When was the First Film Made?

Who don’t watch to love films? There is merely a short number of people who don’t watch films. On the contrary, film lovers not only watch films but also do research about films. If you are one of them these common questions also may arise in your mind like, ‘When was the first film made?’ ‘What is the name of first film?’ or ‘What Was the First Movie Ever Made?’

These questions may be easy to ask but it is not so easy to answer exactly. The reason is in 1880 many people tried to make films individually. Some of them were successful, some were not. As many people at the same time gave effort to make films, it is tough to mention one name.

In the late 1880’s various people began experimenting with photo, blending them together to give the illusion of a motion picture.  But the technology and difficulty to capture that sort of video made motion pictures rare. No single film is the first film. Even so, here are a couple of the very first films.

  • The Horse In Motion (1878)
  • Roundhay Garden Scene (1888)
  • Arrival of a Train (1895)

These 3 films can be said undoubtedly the earliest film ever in the history of film making. But I must say, on December 28, 1895, in Paris, the Lumiere brothers commercialized ten short films for the very first time. This date is considered to be the first successful display of a motion picture by projection. Although there were some precedents for capturing and displaying moving images with the help of cameras, the quality was either low or none of them could have a global impact like the Lumiere cinematography.

Soon after this incident, a lot of film production companies were formed all over the world and within just a decade, the film overcame its innovation and became a huge universal entertainment industry.

The early films were shot in black and white, less than one minute long, and silent. From the 1890 onward, several shots, several minutes long, were made. The first rotating camera was made in 1898 to take panning shots. The first film studio was built in 1896.

Birth of Film & Evolution: A Chronology

For an identical clear concept, I am giving below a chronological order from the birth of film to evolution of silent film. Have a look…

1895, December 28- Lumieres’ first public showing of Cinematographe films at Grand Cafe, Boulevard des Capucines, Paris. Max Skladanowsky completes Bioskop projector. American Mutoscope and Biograph Company founded; originally known as the K.M.C.D. Syndicate.

1897 May- Edison begins patent infringement suits. Fire at film showing at Bazar de la Charite takes 140 lives. Edwin Porter joins Edison’s company.

1900- At the International Exposition in Paris, prototypical color and sound film systems are demonstrated. Danish telephone engineer Valdemar Poulsen patents “telegraphone,” a wire recording system.

1901- First transatlantic wireless transmission, by Marconi from England to Newfoundland. Queen Victoria’s funeral reported via film. Fessenden begins experiments in voice transmission.

1903- Porter’s the Life of an American Fireman and The Great Train Robbery. Biograph moves to an indoor studio on New York’s East 14th Street.

1907- Griffith begins work in film as an actor.

1908, June- Emile Cohl (in France) and Winsor McKay (in the U.S.) begin work in animation. Pathe leads industry in abandoning outright sales of film in favor of rentals. Film d’art movement begins in France. American Biograph hires D. W. Griffith.

1909- The Motion Picture Patents Company is founded, soon followed by the General Film Company (distributors). Patent wars begin. The first color film was shown at the Palace Theater in London.

1910- Griffith and his company begin wintering in Los Angeles. The locus of major film activity shifts from New York to Los Angeles within the next few years.

1912- Armstrong’s regenerative circuit developed. Warner brothers begin producing films; Fox company and Universal formed. British Board of Film Censors formed.

1915- Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation signals beginning of new period in film history. Vachel Lindsay’s The Art of the Moving Picture published.

1917- UFA formed in Germany. Kuleshov’s workshop begins in Soviet Union.

1919- United Artists formed. Star system dominant in film industry.

1920 – America began to dominates world film industry. Immigration of filmmakers to Hollywood starts. KDKA begins broadcasting in Pittsburgh.

1925- London Film Society founded; film study develops in France. Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin released.

1927- British Cinematograph Act provides for a quota system. Roxy Theatre opens in New York. On April Fox Movie tone News begins, using sound-on-film system. CBS formed. NBC’s Blue network begins broadcasting.

1928- RKO Radio Pictures Corporation formed by G.E./Westinghouse/R.C.A. to exploit R.C.A.’s sound patents in film. Massive transition to sound leads to increased influence of banking interests in film production.

1929- Hitchcock’s Blackmail, first British dialogue film released.

1930- Production Code instituted, but laxly enforced. Necessity of foreign-language versions for export results in second wave of influx of European talent to Hollywood. Clair’s Sous les toits de Paris, first French sound film. Disney’s first Silly Symphony. U.S. brings antitrust suit against RCA and its patent allies. Grierson, Rotha, Wright, and Jennings involved in British documentary movement.

Within eleven years of film inception, the film overcame its innovations and became a huge entertainment industry. At first, it was the only moving scene created by a private enterprise, but later it became a long-range industrial product with multi-scenes manufactured by a large company. From the 1900s onwards, producers began to make narrative films with basic editing. At present in 2020 the development of film industry reached absolutely an unbelievable advanced level.