Biography of brothers Lumière | The cinematographer

The invention of the cinematograph in 1895 resulted in the form of art and entertainment more influential in the contemporary world.
When the Lumière brothers worked in the design of its cinematographer, most of the technical problems involving the filming and the exhibition of films were already determined. Without diving into lesser-known inventions, it is well known that the American Thomas Alva Edison Kinetoscope allowed already by that time viewing of motion pictures. French inventors, fundamentally, designed a system that allowed the screening of films in large spaces. But precisely for this reason they took the first step to the creation of the modern movie theaters, hundreds of thousands of people all over the world attended today daily to admire their actors and directors favorite films. It is fair to say, therefore, that with the invention of the Lumiere was born one of the industries most influential has had on culture and contemporary society.
The brothers Auguste and Louis Lumière were born in Besançon on October 19, 1862 and on October 5, 1864, respectively, in the bosom of a family of small industrial, in an era in which the capitalist bourgeoisie celebrated their first victories. Auguste was a boy shy and withdrawn, more like his mother, Jeanne Josephine Costille Parisian; Louis, on the other hand, was determined and bouncy. Undoubtedly this was quietly taking the initiative and action, while Auguste was destined to the role of comparsa submissive and obedient. They were always kept very close, at least until the birth of the cinema; then, each one would take different path.

The Lumiere's children
His father, Antoine Lumière, native of Ormoy, Haute Saône, had worked in his youth as a painter of signs for shops. He then moved to Besançon, willing to devote himself to photography. In 1870 he went with his family to Lyon and opened a Photo Studio; then he finally abandoned painting, which only cultivate as a casual pastime. He sent their children to study at the Martinière industrial school of that city. Louis health was fragile; they afflict you frequent migraines that prevented him to attend class regularly. This forced him to spend long periods at home, where he soon became acquainted with the activities of his father and cultivated his favorite hobbies: music, drawing, and sculpture, which was very well equipped. He would later attend the Conservatory of music in Lyon to study piano and composition.
Towards 1880, when made their appearance of silver bromide dry plates, which were a significant step forward in the photographic techniques, Antoine Lumière raised the possibility of producing them in series. He sold his Studio and set up a factory in the Lyons suburb of Montplaisir. However, it is precipitated in its calculations. It was not properly calibrated the many inconveniences that presented the preparation of those plates and without hardly realizing it, was involved in a host of problems which were seriously threatening the continuity of the company.
They were her children, particularly Louis, who got you trouble in 1882, when they managed to prepare a new formula, that of the plaques étiquette bleue, which were better adapted to large-scale production. The Usines Lumière were not only saved, but it experienced great growth, with an annual production of more than one million and a half of plates at the end of three years. Encarrilada the economic situation, the Lumière brothers have contracted marriage. Her future consorts would be, like, two sisters: Marguerite and Rose Wincler, wives respectively of Auguste and Louis.

The cinematographer

Interest of the Lumière brothers «animated pictures» woke up when, in 1894, his father brought from Paris the Kinetoscope in Edison, uncomfortable device that it was necessary to apply the eye to a viewer to be able to watch a movie. Both brothers thought immediately in the enormous benefits that it would be a device capable of projecting images on a screen. No doubt influenced them success in Paris from "optic Theatre» in which Emile Reynaud projected views of lively, although in bands hand-drawn.

Auguste and Louis Lumiere in 1895
For animated pictures on a screen, it was necessary to pass the band of images to a magic lantern. The greatest difficulty was devise a mechanism that, whenever a frame to happen before the goal, inmovilizase it so it could be projected. As the retinal persistence of a tenth of a second, would have to project at least ten images per second to achieve the illusion of movement. Known this, the Lumière focused on the search for a mechanism that features sixteen images per second. His idea was that, every second, the mechanism should pull the band sixteen times and immobilize it many other, and, at the same time, open or close the lens, allowing or preventing the passage of light, depending on whether the image is still or moving.
The problem was quite complex, and the brothers tested numerous mechanisms, none of them satisfactory. Finally, Louis found the solution in a night of insomnia. But it was Auguste who said when and how. "Was at the end of the year 1894. One morning I came into the room of my brother, who was not well and kept bed. He told me that he had not slept and that, in the silence of the night, had outlined the conditions that would allow us to achieve the goal that we pursued, imagining a mechanism able to solve the problem. He explained that it was necessary to print a needle capsule a movement alternating, similar to the mechanism of a sewing machines. Needles penetrate into the holes in the margins of the film and make it a boost; Finally removed and still leave the film, while sliding system returns to the original position. It was a revelation. In one night, my brother had invented the cinema.»

