Monday, March 15, 2010
Roundhay Garden Scene, Le Prince, 1888
The Roundhay Garden Scene is one of the very earliest recorded films. Silent, and at 12 frames a second, it runs for only about two seconds and shows a gathering of friends in a garden owned by the Whitley family in Leeds, England. As with all film, it captures a moment in time (October 14, 1888), giving a look into the situation of 19th century middle-class families. The short film was directed by inventor Louis Le Prince, and is the first surviving film known to have been recorded on celluloid.
Le Prince recorded the scene several years before other competing inventors such as Edison and Lumière. Due to patent suits from Edison, as well as other financial problems and mysterious family issues, Le Prince never gained the recognition seen by other contemporary filmmakers and inventors.