A FILM, also called a MOVIE, MOTION PICTURE, THEATRICAL FILM, or PHOTOPLAY, is a series of still images which, when shown on a screen, creates the illusion of moving images due to the phi phenomenon . This optical illusion causes the audience to perceive continuous motion between separate objects viewed rapidly in succession. The process of filmmaking is both an art and an industry . A film is created by photographing actual scenes with a motion picture camera ; by photographing drawings or miniature models using traditional animation techniques; by means of CGI and computer animation ; or by a combination of some or all of these techniques and other visual effects .
The word "CINEMA", short for cinematography , is often used to refer to the industry of films and filmmaking or to the art of filmmaking itself. The contemporary definition of cinema is the art of simulating experiences to communicate ideas, stories, perceptions, feelings, beauty or atmosphere by the means of recorded or programmed moving images along with other sensory stimulations.
Films were originally recorded onto plastic film through a photochemical process and then shown through a movie projector onto a large screen. The adoption of CGI-based special effects led to the use of digital intermediates . Most contemporary films are now fully digital through the entire process of production, distribution, and exhibition from start to finish. Films recorded in a photochemical form traditionally included an analogous optical soundtrack , which is a graphic recording of the spoken words, music and other sounds that accompany the images. It runs along a portion of the film exclusively reserved for it and is not projected.
Films are cultural artifacts created by specific cultures . They
reflect those cultures, and, in turn, affect them.
The individual images that make up a film are called frames . During projection of traditional films, a rotating shutter causes intervals of darkness as each frame, in turn, is moved into position to be projected, but the viewer does not notice the interruptions because of an effect known as persistence of vision , whereby the eye retains a visual image for a fraction of a second after the source has been removed. The perception of motion is due to a psychological effect called phi phenomenon .
The name "film" originates from the fact that photographic film (also
called film stock ) has historically been the medium 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
* 1 History
* 1.1 Preceding technologies
* 1.2 First motion pictures
* 1.3 Early evolution
* 2 Film theory
* 3 Industry * 4 Associated fields
* 5 Terminology
* 5.1 Preview * 5.2 Trailer and teaser
* 6 Education and propaganda
* 7 Production
* 8 Distribution
* 10 Recent trends and influences
* 10.1 Technical trends
* 11 See also * 12 Notes * 13 References * 14 Further reading * 15 External links
Main article: History of film Sometimes Sallie Gardner at a Gallop from 1878 is cited as the earliest film. A frame from Roundhay Garden Scene , the world's earliest surviving film produced using a motion picture camera, by Louis Le Prince , 1888. The Berlin Wintergarten theatre was the site of the first cinema ever, with a short film presented by the Skladanowsky brothers on 1 November 1895. The image depicts a July 1940 variety show .
Preceding film in origin by thousands of years, early plays and dances had elements common to film: scripts , sets , costumes , production , direction , actors , audiences , storyboards and scores . Much terminology later used in film theory and criticism apply, such as mise en scène (roughly, the entire visual picture at any one time). Owing to the lack of any technology for doing so, the moving images and sounds could not be recorded for replaying as with film.
The magic lantern , probably created by
In the mid-19th century, inventions such as Joseph Plateau 's phenakistoscope and the later zoetrope demonstrated that a carefully designed sequence of drawings, showing phases of the changing appearance of objects in motion, would appear to show the objects actually moving if they were displayed one after the other at a sufficiently rapid rate. These devices relied on the phenomenon of persistence of vision to make the display appear continuous even though the observer's view was actually blocked as each drawing rotated into the location where its predecessor had just been glimpsed. Each sequence was limited to a small number of drawings, usually twelve, so it could only show endlessly repeating cyclical motions. By the late 1880s, the last major device of this type, the praxinoscope , had been elaborated into a form that employed a long coiled band containing hundreds of images painted on glass and used the elements of a magic lantern to project them onto a screen.
The use of sequences of photographs in such devices was initially limited to a few experiments with subjects photographed in a series of poses because the available emulsions were not sensitive enough to allow the short exposures needed to photograph subjects that were actually moving. The sensitivity was gradually improved and in the late 1870s, Eadweard Muybridge created the first animated image sequences photographed in real-time. A row of cameras was used, each, in turn, capturing one image on a photographic glass plate , so the total number of images in each sequence was limited by the number of cameras, about two dozen at most. Muybridge used his system to analyze the movements of a wide variety of animal and human subjects. Hand-painted images based on the photographs were projected as moving images by means of his zoopraxiscope . A shot from Georges Méliès Le Voyage dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon) (1902), an early narrative film and also an early science fiction film .
