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A film also called a movie, motion picture, moving picture, picture, photoplay or (slang) flick is a work of
visual art The visual arts are Art#Forms, genres, media, and styles, art forms such as painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics (art), ceramics, photography, video, filmmaking, design, crafts and architecture. Many artistic disciplines such as ...
that simulates experiences and otherwise communicates 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 κίνημα, ''kìnema'' "movement" and γράφειν, ''gràphein'' "to write") is the art of Film, motion picture (and more recently, electronic video camera) photography. Cinematographers use a lens (o ...
, is often used to refer to
filmmaking Filmmaking (film production) is the process by which a motion picture is produced. Filmmaking involves a number of complex and discrete stages, starting with an initial story, idea, or commission. It then continues through screenwriting, cas ...
and the
film industry The film industry or motion picture industry comprises the technological and commercial institutions of filmmaking, i.e., film production company, production companies, film studios, cinematography, animation, film production, screenwriting, pre ...
, and to the
art Art is a diverse range of human activity, and resulting product, that involves creative or imaginative talent expressive of technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual ideas. There is no generally agreed definition of wha ...
form that is the result of it.


Recording and transmission of film

The moving images of a film are created by photographing actual scenes with a motion-picture camera, by photographing drawings or miniature models using traditional
animation Animation is a method by which image, still figures are manipulated to appear as Motion picture, moving images. In traditional animation, images are drawn or painted by hand on transparent cel, celluloid sheets to be photographed and exhibited ...
techniques, by means of CGI and
computer animation Computer animation is the process used for digitally generating animations. The more general term computer-generated imagery (CGI) encompasses both static scenes (still images) and dynamic images (moving images), while computer animation refer ...
, 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 and video production. The integration of live-action footage and other live-action foota ...
. Before the introduction of digital production, series of still images were recorded on a strip of chemically sensitized celluloid (
photographic film Photographic film is a strip or sheet of transparent film base coated on one side with a gelatin photographic emulsion, emulsion containing microscopically small light-sensitive silver halide crystals. The sizes and other characteristics of th ...
stock In finance, stock (also capital stock) consists of all the Share (finance), shares by which ownership of a corporation or company is divided.Longman Business English Dictionary: "stock - ''especially AmE'' one of the shares into which owners ...
), usually at the rate of 24 frames per second. The images are transmitted through a
movie projector A movie projector is an optics, opto-mechanics, mechanical device for displaying Film, motion picture film by projecting it onto a movie screen, screen. Most of the optical and mechanical elements, except for the illumination and sound devices ...
at the same rate as they were recorded, with a
Geneva drive The Geneva drive or Maltese cross is a gear mechanism that translates a continuous rotation movement into intermittent rotary motion. The ''rotating drive'' wheel is usually equipped with a pin that reaches into a slot located in the other whe ...
ensuring that each frame remains still during its short projection time. A rotating shutter causes stroboscopic intervals of darkness, but the viewer does not notice the interruptions due to flicker fusion. The apparent motion on the screen is the result of the fact that the visual sense cannot discern the individual images at high speeds, so the impressions of the images blend with the dark intervals and are thus linked together to produce the illusion of one moving image. An analogous optical soundtrack (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, re ...
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 ...
s) runs along a portion of the film exclusively reserved for it, and was not projected. Contemporary films are usually fully digital through the entire process of production, distribution, and exhibition.


Etymology and alternative terms

The name "film" originally referred to the thin layer of photochemical emulsion on the celluloid strip that used to be the actual
medium Medium may refer to: Science and technology Aviation *Medium bomber A medium bomber is a military bomber Fixed-wing aircraft, aircraft designed to operate with medium-sized Aerial bomb, bombloads over medium Range (aeronautics), range ...
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 large peninsula conventionally considered a continent in its own right because of its great physical size and the weight of its history and traditions. Europe is also considered a Continent#Subcontinents, subcontinent of Eurasia ...
"film" is preferred. Archaic terms include "animated pictures" and "animated photography". "Flick" is in general a slang term, first recorded in 1926. It originates in the verb flicker, owing to the flickering appearance of early films. 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".


History


Precursors

The art of film has drawn on several earlier traditions in fields such as oral
storytelling Storytelling is 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 entertainment, edu ...
,
literature Literature 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 expanded to ...
,
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 ...
and
visual art The visual arts are Art#Forms, genres, media, and styles, art forms such as painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics (art), ceramics, photography, video, filmmaking, design, crafts and architecture. Many artistic disciplines such as ...
s. Forms of art and
entertainment Entertainment is a form of activity that holds the attention and interest of an audience or gives pleasure and delight. It can be an idea or a task, but is more likely to be one of the activities or events that have developed over thousa ...
that had already featured moving and/or projected images include: * shadowgraphy, probably used since prehistoric times *
camera obscura A camera obscura (; ) is a darkened room with a aperture, small hole or lens at one side through which an image is 3D projection, projected onto a wall or table opposite the hole. ''Camera obscura'' can also refer to analogous constructions su ...
, a natural phenomenon that has possibly been used as an artistic aid since prehistoric times * shadow puppetry, possibly originated around 200 BCE in Central Asia, India, Indonesia or China * The
magic lantern The magic lantern, also known by its Latin name , is an early type of image projector that used pictures—paintings, prints, or photographs—on transparent plates (usually made of glass), one or more lens (optics), lenses, and a light source. ...
, developed in the 1650s. The multi-media
phantasmagoria Phantasmagoria (, also fantasmagorie, fantasmagoria) was a form of horror 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 ...
shows that 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, superimposition is the placement of an image or video on top of an already-existing image or video, usually to add to t ...
,
dissolving views Dissolving views were a popular type of 19th century magic lantern The magic lantern, also known by its Latin name , is an early type of image projector that used pictures—paintings, prints, or photographs—on transparent plates (usually ...
, live actors, smoke (sometimes to project images upon), odors, sounds and even electric shocks.