One of the first Cinematographers
built by the Lumière
Drawing the plans of the appliance, Louis commissioned its construction to Eugène Moisson, chief mechanic of the Usines Lumière. The first cinema, which was at the same time tomavistas and projector, was patented on February 13, 1895. Louis began to roll with him the first films, a length of 17 metres each (almost a minute of projection) that was the maximum capacity allowing the machine.
In this new work, his artistic preparation served as much. The selection of the required approach, the search for better exposure and the election of phases of the movement soon ceased to be a secret for him. Did not hesitate to apply this knowledge to the shooting of which was to be the first film in the history of cinema: the output of the Lumière factory workers.

The output of the Lumière factory workers
With this film, the cinema was presented on March 22, 1895 to attendees at a Conference on the new invention, organized for this purpose in the Société d'Encouregement à l'Industrie Nationale, in Paris. Two months later, on 10 June, Louis was a dream success in the photographic societies Congress held in Lyon by projecting the arrival of delegates in Neuville-sur-Saône, film shot the day before and which is considered the first filmed newsreel. Technical perfection and the sensational novelty of Louis films made the cinematograph is required on all alternative systems. It was time to confront directly the public, opening the first movie theatre.

The first cinema

The Lumière brothers rented a local large and airy, the Salon Indien, located in the basement of the Grand Café, very close to the Opera in Paris. The inaugural session took place on December 28, 1895. The entrance cost a franc and the show lasted half an hour. The arrival of a train at the station and the sprinkler watered, the two best films of Louis, and other ten films are screened there. The success was resounding. The news quickly toured the city, and three weeks later, the attendance reached three thousand persons.

Poster of the Lumière cinematograph
Although Louis Lumière filmed many other films, always remained faithful to the documentary and historical themes and brief episodes «comic», a notorious naivety. Their claims were never further. However, he managed to wake up authentic passions and vocations, as the of the skillful French magician Georges Méliès, who from their attendance at the inaugural session of the Salon Indien, dedicated fully to cinematography, but with a very different to the Louis spirit. Méliès fleeing both the real story and the banal, and placed the new instrument at the service of art and fantasy.
In 1903, after several years of sessions at the Salon Indien, Lumière brothers separated and took very different paths. Louis remained in front of the factory of Montplaisir. It tested for color and relief both in photography and cinema. He was the first to test the 'big screen' and the 'circular' or panoramic, anticipating in almost sixty years to the «circorama» of director and film producer Walt Disney. During the first world war it prepared a new mix to prevent oil will freeze in aviation engines. He dedicated his inventiveness to orthopedics, manufacturing a very ingenious types of artificial hand. In 1944, when he was residing in Bandol in waiting for death, that it would come four years later (on 6 of June 1948), said: "I'm happy to find still at work the best way to support the hardness and the anguish of the times in which we live".

The Lumière brothers
Auguste, on the other hand, finally abandoned the photography and film and devoted himself to cultivating biology and Physiology, disciplines that always showed a particular inclination. In 1914 she opened a large research center in Lyon, the Laboratoires Lumière, clinic included, in close collaboration with a team of prestigious doctors. It carried out studies on various diseases: cancer, tetanus, and tuberculosis greatly claimed his attention. His work filled more than twenty volumes. His works include La vie, mort et muladie, in which rose the Hippocratic theory of humours, and have of medicine it. Their points of view, quite unorthodox, were rejected by the majority of the medical class, which threw him face his self-taught and its upstart status. However, the Académie's Medicine ended up accepting it as one of its members. He lived until a very advanced age, surprising him death in Lyon on April 10, 1954.
The story of the film is the story of the creators and pioneers, but also of the cinematographic Empires. From 1900 the film began to become a competitive industry, with hard trade wars, as the patents war unleashed by Edison to monopolize the market. In these years was created the first great trust, the Motion Pictures Patents Company, as well as Universal, Paramount, Warner, Fox and Metro Goldwyn Mayer, germ, with the Columbia and Universal Artists, she was going to be in the United States the majors or big producers. Also then was born Hollywood, on the West Coast, away from the power of Edison. It soon became evident that varieties and Kinetoscope halls theatres were not suitable for film distribution channels, and in 1905 was opened the first room nickelodeon in Pittsburgh. The entrance cost five cents per film: was the beginning of a new era.