FIRST MOTION PICTURES
By the end of the 1880s, the introduction of lengths of celluloid
photographic film and the invention of motion picture cameras , which
could photograph an indefinitely long rapid sequence of images using
only one lens, allowed several minutes of action to be captured and
stored on a single compact reel of film. Some early films were made to
be viewed by one person at a time through a "peep show" device such as
The first public screenings of films at which admission was charged
were made in 1895 by the American
Woodville Latham and his sons, using
films produced by their company, and by the - arguably better known -
Auguste and Louis Lumière with ten of their own
productions. Private screenings had preceded these by several months,
with Latham's slightly predating the Lumière brothers'. Another
opinion is that the first public exhibition of projected motion
pictures in America was at Brooklyn Institute in
New York City
The earliest films were simply one static shot that showed an event
or action with no editing or other cinematic techniques. Around the
turn of the 20th century, films started stringing several scenes
together to tell a story. 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 became commercially practical
in the late 1920s, motion pictures were a purely visual art , but
these innovative silent films 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 or
organist or, in large urban theaters, a full orchestra to play music
that fit the mood of the film at any given moment. By the early 1920s,
most films came with a prepared list of sheet music to be used for
this purpose, and complete film scores were composed for major
productions. Play media A clip from the
The rise of
European cinema was interrupted by the outbreak of World
War I , while the film industry in the
In the 1920s, the development of electronic sound recording technologies made it practical to incorporate a soundtrack of speech, music and sound effects synchronized with the action on the screen. The resulting sound films 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."
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 process, first used for animated cartoons in 1932, then also for live-action short films and isolated sequences in a few feature films , 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 receipts usually justified the added cost. The number of films made in color slowly increased year after year.
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 processes, polarized 3D projection , and
stereophonic sound were introduced, and more films were made in color,
which soon became the rule rather than the exception. Some important
1960S AND LATER
The decades following the decline of the studio system in the 1960s saw changes in the production and style of film. Various New Wave movements (including the French New Wave , Indian New Wave , Japanese New Wave , and New Hollywood ) 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.
Main article: 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 . Incorporation of musical and visual counterpoint , and scene development through mise en scene , editing , and effects has led to more complex techniques comparable to those used in opera and ballet .
Main article: 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 newspapers and other media.
The impact of a reviewer on a given film's box office performance is a matter of debate. Some observers claim that movie marketing in the 2000s is so intense, well-coordinated and well financed that reviewers cannot prevent a poorly written or filmed blockbuster from attaining market success. However, the cataclysmic failure of some heavily promoted films which were harshly reviewed, as well as the unexpected success of critically praised independent films indicates that extreme critical reactions can have considerable influence. Other observers note that positive film reviews have been shown to spark interest in little-known films. Conversely, there have been several films in which film companies have so little confidence that they refuse to give reviewers an advanced viewing to avoid widespread panning of the film. However, this usually backfires, as reviewers are wise to the tactic and warn the public that the film may not be worth seeing and the films often do poorly as a result. Journalist film critics are sometimes called film reviewers. Critics who take a more academic approach to films, through publishing in film journals and writing books about films using film theory or film studies approaches, study how film and filming techniques work, and what effect they have on people. Rather than having their reviews published in newspapers or appearing on television, their articles are published in scholarly journals or up-market magazines. They also tend to be affiliated with colleges or universities as professors or instructors.
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 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 and companies formed specifically to produce and distribute films, while motion picture actors became major celebrities and commanded huge fees for their performances. By 1917 Charlie Chaplin had a contract that called for an annual salary of one million dollars. From 1931 to 1956, film was also the only image storage and playback system for television programming until the introduction of videotape recorders .
In the United States, much of the film industry is centered around
Profit is a key force in the industry, due to the costly and risky
nature of filmmaking; many films have large cost overruns , an example
Derivative academic fields of study may both interact with and develop independently of filmmaking, as in film theory and analysis. Fields of academic study have been created that are derivative or dependent on the existence of film, such as film criticism , film history , divisions of film propaganda in authoritarian governments, or psychological on subliminal effects (e.g., of a flashing soda can during a screening). These fields may further create derivative fields, such as a movie review section in a newspaper or a television guide. Sub-industries can spin off from film, such as popcorn makers, and film-related toys (e.g., Star Wars figures ). Sub-industries of pre-existing industries may deal specifically with film, such as product placement and other advertising within films.
