Cinematic Evolution

Abby Lehan, Staff Writer

The invention of moving pictures took the world by surprise. The idea of a motion picture film was just astounding to people. Now the wonder of how it works has dissipated as it has become a normality in today’s society, a modern commodity that many people don’t pay much attention to. Movies are nothing new by any means since they’ve been around for well over 100 years where the first ever motion picture was made in 1888 creating the era of silent films.

Silent films were the first style of films to grace the earth with their new technologies. It depended a lot on over dramatic facial expression, movements and gestures. Film was so new that people did not care about how unnatural the movies looked they were just excited to see them. Actors had to use this style to get the point of the movie across since they could not depend on sound or very many camera angles since directors were all still new to the idea of the filmology. The cast of a movie had to rely on their theater acting experience to overact in the movies that they now had the chance to partake in acting in.

The world was shocked once again almost 40 years later in 1927 when sound was added to the pictures, there was suddenly a whole new aspect of the motion picture. Voices and background sound were an entire new ballpark that many people were not expecting. Filming establishments were racing for the new technology since it was broadly accepted among the public. Actors were finally able to sing, talk, and have their voices be heard.

Something that many viewers of older movies notice that the people in those older movies were prone to speak in a Mid-Atlantic accent which is not British but it also is not American, people who had to spear over a microphone either in radio or movies had to be taught the accent since it is not a naturally occurring voice. The accent was invented to help their audience easily understand what the audio was saying. Now it is seen simply as a trope from older movies since the accent was dropped soon after the 1960’s. However there are still circumstances when actors still have to use the accent when they play a part in a movie that takes place in a vintage time.

Actors were also trained to be very stiff. They did not fidget so that was there was no unnecessary movement to drive away from the actual point of the direction of the film, over time directors started allowing more natural actions from their cast to improve the realism of the film.

In the 1950s and 60s film was used as a way to fight communism so they pushed the idea of the American dream through TV and movies. After that agenda of the world war gender roles, they started to tone down the theatrics and drive of their acting and start further focusing to act like they live.

Although as realism has been added to movies some of the greatest and most memorable tropes have started to drop. In older horror movies or heroic movies in general, the main characters had their own general theme song that was solely their own. Star Wars has their iconic theme song for the good guys along with the bad guys that people immediately recognize and that is no longer as present in modern movies.

In 1973, the movie world was shaken for a third time. computer-generated imagery, or more commonly known as CGI was used in the movie “Westworld”. It took people a little longer to warm up to the usage of CGI, possibly because it deemed more for use of unfamiliar technology so CGI was used sparsely here and there.

It was not until the mid 1990s when CGI use became popular and used full length for a movie called “Toy Story.” CGI was not only ground breaking in the live action movies but the animated movie branch as well.

The first animated movie was made in 1917 and stood 14 frames per second, 10 years later the standard became 24 frames per second and even now animated movies stand at that same frame rate average. In 1995 the first full length CGI movie came out as an animation and it shocked both communities of movie watchers.

Due to the success of Toy Story, the company that made it, Pixar, have since continued to use CGI for their animated movies and continue to gain success from the technology. It is not only Pixar that uses CGI for their animation now, other well known companies such as Disney, Dreamworks, Studio Ghibli, and so many more.

Movies have progressed a lot from where they started from adding sound, to realism, to animation, to helping with governmental issues, all the way to CGI and 3d. It is exciting to watch films and how they progress throughout time, it makes one wonder what is next. When will a brand new ground breaking idea enter the box office and change the viewing experience of a movie almost entirely all over again?

It really makes one wonder what could possibly be next in line to change the world of the movie business and how fast the public will adjust to it.