The Lumiere Brothers
Auguste and Louis Lumiere born in France 1862 & 1864 and were amoung the first film makers in History. Their Father Claude-Antoine Lumière (1840–1911) ran a Photographic firm where the brothers worked in the early part of their carreers. Louis as physicist and Auguste as manager of the firm. Through out the first part of their film making career Louis made advances in photographic technology by improving the still-photograph process and notably the dry plate process which was an important step toward the capture of moving image.
It was not until 1892 when their father retired that the brothers began to create moving pictures and building on the advances of Muybridge some 15 years before. They patented a number of film processes leading up to the film camera. One in particular Film Perforations aka perfs which were the cuts made in to reels of film tape to keep each frame perfectly aligned with the projector made for advancing frames on a reel through the camera and projector, this technology is still used today.
In 1892 the first moving picture camera and projector called a “Cinmatographe” was invented by a Leon Bouly but was later patented by the Lumiere brother 12 Febuary 1893 because Bouly was unable to afford the rent on the patent to his invention. Although a much disputed topic of the time Louis Lumiere was the first to come up with the idea for capturing moving image and together the Lumiere Brothers shared the patent. In 1894 they produced their first film called “Sortie de l’usine Lumiere de Lyon” a film capturing workers leaving the Lumiere Factory. The film was publicly screened at L’Eden, the world’s first Cinema, located in La Ciotat in southeastern France, on September 28, 1895. This same year the brothers went on to produce 9 other short movies each lasting between 38 and 49 seconds and was publicly presented to an audience where people were charged to view on the 28th December 1895 at the Salon Indien du Grand Cafe in Paris.
See below the footage:
In 1896 the Lumiere Brothers went on tour with their Cinematographe machine and visited Bombay, London, New York and Buenos Aries. The movement of image had an immediate effect on popular culture and gave rise to the future of cinematography.
Steering away from the advancements in filming technology and the influence on popular culture we look toward the music that went with the silent movie.
Since the birth of motion picture in 1880 up until 1908 composers and musicians improvised with Pianos simply playing popular and or orchestral music of the time but in 1908 a composer called Camille Saint-Sans composed a score specifically for the use with film and gave rise to new methods of composition for this purpose, looking at melodic progressions to represent different moods, emotions and atmospheres.
In particular was the production of the “The Sam Fox Moving Picture Music Volumes” by J.S. Zamecnik.
A catalogue of musical scores used by Film producers and musicians to represent scene changes, their emotional impact and atmosphere.
J.S. Zamecnik (1872-1953)
John Stepan Zamecnik (ZAM-ishnick) was a remarkably prolific American composer of the early 20th century, and was a major composer of “photoplay music,” the vast, forgotten genre of music used by silent film theater orchestras. Zamecnik was born and raised in Cleveland, studied with Antonín Dvorák in Prague, and returned to America as a professional musician and composer. He composed music in many genres including songs, dances, salon music, and pieces to be used in compiled silent film scores, composed a few significant complete film scores, and retired not long after the arrival of sound movies.
Some examples of different melodic patterns that destinctively represent the mood.
The Hurry Sequence:
The Sailor Sequence:
The War sequence:
The Cowboy sequence:
The Hurry sequence:
It wasn’t until 1927 with Al Jonons film The Jazz Singer that sound was brought to film. Provided by Warner Bro’s this film involved singing, dancing, drama and most importantly synchronized sound.
It would lead the way for a new breed of movie.