Film

Film

Overview

A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording
Recording
Recording is the process of capturing data or translating information to a recording format stored on some storage medium, which is often referred to as a record or, if an auditory medium, a recording....

 photographic images with camera
Camera
A camera is a device that records and stores images. These images may be still photographs or moving images such as videos or movies. The term camera comes from the camera obscura , an early mechanism for projecting images...

s, or by creating images using animation
Animation
Animation is the rapid display of a sequence of images of 2-D or 3-D artwork or model positions in order to create an illusion of movement. The effect is an optical illusion of motion due to the phenomenon of persistence of vision, and can be created and demonstrated in several ways...

 techniques or visual effects
Visual effects
Visual effects are the various processes by which imagery is created and/or manipulated outside the context of a live action shoot. Visual effects involve the integration of live-action footage and generated imagery to create environments which look realistic, but would be dangerous, costly, or...

. The process of filmmaking
Filmmaking
Filmmaking is the process of making a film, from an initial story, idea, or commission, through scriptwriting, casting, shooting, directing, editing, and screening the finished product before an audience that may result in a theatrical release or television program...

 has developed into an art
Art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

 form and industry
Film industry
The film industry consists of the technological and commercial institutions of filmmaking: i.e. film production companies, film studios, cinematography, film production, screenwriting, pre-production, post production, film festivals, distribution; and actors, film directors and other film crew...

.

Films are cultural artifact
Cultural artifact
A cultural artifact is a term used in the social sciences, particularly anthropology, ethnology, and sociology for anything created by humans which gives information about the culture of its creator and users...

s created by specific culture
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

s, which reflect those cultures, and, in turn, affect them. Film is considered to be an important art
Art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

 form, a source of popular entertainment and a powerful method for educating
Documentary film
Documentary films constitute a broad category of nonfictional motion pictures intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction or maintaining a historical record...

 – or indoctrinating
Propaganda
Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

 – citizens.
Discussion
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Unanswered Questions
Quotations

The cinema is not an art which films life: the cinema is something between art and life. Unlike painting and literature, the cinema both gives to life and takes from it, and I try to render this concept in my films. Literature and painting both exist as art from the very start; the cinema doesn’t.

Who: Jean-Luc Godard, Quoted in Richard Roud, Godard, introduction (1970)

Photography is truth. The cinema is truth twenty-four times per second.

[variation] Cinema is truth at twenty-four frames a second

A film is a ribbon of dreams. The camera is much more than a recording apparatus; it is a medium via which messages reach us from another world that is not ours and that brings us to the heart of a great secret. Here magic begins.

Who: Orson Welles

"A film is a petrified fountain of thought." ~ Jean Cocteau

Esquire, (Feb. 1961)

The public has lost the habit of movie-going because the cinema no longer possesses the charm, the hypnotic charisma, the authority it once commanded. The image it once held for us all, that of a dream we dreamt with our eyes open, has disappeared. Is it still possible that one thousand people might group together in the dark and experience the dream that a single individual has directed?

Who: Federico Fellini [on the Decline of Cinema], a Fellini Lexicon, (1992)

A good opening and a good ending make for a good film provide they come close together.

Who: Federico Fellini, [Recipe for a Good Film], a Fellini Lexicon, (1992)

"American motion pictures are written by the half-educated for the half-witted." ~ St. John Ervine

Ney York Mirror(June 6, 1963)

"A wide screen just makes a bad film twice as bad." ~ Samuel Goldwyn

Quote (Sept. 9, 1956)
Encyclopedia

A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording
Recording
Recording is the process of capturing data or translating information to a recording format stored on some storage medium, which is often referred to as a record or, if an auditory medium, a recording....

 photographic images with camera
Camera
A camera is a device that records and stores images. These images may be still photographs or moving images such as videos or movies. The term camera comes from the camera obscura , an early mechanism for projecting images...

s, or by creating images using animation
Animation
Animation is the rapid display of a sequence of images of 2-D or 3-D artwork or model positions in order to create an illusion of movement. The effect is an optical illusion of motion due to the phenomenon of persistence of vision, and can be created and demonstrated in several ways...

 techniques or visual effects
Visual effects
Visual effects are the various processes by which imagery is created and/or manipulated outside the context of a live action shoot. Visual effects involve the integration of live-action footage and generated imagery to create environments which look realistic, but would be dangerous, costly, or...

. The process of filmmaking
Filmmaking
Filmmaking is the process of making a film, from an initial story, idea, or commission, through scriptwriting, casting, shooting, directing, editing, and screening the finished product before an audience that may result in a theatrical release or television program...

 has developed into an art
Art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

 form and industry
Film industry
The film industry consists of the technological and commercial institutions of filmmaking: i.e. film production companies, film studios, cinematography, film production, screenwriting, pre-production, post production, film festivals, distribution; and actors, film directors and other film crew...

.

Films are cultural artifact
Cultural artifact
A cultural artifact is a term used in the social sciences, particularly anthropology, ethnology, and sociology for anything created by humans which gives information about the culture of its creator and users...

s created by specific culture
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

s, which reflect those cultures, and, in turn, affect them. Film is considered to be an important art
Art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

 form, a source of popular entertainment and a powerful method for educating
Documentary film
Documentary films constitute a broad category of nonfictional motion pictures intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction or maintaining a historical record...

 – or indoctrinating
Propaganda
Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

 – citizens. The visual elements of cinema give motion pictures a universal power of communication. Some films have become popular worldwide attractions by using dubbing
Dubbing (filmmaking)
Dubbing is the post-production process of recording and replacing voices on a motion picture or television soundtrack subsequent to the original shooting. The term most commonly refers to the substitution of the voices of the actors shown on the screen by those of different performers, who may be...

 or subtitles that translate
Translation
Translation is the communication of the meaning of a source-language text by means of an equivalent target-language text. Whereas interpreting undoubtedly antedates writing, translation began only after the appearance of written literature; there exist partial translations of the Sumerian Epic of...

 the dialogue into the language of the viewer.

Films are made up of a series of individual images called frames
Film frame
In filmmaking, video production, animation, and related fields, a film frame or video frame is one of the many still images which compose the complete moving picture...

. When these images are shown rapidly in succession, a viewer has the illusion that motion is occurring. The viewer cannot see the flickering between frames due to an effect known as persistence of vision
Persistence of vision
Persistence of vision is the phenomenon of the eye by which an afterimage is thought to persist for approximately one twenty-fifth of a second on the retina....

, whereby the eye retains a visual image for a fraction of a second after the source has been removed. Viewers perceive motion due to a psychological effect called beta movement
Beta movement
The Beta movement is an optical illusion, first described by Max Wertheimer in 1912. Its illusion is that fixed images seem to move, even though of course the image does not change. It might be considered similar to the effects of animation...

.

The origin of the name "film" comes from the fact that photographic film
Photographic film
Photographic film is a sheet of plastic coated with an emulsion containing light-sensitive silver halide salts with variable crystal sizes that determine the sensitivity, contrast and resolution of the film...

 (also called film stock
Film stock
Film stock is photographic film on which filmmaking of motion pictures are shot and reproduced. The equivalent in television production is video tape.-1889–1899:...

) has historically been the primary medium for recording and displaying motion pictures. Many other terms exist for an individual motion picture, including picture, picture show, moving picture, photo-play and flick. A common name for film in the United States is movie, while in Europe the term film is preferred. Additional terms for the field in general include the big screen, the silver screen, the cinema and the movies.

History


Preceding film in origin by thousands of years, early plays
Play (theatre)
A play is a form of literature written by a playwright, usually consisting of scripted dialogue between characters, intended for theatrical performance rather than just reading. There are rare dramatists, notably George Bernard Shaw, who have had little preference whether their plays were performed...

 and dances had elements common to film: scripts, sets
Set construction
Set construction is the process by which a set designer works in collaboration with the director of a production to create the set for a theatrical, film or television production...

, costumes, production, direction
Film director
A film director is a person who directs the actors and film crew in filmmaking. They control a film's artistic and dramatic nathan roach, while guiding the technical crew and actors.-Responsibilities:...

, actors, audiences
Audiences
Audiences is an indie rock band based in Chicago, Illinois. They have self-released two live albums. Live at The Otterarium was self recorded and produced in their practice space. Live at Lincoln Hall was recorded live at Lincoln Hall Chicago and engineered by Flashpoint Academy graduate sound...

, storyboards, and scores
Film score
A film score is original music written specifically to accompany a film, forming part of the film's soundtrack, which also usually includes dialogue and sound effects...

. Much terminology later used in film theory and criticism apply, such as mise en scene
Mise en scène
Mise-en-scène is an expression used to describe the design aspects of a theatre or film production, which essentially means "visual theme" or "telling a story"—both in visually artful ways through storyboarding, cinematography and stage design, and in poetically artful ways through direction...

 (roughly, the entire visual picture at any one time). Owing to an absence of technology for doing so, moving visual and aural images were not recorded for replaying as in film.

