Lights, Camera, Action!


Grace Daniel

Watching movies is one of the most popular pastimes in the world, ranging from fun tales for children to more thrilling stories for an older audience (Photo courtesy of Grace Daniel).

The film industry has been one of the most popular forms of entertainment since the invention of the moving picture in 1893. In 2017 alone, the industry made over $43.4 billion dollars in revenue. The U.S. and Canada sold over 1.3 billion movie tickets in a year. This industry’s ever-growing popularity has captivated worldwide audiences for over a hundred years. But, how does Hollywood do it?

“Movies have the power to make you feel different emotions; they can make you laugh and cry. They take your mind off [of the] stresses in life. Movie industries strategically combine popular actors with interesting stories and end up making billions of dollars,” said freshman Jieanna Southern.

Long before the idea of capturing stories on camera was conceived, ancient civilizations and cultures were creating live versions of their stories. The ancient Greeks are considered to have the earliest forms of drama. What began as a God-honoring ceremony quickly evolved into one of the most popular and unique forms of entertainment.

“The movie industry is so successful because people love to spend time with their friends and family while watching movies. Also, companies continue movie series and similar types of movies to keep people interested,” said sophomore Aiden Williams.

Movies are a way for people to enter new worlds. Viewers can experience a romantic love story unfold, explore a fantasy world, survive through an action-filled adventure, and travel through time and space, all without moving a muscle. Much like books, movies transport the audience into amazing times and places and allow them to experience some of the most unique stories.

“Like books, movies transport you to another world. Similar to reading, it’s an art form where visual people can see into a new world. As long as they portray realistic ideas accurately, they can even be educational,” said senior Maggie McNeeley.

Writers and directors are producing new stories and new ways to tell them each year. In terms of quality, each movie released has become more and more impressive. New technology allows different approaches to the creation of movies and their effects. For instance, computer-generated imaging programs allow dangerous or unrealistic scenes to look completely believable.

Grace Daniel
Movie theatres continue to be one of the most popular places for all types of people to spend their time (Photo courtesy of Grace Daniel).

“Popular actors are one of the best ways for movies to attract [large] audiences. Also, unique ideas, like Transformers and Marvel movies are extremely popular. Because they are so different than any other form of entertainment they have become an enormous platform that creators can use to expose people to new things,” said senior Santino Longabardi.

The stories told in movies can be as far fetched or as close to home as possible. While some audience members prefer fantasy creatures and futuristic wars, others choose movies with average people with relatable conflicts. Despite the polar opposite ends of the spectrum, both types of films continue to earn billions of dollars and entertain millions of people.

“I think the plots of movies are the most interesting. I love romance movies that are more realistic. Movies set standards for society and I think it’s best when those standards are realistic,” said sophomore Ana Sallurday.

Whether you spend your free time watching movies for the suspense, thrill, love, laughter, or simple entertainment, the film industry has continued to be the center of our attention for decades. New angles and ideas on top of our ever-present fascination with storytelling continue to fuel the creation of all types of movies. As long as generations continue to develop a deeper appreciation for creative stories and ways to tell them, the movie industry will continue to thrive.

“If movie industries use their platform in the correct ways, they open up doors for people to learn about things they wouldn’t normally think about. For instance, Love, Simon was a massive step for the LGBTQ community. Movies about other countries, history, and other cultures open people’s eyes to important issues. Movies are powerful and can affect people in ways they might have never expected,” said McNeeley.