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The film was made of celluloid before, material used for filming since the cinema was born. Now it is made of a very similar material, but this one isn't inflammable. It is impregnated by a material called emulsion which is sensitive to light and colors. Some films are more sensitive to light than others.

The films that need a little light are used to make pictures or night scenes and those which need more light are good for making scenes during the day. The films which need a little light are called very sensitive films and those which need abundant light receive the name "not very sensitive to light".

It consists of a cellulose acetate base approximately 0.006 in. thick and coated with a light-sensitive emulsion that is made in large rolls about 54 in. wide and about several thousand feet long which slits into 35-mm strips, packed, and perforated in lightproof bags and cans in rolls 100, 200, 400, and 1000 ft in length.

There are two different types of film: negative film, from which a print is made in order to see the original subject in its true likeness, and reversal film, in which a negative is first formed in the original film and from this a positive is formed in the same piece of film.


There are many formats of films which are determined by the total width and the useful surface of each picture.

Amateur formats:

  • 8mm (14 mm²)
  • super 8 (21mm²)
  • 9,5mm (50mm²)
  • 16mm (70mm²)

Professional formats:

  • 35mm (390mm²), the most used
  • 70mm (1070mm²), used in the years 60 and 70
  • 70 mm, IMAX used at this moment