Most people have been left to believe that Bullet Time was invented by The Wachowskis in the Matrix movie trilogy. But this couldn’t be further from the truth!
Eadweard Muybridge 1887
British born Eadweard Muybridge back in 1887 created a series of animations using 6 or more cameras around naked men. The cameras as you can see were fired at the same time around the men, capturing their movement in mid air. This is true bullet time and is the same way we do it today.
He spent almost all of his life lecturing about his works, and capturing motion and movement with his camera system. He created a best selling books Animals in Motion (1899) and The Human Figure in Motion (1901), which are still in print today.
Interesting facts about him – When he was 44, he married 21-year-old Flora Shallcross Stone, soon after they had a son called Florado. When Florado was 7 months old, Eadweard believed a Major Harry Larkyns might have fathered Florado. Once Eadweard found Larkyns, he said, “Good evening, Major, my name is Muybridge and here’s the answer to the letter you sent my wife”, and shot him point-blank. Larkyns died that night. Muybridge stood trial, admitted to the crime, but was let free due to “justifiable homicide”. There are mentions that Muybridge was related to the judge, but this isn’t proven.
The American composer Philip Glass composed an opera, “The Photographer”, with a libretto based in part on court transcripts from the case.
His grave’s headstone name is misspelled as Eadweard Maybridge!
We have edited together the couple of bullet time plates that Muybridge produced around 1887 to show his team managed to freeze the motion and move around the subject.