Before celluloid

The stroboscopic animation principle was introduced in 1833 with the stroboscopic disc (better known as the phénakisticope) and later applied in the
zoetrope A zoetrope is one of several Precursors of film#Modern era, 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 cylindr ...
(since 1866), the
flip book A flip book, flipbook, 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 moti ...
(since 1868), and the
praxinoscope The praxinoscope was an animation device, the successor to the zoetrope. It was invented in France in 1877 by Charles-Émile Reynaud. Like the zoetrope, it used a strip of pictures placed around the inner surface of a spinning cylinder. The pr ...
(since 1877), before it became the basic principle for cinematography. Experiments with early phénakisticope-based animation projectors were made at least as early as 1843 and publicly screened in 1847.
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 wo ...
marketed phénakisticope projection systems in France from circa 1853 until the 1890s.
Photography Photography is the visual art, 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 i ...
was introduced in 1839, but initially
photographic emulsion Photographic emulsion is a light-sensitive colloid used in photographic film, film-based photography. Most commonly, in gelatin silver process, silver-gelatin photography, it consists of silver halide crystals dispersed in gelatin. The emulsion i ...
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 Belgium, Belgian physicist and mathematician. He was one of the first people to demonstrate the illusion of a moving image. To do this, he used counterrotating disks w ...
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 Fellow of the Royal Society, FRS FRSE Doctor of Civil Law, DCL LLD (6 February 1802 – 19 October 1875), was an English scientist and inventor of many scientific breakthroughs of the Victorian era, including the Engli ...
, and to 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", but he only marketed it very briefly, without success. One Bïoscope disc with stereoscopic photographs of a machine is in the Plateau collection of the Ghent University, but no instruments or other discs have yet been found. By the late 1850s the first examples of instantaneous photography 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 known for his pioneering work in photographic studies of motion (physics), motion, and early work in motion-picture Movie projector ...
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 ''The Horse in Motion'' is a series of cabinet cards by Eadweard Muybridge, including six cards that each show a sequential series of six to twelve "automatic electro-photographs" depicting the movement of a horse. Muybridge shot the photogr ...
'' on
cabinet card The cabinet card was a style of photograph which was widely used for Portrait photography, photographic portraiture after 1870. It consisted of a thin photograph mounted on a card typically measuring 108 by 165 mm ( by inches). History Th ...
s. Muybridge, as well as Étienne-Jules Marey, Ottomar Anschütz and many others, would create many more
chronophotography Chronophotography is a photographic technique from the Victorian era which captures a number of phases of movements. The best known chronophotography works were mostly intended for the scientific study of Animal locomotion, locomotion, to discove ...
studies. Muybridge had the contours of dozens of his chronophotographic series traced onto glass discs and projected them with his
zoopraxiscope The zoopraxiscope (initially named ''zoographiscope'' and ''zoogyroscope'') is an early device for displaying moving images and is considered an important predecessor of the movie projector. It was conceived by photography, photographic pioneer ...
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 chronophotography, chronophotographer Ottomar Anschütz between 1886 and 1894. He made at least seven different ...
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 of the Praxinoscope in his 1877 patent application. 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 o ...
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 and camphor, often with added dyes and other agents. Once much more common for its use as photographic film before the advent of safer methods, celluloid's common contemporary ...
photographic film Photographic film is a strip or sheet of transparent film base coated on one side with a gelatin photographic emulsion, emulsion containing microscopically small light-sensitive silver halide crystals. The sizes and other characteristics of th ...
and the invention of motion picture cameras, which could photograph a rapid sequence of images using only one lens, allowed action to be captured and stored on a single compact
reel A reel is an object around which a length of another material (usually long and flexible) is wound for storage (usually hose are wound around a reel). Generally a reel has a cylindrical A cylinder (from ) has traditionally been a Solid ge ...
of film. Movies were initially shown publicly to one person at a time through "peep show" devices such as the
Electrotachyscope The Elektrischen Schnellseher (literally "Electrical Quick-Viewer") or Electrotachyscope was an early motion picture system developed by chronophotography, chronophotographer Ottomar Anschütz between 1886 and 1894. He made at least seven different ...
,
Kinetoscope The Kinetoscope is an precursors of film, early motion picture exhibition device, designed for films to be viewed by one person at a time through a peephole viewer window. The Kinetoscope was not a movie projector, but it introduced the basic ...
and the
Mutoscope The Mutoscope is an early film, motion picture device, invented by William Kennedy Dickson, W. K. L. Dickson and Herman Casler and later patented by Herman Casler on November 21, 1894. Like Thomas Edison's Kinetoscope, it did not project on a s ...
. Not much later, exhibitors managed to
project A project is any undertaking, carried out individually or collaboratively and possibly involving research or design, that is carefully planned to achieve a particular goal. An alternative view sees a project managerialism, managerially as a se ...
films on large screens for theatre audiences. The first public screenings of films at which admission was charged were made in 1895 by the American
Woodville Latham Major Woodville Latham (1837–1911) was an ordnance officer of the Confederate States of America, Confederacy during the American Civil War and professor of chemistry at West Virginia University. He was significant in the development of history o ...
and his sons, using films produced by their Eidoloscope 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 Jean Lumière (5 October 1864 – 6 June 1948), were French manufacturers of photography Photography is the visual art, art, ...
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 that showed an event or action with no
editing Editing is the process of selecting and preparing written, photographic, visual, audible, or cinematic material used by a person or an entity to convey a message or information. The editing process can involve correction, condensation, ...
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 synchronization, synchronized sound, or sound technologically coupled to image, as opposed to a silent film. The first known public exhibition of projected sound films took place in Paris in 1900, but decad ...
became commercially practical in the late 1920s, motion pictures were a purely
visual art The visual arts are Art#Forms, genres, media, and styles, art forms such as painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics (art), ceramics, photography, video, filmmaking, design, crafts and architecture. Many artistic disciplines such as ...
, but these innovative
silent film A silent film is a film with no synchronized Sound recording and reproduction, recorded sound (or more generally, no audible dialogue). Though silent films convey narrative and emotion visually, various plot elements (such as a setting or era) ...
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 A pianist ( , ) is an individual musician who plays the piano. Since most forms of Western music can make use of the piano, pianists have a wide repertoire and a wide variety of styles to choose from, among them traditional classical music, ja ...
or
organist An organist is a musician who plays any type of organ (music), organ. An organist may play organ repertoire, solo organ works, play with an musical ensemble, ensemble or orchestra, or accompany one or more singers or instrumentalist, instrumental ...
or, in large urban theaters, a full
orchestra An orchestra (; ) is a large Musical ensemble, instrumental ensemble typical of classical music, which combines instruments from different families. There are typically four main sections of instruments: * bowed string instruments, such as the ...
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 f ...
s were composed for major productions. The rise of European cinema was interrupted by the outbreak of
World War I World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll, one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, ...
, while the film industry in the United States flourished with the rise of
Hollywood Hollywood usually refers to: * Hollywood, Los Angeles, a neighborhood in California * Hollywood, a metonym for the cinema of the United States Hollywood may also refer to: Places United States * Hollywood District (disambiguation) * Hollywood, ...
, typified most prominently by the innovative work of D. W. Griffith in ''The Birth of a Nation'' (1915) and ''Intolerance'' (1916). However, in the 1920s, European filmmakers such as Eisenstein, F. W. Murnau and
Fritz Lang Friedrich Christian Anton Lang (; December 5, 1890 – August 2, 1976), known as Fritz Lang, was an Austrian film director, screenwriter, and producer who worked in Germany and later the United States.Obituary ''Variety Obituaries, Variety'', ...
, in many ways inspired by the meteoric wartime progress of film through Griffith, along with the contributions of
Charles Chaplin Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin Jr. (16 April 188925 December 1977) was an English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer who rose to fame in the era of silent film. He became a worldwide icon through his screen persona, the Tramp, and is conside ...
,
Buster Keaton Joseph Frank "Buster" Keaton (October 4, 1895 – February 1, 1966) was an American actor, comedian, and filmmaker. He is best known for his silent film work, in which his trademark was physical comedy accompanied by a stoic, deadpan expression ...
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 the electrical, Mechanical system, mechanical, electronic, or digital inscription and re-creation of sound waves, such as spoken voice, singing, instrumental music, or sound effects. The two main classes of ...
technologies made it practical to incorporate a
soundtrack A soundtrack is recorded music accompanying and synchronised to the images of a motion picture, drama, book, television show, television program, radio program, or video game; a commercially released soundtrack album of music as featured in t ...
of speech, music and
sound effects 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 shows, live performance, animation, video games, music, or other media. Traditi ...
synchronized with the action on the screen. The resulting
sound film A sound film is a motion picture with synchronization, synchronized sound, or sound technologically coupled to image, as opposed to a silent film. The first known public exhibition of projected sound films took place in Paris in 1900, but decad ...
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," 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 film, color motion picture processes, the first version dating back to 1916, and followed by improved versions over several decades. Definitive Technicolor movies using three black and white films ...
process, first used for animated cartoons in 1932, then also for live-action
short film A short film is any motion picture that is short enough in running time not to be considered a feature film. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences defines a short film as "an original motion picture that has a running time of 40 minutes ...
s and isolated sequences in a few
feature film A feature film or feature-length film is a narrative film, 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 f ...
s, then for an entire feature film, '' Becky Sharp'', 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 ticket (admission), tickets are sold to the public for admission to an event. Patrons may perform the transaction at a countertop, through a hole in a wall or window, or at a Wicket gate, wicke ...
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 displayed within a set of aspect ratio (image), aspect ratios (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 ...
processes, polarized 3D projection, and
stereophonic sound Stereophonic sound, or more commonly stereo, is a method of sound reproduction that recreates a multi-directional, 3-dimensional audible perspective. This is usually achieved by using two independent audio channels through a configuration ...
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 (July 30, 1939 – January 6, 2022) was an American director, writer, actor, producer, critic, and film historian. One of the "New Hollywood" directors, Bogdanovich started as a film journalist until he was hired to work on R ...
and
Martin Scorsese Martin Charles Scorsese ( , ; born November 17, 1942) is an American film director, producer, screenwriter and actor. Scorsese emerged as one of the major figures of the New Hollywood era. He is the recipient of many major accolades, incl ...
.


