Roundhay Garden Scene

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Roundhay Garden Scene

The world's earliest surviving motion-picture film
Directed by Louis Le Prince
Starring
  • Harriet Hartley
  • Adolphe Le Prince
  • Joseph Whitley
  • Sarah Whitley
Cinematography Louis Le Prince
Editing by Louis Le Prince
Release dates
  • October 14, 1888 (1888-10-14) (Private collection)
Running time 2.11 seconds
Country United Kingdom
France
Language Silent

Roundhay Garden Scene is an 1888 short silent film directed by French inventor Louis Le Prince. It was recorded at 12 frames per second and runs for 2.11 seconds. It is the oldest surviving film in existence, noted by the Guinness Book of Records.[1]

Overview[edit]

According to Le Prince's son, Adolphe, it was filmed at Oakwood Grange, the home of Joseph and Sarah Whitley, in Roundhay, Leeds, West Riding of Yorkshire, United Kingdom on October 14, 1888.[2]

It features Adolphe Le Prince,[3] Sarah Whitley, Joseph Whitley and Harriet Hartley in the garden, walking around. Note that Sarah is walking backwards as she turns around, and that Joseph's coat tails are flying as he also is turning.[2] Sarah Whitley was Le Prince's mother-in-law being the mother of John Whitley and Le Prince's wife Elizabeth Whitley LePrince. Sarah Whitley died ten days after the scene was taken.

Remastered footage[edit]

In 1930 the National Science Museum (NSM), London, produced photographic copies of remaining parts from the 1888 filmstrip. This sequence was recorded on an 1885 Eastman Kodak paper base photographic film through Le Prince's single-lens combi camera-projector. Le Prince's son, Adolphe, stated that the Roundhay Garden movie was shot at 12 frames/s (and the second movie, Traffic Crossing Leeds Bridge, at 20 frames/s), however the later digital remastered version of Roundhay Garden produced by the National Media Museum, Bradford, comprises 52 frames and is only 2.11 seconds long, as the film runs at 24.64 frames/s, the modern cinematographic frame-rate. The National Science Museum copy has 20 frames; at 12 frames/s, this would produce a run time of 1.66 seconds.

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