T.A. Aruna Ekanayake
29 October 2014
Edwin S. Porter’s Narrative Side
Cinema is a relatively new and highly creative medium. Since its coming, the variety of films yielded have been remarkable. In the early stages of film, there were many things to learn and many paths to go down. Given these circumstances, film most indubitable necessity was to have some pioneers working to perfect the ever-changing art form. One of the greatest and most notable of these pioneers is the great Edwin S. Porter. Porter was well known for his treasured contributions in American cinema. Many, including the great Adolph Zukor, have classified Porter 's work as artistic mechanics. Zukor, the founder of Paramount Pictures and one of the industry’s leading professionals at the time said, "Porter was, I have always felt, more of an artistic mechanic than a dramatic artist. He likes to deal with machines better than people" (Musser 471). It was thanks to these "artistic mechanics" that Porter was able to not only advance American cinema through automated technique, but eventually aid in narrative story and editing methods, two of the most important qualities in films today. Though many may have considered Porter simply a man of technological advancement, Porter 's films and techniques were vital to the development of American cinema. Edwin S. Porter’s technical uses with film set him apart from others of his time, and many believed that was all there was to his filmmaking, however, by examining his background, early films, and techniques there of, Porter’s narrative side emerges; giving way to his editing methods and most importantly, narrative story.
Porter’s early years have much to do with his film techniques. He grew...
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...ter influenced cinema by imploring mechanical techniques to create well-developed and original narratives.
Gazetas, Aristides. An Introduction to World Cinema. 2nd ed. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2000. PDF.
The Great Train Robbery. Dir. Edwin S. Porter. Edison Maufacturing Co., 1903. DVD.
Jack and the Beanstalk. Dir. Edwin S. Porter and George S. Fleming. Edison Manufacturing Co., 1902. DVD.
Life of an American Fireman. Dir. Edwin S. Porter. Edison Manufacturing Co., 1902.
McBride, Joseph. "THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY." American Film (Archive: 1975-1992) Jan 01 1976: 52,55, 78. ProQuest. Web. 29 Oct. 2014 .
Musser, Charles. Before the Nickelodeon: Edwin S. Porter and the Edison Manufacturing Company. Berkeley: U of California, 1991. Print.
Musser, Charles. "The Innovators 1900-1910: Time After Time." Sight and Sound 03 1999: 16-8. ProQuest. Web. 29 Oct. 2014.
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