Ladies and gentlemen, tonight for your entertainment pleasure we have the world's most extraordinary band conductor and his one-man orchestra. Watch the unbelievable act of cloning before your very eyes, as the virtuoso of illusion duplicates himself, not once, but six times to conjure a formidable instrumental band, complete with their chairs and musical instruments. This is a must-see performance that no one should miss. —Nick Riganas
"The One-Man Band" is one of early cinema pioneer Georges Méliès's more amusing and ingenious trick film attractions. It exploits multiple-exposure photography (a.k.a. superimpositions), which he had already employed in some of his earlier trick films, including "The Four Troublesome Heads" (1898) and "The Mysterious Portrait" (1899). There is also some substitution splicing (a.k.a. stop substitutions), which was Méliès's most common trick. In this film, he uses multiple-exposure photography to reproduce his own image sevenfold—to create a band, who then play their various instruments in an amusingly hammy manner. To accomplish this feat took precise acting and direction from Méliès, as well as from his cameraman; camera masks were used and exact timing was required for the seven different exposures of the negative. It was all done in-camera. As indication of the sophistication of Méliès's trick here, Buster Keaton has received praise for technical and creative brilliance by doing the same thing 21 years later in "The Playhouse".
- Sep 16, 2009
Contribute to this page
Suggest an edit or add missing content