Most people use “film” and “movie” interchangeably. “Film” is more often used when considering artistic, theoretical, or technical aspects, as studies in a university class. “Movies” more often refers to entertainment or commercial aspects, as where to go for fun on a date. For example, a book titled “How to Read a Film” would be about the aesthetics or theory of film, while “Lets Go to the Movies” would be about the history of entertaining movies. “Motion pictures” or “Moving pictures” are films and movies. A “DVD” is a digital format which may be used to reproduce an analogue film, while “videotape” (“video“) was for many decades a solely analog media onto which moving images could be recorded and electronically (rather than optically) reproduced. Strictly speaking, “Film” refers to the media onto which a visual image is shot, and to this end it may seem improper for work in other ‘moving image’ media to be referred to as a “film” and the action of shooting as “filming”, though these terms are still in general use. “Silent films” need not be silent, but are films and movies without an audible dialogue, though they may have a musical soundtrack. “Talkies” refers to early movies or films having audible dialogue or analogue sound, not just a musical accompaniment. “Cinema” either broadly encompasses both films and movies, or is roughly synonymous with “Film”, both capitalized when referring to a category of art. The “silver screen” refers to classic black and white films before color, not to contemporary films without color.
The expression ‘Sight and Sound‘, as in the film journal of the same name, means “film”. The following icons mean film – a “candle and bell”, as in the films Tarkovsky, of a segment of film stock, or a two faced Janus image, and an image of a movie camera in profile.
“Widescreen” and “Cinemascope” refers to a larger width to height in the frame, compared to an earlier historic aspect ratios. A “feature length film”, or “feature film“, is of a conventional full length, usually 60 minutes or more, and can commercially stand by itself without other films in a ticketed screening. A “short” is a film that is not as long as a feature length film, usually screened with other shorts, or preceding a feature length film. An “independent” is a film made outside of the conventional film industry.
A “screening” or “projection” is the projection of a film or video on a screen at a public or private theater, usually but not always of a film, but of a video or DVD when of sufficient projection quality. A “double feature” is a screening of two independent, stand-alone, feature films. A “viewing” is a watching of a film. A “showing” is a screening or viewing on an electronic monitor. “Sales” refers to tickets sold at a theater, or more currently, rights sold for individual showings. A “release” is the distribution and often simultaneous screening of a film. A “preview” is a screening in advance of the main release.
“Hollywood” may be used either as a pejorative adjective, shorthand for asserting an overly commercial rather than artistic intent or outcome, as in “too Hollywood”, or as a descriptive adjective to refer to a film originating with people who ordinarily work near Los Angeles.
Expressions for Genres of film are sometimes used interchangeably for “film” in a specific context, such as a “porn” for a film with explicit sexual content, or “cheese” for films that are light, entertaining and not highbrow.
Any film may also have a “sequel“, which portrays events following those in the film. Bride of Frankenstein is an early example. When there are a number of films with the same characters, we have a “series”, such as the James Bond series. A film which portrays events that occur earlier than those in another film, but is released after that film, is sometimes called a “Prequel“, an example being Butch and Sundance: The Early Days.
Credits is a list of the people involved in making the film. Before the 1970s, credits were usually at the beginning of a film. Since then, the credits roll at the end of most films.