Inventing Modern Movies


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Actor. Director. Writer. Producer. Radio personality. Media Celebrity….Inventor of movies?

These are all words to describe the famous Orson Welles. Yes, even the last one. Best for his radio broadcast, War of the Worlds, which is one of the most well known broadcasts in history. Along with the film Citizen Kane, Orson Welles is among the most celebrated media stars of the twenties.

Citizen Kane, a movie about trying to find the meaning behind the last words spoken by Charles Foster Kane, a newspaper tycoon. A reporter for the newspaper tracks down many people whose lives intertwined with that of Charles Foster Kane’s in efforts to decipher the riddle of the famous last word “Rosebud.” The movie itself, is entertaining and definitely one of the best, but it is all the theatric elements that differentiate if from other films of the time.

Welles contributed a lot to the film industry. Citizen Kane was his first and most famous movie, which he directed and starred in. In addition, he directed 12 other movies during his career. However, his creative process differed from that of other directors and producers at the time. Welles’ films are unique because they contained, at the time, distinctive features that set them apart from other films, such as straying from usual lighting, such as taking advantage of shadows, or utilizing different camera angles by increasing the close-up shots.These changes really revolutionized the film industry and later on become the new normal when making movies.

Orson Welles was also unique because he had so much more input in his film than other directors/producers/writers had in their’s. Because of how greatly he believed in the movie, a great deal of production cost was covered by Welles himself, and he took control of the whole film, redefining the idea of artistic freedom. Today, we now have a “Steven Spielberg motion picture” or a “James Cameron movie” all because of the original “Orson Welles film.” To read more about just how Orson Welles “invented film,” check out this related article.


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