Lights, Camera….Motion! by Charlene Sands

When we speakCharlene-with-Books about Hollywood, everyone immediately thinks about the film industry.  The big sign in white lettering on the mountaintop looks down upon the area that is affectionately known as Tinsel Town that is synonymous with the film industry.  It’s so close to home to me, that nearly one in every ten people I know work in moviemaking in one way or another.  Film editors, grips, casting, cameramen, screenwriters, actors, digital experts, etc.  So, it wasn’t a coincedence that I wrote a Moonlight Beach bachelor who was a celebrated movie star, think Ryan Gosling or Chris Hemsworth or Brad Pitt.  Yes, it was deliberate because, let’s face it, these celebrities lead amazing, interesting lives.  Dylan McKay is all that and more.  But his story is not your usual suspect.  But we do have suspects, a bit of mystery, amnesia and lots of plot twists.

So how did we get to this point?220px-Muybridge-2

Well, my research took me back to one very ingenious Englishman named Eadweard Muybridge, born in 1830 who was a bookseller first, before becoming a pioneer in photographic studies in motion and early projection.  Leading a mondane life was not in the cards for Eadweard, though.

Although he first arrived in New York city, he soon traveled to San Francisco during the Gold Rush period.  At that time there were 40 bookstores and 60 hotels and many photograhpy studios in the area and he spent his youth working as a bookseller.  But his love of photography and motion took him back to England for a time and then back to America.

In 1860, while traveling to St Louis he was involved in a horrendous stagecoach accident.  Edweard was thrown ten feet in the air and hit his head on a rock.  He suffered great head injuries and some say, it was the cause of often bizarre and highly innovative behavior.

Then in 1874, he shot and killed his wife’s lover.  He originally pleaded insanity due to the head injury,  but had shown brilliance to the jury, seeming to undo the insanity case.  He was acquitted of all charges on the grounds of justifiable homicide.

In 1887 and 1868 his photographs of the Yosemite Valley made him world renowned.

170px-Eadweard_Muybridge_-_Pi-Wi-Ack_(Shower_of_Stars),_Vernal_Fall,_400_Feet,_Valley_of_Yosemite_-_Google_Art_Project - Copy

But his work with motion is what fascinated me the most.  Take a look at how he studied and put together these amazing early photos in stop-motion.   It is said he had produced over 100,000 images of animals and humans in motion.   His invention, zoopraxiscope, a device for projecting motion pictures predated the perforated film strip later used in cinematography.





Eadweard Muybridge spent many years perfecting the technique ( commissioned by the former Governor of California, Leland Stanford- a race horse owner) to determine the much debated topic of whether when a horse gallops, all four feet leave the ground at once, thus flying through the air.  I find it fascinating that the movie making world we have all come to know, dated as far back as the 1800’s.  Take a peek HERE to see how these twelve images become stop motion.


Every time I see the beginnings of what we now take for granted, I’m floored by the inventive spirit of our ancestors.  I happen to love the entire movie going experience. It’s one of my favorite things to do.  I wonder if Edweard would have ever imagined how this medium has taken flight!

While the romance is prevalent in my new release, One Secret Night, One Secret Baby, there’s a behind the scenes look at Hollywood, celebrity and film making and I have to thank my son-in-law for his help and expertise in keeping me honest and authentic with my story!  What about you? Does this fascinate you?  Are you a movie goer?  I’ll be giving away a copy of a backlist book to one lucky blogger today!!









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17 thoughts on “Lights, Camera….Motion! by Charlene Sands”

  1. I always enjoy watching movies. But we don’t go to the theater, we watch them at home. I really hadn’t thought much about what goes into the making of a movie, but I am sure it is a very interesting process.

    • Hi Janine! You’re first up and I’m glad you’re here this morning. You know, we do order movies a lot at home, but when something new comes out I’m dying to see, we go to the movies. I had to see what all the buzz was about with Star Wars!! We loved it.

  2. Some very interesting stuff… I am always amazed by those that come up with such ideas that evolve through the years…

  3. I love watching movies but I’m one of those who wants to see movies that make you feel good! Whether it be a good comedy or a romance that ends well. I don’t care for scary or sad movies.

    • Hi Cori!
      I’m with you. I hate to even see movie trailers of horror or chillers.. I turn my head away and try not to listen…they freak me out. I don’t like to scare myself!! I guess that’s way I write happy endings!

  4. Hi Charlene! I hadn’t realized that motion pictures went back that far! I assumed it was around 1900 – 1910 that they got their start. I love stories in any form but movies sure have the ability to grip me and not let go. That’s why, as I’ve grown older, I shy away from anything too gruesome or horror. Give me heartwarming and inspiring and fun. The most recent movie I’ve seen is Max about a military dog. I highly recommend it!

  5. Hi Kathryn! So good to talk to you this morning. I agree, I’m into fun, romance and comedy these days, an escape from the real world. I was also surprised that the very beginnings of film started in the 1800’s.

  6. I love watching movies and am fascinated by the movie making process! Thanks for sharing this great post, Charlene.

  7. HI Charlene, what a great post. And congratulations on that bachelor! And I am cracking up…Eadweard Muybridge is actually a character in my next book. Along with the zoopraxiscope and flying horses LOL. Ever since I read about him years ago, this “father of the motion picture” has fascinated me. Sometimes I wish I could go back in time just for a day or two, to meet him and many of other fascinating people who came before. I too think we get so high and mighty in our modern sensibilities…we need to remember all the brilliant people who set down the foundations for our life today. xoxox

    • Hi Tanya, I am cracking up too!! Eadweard Muybridge was quite an interesting fellow. I could’ve written so much more about him. What’s the name of your next book? How funny that you speak of zoopraxiscope… a word I’ve never heard and now we are discussing it!! I tried to embed the link showing the horses running, but they wouldn’t connect on the blog. Too bad, it was fun to see it in action.

  8. I enjoy movies, and the film-making process fascinates me. Pinewood Studios has built a big movie studio near me here in Georgia. Right now they are filming Guardians of the Galaxy 2, and I would love to watch the filming.

  9. Hi Cheryl C.
    Oh, that’s one of my hubby’s favorite movies. Georgia is getting to be a big area for moviemaking I hear. You should try to see the studio sometime. It’s a fascinating place and amazing how everything is scaled down, because the camera really does make everything look larger. Thanks for stopping by!!

  10. Over the years I have gotten to see a few movies made in other states no big hits mostly for tv movies but it’s interesting to watch. Marcia Gay Harding and Della Reese are 2 who stick out in my memory both sweet women.

  11. We enjoy watching movies at home. What an interesting man! Neat to see where he had a hand in it all. I bet he’d be shocked at how far we have come.

  12. I think we all tend to take the film industry a bit for granted. The technology that has been developed in the past 30 years or so is incredible. Just comparing the credits in the early movies to those today is a bit of a shock. Where before you might have 30 to 40 names, you now have 5 minutes worth of names and positions. From the obviously fake rockets of old Buck Rogers or Flash Gordon movies to the impossible looking real in movies like Star Wars, Star Trek and Avatar, the time and talent to put together a movie has certainly changed.
    We enjoy movies, but never seem to get out to see them. There are some that just need to be seen on the big screen for best enjoyment. We didn’t manage to see the new Star Wars movie yet and I am hoping we can catch it in a second run theater.

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