This is my new project, all about the famous film maker and magician, Georges Méliés…
So who is he?
Georges méliés father owned a wealthy shoe factory, and wanted his chilren to inherit it, but Georges had different ideas, he shamed his family by becoming interested in illusions, magic and puppetry.
Later on, he sold his part of the factory to his brother, and with the money, he bought the Houndin theatre in Paris. Along with that sale, were several automatons (I have another project coming soon all about automatons!)
After some practise, he opened his magic shows to the public, and they were a great success. He soon heard of the Lumiere brothers invention (the moving pictures) he immediately tried to buy one. The lumiere brothers thought their invention was just a passing phase, and they didn’t sell him one.
Georges decided to make his own, with left over parts of the automatons. Once made, he’d go out into the city to shoot film, then play them in his magic shows.
How he invented stop motion
The legend goes, he was filming a tram (or a carridge) when his camera got stuck, by the time he had fixed it, the tram had gone-and a horse was walking down the road instead. When he saw it, it looked like the tram had turned into the horse, that was how he invented stop motion.
With this simple mistake, he’d discovered stop motion, trick film and photogrpahy.
He went onto master three types of trick film; The stop edit, the disolve, and last but not least the double exposure.
Georges made a amazing film, A Trip To The Moon, that was known as the first science fiction.
Upon finishing the film Melies intended to release it in America where he hoped it would make lots of money. But unfortunately Thomas Edison’s film technicians had already secretly made copies of the film, which they showed millions of people across the USA making a fortune for Thomas Edison. Méliés did not make any money from this, and went broke several years later.
The war was coming on, and no one was interested in magic or films. Georges was falsed to sell all his films to a company that melted them all down and turned them into shoe heels.
With a broken heart, he burnt all his props, sets, drawings and costumes.
Penniless, he had a small toybooth in a Paris train station, That made hardly any money.
But, this story does not end sad.
One day, someone recognised him, and asked if he was related or had worked for Georges Méliés, Georges replied:
“I am Georges Méliés.”
A man over heard him, and the man was a reporter, he started writing articles about Méliés, his life, interviews and about his films.
Other newspapers followed.
Then, Georges found himself standing on a stage, with films that had been rescued and found in barns, fields, old houses, old book stores, museams, all around the world, from Spain to New Zealand.
He was given a lovely house to live in, and good food, he spent his last days in happiness, known as the father of the theatre.