Music brings people together and creativity opens hearts.
Welcome to Fort Lee Film Orchestra, where film music comes to life.
Our Mission & Vision
Fort Lee Film Orchestra's (FLFO) mission is in enlightening the beauty of film through music to bring more light to the history of film, film making, and understanding of motion pictures through the universal language of music. From the birthplace of American film, FLFO strives to bring intriguing and breathtaking interpretations of classical film music through innovative and inspiring performances.
Fort Lee, New Jersey
"The Motion Picture Capital of America"
We’re all familiar with the term “cliffhanger”, used to describe a movie filled with suspense, danger, and “seat-of-your pants” thrills. But did you know that the term originated out of the early serials filmed on the New Jersey Palisades in Fort Lee–the birthplace of the motion picture industry in America?
The movies came to Fort Lee when pioneer companies started to look for new filming locations. In 1907, it was found that the Palisades near Fort Lee and Coytesville could be used for “Wild West” scenes and other outdoor scenes. Rambo’s Hotel on First Street was used as a place to dress as well as for the exterior of a Western saloon.
In 1907, Thomas Alva Edison used the cliffs of the Palisades for the exterior of Rescued from an Eagle’s Nest. It was in this picture that D.W. Griffith, later to become more famous as a director, first appeared in a starring role as an actor. Although his first directorial effort, The Adventures of Dolly, was actually made in Sound Beach, CT, rather than in Fort Lee (as is listed in some secondary sources), Griffith did direct Mary Pickford in The Lonely Villa in Fort Lee in 1909. In this film, Griffith employed his most sophisticated use to date of the technique of “cross-cutting” or the cut-back to build up tension. In The New York Hat, with Mary Pickford, he presented many members of the Biograph family: Lionel Barrymore, Dorothy and Lillian Gish, and Jack Pickford. In The Battle, which was shot in the Coytesville section of the Borough in 1911, he introduced all the “battle photography” which he later expanded in his film The Birth of a Nation. An early example of the “slapstick” comedy was Biograph’s The Curtain Pole, directed by D.W. Griffith. It was shot on the streets of Fort Lee in late 1908 and started the career of the “King of Comedy”, Mack Sennett.
(Reference: Fort Lee Film Commission; www.fortleefilm.org/history.html)