In the 1860s, mechanisms for producing two-dimensional drawings in motion were demonstrated with devices such as the zoetrope
Zoetrope
A zoetrope is a device that produces an illusion of action from a rapid succession of static pictures. The term zoetrope is from the Greek words "ζωή – zoe", "life" and τρόπος – tropos, "turn". It may be taken to mean "wheel of life"....

, mutoscope
Mutoscope
frame|right|An 1899 trade advertisementThe Mutoscope was an early motion picture device, patented by Herman Casler on November 21, 1894. Like Thomas Edison's Kinetoscope it did not project on a screen, and provided viewing to only one person at a time...

 and praxinoscope
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...

. These machines were outgrowths of simple optical devices (such as magic lantern
Magic lantern
The magic lantern or Laterna Magica is an early type of image projector developed in the 17th century.-Operation:The magic lantern has a concave mirror in front of a light source that gathers light and projects it through a slide with an image scanned onto it. The light rays cross an aperture , and...

s) and would display sequences of still pictures at sufficient speed for the images on the pictures to appear to be moving, a phenomenon called persistence of vision
Persistence of vision
Persistence of vision is the phenomenon of the eye by which an afterimage is thought to persist for approximately one twenty-fifth of a second on the retina....

. Naturally the images needed to be carefully designed to achieve the desired effect, and the underlying principle became the basis for the development of film animation
Animation
Animation is the rapid display of a sequence of images of 2-D or 3-D artwork or model positions in order to create an illusion of movement. The effect is an optical illusion of motion due to the phenomenon of persistence of vision, and can be created and demonstrated in several ways...

.

With the development of celluloid
Celluloid
Celluloid is the name of a class of compounds created from nitrocellulose and camphor, plus dyes and other agents. Generally regarded to be the first thermoplastic, it was first created as Parkesine in 1862 and as Xylonite in 1869, before being registered as Celluloid in 1870. Celluloid is...

 film for still photography
Photography
Photography is the art, science and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film...

, it became possible to directly capture objects in motion in real time. An 1878 experiment by English photographer Eadweard Muybridge
Eadweard Muybridge
Eadweard J. Muybridge was an English photographer who spent much of his life in the United States. He is known for his pioneering work on animal locomotion which used multiple cameras to capture motion, and his zoopraxiscope, a device for projecting motion pictures that pre-dated the flexible...

 in the United States using 24 cameras produced a series of stereoscopic images of a galloping horse, is arguably the first "motion picture", though it was not called by this name. This technology required a person to look into a viewing machine to see the pictures which were separate paper prints attached to a drum turned by a handcrank. The pictures were shown at a variable speed of about 5 to 10 pictures per second, depending on how rapidly the crank was turned. Commercial versions of these machines were coin operated.
By the 1880s the development of the motion picture camera
Movie camera
The movie camera is a type of photographic camera which takes a rapid sequence of photographs on strips of film which was very popular for private use in the last century until its successor, the video camera, replaced it...

 allowed the individual component images to be captured and stored on a single reel
Reel
A reel is an object around which lengths of another material are wound for storage. Generally a reel has a cylindrical core and walls on the sides to retain the material wound around the core...

, and led quickly to the development of a motion picture projector
Movie projector
A movie projector is an opto-mechanical device for displaying moving pictures by projecting them on a projection screen. Most of the optical and mechanical elements, except for the illumination and sound devices, are present in movie cameras.-Physiology:...

 to shine light through the processed and printed film and magnify these "moving picture shows" onto a screen for an entire audience. These reels, so exhibited, came to be known as "motion pictures". Early motion pictures were static shots that showed an event or action with no editing
Film editing
Film editing is part of the creative post-production process of filmmaking. It involves the selection and combining of shots into sequences, and ultimately creating a finished motion picture. It is an art of storytelling...

 or other cinematic techniques. The first public exhibition of projected motion pictures in America was shown at Koster and Bial's Music Hall
Koster and Bial's Music Hall
Koster and Bial's Music Hall was an important vaudeville theatre in New York, famous in cinema history as the site of the first public exhibition of the Vitascope on April 23, 1896...

 in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 on the 23rd of April 1896.

Ignoring Dickson's early sound experiments (1894), commercial motion pictures were purely visual art
Visual arts
The visual arts are art forms that create works which are primarily visual in nature, such as ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, design, crafts, and often modern visual arts and architecture...

 through the late 19th century, but these innovative silent film
Silent film
A silent film is a film with no synchronized recorded sound, especially with no spoken dialogue. In silent films for entertainment the dialogue is transmitted through muted gestures, pantomime and title cards...

s had gained a hold on the public imagination. Around the turn of the 20th century, films began developing a narrative structure by stringing scenes together to tell narrative
Narrative
A narrative is a constructive format that describes a sequence of non-fictional or fictional events. The word derives from the Latin verb narrare, "to recount", and is related to the adjective gnarus, "knowing" or "skilled"...

s. The scenes were later broken up into multiple shots of varying sizes and angles. Other techniques such as camera movement were realized as effective ways to portray a story on film. Rather than leave the audience with noise of early cinema projectors, theater owners would hire a pianist
Piano
The piano is a musical instrument played by means of a keyboard. It is one of the most popular instruments in the world. Widely used in classical and jazz music for solo performances, ensemble use, chamber music and accompaniment, the piano is also very popular as an aid to composing and rehearsal...

 or organist
Organ (music)
The organ , is a keyboard instrument of one or more divisions, each played with its own keyboard operated either with the hands or with the feet. The organ is a relatively old musical instrument in the Western musical tradition, dating from the time of Ctesibius of Alexandria who is credited with...

 or a full orchestra
Orchestra
An orchestra is a sizable instrumental ensemble that contains sections of string, brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments. The term orchestra derives from the Greek ορχήστρα, the name for the area in front of an ancient Greek stage reserved for the Greek chorus...

 to play music that would cover noises of projector. Eventually, musicians would start to fit the mood of the film at any given moment. By the early 1920s, most films came with a prepared list of sheet music for this purpose, with complete film score
Film score
A film score is original music written specifically to accompany a film, forming part of the film's soundtrack, which also usually includes dialogue and sound effects...

s being composed for major productions.

The rise of European cinema was interrupted by the outbreak of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 when the film industry in United States flourished with the rise of Hollywood, typified most prominently by the great innovative work of D. W. Griffith
D. W. Griffith
David Llewelyn Wark Griffith was a premier pioneering American film director. He is best known as the director of the controversial and groundbreaking 1915 film The Birth of a Nation and the subsequent film Intolerance .Griffith's film The Birth of a Nation made pioneering use of advanced camera...

 in The Birth of a Nation
The Birth of a Nation
The Birth of a Nation is a 1915 American silent film directed by D. W. Griffith and based on the novel and play The Clansman, both by Thomas Dixon, Jr. Griffith also co-wrote the screenplay , and co-produced the film . It was released on February 8, 1915...

 (1914) and Intolerance
Intolerance (film)
Intolerance is a 1916 American silent film directed by D. W. Griffith and is considered one of the great masterpieces of the Silent Era. The three-and-a-half hour epic intercuts four parallel storylines each separated by several centuries: A contemporary melodrama of crime and redemption; a...

 (1916). However in the 1920s, European filmmakers such as Sergei Eisenstein
Sergei Eisenstein
Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein , né Eizenshtein, was a pioneering Soviet Russian film director and film theorist, often considered to be the "Father of Montage"...

, F. W. Murnau
Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau
Friedrich Wilhelm "F. W." Murnau was one of the most influential German film directors of the silent era, and a prominent figure in the expressionist movement in German cinema during the 1920s...

, and Fritz Lang
Fritz Lang
Friedrich Christian Anton "Fritz" Lang was an Austrian-American filmmaker, screenwriter, and occasional film producer and actor. One of the best known émigrés from Germany's school of Expressionism, he was dubbed the "Master of Darkness" by the British Film Institute...

, in many ways inspired by the meteoric war-time progress of film through Griffith, along with the contributions of Charles Chaplin, Buster Keaton
Buster Keaton
Joseph Frank "Buster" Keaton was an American comic actor, filmmaker, producer and writer. He was best known for his silent films, in which his trademark was physical comedy with a consistently stoic, deadpan expression, earning him the nickname "The Great Stone Face".Keaton was recognized as the...

 and others, quickly caught up with American film-making and continued to further advance the medium. In the 1920s, new technology allowed filmmakers to attach to each film a soundtrack
Soundtrack
A soundtrack can be recorded music accompanying and synchronized to the images of a motion picture, book, television program or video game; a commercially released soundtrack album of music as featured in the soundtrack of a film or TV show; or the physical area of a film that contains the...

 of speech, music and sound effects synchronized with the action on the screen. These sound film
Sound film
A sound film is a motion picture with 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 decades would pass before sound motion pictures were made commercially...

s were initially distinguished by calling them "talking pictures", or talkies.

