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A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of
visual art The visual arts are art forms such as painting Painting is the practice of applying paint Paint is any pigmented liquid, liquefiable, or solid mastic composition that, after application to a substrate in a thin layer, converts to ...
used to simulate experiences that communicate ideas, stories, perceptions, feelings, beauty, or atmosphere through the use of moving images. These images are generally accompanied by sound, and more rarely, other sensory stimulations. The word "cinema", short for
cinematography Cinematography (from ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following p ...

cinematography
, is often used to refer to
filmmaking Filmmaking (film production) is the process by which a is . Filmmaking involves a number of complex and discrete stages, starting with an initial story, idea, or commission. It then continues through , , pre-production, shooting, sound recordi ...
and the
film industry The film industry or motion picture industry comprises the technological and commercial institutions of filmmaking Filmmaking (film production) is the process by which a is . Filmmaking involves a number of complex and discrete stages, sta ...
, and to the
art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use o ...

art
form that is the result of it. The moving images of a film are created by
photographing Photography is the art, application, and practice of creating durable images by recording light, either electronically by means of an image sensor, or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film. It is employed in ...

photographing
actual scenes with a
motion-picture camera A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art used to simulate experiences that communicate ideas, stories, perceptions, feelings, beauty, or atmosphere through the use of moving images. These image ...
, by photographing drawings or miniature models using traditional
animation Animation is a method in which are manipulated to appear as moving images. In , images are drawn or painted by hand on transparent to be photographed and exhibited on . Today, most animations are made with (CGI). can be very detailed , whil ...

animation
techniques, by means of
CGI CGI may refer to: Technology * Computer-generated imagery, computer-graphic effects in films, television programs, and other visual media * Computer Graphics Interface, the low-level interface between the Graphical Kernel System and hardware * Comm ...
and
computer animation " technique Computer animation is the process used for digitally generating animated images. The more general term computer-generated imagery Computer-generated imagery (CGI) is the application of computer graphics to create or contribute to i ...
, or by a combination of some or all of these techniques, and other
visual effects Visual effects (sometimes abbreviated VFX) is the process by which imagery is created or manipulated outside the context of a live-action shot in filmmaking Filmmaking (film production) is the process by which a motion picture A fil ...
. Before the introduction of digital production, film was a physical strip of film consisting of a series of static or still images of live action photographed at the rate of 24 frames or images per second. When the images are viewed at the same rate the illusion of motion is the result of what is called
persistence of vision Persistence of vision traditionally refers to the optical illusion that occurs when visual perception of an object does not cease for some time after the rays of light proceeding from it have ceased to enter the eye. The illusion has also been des ...
, the fact that the mind cannot process individual images at that speed, so the images merge together to produce the illusion of motion within the image. If the film is an animation of any kind, the widely separated in time images are planned to be seen at the standard speed. Traditionally, films were recorded onto celluloid
film stock Film stock is an that is used for recording or . It is recorded on by a , , , and projected onto a screen using a . It is a strip or sheet of transparent coated on one side with a containing microscopically small light-sensitive cry ...
through a
photochemical Photochemistry is the branch of chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with Chemical element, elements and chemical compound, compounds composed of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties, behav ...
process and then shown through a
movie projector A movie projector is an opto-mechanical Mechanical may refer to: Machine * Mechanical system, a system that manages the power of forces and movements to accomplish a task * Machine (mechanical), a system of mechanisms that shape the actuator ...
onto a large
screen Screen or Screens may refer to: Arts * Screen printing (also called ''silkscreening''), a method of printing * Big screen, a nickname associated with the motion picture industry * Split screen (filmmaking), a film composition paradigm in which mult ...
. Contemporary films are often
fully digital Fully is a Municipalities of Switzerland, municipality in the district of Martigny (district), Martigny in the Cantons of Switzerland, canton of Valais in Switzerland. History Fully is first mentioned in the 11th Century as ''Fuliacum''. Geograph ...
through the entire process of production, distribution, and exhibition, while films recorded in a photochemical form traditionally included an analogous
optical soundtrack Optics is the branch of physics that studies the behaviour and properties of light, including its interactions with matter and the construction of optical instruments, instruments that use or Photodetector, detect it. Optics usually describes the ...
(a graphic
recording A record, recording or records may refer to: An item or collection of data Computing * Record (computer science), a data structure ** Record, or row (database), a set of fields in a database related to one entity ** Boot sector or boot record, rec ...
of the spoken words, music and other
sound In physics, sound is a vibration that propagates as an acoustic wave, through a transmission medium such as a gas, liquid or solid. In human physiology and psychology, sound is the ''reception'' of such waves and their ''perception'' by the b ...

sound
s that accompany the images which runs along a portion of the film exclusively reserved for it, and is not projected). Films are
cultural artifact Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior Social behavior is behavior Behavior (American English) or behaviour (British English; American and British English spelling differences#-our, -or, see spelling diff ...
s created by specific
culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals i ...

culture
s. They reflect those cultures, and, in turn, affect them. Film is considered to be an important art form, a source of popular entertainment, and a powerful medium for
educating Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, value (ethics), values, morals, beliefs, and habits. Educational methods include teaching, training, storytelling, discussion and directed resear ...
—or
indoctrinating Indoctrination is the process of wikt:inculcate, inculcating a person with ideas, attitude (psychology), attitudes, cognition, cognitive strategies or professional methodology, methodologies (see doctrine). Humans are a social animal species inesca ...
—citizens. The visual basis of film gives it a universal power of communication. Some films have become popular worldwide attractions through the use of
dubbing Dub, Dubs, or dubbing may refer to: Places * Dub (Hadžići), a village in Bosnia and Herzegovina * Dub (Rogatica), a village in Bosnia and Herzegovina * Dub (Prachatice District), a town in the Czech Republic * Dub, Kotor, Dub, a village in Mon ...
or
subtitles Subtitles are text Text may refer to: Written word * Text (literary theory) Text may refer to: Written word * Text (literary theory), any object that can be read, including: **Religious text, a writing that a religious tradition considers ...
to
translate Translation is the communication of the meaning of a source-language text by means of an equivalent target-language text. The English language draws a terminological distinction (which does not exist in every language) between ''transla ...

translate
the dialog into other languages. The individual images that make up a film are called
frames A frame is often a structural system that supports other components of a physical construction and/or steel frame that limits the construction's extent. Frame and FRAME may also refer to: Arts and media Film and television *Frame (film), one of ...
. In the projection of
tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of conscious ...

tradition
al celluloid films, a rotating shutter causes intervals of darkness as each frame, in turn, is moved into position to be projected, but the viewer does not notice the interruptions because of an effect known as
persistence of vision Persistence of vision traditionally refers to the optical illusion that occurs when visual perception of an object does not cease for some time after the rays of light proceeding from it have ceased to enter the eye. The illusion has also been des ...
, whereby the eye retains a visual image for a fraction of a second after its source disappears. The perception of motion is partly due to a psychological effect called the
phi phenomenon The term phi phenomenon is used in a narrow sense for an Illusory motion, apparent motion that is observed if two nearby optical Stimulus (psychology), stimuli are presented in alternation with a relatively high frequency. In contrast to beta movem ...
. The name "film" originates from the fact that
photographic film Photographic film is a strip or sheet of transparent coated on one side with a containing microscopically small light-sensitive crystals. The sizes and other characteristics of the crystals determine the sensitivity, contrast, and of the ...
(also called
film stock Film stock is an that is used for recording or . It is recorded on by a , , , and projected onto a screen using a . It is a strip or sheet of transparent coated on one side with a containing microscopically small light-sensitive cry ...
) has historically been the
medium Medium may refer to: Science and technology Aviation *Medium bomber, a class of war plane *Tecma Medium, a French hang glider design Communication * Media (communication), tools used to store and deliver information or data * Medium of i ...
for recording and displaying motion pictures. Many other terms exist for an individual motion-picture, including ''picture'', ''picture show'', ''moving picture'', ''photoplay'', and ''flick''. The most common term in the United States is ''movie'', while in
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered ...

Europe
''film'' is preferred. Common terms for the field in general include ''the big screen'', ''the silver screen'', ''the movies'', and ''cinema''; the last of these is commonly used, as an overarching term, in scholarly texts and critical essays. In early years, the word ''sheet'' was sometimes used instead of ''screen''. 'Film' in general is not a good term to refer to a long standard commercial video production since it’s ambiguous in general and therefore requires context for correct interpretation.


