Griffith passionately believed that the shot was significantly more important than the overall scene, and should be the most basic unit of any film. He was the first director to allow the camera to be as mobile as the actors he shot. The types of shots he used were diverse, adding a new element to motion pictures. The camera was now an active participant in the storytelling process, rather than an inactive observer. Before Griffith began deploying these artistic techniques in his work, the camera was boringly passive. Just about every other filmmaker would position the camera in a static position that was far enough away from the action to not obstruct the actors, but not so far as to obscure detail. This made for films that looked flat and consistent on screen. Griffith envisioned the came...
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..., after much persistence and years of proving his talent, Griffith completed Judith of Bethulia in 1914, which totaled four complete reels.
In conclusion, David Wark Griffith has certainly earned his place among the best filmmakers in history. His innovative shooting style that involved a great degree of camera movement and a variety of angles was skillfully achieved. His editing techniques, set/location ideals and push for longer film durations all positively contributed to the art of filmmaking. Jean-Luc Godard is absolutely correct in saying that Griffith’s name should come up far more often in conversations about film than it does. He is one of the greats that established so much of the fundamental framework of the filmmaking art. It is time that more artist and audiences alike recognize him for his impressive accomplishments and the legacy he has left behind.
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