04 Sep, 2020
You who love spending hours browsing YouTube, or other video apps, have you ever imagined what would become of us without this technology? How would we see any kind of media information without creating the video? How would Netflix present your content? What would become of us without the seventh art (cinema)? In this article, you will find answers to these and other questions, here, we will go over the entire creative process of the video and how such technology gave rise to the seventh art.
Sometimes we stop and ask ourselves: how did it all start? How did such technologies that stand out today and continue to stand out, start during history? Before we even start our historical journey, it is worth emphasizing the importance of history for Timelinefy and what motivates us to tell some stories present in our society.
If you don't already know, Timelinefy not only tells stories, but also allows stories to be told in different ways and information to be organized in time, in a chronological way, through the structure of timelines. Because it is digital, the tool makes this activity a dynamic and interactive experience, different, but at the same time similar to the methodologies used by museums to tell the story. By relating art and technologies to history, we are thus able to organize information to begin our historical journey.
When we talk about art in the world, we can see that it can be expressed in different ways, through: painting, sculpture, poetry, drawing, architecture, etc. Today, we can witness another stage of art, the era of the expression of art through technology, or art in movement, being one of the foundations of video.
To begin our discussion, it is worth considering the etymology of the word video. From Latin, video means "I see" and is considered a technology to process electronic, analog or digital signals to capture, store, transmit or present a series of images with the impression of movement. The main application of video technology has led to the wide application of television, whether for entertainment, education, engineering, science, industry, security, national defense and above all, in cinema.
The source of the video
When talking about the history of certain technologies, it may be complex to treat the beginning of them exactly, because some facts may present contradiction throughout history. The video that later originated in the creation of cinema, for example, presents some contradictions, according to some historians of cinema.
That said, let's move on to the story itself. In 1890, Etienne-Jules Marey (Etienne-Jules Marey) invented the "photographic rifle", which is an instrument composed of a disc with a hole, which can present up to twelve captures (frames) per second. Each time the speed passes through the captured image, all of this is recorded in one image. In 1889, Thomas Edison's assistant, William Dickson (William Dickson), invented a gear system for 15-meter-long celluloid films, beginning the evolution of this technology.
Video: understand the evolution of this technology
As already mentioned, in order for this video technology to be put into practice, some physical modifications were necessary over time, mainly in its data storage, but when talking about data storage, we cannot confuse it with the idea of “ memory ”that we know so much today. The storage is linked to the material used, on tapes and optical discs, for example, the format is really the representation of "size" (which means the width of the magnetic material, the size of the box and the way the signal is recorded and read ).
Each material has different uses, with specific technical characteristics and qualities. For each tape or optical disc format, there is a corresponding camera, as well as recording equipment and table players to edit and copy the images recorded with these cameras. However, for technology to continue to evolve, several precursor companies have expressed their attention to this area, thus contributing to its development. Such companies started research in photography, engineering to finally the evolution of video, specifying themselves in models, innovating, differentiating and thus creating a visual and technological market.
In addition to the first visual ideas already mentioned, such as: the “photographic rifle”, some companies started their investments and launches in the visual market. ARRI (Arnold and Richter Cine Technik), for example, is a German company founded in 1917 and located in Munich, which designed and manufactured some historic machines, however, this company still continues to design and manufacture professional audiovisual equipment, with a focus on the industry cinematographic. The first ARRI camera was launched in 1924 (several decades after the creation of the “photographic rifle”) and called Kinari35.
All this development was not restricted to ARRI, the technology was successful and evolved in several innovative companies, such as: Mitchell, Panavision, Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Sharp, among countless others.
Each one played a very important role in order to achieve high technology. Nowadays, the video has shown itself to be something so spectacular, that it expresses the sensation in individuals of reality, as if the video relives or transports us to certain moments in movement. Corrections such as white balance (sunlight, shade, fluorescent light, etc.), shooting in low or no light, or even backlight compensation are some of the features that the cameras manifested and consequently inserted us with them in a digital age , the era we live in today.
The emergence of the seventh art
With all the contextualization obtained about the video, now we will look at the emergence of the seventh art and the consolidation of cinema in our society. The birth of the seventh art may seem controversial, but the fact is that the best known story in the world is that of the Lumiere brothers. Invented in 1895, the feat obtained a patent for a creative camera. The device is a machine with a manual crank that can capture fixed moments in frames (or what we now call frames) and project them in sequence, thus creating the illusion of movement. This happened in France.
