The Godfather of Cinema

A film celebrating the man who basically invented motion pictures as we know them.

October 16, 2015

By Fiona Morrow

Actors Kyle Rideout and Josh Epstein were touring as part of Bodies in Motion, Electric Company Theatre’s acclaimed play based on the life and work of Eadweard Muybridge, when they realized there was no movie dedicated to the so-called “godfather of cinema.” Already working on a different screenplay together, the pair quickly put that aside and optioned Kevin Kerr’s play.

The result, Eadweard, was directed by Rideout and co-written by Epstein, and shot locally. Within two days of the trailer being posted on YouTube, it broke 200,000 views.

Born in 1830, Muybridge is famous for having devised ways of photographing bodies—human and animal—in motion, lining up a row of cameras to capture image after image as the subject passed before them. Viewed through his invention, the zoopraxiscope, the appearance of continuous motion was achieved. His cameras and archives, held at the University of Philadelphia, were opened up for the filmmakers.

A cast that includes several local thespians is led by Michael Eklund in the title role, who, apart from being able to turn a phrase, proved reliably hirsute. “That was the biggest worry for me,” Rideout admits. “We needed an actor who could grow and maintain Muybridge’s huge beard. I couldn’t even imagine trying to fake it.”

From October 16,
Vancity Theatre
1181 Seymour St.,
604-683-3456
Viff.org/theatre

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