A cinema, known as the big screen, the big pictures, or the big-screen, is usually a building which contains multiple cinemas for viewing movies for amusement, intended for the entire community or town. Most, if not all, cinemas are privately owned commercial enterprises catering to the public who come by buying a ticket to watch a movie. In some instances, government funds support some of the movie theaters in a community. The layout of the cinema varies from large multiplexes to small multiplexes with a single screen for each section of the audience. The main types of cinemas include multiplex cinemas. There are also Cineplex cinemas and Theatre cinemas.
Cinematography is the art form in which the directors and filmmakers use visual devices such as lights, mirrors, cameras, and microphones to tell a story or display images on screen. The style of a cinema communicates a message to its audience. The visual communication in cinema conveys its message in three ways: through the movement of the audience, through the audiovisual components of the cinema, and through the portrayal of the plot.
The advent of cable television transformed the way that cinema used to be viewed. Nowadays, a movie can be viewed by people sitting in their own homes through an internet connection and through specially designed cable television receivers/transmitters. This has paved the way for the creation of internet cafes, mini-malls, or online theaters, or streaming websites where people can watch feature films and trailers directly on their computers.
Streaming is another innovative development in the field of cinema. It refers to a process wherein a film is watched either by the viewers sitting in front of a television set, by using specialized webcams, or through specially designed computer software programs. The concept of streaming originated from the French Vimeo Paysage method, wherein a film is viewed through the viewers’ computers. This is why, for instance, some movies are available through streaming on websites like Hulu or Onepage.
The advent of streaming in cinema has also resulted in the emergence of various new terms and concepts in relation to cinema. Motion-tracking is one such term, which refers to a special technique in which the movement of the moving pictures is tracked on the computer. This tracking can be done at different speeds, allowing the director to create the impression of time passing by in the film. In other words, motion tracking makes the cinema experience more real.
A third term that is often used in relation to cinema is ‘analogue cinema’, which suggests a generic theatre experience where the images are captured using analogue devices and transmitted over wires. This does not, however, imply that cinema is devoid of digital elements; on the contrary, films are being made that include substantial numbers of digital images, and also use complex computer generated visual effects. Digital video also refers to any form of movable image that is transmitted via a computer network. This includes electronic comic books, video cassettes, and home videos recorded on DVD. Thus, in essence, digital imaging in cinema implies the use of both analogue and digital technologies in order to produce moving images to be shown on the screen.