VLMN is Virtual Lifetime Movie Network which shows women-oriented movies
exclusively, especially made for television movies.
The original format of the network were longer segments of movies with limited
commercial interruptions, airing twice a day. As the network grew, more
commercial breaks have been added. There are now different movies each day, some
repeating into the next programming day.
Many Lifetime Original movies feature a woman as protagonist. Many of these made
for television movies were part of a series that labeled them A Moment of Truth
Movie. These movies can sometimes be alarmist, formulaic tales, such as Cyber
Seduction: His Secret Life.
Lifetime characterizations tend to be colorful and varying from movie to movie
depicting a wide variety of settings from urban to country and diversity of
occupations. Lifetime Original Movies tend to feature the same story format, the
plot of which can be summed up as "a woman overcomes great obstacles", featuring
the following character archetypes:
Good Girl: the innocent girl who becomes corrupted and usually the protagonist
of the story.
Bad Molly: the "friend" who corrupts the Good Girl
Good Molly: the friend that tries to help the Good Girl
Bad Boy: the cool older guy in high school who has *** **** the good girl, rapes
her, gets her pregnant, stalks her, threatens her or a variation of the above.
Overly Religious Mother
Good Boy: the friend who tries to help the Good Girl but is ignored until the
end of the movie when the heroine realizes he is the one for her.
Mean Man: the Antagonist
Film is a term that encompasses individual motion pictures, the field of film
as an art form, and the motion picture industry. Films are produced by recording
images from the world with cameras, or by creating images using animation
techniques or special effects.
Films are cultural artifacts created by specific cultures, which reflect those
cultures, and, in turn, affect them. Film is considered to be an important art
form, a source of popular entertainment, and a powerful method for educating -or
indoctrinating- citizens. The visual elements of cinema give motion pictures a
universal power of communication; some movies have become popular worldwide
attractions, by using dubbing or subtitles that translate the dialogue.
Traditional films are made up of a series of individual images called frames.
When these images are shown rapidly in succession, a viewer has the illusion
that motion is occurring. The viewer cannot see the flickering between frames
due to an effect known as persistence of vision — whereby the eye retains a
visual image for a fraction of a second after the source has been removed.
Viewers perceive motion due to a psychological effect called beta movement.
The origin of the name "film" comes from the fact that photographic film (also
called film stock) has historically been the primary medium for recording and
displaying motion pictures. Many other terms exist for an individual motion
picture, including picture, picture show, photo-play, flick, and most commonly,
movie. Additional terms for the field in general include the big screen, the
silver screen, the cinema, and the movies.
Mechanisms for producing artificially created, two-dimensional images in motion
were demonstrated as early as the 1860s, with devices such as the zoetrope and
the praxinoscope. These machines were outgrowths of simple optical devices (such
as magic lanterns) and would display sequences of still pictures at sufficient
speed for the images on the pictures to appear to be moving, a phenomenon called
persistence of vision. Naturally, the images needed to be carefully designed to
achieve the desired effect — and the underlying principle became the basis for
the development of film animation.
A frame from Roundhay Garden Scene, the world's earliest film to date, by Louis
Le Prince, 1888
With the development of celluloid film for still photography, it became possible
to directly capture objects in motion in real time. Early versions of the
technology sometimes required a person to look into a viewing machine to see the
pictures which were separate paper prints attached to a drum turned by a
handcrank. The pictures were shown at a variable speed of about 5 to 10 pictures
per second depending on how rapidly the crank was turned. Some of these machines
were coin operated. By the 1880s, the development of the motion picture camera
allowed the individual component images to be captured and stored on a single
reel, and led quickly to the development of a motion picture projector to shine
light through the processed and printed film and magnify these "moving picture
shows" onto a screen for an entire audience. These reels, so exhibited, came to
be known as "motion pictures." Early motion pictures were static shots that
showed an event or action with no editing or other cinematic techniques.
Motion pictures were purely visual art up to the late 19th century, but these
innovative silent films had gained a hold on the public imagination. Around the
turn of the twentieth century, films began developing a narrative structure by
stringing scenes together to tell narratives. The scenes were later broken up
into multiple shots of varying sizes and angles. Other techniques such as camera
movement were realized as effective ways to portray a story on film. Rather than
leave the audience in silence, theater owners would hire a pianist or organist
or a full orchestra to play music fitting the mood of the film at any given
moment. By the early 1920s, most films came with a prepared list of sheet music
for this purpose, with complete film scores being composed for major
A shot from Georges Méliès Le Voyage dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon) (1902),
an early narrative film.
