The Glenroy Brothers perform a portion of their vaudeville act, "The Comic View of Boxing: The Tramp & the Athlete", which depicts a boxer with a classic style trying to contend with an opponent who uses a very unorthodox approach.
One of the greatest of black art pictures. The conjurer appears before the audience, with his head in its proper place. He then removes his head, and throwing it in the air, it appears on ... See full summary »
Two gamecocks are fighting inside a wire cage, while two spectators look on in the background. The two men agree to make a bet on the outcome. One of them shows his money to the other, who is commenting on the fight.
A man (Edison's assistant) takes a pinch of snuff and sneezes. This is one of the earliest Edison films and was the first motion picture to be copyrighted in the United States. Written by
Eric Sorensen <Eric_Sorensen@fc.mcps.k12.md.us>
Five seconds that changed the world of entertainment
Watching Fred Ott's Sneeze can be equated to the birth of any new medium. The first music was presumably nothing more than sticks and stones banging together. The first stories, just rough interpretations of daily routines. Even the first video games are, in a way, their medium's version of Fred Ott's Sneeze.
Pong, when it was first released, showcased two rectangles and a small square that bounced between them. It was short, simple, and did what it needed to introduce the world to a new medium. As time went on, video games grew into something much bigger - eventually using cinematic techniques like storytelling, camera angles, and even acting. Now, while video game players still consider Pong fun, it is a far cry from the medium it stood at the forefront of.
The same can be said in all respects to Fred Ott's Sneeze. While only five seconds long, it did precisely what it set out to do. It was short, simple, and introduced the world to a new medium. Film-making eventually grew into something much bigger... much grander, but its humble beginnings should never be forgotten.
From a critical perspective, lighting the scene was clearly difficult - and Ott's clearly fake sneeze mimics the actor's obvious hesitation about appearing in such a strange new medium. In the decades that followed, and people became comfortable in front of the camera, on-screen acting blossomed.
Here, in these five short seconds, lies the birth of film-making.
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