Cinematography is the art or science of motion picture photography. It is the art or technique of movie photography, including both the shooting and development of the film. It can involve the use of film or digital imagery, usually with a movie camera. It is closely related to the art of still photography. Many additional technical difficulties and creative possibilities arise when the camera and elements of the scene may be in motion. The cinematographer could also be referred to as the film director's main visual collaborator.
The history of film began in the late 1890s, with the invention of the movie camera.Motion pictures were initially exhibited as a carnival novelty and developed to ...view middle of the document...
In most countries, intertitles came to be used to provide dialogue and narration for the film, thus dispensing with narrators, but in Japanese cinema human narration remained popular throughout the silent era. The technical problems were resolved by 1923.
Illustrated songs were a notable exception to this trend that began in 1894 in vaudeville houses and persisted as late as the late 1930s in film theaters. Live performance or sound recordings were paired with hand-colored glass slides projected through stereopticons and similar devices. In this way, song narrative was illustrated through a series of slides whose changes were simultaneous with the narrative development. The main purpose of illustrated songs was to encourage sheet music sales, and they were highly successful with sales reaching into the millions for a single song. Later, with the birth of film, illustrated songs were used as filler material preceding films and during reel changes.
The first eleven years of motion pictures show the cinema moving from a novelty to an established large-scale entertainment industry. The films represent a movement from films consisting of one shot, completely made by one person with a few assistants, towards films several minutes long consisting of several shots, which were made by large companies in something like industrial conditions.
The first commercial exhibition of film took place on April 14, 1894 at Edison's Kinetoscope peep-show parlor. The most successful motion picture company in the United States, with the largest production until 1900, was the American Mutoscope company. This was initially set up to exploit peep-show type films using designs made by W.K.L. Dickson after he left the Edison company in 1895. His equipment used 70 mm. wide film, and each frame was printed separately onto paper sheets for insertion into their viewing machine, called the Mutoscope. The image sheets stood out from the periphery of a rotating drum, and flipped into view in succession.
By 1896, it was clear that more money could be made by showing motion picture films with a projector to a large audience than exhibiting them in peep-show machines. The Edison company took up a projector developed by Armat and Jenkins, the "Phantoscope", which was renamed the Vitascope, and it joined various projecting machines made by other people to show the 480 mm. width films being made by the Edison company and others in France and the UK. Besides the Mutoscope, American Mutoscope also made a projector called the Biograph, which could project a continuous positive film print made from the same negatives.
From 1896 there was continuous litigation in the United States over the patents covering the basic mechanisms that made motion pictures possible.
Besides American Mutoscope, there were also numerous smaller producers in the United States, and some of them established a long-term presence in the new century. American Vitagraph, one of these minor producers, built studios...