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“Yellow Bean’s Tribute to the Unsung Heroes of Filmmaking and Animation”

By Zanobia Ilyas on February 4, 2017 in Blogs
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It has been quite a long journey. For the past 139 years of motion picture, men and women from all over the world have made remarkable contributions along the way. What started as a $25000/ bet in 1877 to clear the confusion of whether a galloping horse had all four feet off the ground at the same time, is now a major source of bread and butter and marvelous adventures for film professionals.Muybridge_race_horse_animated

Everyone associated with the world of motion picture proudly owns their creations. They work tirelessly to get a job done.

We at Yellow Bean are no different. We leave no stone unturned to ensure excellence and we take pride in what we do. Equipped with the latest post-production techniques, our silent and humble but brilliant and creative boys and girls (read vfx artists and animators!) patiently work inside their darkrooms to put all the razzle-dazzle in the final version of a production. Despite our sophistication and advancement in editing, animation and vfx, we have not forgotten our humble beginnings.

In reality, motion picture is animation. And the history of animation is older than the history of film. Surprisingly, our originator existed some 7000 years ago. The earliest model of animation dates back to 5000 BC. It was a hand-made animation of a goat hopping towards a tree to eat its leaves, which was painted on an earthen goblet found in southeastern Iran.

Vase_animation

Kudos to the world’s first animator!

From then onwards, there have been numerous artists, inventors, photographers and filmmakers continuing his/her legacy.

To mention them all here in one blog post would be an impossible endeavor, but to look back at some of the earliest vfx, animations and cartoons is tantamount to paying tribute to all those creative geniuses spread across the timeline of human civilization. All the films mentioned below are in the public domain. So, watch, learn and be mesmerized!

The Execution of Mary Stuart (1895) – Produced by Thomas Edison, this short film which was 18 seconds long is considered to be the first ever to contain editing and visual effects. Director Alfred Clark hired all trained actors for this film which shows the beheading of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, played by Mrs. Robert L. Thomas, who was replaced by a mannequin as the executioner raised his sword for the “final cut”.

 

A Trip to the Moon (1902) – Georges Méliès was a one man gang. Apart from being a magician, an artist, set designer, an innovative filmmaker and a visionary, Méliès was also one of the first independent filmmakers who fought for the rights of his fellow professionals a century ago. His film A Trip to the Moon contains elements of science fiction. The 12 minutes long film foretold mankind’s space missions and lunar landing.

 

Humourous Phases of Funny Faces (1906) – Written, produced and directed by J. Stuart Blackton, this film is considered to be the first animation recorded on film.

Fantasmagorie (1908) – Director Émile Cohl, a French caricaturist, animator and cartoonist, Fantasmagorie is regarded as the first animated cartoon by film historians. This cartoon film was made up of 700 drawings.

The Jester (Narren-Grappen) (1910) – This film is of unknown origin. It was distributed by Firma Van Duinen in the Netherlands. It starred an unknown actress as the smoking Jester performing various mind bending tricks. Consisting of three scenes, the film has some of the most charming visual effects which had been pioneered earlier by Georges Méliès. To this day, 117 years after its release, Narren-Grappen is a real treat to watch and will leave you spellbound.

 

About the Author

Zanobia IlyasView all posts by Zanobia Ilyas >
Filmmaker | Writer | Sci-Fi aficionado | Cat lover | Foregone era Music/TV shows addict

3 Comments

  1. Richy February 4, 2017 Reply

    Very nice article and some of these early animations are quite extraordinary.

  2. naheed February 5, 2017 Reply

    Excellent andcwell researched read, Zanobia. This is informative to learn that animation is 5000- 7000 year and it is originated in Iran.

  3. Bushra February 23, 2017 Reply

    Well researchered and a great read, well done Z

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