Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Edwin S. Porter
In the late 1890s Porter worked as both a projectionist and mechanic, eventually becoming director and cameraman for Thomas Edison and the Edison Manufacturing Company . Influenced by both the "Brighton School" and the story films of Georges Méliès, Porter went on to make important shorts such as Life of an American Fireman (1903) and The Great Train Robbery (1903). In them, he helped to develop the modern concept of continuity editing, paving the way for D.W. Griffith who would expand on Porter's discovery that the unit of film structure was the shot rather than the scene. Porter, in an attempt to resist the new industrial system born out of the popularity of nickleodeons, left Edison in 1909 to form his own production company which he eventually sold in 1912.
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