Have you ever wondered why all films seem to have the same visual rhythm? This uniformity is not a coincidence, but a result of the industry standard of shooting at 24 frames per second (FPS). This specific frame rate has been the cornerstone of cinema for almost a century. In this blog post, we’ll unravel the reasons behind this choice, shedding light on how 24 FPS contributes to the familiar look and feel of the movies we love.

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Why Are Movies 24 FPS in Cinema?

First, let’s define frame rate

To truly grasp the significance of the 24 FPS standard in cinema, it's pivotal to first understand the concept of frame rate. Frame rate of film is the cornerstone of how we perceive motion in film and video, dictating the smoothness and rhythm of the visuals we see on screen.


What is frame rate?

Frame rate, often measured in frames per second (FPS), is the frequency at which consecutive images, or 'frames,' appear in a moving display. Essentially, it's the number of still pictures that are cycled through in a single second to create the illusion of motion. The higher the frame rate, the smoother the perceived movement. In the realm of film and video, frame rate is a crucial element that influences the viewer's experience and perception of fluidity and realism.

When it comes to the standard frame rate in cinema, 24 FPS is the chosen norm. This means that when you're watching a movie projected on film, you're essentially seeing 24 individual still images each second, played in quick succession to create the illusion of motion. The choice of 24 FPS has a significant impact on how we perceive films, contributing to the unique visual rhythm and cinematic aesthetic we've come to know and love.

How Many Frames Per Second in a Movie

The Standard of 24 FPS

In the realm of cinema, 24 frames per second (FPS) has long been established as the industry standard film frame rate but why exactly is this the case?

To understand this, we need to delve into a bit of film history. The choice of 24 FPS wasn't arbitrary; it was born out of necessity. In the early days of sound movies, around the late 1920s, the industry needed to settle on a frame rate of film that would support the then-new technology of sound synchronization. 

After various testing and experimentation, 24 FPS emerged as the optimum rate - it was the minimum speed that supported good quality sound playback, while also being economical in terms of film stock usage.

Why Are Movies 24 FPS

Since then, 24 FPS has remained the de facto frame rate for most movies. It's worth noting that this standard film frame rate is deeply ingrained in our cinematic culture and aesthetic. We've grown accustomed to the specific look and feel that 24 FPS imparts to films - a certain rhythm and motion blur that feels 'cinematic' to our eyes.

Hence, despite technological advancements, we've largely stuck with 24 FPS, underscoring its enduring influence in the world of cinema.

How many FPS is a Movie Usually?

The Impact of 24 FPS on Cinema

The use of 24 frames per second (FPS) has a profound impact on the cinematic aesthetic and the viewer's perception of films.

Firstly, 24 frames per second contributes significantly to what we often describe as the 'cinematic look.' This frame rate results in a certain amount of motion blur and a distinctive rhythm in movement that is perceived by viewers as natural or real. 

It's a visual language that we've come to associate with high-quality storytelling and production values, largely because it has been used in cinema for nearly a century. Moreover, the viewer's perception of films shot at 24 frames per second is heavily influenced by this established aesthetic.

We've unconsciously conditioned ourselves to connect the 24 FPS frame rate with cinematic experiences. Any deviation from this standard, such as a higher frame rate, can often feel jarring or unnatural to viewers, even if they can't explicitly pinpoint why.

In essence, 24 frames per second has not only shaped the technical aspects of filmmaking but also our cultural expectations and emotional responses to cinema. It's a testament to how deeply ingrained specific technologies can become in our collective viewing experience.


What is Frame Rate?

Having explored the influence of the 24 FPS standard on cinema, let's now delve deeper into the fundamental concept that governs it all in our next article on frame rate.

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  • Kyle DeGuzman graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science in Television, Film, & New Media. He currently resides in Denver, Colorado spending his time writing, filmmaking, and traveling.

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