Exposing Muybridge

A Special Documentary Screening and Presentation on the Life and Work of a Technological Disruptor
Thu March 16th 2023, 4:00 - 6:15pm
Event Sponsor
The Bill Lane Center for the American West
Stanford Historical Society
Cantor Arts Center
Stanford Libraries
Department of Communication
Department of Art & Art History
The Guild Theater
The Guild Theater 949 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA 94025
Admission Information

Please visit the event website to purchase tickets for the show. 

There will be two screenings. Each screening will be followed by a panel discussion on Muybridge’s legacy in the arts and sciences and a Q&A session. The entire event will last approximately 2 1/4 hours.

First screening and presentation: 4:00 p.m. - 6:15 p.m. PT
Second screening and presentation: 7:00 p.m. - 9:15 p.m. PT

Panelists for 4 p.m. screening: 

  • Corey Keller, (MA Art History), former photography curator at SFMOMA and an advisor to the film. 
  • Scott Delp, Founding Chairman of the Department of Bioengineering at Stanford, Director of the Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance at Stanford, and the 2021 recipient of the “Muybridge Award," the top career honor bestowed by the International Society of Biomechanics.  

Panelists for 7 p.m. screening:  

  • Corey Keller
  • Ryan Coffee, senior staff scientist at SLAC.

Moderator for both panels:

  • Marc Shaffer, director, writer, and producer of "Exposing Muybridge."

In June of 1878, on Leland Stanford’s Palo Alto Stock Farm and before a crowd of journalists and special guests, Eadweard Muybridge became the first to photograph something moving faster than the human eye can see: the equine gait of a horse at full gallop. In that instant, Muybridge transformed the camera into a machine of unmatched powers of perception and set the course for the invention of cinema.

"Exposing Muybridge" is the first feature documentary to tell the full story of a fascinating man, one filled with ambition, betrayal, deception, and even murder. Muybridge’s motion images opened our eyes to invisible worlds, but they also harbor secrets that provoke an enduring question: Can we believe what we see in a photograph?

Called by critics one of the best films on photography ever made (TechRadar), “tremendously entertaining” (the San Francisco Chronicle), and a “must see” (IndieWire), "Exposing Muybridge" vividly brings the legendary photographer to life through colorful interviews with scholars, photographers, authors, and others, including Stanford historian emeritus Richard White and Muybridge collector Gary Oldman.

The film features hundreds of Muybridge’s landscape and motion photographs, including many provided by the collections of the Cantor Arts Center and Stanford Libraries. Following each screening, hear from the filmmaker Marc Shaffer, who will be joined by Stanford scholars and curators, to discuss Muybridge’s legacy as a technological disruptor and his surprising legacy in the arts and sciences. The trailer of the film is available here.

Headshot of Director

About Marc Shaffer:
Marc Shaffer is the director, writer, and producer of "Exposing Muybridge." A longtime documentary filmmaker and journalist, he founded and runs the non-profit production company Inside Out Media in Oakland, California. For more than two decades, he has created films on a range of political and social issues and on history and culture which have screened widely in the United States and around the world on television, digital platforms, and in festivals and theaters. Shaffer was awarded the 2022 Writers Guild Award for his screenplay "Exposing Muybridge." His films have received three nominations for the national Emmy Award, seven Cine Golden Eagle awards, the Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award, and many other honors.