from American Memory, Library of Congress
This film, "the Burning Stable," was
made by the Edison company in 1896. It's typical of the very earliest
films in that it uses a single camera, without cuts, zooms, or any of
the dynamic techniques we now expect from movies. It tells only a very
simple story, from one point of view. Audiences liked it because it showed
them a record of an actual eventmuch as we enjoy watching videotapes
of events we experience. Film historians call these films "actualities."