History


Precursors

The art of film has drawn on several earlier traditions in fields such as oral
storytelling Storytelling describes the social and cultural activity of sharing narrative, stories, sometimes with improvisation, theatre, theatrics or embellishment. Every culture has its own stories or narratives, which are shared as a means of entertainmen ...

storytelling
,
literature Literature broadly is any collection of Writing, written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, drama, and poetry. In recent centuries, the definition has expan ...

literature
,
theatre Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usually actor, actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place, often a stage. The p ...

theatre
and
visual art The visual arts are art forms such as painting Painting is the practice of applying paint Paint is any pigmented liquid, liquefiable, or solid mastic composition that, after application to a substrate in a thin layer, converts to ...
s. Forms of art and
entertainment Entertainment is a form of activity that holds the attention and interest In finance Finance is the study of financial institutions, financial markets and how they operate within the financial system. It is concerned with the creatio ...

entertainment
that had already featured moving and/or projected images include: *
shadowgraphyShadowgraphy may refer to: * Shadowgraphy (performing art), using hand shadows * Shadow play or shadow puppetry, performing art using cut-out figures * Radiography, the use of X-rays * Shadowgraphs or shadowgrams, an optical method that reveals non- ...
, probably used since prehistoric times *
camera obscura A camera obscura (plural ''camerae obscurae'' or ''camera obscuras'', from Latin , "dark chamber") is a darkened room with a small hole or lens at one side through which an image is projected onto a wall or table opposite the hole. "Camera obs ...

camera obscura
, a natural phenomenon that has possibly been used as an artistic aid since prehistoric times *
shadow puppetry Shadow play, also known as shadow puppetry, is an ancient form of storytelling and entertainment which uses flat articulated cut-out figures (shadow puppets) which are held between a source of light and a translucent screen or scrim (material), sc ...
, possibly originated around 200 BCE in Central Asia, India, Indonesia or China * The
magic lantern The magic lantern, also known by its Latin name ''laterna magica'', is an early type of image projector 200px, Acer projector, 2012 A projector or image projector is an optical device that projects an image (or moving images) onto a surf ...
, developed in the 1650s. The multi-media
phantasmagoria Phantasmagoria (, also fantasmagorie, fantasmagoria) was a form of horror Horror may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Genres *Horror fiction, a genre of fiction **Japanese horror, Japanese horror fiction **Korean horror, Korean hor ...
shows that utilized magic lanterns were popular from 1790 throughout the first half of the 19th century and could feature mechanical slides, rear projection, mobile projectors,
superimposition Superimposition is the placement of one thing over another, typically so that both are still evident. Graphics In graphics Graphics (from Greek ''graphikos'', "belonging to drawing") are visual images or designs on some surface, such as a ...

superimposition
,
dissolving views Dissolving views were a popular type of 19th century magic lantern The magic lantern, also known by its Latin name ''laterna magica'', is an early type of image projector that used pictures—paintings, prints, or photographs—on transparen ...
, live actors, smoke (sometimes to project images upon), odors, sounds and even electric shocks.


Before celluloid

The
stroboscopicStroboscopic may refer to: * Stroboscopic effect, visual temporal aliasing *Stroboscopic effect (lighting), a temporal light artefact visible if a moving object is lit with modulated light with specific modulation frequencies and amplitudes * Strobo ...
animation principle was introduced in 1833 with the
phénakisticope
phénakisticope
and also applied in the
zoetrope A zoetrope is one of several pre-film animation devices that produce the illusion of motion by displaying a sequence of drawings or photographs showing progressive phases of that motion. It was basically a cylindrical variation of the phénakis ...

zoetrope
since 1866, the
flip book A flip book, flicker book, or kineograph is a booklet with a series of images that very gradually change from one page to the next, so that when the pages are viewed in quick succession, the images appear to animate by simulating motion or some ...
since 1868, and the
praxinoscope 300px, The Théâtre Optique, 1892. This ultimate elaboration of the device used long strips with hundreds of narrative images. The praxinoscope was an animation device, the successor to the zoetrope. It was invented in France in 1877 by Charl ...

praxinoscope
since 1877, before it became the basic principle for cinematography. Experiments with early phenakisticope-based animation projectors were made at least as early as 1843.
Jules Duboscq Louis Jules Duboscq (March 5, 1817 – September 24, 1886) was a French instrument maker, inventor, and pioneering photographer. He was known in his time, and is remembered today, for the high quality of his optical instruments. Life and wor ...
marketed phénakisticope projection systems in France between 1853 and the 1890s.
Photography Photography is the art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagination to express technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual ideas. There is no generally agreed definition of ...

Photography
was introduced in 1839, but at first
photographic emulsion Photographic emulsion is a light Light or visible light is electromagnetic radiation within the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that can be visual perception, perceived by the human eye. Visible light is usually defined as having wav ...
s needed such long exposures that the recording of moving subjects seemed impossible. At least as early as 1844, photographic series of subjects posed in different positions have been created to either suggest a motion sequence or to document a range of different viewing angles. The advent of stereoscopic photography, with early experiments in the 1840s and commercial success since the early 1850s, raised interest in completing the photographic medium with the addition of means to capture colour and motion. In 1849,
Joseph Plateau Joseph Antoine Ferdinand Plateau (14 October 1801 – 15 September 1883) was a Belgian Belgian may refer to: * Something of, or related to, Belgium Belgium, ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a coun ...

Joseph Plateau
published about the idea to combine his invention of the phénakisticope with the stereoscope, as suggested to him by stereoscope inventor
Charles Wheatstone Sir Charles Wheatstone FRS FRSE DCL LLD (6 February 1802 – 19 October 1875), was an English scientist and inventor of many scientific breakthroughs of the Victorian era In the history of the United Kingdom, the Victorian era was ...
, and use photographs of plaster sculptures in different positions to be animated in the combined device. In 1852, Jules Duboscq patented such an instrument as the "Stéréoscope-fantascope, ou Bïoscope". He marginally advertised it for a short period. It was a commercial failure and no complete instrument has yet been located, but one bioscope disc has been preserved in the Plateau collection of the Ghent University. It has stereoscopic photographs of a machine. By the late 1850s the first examples of
instantaneous photography Snapshots render memorable moments in imperfect images. Here, glare exposes the photographer and implies a close and familiar relationship to the subject. A snapshot is a photograph 396x396px, '' View from the Window at Le Gras'' (1826 or 18 ...
came about and provided hope that motion photography would soon be possible, but it took a few decades before it was successfully combined with a method to record series of sequential images in real-time. In 1878,
Eadweard Muybridge Eadweard Muybridge (; 9 April 1830 – 8 May 1904, born Edward James Muggeridge) was an English photographer important for his pioneering work in photographic studies of motion (physics), motion, and early work in motion-picture Movie projec ...
eventually managed to take a series of photographs of a running horse with a battery of cameras in a line along the track and published the results as ''
The Horse in Motion File:Eadweard Muybridge-Sallie Gardner 1878.jpg, ''"Sallie Gardner," owned by Leland Stanford; ridden by G. Domm, running at a 1.40 gait over the Palo Alto track, 19th June, 1878'' (1878 cabinet card, "untouched" version from original negatives) ...

The Horse in Motion
'' on
cabinet cardThe cabinet card was a style of photograph which was widely used for photographic portraiture after 1870. It consisted of a thin photograph mounted on a card typically measuring 108 by 165 mm ( by inches). History probably from the late 1870s ...
s. Muybridge, as well as
Étienne-Jules Marey Étienne-Jules Marey (; 5 March 1830, Beaune Beaune () is the wine capital of Burgundy (French region), Burgundy in the Côte-d'Or, Côte d'Or Departments of France, department in eastern France. It is located between Lyon and Dijon. Beaune i ...

Étienne-Jules Marey
,
Ottomar Anschütz Ottomar Anschütz (16 May 1846, in Lissa – 30 May 1907, in Berlin) was a German inventor, photographer, and chronophotographer Career Anschütz studied photography between 1864 and 1868 under the well-known photographers Ferdinand Beyrich (Be ...