The rise of European cinema was interrupted by the breakout of World War I while
the film industry in United States flourished with the rise of Hollywood.
However in the 1920s, European filmmakers such as Sergei Eisenstein, F. W.
Murnau, and Fritz Lang, along with American innovator D. W. Griffith and the
contributions of Charles Chaplin, Buster Keaton and others, continued to advance
the medium. In the 1920s, new technology allowed filmmakers to attach to each
film a soundtrack of speech, music and sound effects synchronized with the
action on the screen. These sound films were initially distinguished by calling
them "talking pictures", or talkies.
The next major step in the development of cinema was the introduction of color.
While the addition of sound quickly eclipsed silent film and theater musicians,
color was adopted more gradually. The public was relatively indifferent to color
photography as opposed to black-and-white, but as color processes improved and
became as affordable as black-and-white film, more and more movies were filmed
in color after the end of World War II, as the industry in America came to view
color as essential to attracting audiences in its competition with television,
which remained a black-and-white medium until the mid-1960s. By the end of the
1960s, color had become the norm for film makers.
Since the decline of the studio system in the 1960s, the succeeding decades saw
changes in the production and style of film. New Hollywood, French New Wave and
the rise of film school educated independent filmmakers were all part of the
changes the medium experienced in the latter half of the 20th century. Digital
technology has been the driving force in change throughout the 1990s and into
the 21st century.
Film theory seeks to develop concise, systematic concepts that apply to the
study of film as art. It was started by Ricciotto Canudo's The Birth of the
Sixth Art. Formalist film theory, led by Rudolf Arnheim, Béla Balázs, and
Siegfried Kracauer, emphasized how film differed from reality, and thus could be
considered a valid fine art. André Bazin reacted against this theory by arguing
that film's artistic essence lay in its ability to mechanically reproduce
reality not in its differences from reality, and this gave rise to realist
theory. More recent analysis spurred by Lacan's psychoanalysis and Ferdinand de
Saussure's semiotics among other things has given rise to psychoanalytical film
theory, structuralist film theory, feminist film theory and others.
Film criticism is the analysis and evaluation of films. In general, these works
can be divided into two categories: academic criticism by film scholars and
journalistic film criticism that appears regularly in newspapers and other
Film critics working for newspapers, magazines, and broadcast media mainly
review new releases. Normally they only see any given film once and have only a
day or two to formulate opinions. Despite this, critics have an important impact
on films, especially those of certain genres. Mass marketed action, horror, and
comedy films tend not to be greatly affected by a critic's overall judgment of a
film. The plot summary and description of a film that makes up the majority of
any film review can still have an important impact on whether people decide to
see a film. For prestige films such as most dramas, the influence of reviews is
extremely important. Poor reviews will often doom a film to obscurity and
The impact of a reviewer on a given film's box office performance is a matter of
debate. Some claim that movie marketing is now so intense and well financed that
reviewers cannot make an impact against it. However, the cataclysmic failure of
some heavily-promoted movies which were harshly reviewed, as well as the
unexpected success of critically praised independent movies indicates that
extreme critical reactions can have considerable influence. Others note that
positive film reviews have been shown to spark interest in little-known films.
Conversely, there have been several films in which film companies have so little
confidence that they refuse to give reviewers an advanced viewing to avoid
widespread panning of the film. However, this usually backfires as reviewers are
wise to the tactic and warn the public that the film may not be worth seeing and
the films often do poorly as a result.
It is argued that journalist film critics should only be known as film
reviewers, and true film critics are those who take a more academic approach to
films. This line of work is more often known as film theory or film studies.
These film critics attempt to come to understand how film and filming techniques
work, and what effect they have on people. Rather than having their works
published in newspapers or appear on television, their articles are published in
scholarly journals, or sometimes in up-market magazines. They also tend to be
affiliated with colleges or universities.
