In the early eighteenth century, images moving on revolving drums and disks came as close to being a motion picture and these devices were called stroboscope and the phenakistoscope.
The first known motion picture in the world is credited to Eadweard Muybridge who photographed a moving in fast motion. Surprisingly, the object was to discover if a horse ever lifted all four feet off the ground when running. The next experiment in motion photography was in 1888 through the chronophotographic camera. In 1891, the Kinetograph was made under the direction of Thomas Edison and this camera took instantaneous photographs on celluloid strip. The picture could be viewed by one person at a time and had to be looked at through a hotel made in a large box.
The first show of the printed and projected film came in 1895 in Paris. After this, Edison developed another form of the projector and after a few years the 35 mm Edison Film became the standard film to be used worldwide. An American competitor named the American Mutoscope company also came out with a new design originally designed by someone who had worked for Edison earlier. William Dickson, who worked for Edison Laboratories, invented the first practically useful celluloid strip. During those days, celluloid blocks were thinly sliced and separated with heated plates.
In the same year 1895, projected films began to be shown to paying public. Films began to be distinguished as documentaries and comedies now with the “Actualities” of working men leaving the Lumiere Factory and comic shows like “The sprinkler sprinkled.”
The silent pictures soon came where the quality of video began to take on good shape but all the while they were projected without synchronized sound. The first thirty years or so, the films as we know it today, were “silent.” They were however accompanied by live musicians and live sound effects to make it more real.
Later on, the motion pictures became an established entertainment industry. The release of “The jazz singer” brought worldwide recognition for a sound film system. In America, the American Mutoscope company was set up to show motion pictures publicly in theaters. This was also the era when there was a lot of litigation in America over the patents of various motion picture mechanisms.
The Lumiere Company in France hired cameramen to go worldwide to shoot films which were then sent to their factory to be replicated into prints and then sold. Soon, special techniques evolved in filming including animation. From then on to this day, cinematics continue to undergo wide-sweeping changes which has not only improved the techniques of film making but also changed the film industry in a way unforeseen before.
Many photographic systems came into existence after this and in the 1950s came the widescreen movies which are still there today. The anamorphic process in its initial stages was called “Cinemascope.” This system used an aspect ratio of 2.35. Later on when the SMPTE projection standards changed, the ration changed to 2.39.
Soon, the motion picture industry settled into a 1.85 theatrical projection, especially in the United States and the United Kingdom. Other parts of Europe and Asia first operated on 1.66 but later they too settled on 1.85.