Ottomar Anschütz
and many others would create many more
chronophotography Chronophotography is a photographic technique from the Victorian era In the history of the United Kingdom, the Victorian era was the wikt:period, period of Queen Victoria's reign, from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. The ...
studies. Muybridge had the contours of dozens of his chronophotographic series traced onto glass discs and projected them with his
zoopraxiscope and Erwin F. Faber Image:Zoopraxiscope 16485d.gif, 200px, Black-and-white animation of a colored zoopraxiscope (without distortion, hence the elongated form) The zoopraxiscope (initially named ''zoographiscope'' and ''zoogyroscope'') is an early d ...
in his lectures from 1880 to 1895. Anschütz developed his own
Electrotachyscope The Elektrischen Schnellseher (literally "Electrical Quick-Viewer") or Electrotachyscope was an early motion picture system developed by chronophotographer Ottomar Anschütz between 1886 and 1894. He made at least seven different versions of the m ...
in 1887 to project 24 diapositive photographic images on glass disks as moving images, looped as long as deemed interesting for the audience. Émile Reynaud already mentioned the possibility of projecting the images in his 1877 patent application for the praxinoscope. He presented a praxinoscope projection device at the
Société française de photographie The Société française de photographie (SFP) is an association, founded on 15 November 1854, devoted to the history of photography The history of photography began in remote antiquity with the discovery of two critical principles: camera obs ...
on 4 June 1880, but did not market his ''praxinoscope a projection'' before 1882. He then further developed the device into the Théâtre Optique which could project longer sequences with separate backgrounds, patented in 1888. He created several movies for the machine by painting images on hundreds of gelatin plates that were mounted into cardboard frames and attached to a cloth band. From 28 October 1892 to March 1900 Reynaud gave over 12,800 shows to a total of over 500,000 visitors at the Musée Grévin in Paris.


First motion pictures

By the end of the 1880s, the introduction of lengths of
celluloid Celluloids are a class of materials produced by mixing nitrocellulose Nitrocellulose (also known as cellulose nitrate, flash paper, flash cotton, guncotton, pyroxylin and flash string, depending on form) is a highly flammable compound formed ...

celluloid
photographic film Photographic film is a strip or sheet of transparent coated on one side with a containing microscopically small light-sensitive crystals. The sizes and other characteristics of the crystals determine the sensitivity, contrast, and of the ...
and the invention of motion picture cameras, which could photograph an indefinitely long rapid sequence of images using only one lens, allowed several minutes of action to be captured and stored on a single compact
reel A reel is an object around which lengths of another material (usually long and flexible) are wound for storage. Generally a reel has a cylindrical core and walls on the sides to retain the material wound around the core. In some cases the core is ...

reel
of film. Some early films were made to be viewed by one person at a time through a "peep show" device such as the
Kinetoscope The Kinetoscope is an early motion-picture exhibition device. The Kinetoscope was designed for films to be viewed by one individual at a time through a peephole A peephole, peekhole, spyhole, doorhole, magic mirror or door viewer, is a s ...

Kinetoscope
and the
mutoscope The Mutoscope is an early motion picture A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art used to simulate experiences that communicate ideas, stories, perceptions, feelings, beauty, or atmosphere ...

mutoscope
. Others were intended for a
projector image:IFA 2012 IMG 5767.JPG, 200px, Acer inc., Acer projector, 2012 A projector or image projector is an optical device that projects an image (or moving images) onto a surface, commonly a projection screen. Most projectors create an image by shin ...
, mechanically similar to the camera and sometimes actually the same machine, which was used to shine an intense light through the processed and printed film and into a projection lens so that these "moving pictures" could be shown tremendously enlarged on a screen for viewing by an entire audience. The first kinetoscope film shown in public exhibition was
Blacksmith Scene ''Blacksmith Scene'' (also known as ''Blacksmith Scene #1'' and ''Blacksmithing Scene'') is an 1893 American short black-and-white Black-and-white (B/W or B&W) images combine black and white in a continuous spectrum, producing a range of ...
, produced by
Edison Manufacturing Company The Edison Manufacturing Company was a company organized in 1889 by the inventor and entrepreneur Thomas Edison Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847October 18, 1931) was an American inventor and businessman who has been described as Americ ...
in 1893. The following year the company would begin
Edison Studios Edison Studios was an American film production company, production organization, owned by companies controlled by inventor and entrepreneur, Thomas Edison. The film studio, studio made close to 1,200 films, as part of the Edison Manufacturing Compan ...
, which became an early leader in the film industry with notable early shorts including ''
The KissThe Kiss may refer to: Art * The Kiss (Brâncuși sculpture), ''The Kiss'' (Brâncuși sculpture), a 1908 sculpture by Constantin Brâncuși * The Kiss (Hayez), ''The Kiss'' (Hayez painting), an 1859 painting by Francesco Hayez * The Kiss (Klimt) ...
'', and would go on to produce close to 1,200 films. The first public screenings of films at which admission was charged were made in 1895 by the American
Woodville LathamMajor Woodville Latham (1837–1911) was an ordnance officer of the Confederacy during the American Civil War The American Civil War (also known by Names of the American Civil War, other names) was a civil war in the United States from 1861 ...
and his sons, using films produced by their
Eidoloscope The Eidoloscope was an early motion picture A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art The visual arts are art forms such as painting Painting is the practice of applying paint, pig ...
company, and by the – arguably better known – French brothers
Auguste and Louis Lumière The Lumière brothers (, ; ), Auguste Marie Louis Nicolas Lumière (19 October 1862 – 10 April 1954) and Louis Lumière, Louis Jean Lumière (5 October 1864 – 6 June 1948), were manufacturers of photography equipment, best known for their cin ...
with ten of their own productions. Private screenings had preceded these by several months, with Latham's slightly predating the Lumière brothers'.


Early evolution

The earliest films were simply one static
shot Shot may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media *Shot (album), ''Shot'' (album), by The Jesus Lizard *''Shot, Illusion, New God'', an EP by Gruntruck *''Shot Rev 2.0'', a video album by The Sisters of Mercy *Shot (song), "Shot" (song), by The Ra ...
that showed an event or action with no
editing Editing is the process of selecting and preparing written language, written, photographic, Image editing, visual, Audio engineer, audible, or Film editing, cinematic material used by a person or an entity to convey a message or information. T ...
or other cinematic techniques. Typical films showed employees leaving a factory gate, people walking in the street, the view from the front of a trolly as it traveled a city’s Main Street. According to legend, when a film showed a locomotive at high speed approaching the audience, the audience panicked and ran from the theater. Around the turn of the 20th century, films started stringing several scenes together to tell a story. (The filmmakers who first put several shots or scenes discovered that, when one shot follows another, that act establishes a relationship between the content in the separate shots in the minds of the viewer. It this relationship that makes all film storytelling possible. In a simple example, if a person is shown looking out a window, whatever the next shot shows, it will be regarded as the view the person was seeing.) Each scene was a single stationary shot with the action occurring before it. The scenes were later broken up into multiple shots photographed from different distances and angles. Other techniques such as camera movement were developed as effective ways to tell a story with film. Until
sound film A sound film is a motion picture with synchronized sound, or sound technologically coupled to image, as opposed to a silent film A silent film is a film with no synchronized Sound recording and reproduction, recorded sound (and in particular ...
became commercially practical in the late 1920s, motion pictures were a purely
visual art The visual arts are art forms such as painting Painting is the practice of applying paint Paint is any pigmented liquid, liquefiable, or solid mastic composition that, after application to a substrate in a thin layer, converts to ...

visual art
, but these innovative
silent film A silent film is a film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art The visual arts are art forms such as painting Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or oth ...

silent film
s had gained a hold on the public imagination. Rather than leave audiences with only the noise of the projector as an accompaniment, theater owners hired a
pianist thumb The thumb is the first digit of the hand A hand is a prehensile, multi- fingered appendage located at the end of the forearm The forearm is the region of the upper limb between the Elbow-joint, elbow and the wrist. The term forear ...

pianist
or
organist An organist is a musician who plays any type of organ Organ may refer to: Biology * Organ (anatomy) An organ is a group of Tissue (biology), tissues with similar functions. Plant life and animal life rely on many organs that co-exist in org ...
or, in large urban theaters, a full
orchestra An orchestra (; ) is a large instrumental ensemble typical of classical music Classical music generally refers to the formal musical tradition of the Western world The Western world, also known as the West, refers to various ...

orchestra
to play music that fit the mood of the film at any given moment. By the early 1920s, most films came with a prepared list of sheet music to be used for this purpose, and complete
film score A film score is original music written specifically to accompany a film. The score comprises a number of orchestral, instrumental, or choral pieces called cue (theatrical), cues, which are timed to begin and end at specific points during the fi ...
s were composed for major productions. The rise of European cinema was interrupted by the outbreak of
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
, while the film industry in the United States flourished with the rise of
Hollywood Hollywood is a neighborhood A neighbourhood (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of An ...