1960s and later

The decades following the decline of the
studio system A studio system is a method of filmmaking wherein the production and distribution of films is dominated by a small number of large movie studios. It is most often used in reference to Cinema of the United States, Hollywood motion picture studios ...
in the 1960s saw changes in the production and style of film. Various New Wave movements (including the
French New Wave French New Wave (french: La Nouvelle Vague) is a French European art cinema, art film movement that emerged in the late 1950s. The movement was characterized by its rejection of traditional filmmaking conventions in favor of experimentation and ...
, Indian New Wave, Japanese New Wave,
New Hollywood The New Hollywood, also known as American New Wave or Hollywood Renaissance, was a movement in Cinema of the United States, American film history from the mid-1960s to the early 1980s, when a new generation of young filmmakers came to prominence. ...
, and Egyptian New Wave) 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 Film theory is a set of scholarly approaches within the academic An academy (Attic Greek Attic Greek is the Greek language, Greek dialect of the regions of ancient Greece, ancient region of Attica, including the ''polis'' of classical Athen ...
" seeks to develop concise and systematic concepts that apply to the study of film as
art Art is a diverse range of human activity, and resulting product, that involves creative or imaginative talent expressive of technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual ideas. There is no generally agreed definition of wha ...
. The concept of film as an art-form began in 1911 with Ricciotto Canudo's manifest ''The Birth of the Sixth Art''. The Moscow Film School, the oldest film school in the world, was founded in 1919, in order to teach about and research film theory. Formalist film theory, led by
Rudolf Arnheim Rudolf Arnheim (July 15, 1904 – June 9, 2007) was a German-born writer, art and film theorist, and perceptual psychologist. He learned Gestalt psychology from studying under Max Wertheimer and Wolfgang Köhler at the University of Berlin and ap ...
, 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 of a given culture, usually as a whole. Cultural criticism has significant overlap with ...
, 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 creativity, creative expression, distinguishing it from decorative art or applied art, which also has to serve some practical function, such as pottery or most ...
. 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 and psychiatrist. Described as "the most controversial psycho-analyst since Sigmund Freud, Freud", Lacan gave The Seminars of Jacques Lacan, yearl ...
's psychoanalysis and
Ferdinand de Saussure Ferdinand de Saussure (; ; 26 November 1857 – 22 February 1913) was a Swiss Linguistics, linguist, Semiotics, semiotician and philosopher. His ideas laid a foundation for many significant developments in both linguistics and semiotics in the 2 ...
's
semiotics Semiotics (also called semiotic studies) is the systematic study of sign processes (semiosis) and meaning making. Semiosis is any activity, conduct, or process that involves Sign (semiotics), signs, where a sign is defined as anything that commun ...
among other things has given rise to psychoanalytic film theory, structuralist film theory,
feminist film theory Feminist film theory is a film theory, theoretical film criticism derived from feminist politics and feminist theory influenced by Second Wave Feminism and brought about around the 1970s in the United States. With the advancements in film throughou ...
, and others. On the other hand, critics from the analytical philosophy tradition, influenced by
Wittgenstein Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein ( ; ; 26 April 1889 – 29 April 1951) was an Austrians, Austrian-British people, British philosopher who worked primarily in logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy o ...
, try to clarify misconceptions used in theoretical studies and produce analysis of a film's vocabulary and its link to a
form of life In biology, an organism () is any life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All organisms are composed of cells (cell theory). Organisms are classified by taxonomy (biology), taxonomy into groups such as Multicellular o ...
.


Language

Film is considered to have its own
language Language is a structured system of communication. The structure of a language is its grammar and the free components are its vocabulary. Languages are the primary means by which humans communicate, and may be conveyed through a variety of met ...
.
James Monaco James F. Monaco (November 15, 1942 – November 25, 2019) was an American film critic, author, publisher, and educator. Life and Work Monaco founded Baseline (database), Baseline in 1982, an early online database about the entertainment industry ...
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, Film producer, producer and playwright. Widely considered one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers of all time, his films are known ...
famously said, "
Andrei Tarkovsky Andrei Arsenyevich Tarkovsky ( rus, Андрей Арсеньевич Тарковский, p=ɐnˈdrʲej ɐrˈsʲenʲjɪvʲɪtɕ tɐrˈkofskʲɪj; 4 April 1932 – 29 December 1986) was a Russian filmmaker. Widely considered one of the greates ...
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 Nan ...
, 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 Eighteen or 18 may refer to: * 18 (number) 18 (eighteen) is the natural number following 17 (number), 17 and preceding 19 (number), 19. In mathematics * Eighteen is a composite number, its divisors being 1 (number), 1, 2 (number), 2, 3 (number ...
, 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, silent drama (film and television), drama film produced ...
''. Incorporation of musical and visual
counterpoint In music, counterpoint is the relationship between two or more Part (music), musical lines (or voices) which are harmonically interdependent yet independent in rhythm and Pitch contour, melodic contour. It has been most commonly identified in t ...
, and scene development through mise en scene,
editing Editing is the process of selecting and preparing written, photographic, visual, audible, or cinematic material used by a person or an entity to convey a message or information. The editing process can involve correction, condensation, ...
, and effects has led to more complex techniques comparable to those used in
opera Opera is a form of 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 ...
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 ...
.