After obtaining the first video material, the brothers held an event at the premises of the French Institute and showed the film "The workers leaving the Lumiere factory" to a small audience.
Even today, some of the copies of the first “cinematograph” are still kept at the Instituto Lumière, in Lyon, France. According to the curator of this precious historical data, the brothers' cameras are in perfect condition and in use. However, those responsible for the materials prefer to preserve their integrity, because their value is immeasurable.
Years after presenting their work and developing a specific event for the reproduction of cinematographic material, the Lumière brothers were named the precursors of world cinema, not only that, but also in their contribution to the consideration of yet another art. Ricciotto Canudo established the term "seventh art" used to denote cinema in a 1912 "Manifesto of the Seven Arts", released only in 1923.
The first artistic expression entitled as art is music, because, as a child, we discovered sound. Then we have the dance, through the use of movements (considered the 2nd art); The third art is focused on the external, on non-human material, on the representation of plastic arts, such as paintings, for example. In the sequence, we have, as fourth art to sculptures. The title of fifth art, is for an artistic expression whose main tool is body actions, the fifth art is for scenic art. As a backdrop for the performing arts, we have here the use of literature or the improvement of writing, considered the sixth art.
For cinema, the title of seventh art remained, however, even occupying a position later than other arts, cinematography is considered a unique art, as it manages to represent all the other arts mentioned above, through video, and in addition to the seven, we have also photography, considered the eighth art.
The different stages of cinema
Since its appearance, the film has gone through several stages of transition to the current film. From silent cinema to narrated and interpreted, from the black and white era to the arrival of colors and even the evolution of amateur films to major productions ... The way of telling stories and the way of filming such stories also varied according to the different times.
The super 8, for example, is considered a milestone in the film industry, as the camera, which was only equipped with a 0.8 cm cartridge, was considered a revolution for cinematography.
As mentioned earlier, throughout the evolution of cinema, video machines were considered to be great machines, but the “big” is not placed here to represent only its importance, but rather to emphasize its size, in the literal sense of the word. Large video machines ended up being clumsy, heavy and difficult to handle, restricting such activities to only certain people and professionals.
However, with the arrival of the Super 8 in 1965, the novelty was great, as it was a compact camera, easier to move and cheaper than its predecessors (35 mm, 16 mm). The film is only 0.8 cm wide, with several holes at both ends, and each recording lasts about three minutes. The system was so practical that people began to realize that the camera could be used for domestic purposes.
Thus, young enthusiasts and questioners began to use the Super 8 to make groove cinemas, which were used to question the world, show reality, interpret characters and even produce the famous video art.
After its long rise, the famous Super 8 had its decline with the arrival of magnetic tape or VHS films. The system was introduced in the 1970s and spread quickly, conquering the market against the Betamax format, the first popular home video format, previously released.
Over time, the production of the tapes, such as the VHS-C (Compact VHS) was intended for more compact cameras, since they had the same technical characteristics, but fit in a smaller package.
However, as with the Super 8, the use of cassette tapes, or VHS, was also weakened, with the arrival of DVDs. VHS was losing its prominence in the market and is already considered an obsolete format. The last major manufacturer of this format announced that it would end its operations at the end of 2008.
Like all other technologies that have become obsolete, the DVD replaced the VHS tape and stood out in the reproduction of cinema. Then he was succeeded by Blu-Ray. Both have now become obsolete.
However, some features put DVD technology in the spotlight, as it is considered much cheaper than the original VHS. DVD’s made it possible for people to buy their favorite movies instead of just renting them (video stores).
Unfortunately, consumer habits have changed a lot in recent years: people no longer value physical media and prefer the convenience of streaming media, technology that emerges with the digital age.
With the success of the major video platforms, some companies have started to present HD video technologies directly via TV, through a network connection or through some USB connection. This evolution facilitated the visualization and even saved a large physical space at home, besides, it offers a service of last quality in the market, as for example, the technologies in 8K.
How much information is there? From this article, we were able to learn a little more about the evolution of an important technology: video and all its contribution to the emergence of the seventh art. Thus, the cinema went through great transformations, molding itself and instituting a structure that gave rise to the cinematographic industry and language of today.
By learning the history of video and the seventh art, we were able to focus on this powerful phenomenon that we love so much.
However, if there is still any doubt about the creation and evolution of the seventh art in the world, follow one of our timelines, which will explain in more detail the “Archeology of Cinema”.