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At The Movies

Summer is the season of baseball, fun at the pool and blockbuster movies! There's nothing better than sitting in an air-conditioned theater with family and friends. Whether it's to watch a favorite movie again or to see something for the first time, there's always something cool at the movies.

Academy Award

The very first Academy Award ceremony was held in 1929. Every year since then, the Oscars, as they're called, have been presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The awards ceremony, which honors the best achievements in film, is held at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood every year.


The first actor performed in 534 BC at the Greek Theatre Dionysis. His name was Thespis and now actors everywhere pay him homage and honor his memory by calling themselves "thespians."


The director, or filmmaker, of a movie is the person who controls all aspects of the film. They develop the artistic vision, talk to the actors and crew and visualize the shots. Contrary to popular belief, most directors don't sit behind the camera.

Director of Photography

The director of photography works very closely with the film's director to achieve the artistic vision of the film. Another name for the director of photography is the cinematographer, and they control the camera and take responsibility for the shots that make up the movie.

Movie Projector

The film projector takes a roll of film - still images that follow one after the other - and flashes them across a screen to play a movie. The human brain can combine still pictures into a moving image and that's how movies work.


Popcorn pops because the kernel contains moisture and oil. When these are heated, the pressure increases and the water turns to steam. The steam gets too big for the hull of the kernel and it pops!


A movie premiere invites the stars of the film to walk the red carpet and celebrate the movie's opening. Red carpets have been used for special events since 458 BC, when Agamemnon, a returning king, was welcomed home with one.


A film's producer is the person who coordinates everything about a movie like hiring, the terms of the project, the fundraising and more. The producers are important because they put together every aspect of a movie and stand to make a lot of money if their work is a success.


A screenplay is the written work that comes to life to create a film. Screenwriting is a difficult career but can sometimes work out very well. The world's highest-paid screenwriter is Seth MacFarlane who got paid $100 million in 2007 to continue writing the FOX show "The Family Guy."


Screenwriters are responsible for writing the script of a movie or TV show. When they're starting out, most screenwriters work "on spec," which means "for free." They write an entire movie, hoping to sell it. They belong to the WGA, the Writer's Guild of America.