What Is Feature Films and Where Do Short Films Fit Into This Movie Craze?
Feature films are the backbone of the movie industry, raking in billions of dollars each year. But where do short films fit into this movie craze?
Historically, features were 60 minutes long, although today the average feature film is anywhere between 75 and 210 minutes. This means that there’s no universal standard.
A feature film is a full-length motion picture that is often shown in commercial movie theaters. Typically, they have a run time between 80 minutes and 180 minutes long. While some groups, such as The Screen Actors Guild and The Academy, have different minimum lengths for features, most distributors use a 60-minute threshold to determine whether or not a film is a feature.
Historically, feature films have evolved over time from shorts. While shorts started out as individual scenes screened before the main film, they eventually evolved into longer films as the demand for stories told through motion pictures grew.
In the early 1900s, feature films began to appear in cinemas all around the world. They were usually released in color and were accompanied by sound, which helped to increase their popularity.
Today, feature films are the main focus of the multibillion dollar film industry. They are the most profitable type of movie, and are made by professional filmmakers to appeal to the widest possible audience.
The history of feature films is dense and complex, and their evolution is influenced by many factors. Some of these include the invention of the motion picture camera, the development of cinematic techniques, the introduction of color and sound, the growth of the entertainment industry, and the creation of studios that could support feature productions.
Although these factors are important to consider, the definition of a feature film is also determined by its story. Generally, feature films are best suited for singular stories that involve a protagonist with a single adventure or crisis.
This is why the Hero’s Journey model is so useful to writers, as it allows them to understand which stories lend themselves to feature films and which do not. It is also important to note that the length of a feature doesn’t necessarily make or break it, but it does play an important role in how it is told.
Unlike television shows, which are much shorter and focus on a limited number of stories, features often have a greater emphasis on storytelling. In addition, they usually have a higher budget than their short counterparts and require more production time. They are also more likely to contain special effects, which can add to the overall impact of the story.
Feature films are longer than shorts and are usually screened in theaters, on television or through video on demand (VOD). They can be categorized into different genres, such as comedy, drama, action and horror.
The history of feature films is a complex and sometimes confusing one. They have evolved from a simple form of motion pictures, where people reproduced human motion to a form of storytelling that incorporates everything from visual effects and music to camera angles and acting.
This evolution from motion picture to storytelling feature has been driven by both technological advancements and a growing demand for them. For example, the advent of sound in 1927 and the subsequent introduction of color to cinemas in the 1970s has greatly increased the number of films produced.
When first introduced to the public, movies were extremely primitive, but they did have some cool and impressive effects. For instance, in the earliest feature films, it was possible to see street cars move and even oceans appear on a screen, making them incredibly exciting for the audience.
However, these early movies did not tell a story, so they were not really feature films. The most successful film to make use of the new technology was the earliest motion picture, a shortened version of a novel by Thomas Edison entitled The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. This was released in 1903 by Biograph Studios, which was located in New York City and was a hugely successful movie.
Another notable movie made with the help of modern technology was the 1903 film The Great Train Robbery, directed by Edwin Porter and starring a young John Barrymore. This was the first film to be able to capture a train on a film, and it is also considered to be the first movie to use sound in a real-life setting.
Feature films are longer, more extensive and typically more character-focused than short films. This gives them a stronger emotional connection with the audience and allows more characters to be introduced, with each character having a full arc within the story.
A standard feature film is around 80 minutes in length, whereas a short is usually under 40 minutes. Whether or not your project is a feature film depends on how long it takes to write, shoot and edit the script.
There are a few different formats that are used by feature filmmakers, including 35mm and Super 16mm. These are all file-based video formats that can be played back on computers and other devices using the appropriate software.
The 35mm format, also known as Full Frame, uses the space between perforations on a standard 35mm gauge film stock and has an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. This is the most common format for both amateur and professional filmmakers.
In 1953, the Cinemascope format was developed by 20th Century Fox which squeezed a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.66:1 onto a 35mm gauge frame. This new format was very successful and became the industry standard for a decade.
Originally, this format was designed to be used by amateur filmmakers who wanted to capture high quality, low-cost footage on an inexpensive camera system. Mostly reversal film stocks were used with this format and it quickly found widespread popularity.
Many filmmakers still use this format today for both short and feature projects, with some preferring it over other widescreen options like Super 16. In addition to being a good format for transferring to wider screens, this format also offers greater resolution than the standard 1.33:1 ratio of 35mm.
This file-based video format is mainly used by consumer camcorders, though professional video editing software tends to support it as well. This format supports a variety of different audio and video codecs, including H.264, and it also includes support for subtitles.
AVCHD is an HD recording format that was jointly developed by Sony and Panasonic and is a popular choice amongst consumer camcorders. It supports both standard definition and high-definition variants of the same file and features a robust container that is compatible with both video and audio files. It is not as widely supported as the MP4 video format and does not support 4K, but it is still a popular option for filmmakers who want to record in high-quality.
The distribution of a feature film involves the process of making a movie available for viewing by audiences. This is usually done through theaters, television networks, home video outlets, and streaming services. Depending on the project, it may be accompanied by marketing and promotion.
When a filmmaker decides to distribute a movie, they will enter into a distribution agreement with a film distributor. These deals can take a variety of forms, including negative pickup, domestic co-production, first-look deal, output deals, and production financing distribution agreements.
A distributor will typically perform a “due diligence” analysis of the film project and the production team, in order to assess its viability as a potential box office success. They will also consider the film’s VOD potential and its overall marketing strategy.
Occasionally, a foreign distributor will pre-purchase the territorial distribution rights for a new international film before it is made, so that the production company can sell the film to other territories as soon as it is completed. This arrangement ensures that the production company makes a profit on the film.
Independent production companies sometimes secure pre-sales distribution for their films in order to raise capital prior to making the film. The pre-sale agreement typically guarantees the production company a certain amount of money from the distributor in exchange for a portion of the profits from the sale of the foreign distribution rights.
In addition, a pre-sale agreement can be used as collateral to obtain financing from a bank or other lender. This can be especially helpful if the distributor is known for its reliability and creditworthiness.
The downside to this type of distribution is that the film must be completed on time and in budget, which can be difficult for independent filmmakers. Some pre-sales contracts require the production company to complete a loan application and obtain a completion bond from a reputable bond company.
Before signing any type of distribution contract, filmmakers should always get a lawyer who regularly works in the entertainment industry. A good film lawyer will be familiar with the ancillary rights that may apply to your film and can help you avoid costly legal fees.