In 1898, Paul bought land on the edge of North London to build a studio and factory, which made possible the scenic effects needed to tell longer and more varied stories. A group of dramatic subjects announced that Autumn included cinema’s first multi-scene films. Adaptations of popular classics followed, including The Last Days of Pompeii and Dickens’ Christmas Carol filmed as Scrooge and an increasing number of film based on spectacular stop-motion effects. Comedies based on chases were filmed nearby in the streets of Muswell Hill, along with crime-based melodramas, known largely from their elaborate catalogue descriptions. A final film involved setting fire to a house near the studio, and in spite of good reviews and sales, this seems to have persuaded Paul that large-scale production was now too risky to pursue.
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