good" film (or movie)
light-hearted, upbeat comedy or romance that ends with an audience-pleasing
conclusion; sometimes used derogatively; compare to tearjerker.
||A phrase often used in special trade advertisements (in
publications such as Variety) that are paid for by studios to promote
"Oscar-worthy" films (and their actors) and createOscar buzz for
Academy Award nominations, especially for borderline films and/or lesser
known indie efforts and lesser-known performers that would probably be
overlooked without the additional publicity, aka FYC.
||Refers to the tendency in show business to prioritize
individuals (stars, writers, would-be celebrities, or up-and comers) as 'hot'
or 'watchable' - highlighting those who have suddenly 'burst onto the scene'
and are either notable and bankable; those who had some transient success or
'brush with greatness, but then were demoted from the list are called
forgotten, has-beens, shooting stars, or flashes in the pan (after
"fifteen minutes of fame" - an Andy Warhol expression); aka
||The musical component of a movie's soundtrack, usually composed
specifically for the film by a film composer; the background music in a film,
usually specially composed for the film; may be orchestral, synthesized, or
performed by a small group of musicians; also refers to the act of writing
music for a film.
||Slang meaning either Hollywood or Los Angeles, both
||A screen direction rule that camera operators must follow - an
imaginary line on one side of the axis of action is made (e.g., between two
principal actors in a scene), and the camera must not cross over that line -
otherwise, there is a distressing visual discontinuity and disorientation;
similar to the axis of action (an imaginary line that separates the camera
from the action before it) that should not be crossed.
||This is the rule which states that if two people are filmed in a
sequence there is an invisible line between them and the camera should only
be positioned anywhere within the 180 degrees on one side of the line.
Crossing the line results in a certain particular jump, where is appears that
the two people suddenly switched places. A simple way to keep from crossing
the line If two people are talking to each other in a scene is that one
person should always be looking left and the other looking right.
||Refers to the standard frame rate or film speed - the number of
frames or images that are projected or displayed per second; in the silent
era before a standard was set, many films were projected at 16 or 18 frames
per second, but that rate proved to be too slow when attempting to record
optical film sound tracks; aka 24fps or 24p.
||3,200K is the color temperature of Tungsten.
||A film that has a three-dimensional, stereoscopic form or
appearance, giving the life-like illusion of depth; often achieved by viewers
donning special red/blue (or green) or polarized lens glasses; when 3-D
images are made interactive so that users feel involved with the scene, the
experience is called virtual reality; 3-D experienced a heyday in the early
1950s; aka 3D, three-D, Stereoscopic 3D, Natural Vision 3D, or
||is the color temperature of Daylight.
|A Wrap or
"It's a Wrap"
||What to say when you are done shooting, either for the day, at
that particular set, or on the entire film. Usually if it's not the final
shoot you would say you are just going to "wrap for the day."
||Automated Dialogue Recording. This is dubbing, done as a
substitution or in addition to Location Sound. The term A.D.R. obscures the
fact that there was dubbing when it appears in the credits of a film.
||The sensitivity to light of a certain type of film. A.S.A. is
the number used to measure film speed. A.S.A. stands for American Standards
Association, the organization that standardized the scale of measurement of
film speed. It is the same as I.E. and I.S.O.
||Rolls of negatives of an edited film, cut to correspond to
picture that are separated into two rolls, A and B. This allows for invisible
splices, instant changes of the timing lights and fades and dissolves without
the need for opticals. The A roll has the odd numbered shots, with black
leader in place of the missing shots. The B roll has the even numbered shots;
with black leader in place of the shots on the A roll. The negative is
printed in three passes through the contact printer, one for each roll and
another for the soundtrack.
||Usually refers to that part of a film's budget that covers the
costs associated with major creative talent: the stars, the director, the
producer(s) and the writer(s), although films with expensive special effects
(and few stars) have more 'above the line' budget costs for technical
aspects; the term's opposite is below the line.
||A type of film that rejects traditional narrative in favor of
using poetic form (color, motion, sound, irrational images, etc.) to convey
its meaning or feeling; aka non-linear; see alsoavant garde.
||A stage, philosophical and literary term originally, adopted by
film-makers, in which ordinary settings become bizarre, illogical,
irrational, unrealistic, meaningless, and incoherent.
||Sometimes called the Full Academy Aperture. This is the full
frame (35 mm) exposed by the camera, with an aspect ratio of 1.33. When the
film is projected there is a mask in the projector's gate to change the
aspect ratio to 1.85 or 1.66, cropping the top and bottom of the image. Older
films should be projected without a mask as they were not shot to be masked.
||The name given to the prestigious film awards presented each
year by AMPAS (the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, or simply
'The Academy'), a professional honorary organization within the industry,
since 1927. The annual awards show, in slang, is sometimes referred to as a
kudo cast, see also Oscars.
||Sometimes also known as S.M.P.T.E. leader, this is a'nbsp;
standard countdown leader, counting down 8 to 3 and then with one frame of 2,
at which point there is a single frame beep on the sound track. It is used at
the beginning of a film for the lab to line up sound (using the beep) and
later for the projectionist to know when to turn on the lamp and hopefully
not miss the opening of the film.
||A main division within the plot of a film; a film is often
divided by 'plot points' (places of dramatic change) rather than acts; long
films are divided mid-way with an intermission.
||(1) any movement or series of events (usually rehearsed) that
take place before the camera and propel the story forward toward its
conclusion; (2) the word called out (by a megaphone) at the start of the
current take during filming to alert actors to begin performing; (3) also
refers to the main component of action films - that often contain significant
amounts of violence .
||Refers either to a male performer, or to any male or female who
plays a character role in an on-screen film; alternate gender-neutral terms:
player, artist, or performer.
||Refers to any female who portrays a role in a film.
||A line of dialogue improvised by an actor during a performance;
can be either unscripted or deliberate;improvisation consists of ad-libbed
dialogue (and action) that is invented or created by the performer.
||The presentation of one art form through another medium; a film
based upon, derived from (or adapted from) a stage play (or from another
medium such as a short story, book, article, history, novel, video game,
comic strip/book, etc.) which basically preserves both the setting and
dialogue of the original; can be in the form of a script (screenplay) or a
||The process of re-recording lines after shooting to replace
poor-quality sound or slightly alter line delivery. Often used to eliminate
naughty swear words to gain that audience-friendly PG-13. Occasionally used
to re-dub one actor' voice with another
||A camera shot filmed in an exterior location from far overhead
(from a bird's eye view), as from a helicopter (most common), blimp, balloon,
plane, or kite; a variation on thecrane shot; if the aerial shot is at the
opening of a film, aka an establishing shot.
||An aerial shot is typically made from a helicopter or created
with miniatures (today, digitally), showing a location from high overhead.
||The specific �look� of the film. The film�s style. Consider the
�sci-fi� look created by a blue/green colour palette & low key lighting
in Joe Cornish�s Attack The Block, for example.
||The pseudonym used by directors who refuse to put their name on
a film and want to disassociate themselves, usually when they believe their
control or vision has been co-opted by the studio (i.e., the film could have
been recut, mutilated and altered against their wishes); aka Alan Smithee
Jr., Allan Smithee, or Allen Smithee.
||Usually refers to top-tier actors/actresses who are paid upwards
of $20 million per feature film; can also refer to producers, directors and
writers who can be guaranteed to have a film made and released.
||Mostly a literary term, but taken in film terms to mean a
suggestive resemblance or correspondence between a visible event or character
in a film with other more significant or abstract levels of meaning outside
of the film; an extended metaphor.
||A direct or indirect reference - through an image or through
dialogue - to the Bible, a classic, a person, a place, an external and/or
real-life event, another film, or a well-known cultural idea.
||The shooting (or re-shooting) of a film's ending for its
theatrical release, usually enforced by the studio for any number of reasons
(because of test audience preview results, controversial or unpopular subject
matter, to provide a 'happy' ending, etc.). See also director's cut.
||The feeling or mood of a particular scene or setting.
||The natural light (usually soft) or surrounding light around a
subject in a scene; also see background lighting.
||A situation, story-line, scene, or character, etc. in which
there are apparent contradictions; an event (and its outcome) is deliberately
left unclear, and there may exist more than one meaning or interpretation;
can be either intentional or unintentional, to deliberately provoke
imaginative thinking or confusion.
||An element or artifact in a film that belongs to another time or
place; often anachronistic elements are called film flubs.
||In an analytical paper, you want to make sure to not just
summarize the film, but to make an argument about what the author of the film
was trying to communicate. A strong analytical paper focuses on both the
visual and narrative components of a film. Some things to focus on within
this style of paper are
||Related to different optical imaging effects; refers to a method
of intentionally distorting and creating a wide screen image with standard
film, using a conversion process or a special lens on the camera and
projector to produce different magnifications in the vertical and horizontal
dimensions of the picture; an anamorphic image usually appears
"squished" horizontally, while retaining its full vertical
resolution; see alsoaspect ratio and the trade name CinemaScope. Many studios
produced anamorphic lenses, using other trade names such as Panavision,
Technovision, and Technirama. On the right are examples of anamorphic imaging
effects from the film Blade (1998) (with an aspect ratio of 2:35.1)..
||This is a method of creating a wide screen image with standard
film, using a special lens on the camera and projector that compresses the
width of the image that is exposed on the film and then when projected,
expands it .
||Contractual agreement in which a percentage of the profits are
received and derived from the sale of action figures, posters, CDs, books,
||Refers to the perspective from which a camera depicts its
subject; see camera angle, and other specific shots (high, low, oblique,
(and animator, animated films)
||A form or process of filmmaking in which inanimate, static
objects or individual drawings (hand-drawn or CGI) are filmed "frame by
frame" or one frame at a time (opposed to being shot "live"),
each one differing slightly from the previous frame, to create the illusion
of motion in a sequence, as opposed to filming naturally-occurring action or
live objects at a regular frame rate. Often used as a synonym for cartoons(or
toons for short), although animation includes other media such as claymation,
computer animation; see also CGI,claymation, stop-motion, time lapse..
||A distinctive style of animated film that has its roots in
Japanese comic books (known as manga), yet covers a wide range of genres,
such as romance, action/adventure, drama, gothic, historical, horror,
mystery, erotica (hentai), children's stories, although most notably sci-fi
and fantasy themes; originally called 'Japanimation' but this term is not
used anymore; anime is found in a wide variety of storylines and settings,
but usually recognizable and often characterized by heavily-stylized
backgrounds, colorful images and graphics, highly exaggerated facial
expressions with limited facial movement, simulation of motion through
varying the background behind a static character or other foreground.
||The first corrected print made from the A'amp;B Rolls that is
printed with the optical track. Often called a married print , it is the
first time that picture and sound is blended together on the same'nbsp; print
stock. It could also be called the First Answer Print, and when there are
further corrections in timing the next print is known as the Second Answer
Print, followed by the Third Answer Print, etc.
||The main character, person, group, society, nature, force,
spirit world, bad guy, or villain of a film or script who is in adversarial
conflict with the film's hero, lead character orprotagonist; also sometimes
termed the heavy..
||A multi-part or multi-segmented film with a collection or series
of various tales or short stories sometimes linked together by some theme or
by a 'wrap-around' tale; often the stories are directed by different
directors or scripted by various screenwriters, and are in the horror film
genre; also known as an episode film or omnibus film; this term may also
refer to a full-length, compilation-documentary film of excerpted segments or
clips from other films (i.e., That's Entertainment (1974))..
||The tendency in animated films to give creatures or objects
human qualities, abilities, and characteristics..
||Anything in a film, usually following the film's high point,
zenith, apex, crescendo, or climax, in which there is an unsatisfying and
disappointing let-down of emotion, or what is expected doesn't occur..
||The principal protagonist of a film who lacks the attributes or
characteristics of a typical hero archetype, but with whom the audience
identifies. A central figure in a work that repels us by his or her actions
or morality, yet who is not a villain. The Anti-hero accomplishes a useful
purpose or even does heroic deeds. The character is often confused or
conflicted with ambiguous morals, or character defects and eccentricities,
and lacks courage, honesty, or grace. The anti hero can be tough yet sympathetic,
or display vulnerable and weak traits. Specifically, the anti-hero often
functions outside the mainstream and challenges it..Max of The Road Warrior
and many Clint Eastwood characters epitomize the 1970-80s anit-hero.
||Refers to the measurement of the opening in a camera lens that
regulates the amount of light passing through and contacting the film..
||A wooden box that is often helpful on the set to raise up
equipment. The cameraperson can stand on it if the tripod is up high.
Sometimes people will use them as seats. There are also half apples and
quarter apples which are not as thick.
||A shot in which the subject(s) is photographed by an encircling
or moving camera..
||A character, place, or thing, that is repeatedly presented in
films with a particular style or characterization; an archetype usually
applies to a specific genre or type classification..
||Attached to a C-Stand, this metal rod can be extended.
||French word meaning 'halt' or 'stop'; refers to the in-camera
trick technique of stopping the camera, then removing or inserting an object,
then restarting the camera to have an object magically disappear or appear;
one of the earliest techniques of silent film.
||Refers to the individual responsible for the design, look, and
feel of a film's set, including the number and type of props, furniture,
windows, floors, ceilings dressings, and all other set materials; a member of
the film's art department (responsible for set construction, interior design,
and prop placement)..
||A motion picture theater that shows foreign or non mainstream
independent films, often considered high-brow or 'art' films..
||Films, often low budget or 'art' films, that are acknowledged as
having artistic merit or aesthetic pretensions, and are shown in an arthouse
theatre; films shown usually include foreign language films, independent
films, non-mainstream (sometimes anti-Hollywood) films, shorts,
documentaries, explicitly-erotic films, and other under-appreciated cinema of
low mass appeal; began to appear in the 1950s and provided a distinct
contrast to commercial films..
||Occurs when a character in a film breaks the 'fourth wall' and
directly addresses the audience with a comment..
||In general, a term for how the image appears on the screen based
on how it was shot; refers to the ratio of width (horizontal or top) to
height (vertical or side) of a film frame, image or screen; the most common
or standard aspect ratio in early films to the 1950s was called Academy
Aperture (or ratio), at a ratio of 1.33:1 (the same as 4:3 on a TV screen);
normal 35mm films are shot at a ratio of 1.85:1; newwidescreen formats and
aspect ratios were introduced in the 1950s, from 1.65:1 and higher; CinemaScope
(a trade name for a widescreen movie format used in the US from 1953 to 1967)
and other anamorphic systems (such as Panavision) have a 2.35:1 AR, while
70mm formats have an AR of 2.2:1;Cinerama had a 2.77:1 aspect ratio;
letterboxed videos for widescreen TV's are frequently in 16:9 (or 1.77:1)
||The first stage of editing, in which all the shots are arranged
in script order..
||Refers to audio-track sounds that are mismatched or out of
conjunction or unison with the images in the visual frame (or screen);
sometimes accidental, but sometimes intentional; aka non-synchronized.
||Refers to any concrete or nebulous quality or feeling that
contributes a dimensional tone to a film's action..
||Refers to spectators, viewers, participants - those who serve as
a measure of a film's success; although usually audiences are viewed in
universal terms, they can also be segmented or categorized (e.g., 'art-film'
audiences, 'chick film' audiences, etc.)..
||Refers to the sound portion of a film. .
||Refers to an outgoing sound (either dialogue or sound effects)
in one scene that continues over into a new image or shot - in.
||The process whereby an actor-performer seeks a role by
presenting to a director or casting director a prepared reading or by
'reading cold' from the film script, or performing a choreographed dance;
after the initial audition, a performer may be called back for additional
readings or run-throughs..
||From the French �author�. A director who has control over the
style of the film. Consider Richard Ayoade�s authorial stamp on Submarine and
his homage to the French New Wave through nostalgic, hand held footage and a
faded colour scheme.
(or auteur theory)
||Literally the French word for "author"; in film
criticism, used in the terms auteurism or auteur theory, denoting a critical
theory (originally known as la politique des auteurs or "the policy of
authors") popular in France in the late 1940s and early 1950s that was
introduced by Francois Truffaut and the editors (including legendary film
critic and theorist Andre Bazin) of the celebrated French film journal
Cahiers du Cin�ma (literally 'cinema notebooks'), arguably the most influential
film magazine in film history; their ideas were subsequently enlarged upon in
the 1960s by American critic Andrew Sarris, among others; the theory ascribed
overall responsibility for the creation of a film and its personal vision,
identifiable style, thematic aspects and techniques to its film maker or
director, rather than to the collaborative efforts of all involved (actors,
producer, production designer, special effects supervisor, etc); the theory
posited that directors should be considered the 'true' authors of film
(rather than the screenwriters) because they exercise a great deal of control
over all facets of film making and impart a distinctive, personal style to
their films; simply stated, an auteur can refer to a director with a
recognizable or signature style..
||The naturally-existing light in an off-set location; a film's
realism is enhanced by using available or natural light rather than having
||Refers to an experimental, abstract, or highly independent,
non-independent film that is often the forerunner of a new artistic genre or
art form; avant-garde films self-consciously emphasize technique over
substance; also loosely applies to a group of French and German filmmakers in
the early 20th century and to some modern American experimental filmmakers
(e.g., Andy Warhol), and their film movement that challenged conventional
film-making; see also cinema verite,surrealism, and abstract form.
||The emulsion position of the film. There are two sides to a
piece of film, and there are also two possibilities: camera original is
B-Wind, while a print struck from it will be A-Wind: because film is printed
emulsion against emulsion. In order to tell if a piece of film is A-Wind or
B-Wind, one holds it up with the emulsion facing you. The image will read
correctly if it is A-Wind, but if it is B-Wind it will appear as a mirror
image. You can't mix A-Wind and B-Wind material, unless you want things to appear
as a mirror image or soft in focus as a result of being printed
||An area, on studio property, in an open-air, outdoor space away
from the studio stages, where real-life situations with backgrounds are
filmed; contrasted to on-location shoots that are more expensive; various
studios in the Los Angeles area offer back lot tours..
||A photographic technique whereby live action is filmed in front
of a transparent screen onto which background action is projected. Back
projection was often used to provide the special effect of motion in vehicles
during dialogue scenes, but has become outmoded and replaced by bluescreen
(or greenscreen) processing and traveling mattes; also known as rear
projection or process photography (or shot); contrast to matte shot..
||An age-old technique where pre-recorded footage appears behind
the actors being filmed, often used for driving scenes (think Airplane! or
any classic 1950s movie). Nowadays, it' largely been replaced with
greenscreen, but is occasionally used for nostalgia' sake in films like Kill
||Refers to the events that directly happened prior to the
beginning of the story, or lead to the story; composed of information that
helps fill out the skeletal story of a screenplay or a character's
background, often to help actors (or the audience) understand motivation..
||Refers to a large photographic backing or painting for the
background of a scene (e.g., a view seen outside a window, a landscape scene,
mountains, etc.), usually painted on flats(composed of plywood or cloth); a
large curved backdrop (often representing the sky) is known as a cyclorama;
backdrops were more commonly used before the current trend toward on-location
shooting and the use of bluescreens..
||Refers to part of the score that accompanies a scene or action
in a film, usually to establish a specific mood or enhance the emotion..
||This phenomenon occurs when the lighting for the shot is
directed at the camera from behind the subject(s), causing the figure(s) in
the foreground to appear in semi-darkness or as silhouettes, or highlighted;
with backlighting, the subject is separated from the background..
||When it is as if an aura is around the characters, often done in
||Within a film's visual frame, refers to the composition,
aesthetic quality, or working together of the figures, light, sound, and
||The blocking of a film's release (in a theatre showing or on
video) by either the government or an official movie classification board,
for political, religious, sexual, or social reasons; see also censorship..
||The black metal folding doors an all four sides of a light that
can be bent back and forth on their hinges to control where the light is
||Handy blinders on the sides of lights that can be used to keep
light from going everywhere. They can also be used to clip on a lighting gel.
They get very hot when a light is on, so it is best to wear work gloves when
||A quilted cozy that fits around a camera to reduce camera noise.
