10 Movies That Introduced New “Firsts” Technologies in Film

Movie Technology

When you think about how advanced movies are today, it’s hard to stop and think how these movies got there.  But if it weren’t for the bold actions of some producers, directors, crew, actors, you name it, the effects you can see and also hear may not be available to the movie viewer today.

It’s funny to think that at one point movie goers probably thought to themselves, “color movies? yeah right.”  And I’m sure years later people thought things like “computers in movies?  yeah right.”  I wonder what today’s movie goer may doubt.

I hope people are saying things like “interactive porn?  no way.”

Here are 10 movies that introduced new technologies

Toy Story – 1995

Movie Technology

Toy Story was the first CGI full featured film.  And the amazing thing is that if you see the movie now, you almost think that the movie has crappy animation.  However, if it weren’t for Toy Story you wouldn’t be seeing the lifelike appearance of animated films today.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs- 1937

Movie Technology

Was the first feature-length, traditionally animated film released.  I’m sure at the time many naysayers probably didn’t think that Disney could pull this off.  If it weren’t for this release, I wonder where the animated film industry would be today.

The Jazz Singer – 1927

Movie Technology

First feature-length talkie (and first musical) released.  Pretty impressive.  Killing two birds with one stone here.  For the purposes of this article however,  the first one is the one that counts.  Easy and funny question.  Where in the world would we be without synchronized sound in movies?????

Bwana Devil – 1952

Movie Technology

First 3D Movie.  You can thank 1952’s Bwana Devil for paving the way for that extra fear in the movie theater.  I wish 3D would make a return to theaters.  You just don’t see it as often.  Perhaps the show Chuck being in 3D might spark something.

Fantasia – 1940

Movie Technology

Once again Disney wowed audiences with the first film to be released in a multichannel stereo sound format that bounced around the four corners of the cinema.  Surround sound.  Now how much would it suck if you were in the theater and you only heard sound coming from one spot.  We just take things for granted.

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  1. What about the CGI in The Abyss? that same out in 1989, and had the CGI alien/blob thing. Not quite as detailed as T2, but still … I guess it depends on what is defined as “CGI” …

  2. After your comment about 3-D in ‘Bwana Devil,’ you lost all credibility. First of all, 3-D is a horribly novel feature to films. To shift the audiences focus away from the film and purely toward the visuals is always a bad move, especially when those visuals are unconvincing and tacky. Secondly, you talk about how you think they should bring it back to theaters (I hoped to god you were being sarcastic). Have you not noticed the re-emergence of this awful ploy recently? ‘My Bloody Valentine,’ ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth,’ ‘Bolt,’ ‘Beowulf’ just to name a few.

  3. Wasn’t the Wrath of Khan released the same year, but before Tron? Can’t remember if it fits in the “+20mins of full 3D and CG” part, but it had quite a lot of CG.

  4. How in the world do you forget the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy?! They introduced an entire new way to make CGI characters. So much so, in fact, that they created a company based on it

  5. How about Hallelujah for first movie with post synch sound? Can you imagine if every movie today only used the sound being recorded during the filming of the same shot?

    As for The Matrix and bullet time, how can another movie have used it first if John Gaeta created the technology for the movie? Please explain.

  6. 15 years later and Jurassic Park still has some of the best CG Special Effects I’ve ever seen. Just goes to show you that faster computers only make CG faster, they don’t necessarily make it better. I think it has something to do with the fact that back when CG was a longer process, you had to work harder to get a good result.

  7. Innovative movies… Well, to start, before anyone goes Matrix happy, watch Equilibrium. It was the Matrix before the Matrix.

    But my true entry here is “Star Wars, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.” It’s a relatively new development, but Lucas came up with Video Village, in which you see the digital dailies on digital screens instantly, and choose your shots and only send keepers to the editors. I know for a fact Fred Durst used a Video Village in “The Longshots” because a student of mine was in the movie.

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