The path of moving images has only a little more than a century, a nothing compared to the history of still images, which have accompanied humanity since its beginnings. The enormous and growing diffusion of film and television works and the particular modalities of its development must be seen in relation to the economic and social history that first involved the West, then also the rest of the world.
The audiovisual language
In the last century the enormous diffusion of film and television works has taken place by adopting a language that is practically universal: the audiovisual language. Audiovisual language has its own tradition, its own evolution and several rules. But it is terribly young and you learn to listen to it and understand it long before you know how to speak it. It is actually the convergence of a number of specific languages: that is why some call it a macro-language.
Audiovisual language is essentially a narrative language. Using written language it is possible to write many types of non-narrative texts: lists, treatises, reports… With the audiovisual language, on the other hand, only narrative works can be created. Before understanding this decisive specificity and how it is articulated, it is necessary to clarify some concepts that concern, in general, the narrative.
The film and television narration
Narration is a form of communication that has always fulfilled various social and psychological functions. After all, audiovisual language is extraordinarily effective and complex. The union of these two elements, that is, narration + audiovisual language, can only give life to the most powerful form of communication that has ever existed: film and television narration.
Types of film and television works
In general, film and television works, also because of their high cost and complexity, are characterized by a high degree of standardization. The general public can instinctively recognize the belonging of a work to a certain typology, even if they cannot explain the reason for it. Cinematographic works can therefore be divided into different types according to various criteria: by genre, duration, format, etc..