from above, from the side, from below, from different angles of view. Viewpoints on the subject are called angles. The assessment of the subject, its emotional coloring, depends on the camera angles. The shots taken in different sizes and in different angles follow in the film in a certain sequence, merging into the overall impression.
The combination of individual frames into a single whole is called editing, i.e. assembly. Editing is the main, main, specific means of cinema art, infinitely powerful, rich, impressive.
With the help of editing you can combine events shot in different places and at different times. In combination with the movement inside the frame or with the movement of an apparatus that changes the point of view on an object, editing controls time, space and movement, creating on the screen that illusion of reality that the artist needs to express his attitude to life, his thoughts, his ideas.
The richest opportunities conceal in themselves the so-called cadences, i.e. acceleration and deceleration of shooting, due to which intra-frame motion changes, various stunt shooting – multiple exposures, combining, influxes, dimming, using which you can depict everything on the screen – any time, era, era; any continents, countries, cities, any state of man, all shades of his feelings, his actions; any processes of biological and social life. You can make any fantasy real and, most importantly, you can truthfully and fully show any reality.
These movie qualities have been appreciated by both viewers and artists. Therefore, cinema and so quickly won millions of people.
The appearance and mass distribution of television has brought about new changes in the development of cinema: having captured a significant part of a person’s free time, it has supplanted the book, all the arts, including cinematography. A variety of programs are broadcast on television, among them there are quite a few purely informational ones that do not claim to be closer to the aesthetic structures of art.
The same programs, which are built according to the laws of art, are by their nature close to cinema: a television screen affects the viewer with the naturalness of a moving photograph; this impact is enhanced by changes in plans, foreshortenings, and targeted assembly of personnel. Especially close to cinema are programs such as television films. Television has unprecedentedly increased the audience of cinema. Tens of millions of people can watch the masterpieces of world cinema without leaving their homes.
We must not, however, forget the significant difference in the nature of the perception of television and movies by the audience. The audience filling the cinema inevitably creates points of collective experience: their intensity, level, and the communication connections arising in the auditorium depend on the film, its substantial and aesthetic qualities.
The increase in the number of cinemas and their attendance, the phenomenal increase in the number of viewers who watch films on television is only one of the factors that determine the contemporary significance of cinema art, the final result of the viewer’s meeting with the film is also important: what kind of thoughts and feelings did the film collect that it left in the shower person.
The first full-length color film “Becky Sharp” by American director of Armenian origin Ruben Mamulyan was released in 1935, this year is considered to be the year the color cinema appeared. In the USSR, the first fiction color film “Grunya Kornakova” was shot already in 1936. In the 1950s, technological progress went even further.
The development and implementation of magnetic recording and sound reproduction, as well as the creation and development of new types of cinema (panoramic, stereoscopic, split-screen, etc.) led to a significant increase in the quality of film screenings, and began to talk about the “effect of the presence” of the viewer. The impression was enhanced by stereo sound reproduction, which allowed creating a “spatial sound perspective” – the sound seemed to follow the image of its source, causing an illusion of the reality of the sound source.
At the beginning of the XXI century, with the development of digital image recording technologies, the concept of “digital cinema” or “digital video” appeared. This term refers to a new type of filming when frames are recorded using a digital camera directly to a digital storage medium.
In this case, the film for shooting becomes unnecessary, and the film projector is replaced by a digital projector, or using a laser recorder, a high-quality Internet passive (English digital intermediate) is made for subsequent printing of film copies. Modern digital cameras provide very high image resolution, good color reproduction and a wide range of manipulations with the color gamut of the image, inaccessible until recently. Digital technology also provides great opportunities for using video graphics and special effects in movies.
Mass cinema began with a short and absolutely reliable report on the arrival of the train to the station, shown on a piece of canvas. Today, these are dynamic pictures that are quite time-consuming and far from reality, the adequate perception of which is possible only with the help of associated devices that connect the human senses with the products of 21st century technology.
The entertainment industry is betting on 3D. 3D is believed to be the single greatest opportunity for the development of the film industry since the advent of the color cinema era. The image in 3 D format is shot like this – digital technology combines two films so that they can be shown on one projector. This projector switches between images for the left eye to images for the right so quickly (144 times per second) that the brain cannot notice this switch, the images merge into the brain, transforming into three-dimensional figures.