Jean Alexandre Louis Promio (9 July 1868 – 24 December 1926) was a French film photographer and director. He is mentioned as a pioneer in film and was the director for Sweden's first Newsreel. The newsreel was shown for King Oscar II:s arrival at the General Art and Industrial Exposition on 15 May 1897.
Alexandre Promio came from an Italian family that moved to France and resided in Lyon. During his time as an assistant to an optician in Lyon, he witnessed the first presentation of the medium of moving pictures cinematograph. Promio was interested in the art of photography, and in March 1896 left his work at the optician to start working for Auguste and Louis Lumière. After just some time at the work he became the boss for the film unit and got the responsibility for the education of the first cinematograph-operators.
His first assignment was to present and marketing of the new media worldwide. Promio visited several cities between April 1896 and September 1897. The first trip went to Madrid where he demonstrated the moving pictures on 13 May 1896 On 7 July he did a film demonstration for the Tsar Nikolaj II of Russia and the empress of Saint Petersburg, after that he visited England, Germany and Hungary. In September 1896 he arrived in the US, and filmed the first films of Chicago. In Italy he on 25 October 1896 filmed the city of Venice from a Gondola. The film had its premiere on 13 December 1897 in Lyon under the title of Panorama du Grand Canal vu d'un bateau which shows the short trip of Canal Grande. It was most likely the world's first moving film, also the first being filmed by a moving camera.
After 1898 he did not do anymore travels and resided permanently in Lyon France where he continued to be an employee of Lumière. In 1907 he filmed for Pathé and between 1914 and 1915 he was a soldier in the first world war. After his duty in the war he became a still photographer and film photographer to the Algerian government, there he created 3000 photographs and 38 documentary films. He returned to France sick and resided in Asnières-sur-Seine near Paris. He died in his home on Christmas eve 1926. His death however was not announced until four months after.
Promio in Sweden
In Lumière's work concept was showing cinematography not only for the public but also for royalty and other prominent people. And as a treat the royal family got the see themselves on the "white screen" in film taken by Promio earlier in the day.
This happened in Stockholm as well when he visited for two weeks during the summer of 1897 to show Lumières invention at the General Art and Industrial Exposition of Stockholm. At one point Promio also educated Sweden's first film photographer Ernest Florman who himself had contributor with several films for the exhibition. On 15 May 1897 Promio filmed the first ever Swedish newsreel film which showed the King Oscar II along with the crown prince Gustaf V as they arrived at the exhibition area at Djurgården. The king got to see the film the same day. While in Sweden Promio also made Sweden's first feature film called "Slagsmål i Gamla Stockholm" which was one minute long.
- Barnouw, Erik (1993). Documentary. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195078985. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
- Seguin, Jean-Claude (January 1998). Alexandre Promio. ISBN 9782296380462. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
- "Who's Who of Victorian Cinema". Retrieved 19 January 2015.
- Furhammar (1991), page. 12
- Furhammar (1991), page. 13
- Svensk filmdatabass Retrieved 19 January 2015
- Media related to Alexandre Promio at Wikimedia Commons