The next major step in the development of cinema was the introduction of so-called "natural color", which meant color that was photographically recorded from nature rather than being 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 addition of sound
Sound
Sound is a mechanical wave that is an oscillation of pressure transmitted through a solid, liquid, or gas, composed of frequencies within the range of hearing and of a level sufficiently strong to be heard, or the sensation stimulated in organs of hearing by such vibrations.-Propagation of...

 quickly eclipsed silent film and theater musicians, color replaced black-and-white much more gradually. The pivotal innovation was the introduction of the three-strip version of the Technicolor
Technicolor
Technicolor is a color motion picture process invented in 1916 and improved over several decades.It was the second major process, after Britain's Kinemacolor, and the most widely used color process in Hollywood from 1922 to 1952...

 process, which was first used for short subjects and for isolated sequences in a few feature film
Feature film
In the film industry, a feature film is a film production made for initial distribution in theaters and being the main attraction of the screening, rather than a short film screened before it; a full length movie...

s released in 1934, then for an entire feature film, Becky Sharp, in 1935. The expense of the process was daunting, but continued favorable public response and enhanced box-office receipts increasingly justified the added cost. The number of films made in color slowly increased year after year.

In the early 1950s, as the proliferation of black-and-white television started seriously depressing theater attendance in the US, the use of color was seen as one way of winning back audiences. It 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 the sale of color television sets boomed. The strong preference of the general public for color was obvious. After the final flurry of black-and-white film releases in mid-decade, all major Hollywood studio film production was exclusively in color, with rare exceptions reluctantly made only at the insistence of "star" directors such as Peter Bogdanovich
Peter Bogdanovich
Peter Bogdanovich is an American film historian, director, writer, actor, producer, and critic. He was part of the wave of "New Hollywood" directors, which included William Friedkin, Brian De Palma, George Lucas, Martin Scorsese, Michael Cimino, and Francis Ford Coppola...

 and Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese
Martin Charles Scorsese is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, and film historian. In 1990 he founded The Film Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to film preservation, and in 2007 he founded the World Cinema Foundation...

.

Since the decline of the studio system
Studio system
The studio system was a means of film production and distribution dominant in Hollywood from the early 1920s through the early 1960s. The term studio system refers to the practice of large motion picture studios producing movies primarily on their own filmmaking lots with creative personnel under...

 in the 1960s, the succeeding decades saw changes in the production and style of film. Various New Wave movements (including the French New Wave
French New Wave
The New Wave was a blanket term coined by critics for a group of French filmmakers of the late 1950s and 1960s, influenced by Italian Neorealism and classical Hollywood cinema. Although never a formally organized movement, the New Wave filmmakers were linked by their self-conscious rejection of...

, Indian New Wave
Parallel Cinema
The Indian New Wave, commonly known in India as Art Cinema or Parallel Cinema as an alternative to the mainstream commercial cinema, is a specific movement in Indian cinema, known for its serious content, realism and naturalism, with a keen eye on the sociopolitical climate of the times...

, Japanese New Wave and New Hollywood
New Hollywood
New Hollywood or post-classical Hollywood, sometimes referred to as the "American New Wave", refers to the time from roughly the late-1960s to the early 1980s when a new generation of young filmmakers came to prominence in America, influencing the types of films produced, their production and...

) and the rise of film school educated independent filmmakers were all part of the changes the medium experienced in the latter half of the 20th century. Digital technology has been the driving force in change throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s. 3D technology increased in usage and has become more popular since the early 2010s.

Theory


Film theory seeks to develop concise and systematic concepts that apply to the study of film as art
Art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

. It was started by Ricciotto Canudo
Ricciotto Canudo
Ricciotto Canudo was an early Italian film theoretician who lived primarily in France. He saw cinema as "plastic art in motion". He gave cinema the label "the Seventh Art", which is still current in French....

's The Birth of the Sixth Art. Formalist film theory, led by Rudolf Arnheim, Béla Balázs
Béla Balázs
----Béla Balázs , born Herbert Bauer, was a Hungarian-Jewish film critic, aesthete, writer and poet....

, and Siegfried Kracauer
Siegfried Kracauer
Siegfried Kracauer was a German-Jewish writer, journalist, sociologist, cultural critic, and film theorist...

, emphasized how film differed from reality, and thus could be considered a valid fine art. André Bazin
André Bazin
André Bazin was a renowned and influential French film critic and film theorist.-Life:Bazin was born in Angers, France, in 1918...

 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 Lacan
Jacques Marie Émile Lacan was a French psychoanalyst and psychiatrist who made prominent contributions to psychoanalysis and philosophy, and has been called "the most controversial psycho-analyst since Freud". Giving yearly seminars in Paris from 1953 to 1981, Lacan influenced France's...

's psychoanalysis and Ferdinand de Saussure
Ferdinand de Saussure
Ferdinand de Saussure was a Swiss linguist whose ideas laid a foundation for many significant developments in linguistics in the 20th century. He is widely considered one of the fathers of 20th-century linguistics...

's semiotics
Semiotics
Semiotics, also called semiotic studies or semiology, is the study of signs and sign processes , indication, designation, likeness, analogy, metaphor, symbolism, signification, and communication...

 among other things has given rise to psychoanalytical film theory
Psychoanalytical film theory
Psychoanalytical film theory is a school of academic film criticism that developed in the 1970s and '80s, is closely allied with critical theory, and that analyzes films from the perspective of psychoanalysis, generally the works of Jacques Lacan....

, structuralist film theory
Structuralist film theory
Structuralist film theory is a branch of film theory that is rooted in Structuralism, itself based on structural linguistics, a now-obsolete branch of linguistics...

, feminist film theory
Feminist film theory
Feminist film theory is theoretical film criticism derived from feminist politics and feminist theory. Feminists have many approaches to cinema analysis, regarding the film elements analysed and their theoretical underpinnings.-History:...

 and others. On the other hand, critics from the analytical philosophy tradition, influenced by Wittgenstein, try to clarify misconceptions used in theoretical studies and produce analysis of a film's vocabulary and its link to a form of life
Form of life (philosophy)
Form of life is a non-technical term used by Ludwig Wittgenstein and others in the analytic philosophy and philosophy of language traditions...

.

Language


Film is considered to have its own language
Language
Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication...

. James Monaco
James Monaco
James Monaco is an American film critic, author, publisher, and educator.He has written seven books, including The New Wave : Truffaut, Godard, Chabrol, Rohmer, Rivette , How To Read A Film and American Film Now , and edited four others.He founded Baseline in 1982, an early online database about...

 wrote a classic text on film theory titled "How to Read a Film". Director Ingmar Bergman
Ingmar Bergman
Ernst Ingmar Bergman was a Swedish director, writer and producer for film, stage and television. Described by Woody Allen as "probably the greatest film artist, all things considered, since the invention of the motion picture camera", he is recognized as one of the most accomplished and...

 famously said, "[Andrei] Tarkovsky
Andrei Tarkovsky
Andrei Arsenyevich Tarkovsky was a Soviet and Russian filmmaker, writer, film editor, film theorist, theatre and opera director, widely regarded as one of the finest filmmakers of the 20th century....

 for me is the greatest [director], the one who invented a new language, true to the nature of film, as it captures life as a reflection, life as a dream." Examples of the language are a sequence of back and forth images of one actor's left profile speaking, followed by another actor's right profile speaking, then a repetition of this, which is a language understood by the audience to indicate a conversation. Another example is zooming in on the forehead of an actor with an expression of silent reflection, then changing to a scene of a younger actor who vaguely resembles the first actor, indicating the first actor is having a memory of their own past.

Montage


Parallels to musical counterpoint have been developed into a theory of montage, extended from the complex superimposition of images in early silent film to even more complex incorporation of musical counterpoint together with visual counterpoint through mise en scene
Mise en scène
Mise-en-scène is an expression used to describe the design aspects of a theatre or film production, which essentially means "visual theme" or "telling a story"—both in visually artful ways through storyboarding, cinematography and stage design, and in poetically artful ways through direction...

 and editing
Editing
Editing is the process of selecting and preparing written, visual, audible, and film media used to convey information through the processes of correction, condensation, organization, and other modifications performed with an intention of producing a correct, consistent, accurate, and complete...

, as in a ballet
Ballet
Ballet is a type of performance dance, that originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century, and which was further developed in France and Russia as a concert dance form. The early portions preceded the invention of the proscenium stage and were presented in large chambers with...

 or opera
Opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

; e.g., as illustrated in the gang fight scene of director Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. He is widely acclaimed as one of Hollywood's most innovative and influential film directors...

’s film, Rumble Fish
Rumble Fish
Rumble Fish is a 1983 film directed by Francis Ford Coppola. It is based on the novel Rumble Fish by S.E. Hinton, who also co-wrote the screenplay....

.

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
Newspaper
A newspaper is a scheduled publication containing news of current events, informative articles, diverse features and advertising. It usually is printed on relatively inexpensive, low-grade paper such as newsprint. By 2007, there were 6580 daily newspapers in the world selling 395 million copies a...

s and other media.

Film critics working for newspaper
Newspaper
A newspaper is a scheduled publication containing news of current events, informative articles, diverse features and advertising. It usually is printed on relatively inexpensive, low-grade paper such as newsprint. By 2007, there were 6580 daily newspapers in the world selling 395 million copies a...

s, magazine
Magazine
Magazines, periodicals, glossies or serials are publications, generally published on a regular schedule, containing a variety of articles. They are generally financed by advertising, by a purchase price, by pre-paid magazine subscriptions, or all three...

s, and broadcast media mainly review new releases. Normally they only see any given film once and have only a day or two to formulate opinions. Despite this, critics have an important impact on films, especially those of certain genres. Mass marketed action
Action film
Action film is a film genre where one or more heroes is thrust into a series of challenges that require physical feats, extended fights and frenetic chases...

