While looking up something else on YouTube, I came across Santa Claus, the world's first Christmas movie! This British silent film, a little over a minute long, was made in 1898 and was directed by George Albert Smith, a "stage hypnotist, psychic, magic lantern lecturer, Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, inventor" and noted film pioneer. It was considered a technical marvel in its time and definitely worth a watch.
Michael Brooke of BFI National Archive reports that the movie had "considerable technical ambition and accomplishment for its period," and that it "uses pioneering visual effects in its depiction of a visit from St. Nicholas." He also writes that it is "believed to be the cinema's earliest known example of parallel action and, when coupled with double-exposure techniques that Smith had already demonstrated in the same year's The Mesmerist (1898) and Photographing a Ghost (1898), the result is one of the most visually and conceptually sophisticated British films made up to then."
In this picture you see two children being placed in bed by a maid, lights are then shut off. Santa Claus enters the room from the fireplace and proceeds to trim the tree. He then fills the stockings that were previously hung on the mantle by the children. After walking backward and surveying his work, he suddenly darts at the fireplace and disappears up the chimney. This film surprises everyone and leaves them to wonder how old St. Nicholas disappears.
Both rookie filmmakers and analog die-hards alike will find something to love in Danny Plotnick’s new coffee table book ‘Super 8: An Illustrated History.’ Newcomers will whisper a quiet “thank you” before tucking in their iPhones tonight after they’re introduced to the laborious process that their filmmaking ancestors went through, from buying expensive film stock […]
In Rob Walker’s fantastic newsletter, The Art of Noticing, he recommends an activity called “Narrate A Piece of Quotidian Footage” which is from his book: Basically, find or make a short, random, totally banal video of people or objects moving around; study it closely; and invent a potential voiceover that makes it seem as if […]
Parasite director Bong Joon-ho drew out beautiful storyboards before rolling film. He’s combined his drawings and all of the movie’s dialogue into Parasite: A Graphic Novel in Storyboards coming out in May. In the videos above and below, Through the Viewfinder compared the storyboards and the scenes from the actual film. (via Kottke)
With everything happening in the last few months, we all but guarantee no one has been thinking about their taxes. That’s understandable — because, beyond all of our current concerns, nobody enjoys the whole tax filing process during even the best of times. Unfortunately, Benjamin Franklin was right — taxes truly are as inescapable as […]
Most parents know that giving their kids educational toys and other projects will expand their minds. But what many might not realize is that physical play is actually building their mental abilities as well. Studies are still in beginning stages, but some early research supports the theory that kids who get the chance to get […]
Not every house has a fireplace. And to be honest, not every homeowner wants to deal with the hassles and maintenance of a fireplace. But it’s tough to argue that the intoxicating glow and dance of a licking flame isn’t mesmerizing, not to mention all of a fire’s practical uses. For those looking to enjoy […]