The making and showing of motion pictures became a source of profit almost as
soon as the process was invented. Upon seeing how successful their new
invention, and its product, was in their native France, the Lumières quickly set
about touring the Continent to exhibit the first films privately to royalty and
publicly to the masses. In each country, they would normally add new, local
scenes to their catalogue and, quickly enough, found local entrepreneurs in the
various countries of Europe to buy their equipment and photograph, export,
import and screen additional product commercially. The Oberammergau Passion Play
of 1898 was the first commercial motion picture ever produced. Other pictures
soon followed, and motion pictures became a separate industry that overshadowed
the vaudeville world. Dedicated theaters and companies formed specifically to
produce and distribute films, while motion picture actors became major
celebrities and commanded huge fees for their performances. Already by 1917,
Charlie Chaplin had a contract that called for an annual salary of one million
In the United States today, much of the film industry is centered around
Hollywood. Other regional centers exist in many parts of the world, such as
Mumbai-centered Bollywood, the Indian film industry's Hindi cinema which
produces the largest number of films in the world. Whether the ten thousand-plus
feature length films a year produced by the Valley pornographic film industry
should qualify for this title is the source of some debate. Though the expense
involved in making movies has led cinema production to concentrate under the
auspices of movie studios, recent advances in affordable film making equipment
have allowed independent film productions to flourish.
Profit is a key force in the industry, due to the costly and risky nature of
filmmaking; many films have large cost overruns, a notorious example being Kevin
Costner's Waterworld. Yet many filmmakers strive to create works of lasting
social significance. The Academy Awards (also known as "the Oscars") are the
most prominent film awards in the United States, providing recognition each year
to films, ostensibly based on their artistic merits.
There is also a large industry for educational and instructional films made in
lieu of or in addition to lectures and texts.
The nature of the film determines the size and type of crew required during
filmmaking. Many Hollywood adventure films need computer generated imagery
(CGI), created by dozens of 3D modellers, animators, rotoscopers and
compositors. However, a low-budget, independent film may be made with a skeleton
crew, often paid very little. Also, an open source film may be produced through
open, collaborative processes. Filmmaking takes place all over the world using
different technologies, styles of acting and genre, and is produced in a variety
of economic contexts that range from state-sponsored documentary in China to
profit-oriented movie making within the American studio system.
A typical Hollywood-style filmmaking Production cycle is comprised of five main
This production cycle typically takes three years. The first year is taken up
with development. The second year comprises preproduction and production. The
third year, post-production and distribution.
A film crew is a group of people hired by a film company, employed during the
"production" or "photography" phase, for the purpose of producing a film or
motion picture. Crew are distinguished from cast, the actors who appear in front
of the camera or provide voices for characters in the film. The crew interacts
with but is also distinct from the production staff, consisting of producers,
managers, company representatives, their assistants, and those whose primary
responsibility falls in pre-production or post-production phases, such as
writers and editors. Communication between production and crew generally passes
through the director and his/her staff of assistants. Medium-to-large crews are
generally divided into departments with well defined hierarchies and standards
for interaction and cooperation between the departments. Other than acting, the
crew handles everything in the photography phase: props and costumes, shooting,
sound, electrics (i.e., lights), sets, and production special effects. Caterers
(known in the film industry as "craft services") are usually not considered part
of the crew.
Independent filmmaking often takes place outside of Hollywood, or other major
studio systems. An independent film (or indie film) is a film initially produced
without financing or distribution from a major movie studio. Creative, business,
and technological reasons have all contributed to the growth of the indie film
scene in the late 20th and early 21st century.
On the business side, the costs of big-budget studio films also leads to
conservative choices in cast and crew. There is a trend in Hollywood towards
co-financing (over two-thirds of the films put out by Warner Bros. in 2000 were
joint ventures, up from 10% in 1987). A hopeful director is almost never given
the opportunity to get a job on a big-budget studio film unless he or she has
significant industry experience in film or television. Also, the studios rarely
produce films with unknown actors, particularly in lead roles.
Before the advent of digital alternatives, the cost of professional film
equipment and stock was also a hurdle to being able to produce, direct, or star
in a traditional studio film. The cost of 35 mm film is outpacing inflation: in
2002 alone, film negative costs were up 23%, according to Variety. .
But the advent of consumer camcorders in 1985, and more importantly, the arrival
of high-resolution digital video in the early 1990s, have lowered the technology
barrier to movie production significantly. Both production and post-production
costs have been significantly lowered; today, the hardware and software for
post-production can be installed in a commodity-based personal computer.