Hollywood
, typified most prominently by the innovative work of
D. W. Griffith David Wark Griffith (January 22, 1875 – July 23, 1948) was an American film director. Widely considered as the most important filmmaker of his generation, he pioneered financing of the feature-length movie. His film ''The Birth of a Nation ...
in ''The Birth of a Nation'' (1915) and
''Intolerance''
''Intolerance''
(1916). However, in the 1920s, European filmmakers such as Eisenstein,
F. W. Murnau
F. W. Murnau
and
Fritz Lang Friedrich Christian Anton "Fritz" Lang (December 5, 1890 – August 2, 1976) was an Austrian-German-American film director, screenwriter, and occasional film producer and actor.Obituary ', August 4, 1976, p. 63. One of the best-known ''émigr ...
, in many ways inspired by the meteoric wartime progress of film through Griffith, along with the contributions of
Charles Chaplin Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin (16 April 188925 December 1977) was an English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer who rose to fame in the era of silent film A silent film is a film with no synchronized Sound recording and reproduction, reco ...

Charles Chaplin
,
Buster Keaton Joseph Frank Keaton (October 4, 1895 – February 1, 1966), known professionally as Buster Keaton, was an Americans, American actor, comedian, film director, producer, screenwriter, and stunt performer. He is best known for his silent films, in w ...

Buster Keaton
and others, quickly caught up with American film-making and continued to further advance the medium.


Sound

In the 1920s, the development of electronic
sound recording Sound recording and reproduction is an electrical Electricity is the set of physical phenomena associated with the presence and motion Image:Leaving Yongsan Station.jpg, 300px, Motion involves a change in position In physics, motion ...
technologies made it practical to incorporate a
soundtrack A soundtrack is recorded music accompanying and synchronised to the images of a , , , , , or ; a commercially released of music as featured in the soundtrack of a film, video, or television presentation; or the physical area of a that conta ...
of speech, music and
sound effects Voice saying "Ja", followed by the same recording with a massive digital reverb A sound effect (or audio effect) is an artificially created or enhanced sound, or sound process used to emphasize artistic or other content of films, television s ...
synchronized with the action on the screen. The resulting
sound film A sound film is a motion picture with synchronized sound, or sound technologically coupled to image, as opposed to a silent film A silent film is a film with no synchronized Sound recording and reproduction, recorded sound (and in particular ...
s were initially distinguished from the usual silent "moving pictures" or "movies" by calling them "talking pictures" or "talkies." The revolution they wrought was swift. By 1930, silent film was practically extinct in the US and already being referred to as "the old medium."


Color

Another major technological development was the introduction of "
natural color Natural color was a term used in the beginning of film and later on in the 1920s, and early 1930s as a color film process that actually filmed color images, rather than a color tinted or colorized movie. The first natural color processes were in th ...
," which meant color that was photographically recorded from nature rather than added to black-and-white prints by hand-coloring, stencil-coloring or other arbitrary procedures, although the earliest processes typically yielded colors which were far from "natural" in appearance. While the advent of sound films quickly made silent films and theater musicians obsolete, color replaced black-and-white much more gradually. The pivotal innovation was the introduction of the three-strip version of the
Technicolor Technicolor is a series of color motion picture processes, the first version dating to 1916, and followed by improved versions over several decades. It was the second major color process, after Britain's Kinemacolor Kinemacolor was the firs ...

Technicolor
process, first used for animated cartoons in 1932, then also for live-action
short film A short film is any motion picture A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art used to simulate experiences that communicate ideas, stories, perceptions, feelings, beauty, or atmosphere through ...
s and isolated sequences in a few
feature film A feature film or feature-length film is a narrative film (motion picture or "movie") with a running time long enough to be considered the principal or sole presentation in a commercial entertainment program. The term ''feature film'' originall ...
s, then for an entire feature film, ''
Becky Sharp Rebecca "Becky" Sharp, later describing herself as Rebecca, Lady Crawley, is the main protagonist of William Makepeace Thackeray's 1847–48 novel ''Vanity Fair (novel), Vanity Fair''. She is presented as a cynical Parvenu#Social climber, socia ...
'', in 1935. The expense of the process was daunting, but favorable public response in the form of increased
box office A box office or ticket office is a place where tickets are sold to the public for admission to an event. Patrons may perform the transaction at a countertopImage:Kitchen 050918 154652.jpg, A stainless steel countertop A countertop, also count ...

box office
receipts usually justified the added cost. The number of films made in color slowly increased year after year.


1950s: growing influence of television

In the early 1950s, the proliferation of black-and-white television started seriously depressing North American theater attendance. In an attempt to lure audiences back into theaters, bigger screens were installed,
widescreen Widescreen images are images that are displayed within a set of (relationship of image width to height) used in film, television and computer screens. In film, a widescreen film is any film image with a width-to-height aspect ratio greater tha ...
processes, polarized 3D projection, and
stereophonic sound File:Carsoundstereoshift.png, Time difference in a stereophonic recording of a car going past, 250px Stereophonic sound or, more commonly, stereo, is a method of sound reproduction that recreates a multi-directional, 3-dimensional audible per ...
were introduced, and more films were made in color, which soon became the rule rather than the exception. Some important mainstream Hollywood films were still being made in black-and-white as late as the mid-1960s, but they marked the end of an era. Color television receivers had been available in the US since the mid-1950s, but at first, they were very expensive and few broadcasts were in color. During the 1960s, prices gradually came down, color broadcasts became common, and sales boomed. The overwhelming public verdict in favor of color was clear. After the final flurry of black-and-white films had been released in mid-decade, all Hollywood studio productions were filmed in color, with the usual exceptions made only at the insistence of "star" filmmakers such as
Peter Bogdanovich Peter Bogdanovich (born July 30, 1939) is an American director, writer, actor, producer, critic and film historian. Part of the wave of " New Hollywood" directors, Bogdanovich's career started as a film journalist until he got hired to work on Ro ...

Peter Bogdanovich
and
Martin Scorsese Martin Charles Scorsese (, ; born November 17, 1942) is an American film and television director, producer, screenwriter, and film historian, in addition to occasionally serving as an actor. One of the major figures of the New Hollywood Th ...
.


1960s and later

The decades following the decline of the
studio system A studio system is a method of wherein the production and distribution of films is dominated by a small number of large s. It is most often used in reference to motion picture studios during the from the 1920s to 1960s, wherein studios produce ...
in the 1960s saw changes in the production and style of film. Various New Wave movements (including the
French New Wave The New Wave (french: La Nouvelle Vague) is a French art film An art film is typically an independent film An independent film, independent movie, indie film, or indie movie is a feature film or short film that is produced outside the ...
, Indian New Wave,
Japanese New Wave The is a group of loosely-connected Japanese filmmakers during the late 1950s and into the 1970s. Although they did not make up a coherent movement, these artists shared a rejection of traditions and conventions of classical Japanese cinema in fa ...
, and
New Hollywood The New Hollywood, also referred to as the American New Wave or sometimes called the Hollywood Renaissance, refers to a movement in American film history from the mid-1960s to the early 1980s, when a new generation of young filmmakers came to prom ...
) and the rise of film-school-educated independent filmmakers contributed to the changes the medium experienced in the latter half of the 20th century. Digital technology has been the driving force for change throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s. Digital 3D projection largely replaced earlier problem-prone 3D film systems and has become popular in the early 2010s.


Film theory

"Film theory" seeks to develop concise and systematic concepts that apply to the study of film as
art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use o ...

art
. The concept of film as an art-form began in 1911 with
Ricciotto Canudo Ricciotto Canudo (; 2 January 1877, Gioia del Colle – 10 November 1923, Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of ...

Ricciotto Canudo
's ''The Birth of the Sixth Art''.
Formalist film theory Formalist film theory is an approach to film theory that is focused on the formal, or technical, elements of a film: i.e., the lighting, scoring, sound and set design, use of color, shot composition, and editing. This approach was proposed by Hugo ...
, led by
Rudolf Arnheim Rudolf Arnheim (July 15, 1904 – June 9, 2007) was a German-born author, art and film theorist, and perceptual psychologist. He learned Gestalt psychology Gestalt psychology, gestaltism or configurationism is a school of psychology that emer ...
, Béla Balázs, and
Siegfried Kracauer Siegfried Kracauer (; ; February 8, 1889 – November 26, 1966) was a German writer, journalist, sociologist, cultural critic A cultural critic is a critic A critic is a professional who communicates an assessment and an opinion of various ...
, emphasized how film differed from reality and thus could be considered a valid
fine art In European academic traditions, fine art is developed primarily for aesthetics or beauty, distinguishing it from decorative art or applied art, which also has to serve some practical function, such as pottery or most metalwork. In the aesthe ...

fine art
.
André Bazin André Bazin (; 18 April 1918 – 11 November 1958) was a renowned and influential French film critic Film criticism is the analysis and evaluation of film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visua ...