Generally it is only effective on a camera that is pretty quiet to begin
with. The term comes from barney blanket, a kind of horse blanket.
||Film has two basic elements: The base is the clear, perforated
strip, and the emulsion is the thin, light-sensitive layer that is glued onto
a true story
||Films that consist of a story line that has at least some basis
in real historical events, and may actually contain only a few factual
elements. These films, loosely based on various biographies, stories, or
events, may/may not significantly alter the characters or situations for
greater dramatic effect;inspired by a true story indicates the film is even
looser with the factual basis of the events..
||A type of lens mount commonly used with heavier lenses, such as
zoom lenses. In contrast to screw-mount lenses, bayonet lenses are attached
to the camera with a locking mechanism. Bayonet lenses can typically be
changed much faster than screw-mount lenses.
||Refers to an actor's term for how long to wait before doing an
action; a beat is usually about one second..
||The off-camera events or circumstances during filmmaking..
||Opposite of above the line..
||The term for any technical assistant, apprentice or aide
(regardless of sex) for the gaffer or the (key) grip on a set, responsible
for the routing and coiling of power cables necessary to run the lights for a
shot; a gender-neutral term that came from whaling..
||Similar to a One Light, but by implication, the timer has gone
through the film more thoroughly in selecting a timing light that will agree
with the majority of the footage.
||1/2 inch videotape that was originally called Betamax..
(or B-Movie, B-Picture)
||An off-beat, low-budget, second-tier film, usually from an
independent producer; they were predominant from the 1920s to the late 1940s;
they were shot quickly with little-known, second rate actors, short run
times, and low production values; often the second film (or the 'lower half')
of a double feature, and paired with an A-feature; the vintage B-movie began
to decrease in the 50s, or morphed into inferior TV series; sometimes B-films
were exclusively shown in agrindhouse, especially in the 50s and 1960s; as
code restrictions waned in the late 60s, B-films often becameexploitation
films, which added sensational and catchy titles, campy acting, cheesy
special effects, and gratuitous violence and sexuality (nudity); contrast to
A pictures (first-class, big-budget films with high-level production values
and star-power); not to be confused with cult films, although some B-films
attained cult status.
||The placement or display of names of actors, directors, and
producers for a movie in publicity materials, opening (or closing) film
credits, and on theatre marquees. A person's status is indicated by the size,
relative position, and placement of their name. Generally, higher positions
closer to the top with larger and more prominent letters designate higher
importance and greater box-office draw, and precede people of lesser
importance; the most prominent actor that appears first is said to have top
billing, followed by second billing, and so forth..
||see Trim Bin.
||A biographical film of the life of a famous personality or
historical figure, particularly popularized by Warner Bros. in the 1930s; a
sub-genre of drama and epic films..
||Most disorienting because it shows something from being filmed
directly overhead. The subject matter becomes unrecognizable and abstract.
The viewer becomes like an all-powerful god.
(or bit player)
||A small acting role (usually only one scene, such as a waiter)
with very few lines or acting; contrast to a cameo, extra, orwalk-on role..
||In shorthand, refers to the "business", or "show
||Simply means without color; before the invention of color film
stock, all films were black and white; monochrome (literally meaning
"one color") usually refers to a film shot in black and white,
although it can refer to a film shot in shades of one color; grainy B&W
is often used to convey authenticity; abbreviated asBW, B/W, and B&W;
contrast to color..
||a subgenre of humor that uses cruelty or terrible situations to
make the reader or viewer laugh, sometimes uncomfortably. Horror comedies
such as Zombieland exemplify black comedy in film.
||Black leader is black, opaque film, often specifially called
black emulsion leader. It is what the negative cutter uses when preparing
A'amp;B rolls. It is very important that it be emulsion leader rather than
plastic leader when used for A'amp;B rolls, since plastic leader cannot be
cement spliced. It also must be very opaque, not any black piece of film will
||A type of comedy film, first popular during the late 1950s and
early 1960s in which normally serious subjects, such as war, death,
dismemberment, misery, suffering, or murder, are treated with macabre humor
and satire through iconography, dialogue, and the characters; settings may
include cemeteries, war rooms, funerals.
||Black-and-white film contains an emulsion that, when processed,
changes colors into various shades of gray.
||Once a source of shame for the movie industry, this originally
referred to actors and directors shunned by Hollywood during the heights of
McCarthyism in the 1950s for alleged ties to Communism. Now, however, it
refers to the annual “blacklist”, an insider survey that compiles the
year' (allegedly) best unproduced screenplays. It' resulted in The King'
Speech, Argo, and… Cop Out.
||Refers to late 40s and early 50s McCarthyism and the HUAC's
(House UnAmerican Activities Committee) formal and informal discrimination
and 'blacklisting' (effectively banning from employment) of various actors,
artists and film-makers based upon their personal, political, social, or
religious beliefs (i.e., "Communist sympathizers"); the blacklist
was a roster of illegal artists who were not to be hired during the years
||A combination of the terms "black" and
"exploitation"; refers mainly to sensational, low-budget films in
the 1970's featuring mostly African-American casts (and directors), that
broke the mold of black characterization in feature films; usually emphasized
fads of the time in hairstyles, music and costuming, and also brutality,
sleazy sex, street-life, racist and militant attitudes, etc..
||Used to refer to Britain.
||A fiberglass housing used to encase a noisy camera to make it
suitable for sync sound filming.
Camera or Self-Blimped Camera
||The term is used not to mean a camera in a blimp, but a camera
that is designed with internal soundproofing without the need for an external
blimp. For instance, with an Arri BL the "BL" stands for
||Originally referred to a large bomb that would destroy an entire
city block during World War II; now in common usage, an impactful movie that
is a huge financial success - usually with box-office of more than $200
million (the new benchmark by the early 2000s, after the original mark was
$100 million) upon release in North America; ticket lines for blockbusters
literally go around the 'block'; also known as box-office hit; the term may
also refer to a costly film that must be exceptionally popular in order to
recoup its expenses and make a profit; the opposite of a blockbuster is a
bomb, flop, or turkey. See All Time Box-Office Bombs/Flops..
||The process of running through a scene prior to filming to
decide where the actors will move and where lighting and cameras should be
a shot (or scene)
||The process of figuring out where the camera goes, how the
lights will be arranged, and what the actors' positions and movements -
moment by moment - are for each shot or take; often, the specific staging of
a film's movements are worked out by the director, often with stand-ins and
the lighting crew before actual shooting.
||An actual error or mistake (misplaced action, or mis-spoken
dialogue by a performer), usually embarrassing or humorous, made by a
performer during filming; also known as a goof, flawor flub; see also
||The actual term for the opposite of a blow up is a Reduction
Print, but this term has been coined by Colorlab in Rockville, Maryland, for
a reduction print made from super 16mm to regular 16mm, as an alternative to
the much more expensive process of blowing up super 16mm to 35mm.
||An optical enlargement of a film from one gauge to another, such
as 16mm up to 35mm. The opposite of a blow up is a Reduction Print.
||An optical process - the enlargement of a photographic image or
film frame; often used to create 70mm release prints from original 35mm
or blue-screen shot
||A special-effects process whereby actors work in front of an
evenly-lit, monochromatic (usually blue or green) background or screen. The
background is then replaced (or matted) in post-production by chroma-keying
or optical printer, allowing other footage or computer-generated images to
form the image; since 1992, most films use a green-screen.
||Another name for a commercial or advertisement (usually for TV).
double (or double)
||A performer who takes the place of an actor in scenes that
require a close-up of body parts without the face visible, often for nude
scenes requiring exposed close-ups (considered distasteful by some actors),
or scenes requiring physical fitness; not to be confused with stunt double or
||One of the more widely used 16mm non-sync cameras, it is made in
Switzerland by the Paillard Company. There are many varieties, non-reflex,
reflex, springwound and electric motor driven. But when someone says
"Bolex," typically they mean a reflex, springwound model, such as
the Rex-4.'nbsp;'nbsp;'nbsp; 'nbsp;
||Refers to the burgeoning film industry of India, the world's
biggest film industry, centered in Bombay (now Mumbai); the etymology of the
word: from Bo(mbay) + (Ho)llywood; unlike Hollywood, however, Bollywood is a
||A term denoting scenes at the beginning and end of a film that
complement each other and help tie a film together; aka framing device.
||A traveling or moveable counter-balanced pole (also
calledfishpole or fishing rod), arm, or telescoped extension device upon
which a microphone, light or camera can be suspended overhead above a scene
and outside the frame during filming (by a boom operator or boom man); for
example, a microphone (mike) boom, a camera boom, or a light boom; the most
common film mistake is the appearance of the boom mike (or its shadow) in the
frame; a mechanical boom mike is known as a 'giraffe.'.
||The large fuzzy microphone on the end of a pole that looks a bit
like an old dog. It floats above the actors, close enough to pick up dialogue
but, ideally, far enough up or down that it doesn’t appear in the shot.
||A continuous single shot made from a moving boom, assembled like
a montage, and incorporating any number of camera levels and angles..
||An illegally copied, unauthorized, and/or distributed version of
a copyrighted film/video/DVD, often of second-rate quality; also termed
||Vulnerability and powerlessness, objects placed in this area are
in danger of slipping out of the frame completely. (example)
||A white or silver card used for soft indirect lighting of the
subject by bouncing light off the card. Can also be used to provide a gentle
brightening of shadow areas. Especially out-of-doors as it does not require
||Refers to purging anything considered disturbing, vulgar, or
adult in content in order to make it sanitized for mass market consumption
and appropriate for children; originally a literary term derived from the
name of Englishman Thomas Bowdler who published a 'censored' Family
Shakespeare version in the early 1800s..
||The measure of the total amount of money or box-office
receiptspaid by movie-goers to view a movie; also referred to as B. O.
orgross; usually divided into domestic grosses (unadjusted and adjusted for
inflation), and worldwide grosses; films with great box-office results or a
strong and outstanding performance are often termed 'boff', 'boffo',
'boffola', 'whammo', 'hotsy', or'socko'..
||The filming of several takes of the same shot at different
f-stops to achieve the desired result. Usually this technique is applied to
shooting titles much more than anything else. (It is a good idea to film a
few frames of black in-between, since it is sometimes difficult to tell where
the camera was stopped.)
||A transitional type of shot used to cover or 'bridge' a jump in
time or place or other discontinuity; see also audio bridgeand match-cut.
||A subgenre of film (comedies, westerns, dramas, action films,
road films, etc.) in which two mismatched persons (usually males) are forced
to work together, often a pair of police cops; situations are often contrived
to present the pair with challenges or strains that both strengthen their
bond and weaken it; buddy films are often action/comedy films with witty
dialogue between the two characters and sometimes the inclusion of a love
triangle; has been extended to include female buddies; compare to fish-out-of-water
||Using dramatic devices such as increased tempo, volume, and
emphasis to bring a scene to a climax.
||Usually refers to the pre-film segment of pre-made film that
contains studio trademark and logo or title identification; also refers to a
period of positive financial growth (i.e., it was a 'bumper year' for films).
||Slang for the sense of excitement, expectancy, and hype that
surrounds a film, an actor, or a director.
||A soundtrack of natural, atmospheric, on-location background
noise that is added to the re-recorded (or looped) track of actors' dialogue
and other sound effects recordings to create a more realistic sound; aka
referred to as room tone ormatching ambient sound; a wild track or sound
refers to a soundtrack w/o any synchronized picture accompanying it (e.g.,
the sounds of a playground).
||Abbreviation for Camera Roll.
||C.T.B. stands for Color Temperature Blue. This is an
abbreviation for the color correction gels used in lighting to convert the
color temperature from tungsten to daylight. They come in gradients: Quarter
Blue, Half Blue, Full Blue.
||C.T.O. stands for Color Temperature Orange. This is an
abbreviation for the color correction gels used in lighting to convert the
color temperature from daylight to tungsten. They come in gradients: Quarter
Orange, Half Orange, Full Orange.
||A somewhat archaic method of sync sound shooting, where a cable
runs from a Pilottone generator in the camera to the tape recorder.
||A type of schedule given out periodically during a film's
production to let every department know when they are supposed to arrive and
where they are to report. A list, usually created by the first assistant
director, of actors who will be required on set for each day' shooting, what
scenes are scheduled and which locations will be used.
||Originally meaning "a small piece of artwork," refers
to a bit part (usually a brief, non-speaking or walk-on role that is
uncredited or unbilled) or special screen appearance by a famous actor,
director, or prominent person who would ordinarily not take such a small
part; contrast to a bit part; also refers to a type of camera shot in which
the subject is filmed against a black or neutral background. See Directors'
||The basic machine involved in film-making, from a hand-held
version to portables, to heavy studio cameras; some of the parts of a camera
include the aperture, lens, film magazine (for storage), viewfinder, etc; the
positioning of the camera by the camera operator is known as the setup.
||The point of view (POV) or perspective (including relative
height or direction) chosen from which to photograph a subject. Various
camera angles, compositions, or positions include: front, behind, side, top,
high (looking down), low (looking up), straight-on or eye-level (standard or
neutral angle), tilted (canted or oblique), or subjective, etc.; see
||A 2 inch Core.
||cameras can remain stationary and move side to side (a pan), up
and down (a tilt). They can move along on a vehicle or set of tracks straight
backward or forward (a track or tracking shot). The camera can be carried for
a wobbly (but often powerful) handheld shot. Other shots (some with the
camera remaining stationary) include:
||The sound of the camera running. Even supposedly quiet cameras
will make some noise.
||The individual who is responsible for operating the camera,
under the direction of the film's director and director of photography (or
||A slightly more adamant way of saying Original.
||A form of paperwork used to log shots and takes and put down any
notes either to the lab or for future organization in the editing stage.
There is generally one camera report per camera roll. Camera reports can be
used to communicate specific timing requests to the lab (for instance, if a
shot if lit with unusual color gels, this can be noted to let the timer know
not to correct the color). Camera reports are extremely helpful to analyze
any problem with the footage, since they provides a written record of the
coverage (the least of which is that if the slate has the wrong information
written on it, which happens now and then, a note can be made in the camera
reports to keep the assistant editor from getting confused about which take
||Each roll that you shoot becomes a camera roll. It is often
helpful to label them with a number in the order that they were shot. The
usual way is with the abbreviation C.R. followed by a number. The lab will
then assemble and print them in that order. This makes things less confusing
when you first get back your footage.
||This is film. It is also called camera stock to distinguish it
from Print Stock.
||Cloth tape specifically for use on film shoots, much like
gaffer's tape. Camera tape is typically 1 inch wide and white so that it can
be used together with a sharpie for labeling magazines with the emulsion type
and camera roll number. It is valid to use the terms gaffer's tape and camera
tape interchangeably (they are both really the same type of tape) depending
on how the tape is being used. It is designed not to leave a sticky residue
behind on the camera.
||A type of comedy parody wherein conventional (and especially
overused or clich�d) situations and plot devices are intentionally
exaggerated to the point of absurdity to produce humor.
("in the can")
||Refers to the round metal/plastic container that holds or stores
film (reels) for transport or for long-term storage; a film that has been
completed is known colloquially as "in the can";canned means
pre-recorded; also see reel.
||Refers to lighting that is provided by candlelight, to provide a
warm hue or tone, and connote intimacy, romance, and harmony.
||see Dutch Tilt.
||A short movie review.
||The descriptive, printed line(s) of text that occasionally
appears on the screen, usually at the bottom of the frame, to describe the
time/place, or to translate a foreign word/phrase; different from
closed-captioning (closed captions are all white uppercase (capital) letters
encased in a black box that require a decoder or television with a decoder
chip to be viewed) for deaf or hard-of-hearing viewers; see also subtitles .
||A character appearing ridiculously out of proportion because of
one physical, psychological or moral trait that has been grossly or broadly
exaggerated; a caricature often portrays a character in an unrealistic,
||An animated film that is usually not of feature length; also
||In movie terms, a definitely guaranteed, 'can't miss'blockbuster
film that promises to generate disproportionately tremendous profits due to
its lucrative franchise (sequels, merchandising, spin-offs, etc.). See
Greatest Film Franchises of All-Time..
||A collective term for all of the actors/performers (or talent)
appearing in a particular film: usually broken down into two parts: the leads
with speaking roles, and the seconds or supporting characters, background
players or extras, and bit players.
||An actor playing a role distinctly different from roles
||An advertising claim, often used in big-screen historical
epicsof the 1930s-60s, when literally 1,000s of extras were hired for crowd
scenes, battle scenes, etc .
||The process of selecting and hiring actors to play the roles and
characters in a film production, and be brought under contract; the lead
roles are typically cast or selected by the director or a producer, and the
minor or supporting roles and bit parts by a casting director; type-casting
refers to an actor playing only roles similar to those he/she has played
||Refers to the illegal practice (mostly during the heyday of the
studio system) when unknown young actors or actresses (starlets) exchanged
sex (literally on an office couch) with acasting director or producer in
order to acquire/land a role in a film.
||Short phrases, expressions, or words that have become favored
and/or popularized due to repeated use, often by film critics.
||During a film's climax, the audience may experience a purging or
cleansing of emotional tension, providing relief or therapeutic restoration.
||A literary term, referring to a narrative with a moral message
warning of the consequences of certain actions, ideologies, character flaws,
technologies or institutions, often with a downbeat ending; many slasher
horror films are semi cautionary tales about one of the consequences of sex
or experimenting with the occult --- death; see also satire,morality tale and
celluloid, animation cel)
||Refers to each of the thousands of hand-drawn sheets (of clear,
transparent material, either celluloid or Mylar) representing a single
animation frame to allow several layers of composition. Cels consist of
character cels (containing only the foreground characters or objects - those
things that move from frame to frame) and background cels, (static drawings
of scenery that remain the same). The character cels are placed against the
background cels and filmed or shot one frame (or picture) at a time to produce
the effect of motion. Celluloid also refers to the thin strip of transparent
plastic coating that forms the film's highly-flammable, light sensitive base
layer (such as nitrate base or acetate base); also used as an adjective
related to some aspect of cinema (e.g., "the celluloid hero"); the
light-sensitive substance coating on one side of the film base is termed
emulsion; celluloid is also a slang word for a movie.
||Cellulose nitrate was the original transparent material used as
a base for film, which was then coated with light-sensitive emulsion.
||A type of splice used primarily by negative cutters. In a cement
splice the two pieces of film overlap each other and are fused together with
||The process of determining what can or can not be viewed by the
public or depicted by the motion picture industry; also refers to changes
required of a movie by some person or body (other than the studios or
film-makers, such as a national or regional film classification board); see
also rating systemsand banned. See Sex in Cinema and Most Controversial Films
||Or Computer-Generated Imagery (or Images), a term referring to
the use of 3D computer graphics and technology (digital computers and
specialized software) in film-making to create filmed images, special effects
and the illusion of motion; often used to cut down on the cost of hiring
extras. SeeVisual/Special Effects..
||Usually at 100 film rolls, or sometimes 100 hard-drive downloads
on a digital shoot, into a shoot, the cast and crew get a celebratory glass
of champagne. Hooray!
||If a script is altered while filming is underway, any changes
are handed out onset in the form of “change pages”. These are normally a
different colour to the original script. A script with a lot of changes
during filming can look like a beautiful rainbow.
||The small dot, oval or mark on the top-right corner of a film
frame that signaled to the projectionist to change over from one projector
(or film reel) to another (about every 15-20 minutes); nowadays, most film
theatres have only one projector - the reels are spliced together into one
giant roll and fed into a single projector from a horizontal revolving
turntable called a platter.
||A double chambered black bag with a zipper on one end and two
elasticized arm holes on the other side, used for loading film into
||The fictitious or real individual in a story, performed by an
actor; also called players..
||An actor who specializes in playing well-defined,
stereotypical,archetypal, off-beat, humorous, or highly recognizable,
fictional roles of a particular physical, emotional, or behavioral type, in a
supporting role; see also typecasting..
||Refers to identifying a film's character or persona with a
particular color; changes in color often represent transformations, shifts,
merges, or changes in persona.
||A film that uses strong characterizations, interactions and the
personalities of its characters to tell a story, with plot and narrative
almost secondary to them.
||When the camera is set up for a second shot at a different angle
it is possible to move things around a little to improve the new composition,
the difference in perspective and angle of the two shots hiding the fact that
things are not exactly in the same place. Both actors and furniture on the
set can be cheated. The term is often used as cheating something
"into" a shot or "out of" a shot, as in telling an actor
"We're going to cheat you in a little," and having them stand a
little to one side so more of them is in the shot.
||The footage put into the beginning of a serial episode to show
what happened at the end of the previous episode.
||This is a print made from an internegative or an optical to
verify the quality and success of an effect.
||Referring to performances between actors who are uncommonly
suited and perfectly complementary to each other; performances that lack
screen chemistry can sometimes be disastrous for a film; see also buddy film.
||Chiaroscuro refers to strong contrasts between light and dark.
||Literally, the combination of the two Italian words for
"clear/bright" and "dark"; refers to a notable,
contrasting use of light and shade in scenes; often achieved by using a
spotlight; this lighting technique had its roots in German Expressionistic
cinematography; aka high-contrast lightingor Rembrandt lighting; flat
lighting or TV lighting (bright and flat lighting with no shadows) is its
||Refers to films popular with women, but also used in a
derogatory sense to marginalize films with heavy, sappy emotion and numerous
female characters; aka tearjerkers.