The terminology used for describing motion pictures varies considerably between British and American English . In British usage, the name of the medium is "film". The word "movie" is understood but seldom used. Additionally, "the pictures" (plural) is used semi-frequently to refer to the place where movies are exhibited, while in American English this may be called "the movies", but it is becoming outdated. In other countries, the place where movies are exhibited may be called a cinema or movie theatre . By contrast, in the United States, "movie" is the predominant form. Although the words "film" and "movie" are sometimes used interchangeably, "film" is more often used when considering artistic , theoretical , or technical aspects. The term "movies" more often refers to entertainment or commercial aspects, as where to go for fun evening on a date. For example, a book titled "How to Understand a Film" would probably be about the aesthetics or theory of film, while a book entitled "Let's Go to the Movies" would probably be about the history of entertaining movies and blockbusters .
Further terminology is used to distinguish various forms and media
used in the film industry. "Motion pictures" and "moving pictures" are
frequently used terms for film and movie productions specifically
intended for theatrical exhibition, such as, for instance, Batman .
In U.S. 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 (never a
"theatre ", which is a different medium and place altogether). A
cinema usually refers to an arena designed specifically to exhibit
films, where the screen is affixed to a wall, while a theater usually
refers to a place where live, non-recorded action or combination
thereof occurs from a podium or other type of stage, including the
amphitheater. Theaters can still screen movies in them, though the
theater would be retrofitted to do so. One might propose "going to the
cinema" when referring to the activity, or sometimes "to the pictures"
in British English, whereas the U.S. 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 " is a
screening of two independently marketed, stand-alone feature films. A
"viewing" is a watching of a film. "
Any film may also have a "sequel ", which portrays events following those in the film. Bride of Frankenstein is an early example. When there are more films than one with the same characters, story arcs, or subject themes, these movies become a "series," such as the James Bond series. And, existing outside of a specific story timeline usually, does not exclude a film from being part of a series. A film that portrays events occurring earlier in a timeline with those in another film, but is released after that film, is sometimes called a "prequel ," an example being Butch and Sundance: The Early Days .
The "credits," or "end credits," is a list that gives credit to the people involved in the production of a film. Films from before the 1970s usually start a film with credits, often ending with only a title card, saying "The End" or some equivalent, often an equivalent that depends on the language of the production. From then onward, a film's credits usually appear at the end of most films. However, films with credits that end a film often repeat some credits at or near the start of a film and therefore appear twice, such as that film's acting leads, while less frequently some appearing near or at the beginning only appear there, not at the end, which often happens to the director's credit. The credits appearing at or near the beginning of a film are usually called "titles" or "beginning titles." A post-credits scene is a scene shown after the end of the credits. Ferris Bueller\'s Day Off has a post-credit scene in which Ferris tells the audience that the film is over and they should go home.
A film's "cast" refers to a collection of the actors and actresses
who appear, or "star," in a film. A star is an actor or actress, often
a popular one, and in many cases, a celebrity who plays a central
character in a film. Occasionally the word can also be used to refer
to the fame of other members of the crew, such as a director or other
personality, such as
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 , or cinéaste in French.
Main article: Test screening
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 was 1982's First Blood . After the test audience responded very negatively to the death of protagonist John Rambo , a Vietnam veteran , at the end of the film, the company wrote and re-shot a new ending in which the character survives.
TRAILER AND TEASER
Main article: Film trailer
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.
EDUCATION AND PROPAGANDA
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 merely requires a series of images on a strip of paper. Film production can, therefore, take as little as one person with a camera (or even without a camera, as in Stan Brakhage 's 1963 film Mothlight ), or thousands of actors, extras, and crew members for a live-action, feature-length epic.
The necessary steps for almost any film can be boiled down to conception, planning, execution, revision, and distribution. The more involved the production, the more significant each of the steps becomes. In a typical production cycle of a Hollywood-style film, these main stages are defined as:
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 becomes; most feature films are artistic works from the creators' perspective (e.g., film director , cinematographer , screenwriter ) and for-profit business entities for the production companies.