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 literature, periodical publication containing written News, information about current events and is often typed in black ink with a white or gray background. Newspapers can cover a wide variety of fields such as p ...
s and other media. Film critics working for newspapers,
magazine A magazine is a periodical literature, periodical publication, generally published on a regular schedule (often weekly or monthly), containing a variety of content (media), content. They are generally financed by advertising, newsagent's shop, ...
s, and
broadcast media Broadcasting is the distribution of audio Audio most commonly refers to sound, as it is transmitted in signal form. It may also refer to: Sound *Audio signal, an electrical representation of sound *Audio frequency, a frequency in the audio s ...
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. Mass marketed
action Action may refer to: * Action (narrative) In literature, action is the physical movement of the Character (arts), characters. Action as a literary mode "Action is the Mode (literature), mode hat A hat is a head covering which is worn for ...
, horror, and
comedy film A comedy film is a category of film A film also called a movie, motion picture, moving picture, picture, photoplay or (slang) flick is a work of visual art that simulates experiences and otherwise communicates ideas, stories, perc ...
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 and
art film An art film (or arthouse film) is typically an independent film, aimed at a niche market rather than a mass market audience. It is "intended to be a serious, artistic work, often experimental and not designed for mass appeal", "made primaril ...
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 ticket (admission), tickets are sold to the public for admission to an event. Patrons may perform the transaction at a countertop, through a hole in a wall or window, or at a Wicket gate, wicke ...
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 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 Film theory is a set of scholarly approaches within the academic An academy (Attic Greek Attic Greek is the Greek language, Greek dialect of the regions of ancient Greece, ancient region of Attica, including the ''polis'' of classical Athen ...
or
film studies Film studies is an academic discipline that deals with various film theory, theoretical, history of film, historical, and film criticism, critical approaches to film, cinema as an art form and a medium. It is sometimes subsumed within media studi ...
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 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 The Oberammergau Passion Play (german: Oberammergauer Passionsspiele) is a passion play that has been performed every 10 years from 1634 to 1674 and each decadal year since 1680 (with a few exceptions) by the inhabitants of the village of Oberam ...
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
theaters 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 ...
and companies formed specifically to produce and distribute films, while motion picture actors became major
celebrities Celebrity is a condition of fame and broad public recognition of a person or group as a result of the attention given to them by mass media. An individual may attain a celebrity status from having great wealth Wealth is the abundance o ...
and commanded huge fees for their performances. By 1917
Charlie Chaplin Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin Jr. (16 April 188925 December 1977) was an English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer who rose to fame in the era of silent film. He became a worldwide icon through his screen persona, the Tramp, and is consider ...
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 recorder A video tape recorder (VTR) is a tape recorder An audio tape recorder, also known as a tape deck, tape player or tape machine or simply a tape recorder, is a sound recording and reproduction device that records and plays back sounds usua ...
s. In the United States, much of the film industry is centered around
Hollywood, California Hollywood is a neighborhood in the Central Los Angeles, central region of Los Angeles, California. Its name has come to be a metonymy, shorthand reference for the Cinema of the United States, U.S. film industry and the people associated with i ...
. Other regional centers exist in many parts of the world, such as
Mumbai Mumbai (, ; also known as Bombay — the official name until 1995) is the capital city of the Indian state of Maharashtra Maharashtra (; , abbr. MH or Maha) is a states and union territories of India, state in the western India, we ...
-centered
Bollywood Hindi cinema, popularly known as Bollywood and formerly as Bombay cinema, refers to the film industry based in Mumbai, engaged in production of motion pictures in Hindi language. The popular term Bollywood, is a portmanteau of "Bombay" (fo ...
, the Indian film industry's
Hindi Hindi (Devanāgarī: or , ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: ), is an Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in the Hindi Belt region encompassing parts of North India, northern, Central India, centr ...
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 studio A film studio (also known as movie studio or simply studio) is a major entertainment company or motion picture company that has its own privately owned studio A studio is an artist or worker's workroom. This can be for the purpose of acting, ...
s, 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 A cost overrun, also known as a cost increase or budget overrun, involves unexpected incurred costs. When these costs are in excess of budgeted amounts due to a value engineering underestimation of the actual cost during budgeting, they are known ...
, an example being
Kevin Costner Kevin Michael Costner (born January 18, 1955) is an American actor, producer, film director and musician. He has received List of awards and nominations received by Kevin Costner, various accolades, including two Academy Awards, two Golden Glob ...
's '' Waterworld''. Yet many filmmakers strive to create works of lasting social significance. The
Academy Awards The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, are awards for artistic and technical merit for the American and international film industry. The awards are regarded by many as the most prestigious, significant awards in the entertainment ind ...
(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 theater A movie theater (American English), cinema (British English), or cinema hall (Indian English), also known as a movie house, picture house, the movies, the pictures, picture theater, the silver screen, the big screen, or simply theater is a ...
s. 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 Film theory is a set of scholarly approaches within the academic An academy (Attic Greek Attic Greek is the Greek language, Greek dialect of the regions of ancient Greece, ancient region of Attica, including the ''polis'' of classical Athen ...
and analysis. Fields of academic study have been created that are derivative or dependent on the existence of film, such as
film criticism Film criticism is the analysis and evaluation of film A film also called a movie, motion picture, moving picture, picture, photoplay or (slang) flick is a work of visual art that simulates experiences and otherwise communicates ide ...
, 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 Film criticism is the analysis and evaluation of film A film also called a movie, motion picture, moving picture, picture, photoplay or (slang) flick is a work of visual art that simulates experiences and otherwise communicates ide ...
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'' figures). Sub-industries of pre-existing industries may deal specifically with film, such as
product placement Product placement, also known as embedded marketing, is a marketing technique where references to specific brands or products are incorporated into another work, such as a film or television program, with specific promotional intent. Much of th ...
and other
advertising Advertising is the practice and techniques employed to bring attention to a product or service. Advertising aims to put a product or service in the spotlight in hopes of drawing it attention from consumers. It is typically used to promote a ...
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 A movie theater (American English), cinema (British English), or cinema hall (Indian English), also known as a movie house, picture house, the movies, the pictures, picture theater, the silver screen, the big screen, or simply theater is a ...
. 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 Art is a diverse range of human activity, and resulting product, that involves creative or imaginative talent expressive of technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual ideas. There is no generally agreed definition of wh ...
,
theoretical A theory is a reason, rational type of abstraction, abstract thinking about a phenomenon, or the results of such thinking. The process of contemplative and rational thinking is often associated with such processes as observational study or resear ...
, or technical aspects. The term "movies" more often refers to
