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Lecture 7

Media, Information and Technoculture 2000F/G Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Edison Studio, World'S Columbian Exposition, Kinetoscope


Department
Media, Information and Technoculture
Course Code
MIT 2000F/G
Professor
Daniel Robinson
Lecture
7

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Film History Lecture Seven
KINETOGRAPH AND KINETOSCOPE
Mass media was developing at this time period
W.K.L. Dickson/Thomas Edison
Kinetograph: moving picture camera, 1892
o Camera that takes moving images rather than a single frame like
photography
o Converted a gun into this film camera
Kinetoscope: peep hole viewing machine, 1893
o Edisons prior invention of the phonograph, he believed was more
important
o He approached this invention (kinetograph) as he wanted to make an
instrument to do what the eye what the phonograph does for the ear
Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893
KINETOSCOPE
35mm b/w motion picture (15 sec)
Silent, short films
Scenes of lots of movement
o Dancers, acrobats, prize fighters, vaudeville performers
Edison studio
o First film studio
Parlours were set up where people would pay and watch the short films
Not a communal experience
Disappear by 1900
INVENTING THE PROJECTOR
Film should be a communal experience
Francis Jenkins/Thomas Armat
o Basic principle est. 1895
Augustue/Louis Lumiere
o Cinematograph in Paris, 1895
o First commercial showing of a projected film
o Workers Leaving Lumiere Factory
o Train Arrival at La Ciotat
Someone would have played music live alongside the projection of the film
People actually screamed when they viewed a train pulling into a station
SHOWINGS: PHASE ONE, 1895-1905
Three initial venues before we get to a dedicated facility that is only for
showing movies
Vaudeville
o Movies-novelty acts chasers
o Type of theater
o They would run some films in between performances
o The movie was not the centerpiece, the vaudeville show still was
Penny Arcades
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o Owners buy/rent projectors
o Regular film screenings
Traveling Shows
o Itinerant exhibitors
o Tent shows
o Book some kind of communal hall in a small town, try to get some
money from people, they splice together short films, and then move
on to the next town
NICKELODEONS (1905-1918)
Pay a nickel to see the film
Films Only
o Continuous showings, you could stay as long as you wanted, but it was
loops of films
o No set times
Growth
o 1914: 18,000 throughout the (US)
o 7 mil daily admissions
Longer Films
o 10-15 minutes
o One-reel westerns, melodramas
o Started to think about having a narrative
NICKELODEON: VARIABLES FOR AUDIENCE GROWTH
Urbanization
o Greater share of the population is living in big cities, this is
accelerating
o The Nickelodeon is a good business for a big cities
o Most people either walk or take a street car, so it is convenient and
accessible
Industrialization
o More people working in factories
o Repetitive, not necessarily intellectually challenging jobs
o For these people, it was all the more desirable to go somewhere after
and experience escape or pleasure through film
More Disposable Income
o People have more money in their pockets
o You have double the amount of discretionary spending
More Leisure Time
o The average work day gets cut back to 8-9 hours
o They have a little bit more free time
LEISURE AND CULTURE (EARLY 1900s)
Low Culture
o Arcades
o Dance halls
o Vaudeville
o Saloon
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find more resources at oneclass.com
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