Part of Lesson Plan: Les Frères Lumière Court-métrage
Activity Overview / Details
In the documentary Lumiere and Company (Lumière et
compagnie), 40 international directors were asked to make a short
film using the original Cinematographe invented by the
Lumière Brothers, working under conditions similar to those
of 1895. There were three rules: (1) The film could be no longer
than 52 seconds, (2) no synchronized sound was permitted, and (3)
no more than three takes. The results run the gamut from Zhang
Yimou's convention-thwarting joke to David Lynch's bizarre
See the sample clips:
Lumière and Company - Zhang Yimou
Lumière and Company - Claude Lelouch
Lumière and Company - Abbas Kiarostami
Lumière and Company - David Lynch
Note: If possible, obtain a copy of the film Lumiere and Company (Lumière et compagnie) and show it to the class. Links are under Resources below. An edited down version is attached below: Lumière et compagnie [Lumière and Company] (1995) or you can simply use the shorter clips from the film listed above.
Note: Refer to the rubric for this lesson for criteria. Also see Lumiere Student Examples.
Step up to the challenge of these great dirctors by creating a film based on the same criteria they were challenged with (minus the 100 year old camera). For this activity students will create a short video in the mise-en-scène style used by the Lumières and others. The following criteria is required to get full credit:
- Video is exactly 52 seconds in length (that was the length of a single film spool back then).
- It depicts an ordinary, everyday scene.
- There is no editing in post.
- Stationary camera placement on ground or on rolling platform (you can't tilt, pan, or zoom the camera).
- Use natural light as much as possible and supplement where needed with artificial light to enhance the scene.
- A-synchronous sound and music only (no sound recording at time of filming on the camera microphone).
- Only three filmed takes are allowed (unlimited rehearsals are permitted).
- Students should only look through the camera viewfinder of LCD monitor to set up the shot. Once the filming starts, the camera person is not allowed to look at the viewfinder or LCD display on the camera (this emulates how the old crank cameras used to work).
- Demonstrated understanding of the use of mise-en-scène: the natural look of the setting, the decor, the lighting, the costumes, the performance, the space.
How to Read Film, James
Yale Film Analysis
Web Site 2.0
Lumiere and Company (Lumière et compagnie)
Buy the video: http://www.amazon.com/Lumiere-Company-Patrice-Leconte/dp/1572522119
Materials / Resource
- Lumière et compagnie [Lumière and Company] (1995) [ Watch Video ] [ Download Original Video ]
- La Sortie de l'usine Lumière a Lyon (Workers leaving the Lumière factory at Lyon) [ Watch Video ] [ Download Original Video ]
- Georges Méliès - A Trip to the Moon (1902) [ Watch Video ] [ Download Original Video ]
- Lumière and Company - Claude Lelouch [ Watch Video ] [ Download Original Video ]
- Lumière and Company - David Lynch [ Watch Video ] [ Download Original Video ]
- Lumière and Company - Abbas Kiarostami [ Watch Video ] [ Download Original Video ]
- Lumière and Company - Zhang Yimou [ Watch Video ] [ Download Original Video ]
- Lumiere Student Examples [ Watch Video ] [ Download Original Video ] Sample of student work on the Lumiere Project.