André Bazin
reacted against this theory by arguing that film's artistic essence lay in its ability to mechanically reproduce reality, not in its differences from reality, and this gave rise to realist theory. More recent analysis spurred by
Jacques Lacan Jacques Marie Émile Lacan (, , ; 13 April 1901 – 9 September 1981) was a French psychoanalyst Psychoanalysis (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, ...

Jacques Lacan
's psychoanalysis and
Ferdinand de Saussure Ferdinand de Saussure (; ; 26 November 1857 – 22 February 1913) was a Swiss Swiss may refer to: * the adjectival form of Switzerland ,german: Schweizer(in),french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_typ ...

Ferdinand de Saussure
's
semiotics Semiotics (also called semiotic studies) is the study of sign processes (semiosis Semiosis (, ), or sign process, is any form of activity Activity may refer to: * Action (philosophy), in general * Human activity: human behavior, in sociology ...

semiotics
among other things has given rise to psychoanalytic film theory, structuralist film theory, feminist film theory, and others. On the other hand, critics from the
analytical philosophy Analytic philosophy is a branch and tradition of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy o ...
tradition, influenced by
Wittgenstein Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein ( ; ; 26 April 1889 – 29 April 1951) was an Austrian Austrian may refer to: * Austrians, someone from Austria or of Austrian descent ** Someone who is considered an Austrian citizen, see Austrian nationalit ...
, try to clarify misconceptions used in theoretical studies and produce analysis of a film's vocabulary and its link to a form of life.


Language

Film is considered to have its own
language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the ...

language
.
James Monaco James F. Monaco (November 15, 1942 – November 25, 2019) was an United States, American film critic, author, publisher, and educator. Life and Work Monaco founded Baseline (database), Baseline in 1982, an early online database about the enterta ...
wrote a classic text on film theory, titled "How to ''Read'' a Film," that addresses this. Director
Ingmar Bergman Ernst Ingmar Bergman (14 July 1918 – 30 July 2007) was a Swedish film director, screenwriter, producer and playwright. Widely considered one of the most accomplished and influential filmmakers of all time, Bergman's highly regarded work ...
famously said, "
Andrei Tarkovsky Andrei Arsenyevich Tarkovsky ( rus, Андрей Арсеньевич Тарковский, p=ɐnˈdrʲej ɐrˈsʲenʲjɪvʲɪtɕ tɐrˈkofskʲɪj; 4 April 1932 – 29 December 1986) was a Soviet Russian filmmaker, theatre director, writer, and ...
for me is the greatest
director Director may refer to: Literature * Director (magazine), ''Director'' (magazine), a British magazine * The Director (novel), ''The Director'' (novel), a 1971 novel by Henry Denker * The Director (play), ''The Director'' (play), a 2000 play by Nanc ...
, the one who invented a ''new language'', true to the nature of film, as it captures life as a reflection, life as a dream." An example of the language is a sequence of back and forth images of one speaking actor's left profile, followed by another speaking actor's right profile, then a repetition of this, which is a language understood by the audience to indicate a conversation. This describes another theory of film, the
180-degree rule In filmmaking, the 180-degree rule is a basic guideline regarding the on-screen spatial relationship between a character and another character or object within a scene. By keeping the camera on one side of an imaginary axis between two characters, ...
, as a visual story-telling device with an ability to place a viewer in a context of being psychologically present through the use of visual composition and editing. The " Hollywood style" includes this narrative theory, due to the overwhelming practice of the rule by movie studios based in Hollywood, California, during film's classical era. Another example of cinematic language is having a shot that zooms in on the forehead of an actor with an expression of silent reflection that cuts to a shot of a younger actor who vaguely resembles the first actor, indicating that the first person is remembering a past self, an edit of compositions that causes a time transition.


Montage

Montage is the technique by which separate pieces of film are selected, edited, and then pieced together to make a new section of film. A scene could show a man going into battle, with flashbacks to his youth and to his home-life and with added special effects, placed into the film after filming is complete. As these were all filmed separately, and perhaps with different actors, the final version is called a montage. Directors developed a theory of montage, beginning with Eisenstein and the complex juxtaposition of images in his film ''
Battleship Potemkin '' Battleship Potemkin'' (russian: Бронено́сец «Потёмкин», ''Bronenosets Potyomkin''), sometimes rendered as '' Battleship Potyomkin'', is a 1925 Soviet silent film directed by Sergei Eisenstein and produced by Mosfilm. It ...
''. Incorporation of musical and visual
counterpoint In music, counterpoint is the relationship between two or more musical lines (or voices) which are harmonically interdependent yet independent in rhythm Rhythm (from Greek , ''rhythmos'', "any regular recurring motion, symmetry"—) ge ...

counterpoint
, and scene development through mise en scene,
editing Editing is the process of selecting and preparing written language, written, photographic, Image editing, visual, Audio engineer, audible, or Film editing, cinematic material used by a person or an entity to convey a message or information. T ...

editing
, and effects has led to more complex techniques comparable to those used in
opera Opera is a form of theatre in which music is a fundamental component and dramatic roles are taken by Singing, singers, but is distinct from musical theatre. Such a "work" (the literal translation of the Italian word "opera") is typically a c ...

opera
and
ballet Ballet () is a type of performance dance that originated during the Italian Renaissance in the fifteenth century and later developed into a concert dance form in France and Russia. It has since become a widespread and highly technical form of ...

ballet
.


Film criticism

Film criticism is the analysis and evaluation of films. In general, these works can be divided into two categories: academic criticism by film scholars and journalistic film criticism that appears regularly in
newspaper A newspaper is a periodical Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of serial Serial may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media The presentation of works in sequential segments ...

newspaper
s and other media. Film critics working for newspapers,
magazine A magazine is a periodical publication Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of serial publications that appear in a new edition on a regular schedule. The most familiar example i ...

magazine
s, and
broadcast media Broadcasting is the distribution of audio or video content to a dispersed audience via any electronic mass communications medium, but typically one using the electromagnetic spectrum The electromagnetic spectrum is the range of frequencie ...
mainly review new releases. Normally they only see any given film once and have only a day or two to formulate their opinions. Despite this, critics have an important impact on the audience response and attendance at films, especially those of certain
genres Genre () is any form or type of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent answer to the painful divisions between self and other, private and public, and inner th ...
. Mass marketed
action ACTION is a bus operator in , Australia owned by the . History On 19 July 1926, the commenced operating public bus services between Eastlake (now ) in the south and in the north. The service was first known as Canberra City Omnibus Se ...
,
horror Horror may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Genres *Horror fiction, a genre of fiction **Japanese horror, Japanese horror fiction **Korean horror, Korean horror fiction *Horror film, a film genre *Horror comics, comic books focusing on h ...
, and
comedy film A comedy film is a category of film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art The visual arts are art forms such as painting Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, c ...
s tend not to be greatly affected by a critic's overall judgment of a film. The plot summary and description of a film and the assessment of the director's and screenwriters' work that makes up the majority of most film reviews can still have an important impact on whether people decide to see a film. For prestige films such as most
dramas Drama is the specific Mode (literature), mode of fiction Mimesis, represented in performance: a Play (theatre), play, opera, mime, ballet, etc., performed in a theatre, or on Radio drama, radio or television.Elam (1980, 98). Considered as a g ...
and
art film An art film is typically an independent film An independent film, independent movie, indie film, or indie movie is a feature film or short film that is produced outside the major film studio system, in addition to being produced and distrib ...
s, the influence of reviews is important. Poor reviews from leading critics at major papers and magazines will often reduce audience interest and attendance. The impact of a reviewer on a given film's
box office A box office or ticket office is a place where tickets are sold to the public for admission to an event. Patrons may perform the transaction at a countertopImage:Kitchen 050918 154652.jpg, A stainless steel countertop A countertop, also count ...

box office
performance is a matter of debate. Some observers claim that movie marketing in the 2000s is so intense, well-coordinated and well financed that reviewers cannot prevent a poorly written or filmed blockbuster (entertainment), blockbuster from attaining market success. However, the cataclysmic failure of some heavily promoted films which were harshly reviewed, as well as the unexpected success of critically praised independent films indicates that extreme critical reactions can have considerable influence. Other observers note that positive film reviews have been shown to spark interest in little-known films. Conversely, there have been several films in which film companies have so little confidence that they refuse to give reviewers an advanced viewing to avoid widespread panning of the film. However, this usually backfires, as reviewers are wise to the tactic and warn the public that the film may not be worth seeing and the films often do poorly as a result. Journalist film critics are sometimes called film reviewers. Critics who take a more academic approach to films, through publishing in film journals and writing books about films using film theory or film studies approaches, study how film and filming techniques work, and what effect they have on people. Rather than having their reviews published in newspapers or appearing on television, their articles are published in scholarly journals or up-market magazines. They also tend to be affiliated with colleges or universities as professors or instructors.


