All right, now we’re changing eras. Or, at least, eras within the eras. Since we’re still in the silent era. But now we’re getting into the one-reel era.
If you’ve studied silent film, and have gotten into this era, the one name you’re going to hear all the time is D.W Griffith. Academically speaking, he’s the one person people use as the example of film growing from five minutes to feature length. Mostly because he was responsible for pioneering certain camera techniques and narrative devices. (Either that or he’s the only one whose films are left standing who used them.)
He started making movies in 1908, and began with this one, The Adventures of Dollie. (He also did act in a movie before this, though. Called Rescued from an Eagles Nest, where he, no joke, fights with an eagle who steals a baby. It’s awesome.) But, from here on through his first features, he made what must have been a hundred short films. And they’re really great examples of staging, storytelling, and even basic expansion of narrative. (more…)