When it is initially produced, a film is normally shown to audiences in a movie theater. Typically, one film is the featured presentation. A feature film is sometimes defined as any film more than 60 minutes in length (90-120 minutes is typical, and a few films run up to 4 hours or more). Before showing this film, the theater may have shorter presentations or advertising. Historically, the feature presentation was often preceded by newsreels and short films, especially animation. Today, the bulk of the material shown before the feature film consists of previews for upcoming movies (also known as trailers).
Originally, all films were made to be shown in movie theaters. The development of television 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 video tape or DVD, and Internet downloads may be available. Some films are now made specifically for these other venues, being released as made-for-TV movies or direct-to-video movies. These are often considered to be of inferior quality compared to theatrical releases.
Development of film technology
Film consists of a transparent celluloid, polyester, or other plastic coated with an emulsion containing light-sensitive chemicals. Silver nitrate was the first type of film used to record motion pictures, but due to its flammability was eventually replaced by safer formats.
Originally moving picture film was shot at various speeds using hand-cranked cameras; then the speed for mechanized cameras and projectors was standardized at 16 frames per second, which was faster than much existing hand-cranked footage. A new standard speed, 24 frames per second, came with the introduction of sound. Improvements since the late 1800s include the mechanization of cameras, allowing them to record at a consistent speed, the invention of more sophisticated filmstocks and lenses, allowing directors to film in increasingly dim conditions, and the development of synchronized sound, allowing sound to be recorded at exactly the same speed as its corresponding video.
As a medium, film is not limited to motion pictures, since the technology developed as the basis for photography. It can be used to present a progressive sequence of still images in the form of a slideshow. Film has also been incorporated into multimedia presentations. However, film also creates problems in terms of preservation and storage, and the motion picture industry is exploring digital alternatives to film. Film preservation of decaying film stock is a matter of concern to both film historians and archivists, and to companies interested in preserving their existing products in order to make them available to future generations (and thereby increase revenue).
External links, references, and resources
- The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) Information on current and historical films, cast listings, etc
- Mr. Movies Times Movie times and online tickets at cinemas around the U.S.
- About Gay Movies Everything you always wanted to know about gay themed movies & tv-series
- All Movie Guide Information on films, actors, directors, etc... Very complete
- Rasp New Movie Database Information about released, new, and upcoming films, listed by title, year, or person
- Movie Directory
- dTheatre.com The entertainment news site that loves you back!
- Rotten Tomatoes Overview of reviews of a film
- Ain't It Cool News Rumors and reviews about current and upcoming films
- The Open Movie Database An effort at OpenSourcing the information on IMDb
- Yahoo! Movies Information on specific movies, including upcoming movies by title, date, actor
- Box Office Mojo Box office figures by date, genre, etc. including box office records
- The Numbers Box office figures by movie, actor, etc. including box office records
- AllWatchers Comprehensive movie reviews. Dissects movies down to bits of categorizable information
- Movieprop.com Features information about collecting screen used movie collectibles, reviews, features, and links
- About.com Celebrity interviews, casting news, photo galleries, movie reviews, and info on current releases
- The Flick Chicks Movie reviews by some of the top women critics in the United States
- MovieLens Personalized, free movie recommendations from GroupLens Research at the University of Minnesota
- DVD Movies Reviews
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