The 1896 film The Execution of Mary Stuart indicates an actor dressed as the queen putting her head to the implementation block facing a little group of bystanders in lace gown. The executioner brings down his axe, and also the queen’s severed head falls.
Quitting the camera and substituting the celebrity then restarting the camera until the axe drops worked this suggestion. The 2 pieces of film were trimmed and cemented together so once the movie premiered, the action looked constant, thus creating an illusion and placing the base for special results.
While the movie was being taken the very first effects in the cinema were made. Afterwards, optical and digital effects were created so that programmers and visual effects artists may tightly control the process by manipulating the movie from post-production.
This movie was one of those exported in 1895 together with the machines and has been seen by Georges Méliès, who put on shows from his Theatre Robert-Houdin at Paris. This movie shows a girl being forced to vanish using exactly the exact same stop movement technique because the sooner Edison movie. Georges Méliès made single shot movies using this trick.