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Georges Méliès

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Early Innovators
Georges Méliès
Edwin S. Porter
D.W. Griffith
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Méliès was a former magician—his profession obviously influenced his filmmaking as he was an innovator and experimented with what could be done with a camera to create special effects, including multiple exposures and fades. He also was one of the first directors to create films using scenes edited in chronological order as a storytelling device. LaVoyage Dans La Lune (1902) is his best known work. It’s a fantastical story about a scientist, his daughter and various astronomers who went to the moon, landing into the eye of the man of the moon—an iconic image in film history.

It’s essentially the first science fiction movie ever made. While it appears primitive to modern viewers, it was revolutionary for the time, both for its subject and the camera and editing techniques, such as the first use of the "stop trick". Méliès had unique subject matters, an artist’s eye for the fantastic and an ability to manipulate the camera in new and interesting ways. Unfortunately,by 1912, his films fell out of favor and he was squeezed out of an increasingly competitive market. However, it was not until the 20s and moreover, the 60s, that his film contributions were truly recognized and revered.