Technologies such as DVDs, FireWire connections and non-linear editing system
pro-level software like Adobe Premiere Pro, Sony Vegas and Apple's Final Cut
Pro, and consumer level software such as Apple's Final Cut Express and iMovie
make movie-making relatively inexpensive.
Since the introduction of DV technology, the means of production have become
more democratized. Filmmakers can conceivably shoot and edit a movie, create and
edit the sound and music, and mix the final cut on a home computer. However,
while the means of production may be democratized, financing, distribution, and
marketing remain difficult to accomplish outside the traditional system. Most
independent filmmakers rely on film festivals to get their films noticed and
sold for distribution. The arrival of internet-based video outlets such as
YouTube and Veoh has further changed the film making landscape in ways that are
still to be determined.
Open content film
Open content film
An open content film is much like an independent film, but it is produced
through open collaborations; its source material is available under a license
which is permissive enough to allow other parties to create fan fiction or
derivative works, than a traditional copyright. Like independent filmmaking,
open source filmmaking takes place outside of Hollywood, or other major studio
A fan film is a film or video inspired by a film, television program, comic book
or a similar source, created by fans rather than by the source's copyright
holders or creators. Fan filmmakers have traditionally been amateurs, but some
of the more notable films have actually been produced by professional filmmakers
as film school class projects or as demonstration reels. Fan films vary
tremendously in length, from short faux-teaser trailers for non-existent motion
pictures to rarer full-length motion pictures.
Animation is the technique in which each frame of a film is produced
individually, whether generated as a computer graphic, or by photographing a
drawn image, or by repeatedly making small changes to a model unit (see
claymation and stop motion), and then photographing the result with a special
animation camera. When the frames are strung together and the resulting film is
viewed at a speed of 16 or more frames per second, there is an illusion of
continuous movement (due to the persistence of vision). Generating such a film
is very labour intensive and tedious, though the development of computer
animation has greatly sped up the process.
File formats like GIF, QuickTime, Shockwave and Flash allow animation to be
viewed on a computer or over the Internet.
Because animation is very time-consuming and often very expensive to produce,
the majority of animation for TV and movies comes from professional animation
studios. However, the field of independent animation has existed at least since
the 1950s, with animation being produced by independent studios (and sometimes
by a single person). Several independent animation producers have gone on to
enter the professional animation industry.
Limited animation is a way of increasing production and decreasing costs of
animation by using "short cuts" in the animation process. This method was
pioneered by UPA and popularized by Hanna-Barbera, and adapted by other studios
as cartoons moved from movie theaters to television.
Although most animation studios are now using digital technologies in their
productions, there is a specific style of animation that depends on film.
Cameraless animation, made famous by moviemakers like Norman McLaren, Len Lye
and Stan Brakhage, is painted and drawn directly onto pieces of film, and then
run through a projector.
When it is initially produced, a feature film is often shown to audiences in a
movie theater or cinema. The first theater designed exclusively for cinema
opened in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1905. Thousands of such theaters were
built or converted from existing facilities within a few years. In the United
States, these theaters came to be known as nickelodeons, because admission
typically cost a nickel (five cents).
Typically, one film is the featured presentation (or feature film). Before the
1970s, there were "double features"; typically, a high quality "A picture"
rented by an independent theater for a lump sum, and a "B picture" of lower
quality rented for a percentage of the gross receipts. Today, the bulk of the
material shown before the feature film consists of previews for upcoming movies
and paid advertisements (also known as trailers or "The Twenty").
Historically, all mass marketed feature films were made to be shown in movie
theaters. The development of television has allowed films to be broadcast to
larger audiences, usually after the film is no longer being shown in theaters.
Recording technology has also enabled consumers to rent or buy copies of films
on VHS or DVD (and the older formats of laserdisc, VCD and SelectaVision — see
also videodisc), and Internet downloads may be available and have started to
become revenue sources for the film companies. Some films are now made
specifically for these other venues, being released as made-for-TV movies or
direct-to-video movies. The production values on these films are often
considered to be of inferior quality compared to theatrical releases in similar
genres, and indeed, some films that are rejected by their own studios upon
completion are distributed through these markets.
The movie theater pays an average of about 50-55% of its ticket sales to the
movie studio, as film rental fees. The actual percentage starts with a number
higher than that, and decreases as the duration of a film's showing continues,
as an incentive to theaters to keep movies in the theater longer. However,
today's barrage of highly marketed movies ensures that most movies are shown in
first-run theaters for less than 8 weeks. There are a few movies every year that
defy this rule, often limited-release movies that start in only a few theaters
and actually grow their theater count through good word-of-mouth and reviews.
