Let’start from here. This is the first moving shot in history. Shot by french cinematographer Alexandre Promio in 1896, this historic relic shows an idea that might seem obvious to us, but it actually represented a very ingenious intuition for that time. Promio, instead of filming a dynamic subject -for example, the famous train of Lumieres brothers-, filmed a view -a static subject- from a point in motion -a gondola. As it may seem obvious, this idea had more impact than anyone could imagine.
This shot may vaguely remind us of something more familiar. We’re talking about action cams. They follow the same principle: a dynamic point that films a static subject. Only the type of technology divides action cams from Promio’s shot. He wanted to film a view in order to make perceive the audience the feeling of being on a gondola in Venice: he wanted to allow them to travel without needing to actually do it. But, in a certain sense, isn’t that the same thing that action cameras do? Don’t they make relive to us the emotion felt by extreme sports’ athletes without the actual need to put us in edgy situation?
It’s true, it passed more than one hundred years from Promio’s shot to action cameras, but the idea is the same: they both want to make relive situations that are impossible to other people. And this is actually what modern technologies are doing ! We’re not exclusively talking about action cams but, for example, also viewers for augmented reality do the same thing, such as Oculus Rift. In today’s world, anyone can immerse himself in a variety of realities nearly infinite! Cinema and TV series had implemented Promio’s intuition even further.
Maybe you didn’t notice, but an award-winning series like Breaking Bad has widely used first person shots. Also not to mention Hardore Henry, a film recently released and entirely filmed with an action cam. It seems like everything is centered around excitement and thrill, around making identify even more the audience with the characters of the stories. Maybe all of this derives from an old atavistic desire of men. We don’t know, this is just a supposition. Anyway, it is a very interesting phenomenon.