Previous: Screens & 2D Graphics: Crash Course Computer Science #23
Next: Coyote and Raven, American Tricksters: Crash Course World Mythology #22



View count:417
Last sync:2017-08-10 16:40
Sometimes things in film history are hard to talk about, as Craig will now demonstrate in this episode of Crash Course Film History.

Produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios:

Want to know more about Craig?

The Latest from PBS Digital Studios:


Want to find Crash Course elsewhere on the internet?
Facebook -
Twitter -
Tumblr -
Support Crash Course on Patreon:

CC Kids:
(opening music)
Craig Benzine: It was time for George Melies. Boom.

(off-screen): Intro..Woooooo
(off-screen, singing, John and Katherine Green): Do-do-doo-do 

Benzine: (singing) Boo-doo-doo-do-do-da-doo.
(lengthy pause)

(film projector sound, theme music)

Benzine: This powerful medium sits in a sweet pot of--(sticks out tongue)

(Katherine off-screen laughter)

John: Sweet pot.

Benzine: Sweet pot.  

As filmmakers started to experiment with narrative film, they began to establish a language through different editing techniques, and (forgetting words)... camera... movements.

I'm going to do that again.

The Lumiere brothers had lots of experience in business and engineering, manufacturing, and...(forgetting words)

(robot voice) Photography. (normal voice) Okay.

He thought of motion pictures as an add-on to phonographs which is... (messes up)

He thought of mo... (messes up)

We're going to get this guys. So everybody settle down. Everybody just calm down. We're going to get this. 

It's inescapable. Like, FBI (messes up) It's inescapable, like F (messes up) Oh. 

Not many films are shot at (messes up, babbles)

In 1894, a Canadian entrepreneur named Andrew Holland opened the first kinetoscope parlor in New York City, charging twenty-five cents...Pah!

(John laughing off-screen)

Benzine: Pah! Yeah. 

Then, holy (bleep) he reverse-engineered the animatograph, so it worked as its own camera too!

(laughter off-screen) 

Benzine: Yeah. 

Not many films are actually filmed on film these days. Anymore.

Even though Edison and Dickson originally hoped to synchronize the sound from the phonograph to images in the kinetoscope (big breath) they never quite figured out how to do it. 

Now at the very beginning of history before all of these innovations existed, films (babbles) started out as a collection of still images viewed one after another in rapid succession which creates the illusion of motion! 

One take wonder! 

The camera was hard to move and they all(messes up, babbles)...a single-viewer exhibition device that you would use to watch the kine-kame-ha(babbles), kinetograph films.

The idea was to create a coin-operated entertainment machine that produced images to go along with music or speech that played. from. a. I'm gonna do it again. 

And from that trick came an art form that's a blend of literature, drama, faf-hava-fruit, and music. 

John(off-screen): Faf-hava-fruit?

Benzine: Yeah, that's French.

If another frame appears within that fifth of a second, your brain won't register the black space between them. You'll just perceive that im-(babbles)

Before Edison and his lab had even built their viewing machine, he applied for two preliminary claims with the US patent office- one for the plans for the device.. one for his plans for his device... for the device, and one for.. for its name. 

You've probably experienced this concept at some point(2:32)


Website Security Test