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Robert Paul and the Origins of British Cinema$
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Ian Christie

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226105628

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226610115.001.0001

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Telling Tales

Telling Tales

Studio-Based Production

(p.167) Chapter 8 Telling Tales
Robert Paul and the Origins of British Cinema

Ian Christie

University of Chicago Press

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.

Keywords:   studio, adaptation, comedy, stop-motion, chase, melodrama, Dickens

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