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From the magic lantern to using video as a tool for recruitment – a history of moving pictures

We like video at Cammio. In 2018, we might take video for granted. It’s everywhere in our lives – we can barely imagine a household that doesn’t have a television set, our social media are filled with videos, and services like YouTube have been getting more popular over the last decade or so. To illustrate: Can you remember the last day that you didn’t see any sort of video? This wasn’t always the case, of course. In this blog I invite you to a brief overview of the history of video.

The first projection

The idea of telling stories through moving pictures already came about in the 17thcentury. Dutch scientist Constantijn Huygens was credited with creating the “lanterna magica”, or magic lantern. The magic lantern was initially powered by candles, and it was able to project still images in a row to create the illusion of movement. A magic lantern show would consist of the moving pictures accompanied by a live narration and / or live music. These shows were very popular in the 18thand 19thcenturies.

The first recordings

It wasn’t until 1878, more than 200 years after the invention of the magic lantern, that photographer Eadweard Muybridge invented a way to record moving images. Before his invention, you would have to take poses for photos that were later put together to suggest movement. His first recording was of a moving horse: he set up cameras to take photos when the horse would cut through a thread. We have Mr. Muybridge to thank that we can record actual real-time movement in our videos today!

After this invention, the development went quickly, and soon there was the first motion picture camera. Developed by Frenchmen Louis Le Prince, the first ever film camera was used to shoot the world’s earliest motion picture. Watch it here – but don’t blink, or you’ll miss it!

Compare this short clip to what we see in cinema these days, and we’ve come a long way! This 3-second clip is only about 100 years old, yet back then it was an unbelievable achievement. The fact that we can watch it on YouTube today, is illustrative of the massive improvements of the last century.

Adding life – the rise of sound and colour

For the first few decades of cinema (and once in 2011), movies were silent. They were often accompanied by live music, sound effects or live narration, to enhance the experience of the audience. In 1926, Don Juan was the first movie to have a pre-recorded soundtrack utilising a new technology developed by Warner Bros called the Vitaphone sound-on-disc sound system.

One more thing is missing from today’s video, and that’s colour. There were already patents for colour in movies since 1900, but the technology was expensive and therefore barely used. Technicolor was one of the companies that kept developing the technology, and after more than 60 years the use of colour was finally the new norm.

New technologies pave the way for video recruitment

During the last century, we’ve seen more developments related to video of course. The invention of the television brought video into every home. The internet gave us new ways to send and watch video. Smartphones gave people a device to record whatever they want, whenever they want, and wherever they want. Skype, WhatsApp, FaceTime and numerous other applications let people broadcast their video live to others so that we can have conversations. Who knows where video is going to take us next?

Using video to recruit candidates

I realise I haven’t talked about recruitment in this blog yet. That’s because I wanted to dive back into the history of video. At Cammio, we use video every day, so it’s easy to take it for granted. Only a few generations ago, crowds marvelled at a three second black-and-white silent clip of people moving around in a garden. Today we use video to interview candidates from all over the world, whether it’s recorded or a real-time conversation (in colour, with sound).  Without the improvement of the last century, we would not have been able to create a platform that allows candidates to add personality to their CV. There are so many more  inventions throughout history that have led to where we are now – but I hope you’ve enjoyed these highlights of video history.