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Making Films & Videos/Are movies made like this?


I've read that movies are in fact just series of images presented in quick succession, so that it creates the illusion of motion on screen. Are all movies made like this, including the newer ones? If so, couldn't they be filmed in real time, like youtube videos or those made on trips with personal cameras? Thank you for taking your time to read and answer these questions!


My apologies for this late response - I have been out on vacation and forgot to let AllExperts know that I would not be able to help for several weeks.

Yes, film is a series of still images that are projected in quick succession that create the illusion of movement.  Sound film is shot at 24 frames (pictures) per second.  That means 24 still images per second.  These images are played back on a film projector (not video) and each image is flashed twice to create 48 flashed images a second.  This is faster that the eye can see individual images, so the brain perceives it as a continuous flow of imagery.  That is why they are called "motion pictures" or, as we now know them, "movies."  The concepts involved in this are called "critical flicker fusion" where the brain "fuses" images together that are turning on and off very quickly, and also "persistence of vision" where the brain holds on to a flashed image slightly longer that the image lasted.  In reality, when watching a film with an old film projector, you are literally sitting in the dark half of the time - you just don't notice it!

Video has a similar concept but different approach.  Instead of taking one whole picture and flashing it twice, it does something different.  For many years, video would divide the image into 2 parts or "fields", the even lines on the TV screen for one part and the odd lines on the screen for the other part of the image.  Shown quickly together, the brain blends the two and "sees" one image.  It would do this for 30 frames (whole pictures) per second, and those frames would be created by 60 fields.  In Europe, it is 25 frames per second made from 50 fields.

With High Definition video (HD) things have become even faster.  You can now record video in "progressive' mode which means it no longer does fields but rather one whole picture at a time, and it shows them very quickly together in order to make the images seem extra smooth.  Even so, video follows the same concept as film - it captures single still images, called frames, and plays them back individually in such a quick way that our brain thinks that it is seeing something in a natural way.

That was a really good question - thanks for asking it.  I hope I wrote the answer in a way that is easy to understand because it is a fairly complex concept.  Have a great New Year!  

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Troy Smith


I am a professional filmmaker (since 1995) and a professional film instructor (since 2000). I am the co-owner of Imminent Entertainment LLC. I have worked on several low-budget feature films as well as hundreds of other projects including TV commercials, concert videos, live sports for TV, sports highlights, broadcast news, faith productions, large multi-media multi-camera productions, weddings, educational, corporate, promotional, short films, documentaries and more. I have written a book called "The New Filmmaker's Adventure" that will be more widely distributed in the near future. My expertise is in writing, shooting and editing. I can answer questions on Final Cut Pro, lighting, sound recording, scriptwriting, storytelling, directing, producing, editing, multi-camera productions, shooting sports, picture to video, using DTE hard drives, using video cameras. I am NOT an expert on how to sell scripts or movies, how to finance them, how to distribute them or how to get an agent. See my WEB PAGES: and


I have been a professional filmmaker since 1995 and a film teacher since 2000. I am publishing a textbook for beginning filmmakers called "the New Filmmaker's Adventure". I have experience in the area of low-budget feature filmmaking, I am the co-owner of the production company called Imminent Entertainment, I have worked on hundreds of videos, TV shows, multi-camera events and low budget, professional productions, corporate and consumer videos, Final Cut Pro, scriptwriting, directing, videography and cinematography, sound, lighting, editing, and some producing.

Independent Feature Project

I wrote "The New Filmmaker's Adventure" book that I use in my classes and will be publishing it abroad soon

Western Michigan University - Magna cum Laude BS in film/video/TV Maine Media Workshops ('02-'07)- Film Editor Master, Directing Actors for the Camera, Independent Filmmaking, Acting for the Camera, Camera in Motion, The Directors Craft

Awards and Honors
Audience Choice Runner-Up award for Best Picture at the Muskegon Film Festival in 2009 for Producer/editor on "Coffee Shop Kings." Excellence in Education Teaching award. Winner of 12 grants.

Past/Present Clients
Kellogg, Covance, Cytec, WWMT, Ralston, many, many more

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