Industry

The making and showing of motion pictures became a source of profit almost as soon as the process was invented. Upon seeing how successful their new invention, and its product, was in their native France, the Auguste and Louis Lumière, Lumières quickly set about touring the Continent to exhibit the first films privately to royalty and publicly to the masses. In each country, they would normally add new, local scenes to their catalogue and, quickly enough, found local entrepreneurs in the various countries of Europe to buy their equipment and photograph, export, import, and screen additional product commercially. The Oberammergau Passion Play of 1898 was the first commercial motion picture ever produced. Other pictures soon followed, and motion pictures became a separate industry that overshadowed the vaudeville world. Dedicated movie theater, theaters and companies formed specifically to produce and distribute films, while motion picture actors became major celebrity, celebrities and commanded huge fees for their performances. By 1917 Charlie Chaplin had a contract that called for an annual salary of one million dollars. From 1931 to 1956, film was also the only image storage and playback system for television programming until the introduction of videotape recorders. In the United States, much of the film industry is centered around Hollywood, California. Other regional centers exist in many parts of the world, such as Mumbai-centered Bollywood, the Cinema of India, Indian film industry's Hindi cinema which produces the largest number of films in the world. Though the expense involved in making films has led cinema production to concentrate under the auspices of movie studios, recent advances in affordable film making equipment have allowed independent film productions to flourish. Profit is a key force in the industry, due to the costly and risky nature of filmmaking; many films have large cost overruns, an example being Kevin Costner's ''Waterworld''. Yet many filmmakers strive to create works of lasting social significance. The Academy Awards (also known as "the Oscars") are the most prominent film awards in the United States, providing recognition each year to films, based on their artistic merits. There is also a large industry for educational and instructional films made in lieu of or in addition to lectures and texts. Revenue in the industry is sometimes volatile due to the reliance on blockbuster films released in movie theaters. The rise of alternative home entertainment has raised questions about the future of the cinema industry, and Hollywood employment has become less reliable, particularly for medium and low-budget films.


Associated fields

Derivative academic fields of study may both interact with and develop independently of filmmaking, as in film theory and analysis. Fields of academic study have been created that are derivative or dependent on the existence of film, such as film criticism, film history, divisions of film propaganda in authoritarian governments, or psychological on subliminal effects (e.g., of a flashing soda can during a screening). These fields may further create derivative fields, such as a movie review section in a newspaper or a television guide. Sub-industries can spin off from film, such as popcorn makers, and film-related toys (e.g., Star Wars action figures, ''Star Wars'' figures). Sub-industries of pre-existing industries may deal specifically with film, such as product placement and other advertising within films.


Terminology

The terminology used for describing motion pictures varies considerably between British and American English. In British usage, the name of the medium is "film". The word "movie" is understood but seldom used. Additionally, "the pictures" (plural) is used semi-frequently to refer to the place where movies are exhibited, while in American English this may be called "the movies", but it is becoming outdated. In other countries, the place where movies are exhibited may be called a cinema or movie theatre. By contrast, in the United States, "movie" is the predominant form. Although the words "film" and "movie" are sometimes used interchangeably, "film" is more often used when considering artistic, theoretical, or technology, technical aspects. The term "movies" more often refers to
entertainment Entertainment is a form of activity that holds the attention and interest In finance Finance is the study of financial institutions, financial markets and how they operate within the financial system. It is concerned with the creatio ...

entertainment
or Commerce, commercial aspects, as where to go for fun evening on a date. For example, a book titled "How to Understand a Film" would probably be about the aesthetics or theory of film, while a book entitled "Let's Go to the Movies" would probably be about the history of entertaining movies and Blockbuster (entertainment), blockbusters. Further terminology is used to distinguish various forms and media used in the film industry. "Motion pictures" and "moving pictures" are frequently used terms for film and movie productions specifically intended for theatrical exhibition, such as, for instance, ''Batman (1989 film), Batman''. "DVD" and "videotape" are video formats that can reproduce a photochemical film. A reproduction based on such is called a "transfer." After the advent of theatrical film as an industry, the television industry began using videotape as a recording medium. For many decades, tape was solely an analog medium onto which moving images could be either recorded or transferred. "Film" and "filming" refer to the photochemical medium that chemically records a visual image and the act of recording respectively. However, the act of shooting images with other visual media, such as with a digital camera, is still called "filming" and the resulting works often called "films" as interchangeable to "movies," despite not being shot on film. "Silent films" need not be utterly silent, but are films and movies without an audible dialogue, including those that have a musical accompaniment. The word, "Talkies," refers to the earliest sound films created to have Hearing (sense), audible dialogue recorded for playback along with the film, regardless of a musical accompaniment. "Cinema" either broadly encompasses both films and movies, or it is roughly synonymous with film and theatrical exhibition, and both are capitalized when referring to a category of art. The "silver screen" refers to the projection screen used to exhibit films and, by extension, is also used as a metonym for the entire film industry. "Widescreen" refers to a larger width to height in the film frame, frame, compared to earlier historic aspect ratio (image), aspect ratios. A "feature-length film", or "
feature film A feature film or feature-length film is a narrative film (motion picture or "movie") with a running time long enough to be considered the principal or sole presentation in a commercial entertainment program. The term ''feature film'' originall ...
", is of a conventional full length, usually 60 minutes or more, and can commercially stand by itself without other films in a ticketed screening. A "short subject, short" is a film that is not as long as a feature-length film, often screened with other shorts, or preceding a feature-length film. An "Independent film, independent" is a film made outside the conventional film industry. In US usage, one talks of a "Film screening, screening" or "Movie projector, projection" of a movie or video on a
screen Screen or Screens may refer to: Arts * Screen printing (also called ''silkscreening''), a method of printing * Big screen, a nickname associated with the motion picture industry * Split screen (filmmaking), a film composition paradigm in which mult ...
at a public or private "theater." In British English, a "film showing" happens at a movie theatre, cinema (never a "
theatre Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usually actor, actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place, often a stage. The p ...

