The evolutionary process of technology is beautiful and, as it continues to advance, it concurrently shapes a vast number of industries. One of the industries that changed the most due to technology also happens to be one of the most popular ones — the movie industry. The technology revolutionized the way in which the movies were made and — ever since the first movie — the technology continued and continues for more than a century to improve both the image quality and wholesome experience of watching a movie.
The Early Years
Funnily enough, the whole movie industry was built on a simple wager between friends. The wager was whether the horses have all four hooves off the ground when they run. The one in charge of settling that dispute was Eadweard Muybridge. He set up 24 cameras and took photos of a horse galloping. By using a device of his invention, the Zoopraxiscope, he was able to project those images in sequence creating the first motion picture.
The next breakthrough involved adding color to the black and white movies. The first processes involved toning, tinting, and stenciling. In 1906 the natural color, or so it was called, was produced by using different principles of color separation. The early processes of filming in color were possible yet extremely expensive, and it wasn’t until 1932 that color started being used more often in the movies thanks to the invention credited to MIT graduates: Troland, Ball, and Comstock.
After the addition of color, there was only one thing left to do to maximize the early movie experience, and that is to add the sound. Sound was present at the time when the process of adding color was still in development. First National Studios and Warner Bros invented Vitaphone, a device that played a separate track including audio simultaneously to the movie projector. However, the device proved to be unreliable as the sound was off-sync at times, and it wasn’t until 1927 and Movietone that the directors could record the sound directly onto the film.
After the breakthroughs of sound and color, the world of cinema gradually improved over the following years. Digital compositions were first used in the 1940s where actors were filmed on colored screens which allowed the directors to change the backdrop. As computer technology advanced, CGI (computer-generated imagery) became a thing. The earliest examples of this technology date back to 1973 and the sci-fi movie Westworld.
What followed next seems only logical with how far the computer technology had gone. Even though modern-day movies are shot on film, every movie undertakes various final touch processes on computers, such as adding special effects or editing before the movies are transferred back to film. However, even that transfer is becoming obsolete as modern-day cinemas invest in digital projectors that can rival, if not beat, the detail, sharpness, and brightness of traditional projectors. Even though not the newest of technologies, 3D movies are trying to make a comeback. This time, though, we could get to enjoy these immersive movies without even having to wear a pair of 3D glasses.
Another important factor in making a movie were movie sets as they give quality to the movie itself. They changed throughout history, from open fields to extravagant locations. One of the most popular locations to make movies was always Las Vegas, the city of neon lights and casinos. If you click here you can see that even your favorite MI6 agent James Bond loved Baccarat. Not only that, but there is a lot of popular movies made in Vegas and its casinos. However, Hollywood is considered to be directors’ dreamland, as it is famous for its movie sets that change time to time to create modern-day masterpieces.
It is evident that the movie industry has changed a lot since its first humble beginnings. Thanks to new technological advancements, we are can indulge in more immersive experiences. As the current technology is getting perfected and pushed to its limits, the new technology is being developed. If you take a moment to think back to the first movies and see how far the modern-day cinema has gone, you cannot help but wonder what is the next thing that will revolutionize the world of cinema?
Lately, directors are experimenting and trying to implement new technologies, like virtual and augmented reality, into their movies to take the experience of watching movies to a whole new level, and perhaps precisely that is where the movie industry is heading.