Edwin S. Porter
Early in the development of film, a new generation of director recognized the artistic potential of film. Even inadvertedly, many of them used techniques that would be later considered a basic part of the language of film. Three of the most important directors are Méliès, Porter and D.W. Griffith. Méliès had his fantastical and dreamlike sets, bringing a sense of magic and wonder to the creation itself, representing the potential of film to convince its audience to suspend their disbelief. Secondly, Porter, in the short film “The Great Train Robbery,” demonstrated modern techniques (like cutting,narrative, zoom) that would not only distinguish it from the films of that era but made it the forefather of all modern movies. Thirdly, film’s first great auteur, D.W. Griffith, did more for the artistry of film than any director of that era. Controversial and visionary, he has a dubious legacy but there is no denying his contribution to film directing.