The release last year of Martin Scorsese’s HUGO has brought to the forefront a long-deceased cinema pioneer. That would be Georges Méliès, who is played in HUGO by Ben Kingsley.
What makes Méliès so interesting historically is that he was as much an illusionist as a filmmaker. His imagination allowed him to concoct and employ a range of special effects in the films he made around the turn of the 20th century. These effects include time lapse photography, multiple exposures, and hand-painted color on film shot in black-and-white.