From Film to Video


In 1888, the invention of roll film was perfected. George Eastman had created a technology brilliant enough to capture pictures in motion. It wasn’t long after that people started having their fun with it.

By 1913, Hollywood had begun to grow. It’s often forgotten how convincing cinema was when it first hit the public. For instance, a group of early filmmakers had produced the moving image of a train coming towards the camera. When audiences first saw this, they jump away from the screen, honestly frightened.

By 1982, Sony had developed the camcorder. Motion picture anyone could own and create. One of the great aspects to this was the rise of independent films. However, this also lead to a rise in what I like to call;

Capturing the Coincidental

This is quite opposite of what I’ve just discussed. Rather than using motion picture as an art form, it’s utilized to capture real events. Sometimes these events are nothing more than another family video. But sometimes, they’re coincidentally significant.


Take the Rodney King beatings. What was a coincidence for George Holliday (the person who recorded it) became a worthwhile piece of film for the media. Thanks to television, the recordings were witnessed by a great deal of the public.

Though it isn’t a piece of art, the video had left an impact just as powerful as art’s capability. The coincidental capture was so strong, it stirred up the 1992 Los Angeles Riots.

Filming the every day has caught what might have been lost forever. Take 9/11 and the amount of footage that continues to haunt America. Or, more recently, the ISIS videos that are too unbelievable to look away from.

Just as movies have had an emotion effect on us, there’s something awe-inspiring about seeing what we’d never wish to experience ourselves.

Hollywood’s Death and Reality’s Rebirth

Steven Spielberg has made the prediction that Hollywood will soon lose its charm and deteriorate. His reasoning has to do with the way large film companies are producing the most effective results of modern technology. Then cashing in. Most understand that movies have lost certain charm.

This has something to do with “capturing the coincidental”. Art moves us by moderately allowing us to forget reality. The latest viral video moves us an instant taste of reality. This is usually a sort of shock or comedic scenario. Whatever it is, we don’t see it coming. We’re blind enough to be moved because a viral video is most likely something we wouldn’t see in our own lives.

We’re blind enough to be moved because the viral video is most likely something we wouldn’t witness in our own lives. This also explains why we want to see more.

With the digital age, our perspective of reality is being altered. One simple reason being that we’re seeing what we maybe shouldn’t witness. Just as how Hollywood once intrigued us, reality is surprising us each and every day.


As a screenwriting major, it’s daunting to believe movies are losing their charm. Therefore, I believe they will get that charm back. But as time continues to change, films will eventually have to as well.

We have a new demographic that’s uninterested in Orson Welle’s classics. Rather, they’re gripped by what film hasn’t yet done. As a terrible example, the ISIS videos.

It’s going to be more difficult for filmmakers of the future than those of the past. Still, I have great hope for cinema even through all the doubts.


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