||Technically, any actor under the age of 18; aka moppet.
||Slang for a martial arts film.
||A person who plans, designs, organizes, sequences, and directs
dancing, fighting, or other physical actions or movements in a film or stage
production; a dancer is known as a hoofer..
||Not to be confused with sync marks. Cinch marks are small
vertical scratches on a roll of film that are caused when the end of the film
is pulled to tighten the roll, causing any dust on the film to make a small
scratch. Too much drag on the supply while rewinding is one common way that
cinching can occur.
||Refers to a film/movie enthusiast or devotee; also used in the
name of a leading film magazine.
||A French word that literally means "true cinema" or
"cinema truth"; a method or style of documentary movie-making with
long takes, no narration and little or no directorial or editing control
exerted over the finished product; usually made without actors, and often
with a minimum of film equipment, a small film crew (camera and sound),
impromptu interview techniques, and a hand-held camera and portable sound
equipment; sometimes used to loosely refer to adocumentary style film or minimalist
cinema; popularized in the 1950s French New Wave movement; now widely used
(often inappropriately) to refer to the popular, artsy trend of using
hand-held camera techniques; also termed free cinema(UK) or direct cinema
||The term commonly refers to widescreen processes oranamorphic
techniques, that use different magnifications in the horizontal and the
vertical to fill the screen; it is also the specific trademark name for 20th
Century Fox's commercially successful widescreen process which uses an aspect
ratio of 2.35:1 (originally it could be as wide as 2:66:1 - to compete with
Cinerama and 3-D processes in the 1950s..
||Relating to or suggestive of motion pictures; having the
qualities of a film..
||Specifically refers to the art and technique of film
photography, the capture of images, and lighting effects, or to the person
expert in and responsible for capturing or recording-photographing images for
a film, through the selection of visual recording devices, camera angles,
film stock, lenses, framing, and arrangement of lighting; the chief
cinematographer responsible for a movie is called the director of photography
(or D.P.), or first cameraman; one of the earliest movie-picture machines,
patented by the Lumiere brothers in 1895, was termed a Cinematographe..
||Derived from the French word cin�matographe, cinematography
literally means "writing in movement" and is generally understood
as the art and process of capturing visual images with a camera for
cinema.Aspects of camera angles, distance and movement. Also a consideration
of colour, lighting and texture of the footage. Consider the use of wide,
sweeping, bleached-out landscape shots of the Australian bush in Rabbit Proof
Fence, for example.
||A wide-screen filming process that first used three cameras and
three projectors to achieve an encompassing view of the subject matter, and
was projected on a curved screen of about 160 degrees; it was the first
commercially-successful multiple-camera/multiple-screen process..Cinerama is
a process of simultaneous filming by three cameras. The cameras are pointed
at different angles and are then projected by three synchronized projectors
and shown on a curved screen.
||A circular pan is a shot in which the camera rotates 360 degrees
around a fixed axis.
||A type of lighting fixture designed to hold a screw-in light
bulb, with a not-so-dependable spring clamp for mounting on the side of an
open door, etc. Often includes an aluminum reflector dish as well.
||see The Slate.
(clapper (board) or slate)
||A small black or white board or slate with a hinged stick on top
that displays identifying information for each shot in a movie, and is filmed
at the beginning of a take. The board typically contains the working title of
the movie, the names of the director, the editor, and the director of
photography, the scene and take numbers, the date, and the time. On the top
of the clapboard is a hinged wooden stick (called a clapstick or clapper)
which is often clapped to provide audio/visual synchronization of the sound
with the picture during.
||A board displaying key information about the scene being filmed
(scene number, take number, film name), filmed by the camera before each
take. On top (or bottom) is a piece of wood on a hinge (traditionally painted
in black and white stripes), which claps down to the board, allowing for
audio-visual synchronisation. Also known as “clapboard”.
||The Slate, or just the two sticks that are struck together to
mark a sync sound take. Before each take, a clapboard appears in front of the
camera, with the number of the take written on it.
||Refers to the animation of models constructed of clay, putty,
plasticine, or other moldable materials, often through stop motion..
||A take in which there were no errors with dialogue recording.
||Slang denoting a 'hit' film.
||A film characterized by scenes of great tension, danger,
adventure, suspense, or high drama, often climaxing at the end of a film, or
at the end of a multi-part serial episode, where the plot ending and the fate
of the protagonist(s) are left unresolved; the name was derived from the
movie serials of the 1930's where each week the hero (or heroine) was
perilously left dangling from a cliff -- with a 'to be-continued' ending --
to increase interest for the next episode (sequel)..
||The highest point of anxiety or tension in a story or film in
which the central character/protagonist faces, confronts, and deals with the
consequence(s) of all his/her actions, or faces the antagonistin a climactic
battle or final engagement; a crisis often leads to a climax; also called the
film's high point, zenith, apex, or crescendo; a climax may be followed by an
||See film clip.
||A close-up is a shot in which a person�s face fills most of the
screen, although the term can also refer to any shot that appears to have
been taken at close range (or through a telephoto lens), and in which an
object appears relatively large and in detail.
||A shot taken from a close distance in which the scale of the
object is magnified, appears relatively large and fills the entire frame to
focus attention and emphasize its importance; i.e., a person's head from the
shoulders or neck up is a commonly filmed close-up; a tight shot makes the
subject fill almost the entire frame; also extreme close-up (ECU or XCU) is a
shot of a part of a character (e.g., face, head, hands) to emphasize detail;
also known as detail shot or close on; contrast to long shot (LS).
||A screw mount type of lens, commonly used on smaller 16mm
cameras, like the Bolex.
||A type of magazine with two chambers side by side, with the
supply and take up rolls rather like wheels mounted on either end of the same
||Literally, means "tail" in Italian, and usually refers
to musical selections; in film, it refers to the epilogue, ending or last
section of a film (often wordless), that provides closure, a conclusion, or a
summary of the preceding storyline.
||Inked-on edge numbers, usually added to a workprint and mag
track after syncing, so that corresponding sound and picture can always be
properly aligned during editing. They are also used for the general
organization of the footage. Sometimes the term edge numbers are used, and
although this is not incorrect, care should be taken that it is understood
that you are talking about the inked-on numbers and not the Latent Edge
||A slang term for money or financing.
||A phenomenon of light or visual perception that enables one to
differentiate otherwise identical objects caused by differing qualities of
the light reflected or emitted; contrast to black and white..
||Color film has been a possibility since the beginning of cinema.
Technical problems and economic circumstances early on meant that it was not
until the 1950s that color was viable in the film industry.
||It is a measurement of the color of light, and important in that
film is much more sensitive to color temperature than our eyes are. Is
measured on scale that takes its name from the scientist Lord Kelvin
||The film-altering process whereby a black and white film is
digitally changed to include color; popularized but controversial in the
||An actor who specializes in genre films that are designed to
elicit laughter from audiences; also known as a comic.
||A film with elicits laughter or humor by celebrating or showing
the eternal ironies of human existence; types include screwball,dark/black,
farce, slapstick, dead pan, parody, romantic comedy, etc..
||A humorous or farcical interlude in a dramatic film, usually
provided by a buffoonish character, intended to relieve the dramatic,
built-up tension or heighten the emotional impact by means of contrast.
||A film associated with difficult teen rites of passage (from
adolescence to adulthood), the onset of puberty, the loss of naive innocence
and childhood dreams, the experience of growing up, achieving sexual
identity, etc.; aka teen films.
||A great performance in a film by an actor, sometimes referring
to the one before his or her death; it originally referred to a special
performance that was requested by a sovereign, royal, head of state, or other
||An objective opinion or description of characters or events
occurring in the film, presented from an omniscient point of view by a
commentator; the commentator's voice comes from off-camera, and is presented
on the soundtrack as a voice over; also refers to one of the added features
on various DVDs in which a cast member, director, film critic, or film
historian 'comments' on the film in some way.
||A film made up of shots, scenes, or sequences from other films.
||A plot event that complicates or tightens the tension of a film.
||The musician who creates (writes or adapts) the film's
musicalscore; contrast to a conductor (who directs the orchestra's
performance of the score), or a lyricist (who writes a song's words).
||Refers to the arrangement of different elements (i.e., colors,
shapes, figures, lines, movement, and lighting) within a frame and in a
film (rock or comedy)
||A film that records the live concert performance of musician(s),
a band/group, or stand-up comic(s); concert films are often edited over the
course of many performances and/or staged for the camera with multiple
set-ups, and can be considered pseudo-documentaries; a rock concert is aka
||Progressive versions of a film in the editing stage are known as
conformations, often identified by date. Conformations are only of any
significance on a large production where different editing departments should
be sure to be working with the latest conformation.
||The word to describe the negative cutter's matching of the
original to the workprint.
||The method used by the lab to copy film. A contact print is made
on a machine called (sensibly enough) a Contact Printer, in which the
original film and unexposed print stock are sandwiched together, emulsion
against emulsion, and are run at a constant speed past a light which shines
through the original, exposing the print stock with the same image. All
workprints, answer prints and release prints are contact prints. The only
other type of printing is Optical Printing, which is usually done to add an effect
or to blow up or make a reduction print.
||When, where, how, and why the film is set. The time, place and
circumstances. Consider that Slumdog Millionaire was made in Mumbai, India in
2008 and shows a dichotomy of life in India � poor, begging children living
alongside others in wealth and safety, enjoying the latest technologies due
to rapid globalization.
||The seamlessness of detail from one shot to another within a
scene. Continuity refers particularly to the physical elements, rather than
to the choices in coverage that can result in a lack of seamlessness.
Elements of continuity include any actions of the actor, the placement of
props, the lighting, the costumes, and so on.
(editing or cutting)
||The system of editing that developed in the early 20th century
to provide a continuous and clear movement of events/images in a film; refers
to the final edited structure of a completed film, with the events or
scenes/sequences arranged as if they had occurred continuously, when, in
fact, they were shot out of sequence; continuity also refers to the degree to
which a film is self-consistent without errors, jump cuts, or mis-matched
shots and details; a continuity cut refers to a editing cut that takes the
viewer seamlessly, unobtrusively, and logically from one sequence or scene to
another, to propel the narrative along; a blooper orflub is a continuity
||A list specifying everything that happened when a scene was
filmed, including weather conditions and camera settings. This is meant to
prevent continuity errors creeping in between takes or during reshoots. Also
known as the “continuity script”.
||An actor (both stars and bit players) who has a contractual
commitment or agreement to a studio/producer/company.
||Refers to the difference between light and shadow, or between
maximum and minimum amounts of light, in a particular film image; can be
either high contrast (with a sharp delineation between the bright and dark
areas) or its opposite low contrast; color can also be contrasted; see also
||The expected elements in a type of film, without question,
thought, or judgment.
||A fancier way of saying Gobo or Cookie.
||Refers to landmark legislation in the late 30s designed to
protect a child actor's earnings, by depositing some of the minor's earnings
in court-administered trust funds that the child receives when he/she reaches
the age of majority; named after child actor Jackie Coogan.
||A flat board, like a flag, but full of irregular holes used for
creating a pattern of shadows when put in front of a light.
||A plastic hub used to hold film without a reel. There are 2 inch
cores (small cores) and 3 inch cores (large cores). 2 inch cores can also be
called camera cores.
||Same as a Timed Print.
||Further changes in the timing of a print are known as
||Refers to the garments or clothing worn by actors/performers in
a film; a costume (or wardrobe) designer researches, designs, and selects the
costumes to be appropriate to the film's time period, the characters, their
location, and their occupations, whereas thecostumer (or stylist) is
responsible for acquiring, selecting, manufacturing, and/or handling the
clothing and accessories; acostume drama is a film set in a particular
historical time period, often with elaborate costuming.
||A drama and/or mystery story, in which the main protagonist is a
lawyer, and a majority of the drama and dramatic action takes place in a
courtroom setting; the plot revolves around the preparation of a trial and
its result of guilt or innocence.
||Coverage is used to describe the architecture of breaking down a
script into the shots that will allow the scene to be cut together. Although
coverage addresses the bare-bones question of getting shots that will cut
together smoothly, it is important not to be too distracted from bigger
aesthetic question of getting the right shots for the scene to work.
||Refers to all the shots, including closeups and reverse angles,
that a director takes in addition to the master shot, to make up the final
product; to have proper coverage means having all the proper scenes, angles,
lightings, close-ups, and directions.
||The catering unit. Typically serves apple crumble and chips with
everything. A film with “clean” catering, like many Zack Snyder efforts,
generally ditches the chocolate bars and has lots of dried fruit and nuts on
||A camera shot taken from a large camera dolly or electronic
device (an apparatus, such as a crane), resembling a extendable mechanical
arm (or boom), that can raise the camera up in the air above the ground 20
feet or more; the crane allows the camera to fluidly move in virtually any
direction (with vertical and horizontal movement), providing shifts in levels
and angles; crane shots usually provide some kind of overhead view of a
||A crane shot is achieved by a camera mounted on a platform,
which is connected to a mechanical arm that can lift the platform up, bring
it down, or move it laterally across space.
||In general, this term refers to the text appearing on screen -
composed of a list of technical personnel, cast, and production crew of a
film; specifically, it refers to the list of names and functions of persons
and corporations contributing and responsible for the artistic or
intellectual content of a film, such as: "Story by...",
"Screenplay by...", "Photography by...", etc.; sometimes
distinguished from the cast (the performers in front of the camera); see also
front (or opening) credits, end (or closing) credits, or(beginning or end)
||Refers to those involved in the technical production of a film
who are not actual performers.
||The period of highest tension just before the climax of a film
(there can be more than one); the point at which events reach their highest
level of tension.
(or film critic)
||An individual who writes and/or publishes a review of a film
from either an artistic or entertainment point of view. Film reviews often
analyze and discuss a film's details, its content and characters, a critique
of the performances, camera work, directing, editing, production, and script;
film critics are usually more philosophical and theoretical than film
reviewers or commentators; film criticism refers to the analysis of the
narrative, historical and stylistic characteristics of film; 'critics' is sometimes
abbreviated as crix..
||What to label your film can when turning it in at the lab when
the roll ran out during a very important shot and you want to make sure you
get every last frame possible.
||In a critique, you will not only be discussing the choices a
particular actor, director, or cinematographer may have made in a film, but
you will also be contributing your opinion to the piece. A critique often is
less technical than some of the other writing assignments.
||Sometimes called "cross mod" for short. This is a test
the Mixing House will do in conjunction with the lab you plan to use to make
sure the optical track is exposed and developed for optimal sound quality.
||A technique used much more by still photographers. Cross
processing is the use of color reversal film stock to be developed as a
negative. A positive print struck from that negative will have strange and
rich colors, intense contrast and on overall yellowish hue.
||The editing technique of alternating, interweaving, or
interspersing one narrative action (scene, sequence, or event) with another -
usually in different locations or places, thus combining the two; this
editing method suggests parallel action (that takes place simultaneously);
often used to dramatically build tension and suspense in chase scenes, or to
compare two different scenes; also known as inter cutting or parallel
and cross-over appeal
||A film or production that is made for one audience, but may
easily 'cross-over' to another unexpected audience; also refers to a film,
actor, or production that appeals to different demographic groups or age
groups and can move between two or more distinct franchises; see also hybrid.
||A shot or image of a large group of people (often extras) in a
film;CGI is now often used to film large crowd shots, to avoid huge costs
associated with hiring extras.
||Specifically, a way of recording Sync Sound where the camera
runs at correct speed with a quartz crystal-governed motor, and tape recorder
records its pilottone using a built-in quartz crystal pilottone generator.
The crystal is much like the kind used in a quartz watch. Unlike cable sync,
the camera and tape recorder are not attached.
||A type of light stand with fixed legs that swing out, or
together when not in use, usually equipped with an arm, and typically used to
hold a flag.
||A signal or sign for an actor to begin performing, from either
another performer, from the director, or from within the script; a cue is
often the last word of one character's line(s) of dialogue, when another
performer is expected to 'pick up their cue' to speak..
||A device (cards, scrolling screen, teleprompter, or other
mechanism) printed with dialogue provided to help an actor recite his/her
lines; an electronic cue card is called a (tele)- prompter; derogatively
calledidiot cards or idiot sheets..
||A road map, of sorts, for the mixer to find the sounds on your
tracks during the mix. It is laid out as a grid with each track forming a
column and time moving ahead in rows measured in 35mm footage (even if your
film is 16mm you must convert the footage to 35mm).
||Usually a non-mainstream film that attracts a small, but
loyally-obsessed group of fans, and remains popular and worshipped over many
years; cult films have limited but special appeal, and often have unusual or
subversive elements or subject matter; they are often replayed for repeat
viewings and audience participation (and group identification) as midnight
movies; not to be confused withB-films (not all cult films are B-films).
||1.: What the director says to end the filming of a shot. 2.: The
cutting apart of 2 shots at the frameline, or the point where the shots have
been cut apart. 3.: In the different stages, or at the completion of editing
the edited film itself can be referred to as "the cut" or "the
||A brief shot that momentarily interrupts a continuously-filmed
action, by briefly inserting another related action, object, or person
(sometimes not part of the principal scene or main action), followed by a
cutback to the original shot; often filmed from the POV of the character and
used to break up a sequence and provide some visual relief, or to ease the
transition from one shot to the next, or to provide additional information,
or to hint at an impending change;reaction shots are usually cutaways; cross-cutting
is a series of cutaways and cutbacks indicating concurrent action; a cutaway
is different from an insert shot..
||An abrupt or sudden change or jump in camera angle, location,
placement, or time, from one shot to another; consists of a transition from
one scene to another (a visual cut) or from one soundtrack to another (a
sound cut); cutting refers to the selection, splicing and assembly by the
film editor of the various shots or sequences for a reel of film, and the
process of shortening a scene; also refers to the instructional word 'cut'
said at the end of a take by the director to stop the action in front of the
camera; cut to refers to the point at which one shot or scene is changed
immediately to another; also refers to a complete edited version of a film
(e.g., rough cut); also see director's cut; various types of cuts include
invisible cut,smooth cut, jump cut (an abrupt cut from one scene or shot to
the next), shock cut (the abrupt replacement of one image by another), etc..
||A sub-genre of science fiction, derived from combining the
termscybernetics and punk, and related to the digital or information
technology society (referring to the proliferation of computers, the online
world, cyberspace, and 'hacking'); this sub-genre also incorporates classic
film-noirish characteristics into its style - traits include alienation,
dehumanization, the presence of counter-cultural anti-heroes, darkness,
dystopia, and corruption; heavily influenced by the novels of Raymond
Chandler; also associated with the work of writer William Gibson and his 1984
||The curved backdrop used to represent the sky when outdoor
scenes are shot in the studio.
||The immediately processed, rough cuts, exposed film, or first
prints of a film (w/o special effects or edits) for the director (producer,
cinematographer, or editor) to review, to see how the film came out after the
day's (or previous day's) shooting; more commonly in the form of videotape or
digital dailies nowadays; aka rushes (referring to the haste taken to make
them available); used to determine ifcontinuity is correct, if props are
missing or out of place, or if sound is poor, etc., to help decide whether to
||The prints of footage shot the previous day, often viewed by the
director and producers at the end of each day to monitor progress. Also known
as “rushes”. Can cause side-effects ranging from nervous breakdowns to
over-confidence back at the studio.
||The workprint, before it has been edited, so called because the
minority of labs will have it ready later the same day it was dropped off (if
you are a client to whom they give some type of priority). Also known as
||In film terms, a little-known, unlikely movie (often a sleeper,
a low-budget film, indie, or a foreign film) that is, surprisingly, nominated
for a major award (i.e., Academy Award or Golden Globe).
||A cinematographic technique for using shots filmed during the
day to appear as moonlit night shots on the screen, by using different
lenses, filters, special lighting and underexposure; very common during the
50s and in the 60s, but rarely used in present-day films..Day for night
refers to the creation of a night effect while shooting during the day,
through the manipulation of filters, underexposure, or printing.
||The color temperature of daylight which is 5,400K on the color
temperature scale (it does vary during the day, being higher at noon and
lower in the earlier and later parts of the day). Color film for outdoor
shooting is balanced for daylight, otherwise the image would appear blue in
hue. If daylight balanced film is used indoors without a correction filter
the image will have a orange hue.