, horror
Horror film
Horror films seek to elicit a negative emotional reaction from viewers by playing on the audience's most primal fears. They often feature scenes that startle the viewer through the means of macabre and the supernatural, thus frequently overlapping with the fantasy and science fiction genres...

, and comedy film
Comedy film
Comedy film is a genre of film in which the main emphasis is on humour. They are designed to elicit laughter from the audience. Comedies are mostly light-hearted dramas and are made to amuse and entertain the audiences...

s tend not to be greatly affected by a critic's overall judgment of a film. The plot summary and description of a film that makes up the majority of any film review can still have an important impact on whether people decide to see a film. For prestige films such as most dramas
Drama film
A drama film is a film genre that depends mostly on in-depth development of realistic characters dealing with emotional themes. Dramatic themes such as alcoholism, drug addiction, infidelity, moral dilemmas, racial prejudice, religious intolerance, poverty, class divisions, violence against women...

, the influence of reviews is extremely important. Poor reviews will often doom a film to obscurity and financial loss.

The impact of a reviewer on a given film's box office
Box office
A box office is a place where tickets are sold to the public for admission to an event. Patrons may perform the transaction at a countertop, through an unblocked hole through a wall or window, or at a wicket....

 performance is a matter of debate. Some claim that movie marketing
Movie marketing
Film promotion is the practice of promotion specifically in the film industry. As with all business it is an important part of any release because of the inherent high financial risk; film studios will invest in expensive marketing campaigns to maximize revenue early in the release cycle. Marketing...

 is now so intense and well financed that reviewers cannot make an impact against it. However, the cataclysmic failure of some heavily promoted movies which were harshly reviewed, as well as the unexpected success of critically praised independent movies indicates that extreme critical reactions can have considerable influence. Others 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.

It is argued that journalist film critics should only be known as film reviewers, and true film critics are those who take a more academic approach to films. This line of work is more often known as film theory
Film theory
Film theory is an academic discipline that aims to explore the essence of the cinema and provides conceptual frameworks for understanding film's relationship to reality, the other arts, individual viewers, and society at large...

 or film studies
Film studies
Film studies is an academic discipline that deals with various theoretical, historical, and critical approaches to films. It is sometimes subsumed within media studies and is often compared to television studies...

. These film critics attempt to come to understand how film and filming techniques work, and what effect they have on people. Rather than having their works published in newspapers or appear on television, their articles are published in scholarly journals, or sometimes in up-market magazines. They also tend to be affiliated with colleges or universities.

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
Auguste and Louis Lumière
The Lumière brothers, Auguste Marie Louis Nicolas and Louis Jean , were among the earliest filmmakers in history...

 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
Oberammergau Passion Play
Oberammergau Passion Play is a passion play performed since 1634 oberammergau-passion.com. 2009. Retrieved November 19, 2011. as a tradition by the inhabitants of the village of Oberammergau, Bavaria, Germany.-Origins:...

 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
Movie theater
A movie theater, cinema, movie house, picture theater, film theater is a venue, usually a building, for viewing motion pictures ....

 and companies formed specifically to produce and distribute films, while motion picture actors became major celebrities
Celebrity
A celebrity, also referred to as a celeb in popular culture, is a person who has a prominent profile and commands a great degree of public fascination and influence in day-to-day media...

 and commanded huge fees for their performances. By 1917 Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin
Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin, KBE was an English comic actor, film director and composer best known for his work during the silent film era. He became the most famous film star in the world before the end of World War I...

 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 today, much of the film industry is centered around Hollywood. Other regional centers exist in many parts of the world, such as Mumbai
Mumbai
Mumbai , formerly known as Bombay in English, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India, and the fourth most populous city in the world, with a total metropolitan area population of approximately 20.5 million...

-centered Bollywood
Bollywood
Bollywood is the informal term popularly used for the Hindi-language film industry based in Mumbai , Maharashtra, India. The term is often incorrectly used to refer to the whole of Indian cinema; it is only a part of the total Indian film industry, which includes other production centers producing...

, the Indian film industry's
Cinema of India
The cinema of India consists of films produced across India, which includes the cinematic culture of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Orissa, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal. Indian films came to be followed throughout South Asia and...

 Hindi
Hindi
Standard Hindi, or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi, also known as Manak Hindi , High Hindi, Nagari Hindi, and Literary Hindi, is a standardized and sanskritized register of the Hindustani language derived from the Khariboli dialect of Delhi...

 cinema which produces the largest number of films in the world. Whether the ten thousand-plus feature length films a year produced by the Valley
San Fernando Valley
The San Fernando Valley is an urbanized valley located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area of southern California, United States, defined by the dramatic mountains of the Transverse Ranges circling it...

 pornographic film industry should qualify for this title is the source of some debate. Though the expense involved in making movies has led cinema production to concentrate under the auspices of movie studio
Movie studio
A movie studio is a term used to describe a major entertainment company or production company that has its own privately owned studio facility or facilities that are used to film movies...

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 notorious example being Kevin Costner's Waterworld
Waterworld
Waterworld is a 1995 post-apocalyptic science fiction film. The film was directed by Kevin Reynolds and co-written by Peter Rader and David Twohy. It is based on Rader's original 1986 screenplay and stars Kevin Costner, who also produced it. It was distributed by Universal Pictures...

. Yet many filmmakers strive to create works of lasting social significance. The Academy Awards
Academy Awards
An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

 (also known as "the Oscars") are the most prominent film awards in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, providing recognition each year to films, ostensibly 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.

Associated fields



Derivative academic Fields of study may both interact with and develop independently of filmmaking, as in film theory
Film theory
Film theory is an academic discipline that aims to explore the essence of the cinema and provides conceptual frameworks for understanding film's relationship to reality, the other arts, individual viewers, and society at large...

 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
Film criticism is the analysis and evaluation of films, individually and collectively. In general, this can be divided into journalistic criticism that appears regularly in newspapers, and other popular, mass-media outlets and academic criticism by film scholars that is informed by film theory and...

, film history, divisions of film propaganda
Propaganda
Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

 in authoritarian governments, or psychological on subliminal effects 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 toys. Sub- industries of pre-existing industries may deal specifically with film, such as product placement
Product placement
Product placement, or embedded marketing, is a form of advertisement, where branded goods or services are placed in a context usually devoid of ads, such as movies, music videos, the story line of television shows, or news programs. The product placement is often not disclosed at the time that the...

 in advertising
Advertising
Advertising is a form of communication used to persuade an audience to take some action with respect to products, ideas, or services. Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behavior with respect to a commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising is also common...

.

Terminology used


Although the words "film" and "movie" are sometimes used interchangeably, "film" is more often used when considering artistic, theoretical, or technical
Technology
Technology is the making, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, and procedures. The word technology comes ;...

 aspects, as studies in a university class and "movies" more often refers to entertainment
Entertainment
Entertainment consists of any activity which provides a diversion or permits people to amuse themselves in their leisure time. Entertainment is generally passive, such as watching opera or a movie. Active forms of amusement, such as sports, are more often considered to be recreation...

 or commercial
Commerce
While business refers to the value-creating activities of an organization for profit, commerce means the whole system of an economy that constitutes an environment for business. The system includes legal, economic, political, social, cultural, and technological systems that are in operation in any...

 aspects, as where to go for fun on a date. For example, a book titled "How to Read a Film" would be about the aesthetics or theory of film, while "Lets Go to the Movies" would be about the history of entertaining movies. "Motion pictures" or "Moving pictures" are films and movies. A "DVD
DVD
A DVD is an optical disc storage media format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions....

" is a digital format which may be used to reproduce an analog film, while "videotape
Videotape
A videotape is a recording of images and sounds on to magnetic tape as opposed to film stock or random access digital media. Videotapes are also used for storing scientific or medical data, such as the data produced by an electrocardiogram...

" ("video
Video
Video is the technology of electronically capturing, recording, processing, storing, transmitting, and reconstructing a sequence of still images representing scenes in motion.- History :...

") was for many decades a solely analog medium onto which moving images could be recorded and electronically (rather than optically) reproduced. Strictly speaking, "Film" refers to the media onto which a visual image is shot, and to this end it may seem improper for work in other "moving image" media to be referred to as a "film" and the action of shooting as "filming", though these terms are still in general use. "Silent films" need not be silent, but are films and movies without an audible dialogue, though they may have a musical soundtrack. "Talkies" refers to early movies or films having audible
Hearing (sense)
Hearing is the ability to perceive sound by detecting vibrations through an organ such as the ear. It is one of the traditional five senses...

 dialogue
Dialogue
Dialogue is a literary and theatrical form consisting of a written or spoken conversational exchange between two or more people....

 or analog sound, not just a musical accompaniment. "Cinema" either broadly encompasses both films and movies, or is roughly synonymous with "Film", both capitalized when referring to a category of art. The "silver screen
Silver screen
A silver screen, also known as a silver lenticular screen, is a type of projection screen that was popular in the early years of the motion picture industry and passed into popular usage as a metonym for the cinema industry...

