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Crash Course Film History

Welcome to Crash Course Film History! This 9-week course (one quarter of a school year, or 45 days) is intended to help you get an overview of the history of film making. We will cover important innovations in the field as well as important historical figures and notable films.

(It is recommended to combine this course with Crash Course Film Making for a full semester film class.)

Day 1

1. Watch the first Crash Course video about film history.
2. Create a document titled, “Film History Terms.” In it, write the 3 different definitions of the word ‘film’.
3. Add the following terms to your document and define them:

  • persistence of vision
  • phi phenomenon
  • zoetrope
  • camera obscura
  • daguerreotype
  • motion study
  • chronophotographic gun
  • zoopraxiscope
  • kinetograph

4. OPTIONAL: Watch this video about 3D zoetropes.

Day 2
1. Create a document titled, “Figures in Film History.” Add the following names and a brief summary (one sentence or less in most cases) of their contribution to the development of film. Reference yesterday’s video for relevant information. For Thomas Edison and W.K.L. Dickson, you only need to add the information given in the video.

  • Peter Mark Roget
  • Max Wertheimer
  • Joseph Nicéphore Niépce
  • Louis Daguerre
  • George Eastman
  • Eadweard Muybridge
  • Étienne-Jules Marey
  • Thomas Edison
  • W.K.L. Dickson

2. Watch Eadweard Muybridge’s series of photographs in motion. Some people consider this to be the first movie ever made.

Day 3

1. Watch the video about the first movie camera.
2. Add the following terms to your document “Film History Terms” and define them.

  • celluloid filmstrips
  • kinetograph
  • kinetoscope

Day 4

1. Referencing yesterday’s video, add more information about Thomas Edison and W.K.L. Dickson to your document “Figures in Film History.”
2. Add Andrew Holland to the list, and briefly summarize what his most significant contribution to film history was.