A film crew is a group of people hired by a film company, employed during the "production" or "photography" phase, for the purpose of producing a film or motion picture. Crew is distinguished from cast, who are the actors who appear in front of the camera or provide voices for characters in the film. The crew interacts with but is also distinct from the production staff, consisting of producers, managers, company representatives, their assistants, and those whose primary responsibility falls in pre-production or post-production phases, such as screenwriters and film editors . Communication between production and crew generally passes through the director and his/her staff of assistants. Medium-to-large crews are generally divided into departments with well-defined hierarchies and standards for interaction and cooperation between the departments. Other than acting, the crew handles everything in the photography phase: props and costumes, shooting, sound, electrics (i.e., lights), sets, and production special effects. Caterers (known in the film industry as "craft services") are usually not considered part of the crew.
See also: Cinematic techniques
Film stock consists of transparent celluloid , acetate , or polyester base coated with an emulsion containing light-sensitive chemicals. Cellulose nitrate was the first type of film base used to record motion pictures, but due to its flammability was eventually replaced by safer materials. Stock widths and the film format for images on the reel have had a rich history, though most large commercial films are still shot on (and distributed to theaters) as 35 mm prints. Originally moving picture film was shot and projected at various speeds using hand-cranked cameras and projectors ; though 1000 frames per minute (16⅔ 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 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 , 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 . It can be used to
present a progressive sequence of still images in the form of a
Some films in recent decades have been recorded using analog video technology similar to that used in television production . Modern digital video cameras and digital projectors are gaining ground as well. These approaches are preferred by some film-makers, especially because footage shot with digital cinema can be evaluated and edited with non-linear editing systems (NLE) without waiting for the film stock to be processed. The migration was gradual, and as of 2005, most major motion pictures were still shot on film.
Main article: Independent film The Lumière Brothers were the first filmmakers; as such, they made their films as independents, without support from a studio, as at that time the major film studios did not exist.
Independent filmmaking often takes place outside of Hollywood, or
other major studio systems . An independent film (or indie film) is a
film initially produced without financing or distribution from a major
film studio . Creative, business and technological reasons have all
contributed to the growth of the indie film scene in the late 20th and
early 21st century. On the business side, the costs of big-budget
studio films also lead to conservative choices in cast and crew. There
is a trend in
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 camcorders in 1985, and more importantly, the arrival of
high-resolution digital video in the early 1990s, have lowered the
technology barrier to film production significantly. Both production
and post-production costs have been significantly lowered; in the
2000s, the hardware and software for post-production can be installed
in a commodity-based personal computer . Technologies such as DVDs ,
Since the introduction of digital video DV technology, the means of
production have become more democratized. Filmmakers can conceivably
shoot a film with a digital video camera and edit the film, create and
edit the sound and music, and mix the final cut on a high-end home
computer. However, while the means of production may be democratized,
financing, distribution, and marketing remain difficult to accomplish
outside the traditional system. Most independent filmmakers rely on
film festivals to get their films noticed and sold for distribution.
The arrival of internet-based video websites such as
OPEN CONTENT FILM
Main article: Open content film
An open content film is much like an independent film, but it is produced through open collaborations; its source material is available under a license which is permissive enough to allow other parties to create fan fiction or derivative works, than a traditional copyright. Like independent filmmaking, open source filmmaking takes place outside of Hollywood, or other major studio systems .
Main article: Fan film
A fan film is a film or video inspired by a film, television program , comic book or a similar source, created by fans rather than by the source's copyright holders or creators. Fan filmmakers have traditionally been amateurs , but some of the most notable films have actually been produced by professional filmmakers as film school class projects or as demonstration reels. Fan films vary tremendously in length, from short faux-teaser trailers for non-existent motion pictures to rarer full-length motion pictures.
Film distribution is the process through which a film is made
available for viewing by an audience . This is normally the task of a
professional film distributor , who would determine the marketing
strategy of the film, the media by which a film is to be exhibited or
made available for viewing, and may set the release date and other
matters. The film may be exhibited directly to the public either
through a movie theater (historically the main way films were
distributed) or television for personal home viewing (including on
Limited animation is a way of increasing production and decreasing
costs of animation by using "short cuts" in the animation process.
This method was pioneered by UPA and popularized by
RECENT TRENDS AND INFLUENCES
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In the 1990s and 2000s, the widespread availability and ownership of
* List of film awards * List of film festivals * List of film journals and magazines * List of film topics * List of video-related topics * List of years in film * Lists of films * List of books on films * Bibliography of film by genre
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