Méliès’ Studio at Montreuil

Méliès completed construction of a film studio in the Paris suburb of Montreuil in 1897 (left). Needing room to photograph scenes 20 feet wide, he designed a facility that was 20 feet wide and, in order to permit camera placement at an adequate distance, 55 feet long. By 1905, the studio had been enlarged to 42 feet in width, with the camera pushed back into a small attached shed (which can be seen on the far right of the photo on the left). Although Méliès specialized in such cinematic tricks as stop motion, the facility was also outfitted with all the basics in theatrical machinery—flylofts, trapdoors, and various winches and levers. In the photograph on the right, Méliès (far right) helps with the props for an upcoming production.

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