Skip to main content

How do they make movies?

Banner

Watching a movie is a reel fun experience. But making one is definitely not as easy as yelling "Lights! Camera! Action!"

When we watch a movie, the images go past our eyes so fast that our brains link them together as a moving scene. But what we're watching is a series of photographs. That's why movies are also called motion pictures. A movie camera can take many still pictures very quickly. Most movie cameras take 24 pictures every second!

A typical movie is five or six reels of film. At a movie theatre, the reels are played using a projector. As film runs through it, the projector flashes the pictures on to a big screen. Early movies didn't have sound or colour, but movie making has changed a lot with advances in technology. Today, images can be recorded digitally instead of on film, and some movies are made entirely using computers.

The next time you watch a movie, take a closer look at the list of names at the end. The closing credits include all the people who worked on the movie. Directors and actors usually get the most attention, but there are many other important jobs. A writer has to tell the story and write the words for actors to say. You need people to design costumes, build props and sets, create special effects. And don't forget lighting, music, makeup and so much more! Work on a movie isn't over after the camera stops rolling. Editors have to put the pictures and sound together, fitting scenes together and moving them around.

You might not have a clapperboard or a huge production crew, but you can make a movie! Many famous directors started filming short videos when they were kids. Learn about how animation works by creating a flipbook. Try your hand at stop-motion using clay, Lego or whatever toys or supplies you have. Or you can make sock puppets, build a stage and record your own show.

What's your favourite movie? Think about the best parts. Why are those scenes memorable? Now think about a movie that you didn't enjoy. What would you change to make it better? Let these ideas inspire you and maybe one day your name will appear on silver screens around the world!

Recommended Reads