, Research Paper
The late 1800 s and early 1900 s saw great changes in the world of the arts. New forms of art and entertainment such as music, sports, art, literature, and cinema marked this period. Due to less work hours, people then had more free time. A popular new leisure activity, in the early 1900 s, was an evening out to the movies.
During the late 1800 s, dozens of inventors worked on moving-picture cameras. The essential device for creating the illusion of moving pictures had been developed by Thomas Edison and his partner William K. L. Dickson in 1889. It was called the Kinetoscope, and it was the original movie maker . However, it was not until 1903 that motion pictures became popular when Edwin S. Porter produced The Great Train Robbery . As the lights dimmed, and the movie begun, a fierce bandit appeared on the screen and fired his revolver directly at the audience. People shrieked with fear and delight. In the next eight minutes, they watched as a band of outlaws held up a train and fled, only to be hunted down by a sheriff and his hard-ridding posse. The people who saw The Great Train Robbery were watching the beginning of both a new art form and a new industry. Little did they know at the time that moving pictures would come to dominate mass culture in the twentieth century.
The next film of importance that won wide public acclaim came in 1915 when David Wark Griffith brought out The Birth of a Nation . Dealing with the civil war, it employed thousands of people and showed America that there was a career to be made in entertainment. More importantly, it demonstrated the artistic potentialities of film as compared to live theater. Tens of millions went to see it and from that point on, the movie gained grand stature as an art form.
As time went on, advances took place in motion pictures. They went from being silent to having sound, from being black and white to having color, and from being as short as one minute to as long as four hours. Not only did appearance change, so did the actual plot lines as well. People now had a selection of romance, western, horror, thriller, drama, comedy, sci-fi, and a numerous amount of other choices. People were taken beyond there wildest imaginations and into a new world when they sat down to watch a movie. The power that motion pictures have on people is astonishing. Whether it s a certain memorable onscreen couple, an exhilarating explosion, a poignant love scene, a captivating character, or a script that s absolutely stimulating, there is something in almost every movie that stays with a person after they ve left the theater.
Just as important as the motion pictures were the actors and actresses who performed in the films. Throughout America they became popular idols not only for their performances, but also because of their earning power. They also went on to be wanted by businessmen. Actors were sought after to sell products. It was a productive and affective way to make products more popular. Filmmakers also noticed that by promoting their stars, people would be more willing to see movies. This soon led to talk shows, awards shows, and merchandise such as toys and books, which served as promotions for movies. Actors (the talented ones anyway) were looked at as special, people that don t come around often, people who should be appreciated. Today, it would be fair to say, that Julia Roberts, Harrison Ford, Julianne Moore, Tom Cruise, Annette Bening, and Gwyenth Paltrow, are just among the handful of actors who currently have America s eye.
In an average week, over one hundred million people visit the nation s twenty thousand odd motion picture theaters. Bringing in about three quarters of a billion dollars each week. Movies are a very huge part of our lives today and it will continue to be as technology improves. It is an important part of our past as well. Whether a movie marked a person s first date, a new beginning, a first kiss, a change of attitude, or simply provided an unforgettable scene, movies have always been with us and always will be. Thus showing the significance and the impact that the movie camera has made in our lives.