History of cinema 15 – Auguste and Louis lumière


French inventors and pioneer manufacturers of photographic equipment Auguste an Louis Lumiere, created motion pictures in the most fundamental way. Auguste Lumiere was born 10/18/1862. Louis Lumiere was born 10/18/64. Their father, Antoine, manufactured cameras and film.

Louis, at 18, opened a factory making photographic plates with his father’s money. Antoine was invited to see Edison’s Kinetoscope in Paris. This had him return to Louis and informed him to begin working on a similar device. Both brothers took this task head on, combining animation with projection and learning the principles of film.

Louis figured out how to make a projector, camera, and patented it. The brothers went on to make several lasting marks in history.

They created the Cinematographe.It recorded, developed, and projected all in one cabinet. Film used in it was 17 meters long. Hand cranking was used to take the photographs. It became the first commercially available motion picture camera. It projected in 16 frames per second. In addition, Lumiere solved a problem is father had for years, color photography.

Advertisement for a Lumiere show

The lumiere brothers had a showing of their first motion picture, “La Sortie Des Guyries Del’Usine Lumiere” (Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory) on December 28th, 1895 at the Grade Cafe on the Bouleard Des Capucines in Paris. It was an overwhelming success.

In their first year, 1896, the brothers made 40 films. Most were recording simple life with a few comedy shorts scattered in. They presented the first newsreel to the French Photographic Society Conference. The Lumiere made the first documentary, 4 films about the Lyon Fire Diet.

Shooting with the Cinematographe

Eventually, they began sending cameramen throughout the world to show their films and shoot new material. The brothers repeated their success as showmen in New York City at Keith’s Union Square on June 29th, 1896. In September they established an agency in New York.

Edison did not take their continental insertion lightly. The Lumieres fell foul of US customs by importing the their projectors illegally. The Cinematographe was built in France and shipped throughout the world to fulfill orders. Edison’s sprocket format was becoming the standard, pushing out the Lumiere brothers. Edison had been building a monopoly and began to put pressure on all competitors. The Lumieres sought ways to keep bringing their cameras into the States and eventually failed.

The brothers eventually went back to France. They spent the 1900s creating color film. Lumiere Autochrome film was used up to the 1930s.

The impact Auguste and Louis Lumiere had on the world cannot be stressed enough. Virtually everything that filmmakers have today was built off of their ingenuity and creativity. I encourage you to seek out their shorts. The daily life they shot shows exactly what life was like at that time. Their comedies are fun. They experimented with lighting, sets, special effects, compositing, editing, camera movement, exposure, film composition and much more. Despite what claims Edison made, the Lumieres created the groundwork of the film industry throughout the globe.

Statue in Yekaterinburg, Russia

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