General questions about the film industry and its workings.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

36
votes
1answer
3k views

Why are trailers called “trailers”?

Why are trailers called "trailers"? Considering the verb "to trail" means "to follow behind", why would something that is shown before the main movie be called a trailer?
35
votes
3answers
4k views

What exactly is 70mm print and why does anyone care?

There has been a bit of controversy lately over the release of Tarantino's Hateful Eight movie. As I understand it, the movie was scheduled to play in a particular theater in Los Angeles that plays ...
32
votes
4answers
55k views

What format do movie theaters now use?

I know that in earlier times, feature films were distributed on large format tape, and these were what were distributed to theaters for showing. A given feature film would have several reels. The ...
29
votes
1answer
952 views

Is there any evidence of “Big Twist” movies having poor post-cinema sales?

I have watched many movies such as Sixth Sense, where there is a major twist that if known prior to watching the movie can potentially spoil the enjoyment of viewing. I tend not to watch this type of ...
22
votes
1answer
4k views

Who will say “start camera action” when the director casts himself in the main role?

If the director is in front of the camera, who will say those words to start a movie shot? Who will say "start camera action" when the director casts himself in the main role?
20
votes
4answers
1k views

Why is child acting legal?

In most industries, in most of the countries that produce most films, child labor is illegal. Not just highly regulated, or has special laws governing payment of the children, but illegal. Thus, in ...
19
votes
3answers
3k views

Why does “Hollywood Accounting” still work?

Hollywood accounting is the practice of big studios of making successful movies into what looks like a financial failures on purpose and through questionable accounting tricks. The goal is to show no ...
18
votes
4answers
4k views

Why do film studios buy domains of fictitious companies?

A few moments ago I saw an episode of 'The Blacklist' and recognized a sign with the address of an fictitious estate agent. My curiosity was to check the domain in the web browser. It seems that the ...
17
votes
3answers
1k views

What factors go into determining what trailers are played before movies?

As we all know, the most exciting part of seeing a movie is the trailers of upcoming movies before the actual film (note, this is coming from an American point of view, I am uncertain if this occurs ...
17
votes
5answers
12k views

What's with the trend of releasing movies outside the US first?

A recent trend that I've noticed (or I'm just crazy and need to delete this question) is to release a major film outside of the U.S. first, even if it's a Hollywood film. Usually a week or so later ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Why are movies so different from the original books?

Recently reading both the books and watching the movies for "A Murder on the Orient Express" and "Ender's Game", I am curious as to why some of the details change when going from the book to producing ...
14
votes
1answer
402 views

Why fake (relatively) easy scenes?

I saw a movie about a year ago where there was a relatively simple shot of an SUV taking an off-ramp on a freeway. It only lasted a few seconds (5 - 10). When they went to commercial, they had one of ...
13
votes
2answers
354 views

Was film actually “better” than digital media?

I happen, time and again, to read and hear people – among which people working in cinema – regretting the fact that film (in the sense of actual reels of plastic strip) is nowadays very rarely used ...
12
votes
1answer
868 views

Lead actor/actress VS Supporting actor/actress

On what basis, Chris Hemsworth is considered as a Lead actor in the movie Rush? In the movie, both characters have equal importance and both narrated the story in equal measure and occupied same ...
12
votes
1answer
507 views

Is Lt. Hicox correct in his comparison of Joseph Goebbels with David O. Selznick?

In Inglourious Basterds when Lt. Archie Hicox is briefed by Gen. Fenech and Winston Churchill, his qualities as movie expert are put to a little test when he is asked by Churchill about Joseph ...
12
votes
2answers
469 views

Are more movie stars acting in TV shows nowadays (and if so, why)?

I recently saw the TV show Fargo, and the presence of Martin Freeman and Billy Bob Thornton (both legitimately successful movie actors) made me wonder: Is doing the switch from movies to TV more ...
11
votes
1answer
930 views

When and why did the decline of Musicals in American Cinema happen?

