Alexa here with your weekly arts and crafts. In a sort of continuation of last week's episode, here's an odd little obsession I've had brewing lately: making your own paper movie machines. I've always been into early cinema (TCM Silent Sundays were a must until my cable bundle dropped TCM) and reading up on the Lumiere brothers and all the strange optical toys that preceded the advent of photographic moving pictures. (Yes, Hugo was a thrill in this regard.) I went as far as to buy this book on etsy, which has very interesting instructions for making your own thaumatropes, kinematoscopes, rolloscopes and lots of other tropes and scopes I had no idea existed.
At one point I had a ridiculously analog notion to make strips from screencaps of my favorite films so I could watch them with my daughter through a zoetrope, until I realized this would totally make me a Portlandia punchline. I promise, I have no other steampunk leanings.
Various optical toys that replicate the wonder of the earliest moving pictures are being made by many, and antique machines are a collectors item. Flipbooks, praxinascopes and thaumatropes are after the jump.