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  • Writer's pictureVanessa Rocha

Show Them How It’s Made

The theory of film making is a broad subject. It isn’t just about looking into how certain angles and visual effects create different emotional responses, it also looks at its deeper meanings, and the psychology behind it. It looks into the history of film, and how it has developed into the multi-billion-dollar industry it is today. It looks at the influential effects film has on society, and how it helps governments and those in power to build aspects of society, they wouldn’t have thought of before. Finally, it looks at how film itself can be considered as an art form, a means of communication and a means of education and information.

Film theory covers a lot of different subjects, so it’s best to start at the very beginning. The very first thing to look at is at how film can be considered as an art form. It is the easiest way of looking at it, before looking at how it can be so much more. First and foremost, it is a medium, by which people appreciate what they see, and are entertained by it.

We Are Young

Film is the youngest form of media, excluding television, radio and the internet, since these media forms evolved from film itself. If you think about it, painting, literature, dance and theatre have been around for hundreds, even thousands of years. What started as a means to record down history has now become art, in the modern day. So too, film can be considered as such. While, initially, it started as a means to evolve photography, and a means to which inventors can acclaim fame, film became a form of storytelling, thus becoming a form of art.

What’s remarkable about film is that its evolution was much faster than its predecessors. It was first discovered in the 1890s and within a century it has become nothing short of a multi-billion-dollar artistic industry. However, unlike its predecessors, film does not stand alone. It cannot be made without the help of technology, and an entire crew of people. Where painting and sculpting can be created alone, and with tools that could easily be made or found, film would need modern machines, built by companies that provide them. Where literature simply requires sheaves of paper and pens, film requires factory made gels, or now (since film production fell out of business in the 1990s) a computer.

It is easier to make a piece of art with pen and paper, or with body movements, than it is to make a film. It doesn’t require a lot of money, and it doesn’t require tools that aren’t already found around the house. Film, however, requires both. So, while it is still young, it is also very difficult to make, especially those that should be considered as art.

Film Has Become Integral to Living

When you think of film, you think of those blockbusters in the cinema. You think of those award ceremonies at the beginning of the year. You think of all those videos you find on YouTube, and other social media platforms. You think of TikTok and Snapchat. Film is so much broader than what it was over a hundred years ago. It has become a part of everyday life for many people, if not everyone.

Film is used in classrooms, to teach children their ABCs. It’s used in science to document animal lives, and to teach the masses about the intricacies of the universe. Film is used in politics and governments to inform the people about issues that may affect them, or about relationships with other countries. In essence film has become an integral part of our daily lives, whether it’s through work, school or in our free time. Thus, it’s no longer just an art form. It’s a means of communication and information, but as I said before, film is first and foremost an art form.

So, regardless of what else we use film for, it is mostly used as a form of storytelling, and taking us on a journey, without even leaving our homes, or the cinema. Having said that, film is, after all designed to do just that, since it’s a combination of theatre, literature and photography, and all three art forms were designed, themselves, to tell a story, and the reason film became very successful, was because it spoke to the imagination of the masses.

It created traditions that couldn’t be used in previous works, like animating immovable objects or pictures, creating worlds that don’t exist, and using environments that couldn’t even be possible in this lifetime. The reason it’s so successful is because it combines all of these impossibilities and, with the help of animation, visual effects and animatronics, make them possible.

Is It An Art Or Is It Just Entertainment?

It’s all thanks to the men and women who first discovered film. By encouraging each other, whether through positive encouragement, or through rivalry, film was able to become what it is today. Without the Lumiere brothers, who sought to enhance the original concept created by Thomas Edison, we wouldn’t have cinemas. If it weren’t for the Warner Brothers, who decided that the conventional silent films at the time were growing old, we wouldn’t have been able to hear what actors said on the screen.

Of course, it is also because of these developments and refinements that the debate, on whether or not film really is an art form, or another throw-away piece of entertainment, still goes on today. If you look at films like A Beautiful Mind (2001) and compare them with films like The Avengers (2012), you’d most likely get film critics gushing over A Beautiful Mind and either ignore or belittle The Avengers. This is because A Beautiful Mind is a “great piece of storytelling”, as it tells a story never seen or heard of before, and through the use of camera angles, realistic acting and music, the story becomes riveting. Whereas The Avengers uses conventional methods, by today’s standards, to create a rush of emotions, as the standard superheroes battle their villainous foes.

So, even you couldn’t say whether film was an art form, or just a piece of entertainment. This debate will most likely go on until the end of time itself, and we’ll never know the true definition of film, as a form itself. However, there is one thing that is true, no matter if it is art, or if it is entertainment, people will still go to the movies, stream films on Netflix or download them from the Internet. Even then, no matter who you ask, everyone’s opinion will differ. Sometimes a blockbuster will be seen as a piece of art, and sometimes a serious drama could be seen as something as a piece of entertainment. It all depends on the individual’s opinion.

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