Alexandre Promio (1873-1935) was a French cinematographer and director. He is credited with pioneering the use of the tracking shot in film and is considered one of the founders of modern cinema.
Promio was born in Paris, France in 1873. He worked as a theater technician and electrician before turning to cinematography. He began his career as a cinematographer in 1898, working for the Gaumont Film Company. He quickly rose to become one of Gaumont's most trusted and respected cinematographers, shooting over 50 films for the company by 1902.
In 1903, Promio was chosen to direct the first of Gaumont's films with sound. His sound experiment, "La Vie et la Passion de Jesus Christ" (The Life and Passion of Jesus Christ), was the first feature-length film with a synchronized soundtrack. It was released in 1905 and was a huge success.
In 1906, Promio left Gaumont to pursue his own projects, forming the company Ciné et Cie with his brother, Léon. Together, they produced some of the earliest science fiction and fantasy films, including "Voyage à Travers l'Impossible" (Journey Through the Impossible) and "La Lumière du Nord" (The Northern Light).
Promio is most famous for his innovation in cinematography. He was the first to use a tracking shot, allowing the camera to move along with the action in a scene. This technique was revolutionary, as it allowed filmmakers to capture dynamic action scenes with a single camera. He also used inventive lighting and camera angles to create incredible visual effects.
Promio's influence on cinema has been immense. His use of the tracking shot was adopted by filmmakers all over the world, and his experiments with lighting and camera angles have become standard techniques in filmmaking. His films continue to be studied and admired by film historians and enthusiasts alike.
Alexandre Promio passed away in 1935, leaving behind a legacy of innovative filmmaking. He was a pioneer in the art of cinematography, and his influence can still be felt in modern films.