George Melies (1861-1938) is regarded for integrating cinema and theatre to create a spectacle. As a magician, he is most noted for narrative and technical developments, especially pioneering special effects using multiple exposure, time lapse and dissolves. Melies is highly regarded in the context of fantasy and science fiction. His film, Le Voyage Dans La Lune (A trip to the Moon) 1902, is considered one of the first science fiction films. There is a great deal of discussion around Melies and the technological limitation at the time of his filmmaking in comparison to contemporary cinema. However, these technological developments have been enabled through Melies experimenting with the camera.
Film theory is saturated with information about Melies, but the biographic information can be found on FranceFilm Website.