||An aluminum spool holding 100 feet of film with solid, opaque
sides, painted black, which will protect the film from becoming completely
exposed when loading a camera in daylight. The name daylight spool comes from
the fact that the film may be loaded without total darkness. There are also
400 foot daylight spools, but these are very rarely used as they do not
always work very well in a magazine.
||A specific type of comedic device in which the performer assumes
an expressionless (deadpan) quality to her/his face demonstrating absolutely
no emotion or feeling..
||A French term referring to the design of a film - the
arrangement of its shots.
||Deep focus is a style or technique of cinematography and staging
with great depth of field, using relatively wide-angle lenses and small lens
apertures to render in sharp focus near and distant planes simultaneously.
||A style or technique of cinematography and staging with great
depth of field, preferred by realists, that uses lighting, relatively wide
angle lenses and small lens apertures to simultaneously render in sharp focus
both close and distant planes (including the three levels of foreground,
middle ground, and extreme background objects) in the same shot; contrast to
shallow focus (in which only one plane is in sharp focus).
||Is usually a long shot consisting of a number of focal distances
and photographed in depth.
||Refers to a scene that was edited out of a film's final cut, for
several possible reasons: the scene was poorly done, the scene was
unnecessary, the film's running time needed truncation, the film was avoiding
an R or NC-17 rating, the film's studio disapproved of it, etc. Deleted
scenes are now commonly included on DVDs, either re-edited into a director's
cut or as a separate feature.
||The point immediately following the climax when everything comes
into place or is resolved; often the final scene in a motion picture; aka
tag; see resolution.
||Depth of field is the area, range of distance, or field (between
the nearest and farthest planes) in which the elements captured in a camera
image appear in sharp focus. The depth of composition of a shot, i.e., where
there are severalplanes (vertical spaces in a frame): (1) a foreground, (2) a
middle-ground, and (3) a background; depth of field specifically refers to
the area, range of distance, or field (between the closest and farthest
planes) in which the elements captured in a camera image appear in sharp or
acceptable focus; as a rule of thumb, the area 1/3 in front of and 2/3 behind
the subject is the actual distance in focus; depth of field is directly
connected, but not to be confused withfocus. While a lens focuses on a single
plane of depth, there is usually an additional area in focus behind and in
front of that plane. This is depth of field. Depth of field increases as the
iris is closed. There is more depth of field the wider the lens and less the
longer the lens. There is a deeper area in focus the further away a lens is
focused than there is when a lens is focused close. Depth of field does not
spread out evenly; the entire area is about 1/3rd in front and 2/3rds behind
the plane of focus. To factor together all these variables it is best to
consult a depth of field table, such as the ones found in the American
||Related to depth of field - refers to an adjustment made
technically to insure that a camera shot retains its deep focus throughout
all the various planes (fore, middle, and back).
||Literally, the resolution of the plot by the device of a god
("deus") arriving onstage by means of a piece of equipment
("machina") and solving all the characters' problems; usually
refers to an unlikely, improbable, contrived, illogical, or clumsy ending or
suddenly-appearing plot device that alleviates a difficult situation or
brings about a denouement - just in the nick of time; can sometimes refer to
an unexpected, artificial, or improbable character.
||Dialogue is speech delivered by or between characters.Any spoken
lines in a film by an actor/actress; may be consideredoverlapping if two or
more characters speak simultaneously; in film-making, recording dialogue to
match lip movements on previously-recorded film is called dubbing or looping.
||From the ancient Greek for �recounted story,� diegesis is a term
used in film studies to refer to the story (or narrative) world of a film.
||Simply means realistic or logically existing, such as the music
that plays on a character's radio in a scene; more generally, it refers to
the narrative elements of a film (such as spoken dialogue, other sounds,
action) that appear in, are shown, or naturally originatewithin the content
of the film frame; the opposite is non-diegeticelements, such as sounds
(e.g., background music, the musical score, a voice-over, or other sounds)
w/o an origin within the film frame itself; in an objective shot, the most
common camera shot, it simply presents what is before the camera in the
diegesis of the narrative.
||Sound that is part of the film world (car horns beeping, birds
singing, telephones ringing). Consider Justin Hurwitz�s score that is played
by the musicians in Whiplash. Sound added in post-production to create a
certain atmosphere (sound FX to increase fear, music to underscore emotion).
Consider the choral music which helps us understand Tsotsi�s redemption, for
||Diegetic sound is any sound that emanates from the story (or
narrative) world of a film, which is referred to in film studies as diegesis.
||The reduction or softening of the harshness or intensity of
light achieved by using a diffuser or translucent sheet (lace or silk) in
front of the light to cut down shadows; materials include screen, glass,
filters, gauze, wire mesh, or smoke; also see soft-focus..1.: A filter used
on the camera to create a soft focus effect. 2.: A white or pearlecent sheet
of material used on a movie light to soften the shadows.
||Refers to filming on digital video using digital high-resolution
cameras, rather than on traditional 35mm film.
||The diopter is part of the viewfinding system of a camera that
can be adjusted to compensate for your own particular eyesight, allowing you
to see the groundglass clearly.
||The technique of recording sound simultaneously with the image.
||In cinematographic terms, using light and dark lighting and
frame composition to emphasize what is important.
||The creative artist responsible for complete artistic control of
all phases of a film's production (such as making day-to-day determinations
about sound, lighting, action, casting, even editing), for
translating/interpreting a script into a film, for guiding the performances
of the actors in a particular role and/or scene, and for supervising the
cinematography and film crew. The director is usually the single person most
responsible for the finished product, although he/she couldn't make a film
without support from many other artists and technicians; often the director
is called a helmer(at-the-helm); the assistant director is known as the a.d.
; the director of photography (or cinematographer), responsible for the
mechanics of camera placement, movements, and lighting, is known as the d.p..
||A rough cut (the first completely-edited version) of a film
without studio interference as the director would like it to be viewed,
before the final cut (the last version of the film that is released) is made
by the studio..
||In a film scene, when the moving or panning camera unexpectedly
comes upon or 'discovers' an object or person previously undisclosed to the
||Refers to the making of an adapted, sanitized, 'family-friendly'
version of a book or play, by removing objectionable elements (such as crude
language, sexuality, or violence) and modifying plot elements to make the
tale more acceptable, entertaining, predictable and popular for mass
consumption by audiences, as first exercised by the Disney studios in the
50s; now used as a derogatory term for how popular culture has been
homogenized and cultural diversity has been minimized; see also
||A dissolve is a transitional device in which one shot fades out
while the next shot fades in, so it is briefly superimposed over the first
and then replaces it altogether.
||A transition between two shots, where one shot fades away and
simultaneously another shot fades in. Dissolves are done at the lab in the
printing phase, but prepared by the negative cutter, who cuts in an overlap
of the two shots into the A'amp;B rolls. Labs will only do dissolves in fixed
amounts, such as 24 frames, 48 frames, etc.
(or lap dissolve)
||A transitional editing technique between two sequences, shots or
scenes, in which the visible image of one shot or scene is gradually
replaced, superimposed or blended (by an overlapping fade out orfade in and
dissolve) with the image from another shot or scene; often used to suggest
the passage of time and to transform one scene to the next; lap dissolve is
shorthand for 'over'lap dissolve; also known as a soft transition or dissolve
||A non-fiction (factual), narrative film with real people (not
performers or actors); typically, a documentary is a low budget, journalistic
record of an event, person, or place; a documentary film-maker should be an
unobtrusive observer - like a fly-on-the-wall, capturing reality as it
happens; aka doc or docu; also called direct cinema; one type is termed
docudrama; contrast with cinema verite andmockumentary.
||A collective of film directors founded in Denmark in 1995 led by
Lars von Trier, with a distinctive democratizing philosophy and set of rules
(termed "the vow of chastity") that rejected special effects and
contrived lighting/staging and camera work, and espoused returning to more
"truthful" and honest, "non-Hollywood" forms of cinema;
the ten rules included shooting on location, use of hand-held cameras,
natural lighting only, no props, use of digital-video (DV), lack of credits
for the director, etc..
||A stereo-sound process for motion pictures created by Dolby
Laboratories, Inc., used to improve sound quality; 35mm prints have two
optical sound tracks (Dolby can decode and playback on four channels), while
70mm prints have six magnetic tracks for multi-channel playback; by the
1990s, Dolby Stereo was superceded by advanced digitally-recorded sound.
||A small platform for the camera, designed to roll along special
tracks. Although Steadicams have reduced their use, dollies have certain
unique strengths. In particular, they’re still used for the so-called
Vertigo shot, where the camera zooms in while the dolly moves backwards,
severely altering the perspective.
||A dolly is a mobile platform on wheels with a camera, which can
be driven or pushed by a dolly pusher or dolly grip.
||Refers to a moving shot in which the perspective of the subject
and background is changed; the shot is taken from a camera that is mounted on
a hydraulically-powered wheeled camera platform (sometimes referred to as a
truck or dolly), pushed on rails (special tracks) and moved smoothly and
noiselessly during filming while the camera is running; a pull-back shot(or
dolly out) is the moving back ('tracking back') of the camera from a scene to
reveal a character or object that was previously out of the frame, dolly in
is when the camera moves closer ('tracking in') towards the subject, and
dollying along with (or 'tracking within') refers to the camera moving beside
the subject; also known as tracking shot, trucking shot, follow shot, or
traveling shot; contrast with zoomshots..
||A dolly shot is one where the camera is placed on a dolly and is
moved while filmming. Also known as a tracking shot.
||A list of scenes that have already been filmed, usually compiled
by the assistant cameraman.
||A German word literally meaning: "doublewalker," a
reference to the fact that a shadow-self, duplicate, counterpart or double
(spiritual, ghostly, or real) accompanies every individual.
||Refers to the person who temporarily takes the leading player's
place for a dangerous or difficult stunt, or to photographically stand in for
the actor (when the latter is not available or when the actor wants a body
double for a nude scene, etc.).
||Double exposure is the superimposition of two images, one over
the other, which results from exposing the same film twice.
||A double exposure occurs when (prior to development) an exposed
piece of film is reshot with a second image on top of the first. Several
exposures can be made, but it still valid to call it a "double"
exposure rather than a "triple" or "quadruple" exposure.
It is perfectly alright to say "five double exposures," as
numerically incongruous as it may sound.
||To expose a single frame twice so that elements of both images
are visible in the finished product; produces an effect similar to
superimposition and is often used to produce 'ghostly' effects.
||16mm film with a row of perforations running along both edges.
On the film can this will be indicated by 2R appearing on the label.
||In 35mm a double reel is 2 single reels joined together, the
maximum size being 2,000 feet. Double reels are labeled 1 A/B, 2 A/B etc., to
distinguish them from single reels.
||The term double system refers to sound and picture as two
separate elements, recorded, edited or projected in sync. 16mm and 35mm use
the double system format. A camera photographs the picture and a tape
recorder records the sound. In the end, the final print is Single System,
combining sound and picture onto the same piece of print stock.
||A projector designed to project a workprint and play a mag track
||A comedic convention that refers to the way in which an actor
first looks at an object (subject, event, scene, etc.), then looks away, and
then snaps his head back to the situation for a second look - with surprise,
disgust, sexual longing, etc.; a variation is termed a spit-take (the
double-take causes the character to spit out whatever he is drinking).
||An outdoor movie theatre in which the patrons viewed a film from
their automobile; films projected were often B-films or low-budget films;
reached their peak in terms of popularity and numbers in the 1970s; also
called a passion pit, ozoner; contrast with a hard top (or indoor movie
||The act of putting a new soundtrack on a film or adding a
soundtrack (of dialogue, sound effects, or music) after production, to match
the action and/or lip movements of already-filmed shots; commonly used when
films are shot on location in noisy environments; also refers to adding
translated dialogue to a foreign-language film; as opposed todirect sound -
which is sound recorded when filming a scene; contrast to looping..
||The process or technique of combining shots filmed in a studio
with background footage shot elsewhere.
||A dupe is a positive copy of a positive. A dupe can also be a
negative copy of a negative. A dupe is a print made in the reversal process.
It can sometimes be clearer to call something a dupe, because to simply say
"positive print" you could just mean a positive copy of a negative,
which would not be a dupe.
Angle (Canted Angle)
||A canted angle is when the camera is tilted, usually to suggest
imbalance, transition, or instability.A composition with the camera viewing
the scene at a diagonal. Same as a canted angle. Some nice examples can be
seen in Carol Reed's "The Third Man."
||A photographic technique used to mask the projected image size
and shape to any ratio that seems appropriate for the scene (e.g., the image
narrows as an actor passes through a narrow passageway, and then widens as he
||An imaginary, wretched, dehumanized, dismal, fearful, bad,
oppressive place or landscape, often initiated by a major world crisis
(post-war destruction) coupled with, an oppressive government, crime,
abnormal behavior, etc.; the opposite ofutopia (a state of ideal perfection);
see also nihilism.
||E.C.N. stands for Eastman Color Negative. It is simply your
||E.D.L. stands for Edit Decision List. It is used by the negative
cutter when you have cut digitally, in order to conform the original without
the usual workprint.
||Abbreviation for Exposure Index.
||Abbreviation for Editorial Sync.
||Exposure along the edge of the film from raw light, in most
cases from a lightleak, due to the camera door not being taped. Edge Fog can
sometimes be visible in the frame or sometimes outside of the frame effecting
the clarity of the latent edge numbers.
||1.: The edge numbers are small numbers running along the edge of
the film, in between the perf in 16mm, and just to the far side of them in
35mm. The are photographed onto the film in its manufacture, and are there to
aid the negative cutter in lining up shots in the process of conforming the
negative. They are sometimes called latent edge numbers to distinguish them
from inked-on code numbers. 2.: Code Numbers are sometimes called edge
||1.: The cutting and arranging of shots. 2.: In the different
stages, or at the completion of editing the edited film itself can be
referred to as "the cut" or "the edit."
||Editing is the process of putting a film together�the selection
and arrangement of shots and scenes.
||The process (performed by a film editor) of selecting,
assembling, arranging, collating, trimming, structuring, and splicing-joining
together many separate camera takes(includes sound also) of exposed footage
(or daily rushes) into a complete, determined sequence or order of shots (or
film) - that follows the script; digital editing refers to changing film
frames by digitizing them and modifying them electronically; relational
editing refers to editing shots to suggest a conceptual link between them; an
editor works in acutting room; the choice of shots has a tremendous influence
upon the film's final appearance..
||A workbench with rewinds attached, and sometimes a built-in
light table in the center.
||see Trim Bin.
||A set of sync marks on picture and sound that line up at the
same frame, as opposed to Printer's Sync, where the picture and sound are
displaced. Sometimes it is usedful to label a sync mark E.S. to know that it
is an Editorial Sync mark.
||The shortening of the plot duration of a film achieved by
deliberately omitting intervals or sections of the narrative story or action;
an ellipsis is marked by an editing transition (a fade,dissolve, wipe, jump
cut, or change of scene) to omit a period or gap of time from the film's
||Another term for master of ceremonies.
||The thin layer of silver attached to the base which, when
exposed and developed, creates the film image through the areas of silver,
which block light, and the clear areas which allow light to pass through.
||The emulsion batch is the series of numbers on the film can the
come after the Emulsion Type. When the film is made, each batch is given a
number so that you can shoot a single sequence with one particular batch.
Just as a suit where the pants and jacket were cut from different bolts of
fabric might be a little off, a sequence shot with different emulsion batches
might also be a little off. From one sequence to the next, of course, this
doesn't matter. (And the batches themselves have become more consistent in
recent years, so mixing them is less of a sin nowadays.)
||Unlike plastic leader, emulsion leader can be cement spliced.
||A film's emulsion type refers to the composition of its
emulsion, whether it was manufactured to be fast, slow, grainy, fine-grained,
colorful, pastel, black and white or color, daylight balanced, tungsten
balanced, etc. The emulsion type is represented by a number. For Kodak it is
a series of four numbers, such as 7248. The "72" always stands for
16mm camera stock, and the same emulsion type is found in 35mm as 5248,
"52" being the designation of 35mm. Fuji uses a system where the film's
emulsion type is a little more telling, such as 250D, which is daylight
balanced film with an Exposure Index of 250. When picking out a stock to use
the film speed, and in the case of color film, whether the film is daylight
or tungsten, are the primary reasons for choosing a certain emulsion type.
Allowances might also be made to achieve a certain look, as in using Kodak
Vision, or Fuji film. Several different emulsion types are usually used on a
project, fast for night scenes, slow for daylight scenes, etc. However,
unless you are trying something novel, it is a good idea to shoot a single
unbroken sequence with one emulsion type.
||Credits appearing at the end of a film; aka end titles.
||Literally from the French, meaning "terrible baby" -
referring to a brilliant, young, passionate but egotistical, brash director;
characteristics of an enfant terrible director include being innovative and
||A film with a large cast without any true leading roles, and
usually with multiple plotlines regarding the characters; it also literally
means 'the group of actors (and sometimes directors and designers) who are
involved in a film'..
||A costly film made on an unusually large scale or scope of
dramatic production, that often portrays a spectacle with historic, ancient
world, or biblical significance..
||A short, concluding scene in a film in which characters
(sometimes older) reflect on the preceding events.
||A moment of sudden spiritual insight for the protagonist of a
film, usually occurs just before or after the climax.
||A self-contained segment or part of an anthology film orserial;
a number of separate and complete episodes make up an episode film.
||A film that is composed of a series of loosely-related segments,
sections, or episodes, with the same character(s).
||An establishing shot is a long shot at the start of a scene (or
sequence) that shows things from a distance.
||Usually a long (wide-angle or full) shot at the beginning of a
scene (or a sequence) that is intended to show things from a distance (often
an aerial shot), and to inform the audience with an overview in order to help
identify and orient the locale or time for the scene and action that follows;
this kind of shot is usually followed by a more detailed shot that brings
characters, objects, or other figures closer; a re-establishing shot repeats
an establishing shot near the end of a sequence..
||a brand name for Polyester Base.
||A special lamp in the projector used for the playback of Optical
Sound. The projector reads the track by passing it between the exciter lamp a
light-sensitive photo-electric cell.
||Abbreviations for 'executive' or 'executives'.
||The person who is responsible for a film's financing, or for
arranging the film's production elements (stars, screenwriter, etc.).
||Term meaning 'movie theatre owner'; aka known as exhib(shortened
||Refers to a film, usually a low-budget or indie film not
oriented toward profit-making, that challenges conventional filmmaking by
using camera techniques, imagery, sound, editing, and/or acting in unusual or
never-before-seen ways; sometimes akaavante-garde, art films.
||A sensational, often trashy B-film aimed at a particular
audience and designed to succeed commercially and profitably by appealing to
specific psychological traits or needs in that audience without any fuller
analysis or exposition; often refers to films with extremely violent or
sexual scenes; not necessarily a derogatory term; various types include
blaxploitation, sexploitation, splatter films..
||The conveyance (usually by dialogue or action) of important
background information for the events of a story; or the set upof a film's
story, including what's at stake for the characters, the initial problem, and
other main problems..
||Exposure is the act of making film available to light so that an
image is formed in the emulsion.
||This is the sensitivity to light of a particular type of film.
