Years before H.G. Wells introduced us to his time traveller and marauding Martians, another writer was predicting what science might bring us in the future, for good or for ill. Once read on both sides of the Atlantic, he’s now all but forgotten. His name was Robert Duncan Milne and he was seeing moving pictures before there was even a strip of celluloid. … More Sci-Fi Movies Before Celluloid
A quasi-Dickensian true Christmas story of hardship softened by kindness. Featuring Will Day and William Friese-Greene. … More A Friese-Greene Christmas Carol
New research has revealed the first advertising film in the world, seen in London in 1896. … More WAS THIS THE FIRST COMMERCIAL EVER MADE?!
It’s always heartwarming to see any new article in the press about Friese-Greene(s), even if it’s in The Mail and the cause is baffling and the person at the centre of it petulantly blocked me on Twitter. Here it is. A person who says they are a professional colourist posted on Twitter a sequence of … More The Lost, Found, Amnesiac Social Media World of Friese-Greene
Last Friday I got back to doing something I used to do 20 years ago: talking about William Friese-Greene in public. The occasion was the British Silent Film Symposium 2018 and the place was King’s College London. Almost as terrifying as finding myself in front of a roomful of early film history experts was using … More William Friese-Greene & The Art of Collaboration
The last time I spoke about William-Friese Greene in public was 20 years ago, but next week that silence will be broken. Me and Willie have had our on and off periods, but lately we’ve been spending more time together than ever and I’ve been finding out a bunch of new things about him. The … More Friese-Greene Talks!
“When are you going to get to the point?” is an entirely justifiable cry to escape from you, my dear, (im)patient reader. Well, I have been working on something rather special, just for you. So I hope it will seem worth the wait. To quickly recap the story so far and what we know: Between … More That Eureka Moment – 5
These two contrasting books about William Friese-Greene came through my letterbox this week. In the Blue Corner we have “Close-up of an Inventor” from 1948, written (under a pseudonym) by Muriel Forth, a journalist for women’s magazines . Conspicuous by its absence is any section at the back which explains what her sources were. This … More Old School vs New School
To some it would have been the most boring place in the world, but to me it was Aladdin’s Cave. It was March 1996 and I was in the deepest, dimly-lit reaches of the astonishingly extensive archives of the Cinémathèque Française. My guide down these subterranean corridors of cinematic archaeology was the relatively recently-appointed new … More That Eureka Moment – 4
There are some photographs of Friese-Greene’s early film experiments that seem to have been wilfully ignored by historians writing about the beginnings of cinema. My guess is that this is because explaining and dating them is problematic – and because to attempt to do so might disrupt the status quo of academic opinion around Friese-Greene; … More That Eureka Moment – 3