Chronology of brothers Lumière

1862Born Auguste Lumière in Besançon.
1864Louis Lumière was born in the same city.
1870They moved to Lyon, where his father mounted a Photography Studio.
1880His father opened a factory to produce in series silver bromide dry plates, but has technical difficulties.
1882Thanks to a new formula they get produce dry plates on a large scale. Economic prosperity.
1894They know the Edison Kinetoscope and begin to be interested in «animated pictures», looking for a way of projecting them on a screen. Louis sees the solution to technical problems during a night of insomnia and designed the cinematograph.
1895They patented the cinematograph and create the first movie theater in the world in the Salon Indien of the Grand Café de Paris. They are the movies the arrival of a train at the station and the sprinkler watered, among many others.
1903After several years of projections in the Salon Indien, separate and take different directions. Louis follows up with factory of material for photography and Auguste cultivates biology and physiology.
1948Death of Louis Lumière in Bandol.
1954Auguste Lumière died in Lyon.

Brothers Lumière and the cinema

Although it is taken as the date of the birth of cinema on December 28, 1895, when the brothers Louis and Auguste Lumière offered the first public display of his cinematographer, it is known that at that time other many pioneers already were projecting also images by other systems that perhaps still did not have the perfection of the French, but seeking the same goal. The forerunners were basically photographers who had a minimum infrastructure to be able to process the images obtained in their laboratories. The first projection of Lumière volunteered in the renowned Salon Indien of the Gran Café, located at number 14 of the Boulevard des Capucines in Paris. The clueless who were drawn to the poster of the show were more conspicuous than those who had received a personal invitation from the Lumière. The comments of the time indicate that viewers were amazed at those images that passed before his eyes.

The Lumière brothers
To make a cabal idea of the impression received by the public is necessary to place in that world for more than one century ago, in which there was the image in movement. Prints, pictures, photos: play the world meant to stop it, turn it into something stationary, in the memory of a gesture. The autumn picture of a street, a family group against a peaceful bourgeois garden, a vacuum sunset of summer on the edge of the sea. Just fifty years before the man had learned to mechanically reproduce reality as we see it through photographs. The birth of photography had been a real revolution for the eyes of humanity: a person had seen in a very distant country, could see it with absolute precision and accuracy, without moving from your home.
On December 28, 1895 the Lumière brothers gave one step further. In the luxurious Avenue in the French capital a small group of people that afternoon was concentrated at the door of a room where he announced the presentation of a new invention. His brief announcement said: "cinematographer Lumière." Input 1 franc". Among all the walkers, thirty-three were people who left drag by the enigmatic sign. When they sat down in the room (a few old pool filled with seats, presided over by a mute rectangle of white fabric), the lights went out. Something purred in silence, and appeared an image on the fabric. A projection. The wavering image of a train station.
For a few brief moments, nothing apparently was innovative in the eyes of the audience: in recent years are known from magic lanterns capable of projecting photographs on the walls. But this new magic hiding another magic. Suddenly, before the astonished eyes of the public, all the figures who populated the station not only trembled in the whiteness of the screen, but it also moved. Those photographed figures looked left and right waiting for the arrival of the train. Then came the crowning moment. A locomotive, advancing slowly towards the present emerged from the background of the image. That was already too: some of them, really frightened, jumped from their seats and rushed toward the exit. They did not return to them until it was assured them that the train had stopped at the station. The reality of those brief images printing had been so strong that left the local prisoners of a new excitation: had attended the birth of something never seen before, a unique spectacle that has continued to fascinate his followers from the day of his birth. Soon he ran down all Paris news, and the Salon Indien stayed small.

Frame of the arrival of a train at the station
All that did not take place, by the way, in the first session of projection (the arrival of a train at the station is a film after that date), but also for the brothers Auguste and Louis Lumière, that show wouldn't be a mixture of scientific experiment and number of fair, by great success that had. The American inventor Thomas Alva Edison had already developed, before the screening of the Lumiere, a film presenting images in movement. The difference was that their Kinetoscope was for a single Viewer, a small rotating object whose interior could contemplate the travelling fairs visitors after entering a currency. The Lumière, however, had the intuition thinking that that had to be something collective, a public ceremony. If it is the technical aspects of the invention, that was undoubtedly his greatest contribution. And this is how it has remained the film since then.
The first films of the Lumière (already cited the arrival of a train at the station, and others such as the output of the Lumière factory workers, the port exit, card game, breakfast with the baby, the arrival of delegates in Neuville-sur-Saône or blacksmiths) had a very short duration (less than one minute) and a great formal simplicity : a socket from a single point of view already served to arouse the interest and the imagination of the audience. In the same way that had happened with photography, soon was thought to send to the operators to remote parts of the world, to capture unusual realities in the eyes of the public. Exotic scenarios, distant people, events of political and social life or sports scenes: small documentaries on movement that met similar mission that photographic images, but with more spectacular.

