Precursors of film
Film as an art form grew out of a long tradition of literature, storytelling, narrative drama, art, mythology, puppetry and shadow play. In addition, the technology of film emerged from developments and achievements much further back in human history.
With possible prehistoric origin due to its occurring naturally, the camera obscura was used and described by Anthemius of Tralles, and near the year 1600, it was referred to by Johannes Kepler and perfected by Giambattista della Porta. Light is inverted through a small hole or lens from outside, and projected onto a surface or screen, creating a projected moving image, indistinguishable from a projected high quality film to an audience, but it is not preserved in a recording. Tarkovsky, in Andrei Rublev, pays homage to this film precursor by including a camera obscura via a hole in the door of a medieval room.
Plays and dances had elements common to films, including scripts, sets, lighting, costumes, production, direction, actors, audiences, storyboards, and scores. They preceded film by thousands of years. Much terminology later used in film theory and criticism applied, such as mise en scene. Visual moving images and sound were not recorded for replaying as in film.
Shadow dancing, using projected light in combination with acting or dancing, is an ancient art in many world cultures, and includes projection from a light source. Puppetry, another ancient art form, shares elements with animation and claymation.
Ting Huan (丁緩) created an elementary zoetrope in China in 180 AD. A zoetrope is a cylinder lined with snapshots from a sequence of images of a motion, where the motion returns to its starting point at the end. The images are viewed through slits, so each image shows at a fixed time after the last, creating the image of motion, similar to blinking at a fixed interval while watching motion. If the "blinks" become close together, this creates the illusion of motion. Zoetropes lack projection of the image, and repeated after one turn of the cylinder.
In 1740 and 1748, David Hume published Treatise of Human Nature and An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding, arguing for the associations and causes of ideas with visual images, forerunners to the language of film.
Optics developed in the European Renaissance, with a theory of lenses. Electromagnetic theory led to Edison's light bulb. Photographic film was created in 19th century. Phonographic recording of sound was invented in 19th century.
Early technological developments and developments in psychology
Shadow shows are known from the earliest recorded times, and the principle that an image is visually retained for a short time after observation has ceased was observed in ancient times.
- c. 3200 BC – An earthen bowl found in Shahr-i Sokhta, Iran, has five images of a goat painted along the sides. This is believed to be an example of early animation.
- c. 500 BC – Mo-Ti, a Chinese philosopher, ponders the phenomenology of inverted light from the outside world beaming through a small hole in the opposite wall in a darkened room.
- c. 360 BC – Plato's allegory of the cave describes a cinema-like experience of an audience watching silhouetted images in a dark space.
- c. 350 BC – Aristotle of Greece tells of watching an image of an eclipse beamed onto the ground through a sieve.
- c. 200 BC – Shadow plays first appear during the Han Dynasty and later gain popularity across Asia.
- c. 180 AD – Ting Huan (丁緩) creates elementary zoetrope in China.
- 6th century- Anthemius of Tralles, a Byzantine mathematician and architect (most famous for his work in the Hagia Sophia) carried out experiments in optics, and used a type of camera obscura.
- 1021 – Alhazen, an Iraqi scientist describes experiments with a camera obscura in his Book of Optics.
- 1515 – Leonardo da Vinci describes a structure that would produce this effect.
- 1544 – Reinerus Gemma-Frisius, a Dutch scientist, illustrates large rooms built for the purpose of viewing eclipses by this means.
- 1588 – Giovanni Battista Della Porta describes a similar technique.
- c. 1610 – Johannes Kepler refers to a construction that utilises this phenomenon as a camera obscura.
- c. 1610 – Della Porta perfected the camera obscura using a convex lens.
- 1671 – Athanasius Kircher projects images painted on glass plates with an oil lamp and a lens, his 'Magic Lantern'.
- 1724 – Johann Heinrich Schulze discovers that certain silver salts, most notably silver chloride and silver nitrate, darken in the presence of light. This discovery was instrumental in the of development of photographs.
