1st Horror and Vampire Film

The Devil’s Castle (1896) – Georges Melies

The Devil’s Castle (aka Le manoir du diable), by Georges Méliès, is considered to be the first horror film, and arguably the first vampire film. The movie has been known by a variety of alternate names, including The Devil’s Manor, The Manor of the Devil, The House of the Devil, and The Haunted Castle, though the latter is incorrectly attributed as “The Haunted Castle” is the name of a different movie by Melies, filmed 1 year later.

Music performed by Billy Duncan for Change Before Going Productions.



1st Animated Story

Fantasmagorie (1908) – Emile Cohl

Fantasmagorie, by Émile Cohl, is considered to be the first animated story in film. Though “Humorous Phases of Funny Faces” by J. Stuart Blackton pre-dates “Fantasmagorie” by 2 years, it did not serve as a narrative other than simply showing various facial expressions via the technique of hand-drawn animation.


1st Animated Opening Title

Diving Lucy (1904) – Director, Unkown

Diving Lucy contains the 1st known instance of an Animated Opening Title Sequence (in this case, via Stop-Motion Animation). Though the Director is unknown, Diving Lucy was produced by James Kenyon and Sagar Mitchell.


1st Time Shift in Film

Pan-American Exposition by Night (1901) – Edwin S. Porter

Pan-American Exposition by Night features the 1st switch from Day to Night in a single, exterior setting. The switch takes place during mid-pan, which shows all the buildings from the Temple of Music to the Electric Tower.


1st Camera Tilt

Panorama of Eiffel Tower (1900) – James H. White

Panorama of Eiffel Tower contains the first Tilt in film and shows the entire height of the tower.


1st Time-Lapse

Building Up and Demolishing the Star Theater (1901) – Frederick S. Armitage

Time-Lapse footage of the demolition of New York’s Star Theater at Thirteenth Street and Broadway. This was filmed from the Biograph Studios office accross the street, with exposures taken every 4 minutes during daylight hours over the course of the 30-day demolition. The film was then reversed to create the “building-up” effect. Theaters were given the option of setting the film order to either Build Up then Demolish, or Demolish then Build Up.

Music performed by Billy Duncan for Change Before Going Productions.


1st Religious Movie

The Temptation of St. Anthony (1898) – Georges Melies

The Tempation of St. Anthony (aka La tentation de Saint-Antoine) is the oldest movie with a religious narrative. In front of an effigy of the crucified Christ, St. Anthony is tempted by beautiful women.


1st “Adult” Film Containing Semi-Nudity

After the Ball (1897) – Georges Melies

After the Ball (aka Après le bal) features a maid assisting a woman (Jeanne d’Alcy, who would later become the wife of Georges Melies).


1st Reverse Tracking Shot

Namo Village, Panorama Taken from a Rickshaw (1900) – Gabriel Veyre

Namo Village, Panorama Taken from a Rickshaw (aka Le village de Namo – Panorama pris d’une chaise à porteurs) was filmed by Gabriel Veyre in the Indochina village of Namo. With the camera set on a pulled rickshaw, a reverse “Phantom Ride” is created in the oldest known example of a reverse tracking shot.

Music performed by Billy Duncan of SEAGULLS (and RICER and AN ARMY OF TINY PURPLE DINOSAURS) for Change Before Going Productions.


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