Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Handbook of Kinematography

Colin N. Bennett - The Handbook of Kinematography (1911)

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An early, British-published guide to motion picture production that includes the ever-elusive formula for mercuric iodide intensifier!  Imagine having to mix your own chemicals and develop your own film.  This is very much a technical guide (without as many illustrations as we'd hope today) that skips story construction, dealing with actors and such merely artistic issues.  There are even instructions for generating electricity for projection - steam "is in many ways ideal" but the very idea of steam-driven movies is wonderfully incongruous.  And just to show nothing is immune from nationalism an ad in the back promotes a John Bull All-British Maltese Cross Projector.  Take that Prussian projectors!  Go hide, you Provencal machines!  We laugh at you, Neapolitan devices!