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Research Papers on the History of Film

Research papers on the history of film can look at any genre of film and write a report on it. Our paper writers will custom write any project on film you need explicated. Below we illustrate how topics can be discussed on the rise of the documentary or the history of annimation. Some topics we suggest on the history of film include the following:

  • The early technology of film
  • The history of each genre of film
  • Choose one film and indicate how it is an example of how film developed during that era

The history of film dates to the invention of moving pictures in the 1890s. Technology limited the novelty of film to short, silent motion pictures about a minute long, often shown in storefront nickelodeons. It took about a decade before motion pictures developed into an entertainment industry, with technology allowing for both longer films that told a story. Around 1900, filmmakers began introducing editing techniques to produce narrative.

History of FilmFrenchman Georges Meilies operated on the first motion picture studios, famous for his 1902 film “A Trip to the Moon.” In the United States, the Edison Company produced many early films, including “The Great Train Robbery.” Techniques such as double exposures and reverse motion were developed around the turn of the 20th century.

The next great transformation in the history of film occurred in 1927, when sound was first added to motion pictures. The Jazz Singer, starring Al Jolson, was the first to synchronize dialogue and music with film. However, the technology forced film to temporarily abandon many of the experimental techniques developed in the silent era, producing static set pieces. In the 1930s and 1940s, Hollywood began to dominate the global film industry, although significant films came from other places, notably Great Britain. The history of film is often a reflection of the 20th century, with technology and changing morals affecting the types of motion pictures produced.

Example of the History of Film - The Rise of the Documentary

We are living in times that closely resemble the 1960’s.  The United States is engaged in a controversial war being led by a divisive Commander-in-Chief. The nation is in a tailspin as Americans learn to live with changes brought by the “New Economy.”  Corporations are once again the symbol of greedy capitalists as CEO’s are paraded in handcuffs amidst charges of fraud.  In these difficult times, politically-charged filmmaking is alive and well, if not widely acclaimed. 

Michael Moore’s recent successes with Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11 seem to be spurring the public’s interest in documentaries.  Michael Moore leads the pack of these opinionated filmmakers, winning an Oscar for his disruptive Bowling for Columbine.  He is not alone in his efforts, though.  Other filmmakers are trying to awaken Americans from their daze and disinterest.  Some of their works include Outfoxed by Robert Greenwald, Uncovered: the Whole Truth about the Iraq War also by Robert Greenwald, Bush’s Brain by James Moore and Wayne Slater, and Unprecedented: the 2000 Presidential Election by Richard Ray Perez and Joan Sekler.  The Academy Award-winning documentary on the Vietnam War from 1974, Hearts and Minds, is also being shown in theaters in some parts of the country once again.

Some box office hits, such as Primary Colors, Wag the Dog, and the recent remake of The Manchurian Candidate, provide a fictional slant to politics.  However, documentaries remain the most prominent format for politically-motivated movies.  Given the current state of affairs, documentary filmmakers will have many opportunities to continue entertaining viewers while trying to give them another point of view to consider.     

Example of the History of Film - Animation

The 1920s proved to be a watershed period for the burgeoning animation industry. An animator named Otto Messmer developed the first hugely popular animated cartoon character, Felix the Cat. Felix the Cat initiated the trend of cartoon characters that had discernible characteristics, dispositions, and personality traits. This allowed for new depth in the formulation of the narrative scope of animated cartoons.
Also during this decade, several animation studios began to experiment with the use of sound in tandem with animated drawings. One highly significant figure in animation history, Walt Disney, would receive a huge career boost by implementing sound in his cartoons. Indeed, the most significant development to occur during this period was the emergence of Walt Disney as a popular animator.

Although he had meager beginnings in the animation world, Walt Disney gained an enormous advantage with the 1928 release of the cartoon “Steamboat Willie,” which paired a musical soundtrack and rudimentary sound effects with an enjoyable animated cartoon. Banking on this success, Walt Disney formed a studio that would prove to be the key catalyst in the furtherance of animation as a technology and as an art (Lears 30). Over the next 50 years, Disney and his studio would dominate animation, developing a dizzying array of innovations, including the use of the sound and color in animation, the production of feature-length animated films, the use of storyboards to increase the narrative complexity of animated films, and the use of multi-plane camerawork to engender increased realism and fluidity in animated action.

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