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37020523 World Cinema Cinematography Histart 101

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History
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Oakton Community College
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Edwin S. Porter’s Great Train Robbery (1903)
In 1903, Edwin S. Porter created a film like The Great Train Robbery; the film is
primarily acknowledged as one of the first native films to have ever achieved the continuity of
action. The film displays robbery, the creation of a posse, and the elimination of the gunmen
after being pursued. The Great Train Robbery contains fourteen different shots with non-
continuous, non-overlapping action, a considerable departure from frontally structured theatrical
staging.
The Great Train Robbery is largely regarded as one of the best films ever made, as it was
the first crime drama and an archetypal of the genre that was widely regarded as western. The
movie introduced some new features that had never been seen before, such as chase scenes,
moviegoers, and the use of gun shoot-offs. The film has run for eleven minutes incorporated an
entire cast of actors, and it was also shot on location. The story is straightforward, and the events
happening can be quickly followed by the audience. It relates to the narrative of a gang of
robbers robbing train passengers. The picture is full of spectacle and drama. Longer, more
intricate storylines like The Great Train Robbery were made possible by technology
breakthroughs in motion picture cameras and celluloid in 1902.

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The director used a variety of never-before-seen techniques in the editing of the
film, allowing it to be regarded as one of the first plot-driven films. Edwin S. Porter
employed the cross-cutting technique to represent two events occurring at the same time.
When Porter switches between the tied-up telegraph operator and the bandits on the train,
this is seen. Although Eleven minutes might seem a little insignificant today, it was a
watershed moment in American cinema (Ewer). The Great Train Robbery was the first
time viewers had ever been treated to such a long show, and it brought throngs to theaters
around the country. The minutes were jam-packed with dramatic and exhilarating action
and extraordinary effects, as well as scenes of terrible violence, such as when a bandit
shoots a passenger point-blank. These enraged moviegoers were not accustomed to seeing
violence in films.
In terms of shots, Porter uses panning shots; this is seen when the camera is rotated in
various scenes on the train and at the telegraph office. The director was innovative here bringing
together two concurrent events happening at the same time (Shot 3). The camera follows the
characters in different locations in order to attract the viewers' focus. Porter's approaches were
simple, but they were effective in establishing continuity between scenes and increasing
audience anticipation. He used extensive shots to show a broad view of the surrounding where
actors are doing the action, and it also informs the audience what is going on. The film is silent,
but it is not entirely silent as piano songs accompany it (Talbot). The film is shot at a medium
angle commonly used in most films; the characters are viewed in the whole body.
Porter employed double exposure to create the appearance of the train going past the
office window or the countryside dashing through the railway car's open door inside the train and
other inside places on set, such as the railroad administration office (Shot 7). He carried his

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Surname 1 Student’s Name Professor’s Name Course Date Edwin S. Porter’s Great Train Robbery (1903) In 1903, Edwin S. Porter created a film like The Great Train Robbery; the film is primarily acknowledged as one of the first native films to have ever achieved the continuity of action. The film displays robbery, the creation of a posse, and the elimination of the gunmen after being pursued. The Great Train Robbery contains fourteen different shots with noncontinuous, non-overlapping action, a considerable departure from frontally structured theatrical staging. The Great Train Robbery is largely regarded as one of the best films ever made, as it was the first crime drama and an archetypal of the genre that was widely regarded as western. The movie introduced some new features that had never been seen before, such as chase scenes, moviegoers, and the use of gun shoot-offs. The film has run for eleven minutes incorporated an entire cast of actors, and it was also shot on location. The story is straightforward, and the events happening can be quickly followed by the audience. It relates to the narrative of a gang of robbers robbing train passengers. The picture is full of spectacle ...
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