This film is part of Free
Phantom Ride - Chamonix
Admire the view but don't look down, as this short film takes you on a breathtaking trip through the Alps
Phantom rides were a popular early-film trick - fix a camera to the front or back of a moving vehicle and give the audience the sensation of travel, as well as taking in some exotic or picturesque scenery. Here the thrill factor is ramped up because the camera is on a train snaking around Chamonix, Switzerland, with a steep Alpine slope inches away from the tracks. The landscape is stunning, with mountains, waterfalls and forests, all of which emphasise the scale of the drop.
Robert W Paul was one of Britain's earliest filmmakers, whose production company pioneered many new techniques. Paul was a successful instrument-maker by trade and became the co-inventor of the country's first moving-picture camera in 1896. He built a studio in London's Muswell Hill in 1898 and continued to make films there until around 1910, when he turned his focus back to instruments and military technology. This film was made by his company, Paul's Animatograph Works.