It seems to me that musicals are much less common in the American Film Industry these days in comparison to the 30's, 40's, and 50's. Of course, I'm not saying that they never make musicals (e.g. ...
11
votes
1answer
3k views

How much of a film's revenue comes from its cinema release?

Very often when a film's success is being judged, its opening few weeks takings are considered. However many films and franchises also generate revenue from DVD/BluRay sales and merchandise. What ...
11
votes
1answer
252 views

How do movie makers and movie theaters make money based off of a movie?

I'm curious to know how revenue stream works for: The creator of the movie (movie production studios) The presenter of the movie (movie theaters) Is there a 50-50 split, or a lease agreement? ...
10
votes
1answer
5k views

Do the film makers make the little kids cry?

I was watching Breaking Bad : End Times S4EP12 and there's this scene where Walter's family moves to Hank's house for security and the little kid Holly (probably few months old) cries while the family ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Why doesn't Hollywood make movies related to epic stories like Mahabharata or Ramayana?

It is my deep desire to see Mahabharata or Ramayana made as movies with effects and direction like Lord of the Rings. I have read both these great epics; they are very profound. Many movies, ...
9
votes
1answer
826 views

Why does the director's name always show up in the end of the credits?

I have noticed that during the opening credits of a movie/TV show, the name of the director(s) always shows up last, at the end of the credits. I'm not really sure if that happens in the ending ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

How are the best director award winners chosen?

I do not understand how the best director awards are determined each year. It seems impossible to assess the method of a movie director unless you are part of the crew. So, how do the ...
8
votes
3answers
443 views

Why are box office numbers made public?

Why are all 'box office sales' made public? Is it a customary thing? A marketing ploy? Do they have a similar thing for TV (beyond ratings)? I only see profits for video games listed for publicly ...
8
votes
2answers
10k views

What are the reasons for different Worldwide release dates of a movie?

What are the major factors that lead to different release dates worldwide for a movie? Eg: Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained releases on 25th Dec, 2012 in the US, on 18th Jan, 2013 in UK and as ...
7
votes
3answers
835 views

Movies without Film score/background music

Few years ago I saw L'enfant (2005) and I was very surprised that there's no film score throughout the movie. I think (not 100% sure) Keane (2004) also doesn't have background score. Is there any ...
7
votes
1answer
248 views

Is there a name for Robin Williams' style of physical comedy?

I'm sure all film fans were deeply saddened by the recent death of Robin Williams. In obvious tribute, News outlets and internet sites are broadcasting clips of his finest works, and videos of his ...
7
votes
1answer
668 views

Why is the German version of Prometheus released 2 months after the world premiere?

Usually Big Blockbusters are timed to be released in major countries at roughly the same time. This even includes movies that are dubbed for localised version. The London premiere was on 31 May 2012 ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the relationship between theaters and film distribution?

I've always been a little confused at "big screen" film distribution so I thought I would ask here. How do movie theaters relate to one another in terms of what films they can show and their ...
6
votes
3answers
561 views

Is there any censorship board present for films and TV shows for Hollywood?

There is Censor Board for films produced in India. It assigns certifications to films, television shows, television ads, and publications for exhibition, sale or hire in India. Films can be publicly ...
6
votes
2answers
838 views

How do studios decide which movie (classic) to release on Blu-ray?

Consider the examples of The Odessa File (1974) and The Day of the Jackal (1973). They are both classics based on novels by Frederick Forsyth and released at around the same time. The Day of the ...
6
votes
4answers
749 views

What role do screenwriters play, after handing in the script?

Assuming they're a pure screenwriter, and not also a producer or director, do screenwriters get to do anything after handing in the script? Can they be present on the set? Do they have any say in ...
6
votes
1answer
164 views

How can I tell whether or not a film has been broadcast on TV?

