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|Years in film|
Although the advent of film as an artistic medium is not clearly defined, the commercial, public screening of ten of Lumière brothers' short films in Paris on 28 December 1895 can be regarded as the breakthrough of projected cinematographic motion pictures. There had been earlier cinematographic results and screenings by others like the Skladanowsky brothers, who used their self-made Bioscop to display the first moving picture show to a paying audience on 1 November 1895 in Berlin, but they lacked either the quality, financial backing, stamina or the luck to find the momentum that propelled the cinématographe Lumière into a worldwide success.
Soon film production companies and studios were established all over the world. The first decade of motion picture saw film moving from a novelty to an established mass entertainment industry. The earliest films were in black and white, under a minute long, without recorded sound and consisted of a single shot from a steady camera.
Special effects became a feature in movies since the late 1890s, popularized by Georges Méliès' fantasy films. Many effects were impossible or impractical to perform in theater plays and thus added more magic to the experience of movies.
Technical improvements added length (reaching 60 minutes for a feature film in 1906), synchronized sound recording (mainstream since the end of the 1920s), color (mainstream since the 1930s) and 3D (mainstream in theaters in the early 1950s and since the 2000s). Sound ended the necessity of interruptions of title cards, revolutionized the narrative possibilities for filmmakers, and became an integral part of moviemaking.
Popular new media, including television (mainstream since the 1950s), home video (mainstream since the 1980s) and internet (mainstream since the 1990s) influenced the distribution and consumption of films. Film production usually responded with content to fit the new media, and with technical innovations (including widescreen (mainstream since the 1950s), 3D and 4D film) and more spectacular films to keep theatrical screenings attractive.
Systems that were cheaper and more easily handled (including 8mm film, video and smartphone cameras) allowed for an increasing number of people to create films of varying qualities, for any purpose (including home movies and video art). The technical quality was usually lower than that of professional movies, but improved with digital video and affordable high quality digital cameras.
Different film genres emerged and enjoyed variable degrees of success over time, with huge differences between for instance horror films (mainstream since the 1890s), newsreels (prevalent in U.S. cinemas between the 1910s and the late 1960s), musicals (mainstream since the late 1920s) and pornographic films (experiencing a Golden Age during the 1970s).