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First Light Video's How Hollywood Does It: Techniques of Documentary is a DVD that takes a look at the history, techniques, movements, and people who create motion pictures. This DVD talks about a style of filmmaking outside of the normal fiction or narrative films that we as audience members are used to seeing, that is, documentary filmmaking. With the birth of cinema in the 1890s, spearheaded by America's Thomas Edison and France's Louis and Auguste Lumiere, filmmaking progressed in two directions. Edison brought his subjects before a stationary camera to his tarpaper-covered studio called the Black Maria built at West Orange, New Jersey partly because the camera required multiple people to move it. While Edison was bringing people to the Black Maria to have a pie, the Lumiere brothers created the cinematographe. The resulting camera mobility allowed people to go out into the world and both document events and project films. Included are a number of clips from classic documentary films. It features the 1934 documentary Song of Ceylon, 1935 British film Housing Problems, the 1936 film The Plow that Broke the Plainsand, 1938's film The River, Why We Fight, and the 1944 film, The Battle of San Pietro.
Jeffrey Hill is an associate professor at Morehead State University, Department of Communication, Media and Leadership Studies. Dr. Mark Graves is an associate professor of English.
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First Light Video DVD: How Hollywood Does It: Techniques of Documentary Review