FLM110- Spectacle & Technology

The film industry is renowned for experimenting with different techniques, whether that be camera techniques, editing or just basic story telling. But is it ruining our story telling techniques by making us, as film makers lazy? Or is it propelling the story forward and helping creators by offering freedom of expression?

Cinema was born in Paris, France, when the Lumiere Brothers invented the first capable motion capturing camera in 1895. In 1890, however, we saw the earliest known use of a special effect in a film. It is found in the film ‘The Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots’ by Alfred Clarke. Other early and more famous examples of special effects are found in films such as ‘The Great Train Robbery’ by Edwin S. Portor, 1903. Who wrote, directed, edited and produced the film. This used a technique known as “Double exposure” where a film role is used but parts are blacked out so the film under the black isn’t exposed to light, later the film was rolled back and the parts that were blacked out were exposed and vis vera. This technique was used to simulate the look of a moving train, it was also used at the control center of the train station.

Science fiction is a genre that heavily relies on the use of special effects. Some film theorists say that special effects incorporated into science fiction films are what defines and differentiate them from many other genres. (McClean, T. 2014. Page 2.) Not only Science Fiction relies on special effects, however, today more and more genres are incorporating them heavily, action, adventure, and horror are just a few examples.


McClean, Shilo T.. Digital Storytelling : The Narrative Power of Visual Effects in Film. Cambridge, US: MIT Press, 2014. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 7 August 2017.


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