• First still image

    First still image
    First still photograph taken, using a glass plate technique Claude Niepce's photograph the View from a Window at Le Gras took nearly eight hours to expose.
  • Henry Fox

    Henry Fox Talbot makes an important advancement in photograph production with the introduction of negatives on paper - as opposed to glass. Also around this time it became possible to print photographic images on glass slides which could be projected using magic lanterns.
  • Intermittent Mechanisms

    Important in the development of motion pictures was the invention of intermittent mechanisms - particularly those used in sewing machines.
  • Praxinoscope

    Emile Reynaud introduces the Praxinoscope. Similar in design to Horner's Zoetrope, the illusion of movement produced by the Praxinoscope was viewed on mirrors in the centre of the drum rather than through slots on the outside.
  • Eadweard Muybridge

    Eadweard Muybridge achieves success after five years of trying to capture movement. Muybridge was asked, in 1873, by the ex-governor of California - Leland Stanford to settle a bet as to whether horses hooves left the ground when they galloped. He did this by setting up a bank of twelve cameras with trip-wires connected to their shutters, each camera took a picture when the horse tripped its wire. Muybridge developed a projector to present his finding. He adapted Horner's Zoetrope to produce hi
  • Etienne Jules Marey

    Etienne Jules Marey, inspired by Muybridge's animal locomotion studies, begins his own experiments to study the flight of birds and other rapid animal movements . The result was a photographic gun which exposed 12 images on the edge of a circular plate.
  • George Eastman

    George Eastman devises a still camera which produces photographs on sensitised paper which he sells using the name Kodak.
  • Edison and Dickson

    Edison and Dickson build a studio on the grounds of Edison's laboratories in New Jersey, to produce films for their kinetoscope. The Black Maria was ready for film production at the end of January.
  • The Lumière family

    The Lumière family is the biggest manufacturer of photographic plates in Europe A Local kinetoscope exhibitor asks brothers Louis and Auguste to make films which are cheaper than the ones sold by Edison.
  • Herman Casler and W.K.L Dickson

    Early in 1896, Herman Casler and W.K.L Dickson had developed their camera to go with Casler's Mutoscope. However the market for peepshow devices was in decine and they decided to concentrate on producing a projection system. The camera and projector they produced were unusual as they used 70mm film which gave very clear images.
  • American Mutoscope Company

    By 1897 the American Mutoscope Company become the most popular film company in America - both projecting films and with the peephole Mutoscope which was considered more reliable than the kinetoscope.
  • The American Mutoscope Company

    The American Mutoscope Company changes its name to the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company to include its projection and peepshow device
  • James Williamson

    British filmmaker James Williamson produces "The Big Swallow" which demonstrated the ingenuity of the Brighton School (of filmmakers) of which he and George Smith were principle contributors.
  • Georges Méliès

    Georges Méliès produces his magnificent "Voyage to the Moon", a fifteen minute epic fantasy parodying the writings of Jules Verne and HG Wells. The film used innovative special effect techniques and introduced colour to the screen through hand-painting and tinting.
  • George Smith

    British film maker George Smith makes Mary Janes Mishap which was praised for its sophisticated use of editing. The film uses medium close-ups to draw the viewers attention to the scene, juxtaposed with wide establishing shots. The film also contains a pair of wipes which signal a scene change.
  • Cecil Hepworth

    Cecil Hepworth produced, with Lewin Fitzhamon "Rescued by Rover". A charming film in which Hepworth, his wife, child and dog, star.
  • nickelodeon

    First nickelodeon opens in Pittsburgh, PA.
  • Technicolor

    Technicolor is introduced.
  • Radio

    Radio is invented and preferred over silent films by public. Film industry begins to decline.
  • Warner Brothers

    Warner Brothers produce full-length singing and talking film called The Jazz Singer with popular singer and stage actor during this time named Al Jolson. The audience loved it!
  • Peak

    Motion pictures were at their peak during this time.
  • It Happened One Night

    It Happened One Night
    It Happened One Night sweeps the Academy Awards, winning Best Picture, Director, Actor, and Actress.
  • Gone with the Wind

    The big-screen adaptation of Gone with the Wind premieres, and will go on to gross $192 million, making it one of the most profitable films of all time. It's also one of the longest films, clocking in at 231 minutes.
    Spencer Tracy wins his second consecutive Best Actor Oscar. He won the 1937 Oscar for his role in Captains Courageous and the 1938 award for Boys Town.
  • monopolized

    Motion picture industry was monopolized by film studios.
  • United States Supreme Court

    United States Supreme Court ruled that studios could not own theaters because it gave the studios exclusive control over making and selling movies.
  • Television

    Television overtakes movies in popularity; color replaces black and white movies in theaters; theaters then attempt to win audiences back with 3-D pictures and replacing black and white movies with color.
  • Hollywood

    To counteract the threat of television, Hollywood thinks big and develops wide-screen processes such as CinemaScope, first seen in The Robe.
  • Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless

    Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless, typical of the French New Wave use of the jump cut, the hand-held camera and loose, improvised direction, is made for $90,000 in just four weeks. The jump cut's assault on seamless editing and the presumption of time continuity opens new possibilities for filmmakers.
  • Marilyn Monroe

    Marilyn Monroe dies of a drug overdose at age 36.
    Government regulations force studios out of the talent agency business.
  • The Sound of Music

    The Sound of Music premieres. An instant hit, the film was one of the top-grossing films of 1965 and remains one of film's most popular musicals.
  • George C. Scott

    George C. Scott gives one of film's most memorable performances in Patton. He won the Best Actor Oscar for his turn as the title character, but refused the gold statuette.
  • Sacheen Littlefeather

    At the 1972 Academy Awards, Sacheen Littlefeather stands in for Marlon Brando and refuses his Best Actor Oscar for his role in The Godfather, to protest the U.S. government's treatment of Native Americans
  • Rocky.

    The Steadicam is used for the first time in Rocky.
  • Star Wars

    Star Wars hits theaters—for the first time—and will go on to be the second highest-grossing film of all time.
    Saturday Night Fever sparks the disco inferno and the popularity of movie soundtracks
  • NC-17

    The X rating is replaced by NC-17 (no children under 17).
  • Lost in Yonkers

    Lost in Yonkers is edited on an Avid Media Composer system, the first non-linear editing system to allow viewing at film's required “real-time”-viewing rate of 24 frames per second. By converting film into digital bits, film can now be cut on a computer.
  • Steven Spielberg

    Steven Spielberg wins his first directing Oscar for Schindler's List.
  • Tom Hanks

    Tom Hanks wins his second consecutive Best Actor Oscar. He won in 1994 for his role in Philadelphia and in 1995 for Forrest Gump.
  • Titanic

    Titanic crashes into theaters. It is the most expensive film of all time, costing between $250 and $300 million to produce and market.
  • Star Wars Episode I—The Phantom Menace

    Star Wars Episode I—The Phantom Menace
    Star Wars Episode I—The Phantom Menace opens and breaks a string of box office records. The film grosses $102.7 million in its debut five-day weekend.
    The Blair Witch Project hits theaters and becomes an instant cult classic. It grosses more than $125 million at the box office and cost only $30,000 to make.