Motion pictures are invented, and filmmakers find magic in the movies.
The Lumière Brothers debut the cinématographe, showing the first
projected moving pictures to an audience in Paris. The Lumières thrill
early audiences with documentary fare like "Feeding the Baby." Reportedly,
patrons at a screening of "The Arrival of a Train" flee the theater in terror,
fearing that the locomotive would burst through the screen.
Alfred Clark of the Edison Kinetoscope Company figures out how an actress can
be decapitated—without losing her head—for "The Execution of Mary Queen
of Scots," reputed to be the first special effect. The substitution shot
becomes an effects standard.
French magician George Méliès begins making films for his magic
act, using camera tricks like multiple
exposure, miniatures and
stop-motion animation, earning him the title of "grandfather of special
effects." He produces more than 500 films, including "A Trip to the Moon"