Louis Le Prince

If you’ve seen the MeierMovies production logo (click above or here to view on separate page), you surely noticed the short black-and-white film that looks VERY old. What is that film, and why is it such an important feature of MeierMovies.com?

“Roundhay Garden Scene”

The two-second movie is Roundhay Garden Scene, shot in 1888 by cinema pioneer Louis Le Prince in Leeds, England. Though motion had been “captured” before by such trailblazers as Eadweard Muybridge (with his assembly line of still-photography cameras) and Etienne Jules Marey (with his 12-images-per-second photo collages), most historians agree that it was Le Prince who created the first true movie. Because he was likely the first to use a single-lens camera to capture motion in real time and then project that film, recreating the motion for viewers, he’s often labeled the father of cinema. Yes, Thomas Edison, William Friese-Greene, the Lumiere Brothers and others were working on similar technology at the time, but Roundhay Garden Scene was the breakthrough. And the odd personal history (and unexplained death) of Le Prince only serves to enhance his legend, and the legend of the films he shot in the late 1880s.

Louis Le Prince

Louis Le Prince

Roundhay Garden Scene deserves an exalted place in the history of cinema and is worthy of recognition and a proud place in the MeierMovies production logo.

The film clip is used by special permission of Britain’s National Media Museum/Science & Society Picture Library, which is instrumental in the preservation and recognition of film. For more information on Le Prince, click here. And also see the Wikipedia article. I’d also suggest checking out my lists of short films, which can be viewed by clicking the items under the “Short Lists” tab on this site’s menu bar. Those lists include two of Le Prince’s films — Roundhay Garden Scene and Traffic Crossing Leeds Bridge — in addition to countless other shorts from the pioneers of the late 1880s and 1890s.

Lastly, let me add my thanks to TL Westgate of Creative Inlet Films, who designed the production logo.