Thursday, 18 September 2014

Forgotten Masters of Fantasy and Science Fiction Silent Film

Satan at Play, bu Segundo de Chomón, 1907.

As you may know, I blog every Wednesday over at Black Gate. For the past two weeks I've been delving into my love of silent film. Ever since I was a kid I've been captivated by these early movies and as an adult I've been doing some research into them. Two early directors who have been all but forgotten are the subject of my recent posts.

Segundo de Chomón was a Spanish director who in the first decade of the twentieth century made some two hundred films, mostly fantasy and horror. Walter R. Booth of England was another early pioneer, starting in films in 1899. He created the first science fiction film trilogy with his Airship Destroyer series from 1909-11.

Both directors used techniques such as animation, split screen, jump cuts, superimposition, multiple exposures, and stop motion animation to make their special effects. Even though their films are more than a century old, many of these effects hold up surprisingly well. Check out the links to the articles and you'll find more links to their best films. Most early films were less than six minutes long so they make a perfect break from work. Enjoy!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'll have to check out their films then!

D.G. Hudson said...

Those old film clips are quite interesting to me, too. I am familiar with the French master and was watching Trip to the Moon a few days ago, just because without sound, the images are what tells the story.

I could sit and watch those old films better than new TV (too easy to do the special effects now) We touched on artistic film when I was in art school. I took some film courses too.

Enjoyed your post at Black Gate.

Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

You can also find him on his Twitter feed and Facebook page.