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The History of Crane Usage in Movie Making

When most people think of cranes, they think of industrial applications, but cranes are also an important part of the entertainment industry as well. According to LinkedIn, camera cranes go back to the dawn of movie-making. They were often used in old silent movies to enhance the epic nature of large sets and the massive crowds gathered during filming. Let’s take a quick look at the history of movie cranes.

The Crane Shot

Cranes and crane rental are such a vital part of movie-making, that there is a shot named after the crane. The crane shot is one that allows the camera to move through the space above the actors and the set. With this type of shot, a camera person is able to move up, down, left, right, forward, or backward. This gives them ultimate flexibility to get shots as well as amazing views that could otherwise never be captured.

The first crane shot was done in 1916 on the film Intolerance. Engineer Allen Dwan had the idea to get cranes involved in the movie-making process to gain better views and shots from a different perspective. The director D.W. Griffith wanted to be able to rise above the massive Babylonian set and descend to the ground again. All of the details of how this first crane shot was executed were not recorded, unfortunately. But we do know that the crew pulled it off rising up, pulling in close, and going back down.

It’s also known what an impact the shot had on audiences. It’s reported that moviegoers gasped out loud when the shot apparently rose up into the air. People were captivated and awe-struck at being able to see the world from this new perspective.

Ongoing Innovation

Since that long-crane shot in 1916, moviemakers have continued to find new and more awe-inspiring ways to capture shots that truly bring us the world in a new perspective. This is the power of crane use and technology. Not only can this machine help achieve industrial achievements, but it can also be used to bring the world to audiences from a new perspective.

If you’re interested in crane rental, please contact us today. We are here for your crane needs. Our team looks forward to working with you.

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