01. Introduction

How did we imagine things before film? Before photography? Think of the massive shift in the way our species perceives the world brought about by this single invention in this century alone. But then again – is it one invention? Or many? This week we’ll open our discussion on what film was, is, and will be. We will begin to understand the world around film, behind film, and on film. Few very early films survive, and we will watch most of them on our first day in class. We will also look ahead to the semester’s material and discuss the term requirements, building a new syllabus specific to this class together.

There is no reading this week.

This week we will try to hammer out more logistics and set up the blog, becoming familiar with it during class time. Tasks include:

  • Setting up a wordpress account
  • Making a test comment
  • Agreeing upon a screening time/location
  • Becoming basically familiar with the workings of iMovie
  • Discussing the Video Essay and Final Project more in depth
  • Discussing notes and reading material

The videos we are watching this week are included below:

11 thoughts on “01. Introduction

  1. Watching A Trip to the Moon showed me how much filmmaking has advanced since the early 1900’s. The camera movement was lacking and the all the actors had to overact in order to get their emotion across. Since there was no movement of the camera, you couldn’t fully see the actors face’s. There was also no dialogue so you needed to understand what was happening through the characters actions and set pieces. The colorized version gave a more lively and colorful feel to the story. While not perfect, A Trip to the Moon was certainly revolutionary for its time because of its length and unique storytelling. It is definitely a stepping stone for later filmmaking.


    1. I like the mushroom and human face appeared in stars part in A Trip to the Moon. This movie talks about what people did to get on the moon, a different planet in the universe. I am deeply moved by people’s imagination from 1900s. It is common to find a fairy tale about the moon in both western and eastern countries. it is a common desire for human to try to understand the place we live in. Earth seems like a large place for each individual, but it is only a small part in the whole universe. And for over thousands years, this places have changed so much but it is always human and other creatures home. So I think human should be less selfish to exploit the resources on earth and only work for money. There are still many things are better and more satisfying than buying and consuming. I think this film recorded one of those beautiful things in the history.


    2. A Trip to the Moon was definitely a very interesting look into early filmmaking and offers a great look into the limitations and thoughts that were a part of it. I’d agree that the color version made it much more lively; it was strangely psychedelic in a way due to the inconsistent colours and music, but much more interesting than the narrated version. It gave more freedom to the audience to think about and interpret what was happening. I’d also agree that it certainly seemed revolutionary compared to the earlier films that we saw.


  2. I watched the introduction about how films are made. I think it is really interesting to see people to put efforts into saving the memories and things happens around us. Some memories fade away but some of them become shiner and shiner in our brain. There are also many things the film or photos cannot capture like smell or its environment. I think when people try to make film, they try to record or illustrate something in a different forms, or try to inspire people who watch it think about it or pay attention to the related topics. Even though watching film is a passive entertainment, it still accomplish people’s daydream or fantasy in some ways.


  3. These were very basic. They wouldn’t even be considered films nowadays – at least, compared to what we watch and call films today. There wasn’t a story or a theme or sound. The horse one seemed like a cartoon flip book. The garden scene barely had anything. The train one was at least shot well and had movement and changes happen, which was more interesting than the others. The mechanics of a film projector were very interesting; I had never really thought about how projectors and film worked before, so it was cool to learn.


    1. You are correct that the films were very basic and I do agree with you on that, but with the technology at the time they were revolutionary. No one had seen anything like that before and it set up a frame for modern films to fill. Without these basic films, there wouldn’t be the large scale films that we are used to nowadays. I too did not know much about the mechanics of a film projector and really enjoyed learning about the different parts of the projector.


    2. But it’s so crazy to think that back then films like those gave people the same amount of entertainment that modern films give to us. For the horse film, people never stopped to wonder “where is the horse going?” or “what color is it?”, they were just amazed by the fact that they saw a picture moving right in front of them.


  4. when we first watched a trip to the moon, the version without color and just a narration vs. the second one with color and just music they gave you two very different experiences. at least personally the first one was just less to like experience and think about, because of the fact that you were just told everything it gave a less interesting and exciting experience. watching how the people act and move makes it feel like it’s supposed to be silent because everything is so exaggerated and over the top, you don’t need someone to explain it to you you can follow it all fine on its own. that makes the one with the color and just changing of music seems like how you’re meant to see it and adds more for you to enjoy and think about.


  5. For myself at least, I never realized how factors such as color and music effect how we judge a film. I always thought it solely had to do with the plot of the story. In the video about the trip to the moon, the second time we watched it (with color and various sets of music) it was more interesting and kept me wanting to watch more, despite the fact that we already knew what happened next. I really enjoyed the music especially, since it changed every time the location changed in the story. That kept me wanting to keep watching, whereas I started to get bored with the first version of the film, which had the same plain (but still really cute, nonetheless) music and commentary.


    1. I really agree with this (and made some of the same points in my comment) the color and music made it so much more enjoyable. I really like the point that you made about the color and music because it’s really true you never know how much those making the film until you try to watch and enjoy it without it. I guess you could make an enjoyable film without color and music but in this day and age its what we are used to and it’s not as intriguing to watch.


  6. I enjoyed the video about how a film projector works because it was way more complex than i expected and it was pretty interesting. For me the Roundhay garden film and the horse film were interesting in a different way because they are some of the earliest films and the ways they were made were cool but i think that they are more useful as a history lesson and i know that i probably wouldn’t go back and watch them outside of school. One of the ways a trip to the moon was boring for me is the way the narrator explained everything that was happening but i can see why it was a cool film when it was released.


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