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. Many other terms exist — motion pictures (or just pictures or “picture”), the silver screen, photoplays, the cinema, picture shows, flicks — and commonly movies.

Essence of film

Main article: Film

Cinematic genres

Main article: Film genre

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

Main article: History of film

General film concepts

Main article: Film theory

External links

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