Frederick S. ARMITAGE

(1874-1933)
Nationality: american

Frederick S. Armitage (29 Jun 1874 - 3 Jan 1933)

“An innovative cameraman-director for the American Mutoscope and Biograph Co. ( c. 1899-1905) and the Edison Company (1909- ?). He made an early attempt to combine film and sound (A Gay Old Boy, 1899) and several prototype “special effects” films featuring innovative cinematography and printing techniques.” –Paul Spehr

Courtesy Unseen Cinema: Early American Avant-Garde Film 1894-1941

“From 1900, Armitage began making a small number of films which utilized what would have then been considered trick effects; in two very similar subjects, ‘The Prince of Darkness’ and ‘A Terrible Night,’ Armitage reversed the negative so that the clothes a man removed seemed to be leaping back at him. In ‘A Nymph of the Waves,’ Armitage combined two previously existing subjects in a printer in order to create a subject in which a dancer appeared to be floating on top of waves from Niagara Falls; Armitage used a similar technique in ‘Davey Jones' Locker’ (1900). Armitage deliberately projected part of the negative in ‘The Ghost Train’ (1901) and used time lapse photography—taken over a period of a month—in ‘Demolishing and Building Up the Star Theater’ (1901). His most astonishing achievement, however, is the time-lapse subject ‘Down the Hudson’ (1903), in which Armitage and fellow AM&B cinematographer A. E. Weed filmed a voyage down the Hudson River from Haverstraw Bay to Newburgh in single frames, producing a film lasting three minutes.”

3 MOVIES IN DISTRIBUTION

M. LAVELLE, PHYSICAL CULTURE, NO. 1
1904 / 35mm / b&w / silent / single screen / 1' 33 / 10 €
distribution: Digital file on server
SEEING NEW YORK HARBOR BY YACHT
1903 / 35mm / b&w / sound / single screen / 3' 19 / 21 €
distribution: Digital file on server
BUILDING UP AND DEMOLISHING THE STAR THEATRE
1901 / 35mm / b&w / sound / single screen / 3' 39 / 21 €
distribution: Digital file on server