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Why are movies sometimes called "flicks"?

 
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1606
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2005 10:54 am    Post subject: Why are movies sometimes called "flicks"? Reply with quote


Article Digest:
The slang term "flicks" for motion pictures originates back in the early days of movie making and projecting. Before the late 1920's, movies were made by exposing photographic film at a rate of about 16 frames per second. "About" is a very important word here, since movie cameras were operated by turning a hand crank, so the actual speed at which the film moved was anywhere between 8 and 22 frames per second (sometimes for stylistic reasons, sometimes because the camera operator got tired or too excited). Eventually, the playback of the film was standardized so that projectors ran the film at 16 frames per second.

To make the image look like it was a bunch of continuous pictures instead of a roll of pictures scrolling across the screen, a shutter was employed to blank the screen while the film was ratcheted so that the next frame would be displayed. Naturally, since the film was running at 16 frames per second, the shutter opened and closed at a rate of 16 cycles per second. The result was a constant flickering that was no doubt annoying. This led to the motion pictures being referred to as flicks.

It is commonly believed that the human eye cannot detect flicker at frequencies greater than 17 Hz, but this is not true. Flicker continued to plague the movies even after frame rates were increased to 24 frames per second (to accomodate the audio sound track). Even at 24 frames per second, flicker is apparent. The solution? Modern movie projectors close and open the shutter an extra time while projecting a single frame. The result is that each frame is actually displayed twice at the rate of 48 frames per second. At these frequencies, most people cannot discern the flicker caused by the cycling shutter.
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rainstrings



Joined: 08 Sep 2011
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

flick is slang for movie
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mikeof



Joined: 17 Sep 2011
Posts: 1
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 6:28 pm    Post subject: flicks Reply with quote

Keep this in mind. If movies were not called flicks, you would not have the very popular expression, "chick flicks".
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jqueeng02



Joined: 18 Oct 2011
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really love this useless stuff forum..I learn something from this.I hope more people will post other useless stuff topic here.
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Dude111



Joined: 23 Sep 2010
Posts: 94

PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rainstrings wrote:
flick is slang for movie

Ya its quite stupid i think.. CALL THINGS WHAT THEY ARE!!
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akashtab



Joined: 15 Feb 2012
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good point Michal, nice analysis of filck Smile
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tabestmaker



Joined: 19 Jan 2013
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no idea but my WAG is that it's a reference to early film and animation, using flickbook-type technology. It could also be a reference to the flickering of early film images. Or maybe it's because flicks rhymes with pics. Given the lameness of these suggestions, it doesn't take a genius to work out that I can be arsed to google.
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loftconversions



Joined: 02 May 2012
Posts: 3
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is same as movie picture.
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Hura1964



Joined: 22 Sep 2013
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 3:22 am    Post subject: Why are movies called flicks? Reply with quote

Because the old movies used to flicker while you were watching them.
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Dude111



Joined: 23 Sep 2010
Posts: 94

PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmn I wonder if thats indeed true??
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 972
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Word Origin & History

flick
mid-15c., probably imitative of a light blow with a whip. Earliest recorded use is in phrase not worth a flykke "useless." As slang for "film," it is first attested 1926, a back formation from flicker, from their flickering appearance. The verb is first recorded 1838; meaning "quick turn of the wrist" is from 1897, originally in cricket. Related: Flicked; flicking.


ref:
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/flick
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