Who is the father of special effects?

The dynamic, giant, successful personality was born in December 8, 1861 who invented special effects were “George Melies”. If we go through history, i.e. his story, it seems that he was born with the extraordinary talent. The ability to create something different and unique from others was only in George Melies

The journey of his life was quite interesting and provocative. He started his career as an assistant of Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin because this famous illusionist found great passion and talent in George Melies towards painting and magical tricks. Under his observation and guidance of Robert-Houdin, George Melies learned so many magic tricks and started hosting shows, later on he was called as “The showman”. After sometime, he also became well known for painting, dancing, and acting.

George Melies had legitimate interest and attachment towards his work so he never left the theatre, but one day he got a chance to buy the same theatre, so whatever he had, he sold off everything, even his shares which he was holding in his own firm and purchased the Robert-Houdin theatre.

George Melies became well-known for the innovation and invention in his tricks at the Robert-Houdin theatres. Since there was versatility in his performance, the audience liked the shows and the number of viewers increased per show enormously. Some of them even called him as an all rounder performer of that time.

Many other illusionists were also attracted in a way he performed, so he got elected as a president of the Syndicate of Illusion Artists in 1895.

Later on he attended the shows of Lumiére brothers which drove him crazy with the demonstration of Kinetoscope wherein they showed them the sight of moving images. He was so excited that he approached him to buy a camera from them but they rejected him along with the others.

Due to this rejection, he was quite hurt and decided to make a camera of his own kind so he went to England to purchase the camera and learned animatography. After gaining in depth knowledge about the animatography, he himself designed and modified the same camera. That camera was similar to the film camera and he personally developed and printed so many films with trial and error method.

Some people will not believe that after experimenting with multiple ideas he shot one file “The one man band “wherein he himself played 7 different characters, such a great passionate person he was!

Initially the films made by him have been just an imitation of magic tricks, but later on as per the wants, needs and preferences of the audience he started experimenting with different types of films, his inventive and unique ideas made him successful in his career and got a head start in his career. On the other hand of Lumiére brothers was expanding and growing.

He started his own film company “Star Film Company in Montreuil, Paris. Because of his films, he also became popular across Europe. The film company which he started had lots of background paintings, props, models, robots. He used to make the film on that studio and he keeps updating and altering the studio whenever possible. He was shooting the films as well as performing the magical acts in the theatres at Robert-Houdin.

While George Melies were shooting for one of his films, the camera got jammed. When he started that camera again a woman changed to men automatically and was shocked with this immediate change so that trick he named as “Stop trick”. In a similar way while experimenting with his films he accidently discovered multiple exposures, time lapse photography, dissolves etc.

Lumière himself said that Méliès was the “creator of the cinematic spectacle “and presented the medal in October 1931. His films were remarkable such as A Trip to the Moon (1902) and The Impossible Voyage (1904), both involving strange, surreal journeys somewhat in the style of Jules Verne etc.

George Melies experimented to create the illusion of a character with an enormous effort. it is correctly said “rejection can make or break the person, depending upon the will power”. Rejection made this great personality, so he is known as the father of special effects in film and entertainment industry. George Melies had created a wonder, his passion; zeal to learn the new things and incorporate in a unique ways is the greatest path one can follow.

Méliès died of cancer on 21 January 1938. What a legend and remarkable life he lived? A great salute to George Melies

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