It is the specific number used to measure Film Speed. Your film will list an
E.I. number on the box or the film can as the film speed. It is the same as
A.S.A. and I.S.O. on your light meter.
||Refers to the distortion of reality through lighting, editing,
and costumes, to reflect the inner feelings and emotions of the characters
and/or the filmmaker; a cinematic style of fantasy film common in post-WWI
Germany in the 1920s and 1930s, characterized by dramatic lighting, dark
visual images and shadows, grotesque and fantastic shots, distorted sets and
angles, heavy makeup, highly stylized acting, and symbolic mime-like action
and characters; opposed to realism..
||These are a handy way to turn any long lens into a macro lens
for ultra-close shooting. They are hollow metal tubes that are mounted
between the camera and the lens. Typically they come in a set of different
lengths which can be combined. It is a good idea to open up the lens a little
when using an extension tube, as a little light is lost. It should be noted
that they do not work when used with wide lenses.
||A person who appears in a movie in a non-specific, non speaking,
unnoticed, or unrecognized character role, such as part of a crowd or
background, e.g., a patron in a restaurant, a soldier on a battlefield;
usually without any screen credit; also termed atmosphere people; contrast
with walk on and non-speaking role, bit players, or principals; also see cast
Long Shot/ Establishing Shot
||Is a shot taken from a great distance, serves as reference for
the location and is often shown at the beginning of a sequence.
||Eye line is the direction an actor should look off-screen to
match a reverse angle or a P.O.V. shot. It is best to give the actor an
actual thing or spot to look at rather than a blank spot on an empty wall or
an empty space in mid air.
||The normal angle in which camera shots are filmed.
||Eye-line match is a method of continuity editing whereby a cut
between two shots creates the illusion of the character (in the first shot)
looking at an object (in the second shot). A cut between two shots that
creates the illusion of the character (in the first shot) looking at an
object (in the second shot)..
||Abbreviation for special (or visual) effects.
||A transitional device consisting of a gradual change in the
intensity of an image or sound, such as from a normally-lit scene to darkness
(fade out, fade-to-black) or vice versa, from complete black to full exposure
(fade in), or from silence to sound or vice versa; a 'fade in' is often at
the beginning of a sequence, and a 'fade out' at the end of a sequence..The
fade is a means of gradually beginning or ending a scene, and is achieved in
the camera by opening or closing the aperture; in an optical printer, this is
achieved when the exposure light is increased or decreased.
||Refers to a light-hearted, gleeful, often fast-paced, crudely
humorous, contrived and 'over-the-top' comedy that broadly satirizes, pokes
fun, exaggerates, or gleefully presents an unlikely or improbable stock
situation (e.g., a tale of mistaken identity, cross-dressing, etc.) often
characterized by slapstick, pratfalls, and other physical antics; types of
farces include screwball comedy, bedroom/sex farce/comedy; contrast to parody
||A camera device or effect to compress reality and highlight a
scene or cause a dramatic effect, created by filming a scene with the film
running at a rate less than the normal 24 frames per second and then
projecting it back at standard speed, thereby creating the effect of moving
faster than normal; generally used for comic effect; contrast to slow motion
||A "full-length" motion picture, one greater than 60
minutes in length - but usually about 90-120 minutes on one particular topic;
also known as a theatrical; contrast to shorts..
||A term often used before the 1970s to refer to a 20 to 45 minute
film (longer than a short subject but shorter than afeature film), usually a
"making of" or "behind the scenes" mini-documentary, or
an extended trailer, which was usually displayed by theater owners to
"sell" a film for exhibition in their movie house -- nowadays,
featurettes are commonly run on premium cable stations, or offered as a
'bonus feature' as part of a DVD's extras; see also "Making of...".
||An event at which films can often be premiered, exhibited,
awarded, and engaged in distribution deals, such as Cannes, Toronto,
Sundance, etc.; also known as fest.
minutes of fame'
||A cliched term popularized by pop artist/painter Andy Warhol in
the late 60s, who predicted that everyone could be famous for 15 minutes and
experience a moment of 'crowning glory'; aka one-hit wonders; due to today's
increasing demands for pseudo-celebrities or 'personalities',
headline-grabbers, and the widespread dissemination of information by cable
TV, talk radio, and the WWW, it may be possible for everyone to 'bask in the
limelight' for a fleeting moment (a flash in the pan)..
Fill or Sound Fill
||Filler is scrap film, most often used to keep a sound track
running the same length as the picture, even though there is just silence.
When used this way in can also be called sound fill. Filler is usually a
print with the emulsion scraped off the center all the way along, perhaps to
prevent bootlegging, but also useful in that a mark can be seen on both sides
through this wide scratch.
||(1) as a verb, to record a scene or make (or lense) a motion
picture; (2) as a noun, refers to a motion picture, or (3) the thin strip of
material on the film negative (with a base and light-sensitive coating of
emulsion) that is used to create images - through light exposure..
||The examination or study of film as an art form.
||Unwanted film damage that could be a defect or error - dust,
hair, specks, emulsion scratches, splices, reel-change marks, a hiss, crackle
or pop on the soundtrack, mottling of the image, scratches on the negative
being printed positive, etc.; film preservation, restoration, and archival
efforts help to keep older, decomposing, and endangered films from
deteriorating and acquiring artifacts, through painstaking processes
||A liquid that is actually not a glue, but a chemical that melts
and fuses two pieces of film together.
||A short section of film removed from a movie and often
exhibited; a part of a film, and sometimes a complete scene or sequence,
taken from a film; similar to an excerpt..
||An early movement in French cinema to film more respectable
||Refers to various technical or logistical aspects which make up,
compose, or produce a finished film, including Cinematography (Camera
Movement), Sound and Editing, Lighting, Framing, Acting, and the Narrative
||Refers to the measurement of a width of a film strip (in
millimeters) used in a camera; see 35mm, film stock, Cinerama, Cinemascope,
etc.; see also digital video.
||The amount of light-sensitive material in the film's coating
oremulsion; results can either be fine-grained (or sharp) - that.
||A French phrase literally meaning "black film" that
developed in the early 40s; refers to a genre of mostly black/white films
that blossomed in the post-war era in American cinema, with bleak subject
matter and a somber, downbeat tone; the plot (often a quest), low-key
lighting (harsh shadows andchiaroscuro) often in night scenes, camera angles
(oftencanted or high angle shots), the setting (the gloomy underworld of
crime and corruption), iconography (guns, urban settings), characters
(disillusioned, jaded), and other elements (voice-overs and flashbacks)
combined to present a dark atmosphere of pessimism, tension, cynicism, or
oppression. Film noirs, often crime films, were usually set in grim and seedy
cities, with characters including criminals, anti-heroes, private detectives,
and duplicitous femme fatales; see alsotech-noir.
||The film plane is the plane of depth from the lens of the film,
behind the gate, in the camera. It is also the point from where the distances
on the focusing ring should be measured from, and is indicated on the outside
of the camera with a little symbol that looks like the planet Saturn turned
on its side.
||An evaluative oral or written judgment about the quality of a
movie, based upon various assumptions, facts, biases, etc; professional film
reviewers are known as critics; a film review usually includes a brief
synopsis (avoiding spoilers, usually), a balanced notation of both the film's
plusses and minuses, quotable wording, and some judgments; more extensive, in
depth film evaluations are called analytical essays..
||The sensitivity to light for proper exposure of a given film
stock. This is primarily a result of the size of the silver halides in the
emulsion, the larger the grain, the less light is needed for exposure. Film
stocks are generally spoken of as being fast or slow, a fast film having
large grains and needing less light, a slow film having smaller grain and
needing more light.
||Refers to film size or gauge (8mm, 16mm, 35mm, 70mm, 105mm, for
example), and film speed, among other things; also refers to raw unused,
unexposed film; various kinds of film stock include tungsten (for use with
artificial light, usually indoors) and daylight film stock (for use with
natural light, usually outdoors).
within a film
||A particular story-telling approach, literally, to have one film
within another; in some cases, the characters are aware of the
'film-within-a-film,' and break the fourth wall and enter into or interact
with it; aka subset film or picture within a picture.
codes (or conventions)
||Many elements within a film (the use of music, audio, costuming,
scripting, camera angles, framing, shot duration, a character's actions,
etc.) speak a 'language,' 'grammar,' or code that when used by the filmmaker
help the viewer to understand more about the plot and its characters.
||A collective term used to refer to a person(s) who have a
significant degree of control over the creation of a film:directors,
producers, screenwriters, and editors..
||A comprehensive (often chronological by year) listing of films
featuring the work of an actor/actress, director, or other crew member; may
also be a list of films for a specific genre or topic; a filmographer is
another term for a film-maker or a person who studies film.
||A tinted glass or small tinted plastic sheet placed in front of
the lens or behind the lens in a filter holder, used to change the color
rendition of the entire shot. Filters are used to convert tungsten balanced
film for use in daylight or vice versa. The can also be used for aesthetic
reasons, such as a red filter to darken the sky when filming in black and
||Glass, plastic, or gelatinous substance placed before or behind
a camera lens to change the effect and character of the lighting within the
||The last edited version of a film as it will be released; see
||An extreme type of super wide-angle lens with a very shortfocal
point (and nearly infinite depth-of-field), that exaggerates and distorts the
linear dimensions of the image, giving it a sense of curvature.
||A fisheye lens is a wide-angle lens that takes in a nearly
180-degree field of view.
||A film (usually humorous) in which the main character(s) faces
'culture shock' by being placed in unfamiliar or new surroundings or
Focal Length Lens
||see Prime Lens.
||This has two meanings. 1.: It can be a large black cloth on a
frame used on a shoot to keep light out of part of the composition. 2.: In
the cutting room it is a small piece of tape attached to a shot in a roll and
used exactly as you would use a bookmark. The flag sticks out the side of the
roll, making it easy to find that shot again quickly.
||This has two meanings: 1.: When using film on a daylight spool,
the erratic pattern of raw light that washes out the beginning and end of the
roll are known as "the flares." 2.: A flare of the other kind is a
Lens Flare. It is caused when light strikes the lens and either causes the
entire image to be fogged in appearance, or for a little row of polygons (the
silhouette of the iris) to appear from the light hitting the surfaces of the
many elements in the lens. It is solved by flagging the lens.
||1.: A flash frame is a single frame that is completely clear
between two shots. It occurs when the camera is stopped with the gate open,
allowing for a very long exposure on that single frame. Rather than a
problem, a flash frame can actually be a very helpful thing in the editing
room, making it very easy to see where one shot ends and another begins. This
type of flash frame usually does not occur with spring wound cameras, like
the Bolex, except when the spring winds all the way down, but the second type
is something with which to be more concerned. 2.: A flash frame is also used
to describe the first few overexposed, brighter frames at the beginning or
the end of a shot, due to the camera needing time to reach speed. These can
often be hard to see while editing, but are much more noticeable in a final
frame (or shot)
||A single clear frame that is inserted between two shots that can
barely be perceived, giving the appearance of a flash of white when viewed,
and for the intention of producing a shock or sudden dramatic effect.
||Transitory, impermanent success or recognition; derived from
panning for gold experience; see fifteen minutes of fame.
||A filmic technique that alters the natural order of the
narrative; a flashback may often be the entire film; it takes the story order
back chronologically in time to a previous or past event, scene, or sequence
that took place prior to the present time frame of the film; the flashbacked
story that provides background on action and events is often called
thebackstory; contrast to flash-forward.
||Simply put, the opposite of flashback; a filmic technique that
depicts a scene, event or shot taking place (or imagined) or expected that is
projected into a future time beyond the present time of the film, or it can
be a flashforward from the past to the present.
||A section of a studio's set, consisting of a constructed wooden
frame covered with materials (such as plywood that is treated or covered with
fabric, metal, paint, wallpaper, etc.).
||An editing machine resembling a desk with a screen in the
middle. The film sits flat on plates which are threaded through the center
section that has transports for picture and sound.
||A round cloth bounce card mounted on a flexible ring that can be
folded up when not in use.
||The flickering image in early films gave rise to the generic
termflicks when referring to the movies; often used in a.
||Refers to the unsteady, stroboscopic, fluctuating effect
perceived by the viewer, often produced by an improperly photographed or
projected film; similar to the old-time movie effect.
||A lamp that provides general diffuse lighting on a studio set.
||A film that is a failure at the box-office; also known
asfloppola, bomb, turkey. See Greatest All-Time Film Flops..
||Simply put, how wide or narrow a view the lens will provide,
smaller numbers being wider and larger numbers being narrower.
||Refers to the degree of sharpness or distinctness of an image
(or an element of an image such as a person, object, etc.); as a verb, it
refers to the manipulation or adjustment of the lens to create a sharper
image; terms related are deep focus,shallow focus (very common in close-ups),
soft focus, andrack focusing.
||This is when stray raw light has found a chance to expose you
film. Also a filter as in fog filter that diffuses the image.
||An acting role that is used for personality comparison or
contrast, usually with the protagonist or main character, as a means to show
and highlight a character trait.
||Named after Jack Foley), this is the art of simulating certain
noises in post-production to enhance particular moments. Foley artists might
smack a piece of leather to get a good punching sound, or snap a carrot when
a bone is broken. For scenes of disembowelment, the squelching of pasta is a
||In the post-production and editing stage of a film's production,
the foley artist (named after pioneer Jack Foley) creates or adds sound
effects/noises (e.g., footsteps, gunshots, kisses, punches, storm noises,
slamming doors, explosions, etc.) to the film as it is projected, often with
props that mimic the action.
(or following shot)
||A shot with framing that shifts to follow and keep a moving
figure or subject onscreen; also known as a type of tracking shot.
||A shot where focus is changed while shooting to correspond with
the moment of the subject (or the camera).
||Refers to a cinematic work that comes after, regardless of
whether it is a sequel or a prequel; contrast to a prequel,serial, series,
sequel, spin-off or remake.
||Measurement of light. One foot candle is the light of one
candle, one foot away. Many light meters will use foot candles as a starting
number, which then must be converted into an f-stop based on the sensitivity
of the film you are using. (Because of the great variety of different film
speeds it is sometimes ambiguous to talk too much about foot candles, since a
given number of foot candles will not yield the same f-stop from one film
speed to another.)
||Any length, portion or sequence of film (either shot or to be
shot) measured in feet; also refers to a particular sequence of events
depicted in a motion picture.1.: The amount of film one has shot. 2.: The
whole of the exposed film itself.
(abbreviated as f.g.)
||Objects or action closest to the camera; contrast tobackground
(abbreviated as b.g.).
||A feature-length motion picture produced outside the US with a
predominantly non-English dialogue track.
||To supply hints (in the form of symbols, images, motifs,
repetition, dialogue or mood) within a film about the outcome of the plot, or
about an upcoming action that will take place, in order to prepare the viewer
for later events, revelations, or.
||The size or aspect ratio of a film frame.
||Refers to the imaginary, illusory invisible plane through which
the film viewer or audience is thought to look through toward the action; the
fourth wall that separates the audience from the characters is 'broken
through' when the barrier between the fictional world of the film's story and
the "real world" of the audience is shattered - when an actor
speaks directly to the viewers by making an aside.
||Refers to a single image, the smallest compositional unit of a
film's structure, captured by the camera on a strip of motion picture film -
similar to an individual slide in still photography; a series of frames
juxtaposed and shown in rapid succession make up a motion (or moving)
picture; also refers to the rectangular area within which the film image is
composed by the film-maker - in other words, a frame is what we see (within
the screen); see fps and framing below..
||Frame handles are extra frames at the beginning and the end of
every shot, the exact number will vary from one application to the next,
which are used primarily when preparing original material for optical
printing, such as the Zero Cut method of blow up, or the creation of a
superimposed title, etc. The purpose they serve, in the case of zero cut, is
to make sure the registration pin of the printer is not grabbing a splice,
which can cause the image to wobble. With opticals they are often used merely
to avoid printed-in dirt, which is much more prevalent close to a splice
where bits of film cement can flake off.
||The small sliver of space between frames. This is where two
shots are cut apart and joined.
per second or fps
||Present-day films are usually run through a camera or projector
at a frame rate (running speed or camera speed) of 24 fps (frames per
second); older films, made at 18 fps, appear jerky and sped-up when played
back at 24 fps - this technique is referred to as undercranking;
overcrankingrefers to changing the frame rate (i.e., shooting at 48 or 96
fps), thereby producing slow-motion action when viewed at 24 fps..
||Frames-per-second is the rate at which film is exposed in a
(or framed shot)
||Refers to the way a shot is composed, and the manner in which
subjects and objects are surrounded ('framed') by the boundaries or perimeter
of the film image, or by the use of a rectangle or enclosing shape (such as a
shadow, mirror, door or hallway) within the film image; also, camera angles
such aslow-angle and high-angle shots contribute to the framing;reframing
refers to short panning or tilting movements of the camera to adjust to the
character's movements and keep them onscreen, centered, and in the frame..
||An optical printing effect in which a single frame image is
identically repeated, reprinted or replicated over several frames; when
projected, a freeze frame gives the illusion of a still photograph in which
the action has ceased; often used at the end of a film to indicate death or
ambiguity, and to provide an iconic lasting image.
||A small black metal flag attached to the camera with a
positionable arm that is used to shade the lens from light in the case of a
||A film process developed in the 1950s in which actors and
foreground objects were filmed in front of a projection screen, with a
previously-filmed background projected onto it.
||The scale used to measure the size of the opening of the iris on
a lens. Opening the iris wider lets in more light, and closing it down,
smaller, lets in less light. F-stops can be a little confusing, because the
larger the number, the smaller the opening of the iris, and conversely the
smaller the number, the larger the opening. The typical f-stop scale is
2� -� 2.8�
-� 4� -�
5.6� -� 8�
-� 11� -�
16� -� 22. When the reading is between stops, this
should be accounted for it setting the lens, however, it is much more clear,
even if it sounds grammatically incorrect to the mathematically inclined, to
say "One third above 5.6" rather than "5.8" because it is
very hard to judge the distance in decimals between numbers like 5.6 and 8,
whereas 1/3rd above 5.6 is perfectly clear.
||Fullcoat is Mag Stock with a layer of oxide that completely
covers one side, unlike Stripe. All 16mm mag is fullcoat. 35mm is available
in both fullcoat and stripe. The difference in 35mm is that fullcoat can be
used for recording several tracks, and it typically used for the Mix Master.
Fullcoat is also more expensive than stripe.
||The most intimate, the character is looking in our direction,
inviting out complicity. This allows the audience to be privileged and
observe them with their defenses down, vulnerability exposed.
||Abbreviation for 'For Your Consideration' (see above).
||The chief or head electrician or supervisory lighting technician
in the film/photography crew on a movie set, responsible for the design and
execution of a production's lighting on the set; the gaffer's right-hand
assistant is known as the best boy;gaffer tape refers to multi-purpose,
sticky and wide black cloth tape, used to mark studio floors, to hold things
||Cloth tape specifically for use on film shoots, usually 2 inches
wide in black or silver. The nice thing about gaffer's tape is that, unlike
duct tape, it is designed not to leave a sticky residue behind.
||These are comedy films that are often non-sensical and literally
filled with multiple gags (i.e., jokes, one-liners, pratfalls, slapstick,
etc.), are designed to produce laughter in any way possible, and often with
comic or spoofing references to other films.
||The opening on a camera or a projector just behind the lens,
through which a single frame is exposed (in the camera) or projected (in the
||When shooting on film, you’ll often hear the assistant
director shout, “Cut! Check the gate!” This is to ensure that the camera
and film is free of any impurities or blockages (a hair in the way, for
instance) that would render what' been filmed unusable or call for another
take. The phrase is sometimes still heard on a digital set, but only for auld
lang syne since there' no film gate.
||The aperture assembly of a camera, printer, or projector at
which the film is exposed.
||The size, specifically the width, of a film format: 16mm, 35mm,
Super-8 are gauges.
||A large sheet of transparent tinted plastic used as a filter for
a movie light, or to cover a window. There are two basic types: ones that
will covert one color temperature to another (such as C.T.O. and C.T.B.), and
others that come in a wide variety of colors.
||A transparent, tinted colored sheet of plastic used as a filter
for a movie light to create a colored glow over a scene, usually to evoke a
desired mood. Black-and-white silent films would often physically tint film
stock to achieve the same effect (see tint).
||A role traditionally played by a male or female that is switched
and played by a member of the opposite sex; see also non traditional casting.
||Usually, a cross-dressing role in which a male or female plays a
character of the opposite sex.
||Refers to the widespread simultaneous exhibition of a film.
||Usually refers to the number of times a videotape has been
copied; third generation means three steps away from the original media
||Methods, ingredients, things necessary for the style/category of
film. Consider the use of spaceships, alien forms and communication devices
in Spielberg�s E.T.
||Originally a French word meaning "kind",
"sort" or "type"; refers to a class or type of film
(i.e., westerns, sci-fi, etc.) that shares common, predictable or distinctive
artistic and thematic elements or iconography (e.g., bad guys in Westerns
wear black hats), narrative content, plot, and subject matter, mood and
milieu (or setting) or characters. Film genres are distinct from film styles
(a recognizable group of conventions used by filmmakers to add visual appeal,
meaning, or depth to their work) that can be applied to any genre; also see
hybrid;anti-genre films present an apparent genre stereotype and then subvert
or challenge it - see revisionistic films.
||The style or category of the film. Consider Invasion of the Body
Snatchers as sci-fi, Grease as a musical but also newer genre categories like
Me, Earl & The Dying Girl classified as a �dramedy�.
hue color; occurs for about 30 minutes around the
time of sunset and sunrise; aka golden hour
||Heaven (1978); and Phil Alden Robinson'sField of Dreams (1989).
||A literary or film style characterized by dark and dreary
influences, such as ghouls, the supernatural, the grotesque, deathly forces,
and the mysterious. Settings include old mansions, castles, and a threatened
heroine. Often used in reference to horror films with these characteristics,
to increase the film's prestige.
||Literally meaning 'large puppet' in French; originally a
reference to the famous classic shock Parisian theatre (during the 1900s)
which specialized in gruesome melodramas with gory special effects; the term
now refers to a play/film with sensational, macabre, horrifying, dramatic,
||A term denoting the 'go-ahead' for a film to be made; contrasted
to being redlighted; shouldn't be confused withgreen-screening.
