Film Skin and Stock: An Etymology of Modern Movie Magic
A film, also known as a video, short film, video, mini-video, or digital movie, is an artistic work of visual entertainment used to simulate events that convey emotions, stories, impressions, beauty, or setting through the medium of moving images. The term “filmmaking” itself comes from the French term “filamente” which means “being made.” Although originally only used in reference to the making of movies, over time the term has developed to include any medium of visual expression and can now be used in a non-traditional sense, referring to the artistic creation process itself. In other words, a film can be described as a “work of art.”
In general, most motion pictures are shot on film or on a computer and are available in single or multiple view formats. The images may be shown through monochrome or color films. They may also be shown in a widescreen or “wide screen” format. The majority of modern films are produced for theatrical, advertising, and broadcast purposes, and are often used in wide variety of venues and by many different individuals and groups. Some films are often used as educational, major motion pictures for film festivals, documentaries, and other purposes.
Throughout the history of cinema, the art form has been defined by the evolution of its various forms. The advent of film brought about changes in the way movies were made and viewed. Initially, films used mainly the medium of photography to capture images. As technology advanced, filmmakers began to experiment with the introduction of special effects, subject matter, dialogue, and other elements that would make a film more interesting and appealing to the general public. Ultimately, cinema reached a point where it was not uncommon for one movie to feature hundreds of shots and minutes of sound within the span of a single production.
Film makers have utilized the advances in photographic and visual arts for more than a century to develop an array of different films that have entertained millions of viewers around the world. The advent of motion pictures and the ability to capture moving images on celluloid led to the development of motion picture houses. These early houses attempted to reproduce the actual experience of watching a film while it was being made. While this did not completely replace the need for film crews, the development of cameras that could rapidly capture still-shots on film gave directors the ability to create a more visually dynamic and expansive film.
Film makers have also utilized the advancements in visual arts to further advance their work. In the late twentieth century, advancements in visual arts such as the invention of the moving image machine and the invention of the color process gave birth to the term “film” itself. Film skin and film stock have undergone several changes throughout the years, most notably in terms of the materials used in their manufacture. During the late twentieth century, film stock was often made from rubber or plastic and was only available in white.
Modern advancements in photography have afforded filmmakers and film producers the ability to produce high quality films with higher resolution. In fact, the quality of motion pictures shot on high end digital cameras is often more superior to that of comparable films shot on traditional film cameras. As a result, picture and sound quality on high end digital cameras and videocameras can rival the quality of 35mm film stock. Today, many professionals still shoot on film although they are using digital equipment. Whether shooting in color or black and white, filmmakers must continually strive to create a film that looks and feels real.