When did movies first start to show real world from inside a car and not a studio-based rear projection? What was the first movie that contains car sequences all made with real action shots?

  • In all probability, in-car footage was probably first (or at least, attempted first). Projecting requires extra expenses, equipment (projector), and time (to shoot the other footage, develop that film). And the original film and projection has to be good enough to be reasonably believable. Projection in a studio is used to solve production issues, some of which (like sound) wouldn't have been an issue with early films... Aug 16, 2014 at 2:26
  • I will do some research to find an answer to part one. Part two will be very hard to nail down, because early in the art forms history, they didn't do anything like what they do now with studio systems in place. I'm sure that the first guy that had a car and a camera used this film technique. However, as far as I know, the most "organized" film that answers part two of your answer is: Man with a Movie Camera (1929). It is a slient Ukranian film. Widely considered the best documentary film of all time. youtube.com/watch?v=z97Pa0ICpn8 Check 1:04:17
    – Ben Plont
    Aug 17, 2014 at 2:37
  • Time travel in beautiful images. It seems a good candidate for the first movie. It remains me a little bit about the ending of Cinema Paradiso.
    – Seitaridis
    Aug 17, 2014 at 19:08

2 Answers 2


I think, it is more difficult to put a camera in a automobile or on a truck then on a vehicle on rails.

I found some examples of early shots, but I'm not sure if they fit your criteria of inside a car. The shots I found are from a car, not inside.

I found some very early snippet with a scene from a rail bases car:

Algier 1896: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x11mo5_alger-1896-video-rare_shortfilms?start=77 The camera starts its movement at approx 1:20

There was the genre of Phantom rides, The first example was The Haverstraw Tunnel

It is considered to be the first example of a phantom ride and features a train travelling along the West Shore Railroad in Rockland County, New York and then through the eponymous tunnel.1

I haven't see the film, so I'm don't know the scene.

Another early moving shots I found was from a boat: Panorama du Grand Canal vu d'un Bateau (1896)

  • While this is interesting, I'm guessing the OP meant footage from fictional, narrative cinema of people inside cars.
    – Walt
    Aug 15, 2014 at 19:12
  • 1
    Examples of rear projections scenes are found in Alfred Hitchcock's movies. I wanted to know the first movies that didn't use such projection techniques.
    – Seitaridis
    Aug 15, 2014 at 19:44

Rear projection techniques came after filming in "the real world", as the filming of rear projection requires that the camera and projector be synchronised to avoid shutter flash. This technology did not exist in the silent era, so any motor vehicle filming would have been done live.

Its probably worth noting, though, that the filming was usually done with the car either on a flatbed truck, or being towed by a camera truck.

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