The Academy Awards ceremony is over and the Oscar winner are known. The 87th ceremony started with host’s Neil Patrick Harris (parts by Jack Black and Anna Kendrick) spectacular opening ode “Moving pictures”. And while the song had witty references to current celebrities and habits and the marketing concept behind the movie industry, the essence of it is what it is all about: “Cuz all of it is for moving pictures, ….Why do we love them? “
Indeed, why do we love moving pictures? According to the song lyrics it is because “Moving pictures shape who we are.”
The history of moving pictures started long before the invention of the film and referred to a series of images giving an impression of movement when viewed in rapid succession. The first time the term was officially used in the English language, was in the first British daily newspaper Daily Courant. In its 9th May, 1709 issue, “The most Famous, Artificial and Wonderful Moving Picture that came from Germany” was presented.
With the patent of the first machine to show animated pictures or movies in 1867, the term moving pictures started referring to cinematographic films and was shortly equivalent to the more suitable motion pictures.
The first written evidence to describe the new cinematographic process comes from the 3rd October, 1896. It was Queen Victoria to describe the experience in a letter: “We were all photographed..by the new cinematograph process, which makes moving pictures by winding off a reel of films.” The filming process was not only reserved for royalties, as in the next year, Sketch – a journal for art reports on the prices to see moving pictures of a fight: “One guinea and half-a-guinea are being asked for stalls to see the moving pictures of the Corbett–Fitzsimmons fight at the Empress Theatre.” The fight was a 100 minutes long documentary movie.
The world’s first colour moving picture dates back to 1902 and was taken by pioneer Edward Raymond Turner from London who patented his colour process on 22 March 1899.
The term Movies appeared in the first years of the 20th century and by then the movie industry was already seriously hitting the US masses, as Springfield (Massachusetts) Sunday Republican reports that: “The average child only goes to the ‘Movies’ twice a month.”
In the following century the movie industry went beyond Hollywood and grew to influence the world to yesterday’s 87th Oscars Moving Pictures Show. Unfortunately there was not an epic selfie to break the internet, but yes, moving pictures came to life and “They may not be real life, but they’ll show you what real life means”.