||A technique where actors perform in front of a stark,
monochromatic background, usually bright green or blue. This is then replaced
with a background image, often with CGI. Also known as “bluescreen” or
||A grindhouse originally signified a burlesque, strip-tease
theatre (for "bumps and grinds") in a red-light district, or a
blue-collar downtown cinema-house that featured racy films, chopsocky films,
or other marginal fare; as a film, it first referred to a cheap, low-budget,
non-mainstream, sleazy, hard-core film that played in an 'adults-only' venue,
scruffy downtown area or drive-in in the 60s or 70s; early topics included
nudist pictures, kung-fu flicks, and cheesy/sexy potboilers, but then
branched out to refer to any genre of film with little plot, but with lots of
action, sex and nudity, violence, taboo drug-use, lewdness, atrocities, Hong
Kong martial arts content, or just plain weirdness; see also B
movies,exploitation or trash films, slasher films, blaxploitationfilms.
||The crew member responsible for setting up dolly tracks and
camera cranes, erecting scaffolding, moving props or scenery, or the
adjustment or maintenance of any other production equipment on the set - a
physically demanding job; the key grip is the head grip who coordinates all
of the other grips in the crew, and receives direction from the gaffer or
head lighting technician; the key grip's right-hand assistant is known as the
best boy grip.
||Refers to the box-office take - the total amount of money taken
in during theatrical release, not including earnings from film rentals or
sales, or the entire profit made by a film.
||A term originally coined by Federico Fellini to describe the
bizarre-looking or deformed background characters in his films; a grotesque
is a live-action caricature with exaggerated features, but not necessarily to
be viewed as frightening or sinister.
||A low-budget film usually shot without seeking location permits,
using non-SAG (Screen Actors Guild) actors, etc. .
||A type of tape splicer which uses unperforated splicing tape.
||An escapist film that engenders low expectations (usually an
awful B-movie or a critically-lambasted film) that the public enjoys despite
or, more likely, because of its flaws; these are often quite personal film
choices that are sometimes embarrassing to admit. Universally-loved 'guilty
pleasure' films become cult films. See also flop and B-movie.
||Halation is the effect that occurs when the bright areas of an
image appear to softly bleed around the edges of dark areas. This is caused
by light going through the emulsion layer, bouncing off the base of the film
and exposing the adjacent emulsion. Some film is manufactured with a black
anti-halation coating on the base side.
||see Apple Box.
||This is the gas contained in the lamp of a Quartz Light, which
prolongs the life of the tungsten filament. Quartz Lights are sometimes
called Halogen Lights for this reason.
||Shooting without a tripod, but with the camera held by the
||A handheld shot is one in which the cameraman or -woman holds
the camera and moves through space while filming.
||A shot taken with a handheld camera or deliberately made to
appear unstable, shaky or wobbly; often used to suggest either documentary
footage, 'realism,' news reporting,cinema verite, or amateur cinematography;
||a tone of writing for fiction and film often associated with
American detective fiction by Raymond Chandler, Mickey Spillane, and Dashiell
Hammett. Often film noir (example) (which has several specific themes and
even recurring images, such as spiral staircases and femmes fatales) adopts a
hard-boiled tone. Hard-boiled narrators are usually men, world-weary
"tough guys" who speak like this "it was always dark on Skid
Row, but it got darker the night that Joe Palooka took his final dive. He was
a down-on-his-heels prize fighter with nothing left to lose but twenty-five
bucks and his life. Some Fresno punk took both, when Joe went down with four
.38 slugs in his back."
||Named after Will Hays, a series of rigid censorship restrictions
imposed on films by the Motion Picture Production Code (MPPC) beginning in
mid-1934, and enforced/administered by Joseph Breen (in the Breen Office);
the code had existed since the late 1920s but wasn't vigorously enforced, and
it basically lasted until the late 1960s; the Code explicitly prescribed what
couldn't be shown in films, i.e., "nakedness and suggestive
dances," "methods of crime," "alleged sex perversion,"
"illegal drug use," "scenes of passion," "excessive
and lustful kissing...", "miscegenation," "pointed
||1.: The beginning of a shot or a roll is called the head. 2.: A
small round clamp, usually used in conjunction with an arm on a C-Stand. 3.:
The Tripod Head
||The space between the top of a subject's head and the top of the
frame. Headroom must be carefully apportioned so that there is not too much
or too little, especially if shooting for transfer to video or for blowup,
where the frame will be cropped in a little on the top and sides.
||A shot in which the action moves or comes directly toward or at
the camera, to enhance the audience's feelings of participation; works well
with 3-D films; also may refer to ahead shot.
||A moving shot, often breathtaking; an establishing shot from a
bird's eye view or from overhead, usually taken from a helicopter - due to
its maneuverability, the shot may pan, arc, or sweep through a landscape;
many films open with a helicopter shot (often under the credits).
||Terms used to refer to the director (aka helmer) of a film.
||Often used in sports coverage. For instance the closeup of a
person who just made a score in a basketball game is called a hero shot.
||Refers to the major male and female protagonists in a film with
whom the audience identifies and sympathizes. Character traits often include
being young, virtuous, handsome, pretty, etc.; contrast with the antagonist
or heavy(the villain or evil force)..
||This is a square of plywood with a bracket attached, to which a
tripod head may be added (or is sometimes permanently affixed) used for
filming with the camera very low to the ground. Its name is a bit of a
contradiction, to its use nowadays, but it used to be that a Hi Hat was for
shooting from very high up, with the plywood board being mounted up high
||(high concept one-liner): "A teenager is mistakenly sent
into the past, where he must make sure his mother and father meet and fall in
love; he then has to get back to the future." Back to the Future (1985).
||Often done for tragedies and melodramas with the harsh shafts of
light and dramatic steaks of blackness.
||A high-angle shot is one in which the camera is placed above eye
level, creating a frame that looks down at the subject. Early examples of
high-angle shots represent the point of view of a distant onlooker.
||A shot in which the subject or scene is filmed from above and
the camera points down on the action, often to make the subject(s) small,
weak and vulnerable; contrast to low-angle shot.
||Less dramatic, reduces the height of the objects and the
importance of the setting or environment is increased. A person seems
harmless and insignificant when photographed from above; useful in conveying
a character' self-contempt. (example)
||Refers to the saleable or marketable elements of a film; a high
concept (actually low-concept in practice) refers to a film's main premise
expressed as a simple formula in just a few words (as a one-liner) that can
be easily understood by all; this idea portrays a shallow, condescending
attitude toward undiscriminating film audiences by Hollywood's marketers and
often results in having film content controlled by what appeals to the lowest
common denominator type market; see alsologline (also known as premise).
||An on screen television image that will appear in a ratio of
16:9 compared to today's analog signal ratio of 4:3; the image will be
'high-def' due to increased lines of resolution (e.g., 1080 lines rather than
the 525 of analog).
||The use of thin beams of light to illuminate selected or limited
parts of the subject (e.g., an actress' eyes).
||Slang term for the following verbs, meaning "to
increase", "to raise" or "to promote".
||An actor's term for moving to the correct, predetermined
position during rehearsals and during camera takes so that the camera can
smoothly record the action; 'mark' refers to pieces of crossed tape on the
floor to signify positions.
||This is a type of light. HMI stands for Halogen Metal
Incandescence. HMIs are very bright, power efficient lights. They are
balanced for the Color Temperature of Daylight, making them handy in mixed
lighting situations. However, they are rather expensive, costing something in
the few thousands of dollars, and are not very portable due to the large and
heavy ballast that is attached. Also, and this is vitally important to keep
in mind, they must be used with a Crystal Sync camera, otherwise they will
flicker and throb.
||The term used by a director for an actor used for an extra day.
||a French term pronounced that way, this is "a nod of the
head" in a film to a past director or actor. Directors watch lots of
good and bad films, so many engage in this practice. Directors of mysteries
or suspense films often include an homage to Alfred Hitchcock. Look for one
of these moments in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, when Bruce Willis'
character Butch sees Ving Rhames' character Marsellus crossing the street in
front of Butch's car. This shot honors a famous shot from Hitchcock's Psycho.
||Usually a respectful tribute to someone or something; this often
occurs within one movie when a reference is made to another film's scene,
||A slang term denoting a dancer .
||A popular film genre designed to frighten and thrill with
familiar elements (monsters, killers, vampires, zombies, aliens, mad
scientists, the devil or demons, etc.), gothic qualities or settings (e.g.,
castles), psychological terror, etc.; initially influenced by German
expressionism; subgenretypes include slasher films, occult films, and
gore-fests; often combined with the sci-fi genre.
||General slang for a western film, not for a "singing
cowboy" film; also known as an oater (for the food that horses eat).
||A Cement splicer with an electric heater inside. The heat
improves the bonding of the cement splice. Hot splicers are really not
dangerously hot, just warm.
||You can request "House Lights" for a print and the lab
will not time your film, but print it without any exposure or color
correction. House lights are typically at the middle of the printing scale:
||A film or production that combines or intersects two or more
distinct genre types, and cannot be categorized by a single genre type; see
||The abbreviation for hyperbole; refers to manufactured
promotional buzz and excessive advertising/marketing for a film or project,
including celebrity appearances, radio and TV spots or interviews, and other
ploys; a similar word - hypo - means to increase or boost.
||The hyperfocal distance is a distance set on the focusing ring
of the lens that will most efficiently use the Depth of Field present. A
depth of field chart will list possible distances and graph out the area of
focus at different f-stops. There does not necessarily have to be a subject
to focus on at that distance.
||The equivalent of A.S.A. and I.E., just with another name, it is
another way of saying the same thing. This is the least frequently used of
the three, but is sometimes found on the light meter. Treat it just as if it
was A.S.A. I.S.O. stands for International Standards Organization.
||The images or symbols associated with a certain subject.
Consider Gansel�s use of the wave action & how it mimics that of the Nazi
||The use of a well-known symbol or icon; a means to analyze the
themes and various styles in a film.
||Generally refers to the picture that is the result of the
||A specialized, big-screen film format about ten times larger
than the traditional cinema format (35mm) and three times larger than the
standard 70 mm widescreen format; debuted in Osaka Japan at the 1970
Exposition; IMAX films, often short documentaries, 'educational,' travelogue
or nature films, are shot and projected on 15 perforation/70mm gauge film -.
||A term for an entire film or a subset of shots that are all
finished shooting; also denotes when a director has the takethat he wanted.
||Refers to filming in the exact order required for the final
product, thereby eliminating the post-production editing stage; a fast,
albeit unprofessional way to produce a film, often employed by student or
amateur film-makers; requires advanced planning to tell the desired story in
order; aka in camera effects, such as double-exposures, split-screen shots,
rear-screen and front-projection process shots, etc..
||An incident light reading measures the amount of light hitting
the subject. You take an incident reading with a light meter equipped with a
white half-sphere which acts as a stand-in for the subject. The sphere is
pointed at the camera, so that the same light hitting the subject is hitting
the sphere. The other type of light reading is a Reflective Light Reading.
or indie films
||Small independent, low-budget companies, mini-majors, or
entities for financing, producing, and distributing films (i.e., Miramax, New
Line Cinema, Polygram) working outside of the system or a major Hollywood
studio; however, an indie maylose its independent status when its grows large
and powerful; also refers to a movie, director, distributor or producer
(sometimes unconventional) not associated with or produced by a major
Hollywood film studio; often with groundbreaking subject matter designed for
sophisticated audiences, and not necessarily produced with commercial success
as the goal, unlike mainstream films.
||Another name for the film or entertainment industry; also
referred to as the biz, show business, show-biz,Hollywood, or the town..
||The furthest distance on the focusing ring of a lens.
||A young, teenaged female actress often in an important or lead
role in a film; usually portrays an innocent, sometimes naive, and attractive
character; also refers to an actress sometimes known as a starlet; the male
counterpart is known as a juvenile..
||Slang term meaning to 'sign' a contract.
||A shot that occurs in the middle of a larger scene or shot,
usually a close-up of some detail or object, that draws audience attention,
provides specific information, or simply breaks up the film sequence (e.g., a
quivering hand above a gun holster in a Western, a wristwatch face, a letter,
a doorbell button, a newspaper headline, a calendar, a clock face); an insert
shot is filmed from a different angle and/or focal length from the master
shot and is different from acutaway shot (that includes action not covered in
the master shot); also known as cut-in..
||In a film, an obscure, show-biz related joke that is understood
(or realized) only by those who know the reference (outside the context of
||Usually refers to a series of shots, consisting of two
simultaneous events, that are alternated together to create suspense;
intercutting can also consist of shots of two people involved in a telephone
||Two or more devices (most commonly dubbers in a mixing facility)
with motors that run in sync are interlocked. It is not quite correct to say
that a sync sound camera and tape recorder are interlocked, regardless of
whether they use crystal of cable sync, since the tape recorder is recording
pilottone and not really running with its motor interlocked with the camera
||A brief, intervening film scene or sequence, not specifically
tied to the plot, that appears within a film..
||A break in the middle of a film, normally in a feature-length
film of three hours or more (although rare in current-day films); originally,
intermissions served as a 'stretch-restroom' opportunity, or provided time
for the projectionist to change reels; they often were accompanied by a
medley of the film's score - or a song score for musicals; the strategy of
film theaters nowadays is to show a film as many times as possible during the
||An intermediate copy of a film, made on a very fine-grained
stock, and used to make a greater number of prints than it is practical to
make from the A'amp;B Rolls.
||An intermediate copy of a film, made on a very fine-grained
stock, usually required as an intermediate step to making an internegative.
||A device that attaches to the camera for filming single
exposures, much like an animation motor, exept that an intervalometer is
capable of exposing single frames automatically, as in the technique of Time
||Like the iris of the eye, a valve within a lens to control the
amount of light that passes through. Opening the iris permits more light to
pass through the lens and closing the iris less. The degree to which the iris
is open or closed is measured in F-Stops, and on some lenses supplemented by
||An earlier cinematographic technique or wipe effect, in the form
of an expanding or diminishing circle, in which a part of the screen is
blacked out so that only a portion of the image can be seen by the viewer;
usually the lens aperture is circular or oval shaped and is often expanded or
contracted as the film rolls, often from one scene to the next; known also
asdiaphragm. The camera movment is often termed iris
wipe,circle-in/circle-out, or iris-in/iris-out; also refers to the adjustable
opening in the lens that allows light to pass through - the measurement for
the iris opening is f-stop.
||The iris shot is a shot masked in a circular form.
||See L-cut (below); aka split edit.
||A filmed musical (drama, or animation, etc.) that uses pre
existing popular songs (usually from a variety of artistic sources) as its
song score; the songs are often re-imagined with different song styles; aka
||An abrupt, disorienting transitional device in the middle of a
continuous shot in which the action is noticeably advanced in time and/or cut
between two similar scenes, either done accidentally (a technical flaw or the
result of bad editing) or purposefully (to create discontinuity for artistic
effect); also contrast with an ellipsis and match cut.
||The role of a young, teenaged male character; the female
counterpart is known as an ingenue..
||In a film, the contiguous positioning of either two images,
characters, objects, or two scenes in sequence, in order to compare and
contrast them, or establish a relationship between them; see also sequence,
||K has two different meanings, and both apply to movie lights, so
one should be careful to differentiate one from the other. 1.: An
abbreviation for Kilowatts. There are 1,000 Watts in 1 Kilowatt. It is used
when talking about quartz lights or HMIs, as a way to measure their
brightness based on their power consumption. A "1K" is a 1,000 Watt
light, a "2K" a 2,000 Watt light, etc. 2.: An abbreviation for
Kelvin, such as 3,200K for tungsten balance, 5,400K for daylight, etc.
||This is the Color Temperature scale that takes its name from the
scientist Lord Kelvin.
||The main or primary light on a subject, often angled and off
center (or from above) that selectively illuminates various prominent
features of the image to produce depth, shadows, etc.; high-key lighting
(with everything evenly and brightly lit, with a minimum of shadows) is
termed realistic (and often used in musicals and comedies), while low-key
lighting (with less illumination, more shadows, and many grayish, dark areas)
is termed expressionistic (and often used in film noir);three-point lighting
uses: (1) a fill (or filler) light - an auxiliary light to soften shadows and
areas not covered by the key light, (2) a back light behind to add depth to a
subject, and (3) a bright key light.
lighting (high and low)
||Lighting design to create different light/dark ratios. High-key
lighting is bright and produces little shadow, whereas low-key lighting is
used to specifically create shadow and contrast. Consider the low-key
lighting of Eli to create mystery in Let The Right One In.
||A term denoting the start of production or principal
||A type of powerful carbon-arc lamp that produces an intense
light, often used in film-making; also used for promotional purposes at film
||Another term for an awards show; see Academy Awards.
||This stands for Last Frame of Action, and basically it is just
what it sounds like: the last frame of image and sound on a reel. It is
important to the people who mix your film (it should be written on the cue
sheet), especially if you need to do Pull Ups.
||A large roll (usually up to 1,000 feet) made up of camera rolls
joined together by the lab for printing.
||A revolutionary film, due to either its technical or performance
artistry; those films recognized by the National Film Registry.
||Precisely, the edge numbers, and not inked-on code numbers. see
||The degree to which a certain film stock can tolerate under- or
overexposure. Reversal film, for all practical purposes, has a very little
latitude. Color negative has a higher latitude, and particular of its
latitude it is tolerant of much more overexposure than underexposure.
||A miniature type of microphone, usually omni-directional and
wireless, and small enough to be taped or clipped to an actor, to record
dialogue; aka lav, lapel or lap microphones.
||A digital film editing term, also known as a split edit, J cut
ordelayed edit; it refers to a transitional edit in which the audio and video
edit do not start at the same time; the audio starts before (or after) the
||Refers to the most important, main character in a film, often
distinguished by gender; usually there is at least one male and female lead
role; also usually known as protagonist; contrasted to supporting roles or
Right Edges of the Frame
||Suggests insignificance because the characters are the farthest
away from the center. Often are shot with darker light, suggesting the
||A film that has 'legs' has strong and profitable box-office,
stamina and audience drawing power far beyond the opening weekend; the term
usually applies to films that last many months.
||An intentionally-repeated, recurring element or themeassociated
with a particular person, idea, milieu, or action; the element presents
itself as a repeated sound, shot, bit of dialogue, piece of music, etc., that
helps unify a film by reminding the viewer of its earlier appearance;
sometimes presented along with a film's tag line on a film poster..
||A piece of glass in a camera through which light passes before
hitting the film stock inside; various types include wide angle lens,
telephoto lens, normal, etc.; to lense means to film a motion picture.
||It is caused when light strikes the lens and either causes the
entire image to be fogged in appearance, or for a little row of polygons (the
silhouette of the iris) to appear from the light hitting the surfaces of the
many elements in the lens. It is solved by flagging the lens.
||The technique of shrinking the film image just enough so that
its entire width appears on TV screen, with black areas above and below the
image; refers to the way that videos emulate the widescreen format on
television screens; if a widescreen film is not in the letterbox format it is
often in pan-and scanformat..
||A stock shot, often unimaginative or commonplace.
||Lighting is responsible for the quality of a film�s images and
often a film�s dramatic effect.
||Refers to the illumination of a scene, and the manipulation of
light and shadows by the cinematographer..
||Stray light that penetrates into a camera giving the film little
patches of fog. Also the term for the access point itself. Typically light
leaks occur around the camera door or where the magazine is joined to the
camera body. Often they can be easily prevented with camera tape around the
||see Timing Lights.
||Refers to the spoken dialogue belonging to a single performer;
also refers to the full complement of spoken words in a film or stage script;
also known simply as dialogue..
||Refers to synchronization between mouth movement and the words
on the film's soundtrack.
||A small darkroom sometimes found on a sound stage for loading
film into magazines as a roomier alternative to a Changing Bag.
(or on location)
||The properties or places (interior or exterior) used for filming
away from the studio, set, or (back)lot, often to increase the authenticity
and realism of the film's appearance; exteriors are abbreviated as ext., and
interiors as int..
||Refers to recording background sound on location, to improve the
film's realism; see also buzz track.
||The so-called final cut of a film when there are to be no more
changes to picture.
||A shot taken with the pan and tilt releases on the tripod
tightened so that the camera will not move. Often done for certain effects
where camera movement would ruin the illusion, such as a cut that causes a
character to magically disappear from a scene or for time lapse effects.
||Refers to a camera shot in which the camera remains immobile,
while something happens off-screen (e.g., an off screen death) - a technique
to create suspense.
||A short, introductory summary of a film, usually found on the
first page of the screenplay, to be read by executives, judges, agents,
producers and script-readers; all screenwriters use loglines to sell their
scripts; also known as premise; see alsohigh concept hook.
||A lens with a focal length greater than 25mm in 16mm, or 50mm in
35mm, which, like binoculars, will provide a view that magnifies a small
||A long shot shows characters in their entirety, as well as some
of the surrounding environment.
||The long take is a shot of some duration.