entertainment Entertainment is a form of activity that holds the attention and interest of an audience or gives pleasure and delight. It can be an idea or a task, but is more likely to be one of the activities or events that have developed over thousa ...
or
commercial Commercial may refer to: * a dose of advertising conveyed through media (such as - for example - radio or television) ** Radio advertisement ** Television advertisement * (adjective for:) commerce, a system of voluntary exchange of products and s ...
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 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, Star Wars. "
DVD The DVD (common abbreviation for Digital Video Disc or Digital Versatile Disc) is a digital optical disc data storage format. It was invented and developed in 1995 and first released on November 1, 1996, in Japan. The medium can store any k ...
" and "
videotape Videotape is magnetic tape used for storing video and usually Sound recording and reproduction, sound in addition. Information stored can be in the form of either an analog signal, analog or Digital signal (signal processing), digital signal. Vi ...
" 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 A silent film is a film with no synchronized Sound recording and reproduction, recorded sound (or more generally, no audible dialogue). Though silent films convey narrative and emotion visually, various plot elements (such as a setting or era) ...
" need not be utterly silent, but are films and movies without an audible dialogue, including those that have a musical accompaniment. The word, "
Talkies A sound film is a motion picture with synchronization, synchronized sound, or sound technologically coupled to image, as opposed to a silent film. The first known public exhibition of projected sound films took place in Paris in 1900, but decad ...
," refers to the earliest sound films created to have
audible Audible may refer to: * Audible (service), an online audiobook store * Audible (American football), a tactic used by quarterbacks * Audible (film), ''Audible'' (film), a short documentary film featuring a deaf high school football player * Audible ...
dialogue Dialogue (sometimes spelled dialog in American and British English spelling differences, American English) is a written or spoken conversational exchange between two or more people, and a literature, literary and theatrical form that depicts suc ...
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 Metonymy () is a figure of speech in which a concept is referred to by the name of something closely associated with that thing or concept. Etymology The words ''metonymy'' and ''metonym'' come from grc, μετωνυμία, 'a change of name' ...
for the entire film industry. "
Widescreen Widescreen images are displayed within a set of aspect ratio (image), aspect ratios (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 ...
" refers to a larger width to height in the
frame 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: Physical objects In building construction *Framing (con ...
, compared to earlier historic aspect ratios. A "feature-length film", or "
feature film A feature film or feature-length film is a narrative film, 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 f ...
", 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" 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 Independent or Independents may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Artist groups * Independents (artist group), a group of modernist painters based in the New Hope, Pennsylvania, area of the United States during the early 1930s * Independen ...
" is a film made outside the conventional film industry. In US usage, one talks of a " screening" or " projection" of a movie or video on a screen at a public or private "theater." In British English, a "film showing" happens at a
cinema Cinema may refer to: Film * Cinematography, the art of motion-picture photography * Film or movie, a series of still images that create the illusion of a moving image ** Film industry, the technological and commercial institutions of filmmaking * ...
(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 ...
", 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 film production and distribution, physical film might be absent entirely. A "
double feature The double feature is a motion picture industry phenomenon in which theatres would exhibit two films for the price of one, supplanting an earlier format in which one feature film and various short subject reels would be shown. Opera use Opera ho ...
" is a screening of two independently marketed, stand-alone feature films. A "viewing" is a watching of a film. "
Sales Sales are activities related to selling or the number of goods sold in a given targeted time period. The delivery of a service for a cost is also considered a sale. The seller, or the provider of the goods or services, completes a sale in ...
" and "at the box office" refer to tickets sold at a theater, or more currently, rights sold for individual showings. A " release" is the distribution and often simultaneous screening of a film. A " preview" is a screening in advance of the main release. Any film may also have a "
sequel A sequel is a work of literature Literature 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 cent ...
", which portrays events following those in the film. ''
Bride of Frankenstein ''Bride of Frankenstein'' is a 1935 American Science fiction film, science fiction horror film, and the Frankenstein (Universal film series), first sequel to Universal Pictures' 1931 film ''Frankenstein (1931 film), Frankenstein''. As with the f ...
'' 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 The ''James Bond'' series focuses on a fictional Secret Intelligence Service, British Secret Service agent created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short-story collections. Since Fleming's death in 19 ...
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 A prequel is a literary, dramatic or cinematic work whose story precedes that of a previous work, by focusing on events that occur before the original narrative. A prequel is a work that forms part of a backstory to the preceding work. The term " ...
," 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 A post-credits scene (commonly referred to as a stinger or credit cookie) or mid-credits scene is a short clip that appears after all or some of the closing credits have rolled and sometimes after a production logo of a film, TV series, or video g ...
is a scene shown after the end of the credits. ''
Ferris Bueller's Day Off ''Ferris Bueller's Day Off'' is a 1986 American teen film, teen comedy film written, co-produced, and directed by John Hughes (filmmaker), John Hughes and co-produced by Tom Jacobson. The film stars Matthew Broderick, Mia Sara, and Alan Ruck wit ...
'' 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 Celebrity is a condition of fame and broad public recognition of a person or group as a result of the attention given to them by mass media. An individual may attain a celebrity status from having great wealth Wealth is the abundance o ...
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 director, producer, screenwriter and actor. Scorsese emerged as one of the major figures of the New Hollywood era. He is the recipient of many major accolades, incl ...
. 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 Heywood "Woody" Allen (born Allan Stewart Konigsberg; November 30, 1935) is an American film director, writer, actor, and comedian whose career spans more than six decades and multiple Academy Award-winning films. He began his career writing ...
, who directed and starred in ''
Take the Money and Run ''Take the Money and Run'' is a 1969 American mockumentary comedy film directed by Woody Allen. Allen co-wrote the screenplay with Mickey Rose and stars alongside Janet Margolin. The film chronicles the life of Virgil Starkwell, an inept bank rob ...
''. 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 ''First Blood'' (also known as ''Rambo: First Blood'') is a 1982 American action film directed by Ted Kotcheff, and co-written by Sylvester Stallone, who also stars as Vietnam War veteran John Rambo. It co-stars Richard Crenna as Rambo's mentor ...
''. After the test audience responded very negatively to the death of protagonist John Rambo, a
Vietnam veteran A Vietnam veteran is a person who served in the armed forces of participating countries during the Vietnam War. The term has been used to describe veterans who served in the armed forces of South Vietnam, the United States Armed Forces, and oth ...
, 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 The double feature is a motion picture industry phenomenon in which theatres would exhibit two films for the price of one, supplanting an earlier format in which one feature film and various short subject reels would be shown. Opera use Opera ho ...
program) begins. Film trailers are also common on
DVD The DVD (common abbreviation for Digital Video Disc or Digital Versatile Disc) is a digital optical disc data storage format. It was invented and developed in 1995 and first released on November 1, 1996, in Japan. The medium can store any k ...
s and
Blu-ray Disc The Blu-ray Disc (BD), often known simply as Blu-ray, is a Digital media, digital optical disc data storage format. It was invented and developed in 2005 and released on June 20, 2006 worldwide. It is designed to supersede the DVD format, and c ...
s, 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.


