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How Did Cinematic Storytelling Develop from Lumiere to Griffith?

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How did cinematic storytelling develop from Lumiere to Griffith?

What were the shifts in attitude regarding the role of camera and reality/realism?

There was a great evolution of cinema storytelling from the time of Lumiere to that of Griffith. Basing on my observations, the first films in history, which some were attributed to Lumiere, focused on subjects about the real world. What Lumiere did was that he captured the setting, the performers and all his subjects as they are or as they were perceived in their actual sense. Likewise, Edison's stories dwelled on the real world such that he captured human movements, romance, boxing, cockfighting as they happened, with only the difference of having his shots done indoors, unlike Lumiere, who did most of his shots outdoors. Both directors, Lumiere and Edison, possessed no complexity in their works because of the absence of a storyline. Both also used the camera as a mere recorder of events. Hence, films during this epoch were short, plain and non-narrated. But, with the entrance of Georges Melies in history, this tradition of simple, seemingly actual films was altered into a kind of reality construction. By the ways of illusions through camera tricks, imitated stages, backgrounds, props and costumes, he was able to express his whimsy ideas and produce fancy films. His work, A Trip to the Moon, was the first fantasy film, and was also among the firsts who had a plot, and whose performers' actions unfold "unnaturally". His films were not just a record of events, but were composed of scenes and shots cut and arranged to create a story. Melies started the trend for those succeeding him, Edwin Porter and Griffith. These two directors followed Melies' footsteps in making use of a storyline incorporated with backgrounds, costumes, and scripted actions in their films. In short, the first practices of just recording the actual world, transformed into filming the alteration of that world, and resulted to more exciting yet challenging and complicated movies.

And this is why the role of the camera also changed together with the development of the storylines. While actual or real shots only require one camera, one shot and no editing throughout the film, the introduction of storylines demanded the use of various camera angles and shots in one scene, camera movements, camera tricks and editing, in order to



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