King Who Was A King: The Book of a Film by H.G. Wells

King Who Was A King: The Book of a Film

byH.G. Wells

Kobo ebook | October 26, 2014

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It has been interesting to watch the elegant and dignified traditions of the world of literature and cultivated appreciation, under the stresses and thrusts produced by the development of rapid photography during the past half-century. Fifty years ago not the most penetrating of prophets could have detected in the Zoetrope and the dry-plate camera the intimations of a means of expression, exceeding in force, beauty and universality any that have hitherto been available for mankind. Now that advent becomes the most obvious of probabilities.

The line of progress that was to open up those unsuspected possibilities lay through the research for more and more sensitive photographic plates, until at last a type was attained to justify the epithet "instantaneous." Various motives stimulated such a research. The disputes of Governor Stanford of California with his sporting friends about the real paces of horses made him anxious to fix attitudes too transitory for the ordinary eye, and he was a rich man and could offer considerable inducements to the inventive. He got his inventors and his snapshots. And also working in the same direction to stimulate rapid photography there must have been a desire to put the ordinary photographers' "sitters" more at their ease, and attempts to facilitate the operations of the amateur photographer, and so promote the sale of cameras.

The Stanford snapshots came to Paris and played an effective part in a discussion of the representation of horses in movement that raged there about Meissonier as a centre. Meissonier saw more quickly than most of us, and his representation of horses was at war with established conventions. It was Meissonier apparently who suggested the reconstruction of animal movements by running the new "instantaneous" photographs together. So in Paris Zoetrope and rapid plate met and the moving picture was born. But while the photography was done on glass the achievement remained a clumsy one. Mr. George Eastman, of the Kodak Company, hot in pursuit of the amateur photographer as a buyer of material, was the man chiefly responsible for the replacement of glass plates by a flexible film. By 1890, the "moving picture" was in existence, and the bottling-up and decanting of drama by means of film and record an established possibility. In 1895, it seems—I had completely forgotten about it until I[Pg 178] was reminded of it by Mr. Terry Ramsaye's history of the film—Mr. Robert W. Paul and myself had initiated a patent application for a Time Machine that anticipated most of the stock methods and devices of the screen drama.

That something more than a new method of reproducing and distributing dramatic scenes had appeared, does not seem to have been realized for some years. The films began with "actualities." the record of more or less formal current events, and with an almost normal drama, freed only from a limitation to fixed "scenes"; and with these two items they prospered and were content for a long time.

 

Title:King Who Was A King: The Book of a FilmFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:October 26, 2014Publisher:Consumer Oriented Ebooks PublisherLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN:9990046129838

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