" refers to classic black-and-white films before color, not to contemporary films without color.

The expression "Sight and Sound", as in the film journal of the same name, means "film". The following icons mean film: a "candle and bell", as in the films Tarkovsky
Andrei Tarkovsky
Andrei Arsenyevich Tarkovsky was a Soviet and Russian filmmaker, writer, film editor, film theorist, theatre and opera director, widely regarded as one of the finest filmmakers of the 20th century....

, of a segment of film stock
Film stock
Film stock is photographic film on which filmmaking of motion pictures are shot and reproduced. The equivalent in television production is video tape.-1889–1899:...

, or a two faced Janus
Janus
-General:*Janus , the two-faced Roman god of gates, doors, doorways, beginnings, and endings*Janus , a moon of Saturn*Janus Patera, a shallow volcanic crater on Io, a moon of Jupiter...

 image, and an image of a movie camera in profile.

"Widescreen
Widescreen
Widescreen images are a variety of aspect ratios used in film, television and computer screens. In film, a widescreen film is any film image with a width-to-height aspect ratio greater than the standard 1.37:1 Academy aspect ratio provided by 35mm film....

" and "Cinemascope
CinemaScope
CinemaScope was an anamorphic lens series used for shooting wide screen movies from 1953 to 1967. Its creation in 1953, by the president of 20th Century-Fox, marked the beginning of the modern anamorphic format in both principal photography and movie projection.The anamorphic lenses theoretically...

" refers to a larger width to height in the frame
Film frame
In filmmaking, video production, animation, and related fields, a film frame or video frame is one of the many still images which compose the complete moving picture...

, compared to an earlier historic aspect ratio
Aspect ratio
The aspect ratio of a shape is the ratio of its longer dimension to its shorter dimension. It may be applied to two characteristic dimensions of a three-dimensional shape, such as the ratio of the longest and shortest axis, or for symmetrical objects that are described by just two measurements,...

s. A "feature length film", or "feature film
Feature film
In the film industry, a feature film is a film production made for initial distribution in theaters and being the main attraction of the screening, rather than a short film screened before it; a full length movie...

", 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
Short subject
A short film is any film not long enough to be considered a feature film. No consensus exists as to where that boundary is drawn: 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 or less, including all...

" is a film that is not as long as a feature length film, usually screened with other shorts, or preceding a feature length film. An "independent
Independent film
An independent film, or indie film, is a professional film production resulting in a feature film that is produced mostly or completely outside of the major film studio system. In addition to being produced and distributed by independent entertainment companies, independent films are also produced...

" is a film made outside of the conventional film industry.

A "screening
Film screening
A film screening is the displaying of a motion picture or film, generally referring to a special showing as part of a film's production and release cycle...

" or "projection
Movie projector
A movie projector is an opto-mechanical device for displaying moving pictures by projecting them on a projection screen. Most of the optical and mechanical elements, except for the illumination and sound devices, are present in movie cameras.-Physiology:...

" is the projection of a film or video on a screen
Projection screen
A projection screen is an installation consisting of a surface and a support structure used for displaying a projected image for the view of an audience. Projection screens may be permanently installed, as in a movie theater; painted on the wall; or semi-permanent or mobile, as in a conference room...

 at a public or private theater, usually but not always of a film, but of a video or DVD when of sufficient projection quality. A "double feature
Double feature
The double feature, also known as a double bill, was a motion picture industry phenomenon in which theatre managers 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.The double feature, also known as...

" is a screening of two independent, stand-alone, feature films. A "viewing
Viewing
In funeral services, a viewing is the time that the family and friends come to see the deceased after they have been prepared by a funeral home...

" is a watching of a film. A "showing" is a screening or viewing
Viewing
In funeral services, a viewing is the time that the family and friends come to see the deceased after they have been prepared by a funeral home...

 on an electronic monitor
Video monitor
A video monitor also called a broadcast monitor, broadcast reference monitor or just reference monitor, is a display device similar to a television set, used to monitor the output of a video-generating device, such as playout from a video server, IRD, video camera, VCR, or DVD player. It may or...

. "Sales
Sales
A sale is the act of selling a product or service in return for money or other compensation. It is an act of completion of a commercial activity....

" refers to tickets sold at a theater, or more currently, rights sold for individual showings. A "release
Film release
A film release is the stage at which a completed film is legally authorized by its owner for public distribution.The process includes locating a distributor to handle the film...

" is the distribution and often simultaneous screening of a film. A "preview
Preview (theatre)
Previews are a set of public performances of a theatrical presentation that precede its official opening. The purpose of previews is to allow the director and crew to identify problems and opportunities for improvement that weren't found during rehearsals and to make adjustments before critics are...

" is a screening in advance of the main release.

"Hollywood" may be used either as a pejorative adjective, shorthand for asserting an overly commercial rather than artistic intent or outcome, as in "too Hollywood", or as a descriptive adjective to refer to a film originating with people who ordinarily work near Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

.

Expressions for Genres of film are sometimes used interchangeably for "film" in a specific context, such as a "porn
PORN
Porn is a common short form for pornography. It may also refer to:* Progressive outer retinal necrosis, a disease of the retina* PORN, a French industrial rock band...

" for a film with explicit sexual content, or "cheese
Cheese
Cheese is a generic term for a diverse group of milk-based food products. Cheese is produced throughout the world in wide-ranging flavors, textures, and forms....

" for films that are light, entertaining and not highbrow
Highbrow
Used colloquially as a noun or adjective, highbrow is synonymous with intellectual; as an adjective, it also means elite, and generally carries a connotation of high culture. The word draws its metonymy from the pseudoscience of phrenology, and was originally simply a physical descriptor...

.

Any film may also have a "sequel
Sequel
A sequel is a narrative, documental, or other work of literature, film, theatre, or music that continues the story of or expands upon issues presented in some previous work...

", which portrays events following those in the film. Bride of Frankenstein
Bride of Frankenstein
Bride of Frankenstein is a 1935 American horror film, the first sequel to Frankenstein...

is an early example. When there are a number of films with the same characters, we have a "series", such as the James Bond
James Bond
James Bond, code name 007, is a fictional character created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short story collections. There have been a six other authors who wrote authorised Bond novels or novelizations after Fleming's death in 1964: Kingsley Amis,...

 series. A film which portrays events that occur earlier than those in another film, but is released after that film, is sometimes called a "prequel
Prequel
A prequel is a work that supplements a previously completed one, and has an earlier time setting.The widely recognized term was a 20th-century neologism, and a portmanteau from pre- and sequel...

", an example being Butch and Sundance: The Early Days
Butch and Sundance: The Early Days
Butch and Sundance: The Early Days is a 1979 Western film and prequel to the 1969 film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. It starred Tom Berenger as Butch Cassidy and William Katt as the Sundance Kid....

.

Credits is a list of the people involved in making the film. Before the 1970s, credits were usually at the beginning of a film. Since then, the credits roll at the end of most films.

A Post-credits scene
Post-credits scene
A post-credits scene is a short clip that appears after some or all of the closing credits of a film have run...

 is a scene shown after the end of the credits. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Ferris Bueller's Day Off is a 1986 American teen coming-of-age comedy film written and directed by John Hughes.The film follows high school senior Ferris Bueller , who decides to skip school and spend the day in downtown Chicago...

has a post-credit scene in which Ferris tells the audience that the movie is over and they should go home.

Preview



A preview performance refers to a showing of a movie 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 (Audience response
Audience response
Audience response is a type of interaction associated with the use of audience response systems, to create interactivity between a presenter and his/her audience. Systems for co-located audiences combine wireless hardware with presentation software, and systems for remote audiences may use...

).

Trailer


Trailers or previews are film advertisements for films that will be exhibited in the future at a cinema, on whose screen they are shown. The term "trailer" comes from their having originally been shown at the end of a film programme. 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 movie in a double feature program) begins.

Film, or other art form?


Film may be combined with performance art
Performance art
In art, performance art is a performance presented to an audience, traditionally interdisciplinary. Performance may be either scripted or unscripted, random or carefully orchestrated; spontaneous or otherwise carefully planned with or without audience participation. The performance can be live or...

 and still be considered or referred to as a "film", for instance, when there is a live musical accompaniment to a silent film. Another example is audience participation films, as at a midnight movies
Midnight movies
The term midnight movie is rooted in the practice that emerged in the 1950s of local television stations around the United States airing low-budget genre films as late-night programming, often with a host delivering ironic asides...

 screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is the 1975 film adaptation of the British rock musical stageplay, The Rocky Horror Show, written by Richard O'Brien. The film is a parody of B-movie, science fiction and horror films of the late 1940s through early 1970s. Director Jim Sharman collaborated on the...