(or lengthy take)�
||A shot of lengthy duration; see also mise-en-scene.
||A camera view of an object or character from a considerable
distance so that it appears relatively small in the frame, e.g., a person
standing in a crowd of people or a horse in a vast landscape; variations are
the medium long-shot (or mid shot) (MS) and the extreme long-shot (ELS or
XLS); also called a wide shot; a long shot often serves as anestablishing
shot; contrast to close-up (CU); a full-shot is a type of long shot that
includes a subject's entire body (head to feet)..
||1.: Slack film above and below the gate to allow a transition
from the constant motion of the supply and take up rollers to the
intermittent motion that takes place at the gate. 2.: A small magnifier
useful in the editing room. 3.: see Dubbing.
||Refers to the process in which dialogue is re-recorded by actors
in the studio during post-production, matching the actor's voice to lip
movements on screen; aka ADR(Automated Dialogue Replacement); contrast with
dubbing;loop refers to a length of film joined from beginning to end for
repeated continuous running.
||A low contrast print specifically for transfer to video, which
favors less contrast in the transfer process.
||Mysteries and thrillers use shadows and pools of light.
||A shot in which the subject is filmed directly from below and
the camera tilts up at the action or character, to make the subject appear
larger than life, more formidable, taller and more menacing; contrast to a
high-angle shot. Have the opposite effect as they increase height and thus
suggest verticality. They also heighten the importance of a subject. The
figure looms threateningly over the spectator who is made to feel insecure
and dominated. A person photographed from below inspires fear and awe. (example)
||A shot, a sequence, or a film that is shot without sound, which
is added later. M.O.S. stands for "Mit Out Sound," and derives from
an old Hollywood story about a German director asking for a shot to be filmed
"mit out sound," and the camera assistant complying with this
request by writing "M.O.S." on the slate.
||Alfred Hitchcock coined this term; he meant plot device that
makes the action happen without being important in and of itself. For
instance, the act of two strangers sitting next to each other, and one
finding and returning the other's car keys might lead to a murder or a love
affair. The keys are the MacGuffin. The Ark of the Covenant in Raiders of the
Lost Ark and the briefcase in Pulp Fiction are famous MacGuffins.
||A lens that can be used for extremely close to the subject. The
focusing ring will keep going past the lowest setting (on the Switar lens a
red ring will appear to let you know) all the way around again. When in macro
the distances on the focusing ring no longer apply.
||A fast-paced, wild, and reckless humorous work, usually with
plenty of slapstick humor, goofy and farcical action, and crazy characters;
also see screwball comedy.
||Short for movies filmed or made-for-television, often mid-way in
style between a short drama and a cinematic release.
||1.: Short for Film Magazine. 2.: Short for Mag Track.
Stock, Mag Track or Magnetic Film
||Mag track is a piece of film that is coated with an emulsion of
magnetic oxide instead of silver halides. Basically, it is sound recording
tape that is the same size as film, complete with perforations. For editing,
all the sound, location sound and additional sound, is transferred to mag
stock, where it is run on an editing machine in tandem with picture, one
frame of picture equaling one frame of sound.
||An attachment to a camera with one or two light-proof chambers
that hold 400 or 1,000 feet of film. One camera will typically have two or
three magazines which can be loaded ahead of time.
||The short time just before sunset when light levels change
dramatically and very quickly, enabling golden shots that will look “very
Terrence Malick”. See the opening shot of Hot Fuzz or virtually any Michael
||The optimum time for filming romantic or magical scenes due to
'warm' and 'soft' lighting conditions, characterized by a.
||A Hollywood-made film with major stars, big budgets, and
bighype; compare to independents; its extreme opposite is termed
counter-cinema (forms of alternative cinema, such asavant-garde, art films,
Third World cinema, etc.).
||Popular, conventional, and/or part of a major film studio
system. Consider Spielberg�s hugely successful work for Hollywood studio
Universal Pictures' production and distribution companies.
||Refers to the major Hollywood motion picture
producer/distributor studios at the present time (i.e., DreamWorks SKG,
MGM/UA, Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Sony (Columbia/TriStar), Warner
Bros, Universal, and Disney); contrast to the smaller, mini
majorproduction-distribution companies (i.e., Miramax, New Line Cinema, and
Polygram) that compete directly with the bigger studios.
||Refers to the materials that are used to prepare the performer
for his/her respective role(s) before the camera, anywhere from facial
pancake to elaborate costuming, latex masks, and other ghastly
transformations; the makeup department is headed by a makeup artist.
||A specialized documentary that focuses on the production of a
specific film; most "making of..." documentaries are extended
promotional advertisements before the release of the film, and almost all of
them are shot while the film is in production; some specialized documentaries
of classic films (called retrospectives), made years after the film was
released, gather interviews and behind the scenes clips, etc..
||M'amp;E stands for Music and Effects. After a mix a big
production will have an M'amp;E track made, which is used when the film is
dubbed into other languages so that all the Music and Effects do not also
have to be redone. An M'amp;E track is only essential if you plan on dubbing
your film into a different language.
||(1) the name for the clapping of the sticks to sync up the sound
and the picture; and (2) something on the ground (tape, a stick, chalk, etc.)
that lets the talent know where they should be for the shot.
||1.: The clapping of the clapstick to create a Sync Mark (1.) for
the shot. 2.: A piece of tape on the floor that indicates where an actor
||What to say to the person with the slate to get them to clap the
||Refers to covering up or blocking out a portion of the frame
with blackness or opaqueness; most masks are black, but they could be white
or some other color.
||A continuous shot or long take that shows the main action or
setting of an entire scene (most scenes are shot with one or two master
angles and then broken up into a series of smaller or tighter angles during
editing (such as one-shots, two-shots, close-ups, and reaction shots)); a
master refers to a positive print made especially for duplication purposes.
||A transitional technique, in which there's a cut between two
shots (outgoing and incoming) that are joined, matched, or linked by visual,
aural, or metaphorical parallelism or similarities; there can be audio
matches, segues (a seguerefers to a smooth, uninterrupted transition), and
visualmatch-cuts of various kinds; see also audio bridge andbridging shot .
||A square shade that goes in front of the lens, usually supported
by a pair of rods that attach to the camera. A matte box often has filter
holders for square glass filters. (Often helpful for doing a Matte Shot.)
||A shooting technique where painted artwork (ordinarily on glass)
is combined in-shot with live action, to create the illusion of a grand
backdrop. It' old-fashioned, but still used by Peter Jackson and others for
those invaluable epic visuals. A double exposure that does not meld two
images on top of each other, but masks off part of the frame for one exposure
and the opposite area for another exposure. This is also known as a split
screen. Matte shots can also be done as Opticals. The end shot of the 1968
Planet of the Apes provides a perfect example. When Taylor falls to his knees
in front of the Statue of Liberty, our actors were (I'm fairly certain)
facing a blank background. A painted background was added--a matte
painting--of the ruined statue.
||Alfred Hitchcock's term for the device or plot element (an item,
object, goal, event, or piece of knowledge) that catches the viewer's
attention or drives the logic or action of the plot and appears extremely
important to the film characters, but often turns out to be insignificant or
is to be ignored after it has served its purpose; its derivation is Scottish,
meaning a "lion trap" for trapping lions in the lion-less Scottish
Highlands (i.e., a trap that means nothing, since it is for an animal where
there is no such animal)..
||Refers to a conventional camera shot filmed from a medium
distance; although it is difficult to precisely define, it usually refers to
a human figure from the waist (or knees) up; between a close shot and a long
shot; abbreviated as m.s.. A medium shot is one that can include several
characters in a frame, usually showing a character from the waist up.Contains
a figure from the knees or waist up.
||Both refer to movie chains (i.e., Loews, AMC Theatres) with
movie theatres that screen more than one film at a time, as opposed to
single-screen theatres. A multiplex has from 2 up to 16 screens, a megaplex
has 16 or more screens; plex is the abbreviation for a multiplex theatre..
||Originally referred to "a drama accompanied by music";
a film characterized by expressive plots with strong and intensified emotion,
often with elements of pathos, illness and hardship; called 'women's films'
or 'weepies' (tearjerkers) during the 1940s; aka meller; sometimes used
disparagingly to describe films that are manipulative and crudely appeal to
emotions; see also 'chick flicks'.
||A filmic device in which a scene, character, object, and/or
action may be associated, identified, or interpreted as an implied
representation of something else (that is unrelated).
||A style of acting first expounded by Konstantine Stanislavsky in
the early 1900s, and popularized by Lee Strasberg (1899- 1982) in the US in
his Actors Studio; refers to actors who gave realistic performances based
upon and drawn from their own personal experiences and emotions; refers to
not emoting in the traditional manner of stage conventions, but to speak and
gesture in a manner used in private life..
||Offbeat, often independent (non-Hollywood) counter culturalcult
films exhibited at theatres for late-night shows - sometimes involving
audience participation; appealed to various small segments of niche audiences
with different tastes; these films (originally sexual thrillers, slasher
flicks, etc.) were often box-office bombs upon initial release, but then
gained a faithful following; the phenomenon began in the early 70s, then
mostly disappeared in the 80s, but has recently been revived..
||Acting without words, emphasizing facial expressions, body
movements, and gestures; common during the silent film era..
||Small-scale models photographed to give the illusion that they
are full-scale objects; also known as model or miniature shots..
||unlike montage, this is physically what is in a shot or scene
and does not involve editing. It can involve camera movement and focus,
lighting, scenery, placement of people or objects, and other elements a
director can make happen on the set rather than later on in the editing
||Refers to an actor/actress who is completely wrong, untalented,
or unbelievable for the role he or she has been cast in..
||A French term for "staging," or "putting into the
scene or shot"; in film theory, it refers to all the elements placed (by
the director) before the camera and within the frame of the film -- including
their visual arrangement and composition; elements include settings, decor,
props, actors, costumes, makeup, lighting, performances, and character
movements and positioning; lengthy, un-cut, unedited and uninterrupted
sequences shot in real-time are often cited as examples ofmise-en-scene;
contrast to montage.
||Mise-en-sc�ne originated in the theater and is used in film to
refer to everything that goes into the composition of a shot--framing,
movement of the camera and characters, lighting, set design and the visual
environment, and sound.
||Literally, �what is in the frame�: setting, costume & props,
colour, lighting, body language, positioning within the frame all come
together to create meaning.
||This is the process of combining all your soundtracks into one,
with all the sounds blended together at their correct volumes, together with
any equalization, filtering, and effecting of the sound to give you the
desired end result.
||The electrical combination of different sounds, dialogue, music,
and sound effects from microphones, tape, and other sources onto the film's
master soundtrack during post production; dubbing (or re-recording) refers to
the mixing of all soundtracks into a single composite track; the soundtrack
is blended by a mixer (chief sound recording technician).
||This is a copy of your sound mix on mag stock, or on DAT, which
you sometimes have to request in addition to the optical track. It is always
a good idea to get a copy of the mix on tape, which will be of much better
quality than the optical track for transfer to video, or to save some mixing
time in the event you have to remix.
||1.: A device for blending together sounds from multple sources
with a volume control for each. 2.: The person who sits at the mixing console
during the mix, who decides initially on how the sounds are to be combined
(you are the one with final say), and operates the faders and other audio
||A sound studio specifically for mixing sound for film.
||A fictional, farcical film that has the style, 'look and feel'
of a documentary, with irreverent humor, parody, or slapstick, that is
deliberately designed to 'mock' the documentary or subject that it features;
related to docudrama (a film that depicts real people and actual events in
(or modern-day) classic
||A popular, critically-acclaimed film in recent years destined
(possibly?) to ultimately become an all-time classic.
||Refers to a domineering, autocratic head of a major film studio;
most commonly used when the studio systemdominated film making; now popularly
called a studio chief.
||Aka payoff shot; a term originally borrowed from the
pornographic film industry; referring to a scene, image, revelation, or
climactic moment that gives the audience "their money's worth," may
have cost the most money to produce - and may be the key to the movie's
||Refers to a small television screen hooked up to the camera
and/or recording device that allows crew other than the camera operator to
check the quality of a scene as it is being shot or to check and see if it
needs to be reshot.
||A scene or a portion of a script in which an actor gives a
lengthy, unbroken speech without interruption by another character; see also
soliloquy. See Best Film Speeches and Monologues.
||A French word literally meaning "editing",
"putting together" or "assembling shots"; refers to a
filming technique, editing style, or form of movie collage consisting of a
series of short shots or images that are rapidly put together into a coherent
sequence to create a composite picture, or to suggest meaning or a larger
idea; in simple terms, the structure of editing within a film; a montage is
usually not accompanied with dialogue; dissolves, cuts, fades,
super-impositions, and wipes are often used to link the images in a montage
sequence; an accelerated montage is composed of shots of increasingly-shorter
lengths; contrast to mise-en-scene.
||The term for a child, or pre-teen child actor.
tale (or play)
||A literary term mostly, but used also to refer to a film (often
heavy-handed and obvious in tone) that presents a judgment on the
goodness/badness of human behavior and character, and emphasizes the struggle
between good and evil.
||The transformation of one digital image into another with
||Refers to a recurrent thematic element in a film that is
repeated in a significant way or pattern; examples of motifs - a symbol,
stylistic device, image, object, word, spoken phrase, line, or sentence
within a film that points to a theme..A dominant theme or recurring idea.
Consider the recurring colour motif of a warm centre surrounded by cooler
colours in Song Of The Sea echoing Ben�s childhood safety.
pictures (movies, pic(s), pix, or "moving
||A length of film (with or without sound) with a sequence of
images that create an illusion of movement when projected; originally
referred to the motion or movement (due to the principle of persistence of
vision) perceived when a string of celluloid-recorded images were projected
at a rate of 16 or more frames per second; an art form, and one of the most
popular forms of entertainment, known archaically as aphotoplay during the
and unmotivated lighting
||Refers to lighting (or a light source) that is naturally
existing in the real world, i.e., from a lamp post, table lamp, sunlight
shining through a window, etc., that appears in a scene; for the lighting to
appear natural in a film scene, it should seem to be coming from light
sources that are visible or implied within the scene; the opposite effect is
||A slang term for the Walt Disney Co. or any division thereof --
refers to the company's most famous animated character: Mickey Mouse.
||An Upright Moviola. Moviola is the company that makes this
machine. They also make flatbeds, but when someone says "Moviola"
the generally mean an upright. This is a film viewer, often used on an
||Spelled Moviscop but pronounced "movie-scope." This is
a small, 16mm table-top viewer, often used on an editing bench.
||Acronym-initials meaning 'Motion Picture Association of America'
- an organization that represents the interests of the major motion picture
||Refers to the style of filming and editing first found on the
MTV cable channel in the 1980s and its music videos, consisting of
rapidly-cut shots, fast-paced action, jump-cuts, fast-edits, numerous camera
||A major film genre category denoting a film that emphasizes
segments of song and dance interspersed within the action and dialogue; known
for its distinctive artists, stars, singers, and dancers; two major types are
'backstage' musicals and 'music-integrated' musicals..
||A print with only the picture image (minus the sound track).
||The telling of a story, and the supplemental information given
to the film audience by an off-screen voice; sometimes the narrator is a
character in the film, who provides information in a flashback; see also
||A structured series of events, linked by cause and effect, that
provide the plot of a film; a film that tells a chronological or linear story
(with a beginning, middle, and end), as opposed to non-narrative films, such
as poetic or abstractfilms..
||A stage, artistic, philosophical, or literary term as well as a
film term, signifying an extreme form of realism in which life is depicted in
a stoic, unbiased way; see also Neo-Realism..
||The original film that is used in the camera, from which a
positive print is made for editing. The negative is assembled to match the
edited workprint, and an answer print, for projection of the completed film,
is struck from the negative.
||The person who cuts and assembles the original negative to match
the edited workprint, which then goes to the lab for the answer print.
||same as Negative Cutter.
||An influential movement of the late 1940s and 1950s that
originated in Italy; inaugurated by Jean Renoir, but associated with Italian
post-war directors (Rossellini, Visconti, and De Sica); refers to films made
outside the studio, with shooting on real locations, sometimes the absence of
a script and/or non-professional casts and actors - all designed
simultaneously to cut costs and increase the impression of spontaneity;
neo-realistic films often deal with contemporary social and political issues;
||Originally referred to the "Big Three" (ABC, NBC and
CBS), but now with additional competitors, including Fox Channel, often known
||Also known as Nouvelle Vague; originally referred to a group of
individualistic, innovative, and non-traditional French filmmakers, directors
and producers in the late 1950s and early 1960s, including Francois Truffaut,
Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol, Eric Rohmer, and Alain Resnais, who began as
critics on Cahiers du Cinema and espoused the principles of auteur theory;
the New Wave film style was characterized by a cinema verite style with the
use of the jump cut, the hand-held camera, non-linear storytelling, and
loose, improvised direction; now used to generally refer to any new movement
in a national cinema..
||Refers to a filmed cinema news report.
||The term for a makeshift motion picture theater, often a
converted store, which proliferated all over the US, mostly in working-class
areas of metropolitan centers, during the first decade of the 20th century.
The name was derived from the 5 cents/nickel charged to patrons..
||A dark and brooding film that features a downbeat, depressing,
dreary, cynical, gloomy or bleak tone; often doom-laden and concerned with
the subjects of death, suffering, tragedy, unhappiness, and existential
despair; the protagonist often meets with death or tragedy in a film's
conclusion; see also dystopia..
||A highly-flammable kind of film base, composed of cellulose
nitrate, used up until the late 1940s when it was then supplanted by acetate
||See film noir, tech-noir.
||Non-diegetic sound is sound whose origin is from outside the
||A camera that does not have a "through the lens"
viewfinding system, but gives you an image in the viewfinder through a
seperate lens. Older Bolexes and Bell 'amp; Howell cameras are non-reflex.
||A small role in a film, usually a brief appearance on screen,
that has no dialogue but where the individual is clearly.
||Refers to a scene shot without synchronized sound - and sounds
must be added later during the editing stage; sync sound is its opposite;
also refers to a mis-matched soundtrack; aka asynchronous.
||A movement, now officially headed by the Non-Traditional Casting
Project (NTCP) to "promote inclusive hiring practices and standards,
diversity in leadership and balanced portrayals of persons of color and
persons with disabilities"; not to be confused with cast against type
||In 16mm this is the 25mm lens. In 35mm it is the 50mm lens. It
is the point between the widening of the image by the wide angle lens and the
magnifiying of the image by the telephoto lens.
||Just what it sounds like. Used in the old trick among
camerapersons to lubricate the pressure plate by wiping it along the side of
the nose. Nose grease has the scientific name of squalene which is also found
in shark'#39;s liver oil.
||When a subject is in profile, nose room is the space between
their face and the edge of the frame, similar to Head Room. In a profile
shot, nose room is considered "good" when a little extra room in
front of the person's face, rather than behind their head. The general rule
is that the space around the subject should be apportioned to 2/3rds in front
of the subject's head, and 1/3rd behind.
||A film that wistfully looks back at an earlier past time, often
depicting it as more innocent and uncomplicated than it actually was,
historically; nostalgia films usually look back on the protagonist's or
narrator's childhood. See alsocoming of age film..
||Refers to making a novel from a film or screenplay.
||An abbreviation, refers specifically to National
TelevisionSystem Committee that sets TV and video standards; also refers to
the US and Japanese video systems that have 525 horizontal scan lines, 16
million different colors, and 30 frames per second (or 60 half-frames
(interlaced) per second); competing systems in Europe and worldwide arePAL
(Phase Alternating Line) and SECAM (Sequential Color with Memory).
||An old term for a pornographic movie, often used during the age
of the Hayes Code when nudity was forbidden by censors in mainstream films on
the silver screen; an era of nudie films was generated by filmmaker Russ
Meyer in the late 50s; also see porn..
||In the movie-theatre business, refers to operating expenses
associated with a film (the exhibitor's calculation of what it takes to lease
his theater, to staff and run it, etc.); akahouse nut.
||O.C.N. stands for Original Color Negative. It is simply your
||A cliched and expected scene for a particular genre, e.g., a
love scene in a romance or dramatic film, a shoot-out in a Western, the
solving of a crime in a mystery, a rescue in an action film, etc..
||Lateral tilt of the camera, the horizon is skewed.
offstage (or off-camera)
||Refers to action or dialogue off the visible stage, or beyond
the boundaries of the camera's field of vision or depicted frame; aka
||A film in which the narrator knows (and sees) everything
occurring in a story, including character thoughts, action, places,
conversations, and events; contrast to subjective point-of-view.
onstage (or on-camera)
||On the visible stage, or within the boundaries of the camera's
field of vision.
||The alternative to a Timed Print, a one light is a print that
has not been corrected shot by shot, but shows what all the shots look like
with the same printing lights in contrast to each other. Sometimes this can
be helpful to know the range of fluctuation in exposure and color. (But it is
curiously common for a lab to do some timing, even on a one light print, at
the change of locations, at the change of rolls, or if one shot is so
drastically off from the rest and it would be practically unseeable otherwise.)
