Dec 24, 2009
Santa Claus (1898)
Though he is not widely remembered today--British filmmaker G.A. Smith deserves a place among pioneering greats like his contemporary and friend Georges Méliès. In this short film, Santa Claus visits a pair of children on Christmas Eve.
With special effects that were novel for the time--and which are still pleasing to the eye today, Smith created a sense of wonder here that is similar to that in the films of Méliès. To make a room appear dark, he stopped the camera and draped a black curtain over the back of the set. His early use of superimposition was also impressive, given the technology available.
It's also interesting to see how Santa was portrayed over one century ago. He's put on a lot of weight over the years!