, where the audience dresses up in costume from the film and loudly does a karaoke
Karaoke
is a form of interactive entertainment or video game in which amateur singers sing along with recorded music using a microphone and public address system. The music is typically a well-known pop song minus the lead vocal. Lyrics are usually displayed on a video screen, along with a moving symbol,...

-like reenactment along with the film. Performance art where film is incorporated as a component is usually not called film, but a film, which could stand-alone but is accompanied by a performance may still be referred to as a film.

The act of making a film can, in and of itself, be considered a work of art, on a different level from the film itself, as in the films of Werner Herzog
Werner Herzog
Werner Herzog Stipetić , known as Werner Herzog, is a German film director, producer, screenwriter, actor, and opera director.He is often considered as one of the greatest figures of the New German Cinema, along with Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Margarethe von Trotta, Volker Schlöndorff, Werner...

.

Similarly, the playing of a film can be considered to fall within the realm of political protest art
Protest art
Protest art is a broad term that refers to creative works that concern or are produced by activists and social movements. There are also contemporary and historical works and currents of thought that can be characterized in this way....

, as in the subtleties within the films of Tarkovsky
Andrei Tarkovsky
Andrei Arsenyevich Tarkovsky was a Soviet and Russian filmmaker, writer, film editor, film theorist, theatre and opera director, widely regarded as one of the finest filmmakers of the 20th century....

. A "road movie" can refer to a film put together from footage from a long road trip or vacation.

Education and propaganda


Film is used for education and propaganda. When the purpose is primarily educational, a film is called an "educational film". Examples are recordings of lectures and experiments, or more marginally, a film based on a classic novel.

Film may be propaganda
Propaganda
Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

, in whole or in part, such as the films made by Leni Riefenstahl
Leni Riefenstahl
Helene Bertha Amalie "Leni" Riefenstahl was a German film director, actress and dancer widely noted for her aesthetics and innovations as a filmmaker. Her most famous film was Triumph des Willens , a propaganda film made at the 1934 Nuremberg congress of the Nazi Party...

 in Nazi Germany, US war film trailers during World War II, or artistic films made under Stalin by Eisenstein
Sergei Eisenstein
Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein , né Eizenshtein, was a pioneering Soviet Russian film director and film theorist, often considered to be the "Father of Montage"...

. They may also be works of political protest, as in the films of Wajda, or more subtly, the films of Andrei Tarkovsky
Andrei Tarkovsky
Andrei Arsenyevich Tarkovsky was a Soviet and Russian filmmaker, writer, film editor, film theorist, theatre and opera director, widely regarded as one of the finest filmmakers of the 20th century....

.

The same film may be considered educational by some, and propaganda by others, such as some of the films of Michael Moore
Michael Moore
Michael Francis Moore is an American filmmaker, author, social critic and activist. He is the director and producer of Fahrenheit 9/11, which is the highest-grossing documentary of all time. His films Bowling for Columbine and Sicko also place in the top ten highest-grossing documentaries...

.

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
Zoetrope
A zoetrope is a device that produces an illusion of action from a rapid succession of static pictures. The term zoetrope is from the Greek words "ζωή – zoe", "life" and τρόπος – tropos, "turn". It may be taken to mean "wheel of life"....

 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 without it, such as Stan Brakhage
Stan Brakhage
James Stanley Brakhage , better known as Stan Brakhage, was an American non-narrative filmmaker who is considered to be one of the most important figures in 20th century experimental film....

's 1963 film Mothlight), or thousands of actors, extras and crewmembers 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:
  1. Development
  2. Pre-production
    Pre-production
    Pre-production or In Production is the process of preparing all the elements involved in a film, play, or other performance.- In film :...

  3. Production
  4. Post-production
    Post-production
    Post-production is part of filmmaking and the video production process. It occurs in the making of motion pictures, television programs, radio programs, advertising, audio recordings, photography, and digital art...

  5. Distribution
    Film distributor
    A film distributor is a company or individual responsible for releasing films to the public either theatrically or for home viewing...



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
Film budgeting
Film budgeting refers to the process by which a line producer, unit production manager or filmmaker prepares a budget for a film production. This document, which could be over 150 pages long, is used to secure financing for the film and lead to pre-production and production of the film. Multiple...

 becomes; most feature films are not only artistic works, but for-profit business entities.

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 are distinguished from cast, the actor
Actor
An actor is a person who acts in a dramatic production and who works in film, television, theatre, or radio in that capacity...

s who appear in front of the camera
Camera
A camera is a device that records and stores images. These images may be still photographs or moving images such as videos or movies. The term camera comes from the camera obscura , an early mechanism for projecting images...

 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 writers and editors. Communication between production and crew generally passes through the director and his/her staff of assistants. Medium-to-large crews are generally divided into departments with well defined hierarchies and standards for interaction and cooperation between the departments. Other than acting, the crew handles everything in the photography phase: props and costumes, shooting, sound, electrics (i.e., lights), sets, and production special effects. Caterers (known in the film industry as "craft services") are usually not considered part of the crew.

Technology


Film stock
Film stock
Film stock is photographic film on which filmmaking of motion pictures are shot and reproduced. The equivalent in television production is video tape.-1889–1899:...

 consists of transparent celluloid
Celluloid
Celluloid is the name of a class of compounds created from nitrocellulose and camphor, plus dyes and other agents. Generally regarded to be the first thermoplastic, it was first created as Parkesine in 1862 and as Xylonite in 1869, before being registered as Celluloid in 1870. Celluloid is...

, acetate
Acetate
An acetate is a derivative of acetic acid. This term includes salts and esters, as well as the anion found in solution. Most of the approximately 5 billion kilograms of acetic acid produced annually in industry are used in the production of acetates, which usually take the form of polymers. In...

, or polyester
Polyester
Polyester is a category of polymers which contain the ester functional group in their main chain. Although there are many polyesters, the term "polyester" as a specific material most commonly refers to polyethylene terephthalate...

 base
Film base
A film base is a transparent substrate which acts as a support medium for the photosensitive emulsion that lies atop it. Despite the numerous layers and coatings associated with the emulsion layer, the base generally accounts for the vast majority of the thickness of any given film stock...

 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
Film format
A film format is a technical definition of a set of standard characteristics regarding image capture on photographic film, for either stills or movies. It can also apply to projected film, either slides or movies. The primary characteristic of a film format is its size and shape.In the case of...

 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
35 mm film
35 mm film is the film gauge most commonly used for chemical still photography and motion pictures. The name of the gauge refers to the width of the photographic film, which consists of strips 35 millimeters in width...

 prints.

Originally moving picture film was shot and projected at various speeds using hand-cranked cameras
Movie camera
The movie camera is a type of photographic camera which takes a rapid sequence of photographs on strips of film which was very popular for private use in the last century until its successor, the video camera, replaced it...

 and projectors
Movie projector
A movie projector is an opto-mechanical device for displaying moving pictures by projecting them on a projection screen. Most of the optical and mechanical elements, except for the illumination and sound devices, are present in movie cameras.-Physiology:...

; 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
Sound film
A sound film is a motion picture with 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 decades would pass before sound motion pictures were made commercially...

 was introduced in the late 1920s, a constant speed was required for the sound head. 24 frames per second was 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
Film stock
Film stock is photographic film on which filmmaking of motion pictures are shot and reproduced. The equivalent in television production is video tape.-1889–1899:...

 and lenses
Lens (optics)
A lens is an optical device with perfect or approximate axial symmetry which transmits and refracts light, converging or diverging the beam. A simple lens consists of a single optical element...

, allowing directors
Film director
A film director is a person who directs the actors and film crew in filmmaking. They control a film's artistic and dramatic nathan roach, while guiding the technical crew and actors.-Responsibilities:...

 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
Photography is the art, science and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film...

. 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
Multimedia is media and content that uses a combination of different content forms. The term can be used as a noun or as an adjective describing a medium as having multiple content forms. The term is used in contrast to media which use only rudimentary computer display such as text-only, or...

 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 movies on cellulose nitrate base have been copied onto modern safety films. Some studios save color films through the use of separation masters
Separation masters
Separation masters are a method of long-term preservation for most modern color motion picture film. Since monopack color film - used in such processes as ECN, ECP and their successive revisions - contains photographically active color couplers which remain in the film after development, the...

: three B&W negatives each exposed through red, green, or blue filters (essentially a reverse of the Technicolor
Technicolor
Technicolor is a color motion picture process invented in 1916 and improved over several decades.It was the second major process, after Britain's Kinemacolor, and the most widely used color process in Hollywood from 1922 to 1952...

 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
thumb|300px|Stacked containers filled with reels of [[film stock]]The film preservation, or film restoration, movement is an ongoing project among film historians, archivists, museums, cinematheques, and non-profit organizations to rescue decaying film stock and preserve the images which they contain...

