The Origins of Cinema

Ben WorrallFILMMAKING

When the camera was first introduced it was seen as a tool by theater performers to reach more people. They would place the camera where the audience would usually sit and use it to film a performance. The camera was used to capture the reality of the production and there were no cinematic techniques used (such as varied shot types).

It’s amazing to think about how this use of the camera transformed into the type of film we watch today. If you put yourself into the shoes of the actors and producers of that time, the idea that you could move the camera into different positions to create a more immersive experience for the audience would have been a complete paradigm shift. I can imagine that when this idea was first introduced it was most likely dismissed by people because it was so different to what they had been doing in the past. It may seem obvious to us but the transition probably wasn’t self-apparent at that time. In retrospect, we can see how this creative shift in perspective created an entirely new medium and changed the way that visual stories were told over the next century.

It makes me wonder what we may be overlooking today. Both in the context of telling stories and also the way we live our lives in general. The present may seem solid, it may seem like the best we can do, but this is just because our view of ‘the way things are done’ have been set in stone over a long period of time. In many cases the way things work today are all we have ever known. Our reality is constructed by what we already know.

Never lose sight of the fact that you could be that one brave and creative individual to push forward an alternate perspective. Doing so could change everything.