- 1740 and 1748, David Hume published Treatise of Human Nature and An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding, arguing for the associations and causes of ideas with and by visual images, forerunners to developments in the language of film.
- 1798 – Étienne-Gaspard Robert begins his revolutionary phantasmagoria shows and develops the "Fantoscope", a magic lantern on wheels.
- 1803 – Thomas Wedgwood and Humphry Davy obtain photographic images but are unable to fix them.
- 1824 – Thaumatrope induction. Peter Mark Roget presents the persistence of vision to the world in his paper Explanation of an optical deception in the appearance of the spokes of a wheel when seen through vertical apertures. The article is often incorrectly cited as Persistence of Vision with Regard to Moving Objects, or On the Persistence of Vision with Regard to Human Motion, and given an incorrect date.
- 1824/1827 – Nicéphore Niépce produces a permanent image on a bitumen-coated pewter plate exposed for eight hours.
- 1826 – John Ayrton Paris markets the Thaumatrope, a card which, when spun, gives the illusion of movement.
- 1831 – Faraday's Law of electromagnetic. Faraday experiments with the visual illusions created by a revolving wheel.
- 1832 – Joseph Plateau: Anorthoscope and Phenakistiscope give the illusion of motion to repeated pictures with small differences on revolving disks. Also Spindle viewers and Flip books.
- 1833 – Simon Stampler develops the Stroboscope, similar to the Phenakistiscope.
- 1834 – William George Horner develops the Zoetrope, a.k.a., the Daedalum, a revolving cylinder which gives the illusion of motion to the pictures inside. In the same year, William Fox Talbot begins experimenting on fixing positive images onto sensitized paper.
- 1839 – Henry Langdon Childe further develops the magic lantern by introducing dissolving views. In the same year, Louis Daguerre demonstrates the Daguerrotype which fixes an image onto a sensitized copper plate. John William Herschel calls his similar fixed images 'photographs'.
- 1841 – Talbot develops the Calotype, which fixes an image with only a brief camera exposure.
- 1846 – The invention of intermittent mechanisms, such as used in sewing machines.
- 1853 – Franz von Uchatius develops the Kinetiscope [sic] which projects moving drawings.
- 1855 – Alexander Parkes Develops Parkesine, later developed into celluloid which gets marketed in 1869 by John and Isaiah Hyatt.
Victorian innovations, c.1860–1901
- 1861 – Henri DuMont patents an apparatus for "reproducing successive phases of motion", British Patent 1,457.
- 1861 – US inventor Samuel Goodale of Cincinnati, Ohio patents (US #31,310) a hand-turned stereoscope device which rapidly moves stereo images past a viewer.
- 1861 – The Kinematoscope is patented by Coleman Sellers II of Philadelphia (US #31,357). This is a series of stereoscopic pictures on glass plates, linked together in a chain, and mounted in a box. The viewer turns a crank to see moving images.
- 1872 – Eadweard Muybridge designs the zoopraxiscope. French astronomer Pierre Jules Cesar Janssen develops a camera with a revolving photographic plate that makes exposures at regular, automatic intervals.
- 1877 – Muybridge begins experimenting with "serial photography" (or "chronophotography"), taking multiple exposed images of a running horse (see Sallie Gardner at a Gallop).
- 1877 – Charles-Émile Reynaud develops the Praxinoscope, an animation device.
- 1878 – George Eastman manufactures photographic dry plates the same year Thomas Edison invents the first electric incandescent light bulb.
- 1880 – Muybridge begins projecting his studies of figures in motion.
- 1881 – Louis Lumiere develops a "dry plate" process with gelatin emulsion.
- 1882 – Étienne-Jules Marey, a French physiologist, using chronophotographic gun makes a series of photographs of birds in flight. Hannibal Goodwin sells an idea to George Eastman, who markets it as "American film" : a roll of paper coated with emulsion.
- 1886 – Louis Le Prince patented his process for "the successive production of objects in motion by means of a projector".
- 1887 – Ottomar Anschütz creates the electrotachyscope, which presents the illusion of motion with transparent chronophotography.