theatre
", which is a different medium and place altogether). A cinema usually refers to an arena designed specifically to exhibit films, where the screen is affixed to a wall, while a theater usually refers to a place where live, non-recorded action or combination thereof occurs from a podium or other type of stage, including the amphitheater. Theaters can still screen movies in them, though the theater would be retrofitted to do so. One might propose "going to the cinema" when referring to the activity, or sometimes "to the pictures" in British English, whereas the US expression is usually "going to the movies." A cinema usually shows a mass-marketed movie using a front-projection screen process with either a film projector or, more recently, with a digital projector. But, cinemas may also show theatrical movies from their home video transfers that include Blu-ray Disc, DVD, and videocassette when they possess sufficient projection quality or based upon need, such as movies that exist only in their transferred state, which may be due to the loss or deterioration of the film master and prints from which the movie originally existed. Due to the advent of digital cinema, digital film production and distribution, physical film might be absent entirely. A "double feature" is a screening of two independently marketed, stand-alone feature films. A "viewing" is a watching of a film. "Sales" and "at the box office" refer to tickets sold at a theater, or more currently, rights sold for individual showings. A "Film release, release" is the distribution and often simultaneous screening of a film. A "preview (theatre), preview" is a screening in advance of the main release. Any film may also have a "sequel", which portrays events following those in the film. ''Bride of Frankenstein'' is an early example. When there are more films than one with the same characters, story arcs, or subject themes, these movies become a "series," such as the James Bond series. And, existing outside a specific story timeline usually, does not exclude a film from being part of a series. A film that portrays events occurring earlier in a timeline with those in another film, but is released after that film, is sometimes called a "prequel," an example being ''Butch and Sundance: The Early Days''. The "credits," or "end credits," is a list that gives credit to the people involved in the production of a film. Films from before the 1970s usually start a film with credits, often ending with only a title card, saying "The End" or some equivalent, often an equivalent that depends on the language of the production. From then onward, a film's credits usually appear at the end of most films. However, films with credits that end a film often repeat some credits at or near the start of a film and therefore appear twice, such as that film's acting leads, while less frequently some appearing near or at the beginning only appear there, not at the end, which often happens to the director's credit. The credits appearing at or near the beginning of a film are usually called "titles" or "beginning titles." A post-credits scene is a scene shown after the end of the credits. ''Ferris Bueller's Day Off'' has a post-credit scene in which Ferris tells the audience that the film is over and they should go home. A film's "cast" refers to a collection of the actors and actresses who appear, or "star," in a film. A star is an actor or actress, often a popular one, and in many cases, a celebrity who plays a central character in a film. Occasionally the word can also be used to refer to the fame of other members of the crew, such as a director or other personality, such as
Martin Scorsese Martin Charles Scorsese (, ; born November 17, 1942) is an American film and television director, producer, screenwriter, and film historian, in addition to occasionally serving as an actor. One of the major figures of the New Hollywood Th ...
. A "crew" is usually interpreted as the people involved in a film's physical construction outside cast participation, and it could include directors, film editors, photographers, grips, gaffers, set decorators, prop masters, and costume designers. A person can both be part of a film's cast and crew, such as Woody Allen, who directed and starred in ''Take the Money and Run''. A "film goer," "movie goer," or "film buff" is a person who likes or often attends films and movies, and any of these, though more often the latter, could also see oneself as a student to films and movies or the filmic process. Intense interest in films, film theory, and film criticism, is known as cinephilia. A film enthusiast is known as a cinephile or cineaste.


Preview

A preview performance refers to a showing of a film to a select audience, usually for the purposes of corporate promotions, before the public film premiere itself. Previews are sometimes used to judge audience reaction, which if unexpectedly negative, may result in recutting or even refilming certain sections based on the audience response. One example of a film that was changed after a negative response from the test screening is 1982's ''First Blood''. After the test audience responded very negatively to the death of protagonist John Rambo, a Vietnam veteran, at the end of the film, the company wrote and re-shot a new ending in which the character survives.


Trailer and teaser

Trailers or previews are advertisements for films that will be shown in 1 to 3 months at a cinema. Back in the early days of cinema, with theaters that had only one or two screens, only certain trailers were shown for the films that were going to be shown there. Later, when theaters added more screens or new theaters were built with a lot of screens, all different trailers were shown even if they weren't going to play that film in that theater. Film studios realized that the more trailers that were shown (even if it wasn't going to be shown in that particular theater) the more patrons would go to a different theater to see the film when it came out. The term "trailer" comes from their having originally been shown at the end of a film program. That practice did not last long because patrons tended to leave the theater after the films ended, but the name has stuck. Trailers are now shown before the film (or the "A film" in a double feature program) begins. Film trailers are also common on DVDs and Blu-ray Discs, as well as on the Internet and mobile devices. Trailers are created to be engaging and interesting for viewers. As a result, in the Internet era, viewers often seek out trailers to watch them. Of the ten billion videos watched online annually in 2008, film trailers ranked third, after news and user-created videos. Teasers are a much shorter preview or advertisement that lasts only 10 to 30 seconds. Teasers are used to get patrons excited about a film coming out in the next six to twelve months. Teasers may be produced even before the film production is completed.


Education and propaganda

Film is used for a range of goals, including education and propaganda. When the purpose is primarily educational, a film is called an "educational film". Examples are recordings of academic lectures and experiments, or a film based on a classic novel. Film may be propaganda film, propaganda, in whole or in part, such as the films made by Leni Riefenstahl in Nazi Germany, US war film trailers during World War II, or artistic films made under Stalin by Sergei Eisenstein. They may also be works of political protest, as in the films of Andrzej Wajda, or more subtly, the films of
Andrei Tarkovsky Andrei Arsenyevich Tarkovsky ( rus, Андрей Арсеньевич Тарковский, p=ɐnˈdrʲej ɐrˈsʲenʲjɪvʲɪtɕ tɐrˈkofskʲɪj; 4 April 1932 – 29 December 1986) was a Soviet Russian filmmaker, theatre director, writer, and ...
. The same film may be considered educational by some, and propaganda by others as the categorization of a film can be subjective.


Production

At its core, the means to produce a film depend on the content the filmmaker wishes to show, and the apparatus for displaying it: the
zoetrope A zoetrope is one of several pre-film animation devices that produce the illusion of motion by displaying a sequence of drawings or photographs showing progressive phases of that motion. It was basically a cylindrical variation of the phénakis ...

zoetrope
merely requires a series of images on a strip of paper. Film production can, therefore, take as little as one person with a camera (or even without a camera, as in Stan Brakhage's 1963 film ''Mothlight''), or thousands of actors, extras, and crew members for a live-action, feature-length epic. The necessary steps for almost any film can be boiled down to conception, planning, execution, revision, and distribution. The more involved the production, the more significant each of the steps becomes. In a typical production cycle of a Hollywood-style film, these main stages are defined as Script development, development, pre-production, Film production, production, post-production and Film distributor, distribution. This production cycle usually takes three years. The first year is taken up with ''development''. The second year comprises ''preproduction'' and ''production''. The third year, ''post-production'' and ''distribution''. The bigger the production, the more resources it takes, and the more important Film budgeting, financing becomes; most
feature film A feature film or feature-length film is a narrative film (motion picture or "movie") with a running time long enough to be considered the principal or sole presentation in a commercial entertainment program. The term ''feature film'' originall ...
s are artistic works from the creators' perspective (e.g., film director, cinematographer, screenwriter) and for-profit business entities for the production companies.


Crew

A film crew is a group of people hired by a film company, employed during the "production" or "photography" phase, for the purpose of producing a film or motion picture. ''Crew'' is distinguished from ''cast'', who are the actors who appear in front of the camera or provide voices for characters in the film. The ''crew'' interacts with but is also distinct from the ''production staff'', consisting of producers, managers, company representatives, their assistants, and those whose primary responsibility falls in pre-production or post-production phases, such as screenwriters and film editors. Communication between ''production'' and ''crew'' generally passes through the director and his/her staff of assistants. Medium-to-large crews are generally divided into departments with well-defined hierarchies and standards for interaction and cooperation between the departments. Other than acting, the crew handles everything in the photography phase: props and costumes, shooting, sound, electrics (i.e., lights), sets, and production special effects. Caterers (known in the film industry as "craft services") are usually not considered part of the crew.


Technology

Film stock consists of transparent
celluloid Celluloids are a class of materials produced by mixing nitrocellulose Nitrocellulose (also known as cellulose nitrate, flash paper, flash cotton, guncotton, pyroxylin and flash string, depending on form) is a highly flammable compound formed ...

celluloid
, acetate, or polyester film base, base coated with an emulsion containing light-sensitive chemicals. Cellulose nitrate was the first type of film base used to record motion pictures, but due to its flammability was eventually replaced by safer materials. Stock widths and the film format for images on the reel have had a rich history, though most large commercial films are still shot on (and distributed to theaters) as 35mm movie film, 35 mm prints. Originally moving picture film was shot and projected at various speeds using hand-cranked movie camera, cameras and movie projector, projectors; though 1000 frames per minute (16 frame/s) is generally cited as a standard silent speed, research indicates most films were shot between 16 frame/s and 23 frame/s and projected from 18 frame/s on up (often reels included instructions on how fast each scene should be shown). When
sound film A sound film is a motion picture with synchronized sound, or sound technologically coupled to image, as opposed to a silent film A silent film is a film with no synchronized Sound recording and reproduction, recorded sound (and in particular ...
was introduced in the late 1920s, a constant speed was required for the sound head. 24 frames per second were chosen because it was the slowest (and thus cheapest) speed which allowed for sufficient sound quality. Improvements since the late 19th century include the mechanization of cameras – allowing them to record at a consistent speed, quiet camera design – allowing sound recorded on-set to be usable without requiring large "blimps" to encase the camera, the invention of more sophisticated film stock, filmstocks and Lens (optics), lenses, allowing Film director, directors to film in increasingly dim conditions, and the development of synchronized sound, allowing sound to be recorded at exactly the same speed as its corresponding action. The soundtrack can be recorded separately from shooting the film, but for live-action pictures, many parts of the soundtrack are usually recorded simultaneously. As a medium, film is not limited to motion pictures, since the technology developed as the basis for photography. It can be used to present a progressive sequence of still images in the form of a slideshow. Film has also been incorporated into multimedia presentations and often has importance as primary historical documentation. However, historic films have problems in terms of preservation and storage, and the motion picture industry is exploring many alternatives. Most films on cellulose nitrate base have been copied onto modern safety films. Some studios save color films through the use of separation masters: three B&W negatives each exposed through red, green, or blue filters (essentially a reverse of the
Technicolor Technicolor is a series of color motion picture processes, the first version dating to 1916, and followed by improved versions over several decades. It was the second major color process, after Britain's Kinemacolor Kinemacolor was the firs ...

