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Outline of film

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Outline of film

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to film:

Film – refers to motion pictures as individual projects and to the field in general. The name came from the fact that photographic film (also called filmstock) has historically been the primary medium for recording and displaying motion pictures.

What type of thing is film?

Film can be described as all of the following:

  • Art – aesthetic expression for presentation or performance, and the work produced from this activity.
    • One of the arts – as an art form, film is an outlet of human expression, that is usually influenced by culture and which in turn helps to change culture. Film is a physical manifestation of the internal human creative impulse.
      • One of the visual arts – visual arts is a class of art forms, including painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking and others, that focus on the creation of works which are primarily visual in nature.
      • One of the performing arts – art forms in which artists use their body, voice, or objects to convey artistic expression. Performing arts include a variety of disciplines but all take the form of a performance in front of an audience.
      • Fine art – in Western European academic traditions, fine art is art developed primarily for aesthetics, distinguishing it from applied art that also has to serve some practical function. The word "fine" here does not so much denote the quality of the artwork in question, but the purity of the discipline according to traditional Western European canons.

Other names for film

  • Movies
  • Motion pictures
  • Pictures
  • Celluloid
  • Flicks
  • Photoplays
  • Picture shows
  • The cinema
  • The silver screen
  • Videos

Essence of film

  • Filmmaking – process of making a film. Filmmaking involves a number of discrete stages including an initial story, idea, or commission, through scriptwriting, casting, shooting, editing, and screening the finished product before an audience that may result in a film release and exhibition. Filmmaking is both an art and an industry. Films were originally recorded onto plastic film which was shown through a movie projector onto a large screen (in other words, an analog recording process). The adoption of CGI-based special effects led to the use of digital intermediates. Most contemporary films are now fully digital through the entire process of production, distribution, and exhibition from start to finish.

Cinematic genres

By setting

  • Biography - portrays a real-life character in his or her real-life story.
  • Crime - places its character within realm of criminal activity.
  • Fantasy - films set in imaginary worlds, often with a swords and sorcery theme.
  • Film noir - portrays its principal characters in a nihilistic and existentialist realm or manner.
  • Historical - taking place in the past.
  • Science fiction - placement of characters in an alternative reality, typically in the future or in space.
  • Sports - sporting events and locations pertaining to a given sport.
  • War - battlefields and locations pertaining to a time of war.
  • Westerns - colonial period to modern era of the western United States.

By mood

  • Action - generally involves a moral interplay between "good" and "bad" played out through violence or physical force
  • Adventure - involving danger, risk, and/or chance, often with a high degree of fantasy.
  • Comedy - intended to provoke laughter
  • Drama - mainly focuses on character development
  • Erotic - sexuality or eroticism and sex acts, including love scenes
  • Horror - intended to provoke fear in audience
  • Mystery - the progression from the unknown to the known by discovering and solving a series of clues
  • Romance - dwelling on the elements of romantic love
  • Thrillers - intended to provoke excitement and/or nervous tension into audience

By format

  • Biographical - a biopic is a film that dramatizes the life of an actual person, with varying degrees of basis in fact
  • Documentary - a factual following of an event or person to gain an understanding of a particular point or issue
  • Experimental (avant-garde) - created to test audience reaction or to expand the boundaries of film production/story exposition then generally at play
  • Musical - a film interspersed with singing by all or some of the characters
  • Silent - a film with no synchronized recorded sound, especially with no spoken dialogue

By production type

  • Live action - film using actors
  • Animation - illusion of motion by consecutive display of static images which have been created by hand or on a computer
  • Television - a film that is produced for and originally distributed by a television network

By length

  • Short - may strive to contain many of the elements of a "full-length" feature, in a shorter time-frame
  • Serial - Similar shorts but forms constant story arc
  • Feature film - Film that is "full-length".

By age

  • Children's film - films for young children - as opposed to a family film, no special effort is made to make the film attractive for other audiences.
  • Family - intended to be attractive for people of all ages and suitable for viewing by a young audience. Examples of this are Disney films.
  • Teen film - intended and aimed towards teens although some teen films such as the High School Musical series may also be a family film. Not all of these films are suitable for all teens in which some are rated-R.
  • Adult film - intended to be viewed only by an adult audience, content may include violence, disturbing themes, obscene language, or explicit sexual behaviour. This includes various forms of exploitation films. Adult film may also be used as a synonym for pornographic film.

Cinema by region

History of film

General film concepts

Film formats


Films by genre

Films by origin

Films by setting location

Films by cost

Films by success

Film companies

Major film studios

Awards and festivals

Notable people from the film industry

Film theorists

Famous film producers

Famous directors

Famous actors

See also

External links

  • Movies at DMOZ
  • 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
  • Movies at DMOZ
  • - Movie reviews, previews, forums, photos, cast info, and more.
  • The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) - Information on current and historical films and cast listings.
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