|Title ID||8399||Collection ID||1189|
|Title||Train Entering and Exiting Tunnel|
|Theme||Early film in the South East Transport|
|Keywords||Trains Transport Railways|
|Format||Black & White Silent|
|Copyright & Access||Copyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details|
A film by Cecil Hepworth shot from the front of a train as it enters and leaves a tunnel in 1899.
The film opens with a stationary shot of a train exiting a tunnel, moving towards the camera. The camera starts to inch forward along the tracks, the footage shot from the front of another train to show the driver's point of view. The train and camera enter the dark tunnel. The film closes as the train emerges, shot from the driver's point of view once more.
The central scene of George Albert Smith's The Kiss in the Tunnel (1899) was spliced into Hepworth's Train Entering and Exiting a Tunnel (1899) to create a sense of continuity and sequential narrative.
"Phantom rides" were films shot from moving trains, presenting the viewer with the point of view of the driver at the front of the train, moving forwards while sitting in their seats. The train itself was invisible, unseen to the audience. The Haverstraw Tunnel (1897) was American film's first phantom ride. The concept was adopted by British cinema in the next two years. A phantom ride through a tunnel provides an exiting experience in itself. For Smith, the phantom ride also provided the opportunity to present narrative action, splicing a studio scene set inside the train between its movement into blackness and emergence from the other side.