Technicolor
process). Digital methods have also been used to restore films, although their continued obsolescence cycle makes them (as of 2006) a poor choice for long-term preservation. Film preservation of decaying film stock is a matter of concern to both film historians and archivists and to companies interested in preserving their existing products in order to make them available to future generations (and thereby increase revenue). Preservation is generally a higher concern for nitrate and single-strip color films, due to their high decay rates; black-and-white films on safety bases and color films preserved on Technicolor imbibition prints tend to keep up much better, assuming proper handling and storage. Some films in recent decades have been recorded using analog (signal), analog video technology similar to that used in television production. Modern Digital video, digital video cameras and digital projectors are gaining ground as well. These approaches are preferred by some film-makers, especially because footage shot with digital cinema can be evaluated and edited with non-linear editing systems (NLE) without waiting for the film stock to be processed. The migration was gradual, and as of 2005, most major motion pictures were still shot on film.


Independent

Independent filmmaking often takes place outside Hollywood, or other major
studio system A studio system is a method of wherein the production and distribution of films is dominated by a small number of large s. It is most often used in reference to motion picture studios during the from the 1920s to 1960s, wherein studios produce ...
s. An independent film (or indie film) is a film initially produced without financing or distribution from a list of Hollywood movie studios, major film studio. Creative, business and technological reasons have all contributed to the growth of the indie film scene in the late 20th and early 21st century. On the business side, the costs of big-budget studio films also lead to conservative choices in cast and crew. There is a trend in Hollywood towards co-financing (over two-thirds of the films put out by Warner Bros. in 2000 were joint ventures, up from 10% in 1987). A hopeful director is almost never given the opportunity to get a job on a big-budget studio film unless he or she has significant industry experience in film or television. Also, the studios rarely produce films with unknown actors, particularly in lead roles. Before the advent of digital cinematography, digital alternatives, the cost of professional film equipment and stock was also a hurdle to being able to produce, direct, or star in a traditional studio film. But the advent of consumer camcorders in 1985, and more importantly, the arrival of high-resolution digital video in the early 1990s, have lowered the technology barrier to film production significantly. Both production and post-production costs have been significantly lowered; in the 2000s, the hardware and software for post-production can be installed in a commodity-based personal computer. Technologies such as DVDs, FireWire connections and a wide variety of professional and consumer-grade video editing software make film-making relatively affordable. Since the introduction of digital video DV technology, the means of production have become more democratized. Filmmakers can conceivably shoot a film with a digital video camera and edit the film, create and edit the sound and music, and mix the final cut on a high-end home computer. However, while the means of production may be democratized, financing, distribution, and marketing remain difficult to accomplish outside the traditional system. Most independent filmmakers rely on film festivals to get their films noticed and sold for distribution. The arrival of internet-based video websites such as YouTube and Veoh has further changed the filmmaking landscape, enabling indie filmmakers to make their films available to the public.


Open content film

An open content film is much like an independent film, but it is produced through open collaborations; its source material is available under a license which is permissive enough to allow other parties to create fan fiction or derivative works, than a traditional copyright. Like independent filmmaking, open source filmmaking takes place outside Hollywood, or other major
studio system A studio system is a method of wherein the production and distribution of films is dominated by a small number of large s. It is most often used in reference to motion picture studios during the from the 1920s to 1960s, wherein studios produce ...
s.For example, the film Balloon was based on the real event during the Cold War.


Fan film

A fan film is a film or video inspired by a film, television program, comic book or a similar source, created by fan (aficionado), fans rather than by the source's copyright holders or creators. Fan filmmakers have traditionally been amateurs, but some of the most notable films have actually been produced by professional filmmakers as film school class projects or as demonstration reels. Fan films vary tremendously in length, from short faux-teaser trailers for non-existent motion pictures to rarer full-length motion pictures.


Distribution

Film distribution is the process through which a film is made available for viewing by an audience. This is normally the task of a professional film distributor, who would determine the marketing strategy of the film, the media by which a film is to be exhibited or made available for viewing, and may set the film release, release date and other matters. The film may be exhibited directly to the public either through a movie theater (historically the main way films were distributed) or television for home video, personal home viewing (including on DVD-Video or Blu-ray Disc, Video on demand, video-on-demand, online downloading, television programs through broadcast syndication etc.). Other ways of distributing a film include rental or personal purchase of the film in a variety of media and formats, such as VHS tape or DVD, or Internet downloading or streaming media, streaming using a computer.


Animation

Animation is a technique in which each frame of a film is produced individually, whether generated as a computer graphic, or by photographing a drawn image, or by repeatedly making small changes to a model unit (see claymation and stop motion), and then photographing the result with a special animation camera. When the frames are strung together and the resulting film is viewed at a speed of 16 or more frames per second, there is an illusion of continuous movement (due to the
phi phenomenon The term phi phenomenon is used in a narrow sense for an Illusory motion, apparent motion that is observed if two nearby optical Stimulus (psychology), stimuli are presented in alternation with a relatively high frequency. In contrast to beta movem ...
). Generating such a film is very labor-intensive and tedious, though the development of
computer animation " technique Computer animation is the process used for digitally generating animated images. The more general term computer-generated imagery Computer-generated imagery (CGI) is the application of computer graphics to create or contribute to i ...
has greatly sped up the process. Because animation is very time-consuming and often very expensive to produce, the majority of animation for Television, TV and films comes from professional animation studios. However, the field of independent animation has existed at least since the 1950s, with animation being produced by independent studios (and sometimes by a single person). Several independent animation producers have gone on to enter the professional animation industry. Limited animation is a way of increasing production and decreasing costs of animation by using "short cuts" in the animation process. This method was pioneered by United Productions of America, UPA and popularized by Hanna-Barbera in the United States, and by Osamu Tezuka in Japan, and adapted by other studios as cartoons moved from movie theaters to television. Although most animation studios are now using digital technologies in their productions, there is a specific style of animation that depends on film. Camera-less animation, made famous by film-makers like Norman McLaren, Len Lye, and Stan Brakhage, is painted and drawn directly onto pieces of film, and then run through a projector.


See also

* Docufiction (Cross-genre, hybrid genre) * Filmophile * Lost film * ''The Movies'', a simulation game about the film industry, taking place at the dawn of cinema * Lists ** Bibliography of film by genre ** Glossary of motion picture terms ** Index of video-related articles ** List of film awards ** List of film festivals ** List of film periodicals ** List of years in film ** Lists of films ** List of books on films ** Outline of film * Platforms ** Television film ** Web film


Notes


References

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Further reading

* Burton, Gideon O., and Randy Astle, jt. eds. (2007). "Mormons and Film", entire special issue, ''B.Y.U. Studies'' (Brigham Young University), vol. 46 (2007), no. 2. 336 p., ill. * George Hickenlooper, Hickenlooper, George (1991). ''Reel [sic] Conversations: Candid Interviews with Film's Foremost Directors and Critics'', in series, ''Citadel Press Book[s]''. New York: Carol Publishing Group. xii, 370 p. * *


External links


Allmovie
nbsp;– Information on films: actors, directors, biographies, reviews, cast and production credits, box office sales, and other movie data.
Film Site
nbsp;– Reviews of classic films *
Rottentomatoes.com
nbsp;– Movie reviews, previews, forums, photos, cast info, and more.
The Internet Movie Database (IMDb)
nbsp;– Information on current and historical films and cast listings. {{Authority control Film, Visual arts media Media formats French inventions Articles containing video clips