Film is a visual medium and therefore the camerawork is one of the most important aspects of it. This can determine whether the film is a success. Good cinematography will be able to tell the story, even without the need for dialogue. Different shot types can be used to manipulate the audiences emotions and give them information about the characters.
Movies for most of the 20th century were shot on physical film stock. 35 mm eventually became the standard size. However, due to technological advances the way in which movies are made has completely changed. So too has the aspect ratio of the screen.
Digital film making is fast becoming the dominant way to create motion pictures. A digital film camera can be smaller, lighter and able to record for much longer. They also give the added convenience of not having to send physical film reels to cinemas. Instead the movie is on software.
Technology also helped to popularise widescreen. This new aspect ration completely changed the way screen space was used. It meant that action set pieces became more prevalent and wide shots were seen more in films.
Use of the focus pull is an important part of cinematography. It determines where the audiences eyes are drawn to. It can bring attention to an important character or prop. Focus pulling can also add depth to the image.
People can often tell the era a film was shot in just from the cinematography. It can show the techniques, film stock and style that was specific to that moment in time. This is often used by film historians to determine the date of a movie’s production.