December 8 1861
|Died||January 21, 1938 (age 76) |
|Resting place||Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise, in Paris France, Plot: Division 64|
Georges Méliès (1861 – 1938) was a French filmmaker famous for leading many technical and narrative developments in the earliest cinema. He was born in Paris, where his family manufactured shoes.
Méliès was very innovative in the use of special effects. He accidentally discovered the stop trick, or substitution, in 1896, and was one of the first filmmakers to use multiple exposures, time-lapse photography, dissolves, and hand-painted color in his films. Because of his ability to seemingly manipulate and transform reality with the cinematography, Méliès is sometimes referred to as the "Cinemagician."
Before making films, he was a stage magician at the Theatre Robert-Houdin. In 1895, he became interested in film after seeing a demonstration of the Lumière brothers' camera. In 1897, he established a studio on a rooftop property in Montreuil. Actors performed in front of a painted set as inspired by the conventions of magic and musical theater. He directed 531 films between 1896 and 1914, ranging in length from one to forty minutes. In subject matter, these films are often similar to the magic theater shows that Méliès had been doing, containing "tricks" and impossible events, such as objects disappearing or changing size.
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