In its first-ever, the Google has created a Virtual Reality (VR) – 360 degree interactive Doodle to celebrate the life and artistry of French illusionist and film director Georges Melies. Marie-Georges-Jean Melies, popularly known as Georges Melies, was an illusionist and film director from France who was born on December 8, 1861. He was the one who in the earliest days of cinema, led many technical and narrative developments. It is because of the pioneering mind of Georges Méliès that paved the way for special effects we see today. And therefore, Georges Méliès is still remembered for his cinematographic wonder.
As Melies brought magic to filmmaking through dozens of tricks and illusions, there couldn’t be a better way to pay homage to him than by using one of the most innovative and immersive tools we have for storytelling today: Virtual Reality! The interesting Doodle is a result of collaboration of the Google Doodle, Google Spotlight Stories, Google Arts and Culture and Cinémathèque Française teams. It was produced by Nexus Studios. People can also enjoy the Google Doodle without a headset as a 360° video on the Google Spotlight Stories YouTube Channel. Here take a look-
Before becoming one of the most important filmmakers in early cinema, Melies was a trained magician. Fascinated by puppets from a young age, he was introduced to magic tricks by 2 masters of the craft: John Maskelyne and David Devant.
He was one of the first filmmakers to use storyboards. He pioneered the use of special effects and creation of some of the earliest films of the science fiction genre. His films include 1902 released ‘A Trip to the Moon’ and ‘The Impossible Voyage’ that was released in the year 1904, both involving strange, surreal journeys somewhat in the style of Jules Verne. Both the films are considered among the most important early science fiction films.
The film ‘A Trip to the Moon’ took the world by storm! It had the most amazing and ambitious tricks, the likes of which had never been seen before. The film was heavily pirated, especially in the United States, where Méliès was forced to open a branch office to protect his film rights.
It was the time when cinematography was nascent and almost exclusively documentary-style, there Melies single-handedly opened the doors of the dream, the magic, and the fiction. He accomplished this fundamental act by uniting the universes of Robert-Houdin with the chronophotography and cinematography of Marey and the Lumière brothers. The entire body of Méliès’ work shines with dynamic fantasy, boundless imagination, and an irresistible jubilation. The worlds he created were explosive and a unique mixture of phantasmagoria, devilry, trompe-l’oeil, illusions, flames, fumes, and vapors.