 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
Video is the technology of electronically capturing, recording, processing, storing, transmitting, and reconstructing a sequence of still images representing scenes in motion.- History :...

 technology similar to that used in television production. Modern digital video cameras
Digital video
Digital video is a type of digital recording system that works by using a digital rather than an analog video signal.The terms camera, video camera, and camcorder are used interchangeably in this article.- History :...

 and digital projectors are gaining ground as well. These approaches are preferred by some moviemakers, especially because footage shot with digital cinema
Digital cinema
Digital cinema refers to the use of digital technology to distribute and project motion pictures. A movie can be distributed via hard drives, optical disks or satellite and projected using a digital projector instead of a conventional film projector...

 can be evaluated and edited with non-linear editing system
Non-linear editing system
In video, a non-linear editing system is a video editing or audio editing digital audio workstation system which can perform random access non-destructive editing on the source material...

s (NLE) without waiting for the film stock to be processed. Yet the migration is gradual, and as of 2005 most major motion pictures are still shot on film.

Independent



Independent filmmaking often takes place outside of Hollywood, or other major studio system
Studio system
The studio system was a means of film production and distribution dominant in Hollywood from the early 1920s through the early 1960s. The term studio system refers to the practice of large motion picture studios producing movies primarily on their own filmmaking lots with creative personnel under...

s. An independent film (or indie film) is a film initially produced without financing or distribution from a major movie 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 leads 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.
Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., also known as Warner Bros. Pictures or simply Warner Bros. , is an American producer of film and television entertainment.One of the major film studios, it is a subsidiary of Time Warner, with its headquarters in Burbank,...

 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
Digital cinematography
Digital cinematography is the process of capturing motion pictures as digital images, rather than on film. Digital capture may occur on video tape, hard disks, flash memory, or other media which can record digital data. As digital technology has improved, this practice has become increasingly common...

 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
Camcorder
A camcorder is an electronic device that combines a video camera and a video recorder into one unit. Equipment manufacturers do not seem to have strict guidelines for the term usage...

s in 1985, and more importantly, the arrival of high-resolution digital video
Digital video
Digital video is a type of digital recording system that works by using a digital rather than an analog video signal.The terms camera, video camera, and camcorder are used interchangeably in this article.- History :...

 in the early 1990s, have lowered the technology barrier to movie production significantly. Both production and post-production costs have been significantly lowered; today, the hardware and software for post-production can be installed in a commodity-based personal computer
Personal computer
A personal computer is any general-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and original sales price make it useful for individuals, and which is intended to be operated directly by an end-user with no intervening computer operator...

. Technologies such as DVD
DVD
A DVD is an optical disc storage media format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions....

s, FireWire connections and non-linear editing system
Non-linear editing system
In video, a non-linear editing system is a video editing or audio editing digital audio workstation system which can perform random access non-destructive editing on the source material...

 pro-level software like Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe Premiere Pro is a timeline-based video editing software application. It is part of the Adobe Creative Suite, a suite of graphic design, video editing, and web development applications developed by Adobe Systems, though it can also be purchased separately. When purchased separately, it comes...

, Sony Vegas
Sony Vegas
Sony Vegas is a professional video editing software package for non-linear editing systems originally published by Sonic Foundry, now owned and run by Sony Creative Software. Originally developed as an audio editor, it eventually developed into an NLE for video and audio from version 2.0...

 and Apple's Final Cut Pro
Final Cut Pro
Final Cut Pro is a non-linear video editing software developed by Macromedia Inc. and then Apple Inc. The most recent version, Final Cut Pro X, runs on Mac personal computers powered by Mac OS X version 10.6.7 or later and using Intel processors...

, and consumer level software such as Apple's Final Cut Express
Final Cut Express
Final Cut Express is a discontinued video editing software created by Apple Inc. It is the consumer version of Final Cut Pro and is designed for advanced editing of digital video as well as high-definition video, which is used by many amateur and professional videographers...

 and iMovie
IMovie
iMovie is a proprietary video editing software application which allows Mac, iPod Touch 4th generation, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and iPad 2 users to edit their own home movies. It was originally released by Apple in 1999 as a Mac OS 8 application bundled with the first FireWire-enabled consumer Apple...

, and Microsoft's Windows Movie Maker
Windows Movie Maker
Windows Movie Maker is a video creating/editing software application, included in Microsoft Windows Me, XP, and Vista. It contains features such as effects, transitions, titles/credits, audio track, timeline narration, and Auto Movie. New effects and transitions can be made and existing ones can be...

 make movie-making relatively inexpensive.

Since the introduction of DV
DV
DV is a format for the digital recording and playing back of digital video. The DV codec was launched in 1995 with joint efforts of leading producers of video camcorders....

 technology, the means of production have become more democratized. Filmmakers can conceivably shoot and edit a movie, create and edit the sound and music, and mix the final cut on a 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
Film festival
A film festival is an organised, extended presentation of films in one or more movie theaters or screening venues, usually in a single locality. More and more often film festivals show part of their films to the public by adding outdoor movie screenings...

 to get their films noticed and sold for distribution. The arrival of internet-based video outlets such as YouTube
YouTube
YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos....

 and Veoh
Veoh
Veoh is an Internet television company based in San Diego, California. It allows users to find and watch major studio content, independent productions and user-generated material. The company is a subsidiary of Israeli start-up Qlipso....

 has further changed the film making landscape in ways that are still to be determined.

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
License
The verb license or grant licence means to give permission. The noun license or licence refers to that permission as well as to the document recording that permission.A license may be granted by a party to another party as an element of an agreement...

 which is permissive enough to allow other parties to create fan fiction
Fan fiction
Fan fiction is a broadly-defined term for fan labor regarding stories about characters or settings written by fans of the original work, rather than by the original creator...

 or derivative works, than a traditional copyright. Like independent filmmaking, open source filmmaking takes place outside of Hollywood, or other major studio system
Studio system
The studio system was a means of film production and distribution dominant in Hollywood from the early 1920s through the early 1960s. The term studio system refers to the practice of large motion picture studios producing movies primarily on their own filmmaking lots with creative personnel under...

s.

Fan film


A fan film is a film or video inspired by a film, television program
Television program
A television program , also called television show, is a segment of content which is intended to be broadcast on television. It may be a one-time production or part of a periodically recurring series...

, comic book
Comic book
A comic book or comicbook is a magazine made up of comics, narrative artwork in the form of separate panels that represent individual scenes, often accompanied by dialog as well as including...

 or a similar source, created by fans rather than by the source's copyright holders or creators. Fan filmmakers have traditionally been amateur
Amateur
An amateur is generally considered a person attached to a particular pursuit, study, or science, without pay and often without formal training....

s, but some of the more 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


When it is initially produced, a feature film is often shown to audiences in a movie theater
Movie theater
A movie theater, cinema, movie house, picture theater, film theater is a venue, usually a building, for viewing motion pictures ....

 or cinema. The identity of the first theater designed specifically for cinema is a matter of debate; candidates include Tally's Electric Theatre, established 1902 in Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh's Nickelodeon, established 1905. Thousands of such theaters were built or converted from existing facilities within a few years. In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, these theaters came to be known as nickelodeons
Nickelodeon movie theater
The Nickelodeon was a multi-purpose theater that was popular from about 1900 to 1914. Usually situated in converted storefronts, the Nickelodeon featured motion pictures, illustrated songs, slide shows and lectures...

, because admission typically cost a nickel (five cents).

Typically, one film is the featured presentation (or feature film
Feature film
In the film industry, a feature film is a film production made for initial distribution in theaters and being the main attraction of the screening, rather than a short film screened before it; a full length movie...

). Before the 1970s, there were "double features"; typically, a high quality "A picture" rented by an independent theater for a lump sum, and a "B picture" of lower quality rented for a percentage of the gross receipts. Today, the bulk of the material shown before the feature film consists of previews for upcoming movies and paid advertisements (also known as trailers or "The Twenty
The Twenty
The Twenty is the mixture of advertisements, commercials for television shows, movie trailers, and theater chain branding that has become commonplace in American movie theaters. The term itself is derived from the fact that the block often takes up twenty minutes of runtime which has to be...

").

Historically, all mass marketed feature films were made to be shown in movie theaters. The development of television
Television
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

 has allowed films to be broadcast to larger audiences, usually after the film is no longer being shown in theaters. Recording technology has also enabled consumers to rent or buy copies of films on VHS
VHS
The Video Home System is a consumer-level analog recording videocassette standard developed by Victor Company of Japan ....

 or DVD
DVD
A DVD is an optical disc storage media format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions....

 (and the older formats of laserdisc
Laserdisc
LaserDisc was a home video format and the first commercial optical disc storage medium. Initially licensed, sold, and marketed as MCA DiscoVision in North America in 1978, the technology was previously referred to interally as Optical Videodisc System, Reflective Optical Videodisc, Laser Optical...

, VCD
Video CD
Before the advent of DVD and Blu-ray, the Video CD became the first format for distributing films on standard 120 mm optical discs. The format is a standard digital format for storing video on a Compact Disc...

 and SelectaVision
SelectaVision
The Capacitance Electronic Disc was an analog video video disc playback system developed by RCA, in which video and audio could be played back on a TV set using a special needle and high-density groove system similar to phonograph records....

 – see also videodisc
Videodisc
Videodisc is a general term for a laser- or stylus-readable random-access circular disc that contains both audio and analog video signals recorded in an analog form...

