Preceding film by thousands of years, plays and dances had elements common to film: scripts, sets, costumes, production, direction, actors, audiences,storyboards, and scores. Much terminology later used in film theory and criticism applied, such as mise en scene (roughly, the entire visual picture at any one time). Moving visual andaural images were not recorded for replaying as in film.
Anthemius of Tralles used an early type of camera obscura in the 6th century The camera obscura was further described by Alhazen in his Book of Optics (1021), and later near the year 1600, it was perfected by Giambattista della Porta. Light is inverted through a small hole or lens from outside, and projected onto a surface or screen,creating a moving image, but it is not preserved in a recording.
In the 1860s, mechanisms for producing two-dimensional drawings in motion were demonstrated with devices such as the zoetrope, mutoscope andpraxinoscope. These machines were outgrowths of simple optical devices (such as magic lanterns) and would display sequences of still pictures at sufficient speed for the images on the pictures toappear to be moving, a phenomenon called persistence of vision. Naturally the images needed to be carefully designed to achieve the desired effect, and the underlying principle became the basis for the development of film animation.
With the development of celluloid film for still photography, it became possible to directly capture objects in motion in real time. An 1878 experiment by Englishphotographer Eadweard Muybridge in the United States using 24 cameras produced a series of stereoscopic images of a galloping horse, is arguably the first "motion picture," though it was not called by this name. This technology required a person to look into a viewing machine to see the pictures which were separate paper prints attached to a drum turned by a handcrank. The pictures were shown at avariable speed of about 5 to 10 pictures per second, depending on how rapidly the crank was turned. Commercial versions of these machines were coin operated.
By the 1880s the development of the motion picture camera allowed the individual component images to be captured and stored on a single reel, and led quickly to the development of a motion picture projector to shine light through the processed andprinted film and magnify these "moving picture shows" onto a screen for an entire audience. These reels, so exhibited, came to be known as "motion pictures". Early motion pictures were static shots that showed an event or action with no editing or other cinematic techniques.
Ignoring Dickson's early sound experiments (1894), commercial motion pictures were purely visual art through the late 19thcentury, but these innovative silent films had gained a hold on the public imagination. Around the turn of the 20th century, films began developing a narrative structure by stringing scenestogether to tell narratives. The scenes were later broken up into multiple shots of varying sizes and angles. Other techniques such as camera movement were realized as effective ways to portray a story on film.Rather than leave the audience in silence, theater owners would hire a pianist or organist or a fullorchestra to play music fitting the mood of the film at any given moment. By the early 1920s, most films came with a prepared list of sheet music for this purpose, with complete film scores being composed for major productions.
The rise of European cinema was interrupted by the outbreak of WorldWar I when the film industry in United States flourished with the rise of Hollywood, typified most prominently by the great innovative work of D.W. Griffithin The Birth of a Nation (1914) and Intolerance (1916) . However in the 1920s, European filmmakers such as Sergei Eisenstein, F. W. Murnau, and Fritz Lang, in many ways inspired by the meteoric war-time progress of film through Griffith, along...