Friday Night Flicks: Film Before Film, Zoetrope Replica, Circus Zoetrope, and Making The Pristitrope

Those of you who watch Friday Night Flicks regularly will know that I am interested in stop-motion animation. I am also intrigued by mechanical devices. Tonight’s videos combine both. The first, Film Before Film —Phenakistoscope, Zootrope, Praxinoscope, gives a little of the history of early devices that ‘animated’ still pictures.



Zoetrope Replica Optical Toy is a demonstration video for a replica zoetrope available from



The Circus Zoetrope was created for the 2010 launch of Temperley London’s Spring Summer Collection. From the text on Vimeo:

The Circus Zoetrope was officially unveiled to press and fashion buyers during New York and London Fashion Week and continued to travel to different markets for the remainder of the year. Keeping with the collections Circus theme, professional acrobats, contortionists, and circus performers were hired along with models to create moving images that both showcased the Spring Summer 2010 collection and the spirit of a circus. Wrapped around the spinning zoetrope, the frames taken from the 10 short films produce a magical illusion of action …



It was probably inevitable that someone would take one of these early animation processes and update it with digital technologies, so the final flick for today is The Making of The Pristitrope. From the text on Vimeo:

The Pristitrope is a modification of the zoetrope, a pre-cinematic optical toy that shows short, looped animations. It replaces the zoetropes static illustrations with 18 tiny LCD screens, merging a digital way of showing images with an analogue way of showing their movement. The machine knows in which direction it is turning. Therefore, basic interactivity is possible, for example in the form of simple game structures or choices within a clockwise/counterclockwise narrative.



There were a lot of videos tonight. Perhaps you’ll want to spread them out over a day or two, unless you decide to spend the weekend making your own zoetrope from the instructions found here or ordering one to make later from here.

About Byopia Press

I have been working in the book arts field for more than twenty years, and operating Byopia Press with my husband David since the late 1990s. I began producing artist's books and altered books in 2004.
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One Response to Friday Night Flicks: Film Before Film, Zoetrope Replica, Circus Zoetrope, and Making The Pristitrope

  1. Pingback: The Bicycle Race Books Complete | Byopia Press

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