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Annotation and Statistics

  • Adelheid Heftberger
Chapter
Part of the Quantitative Methods in the Humanities and Social Sciences book series (QMHSS)

Abstract

An integral component of analogue film production from its beginnings has been its segmentary nature. In the first years of the cinema, around the time of the Lumière brothers, a film was usually only about a minute long, which corresponded to the length of a roll of film. A few years later, several smaller reels were already being assembled together, and the individual sequences, too, were no longer shot only in the chronology of the screenplay but increasingly from different points of view chronologically transposed. One reason for the break with chronological sequence was economic; in this way the classic Hollywood system became a leader in its efficient organisation of shooting (Bordwell et al. 1985). Already in the 1900s, the first films were produced with more than a single shot, in which one could, for example, insert close-ups as so-called cutaway shots, which enriched a linear narrative with important nuances. Among the earliest examples of films with more than a single shot are COME ALONG DO! (1898, R. W. Paul) and THE KISS IN THE TUNNEL (1899, G. A. Smith) (Salt 1992: 36). But it was only in the editing that one brought the individual pieces into the desired order, which could be a chronological sequence or not. This new freedom, to be able to arrange the individual sequences as one wished, encouraged experimentation on the one hand while on the other making a meaningful graphic depiction of the individual chronological and thematic segments a necessity.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adelheid Heftberger
    • 1
  1. 1.German Federal Archive (Bundesarchiv)BerlinGermany

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