The role of film in culture

Films are
cultural artifact A cultural artifact, or cultural artefact (see American and British English spelling differences#Miscellaneous spelling differences, American and British English spelling differences), is a term used in the social sciences, particularly anthro ...
s created by specific
culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior, institutions, and Social norm, norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, capabilities, and habits of the ...
s, facilitating intercultural dialogue. It is considered to be an important art form that provides entertainment and historical value, often visually documenting a period of time. The visual basis of the medium gives it a universal power of communication, often stretched further through the use of
dubbing Dubbing (re-recording and mixing) is a post-production process used in filmmaking and video production, often in concert with sound design, in which additional or supplementary recordings are lip-synced and "mixed" with original production sou ...
or
subtitles Subtitles and captions are lines of dialogue or other Writing, text displayed at the bottom of the screen in films, television programs, video games or other visual media. They can be transcriptions of the screenplay, translations of it, or ...
to translate the dialog into other languages. Just seeing a location in a film is linked to higher tourism to that location, demonstrating how powerful the suggestive nature of the medium can be.


Education and propaganda

Film is used for a range of goals, including education and propaganda due its ability to effectively intercultural dialogue. When the purpose is primarily educational, a film is called an "
educational film An educational film is a film A film also called a movie, motion picture, moving picture, picture, photoplay or (slang) flick is a work of visual art that simulates experiences and otherwise communicates ideas, stories, perceptions, ...
". Examples are recordings of academic lectures and experiments, or a film based on a classic novel. Film may be
propaganda Propaganda is communication that is primarily used to Social influence, influence or persuade an audience to further an Political agenda, agenda, which may not be Objectivity (journalism), objective and may be selectively presenting facts to en ...
, in whole or in part, such as the films made by
Leni Riefenstahl Helene Bertha Amalie "Leni" Riefenstahl (; 22 August 1902 – 8 September 2003) was a German film director, photographer and actress known for her role in producing Nazi Propaganda, Nazi propaganda. A talented swimmer and an artist, Riefenstah ...
in Nazi Germany, US war film trailers during World War II, or artistic films made under Stalin by
Sergei Eisenstein Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein (russian: Сергей Михайлович Эйзенштейн, p=sʲɪrˈɡʲej mʲɪˈxajləvʲɪtɕ ɪjzʲɪnˈʂtʲejn, 2=Sergey Mikhaylovich Eyzenshteyn; 11 February 1948) was a Soviet film director, screenw ...
. They may also be works of political protest, as in the films of
Andrzej Wajda Andrzej Witold Wajda (; 6 March 1926 – 9 October 2016) was a Polish film and theatre director. Recipient of an Honorary Oscar, the Palme d'Or The Palme d'Or (; en, Golden Palm) is the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival. ...
, 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 Russian filmmaker. Widely considered one of the greates ...
. 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 Precursors of film#Modern era, 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 cylindr ...
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 James Stanley Brakhage ( ; January 14, 1933 – March 9, 2003) was an American filmmaker. He is considered to be one of the most important figures in 20th-century experimental film. Over the course of five decades, Brakhage created a Filmog ...
'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 Production may refer to: Economics and business * Production (economics) * Production, the act of manufacturing goods * Production, in the outline of industrial organization, the act of making products (goods and services) * Production as a stati ...
of a Hollywood-style film, these main stages are defined as development,
pre-production Pre-production is the process of planning some of the elements involved in a film, television show, Play (theatre), play, or other performance, as distinct from Filmmaking, production and post-production. Pre-production ends when the planning ...
, production,
post-production Post-production is part of the process of filmmaking, video production, audio production, and photography. Post-production includes all stages of production occurring after principal photography or recording individual program segments. The ...
and 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
financing Funding is the act of providing resources to finance a need, program, or project. While this is usually in the form of money, it can also take the form of effort or time from an organization or company. Generally, this word is used when a firm us ...
becomes; most
feature film A feature film or feature-length film is a narrative film, 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 f ...
s are artistic works from the creators' perspective (e.g.,
film director A film director controls a film's artistic and dramatic aspects and visualizes the screenplay (or script) while guiding the film crew and actors in the fulfilment of that Goal, vision. The director has a key role in choosing the Casting (per ...
,
cinematographer The cinematographer or director of photography (sometimes shortened to DP or DOP) is the person responsible for the photographing or recording of a film, television production, music video or other live action piece. The cinematographer is the ch ...
,
screenwriter A screenplay writer (also called screenwriter, scriptwriter, scribe or scenarist) is a writer who practices the craft of screenwriting, writing screenplays on which mass media, such as films, television programs and video games, are based. T ...
) 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
actor An actor or actress is a person who portrays a Character (arts), character in a performance. The actor performs "in the flesh" in the traditional medium of the theatre or in modern media such as film, radio, and television. The analogous Greek t ...
s who appear in front of the
camera A camera is an optical instrument that can capture an image. Most cameras can capture 2D images, with some more advanced models being able to capture 3D images. At a basic level, most cameras consist of sealed boxes (the camera body), with a ...
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
screenwriter A screenplay writer (also called screenwriter, scriptwriter, scribe or scenarist) is a writer who practices the craft of screenwriting, writing screenplays on which mass media, such as films, television programs and video games, are based. T ...
s and
film editor Film editing is both a creative and a technical part of the post-production process of filmmaking. The term is derived from the traditional process of working with film stock, film which increasingly involves the use Digital cinema, of digital ...
s. 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.
Caterer Catering is the business of providing food service at a remote site or a site such as a hotel, hospital, pub, aircraft, cruise ship, park, festival, filming location or film studio. History of catering The earliest account of major services be ...
s (known in the film industry as "craft services") are usually not considered part of the crew.


