The English used in this article or section may not be easy for everybody to understand. (June 2022)
A movie or film is a type of visual art that uses videos and sounds to tell stories or teach people something. Most people watch movies to entertain themselves or to have fun. Some movies can make people laugh, but other movies can make them cry, or make them feel afraid.
Overview[change | change source]
Most movies are made so they can be watched at home or on a movie screen at movie theaters. Movies are shown in movie theaters a few weeks or months after or before the film released. Movies can be marketed using media. Movies are shown on pay television or cable television, or are sold or rented on DVD disks or videocassette tapes, so that people can watch the movies at home. Movies can also be downloaded or streamed. Some movies are shown on television broadcasting stations.
|The Simple English Wiktionary has a definition for: movie.|
Movies are filmed with movie cameras or video cameras. Movie cameras take pictures very quickly, and they usually take 24 or 25 pictures, or frames every second. When a movie projector, a computer, or a television shows the pictures at 24 frames a second, it looks like the things shown in the set of pictures are moving. Sound is usually recorded at the same time as the pictures are, but sometimes they are added later. The sounds in a movie are usually people talking, the soundtrack, and sound effects. In the 20th century the camera used photographic film.
Making movies[change | change source]
Most movies start to be made when a screenwriter writes a script, which is the story of the movie with dialogue and words and things that the actors will say and do. A producer hires people to work on the movie and gets the money that will be used to pay for the actors and the equipment. Producers usually get the money by borrowing it from a bank or by asking investors to give money to them. Some producers work for a movie studio, but other producers work by themselves.
Actors and directors read scripts to learn what to say and what to do. The actors learn the words from the script that they will say in the movie, and learn the things that the script tells them to do. Then, the director tells the actors what to do and a cameraman takes videos of them saying the words with a video camera.
When the filming is done, an editor makes the videos play after each other, which makes a story. Audio engineers and sound engineers record music and singing and combine it with the videos. When the movie is done, many copies of the movie are made by movie labs and put onto film reels. Then the reels are sent to movie theaters. A projector shines a very bright light through the film, and people sitting in a dark room see it on a big screen.
Types of movies[change | change source]
- Action movies are movies where the main character is in a dangerous situation, and the movies usually have a lot of violent things, like explosions, blood, and fight scenes. In Die Hard, terrorists take control of a skyscraper and ask for a big ransom. If they are given the ransom, they won't killing the people who work in the skyscraper, who are called hostages.
- Adventure movies usually have a hero who go on long journeys to fight big things, like dragons.
- Animated movies use drawn images like cartoons to tell a story. These movies used to be drawn by hand, one frame at a time, but they are usually now made on computers. They can be 2D animated or 3D animated.
- Buddy movies involve 2 friends. Buddy movies usually have comedy.
- Comedies are movies about funny scenarios that characters might be in.
- Documentaries are non-fiction movies that are (or claim to be) about real people and real events. They are nearly always serious and may involve strongly emotional subjects, for example cruelty.
- Dramas are serious, and often about people falling in love or needing to make a big decision in their life. They tell stories about relationships between people. They usually follow a basic plot where one or two main characters (each actor plays a character) have to 'overcome' (get past) an obstacle (the thing stopping them) to get what they want.
- Tragedies are always dramas, and are about people in trouble. For example, a husband and wife who are divorcing must each try to prove to a court of law that they are the best person to take care of their child. Emotion (feelings) are a big part of the movie and the audience (people watching the movie) may get upset and even cry.
- Film noir movies are 1940s-era detective dramas about crime and violence.
- Family movies are made to be okay for children to watch. Disney is famous for their family movies.
- Horror movies use fear to excite the audience. Music, lighting and sets (man-made places in movie studios where the movie is made) are all designed to add to the feeling.
- Romantic Comedies, also called "Rom-Com"s are usually stories about 2 people who fall in love, and do funny things or have funny things happen to them.
- Comedy horror movies blend horror and comic motifs in its plots. Movies in this genre sometimes use black comedy as the main form of humor.
- Science fiction movies are fiction and also have a lot of science, and have machines that can not be built in real life yet.
- Fantasy movies include magical and impossible things that any real human being cannot do.
- Thrillers are usually about a mystery, strange event, or crime that needs to be solved. The audience is kept guessing until the final minutes, when there are usually 'twists' in the plot (surprises).
- Suspense movies makes the audience stressed. They usually have multiple twists that confuse the watcher.
- Western movies tell stories about cowboys in the western United States in the 1870s and 1880s. They are usually action movies, but with historical costumes. Some involve Native Americans. Not all films that are set in the American West are made there. For example, Western films made in Italy are called Spaghetti Westerns. Some films can also use Western plots even if they are set in other places.
- War is a film genre concerned with warfare, typically about naval, air, or land battles, with combat scenes central to the drama. It has been strongly associated with the 20th century.
Business of making movies[change | change source]
Most movies lose money but some make profits in the hundreds of millions, be they dollars, euro or pounds. In India movies have become an enormous part of the economy. The industry has always been dominated by a few major movie studios like MGM/UA, Warner Bros., Columbia, Paramount or Disney.
Elements[change | change source]
There are many large companies that provide all of the services needed to make movies, such as special effects, lighting, set building. Many of these employees belong to trade unions who say how much their members must be paid. A huge number of smaller companies also offer services, such as music studios (which record the music for original movie sound tracks) and CGI computer animation.
Distribution[change | change source]
Finally there are movie distribution companies (which send movies around the world or around a country), and advertising companies who let people know about the movie and promote it (try to make people want to see the movie).
Movies with famous stars and large budgets (lots of money), are designed to have a wide appeal, so that hopefully millions of people will pay to see them. These most expensive movies are called blockbusters.
Special effects can add a huge amount to the cost of a movie, especially the newest CGI effects, but people have come to expect them and every blockbuster movie tries to outdo the last. Even in 2008, some movies cost up to $200 million to make.
Very successful movies can make many times that amount in profit, and that's why the studios keep producing them. This kind of movie will have a lot of promotion through television advertising, billboards and internet sites.
Blockbuster[change | change source]
In blockbuster movies, there is usually a happy ending, in which all of the problems in the plot (story) are figured out or fixed and almost everyone (except the baddie) live happily ever after. Some movies have been so successful that the studios keep releasing more and more sequels, or movies with the same characters and basic plots.
Indie films[change | change source]
At the opposite end of the scale to the blockbuster, there is the independent, art, or Indie movie. These are usually made by small movie companies, or even just a small group of people that do not have much money. An example is The Blair Witch Project, which cost only about $60,000, but which has so far taken perhaps $200 million in ticket and DVD sales. Movies like this are very unusual and usually become popular 'underground' (word of mouth advertising), so that they become cult, or popular but not mainstream.
Independent movies often tell more creative or unusual (strange) stories, or may have sad endings that do not appeal to the big studios, because they can not be sure how the public will react to them. They rarely make a lot of money, but if they are successful, the big studios will quickly try to get the people involved to sign a contract with them, by offering them a lot of money to make another movie. Often the new movie, with its big budget and its stars will be less successful than the first.
Related pages[change | change source]
- Big Ten (movie studios), America's ten largest movie studios
References[change | change source]
Other websites[change | change source]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Movies.|