The Waif and the Wizard (AKA: The Home Made Happy) is a 1901 British short silent comedy film, directed by Walter R. Booth, featuring a magician using his magic to aid an ailing girl at the request of her brother. The film, is rather less elaborate in terms of special effects than the other films that W.R. Booth and R.W. Paul made the same year, but according to Michael Brooke of BFI Screenonline, provides an excellent illustration of how effects used sparingly can often have more impact, especially when set in a suitable emotional context. —Wikipedia
Walter Robert Booth (12 July 1869–1938) was a British magician and early pioneer of British film working first for Robert W. Paul and then Charles Urban mostly on “trick” films, where he pioneered the use of hand-drawing techniques that lead to the first British animated film, “The Hand of the Artist” (1906).
Booth, the son of a porcelain painter, followed his father with an apprentiship at the Royal Worcester Porcelain factory in 1882, where he worked until 1890. He had been a keen amateur magician and subsequently he joined the magic company of John Nevil Maskelyne and David Devant at the Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly, London, where he is presumed to have first encountered filmmaker Robert W. Paul, who exhibited some of his earliest films there in 1896.
Booth went to work for Paul first devising and then later directing short trick films, beginning with “The Miser’s Doom” and “Upside Down; or, the Human Flies” (both 1899). Many of their early collaborations, such as “Hindoo… read more