Technology

Film stock Film stock is an analog device, analog medium that is used for recording film, motion pictures or animation. It is recorded on by a movie camera, film developing, developed, film editing, edited, and projected onto a screen using a movie p ...
consists of transparent
celluloid Celluloids are a class of materials produced by mixing nitrocellulose and camphor, often with added dyes and other agents. Once much more common for its use as photographic film before the advent of safer methods, celluloid's common contemporary ...
,
acetate An acetate is a salt (chemistry), salt formed by the combination of acetic acid with a base (e.g. Alkali metal, alkaline, Alkaline earth metal, earthy, Transition metal, metallic, nonmetallic or radical Radical (chemistry), base). "Acetate" als ...
, or
polyester Polyester is a category of polymers that contain the ester functional group in every repeat unit of their main chain. As a specific material, it most commonly refers to a type called polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Polyesters include natural ...
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 A film format is a technical definition of a set of standard characteristics regarding image capture on photographic film Photographic film is a strip or sheet of transparent film base coated on one side with a gelatin photographic emulsio ...
for images on the reel have had a rich history, though most large commercial films are still shot on (and distributed to theaters) as 35 mm prints. Originally moving picture film was shot and projected at various speeds using hand-cranked
cameras A camera is an Optics, optical instrument that can capture an image. Most cameras can capture 2D images, with some more advanced models being able to capture 3D images. At a basic level, most cameras consist of sealed boxes (the camera body), ...
and
projectors A projector or image projector is an optical 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 Pho ...
; 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 synchronization, synchronized sound, or sound technologically coupled to image, as opposed to a silent film. The first known public exhibition of projected sound films took place in Paris in 1900, but decad ...
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 filmstocks and
lenses A lens is a transmissive optics, optical device which focuses or disperses a light beam by means of refraction. A simple lens consists of a single piece of transparent material, while a #Compound lenses, compound lens consists of several simp ...
, allowing 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 Photography is the visual art, 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 i ...
. 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 Multimedia is a form of communication that uses a combination of different content forms such as Text (literary theory), text, Sound, audio, Image, images, Animation, animations, or video into a single i ...
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 film, color motion picture processes, the first version dating back to 1916, and followed by improved versions over several decades. Definitive Technicolor movies using three black and white films ...
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 Film preservation, or film restoration, describes a series of ongoing efforts among film historians, archivists, museums, cinematheques, and non-profit organizations to rescue decaying film stock and preserve the images they contain. In the wid ...
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 video Video is an electronic medium for the recording, copying Copying is the duplication of information Information is an Abstraction, abstract concept that refers to that which has the power to Communication, inform. At the most fundam ...
technology similar to that used in
television production A television show – or simply TV show – is any content produced for viewing on a television set which can be broadcast via over-the-air, satellite television, satellite, or cable television, cable, excluding breaking news, television adverti ...
. Modern
digital video Digital video is an electronic representation of moving visual images (video) in the form of encoded digital data. This is in contrast to analog video, which represents moving visual images in the form of analog signals. Digital video comprises ...
cameras and digital projectors are gaining ground as well. These approaches are preferred by some film-makers, especially because footage shot with
digital cinema Digital cinema refers to adoption of digital data, digital technology within the film industry to film distributor, distribute or video projector, project motion pictures as opposed to the historical use of reels of motion picture film, such as 3 ...
can be evaluated and edited with
non-linear editing system Non-linear editing is a form of offline editing for Audio editing, audio, Video editing, video, and image editing. In offline editing, the original content is not modified in the course of editing. In non-linear editing, edits are specified an ...
s (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 filmmaking wherein the production and distribution of films is dominated by a small number of large movie studios. It is most often used in reference to Cinema of the United States, Hollywood motion picture studios ...
s. An independent film (or indie film) is a film initially produced without financing or distribution from a
major film studio Major film studios are filmmaking, production and film distributor, distribution companies that release a substantial number of films annually and consistently command a significant share of box office revenue in a given market. In the American ...
. 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. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (commonly known as Warner Bros. or abbreviated as WB) is an American Film studio, film and entertainment studio headquartered at the Warner Bros. Studios, Burbank, Warner Bros. Studios complex in Burbank, Califo ...
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 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
camcorder A camcorder is a self-contained portable electronic device with video camera, video and recording as its primary function. It is typically equipped with an articulating screen mounted on the left side, a belt to facilitate holding on the right s ...
s in 1985, and more importantly, the arrival of high-resolution
digital video Digital video is an electronic representation of moving visual images (video) in the form of encoded digital data. This is in contrast to analog video, which represents moving visual images in the form of analog signals. Digital video comprises ...
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 A personal computer (PC) is a multi-purpose microcomputer whose size, capabilities, and price make it feasible for individual use. Personal computers are intended to be operated directly by an end user, rather than by a computer expert or techn ...
. Technologies such as
DVD The DVD (common abbreviation for Digital Video Disc or Digital Versatile Disc) is a digital optical disc data storage format. It was invented and developed in 1995 and first released on November 1, 1996, in Japan. The medium can store any k ...
s,
FireWire IEEE 1394 is an interface standard for a serial communication, serial bus for high-speed communications and isochronous real-time data transfer. It was developed in the late 1980s and early 1990s by Apple Inc., Apple in cooperation with a numbe ...
connections and a wide variety of professional and consumer-grade
video editing software Video editing software, or a video editor is software used performing the post-production video editing of digital video sequences on a non-linear editing system. It has replaced traditional flatbed celluloid film editing tools and analog video ta ...
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 festival A film festival is an organized, extended presentation of films in one or more cinemas or screening venues, usually in a single city or region. Increasingly, film festivals show some films outdoors. Films may be of recent date and, depending up ...
s to get their films noticed and sold for distribution. The arrival of internet-based video websites such as
YouTube YouTube is a global online video sharing and social media platform headquartered in San Bruno, California. It was launched on February 14, 2005, by Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim. It is owned by Google, and is the second mo ...
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 A license (or licence) is an official permission or permit to do, use, or own something (as well as the document of that permission or permit). A license is granted by a party (licensor) to another party (licensee) as an element of an agreeme ...
which is permissive enough to allow other parties to create
fan fiction Fan fiction or fanfiction (also abbreviated to fan fic, fanfic, fic or FF) is fictional writing written in an amateur An amateur () is generally considered a person who pursues an avocation independent from their source of income. Amateurs ...
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 filmmaking wherein the production and distribution of films is dominated by a small number of large movie studios. It is most often used in reference to Cinema of the United States, Hollywood motion picture studios ...
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 Television, sometimes shortened to TV, is a telecommunication Media (communication), medium for transmitting moving images and sound. The term can refer to a television set, or the medium of Transmission (telecommunications), television tra ...
,
comic book A comic book, also called comicbook, comic magazine or (in the United Kingdom and Ireland) simply comic, is a publication that consists of comics art in the form of sequential juxtaposed panel (comics), panels that represent individual scenes. ...
or a similar source, created by fans rather than by the source's copyright holders or creators. Fan filmmakers have traditionally been
amateur An amateur () is generally considered a person who pursues an avocation independent from their source of income. Amateurs and their pursuits are also described as popular, informal, autodidacticism, self-taught, user-generated, do it yourself, DI ...
s, 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 An audience is a group of people who participate in a show or encounter a work of art, literature (in which they are called "readers"), theatre, music (in which they are called "listeners"), video games (in which they are called "players"), or ...
. This is normally the task of a professional
film distributor A film distributor is responsible for the Film promotion, marketing of a film. The distribution company may be the same with, or different from, the production company. Distribution deals are an important part of financing a film. The distributo ...
, 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 release date and other matters. The film may be exhibited directly to the public either through a
movie theater A movie theater (American English), cinema (British English), or cinema hall (Indian English), also known as a movie house, picture house, the movies, the pictures, picture theater, the silver screen, the big screen, or simply theater is a ...
(historically the main way films were distributed) or
television Television, sometimes shortened to TV, is a telecommunication medium for transmitting moving images and sound. The term can refer to a television set, or the medium of Transmission (telecommunications), television transmission. Television ...
for personal home viewing (including on
DVD-Video DVD-Video is a consumer video format used to store digital video on DVD discs. DVD-Video was the dominant consumer home video format in Asia, North America, Europe, and Australia in the 2000s until it was supplanted by the high-definition Blu-r ...
or
Blu-ray Disc The Blu-ray Disc (BD), often known simply as Blu-ray, is a Digital media, digital optical disc data storage format. It was invented and developed in 2005 and released on June 20, 2006 worldwide. It is designed to supersede the DVD format, and c ...
,
video-on-demand Video on demand (VOD) is a media distribution system that allows users to access videos without a traditional video playback device and the constraints of a typical static broadcasting schedule. In the 20th century, broadcasting in the form of o ...
, online
download In computer networks, download means to ''receive'' Data (computing), data from a remote system, typically a Server (computing), server such as a web server, an File Transfer Protocol, FTP server, an email server, or other similar system. This ...
ing,
television program Television, sometimes shortened to TV, is a telecommunication Media (communication), medium for transmitting moving images and sound. The term can refer to a television set, or the medium of Transmission (telecommunications), television tra ...
s through
broadcast syndication Broadcast syndication is the practice of leasing the right to broadcasting television shows and radio programs to multiple television stations and radio stations, without going through a broadcast network. It is common in the United States where ...
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 The DVD (common abbreviation for Digital Video Disc or Digital Versatile Disc) is a digital optical disc data storage format. It was invented and developed in 1995 and first released on November 1, 1996, in Japan. The medium can store any k ...
, or
Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a '' network of networks'' that consists of private, p ...
download In computer networks, download means to ''receive'' Data (computing), data from a remote system, typically a Server (computing), server such as a web server, an File Transfer Protocol, FTP server, an email server, or other similar system. This ...
ing or
streaming Streaming media is multimedia Multimedia is a form of communication that uses a combination of different content forms such as Text (literary theory), text, Sound, audio, Image, images, Animation ...
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 Clay animation or claymation, sometimes plasticine animation, is one of many forms of stop-motion animation. Each animated piece, either character or background, is "deformable"—made of a malleable substance, usually plasticine clay. Tra ...
and
stop motion Stop motion is an animation, animated filmmaking technique in which objects are physically manipulated in small increments between individually photographed frames so that they will appear to exhibit independent motion or change when the series ...
), and then photographing the result with a special
animation camera An animation camera, a type of rostrum camera, is a movie camera specially adapted for frame (film), frame-by-frame shooting of animation. It consists of a camera body with lens and film magazines, and is most often placed on a stand that allows ...
. 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 move ...
). Generating such a film is very labor-intensive and tedious, though the development of
computer animation Computer animation is the process used for digitally generating animations. The more general term computer-generated imagery (CGI) encompasses both static scenes (still images) and dynamic images (moving images), while computer animation refer ...
has greatly sped up the process. Because animation is very time-consuming and often very expensive to produce, the majority of animation for TV and films comes from professional animation studios. However, the field of
independent animation The term independent animation refers to animated Animation is a method by which image, still figures are manipulated to appear as Motion picture, moving images. In traditional animation, images are drawn or painted by hand on transparent cel, ...
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 Limited animation is a process in the overall technique of traditional animation that reuses frames of character animation. Early history The use of budget-cutting and time-saving animation measures in animation dates back to the earliest commerc ...
is a way of increasing production and decreasing costs of animation by using "short cuts" in the animation process. This method was pioneered by UPA and popularized by
Hanna-Barbera Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc. ( ) was an American animation studio and production company which was active from 1957 to 2001. It was founded on July 7, 1957, by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera following the decision of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer ...
in the United States, and by
Osamu Tezuka Osamu Tezuka (, born , ''Tezuka Osamu''; – 9 February 1989) was a Japanese manga artist, cartoonist A cartoonist is a visual artist who specializes in both drawing and writing cartoons (individual images) or comics (sequential images). ...
in Japan, and adapted by other studios as cartoons moved from
movie theater A movie theater (American English), cinema (British English), or cinema hall (Indian English), also known as a movie house, picture house, the movies, the pictures, picture theater, the silver screen, the big screen, or simply theater is a ...
s to
television Television, sometimes shortened to TV, is a telecommunication medium for transmitting moving images and sound. The term can refer to a television set, or the medium of Transmission (telecommunications), television transmission. 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 William Norman McLaren, LL. D. (11 April 1914 – 27 January 1987) was a Scottish Canadian animator, director and producer known for his work for the National Film Board of Canada (NFB).Rosenthal, Alan. ''The new documentary in action: a cas ...
,
Len Lye Leonard Charles Huia Lye (; 5 July 1901 – 15 May 1980) was a New Zealand artist known primarily for his experimental films and kinetic sculpture. His films are held in archives including the New Zealand Film Archive, British Film Institute, Mus ...
, and
Stan Brakhage James Stanley Brakhage ( ; January 14, 1933 – March 9, 2003) was an American filmmaker. He is considered to be one of the most important figures in 20th-century experimental film. Over the course of five decades, Brakhage created a Filmog ...
, is painted and drawn directly onto pieces of film, and then run through a projector.