), and Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 downloads may be available and have started to become revenue sources for the film companies. Some films are now made specifically for these other venues, being released as a television movie
Television movie
A television film is a feature film that is a television program produced for and originally distributed by a television network, in contrast to...

 or direct-to-video
Direct-to-video
Direct-to-video is a term used to describe a film that has been released to the public on home video formats without being released in film theaters or broadcast on television...

 movies. The production values on these films are often considered to be of inferior quality compared to theatrical releases in similar genres, and indeed, some films that are rejected by their own movie studio
Movie studio
A movie studio is a term used to describe a major entertainment company or production company that has its own privately owned studio facility or facilities that are used to film movies...

s upon completion are distributed through these markets.

The movie theater pays an average of about 50-55% of its ticket sales to the movie studio
Movie studio
A movie studio is a term used to describe a major entertainment company or production company that has its own privately owned studio facility or facilities that are used to film movies...

, as film rental fees. The actual percentage starts with a number higher than that, and decreases as the duration of a film's showing continues, as an incentive to theaters to keep movies in the theater longer. However, today's barrage of highly marketed movies ensures that most movies are shown in first-run theaters for less than 8 weeks. There are a few movies every year that defy this rule, often limited-release movies that start in only a few theaters and actually grow their theater count through good word-of-mouth and reviews. According to a 2000 study by ABN AMRO
ABN AMRO
ABN AMRO Bank N.V. is a Dutch state-owned bank with headquarters in Amsterdam. It was re-established, in its current form, in 2009 following the acquisition and break up of ABN AMRO Group by a banking consortium consisting of Royal Bank of Scotland Group, Santander and Fortis...

, about 26% of Hollywood movie studios' worldwide income came from box office ticket sales; 46% came from VHS
VHS
The Video Home System is a consumer-level analog recording videocassette standard developed by Victor Company of Japan ....

 and DVD
DVD
A DVD is an optical disc storage media format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions....

 sales to consumers; and 28% came from television (broadcast, cable, and pay-per-view).

Animation


Animation is the technique in which each frame of a film is produced individually, whether generated as a computer graphic, or by photographing a drawn image, or by repeatedly making small changes to a model unit (see claymation and stop motion
Stop motion
Stop motion is an animation technique to make a physically manipulated object appear to move on its own. The object is moved in small increments between individually photographed frames, creating the illusion of movement when the series of frames is played as a continuous sequence...

), and then photographing the result with a special animation camera
Animation camera
An animation camera, a type of rostrum camera, is a movie camera specially adapted for frame-by-frame shooting animation or stop motion. It consists of a camera body with lens and film magazines, a stand that allows the camera to be raised and lowered, and a table, often with both top and...

. 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 persistence of vision
Persistence of vision
Persistence of vision is the phenomenon of the eye by which an afterimage is thought to persist for approximately one twenty-fifth of a second on the retina....

). Generating such a film is very labor intensive and tedious, though the development of computer animation
Computer animation
Computer animation is the process used for generating animated images by using computer graphics. The more general term computer generated imagery encompasses both static scenes and dynamic images, while computer animation only refers to moving images....

 has greatly sped up the process.

Because animation is very time-consuming and often very expensive to produce, the majority of animation for TV
Television
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

 and movies comes from professional animation studios. However, the field of independent animation
Independent animation
Independent animation is a term used to describe animated short cartoons and feature films produced outside the professional Hollywood animation industry.- Early independent animation :The history of animation is as old as the film industry itself...

 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
Limited animation is a process of making animated cartoons that does not redraw entire frames but variably reuses common parts between frames. One of its major trademarks is the stylized design in all forms and shapes, which in the early days was referred to as modern design...

 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
United Productions of America
United Productions of America, better known as UPA, was an American animation studio of the 1940s through present day, beginning with industrial films and World War II training films. In the late 1940s, UPA produced theatrical shorts for Columbia Pictures, most notably the Mr. Magoo series. In...

 and popularized by Hanna-Barbera
Hanna-Barbera
Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc. was an American animation studio that dominated North American television animation during the second half of the 20th century...

, and adapted by other studios as cartoons moved from movie theater
Movie theater
A movie theater, cinema, movie house, picture theater, film theater is a venue, usually a building, for viewing motion pictures ....

s to television
Television
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

.

Although most animation studios are now using digital technologies in their productions, there is a specific style of animation that depends on film. Cameraless animation, made famous by moviemakers like Norman McLaren
Norman McLaren
Norman McLaren, CC, CQ was a Scottish-born Canadian animator and film director known for his work for the National Film Board of Canada...

, Len Lye
Len Lye
Len Lye, born Leonard Charles Huia Lye , was a Christchurch, New Zealand-born artist known primarily for his experimental films and kinetic sculpture. His films are held in archives such as the New Zealand Film Archive, British Film Institute, Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and the Pacific...

 and Stan Brakhage
Stan Brakhage
James Stanley Brakhage , better known as Stan Brakhage, was an American non-narrative filmmaker who is considered to be one of the most important figures in 20th century experimental film....

, is painted and drawn directly onto pieces of film, and then run through a projector.

Future state



While motion picture films have been around for more than a century, film is still a relative newcomer in the pantheon of fine art
Fine art
Fine art or the fine arts encompass art forms developed primarily for aesthetics and/or concept rather than practical application. Art is often a synonym for fine art, as employed in the term "art gallery"....

s. In the 1950s, when television became widely available, industry analysts predicted the demise of local movie theaters. Despite competition from television's increasing technological sophistication over the 1960s and 1970s such as the development of color television and large screens, motion picture cinemas continued. In fact with the rise of television's predominance, film began to become more respected as an artistic medium by contrast due the low general opinion of the quality of average television content. In the 1980s, when the widespread availability of inexpensive videocassette recorders enabled people to select films for home viewing, industry analysts again wrongly predicted the death of the local cinemas.

In the 1990s and 2000s, the development of DVD
DVD
A DVD is an optical disc storage media format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions....

 players, home theater amplification systems with surround sound and subwoofers, and large LCD or plasma screens enabled people to select and view films at home with greatly improved audio and visual reproduction. These new technologies provided audio and visual that in the past only local cinemas had been able to provide: a large, clear widescreen presentation of a film with a full-range, high-quality multi-speaker sound system. Once again industry analysts predicted the demise of the local cinema. Local cinemas will be changing in the 21st century and moving towards digital screens, a new approach which will allow for easier and quicker distribution of films (via satellite or hard disks), a development which may give local theaters a reprieve from their predicted demise.
The cinema now faces a new challenge from home video by the likes of a new high definition
High-definition video
High-definition video or HD video refers to any video system of higher resolution than standard-definition video, and most commonly involves display resolutions of 1,280×720 pixels or 1,920×1,080 pixels...

 (HD) format, Blu-ray, which can provide full HD 1080p
1080p
1080p is the shorthand identification for a set of HDTV high-definition video modes that are characterized by 1080 horizontal lines of resolution and progressive scan, meaning the image is not interlaced as is the case with the 1080i display standard....

 video playback at near cinema quality. Video formats are gradually catching up with the resolutions and quality that film offers; 1080p in Blu-ray offers a pixel resolution of 1920×1080, a leap from the DVD offering of 720×480 and the 330×480 offered by the first home video standard, VHS
VHS
The Video Home System is a consumer-level analog recording videocassette standard developed by Victor Company of Japan ....

. Ultra HD, a future digital video format, will offer a resolution of 7680×4320. However, the nature and structure of film prevents an apples-to-apples comparison with regard to resolution. The resolving power of film, and its ability to capture an image which can later be scanned to a digital format, will ensure that film remains a viable medium for some time to come. Currently the super-16 format is seeing use as a capture medium, with digital scanning and post-production providing good results. Despite advances in digital capture, film still offers unsurpassed ability to capture fine detail beyond what is possible with digital image sensors. A 35 mm film frame, with proper exposure and processing, still offers an equivalent resolution in the range of 500 mega pixels.

Despite the rise of all-new technologies, the development of the home video market and a surge of online copyright infringement, 2007 was a record year in film that showed the highest ever box-office grosses. Many expected film to suffer as a result of the effects listed above but it has flourished, strengthening film studio expectations for the future.

See also


Lists

Related topics
  • Cinematic techniques
    Cinematic techniques
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    Digital cinema refers to the use of digital technology to distribute and project motion pictures. A movie can be distributed via hard drives, optical disks or satellite and projected using a digital projector instead of a conventional film projector...

  • Lost film
    Lost film
    A lost film is a feature film or short film that is no longer known to exist in studio archives, private collections or public archives such as the Library of Congress, where at least one copy of all American films are deposited and catalogued for copyright reasons...

  • Web film
    Web film
    A web film is a film made with the medium of the Internet and its distribution constraints in mind. This term aims to differentiate content made for the Internet from content made for other media, such as cinema or television, that has been converted into a World Wide Web-compatible format...


External links


  • Allmovie – Information on films: actors, directors, biographies, reviews, cast and production credits, box office sales, and other movie data.
  • Film Site – Reviews of classic films
  • Rottentomatoes.com – Movie reviews, previews, forums, photos, cast info, and more.
  • The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) – Information on current and historical films and cast listings.