Film began in the Philippines when motion pictures were introduced on 1800s. It is important to note that the film industry in the Philippines started with foreign entrepreneurs. Spaniards also contributed in the growth of Philippine Cinema. Antonio Ramos, a Spanish soldier, were able to import a device from Paris to our country. It is a Lumiere Cinematograph, patented by Auguste and Louis Lumiere . It works as a camera and projector. In early 1897, two Swiss entrepreneurs, Leibman and Peritz, introduced film shows in the Philippines. They set up the first cinema in Escolta St. in Manila. They showed documentaries about the recent events and natural calamities in Europe. The following years, films are produced and shot by foreign people in the country. By 1919, a silent film, Dalagang Bukid, who is shot and made by Jose Nepomuceno, a Filipino Filmmaker, came to the scene. This silent film is based on a musical play. It is said that this work marked the start of cinema as an art in the Philippines. He is considered as the father of Philippine cinema because of this film. In wartime, the use of film became not just for entertainment but also for propaganda. Japanese occupation decelerated the growth film because they took film equipment for their personal propaganda, which at that time, the purpose of film equipment is very precious. In contrary, the theater industry boomed in wartime. With the lack of film equipment, the Filipino people resorted to theater. With the heightened stories from the heroic deeds and experiences, and the urge and need to tell this stories, with the lack of film equipment, filmmakers used this opportunity to get back to theater. After wartime, it is the time of rebuilding and continuing the decelerated growth of film in the Philippines. 1950s to 1970s were considered to be the Golden Age of Philippine Films. The remains of the wartime experiences were a large contribution to the films in this era. Lots of film were created to fulfill the lack of films in the previous era. More productions also surfaced creating more and more films to cater to people. The cinematic techniques, not just improved film content, according to film critics, is a definitive reason as to why this era is considered as the Golden Age of Philippine Films. After the golden age of Philippine film was an era of decline of Philippine film. It is because of rampant commercialism and artistic decline. A lot of films with violence and sex content are popular at that time in Hollywood, since this kind of content is famous and getting a lot of profit, local filmmakers are influenced and therefore started creating films following this type of content. Bomba Films became popular in this era. Despite the decline of Philippine Films, there are still several movies that has great importance to the industry. Marcos implemented Martial Law and it created a huge impact on the films during martial law. They insisted on censorship and the use of New Society ideologies in films. After the Marcos regime are the emergence of independent filmmakers or alternative filmmakers. Today, commercial films are profit-oriented and sticks with formula films, recycling story plots and genres. Despite this, the popularity of independent films now gives hope to a much better era of Philippine Film.
Aside from film, film tools are also developing into modern, smaller and handy equipment to make filming easier. The changes are most likely emerged from development and achievements in the field of projection, lenses, photography, and, optics. The first patented device that showed animated pictures or motion picture/movies in the United States was a device called “Zoopraxiscope” or also known as “wheel of life”. It is followed by Lumiere Cinematograph. It is a portable motion-picture camera, film processing unit, and a projector. It is a device with three functions. There are also notable contributions and milestone in the development of film tools. The contributions of Eadweard Muybridge, a San Francisco based photographer, was that he conducted motion-sequence still photographic experiments and referred as “Father of Motion Picture”. The first commercial transparent roll film was a milestone in the history of motion picture by Eastman and his research chemist. Another milestone was when Canadians Wilson Markle and Brian Hunt invented film Colorization in 1983. Multiplane camera holds great importance in animation. Multiplane camera were first used in Germany. It was more developed later in the United States by Walt Disney. Film equipment has undergone drastic changes throughout the course of history, from big, heavy, one-function equipment, we have now curated digital movie cameras that creates motion picture through digital image sensor rather than film stock. Digital movie cameras have been the dominant tool in filmmaking.
The development in quality of films in terms of cinematic techniques, primarily filming equipment, are the results of continuing technological advancement. Today, the quality of a smartphone can be highly compared to a DSLR. The quality of mobile phone camera are slowly pushing out the compact cameras that are once used for filming. As the mobile phone camera develops, it might reach the quality of video cameras and might push it out in the market in the future. However, while technological development has been progressing to a more clear path, the whole amount of created content doesn’t necessarily go along with the development of quality. However, we can see that the broad choice of film tools available for filmmakers expands their ability to create more content freely and it gives them more chance to express more of their creative potential. Given the definitions of film and filmmaking, and the technological development of film equipment, it is important to know the relation of these technological developments to the history of Film. This study aims to know how technological development, specifically smartphones, are used as an alternative tool for advancement of filmmaking.