See also

*
Docufiction Docufiction (or docu-fiction) is the cinematographic combination of documentary and fiction Fiction is any creative work, chiefly any narrative work, portraying character (arts), individuals, events, or setting (narrative), places that are i ...
(
hybrid Hybrid may refer to: Science * Hybrid (biology) In biology, a hybrid is the offspring resulting from combining the qualities of two organisms of different breeds, varieties, species or genera through sexual reproduction. Hybrids are not alway ...
genre) * Filmophile *
Lost film A lost film is a feature film, feature or short film that no longer exists in any studio archive, private collection, public archive or the U.S. Library of Congress. Conditions During most of the 20th century, U.S. copyright law required at le ...
* '' The Movies'', a simulation game about the film industry, taking place at the dawn of cinema *
Filmmaking Filmmaking (film production) is the process by which a motion picture is produced. Filmmaking involves a number of complex and discrete stages, starting with an initial story, idea, or commission. It then continues through screenwriting, cas ...
t. / a.; and it's related w/
Filmography A filmography is a list of films related by some criteria. For example, an actor's career filmography is the list of films they have appeared in; a director's comedy filmography is the list of comedy film A comedy film is a category of film ...
. Its : Filmographies (& so on: Culture-related timelines, Film-related lists) * 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 Film periodicals combine discussion of individual films, genres and directors with in-depth considerations of the medium and the conditions of its production and reception. Their articles contrast with film reviewing in newspapers and magazines whi ...
** List of years in film ** Lists of films ** List of books on films **
Outline of film The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to film: ''Film A film also called a movie, motion picture, moving picture, picture, photoplay or (slang) flick is a work of visual art that simulates experie ...
* Platforms **
Television film A television film, alternatively known as a television movie, made-for-TV film/movie or TV film/movie, is a feature film, feature-length film that is produced and originally distributed by or to a television network, in contrast to theatrical f ...
**
Web film A web film is a film A film also called a movie, motion picture, moving picture, picture, photoplay or (slang) flick is a work of visual art that simulates experiences and otherwise communicates ideas, stories, perceptions, feelings, ...


Notes


References

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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. . * Hickenlooper, George (1991). ''Reel icConversations: Candid Interviews with Film's Foremost Directors and Critics'', in series, ''Citadel Press Book '. 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 Visual arts media Media formats French inventions 19th-century inventions Articles containing video clips