80's films

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Did you know film existed for about a decade before anyone figured out what to do with it? 

Of course, some of the early inventors of film started filming what they saw, and even telling short, fantastical stories. But no one was sure if the medium was just passing fad, or if it would ever make much money. 

The Great Train Robbery (1903) was a game-changer. Produced and directed by Edwin S. Porter– a cameraman for our friend Thomas Edison (see last post)– the 12-minute action film used innovative techniques such as minor camera movements and parallel editing (cutting back and forth between two simultaneous storylines) to tell the story of a real-life heist that had taken place on the Union Pacific Railroad. Porter’s work was a smash hit, proving that film could be a commercially viable medium after all. 

First gif courtesy of @howardkeel. Second gif courtesy of the U.S. National Archives (@todaysdocument).