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eadweard muybridge
Grandfathers of Cinema

Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904)

Pioneering photographer who was interested in capturing life in motion. His motion studies and method of animating and projecting his photos provided inspiration for the inventors of motion pictures.

Jules Etienne Marey
Grandfathers of Cinema

Etienne Jules Marey (1830-1904)

French naturalist and scientist Marey invented chrono-photography–the ability to take multiple pictures in succession with a single camera. Marey was interested in studying the movement of animals, air and light. Click through for an interesting piece on his work.

Grandfathers of Cinema

Marey’s Fusil Photographique

Marey's Photographic Gun

The “fusil photographique” or “photographic gun” developed by scientist Etienne-Jules Marey, c. 1882. It could shoot 12 frames per second. Thomas Edison found inspiration for the Kinetoscope after seeing Marey’s camera.

Emile Reynaud
Grandfathers of Cinema

Emile Reynaud (1844-1918)

Reynaud invented the precursor to film projection technology, most famously, his Theatre Optique. He was also a talented animator. He did suffer the tragic fate of many creative geniuses–click the link to read more about his life.

Kodak Film circa 1890
Grandfathers of Cinema

The Invention that Made Film Possible

The invention that allowed the idea of moving pictures to advance was flexible film strips–made from celluloid. The next generation of inventors and filmmakers would not have been able to move forward without it. Who exactly invented it has been the subject of debate and lawsuits. Click the link to read more about the people and controversy.

The Lumiere Brothers
Fathers of Cinema

The Lumière Brothers (1862-1954, 1864-1948)

French inventors and filmmakers who invented the Cinematographe in response to Edison’s Kinetoscope. It helped popularize projection format exhibition devices over the peephole format. The Lumière Brothers became part of a select group of influential filmmakers that helped define the business and art.

Thomas Edison
Fathers of Cinema

Thomas Edison (1847-1931)

Pictured here in 1893, one year before the introduction of the Kinetoscope to the public, Edison was a pivotal American inventor. Called the “Wizard of Menlo Park,” Edison invested his money and talent into developing technology that was, above all, profitable. Motion pictures was one such endeavor.

Fathers of Cinema

W.K.L Dickson (1860-1935)

Pictured above standing at the far left, W.K.L. Dickson ran Edison’s lab in charge of developing motion picture technology. After tiring of Edison’s proprietorial attitude, he defected to the American Mutoscope & Biograph Company, Edison’s greatest competitor in the early film business. American Biograph (as it became known) fought a lengthy patent battle with the Edison Company until joining forces in the Motion Picture Patents Company.

Fathers of Cinema

A Brief History of Film

Need a refresher? Or feel like you are missing some key information? Watch this quick whiteboard animation that summarizes the development of filmmaking technology from Leonardo Da Vinci to the Lumière Brothers.