French illusionist and filmmaker Georges Méliès has contributed a lot to the technical aspects of filmmaking. He has made more than 500 films in less than 2 decades. Snippets of his work can be seen in the Martin Scorsese Academy Award nominated movie, Hugo. Learn more after the break.
Before Georges Méliès dabbled into filmmaking, he was a magician. In one of his films entitled ‘The Vanishing Lady’, he recreates one of his magic tricks by utilizing the jump-cut – a technique in filmmaking wherein shots of the same subject are taken at slightly different angles. In Martin Scorsese’s latest movie Hugo, some excerpts of Méliès’ films can be seen. One of the films featured in the movie is A Trip to the Moon, released in 1902 in black and white. Hand-painted color prints of the film were also made available. You can view a clip of the film below.
Méliès experimented with techniques and came up with different ideas to make his films interesting. He worked with multiple exposures, dissolves, time-lapse, and even hand-painted some of his works. Keeping the audience interested was something that he had to keep in mind since sound was not part of moviemaking in those days. When his films were shown to an audience, a live band would provide the music. Of course, keeping things interesting was probably something that came easy to a magician, such as himself.
Released in 2011, Hugo is a family movie based on the novel by Brian Selznick entitled The Invention of Hugo Cabret. The film focuses on a boy and his father who is the owner of a toy shop. Hugo is nominated for 11 Academy Awards including Best Director and Best Picture.
Why not try and make your own Georges Méliès inspired silent movie with the LomoKino? Don’t forget to share your movies with the community! Sources for this article include Laughing Squid and Hopeless Bleak Despair.