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Theater, Film, and Television

Motion Picture

persistence of vision, imaginary world, visual image, human eye, human behavior

Deeper web pages:

>  Types of Motion Pictures

>  The People Who Make a Motion Picture

>  Shooting a Motion Picture

>  Projecting a Motion Picture

>  Distributing and Marketing a Motion Picture

Motion Picture, a series of images that are projected onto a screen to create the illusion of motion. Motion pictures—also called movies, films, or the cinema—are one of the most popular forms of entertainment, enabling people to immerse themselves in an imaginary world for a short period of time. But movies can also teach people about history, science, human behavior, and many other subjects. Some films combine entertainment with instruction, to make the learning process more enjoyable. In all its forms, cinema is an art as well as a business, and those who make motion pictures take great pride in their creations.

The images that make up a motion picture are all individual photographs. But when they appear rapidly in succession, the human eye does not detect that they are separate images. This results from persistence of vision, a phenomenon whereby the eye retains a visual image for a fraction of a second after the source has been removed. Although we do not experience the images as individual photographs, we do notice the differences between them. The brain then perceives these differences as motion.

Motion pictures are recorded using specially designed cameras that capture the images on rolls of film. After being processed and printed, the film is run through a projector, which shines light through the film so that the images are displayed on a screen. Most movies have accompanying sound.


Tanis, Nicholas, B.F.A.

Associate Professor of Film and Television, New York University. Cine Golden Eagle winner for "Journey to Federal Hall".

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