According to a 2000 study by ABN AMRO, about 26% of Hollywood movie studios'
worldwide income came from box office ticket sales; 46% came from VHS and DVD
sales to consumers; and 28% came from television (broadcast, cable, and
Film stock consists of transparent celluloid, acetate, or polyester base coated
with an emulsion containing light-sensitive chemicals. Cellulose nitrate was the
first type of film base used to record motion pictures, but due to its
flammability was eventually replaced by safer materials. Stock widths and the
film format for images on the reel have had a rich history, though most large
commercial films are still shot on (and distributed to theaters) as 35 mm
Originally moving picture film was shot and projected at various speeds using
hand-cranked cameras and projectors; though 1000 frames per minute (16? per
second) is generally cited as a standard silent speed, research indicates most
films were shot between 16 and 23 fps and projected from 18 fps on up (often
reels included instructions on how fast each scene should be shown) . When sound
film was introduced in the late 1920s, a constant speed was required for the
sound head. 24 frames per second was chosen because it was the slowest (and thus
cheapest) speed which allowed for sufficient sound quality. Improvements since
the late 19th century include the mechanization of cameras — allowing them to
record at a consistent speed, quiet camera design — allowing sound recorded
on-set to be usable without requiring large "blimps" to encase the camera, the
invention of more sophisticated filmstocks and lenses, allowing directors to
film in increasingly dim conditions, and the development of synchronized sound,
allowing sound to be recorded at exactly the same speed as its corresponding
action. The soundtrack can be recorded separately from shooting the film, but
for live-action pictures many parts of the soundtrack are usually recorded
As a medium, film is not limited to motion pictures, since the technology
developed as the basis for photography. It can be used to present a progressive
sequence of still images in the form of a slideshow. Film has also been
incorporated into multimedia presentations, and often has importance as primary
historical documentation. However, historic films have problems in terms of
preservation and storage, and the motion picture industry is exploring many
alternatives. Most movies on cellulose nitrate base have been copied onto modern
safety films. Some studios save color films through the use of separation
masters — three B&W negatives each exposed through red, green, or blue filters
(essentially a reverse of the Technicolor process). Digital methods have also
been used to restore films, although their continued obsolescence cycle makes
them (as of 2006) a poor choice for long-term preservation. Film preservation of
decaying film stock is a matter of concern to both film historians and
archivists, and to companies interested in preserving their existing products in
order to make them available to future generations (and thereby increase
revenue). Preservation is generally a higher-concern for nitrate and
single-strip color films, due to their high decay rates; black and white films
on safety bases and color films preserved on Technicolor imbibition prints tend
to keep up much better, assuming proper handling and storage.
Some films in recent decades have been recorded using analog video technology
similar to that used in television production. Modern digital video cameras and
digital projectors are gaining ground as well. These approaches are extremely
beneficial to moviemakers, especially because footage can be evaluated and
edited without waiting for the film stock to be processed. Yet the migration is
gradual, and as of 2005 most major motion pictures are still recorded on film.
While motion picture films have been around for more than a century, film is
still a relative newcomer in the pantheon of fine arts. In the 1950s, when
television became widely available, industry analysts predicted the demise of
local movie theaters. Despite competition from television's increasing
technological sophistication over the 1960s and 1970s, such as the development
of color television and large screens, motion picture cinemas continued. In the
1980s, when the widespread availability of inexpensive videocassette recorders
enabled people to select films for home viewing, industry analysts again wrongly
predicted the death of the local cinemas.
In the 1990s and 2000s, the development of digital DVD players, home theater
amplification systems with surround sound and subwoofers, and large LCD or
plasma screens enabled people to select and view films at home with greatly
improved audio and visual reproduction. These new technologies provided audio
and visual that in the past, only local cinemas had been able to provide: a
large, clear widescreen presentation of a film with a full-range, high-quality
multi-speaker sound system. Once again, industry analysts predicted the demise
of the local cinema. Local cinemas will be changing in the 2000s and moving
towards digital screens, a new approach which will allow for easier, quicker
distribution of films (via satellite or hard disks), a development which may
give local theaters a reprieve from their predicted demise.
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