Fiction: Méliès and Porter

The first to realize that the film not only served to capture the reality was, curiously, a magician called Georges Méliès, who had been one of the first spectators of the projection of Lumière. According to the legend, turned quickly to brothers to buy them one of their devices tomavistas. Apparently, they tried to dissuade him from his purpose, because they were convinced that documentaries moving fashion would be short-lived and that it would happen as soon as it depleted the ability to surprise the public: the film, according to the Lumière brothers, was not going to go from being a curiosity.

Georges Méliès
However, Melies didn't give up in his efforts. He built his own camera and began to roll. While filming a bland scenes in the Place de l' Opéra de Paris, his camera was blocked for more than one minute. After that period of time, vehicles and people that filled the street had changed, of course, position. When Méliès later shown filmed fragment, he found with great astonishment that "a tram had become a hearse, and the men were now women". It was born at that time the film fakery, and with it the immense capacity of cinema to make dream the Viewer.
Méliès soon applied the enhancement illusionary and evocative properties to create small fragments of imaginary fictions, inhabited by beings impossible, with extravagant decorated hand painted in which completely unreal situations were developed: trip to the Moon, the man in the rubber head, journey through the impossible... He also recreated with actors Theatre, the news that parodied the seriousness of the film documentary of his time: Méliès introduced the fiction in the heart of that invention hitherto so attached had been to immediate reality. Next to the one of Méliès in France, will be crucial to the contributions of Edwin Stratton Porter in America. Films such as rescue in a fire or the first western, assault and a train robbery (1903), introduce important innovations, such as parallel actions, foreground, and suspense, allowing to create narrative more long lines in which the action moved from one scene to another.

Frames of the man in the rubber head (1901)
and a trip to the Moon (1902), by Georges Méliès
Although the Edison Kinetoscope was already known, the trigger for the birth of the film industry in the United States were the exhibitions offered by the representative of the French brothers. Local entrepreneurs soon decided to make a common front for the development of an own industry, and thus the first producers were emerging: (1897) Biograph and Vitagraph (1898) joined the already established Edison Co. (1892). The market was promising, and to meet your demands were not only films about all kinds of topics that each company produced, they were also marketed other films arriving from Europe without any control.
In the rest of the world the first images that are displayed from 1895 are basically from the Lumière factory. In each country the representatives of the firm roll also short films of conventional issues and events unimportant, which provide native images for programming in local theaters in order to interest the public in the new show. In England highlighted the Group of photographers in Brighton: James Williamson, George Albert Smith and Alfred Collins took advantage of the contributions of his contemporary Robert William Paul to shoot scenes which differed little from the filmed by the French and Americans.

The development of the industry

Between 1895 and 1902, the pessimism of the Lumiere on film as business was basically offset by production Méliès and Edison. Edison wanted to control the business of film from the first moment as if it were his own patent. Their tenacious efforts to claim their patent rights led him to be permanently for years in court to oversee several hundreds of complaints against those who wanted to usurp their rights. This first war ended in 1908, with the implementation of the Motion Pictures Patents Company or MPPC, group in front of which the same Edison would be.
During those early years the first pillars of the film industry were designed around the world, in some countries with more strength and intention than in others. Production has been consolidated from some companies that would be indisputable engines of business in these years; speak French Pathé and Gaumont signatures, the Danish Nordisk Film and the aforementioned American means talking about quality and success. The exhibition sector began to shatter: on the one hand continued many entrepreneurs with their mobile programs, while in the big cities the barracks gave way between 1903 and 1906 to stable areas and the first arenas. Distribution, on the other hand, still lacked the prominence that eventually would have. The films were already longer and the producers could not be responsible for the marketing of its titles; This emerged at this time first intermediaries.
Meanwhile, in the bosom of the major producers began to emerge a roster of Directors, operators and actors, generating a professional current that would be expanding in terms of its facets as the production of films were complicated. Along with Edwin S. Porter and the Frenchmen Louis Feuillade and Ferdinand Zecca, in all countries were many directors who came to cinema by chance and which matured on their own learning. Already talking about cinema as cinema (from seven Arts manifesto made public by Ricciotto Canudo in 1911), arise the first stars of the screen, promotion develops, consolidates the cinematographic language and applies the format of film as a standard measure for films.
In Europe, Italian cinema search spectacular in their stories (the last days of Pompeii, 1907) and wheel lavish classical epics such as Quo Vadis? (1913), Enrico Guazzoni, or Cabiria (1914), de Giovanni Pastrone. French cinema returns his gaze on the quality of the texts of the great authors and the interpretation of their most acclaimed actors. Boost these projects the producer will be responsible Film d'art, founded by a Parisian bankers, that movies should be like the assassination of the Duke of guise (1908). In this same direction moves Spanish cinema, basing its production in comedies and dramas of great literary tradition, surprising that in a cinema with scarce economic resources, thematically looking herself, had dared to participate in the life of Christopher Columbus and his discovery of America (1916), a co-production with France of excessive budget (one million pesetas of the time).
As in the old continent most of the production he looked towards the theatre, Americans strengthened the profitability of their economic efforts, establishing a range of entertainment which far exceeded the cinematographies of the rest of the world works. Since the early years of the 20th century, the development of the film industry confirms the ephemeral life of many firms and the growth of those who seriously believe in the present and the future. American producers opted for the California land to roll many of his films (Hollywood begins to run as from 1907) and eventually get rid of the control of Edison.

