Movies & Film

The Movie Channel shows you the magic of both the silver screen and behind the scenes. Learn how movies are made and why some scripts turn into cinematic masterpieces.

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Inside 'Ladder 49'

Ladder 49 boasts some of the most realistic depictions of firefighting in movie history. See what stars Joaquin Phoenix and John Travolta and director Jay Russell told us about this ambitious production.

How Paparazzi Work

Paparazzi go to great lengths to close the distance between famous people and their fans, often producing images that expose just how "real" larger-than-life celebrities really are. But how far are they willing to go to get the shot?

Creature Effects Makeup: An Interview with Matt Rose and Chad Waters

Monsters, monkeys and freaks oh my! Step behind the scenes and onto the back lots of Hollywood with two of the movie industry's most prolific and talented creature effects artists, Matt Rose and Chad Waters. In this exclusive interview, HowStuffWorks

How Digital Cinema Works

Big changes are brewing in the movie industry: Emerging digital technology is about to revolutionize studios as well as your local movie theater. Find out why Hollywood's going digital!

How Steadicams Work

Some of the arguably greatest movie scenes of all time were filmed using Steadicams. These ingenious camera stabilizer systems allow filmmakers to produce moving, hand-held shots with no shakes at all. Can amateurs also take advantage of these super smooth stabilizers?

How did they get a huge IMAX camera to the top of Mt. Everest?

The article How IMAX Works says the camera weighs over 200 pounds -- so how did they create the IMAX films in the space shuttle or the one on Mt. Everest? There is no way people lugged a 200-pound camera to the top of Mt. Everest!

How IMAX Works

If you've ever seen an IMAX movie, you know it's not a typical film. It sometimes takes years to produce, resulting in an incredible unmatched viewing experience. Find out all about this amazing movie-making technology!

How Animatronics Works

All those old monster movies may not scare many of us anymore, but they certainly captivated the audiences in their time. Animatronics have brought countless monsters to life, and the technology is only getting better. Go inside the belly of the beast.

Post-blockbuster Summer Movie Guide

Now that all those gigantic blockbuster movies are out of the way, let's relax and enjoy some late-summer films. Check out our movie guide.

How Industrial Light and Magic Works

The film "The Perfect Storm" is one of the most ambitious projects Industrial Light & Magic has undertaken. The computer-generated effects in the film are absolutely amazing! Go behind the scenes and learn how ILM works!

Where is the best place to sit when I go to the movies?

Some pairs argue over where to sit when they go to the movies. Some people just don't care. In most theaters, however, there is indeed a best place to sit, and we’ll let you in on the secret.

How Video Formatting Works

When you watch a movie on your TV you're not always seeing the same movie that played in the theater. A lot of formatting goes into fitting a movie onto a TV screen. Learn about the changes a movie goes through so you can watch it at home.

How Movie Distribution Works

You have probably seen advertisements in your local paper for movies playing at a theater near you. Sometimes the ad will say "Held over" or "Special engagement." What exactly does that mean? And why is popcorn so expensive?

How Movie Sound Works

Spielberg has said that sound is the major technological achievement of contemporary film. Indeed, much has changed since the first 'talkies,' when a musical score and a few bits of dialogue first made cinematic history.

How THX Works

When you see the THX logo splashed across a movie screen, and hear the trademark Deep Note, you know that you are in for an audio feast. But what does that logo mean? Find out what THX is and why it improves your movie experience.

What do movie ratings mean, and who applies them?

On every movie package and shown on every screen are the ratings: G, PG, PG-13, R, and so on. What do these ratings mean for the viewer and how are they decided? Learn about the MPAA and the movie ratings system.

How Movie Screens Work

When you sit down in a movie theater the screen is the center of attention. But have you ever walked up close and looked at it? Discover the intricacies of a movie screen and learn how to find the best seat in the house.

How Movie Projectors Work

When you see a movie in the theater, do you notice the projector? Without it, you'd be staring at a blank screen. Enter the projection booth and learn what it takes to show a movie.

How Centropolis FX Creates Visual Effects

A movie like "The Patriot" contains an amazing range of visual effects -- Centropolis FX created everything from new towns to virtual soldiers for this movie! Go behind the scenes and learn exactly how CFX makes the imaginary look completely real!

How does a movie clapperboard work?

When filming a movie, the sound and the images are recorded and stored separately with different devices. After filming the challenge is to synchronize those two recordings. Learn how a clapperboard is used in movie production.

How is sound recorded on motion picture film?

The phrase "optical soundtrack" sounds like a contradiction in terms, but it's the secret to how sound is recorded on motion picture film.

How does a Star Wars lightsaber work?

A "Star Wars" lightsaber is a special effect that looks so real, it's easy to believe it really exists. How do the filmmakers create a lightsaber?

How do they color old black-and-white movies?

Love it or hate it, most of the classic black-and-white movies have been "colorized," mainly so that they can be shown on television in color. How does the colorization process work?

How do they create the special effects in movies like The Matrix where the camera rotates around a frozen actor?

This effect is amazing to watch! "The Matrix" spawned both imitation and satirization of this special film technique, which was only used four times in the original film.

How Blue Screens Work

When an actor dangles over an incredibly deep river gorge, blue screen photography is the magic that makes it look so real to the gasping audience. Find out how the blue screen technique works and why it's so convincing on the big screen.