- Roundhay Garden Scene by Louis Le Prince
- France ()
Before there were motion pictures, as we think of them, there was motion photography, first achieved when Eadweard Muybridge used multiple cameras in 1878 to make “The Horse in Motion.” The project was commissioned by Leland Stanford, who was the governor of California and later the founder of the university that bears his last name, to try to determine whether all of a horse’s hoofs were ever simultaneously off the ground. But what qualifies as the oldest film—and what we could also call the first home movie—and certainly the oldest surviving (extant) film--may well be the “Roundhay Garden Scene”, which was made in 1888 by Louis Le Prince, a French inventor. It simply shows members of his family playing in a garden and lasts for all of …two seconds. Hardly a Cecil B. De Mille extravaganza.