Is there any way to determine whether or not a film has been broadcast on a TV station (particularly in the UK)?
5
votes
1answer
852 views

Why are electricians listed in the closing credits?

The closing credits in a full length movie can seemingly go on for ages, or at least 10 minutes or more after the actual film has ended. I realize that modern movies requires a lot of professional ...
5
votes
1answer
448 views

Why are actors addressed by real names off screen but on set?

My understanding is that Method actors should always want to address their co-actors by their character names, even when not on stage, and to be addressed by their character's name anytime they're on ...
5
votes
0answers
94 views

When are dialect coaches brought in?

When are dialect coaches hired for actors, and who typically makes the decision? I've seen serious movies where stars attempt to emulate an accent with grating incompetence. And now I've seen the ...
4
votes
4answers
584 views

Why can't movies be released in homes? [closed]

I wonder if there is such a system where by people can enjoy movies sitting at their homes.This is can prove beneficial for both movie makers and their team as a business point of view as well as ...
4
votes
1answer
226 views

How do they decide what/who gets nominated at the Oscars?

I watched Zero Dark Thirty last night and I have to say, I didn't expect the movie to be nominated as one of best pictures of 2012. Some of the flicks I was expecting were, The Hobbit Django ...
4
votes
1answer
293 views

What is the most loss suffered by a Hollywood movie?

What Hollywood movie has lost the most money ever? How much did it lose? Is the answer different if you adjust for the value of money over time?
4
votes
1answer
879 views

Why do cable and TV have watermarks on their programming?

When I first got Cable TV I noted that most programs had an intrusive logo on the top or bottom corners that distract from the movie watching. In time I canceled my subscription as I didn't see why I ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there any common/regular business model for film production companies?

I noticed that there're more than 500 movies released every year in US. But very few of them can be really successful. How do those worse ones make money? What is their business model?
4
votes
1answer
262 views

Do different major Hollywood studios have distinctive styles or signature elements in their filmmaking?

Do film experts, critics, industry insiders, etc recognise and discuss signature styles or elements between major Hollywood studios? Along the lines of... "This is a very typical Universal film, in ...
4
votes
0answers
58 views

Is there a specific flag that should be raised when filming a boat scene with a pirate flag flying?

Since flying a pirate flag in open waters would likely attract a "shoot first and ask questions later" response, I was wondering if there is a maritime flag that should be flown when you are using a ...
3
votes
2answers
992 views

Why are people playing police officers not arrested?

In a film or TV series there are often people playing police officers, quite often on set where members of the public can see them. Wouldn't this fall foul of the 'impersonating a police officer' ...
3
votes
1answer
794 views

What is the budget of a typical modern B-movie?

B movies are generally considered to be low budget films without the greatest production values. But where is the line in the sand that divides a B-movie from its richer brethren? (Also, who draws ...
3
votes
3answers
176 views

Is it possible to get an A-lister into a big-budget movie without anybody knowing?

Could a studio realistically disguise until the premiere the presence of an A-list actor in a small but non-trivial part in a movie they would not be expected to be involved in? Presumably if they're ...
3
votes
1answer
332 views

Why do people tap the back of cameras during filming?

At around 59 min and 30s, the video above shows on-set footage of a film crew. (Link is setup to start playing from there.) For a few seconds, it shows people ...
3
votes
1answer
75 views

Do actors performing stunts have to take substance test?

We all know that some actors are known to abuse alcohol or drugs in their free time. Considering some of them choose to perform certain stunts without a sub, I would imagine they could impose a great ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Way to find out about Movie/TV Budgets?

Is there a way to find out what the official budget of a Movie or TV show is? I'm aware that Box Office Mojo is a fairly reliable resource to find the estimated gross of a movie, but I haven't come ...
3
votes
1answer
111 views

Industry sources for film news [closed]

I've searched around for good places to get movie and television news and have found some good places, like Screen Rant and /Film. But a lot of times information will be mentioned, such as, "it's ...