- 1888 – Louis Le Prince exhibited (projected) films in October made with his receiver (camera) at the Whitley factory in Hunslet, Leeds and in Oakwood Grange, Leeds.
- 1888 – Marey designs the Chronophotograph, a camera using roll film.
- 1888 – Charles-Émile Reynaud perfected his Praxinoscope theatre with the Théâtre Optique.
- 1889 – William Friese Greene developed the first "moving pictures" on celluloid film, exposing 20 ft (6.1 m) of film at Hyde Park, London. George Eastman improves on his paper roll film, substituting the paper with plastic.
- 1889 – Kodak celluloid roll film becomes available.
- 1890 – Friese Greene patents his process, but was unable to finance manufacturing of it, and later sold his patent.
- 1890 – The first 3D movie patent was registered in 1890 by William Friese-Greene. The system used duel projected images with the viewer using a stereoscope.
- 1891 – Edison patents the Kinetograph developed by his employee William Kennedy Laurie Dickson, which photographs the sequence of images on a strip of film. An electrically lit and motorized arcade-type machine, the Kinetoscope, was used for viewing.
- October 28, 1892. – Charles-Émile Reynaud's "Pantomimes Lumineuses" is the first public performance of a moving picture show at the Musée Grévin in Paris. It includes several short animated films, such as Pauvre Pierrot.
- 1893 – Edison Laboratories builds a film studio, in West Orange, New Jersey, dubbed the Black Maria. It was built on a turntable so the window could rotate toward the sun throughout the day, supplying natural light for the productions. At the Chicago World's Columbian Exposition, Muybridge gives a series of lectures on the Science of Animal Locomotion in the Zoopraxographical Hall. He used his zoopraxiscope to show his moving pictures to a paying public.
- 1894 – Louis Lumiere invents the cinematograph a single-unit camera, developer, and movie projector. Kinetoscopes, meanwhile, were popular and profitable. On January 7, W.K. Dickson receives a patent for motion picture film.
- 1895 – The Arrival of a Train premiered on a large screen December 28 at the Grand Cafe in Paris, France. Louis and his brother Auguste Lumiere also filmed Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory that year, while in the US Woodville Latham combined a Kinetoscope with a projecting device.
- 1896 – Edison loses W. K. Dickson who joins with other inventors and investors to form the American Mutoscope Company. The company manufactured the mutoscope as a rival to the Kinetoscope and, like Edison, produced films for its invention. Expanding on the idea, American Mutoscope then developed the "biograph" which was a projector allowing films to be shown in theatres to a large audience rather than in single-user arcade machines. Edison entered the competition for development of a large projector he called the Vitascope. This year also debuted the work of first female film director, Alice Guy-Blaché's The Cabbage Fairy. Vitascope Hall in New Orleans opened in June of this year.
- 1897 – US President William McKinley's inauguration was filmed, the first US newsreel. In England the Prestwich Camera is patented.
- 1898 – Thomas Edison captures various scenes of the Spanish-American War which include training and marching troops, unloading ships, as well as some battle scenes. This marks the Spanish-American War as the first war to be documented on film.
- 1899 – With the success of the biograph, American Mutoscope changed its name to American Mutoscope and Biograph Company. In England Edward R. Turner and F. Marshall Lee create chronophotographic images through red, green and blue filters and project them with together with a three-lens projector.
- 1900 – Synchronized sound was first demonstrated in public at the Paris Exposition.
- Alistair Cameron Crombie, Science, optics, and music in medieval and early modern thought,p.205
- CHTHO produces documentary on world’s oldest animation. Tehran Times. 04-03-2008.
- First Animation of the World Found In Burnt City, Iran, Persian Journal, 2004
- Oldest Animation Discovered In Iran. Animation Magazine. 12-03-2008.
- todayinsci.com Goodale patent docs
- Clegg, Brian (2007). The Man Who Stopped Time. Joseph Henry Press. ISBN 978-0-309-10112-7.