is best known for his comedic film roles, but the world's favorite old-timey tramp was a Renaissance man who directed, produced and wrote his own scripts and musical compositions. By 1918, the film icon reached the height of his fame. He secured one of the first two major motion picture contracts with First National Picture Corporation, along with silent cinema's "sweetheart" Mary Pickford.
That year, the company reportedly
rejected Chaplin's reel for a film called How Moving Pictures Are Made
. The short promises what it advertises: behind-the-scenes clips of Chaplin going about his moviemaking day (eating a lemon with the utmost absurdity, toying with his mustache, goofing off by a pool), film being processed (in what could double for an alchemical process conducted in a witch's cauldron), set construction, makeup tests and more.
It's a fascinating look at cinema's early days, but reportedly
the film was never constructed in its entirety. The movie was shelved, but footage appeared in 1959's The Chaplin Revue
. In the early 1980s, a restored version was created, retitled How to Make Movies
. If you have a spare 20 minutes, it's a fun little history lesson.
[Spotted via Filmmaker IQ]