First use of the rocker set à la "The Immigrant"?

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Gussle
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First use of the rocker set à la "The Immigrant"?

Unread post by Gussle » Sat Oct 28, 2017 8:25 am

Was the set on rockers that Chaplin used in "The Immigrant" a common device by 1917? I've recently noticed that Max Linder's "Max Comes Across" used it several months before Chaplin, and Steve Massa told me about "What Money Can't Buy," but that was also released several months after Max's film. Can you all help me out with instances that predate these, please?

Thanks, Lisa

wich2
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Re: First use of the rocker set à la "The Immigrant"?

Unread post by wich2 » Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:06 am

Lisa, I would imagine that, like much in that early era, it came from the Stage?

So I wouldn't be surprised if it was used by the movies very early on - is it found in Melies, or Edison?

-Craig

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boblipton
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Re: First use of the rocker set à la "The Immigrant"?

Unread post by boblipton » Sat Oct 28, 2017 12:20 pm

I’ve seen it at least as early as Melies’ Naval Combat in Greece (1897).

Bob
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Gussle
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Re: First use of the rocker set à la "The Immigrant"?

Unread post by Gussle » Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:07 pm

Thanks, both. 1897 is bloody early and from the stage also makes sense. Thanks, again!

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Smari1989
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Re: First use of the rocker set à la "The Immigrant"?

Unread post by Smari1989 » Sat Oct 28, 2017 6:34 pm

Interesting question... and interesting that Méliès seems to have used the "technology" as far back as that. We may assume that, at least, it wasn't standard fare to do it on the scale that Chaplin and Max did in 1917 much before the late 1910s; as you're of course well aware, Chaplin went for a simpler method in SHANGHAIED just a couple of years before (though that was likely also a cost question, of course).

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Jack Theakston
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Re: First use of the rocker set à la "The Immigrant"?

Unread post by Jack Theakston » Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:32 am

Worth reading is the book Stage to Screen by A. Nicholas Vardac, who breaks down the crossover point between late 19th-century, Belasco-era stage realism and how those effects transitioned to scenic and special effects on the screen. The idea of rockers for a boat had been done in both Europe and America by the time movies were even first shown.

Interestingly, the same technique that Totheroh used for some scenes in THE IMMIGRANT with a pendulum under the camera was "reinvented" by and inadvertently given credit to Gilbert Warrenton in the early '20s.
J. Theakston
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Gussle
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Re: First use of the rocker set à la "The Immigrant"?

Unread post by Gussle » Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:53 am

Thanks, Snorre, and Jack--I'm going to look up that book. Sounds great. Lisa

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