Consolidation and creativity

You can say that to 1915 the cinema pioneer stage left over and is already fully entering another creative e industrial, which would develop the fundamentals of film as art and entertainment. Which in principle was an intuitive work of individual efforts become since then a business endeavor in which commercial interests would have the leading role to be expected in a business that it was increasing.
The years ranging from 1915 to 1927, from D. W. Griffith's the birth of a nation until the jazz singer, the first talkie, constitute an extraordinarily fruitful and decisive period for the history of cinema. In United States, arise the westerns of Thomas Harper Ince, the comic film of Mack Sennett with their flying pies, the great epics of Cecil B. de Mille, the unforgettable figures of Harold Lloyd and Charlot, and one of the masters of the world cinematography, D. W. Griffith. Sequences, parallel actions, variety of plans, use of light with dramatic effects: Griffith collects previous discoveries and creates a language that represents the beginning of a new stage, that of cinema as spectacle.
Simultaneously, the film becomes one of the most cultivated by the artistic avant-garde European artistic expression media. In Germany, the expressionist school creates a film completely away from the realism of the American cinema, with works of fantastic theme and a very particular visual language marked by a strange scenery (angles and planes, slanted walls and unusual architectures), a gestures and exaggerated makeup and violent contrasts of lighting, which finds its paradigm in the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari Robert Wiene (1919) , and in the German works of two great directors, F. W. Murnau Nosferatu, the vampire (1922) and Fritz Lang, the Nibelungen (1923-1924) and Metropolis (1926).

Metropolis (1926) by Fritz Lang
and Eisenstein Battleship Potemkin (1925)
After the triumph of the Soviet Revolution, the Russian artistic avant-garde uses new expressive ways as the film to spread the new ideology. After an initial phase marked by documentaries of realistic aesthetics and production of Dziga Vertov (creator of the "Cine-eye", whose works dispense with the script, the interpretation and decor), from 1921 Russian filmmakers reconstructed revolutionary episodes of great complexity. The largest contribution of Soviet cinema occurs in the field of Assembly, with the creation of new spaces, times, relationships and meanings through the bold juxtaposition of planes. At least two big names should be cited: Vsiévolod Ilariónovich Pudovkin and Sergei Mijáilovich Eisenstein, this last author of a mythical film, Battleship Potemkin (1925), in which stands out the sequence of the ladder of Odessa, shot with 170 planes and masterful use of foreground and mount.
With the release of the jazz singer Alan Crossland (October 6, 1927) begins the era of the sound in the cinema. This movie Sung left the audience speechless and caused a revolution in cinematic expressive modes: players should learn to speak correctly, and a serious crisis fell on the figures of the silent film. Keaton, Von Stroheim, Griffith and Chaplin, among others, signed writings denouncing the new system. Soon, however, realized that they could not oppose progress: Charles Chaplin and Sergei Eisenstein would sound films, while Keaton and Von Stroheim is passed to the interpretation. To this first great revolution followed the emergence of color, cinemascope, and the separation of the camera microphone tomavistas (allowing recompose a sound different from the filming of the study), which would lay the foundations of the cinema of our time.
Extracted from the website: Biografías y Vidas
Biographies of historical figures and personalities

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