And so for a good while these men: artists, politicians etc who shared a common passion of painting, would keep each other company at a local diner opened all hours called the Andler Keller.
It might have stayed inconspicuous, as with the many other bars in Paris, except that it soon came to be known as the Temple of Realism, where some pretty nifty ideas were cooked up in between the truffles of course. Of course.
We have much to be thankful to the group, for without them the idea of capturing ordinary people (realism) on camera may have been delayed or perhaps not have happened at all.
Granted it's the 1850s and the movie camera has not yet been invented, but there's a strong argument to propose as Bazin does that cinema had already arrived and artists, cine-philes were looking for new subjects, fresh material and techniques.
Today this scene plays out in many an area e.g. local school, church and yes the local diner where groups of like-minded people meet and thrash out ideas and next week we'll do the same. Temple of Realism this is not, but we have an idea nonetheless.
Working with the David Hayward from the BBC Journalism college and Paul Egglestone from UCLAN, we're curating a gathering of some of the UK's leading videojournaists at the BFI. Some pretty impressive talent have agreed to attend from international film makers such as Claudio Von Planta to well know videojournalists who make films for Channel 4 and BBC.
The first session seeks to define the form, not as simplistic iteration of the status quo, but what it means, its potential and where it's going. IPad watch out.
I'm hoping we'll use an artistic practice called Creative fight club to capture and record the outpu which will become a piece of art in itself. More on that soon.
But this evening I also popped over to the Apple store in London. Apple have been really supportive in the past and speaking to their theatre manager I may be back there to give a fuller account of what we're up to.
I'll keep you posted.