Movies, commonly known as films or motion pictures, are series of images run through a projector and shown on a screen in a cinema. Here's how the filmmaking process works:

  1. A studio creates ideas for the upcoming film and/or buys the rights for other people's ideas.
  2. The screenplay for that upcoming film is written.
  3. Preparations for the film are made, such as hiring cast and crew members, selecting the locations for the film, and building the sets.
  4. Raw elements of the film are recorded.
  5. The studio will then edit the recorded parts of the film, and include special effects if necessary.
  6. Sound effects and the score (music you hear) are added.
  7. When the film is finished, it will be shown in cinemas, air on television, or get released directly to home video.

Usually during steps 5-6 of the filmmaking process, the public will get to see posters and theatrical trailers advertising the film as a coming attraction. Such advertisements appear about 2-4 months before the film is released. Sometimes, a film can also have a teaser version of those things, which often appear around one year before the film's release date.

The Silent Era (1894-1929)

Before the 1930s, many films released in cinemas back then were silent films, most of them also in black and white, while all others were in Sepia Tone. Films like these would just have music playing in the background, and the characters' voices cannot be heard. However, after the character is finished speaking, his/her dialogue may appear as a title card.

Some notable silent films include Ben-Hur (1925), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), and The Wizard of Oz (1925).

The Sound Era (1929-1950s)

During this era, all films were still presented in a 4:3 aspect ratio and with monaural sound, but now contained hearable dialogue from the characters, thus removing the dialogue's title cards. Within this era, Walt Disney's first feature film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, released on December 21, 1937, became a huge success, and Disney made more films since then.

CinemaScope Era (1953-1967)

Created by 20th Century Fox, the CinemaScope format, allowed films to have an image aspect ratio of up to 2.66:1. One example is Ben-Hur (1959), which was actually made by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios.

Simultaneously, a "Golden Age" for films outside of North America began, mostly in Asian countries.

First Hollywood Era (1968-1984)

In this era, films gradually began to contain more explicit content, such as violence, sex, nudity, language, etc., and at that time, a rating system was established by the Motion Picture Association of America. Some films also began moving the credits from the beginning to the end of themselves, thus renaming them as "end credits".

Second Hollywood era (1985-Present)

During this era, newer films were released with stereophonic or Dolby Surround sound, and on few occasions, older films were re-released in theaters with remastered video and audio. When the 2000s decade began, select films were upgraded into IMAX format, then later to 3D. Until 1989, films designed for family audiences were almost always rated G by the MPAA, when by then, PG-rated movies also gained popularity for families, and due to that rise, since 2009, only one or no G rated films were released in theaters.