The day the cinema was created – level 2
In 1891, Thomas Edison constructed the first version of a camera. It was able to shoot films, but only one person could see them in a special machine. It wasn’t possible to project them on a screen. Edison didn’t think that his camera was a very important invention, and he didn’t pay $150 for an international patent.
The Lumière brothers were inspired by his idea and improved it. They created a camera which could shoot and project new films.
On March 22, 1895, people could watch the first film. It was in Paris. The film was 45 seconds long. It showed workers who were leaving a factory. The people liked the film very much.
Then the Lumière brothers began making short documentaries about everyday life. People could see the documentaries if they paid one franc.
Only 35 people came to the first public performance. They were fascinated. In a single week, the interest in these short films was so big that there were 20 performances a day, and the profits went up to 2,500 francs.
The success was very big, but the Lumière brothers didn’t believe that the camera was something special. They didn’t believe in long term success. They focused their work more on color photography.
Difficult words: shoot (to make a film), project (to show a film on a screen), invention (a new machine), performance (a meeting where somebody shows a film or performance to many people), term (a period of time).
What do you think were the major motivations of the Lumière brothers in continuing to make short films despite their initial lack of belief in long term success?
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