Have you been to see one of the blockbuster films shown at cinemas recently? It’s such an awesome experience with all of the new technology that allows for special effects and high-definition recording. Ever imagined what it was like to see the first film ever developed? Set In Paris recently attended an exhibit on the Lumière Brothers at Le Grand Palais in Paris, France.
The French brothers, Louis and Auguste, were sons of Antoine Lumière, a well-known painter who opened up a small business in photographic plates. Louis began experimenting with the photographic plates his father manufactured. Through these experiments, Louis developed a new “dry plate” process of developing film. In doing so, he boosted the business enabling his father to open up another factory in Lyon. In 1894, Antoine Lumière attended an exhibition of Thomas Edison’s Kinetoscope and received a quantity of film strip from one of Edison’s concessionaires. Subsequently, Antoine urged his sons to develop a cheaper version of Edison’s device capable of displaying a portion of film to many viewers simultaneously by projecting the images onto a screen.
In early 1895, the Lumière brothers completed the development of the cinématographe. The cinématographe was much smaller and lighter than Edison’s Kinetoscope and projected film at a rate of 16 frames per second. The device could record, develop and project becoming the first film camera in history. The Lumière brothers’ first film was of a group of workers leaving a factory after work. They unveiled the Cinématographe at their first public screening on December 28, 1895, at the Grand Cafe on Paris’ Boulevard de Capuchines.
These historical acomplishments of the Lumière Brothers were featured throughout the exhibit at La Grand Palais. Many of their inventions were showcased at the event including an interactive version of the cinèmatograph. The exhibit also provided a documentary on film and cinema hosted by Keanu Reeves which takes a look into the past, present and future of the industry.