This comprehensive introduction to film text focuses on three topics: how movies express meanings, how viewers understand those meanings, and how cinema functions globally as both an art and a business. Using clear, accessible, and jargon-free writing, this is the only introductory film text to examine the elements of film style and the viewer's contribution to the cinema experience. How do viewers interpret the effects filmmakers create? How do filmmakers anticipate, and build on, the likely ways viewers will react to certain kinds of stories and audio-visual designs? The text examines both how filmmakers create images and sounds and the mechanisms and processes by which viewers make sense of images and stories on screen. This approach helps students understand not only the basic concepts but also how their own reactions and opinions impact the overall film experience.