(or woman) show
||A scripted or filmed narrative (or an avant garde or
experimentalfilm) featuring a solo performance piece with only one actor or
actress who sometimes plays multiple roles or characters; often presented by
a stand-up comedian; contrast with concert film.
||A term for a short, one-line joke (that contains its own
punchline); also the term may refer to the 'high concept' description of a
film - a few words used to describe a.
||Refers to a film 10-12 minutes long.
||Refers to the typical size of a movie poster.
credits or title (sequence)
||The presentation of the 'opening credits' (as an introduction to
the audience about the film and including selected important members of the
production) is known as the opening credits sequence; sometimes it is
superimposed on the action, but often exists as static letters on a solid
background; since the closing or end credits usually list the entire cast and
production crew, the opening credits sequence is usually positioned to set
the mood of the film, and sometimes even lacks any credits except the film's
title; akafront credits or beginning titles.
||Basically, rephotographying film frame by frame. this is a way
to make a copy of a film with many more possibilities than contact printing,
but, at least with 16mm, resulting in a little added contrast and a little
loss of clarity.
||Optical Sound is the system used by a projector to play back
sound from a film print. The sound is exposed onto the film as a clear
modulating line against black. It corresponds to the moduations of the sound.
The projector reads the track by passing it between the exciter lamp a
light-sensitive photo-electric cell which generates a voltage that is
amplified and fed into a speaker.
||An intermediate step from going from your mix master to your
final print is to have an optical track struck. An optical track is
photographed onto a blank piece of special high contract stock by the
facility where the mix is done, or by the lab. The optical track is a
separate roll of film from the original negative and is combined with picture
when a print is struck. (The track itself still remains a separate element
from the A'amp;B Rolls, it is printed in a separate pass through the contract
(or optical effects)
||In film-making, refers to a visual device, e.g., a fade,
wipe,dissolve, superimposition, freeze-frame, split screen,composite (a train
reflection in a car window), or another effect, some of which can be created
in the camera, and others that have to be achieved in post-production by
mixers or other specialized techniques.
||Effects produced through Optical Printing, including
transitions, superimposed titles, etc. Sometimes called Optical Effects.
However, anything optically printed can be called an optical, so even blowing
film up from 16mm to 35mm, though it does not involve an effect, is an
||An orange stick is found at the drug store for cleaning your
nails. It is the preferable way to clean the gate.
||Any film, negative or reversal, that was shot by a camera, as
opposed to a print or intermediate copy. The term original can be used
interchangeably with negative, but is as especially handy term when taking
about reversal film, where it is the clearest way indicating whether
something is a dupe or the original.
||Often used in a derogatory way to describe studio-invented
pre-release PR buzz that a film (usually an epic or serious biopic released
late in the year) is worthy, meaningful, and deserving of Oscar awards; the
term was reportedly first used by Hedda Hopper in a "Looking at
Hollywood" column on June 1, 1948; the term either refers to (1) a
self-proclaimed, "important", often over-produced film, undercut by
its attempt to appeal to all demographics, or (2) a showy acting performance
designed to draw attention to itself; these kinds of films and performances
were the sort that used to guarantee an Oscar from Academy voters during the
||The name given to the awards of AMPAS (the Academy of Motion
Picture Arts and Sciences) given each year to various performers and others
in the film industry; officially known as the "Academy Award of
||Film is perishable. When it starts getting stale the dyes will
shift color and the grain will build up, giving you a generally fogged, muddy
and desaturated effect. It is only after about 2 or 3 years that this will
start to happen, provided the film is refrigerated. Faster films tend to
become outdated slightly faster than slow films. Likewise, color film will
become outdated a little sooner than black and white. The flip-side is that
outdated stock can be gotten quite cheaply, and often for free.
||The footage from your workprint that is not used in your edited
version. Very small bits, a few frames or as little as one frame, are known
||Refers to camera shots that are not included (literally, they
are 'taken out') in the final cut or print of a film, often retrieved from
thecutting room floor, and shown during the closing credits; also seeblooper.
||Poor, overly-broad, or 'over-the-top' acting by a 'ham' actor;
aka "hamming it up" or 'chewing up the scenery'; sometimes
considered in a positive light as 'campy'; contrast with underacting.
||To run the camera faster, producing slow motion. The term has
survived from the time when you would crank a camera.
||To speed up a camera - to shoot at more than the normal 24 fps,
so that the resulting image appears in slow-motion; this technique is often
used to shoot miniatures; the term "cranking' refers to the old
technique of having to turn or crank a camera by hand.
||The act of speeding up the frame rate on a film camera, so that
more frames are captured. Enables the footage to be played in slow motion.
Undercranking has the opposite effect. Dates back to when cameras were
||Refers to a film shot that has more light than normal, causing a
blinding, washed-out, whitish, glaring effect; deliberately used for
flashbacked or dream scenes; aka flared or bleached; the opposite of
||Filming a scene with more light than the emulsion of the film
can easily tollerate. The image will be too light and there will be less
depth of field than if the lens had been set correctly. If compensated for in
printing, the image will appear contrasty.
||The carry-over of dialogue, sounds, or music from one scene to
another; occurs when the cut in the soundtrack is not at the same time as the
cut in the image; can also refer to two or more characters speaking at the
same time; aka overlap sound.
||A very commonly-used medium camera angle or view in a dialogue
scene, mostly with alternating shot/reverse shot editing, in which the camera
records the action from behind the shoulder and/or head of one of the
characters, thus framing the image; the two characters are thus linked or
connected to each other, and their positions are established.
||In film terms, a pre-credits or opening credits musical
selection that sets the mood and theme for the upcoming film.
||Slang term for a drive-in movie theater; aka passion pit; see
alsohard-top (indoor movie theater).
||Abbreviation for 'personal appearance' - often required of major
stars - to promote or provide PR (p.r.) or 'public relations' (marketing) for
||Point of View Shot. A shot from the perspective of one of the
characters, as if the audience were seeing the scene from their eyes. It is
often important to get a Reaction Shot to establish that any given shot
really is a P.O.V.
shot (or point-of-view shot)
||A subjective shot made from the perspective of one of the
characters to show the audience the scene as it would look through the
character's eyes; usually coupled (before and/or after) with areaction shot
(or a three-shot sequence called a shot reverse shot) to establish the POV;
also known as first person point-of-view shot or subjective camera (the use
of the camera to suggest the POV of a particular character).
||The speed/tempo of the dramatic action, which is usually
enhanced by the soundtrack and the speed of the dialogue, the type of
||The marketing elements of a film project, such as script, signed
film stars, director, locations, 'high-concept' hook, etc..
||A horizontal camera move on an axis, from right to left or left
to right. In a pan the camera is turning on an axis rather than across space,
as in a dolly shot. Not to be confused with Tilt, technically it is not
correct to say "pan up" or "pan down," when you really
||Verb meaning 'to express a totally negative opinion of' a film,
normally in a critical film review; also known as 'trashing' a film.
panning shot, orpanoramic shot)
||Abbreviation for panorama shot; refers to the horizontal scan,
movement, rotation or turning of the camera in one direction (to the right or
left) around a fixed axis while filming; a variation is theswish pan (also
known as flash pan, flick pan, zip pan, blur pan, or whip pan), in which the
camera is purposely panned in either direction at a very fast pace, creating
the impression of a fast-moving horizontal blurring of images across the
screen; often confused with a dolly or tracking shot..
||A technique that avoids the 'letterboxing' of a widescreen film
for a full-framed 4x3 home video or TV picture, by focusing on the elements
of the picture that are most important to the plot and by adjusting or
cropping the image; when an important part of the image drops out of the
visible screen, the picture is mechanically panned to the side (left or right
in a ping-pong effect) to show the missing part - hence, the term pan-and
scan; approximately 43% of the visuals are sacrificed or cropped out in the
pan-and-scan version, affecting the director's original intent and aesthetic
||A pan shot is achieved with a camera mounted on a swivel head so
that the camera body can turn from a fixed position.
||A skinny roll of tape used to tape down the ends of film when
editing, called paper tape to distinguish it from splicing tape. (It should
not be used for raw stock.)
||Editing that cuts between two sequences taking place at
different locations and possibly different times; parallel action refers to a
narrative device in which two scenes are observed in parallel by
cross-cutting; parallel sound refers to sound that matches the accompanying
image; aka cross cutting, inter-cutting.
||Parallel editing is a technique whereby cutting occurs between
two or more related actions occurring at the same time in two separate
locations or different points in time.
||The technique of intercutting between two simultaneous stories
||A comedy that imitates or makes fun of an existing work(s) in an
absurd, non-sensical way, and exaggerates its characteristics.
||A dramatic scene that justifies everything that preceded it; the
necessary result of a complication for which the audience has been prepared;
contrast to punchline and money shot.
||Refers to bribery or under-the-table payments.
||Perforations. The sprocket holes in a piece of film.
||Literally, Latin for "mask"; related to the on-screen
image or personality associated with a star.
||A photo flood is a high power screw-in light bulb that is often
used in with a clamp light fixture. Photo floods are usually anywhere from
250 watts to 500 watts.
||Slang terms for motion picture(s).
||Footage filmed after shooting wraps, usually of minor shots. In
the case of something like The Lord Of The Rings, however, pick-ups were
major and essential. Jackson even went so far as to film a few pick-ups for
the extended edition of Return Of The King, after the film won eleven Oscars.
||The workprint, to distinguish it from the mag tracks.
within a picture
||A particular story-telling approach, literally, to have one film
within another; in some cases, the characters are aware of the
'film-within-a-film,' and break the fourth wall and enter into or interact
with it; aka subset film or film within a film.
||This is a heavy round disc with a lighting stud, used to
position a light on the floor, much lower than a stand will go. Basically, it
is a Hi Hat for lights.
||A 60 Hz reference signal recorded onto the audio tape to allow
transfer to mag precisely at sound speed, used for Sync Sound filming. (In
Europe in it is 50Hz.)
||Refers to the most sexually-attractive star-actresses of an era,
who would be popularized in seductive poses usually semi clad - in pictures,
calendars, or mass-produced posters that were usually literally
"pinned-up", usually with thumbtacks, on bedroom walls, the insides
of lockers, and so forth; this practice started especially amongst GI
servicemen away from home during military combat who pined for the 'girl-back
home'; related terms are cover girl (for magazine covers), model or cheesecake.
||This is the distance between perforations along a roll of film.
Print Stock has a slightly longer pitch than camera stock.
||Orally or written (sales) proposals for film projects usually
made by screenwriters (to sell a screenplay idea), or independent producers
for studio producers or executives to obtain financial backing; anything from
a one-line description to a two- to three-pagetreatment of an idea (before
becoming a script); also refers to short phrases that capture or succinctly
sum up the script.
||Refers to the character that launches the action between
theprotagonist and the antagonist; or the character who sets the main events
of the plot in motion; films with a classic "love triangle" involve
a woman who serves as the 'pivotal character' between two rival suitors.
||An abbreviation for Picture used on the leader.
||An animation technique in which the illusion of continuous, real
movement of three-dimensional objects, often people, is broken and/or made to
move unevenly or jerky through the use of stop-action cinematography (single
frame animation) or by printing only selected frames from the continuously
||This is leader for putting at the head and tail of a print. It
is, as one would guess, made out of plastic, and is more durable than
Emulsion Leader and much less expensive, and so it is the better choice for a
print. However, it cannot be Cement Spliced, so it should not used for your
||Different to story, plot is the narrative order that the story
is told in.
||Refers to a series of dramatic events or actions that make up a
film'snarrative; a plot point is a key turning point or moment in a film's
story that significantly advances the action; plot points either set the
story further into motion, or disrupt and complicate the plot; also known as
beat or A story; contrast to a subplot (aka B story or C story) - a secondary
plot in a film; a plot plant is the technique of 'planting' an apparently
trivial piece of information early in a story - that becomes more important
developments; also, ominous music often
foreshadows danger or builds suspense
||Spacey) was foreshadowed in his opening voice-over monologue
inAmerican Beauty (1999).
||With POV, the audience is, in effect, looking through the
||The perspective from which the film story is told; also refers
to a shot that depicts the outlook or position of a character; also
seeomniscient and subjective point of view, and P.O.V. shot.
||Polyester base is a very durable type of film, that is virtually
unrippable. Some people claim that it is harder to splice, but that is more a
matter of getting used to the technique. Significantly, it cannot be Cement
Spliced, making it impractical as original material (also, its durability
could spell disaster for the delicate mechanism of a camera in the event of a
jam). However, its durability makes it very advantageous for release prints.
||Refers to a film that exploits sex; see also nudie.
synchronization or ADR or looping
||Refers to the post-production process of recording the sound
after the film has been shot, often adding dialogue spoken by actors as they
watch the projected film.
||Either a throwaway scene or an epilogue that happens during or
after the end credits; sometimes used as a bonus for theatergoers who remain
to watch the credits, and partly to generate 'buzz' about the extra scene.
||Refers to a return to tradition, in reaction to more 'modernist'
||The final stage in a film's production after principal
photography or shooting, involving editing, the addition of sound/visual
effects, musical scoring, mixing, dubbing, distribution, etc.; in digital
post-production, can also include changing facial expressions, removing flaws
or obtrusive objects (microphone, boom, etc.), enhancing the visual image,
etc.; aka post; contrast to pre-production.
||A literary reference to the hard-edged, American detective/crime
thrillers (also often called 'pulp fiction' or 'dime novels') rapidly written
and filled with violence, crime, and sex - to literally 'boil the pot'; also
known as hard-boiled.
||A practical is any photo flood-type of bulb, used within the
shot, in a household lamp or otherwise visible. The term practical is
sometimes used interchangeably with photo flood, even though it specifically
refers to a light used in the shot.
||Refers to the four-five years (1930-1934) before the enforcement
of the Hays Production Code in Hollywood, to rigidly sanitize and censor
films. In film plots from mid-1935 and lasting about the next 30 years,
adultery and promiscuity were prohibited (unless they ended in a miserable
downfall), and all crimes (and their criminals) had to be punished..
||The first official public screening of a movie, marking the kick
off, opening or opening night; a 'red carpet' premiere is one with greater
publicity and hoopla (sensational promotion), ballyhoo, or hype; aka a bow,
debut, or preem.
||The main idea of a movie, usually explainable in a few
||The planning stage in a film's production after the project is
finallygreenlighted, and before principal photography or actual shooting
commences, involving script treatment and editing/rewriting, scheduling, set
design and construction, casting, budgeting and financial planning, and
scouting/selection of locations; contrast topost-production.
||The second or third film in a series of films that presents
characters and/or events that are chronologically set before the time frame
of the original movie; contrast to sequel.
||Preroll is extra time at the beginning of a sound take to
accommodate the slow lock-up time of some production time code devices.
||To view/watch/see a movie before it is released for the public
||Part of the internal workings of a camera, the pressure plate is
located on the other side of the film from the gate. It is a smooth,
spring-loaded plate that holds the film on the film plane and acts as a
brake, helping to hold the film steady while it is exposed.
||A short film, usually with excerpts from a future film, intended
as an advertisement; a sneak preview refers to an unadvertised, often
surprise showing of an entire film before its general release or announced
premiere, often to gauge audience reaction; aka trailer.
||A prime lens is one with a single focal length, wide, normal or
telephoto, as opposed to a Zoom Lens, which has a variable focal length. They
often come in a set of different focal lengths. Prime lenses tend to be
sharper, faster and will often focus closer than zoom lenses.
||Refers to the filming of major and significant portions of a
film production that involves the main/lead actors/actresses; contrast
||Refers to the main characters in a play or film (usually those
that have dialogue); contrasted to protagonists or antagonists, orextras..
||1.: A copy of another piece of film, typically made by Contact
Printing. 2.: As a verb, to make a print.
||Along with “Check the gate!”; “Print it!” is a fun but
antiquated catchphrase on film sets. It means that the latest take of a scene
was good, that everyone' happy they have the shot needed and that it should
||Refers to a positive copy of a film.
||Film used by the lab for making copies (prints). It is usually
of a longer pitch than camera stock so as to be smoothly sandwiched against
the camera stock on the printing machine. It is also much slower (with an
A.S.A. of about 12) than camera stock, as light is less of a problem in
printing than it is when it is being focused through a lens in a camera.
||This is the offsetting of sound 26 frames earlier than picture,
corresponding to the distance between the sound reader and the gate of the
projector. To be in sync on a projector all prints are lined up in printer's
sync. Usually the lab lines up the sound and picture in printer's sync,
putting the beep on the track 26 frames earlier than the "2" in the
Academy Leader. This is known as pulling up the sound. If there was some
reason for you to line up the sound yourself, it is very important to label
the sync mark "printer's sync" so that the sound is not
accidentally pulled up twice.
||A very popular sub-genre with the film's plot usually set within
the walls of an institutional prison; themes involve imprisonment and/or
escape, the effects on the characters involved and interactions between
officers and inmates, and issues of justice/injustice; the prison flick
sub-genre can be found in any major genre (animated, drama, comedy, musical,
science fiction, sexploitation, etc.).
(projection or shot)
||A technique that shoots live action in front of a screen on
which the background view is projected; a process shot refers to a shot of
live action in front of a process projection.
||The chief of a movie production in all logistical matters (i.e.,
scheduling, financing, budgeting) save the creative efforts of the director;
raises funding and financing, acquires or develops a story, finalizes the
script, hires key personnel for cast, crew, and director, and arranges for
distributors of the film to theaters; serves as the liaison between the
financiers and the film-makers, while managing the production from start to
||Refers to how companies buy advertising space within a film for
their products, as a way for a producer to fund some film production costs.
contrast to a prequel, follow up, serial,
series,sequel or remake
||The character of the Scorpion King (Dwayne Johnson); or Alien
vs. Predator (2004) - an obvious spin-off of previous hits; Laverne &
Shirley was a spin-off of the TV show Happy Days.
||The general process of putting a film together, including
casting, set construction, costuming, rehearsals, and shooting; also refers
to themiddle stage of production which is preceded by pre-productionand
followed by post-production.
||Production refers to an entire movie project; pre production
refers to the stage at which a film is prepared to go into production;
post-production refers to the stage at which editing, scoring and effects are
executed on a motion picture; production value refers to the overall quality
of a film, based not on the script, acting, or director, but on criteria such
as costumes, sets, design, etc..
||Refers to a film's overall design, continuity, visual look and
composition (colors, sets, costumes, scenery, props, locations, etc.) that
are the responsibility of the production designer; the art department refers
to the people in various roles (e.g., matte painters, set designers and
decorators, illustrators, title designers, scenic artists, and storyboard
artists) who work under the production designer's supervision; the art
director is responsible for the film's physical settings (specifically refers
to the interiors, landscapes, buildings, etc.).
||This is the sync sound, or any other sort of wild track or room
tone that was recorded at the shoot. The term is used in sound editing to
distinguish between added backgrounds and effects and those from the shoot.
||Same as Printer's Sync.
||The machine that rapidly puts ('projects') a succession of
motion picture images (individual frames) up onto a screen, using the
principle of illusion of motion.
||A speech, preface, introduction, or brief scene preceding the
the main action or plot of a film; contrast to epilogue..
||Slang term for sales promotion.
||Abbreviation for properties - refers to the furnishings,
fixtures, hand-held objects, decorations, or any other moveable items that
are seen or used on a film (or stage) set but that are not a structural part
of the set; usually the responsibility of the prop man or property master..
||Central figure(s) in a text or film.
||The lead or main character in a film; also known ashero/heroine;
contrast to antagonist..
||A transfer of sound slowed down from film speed, 24 film frames
per second, to video speed, 29.97 video frames per second, which is the
equivalent of 23.98 film frames per second. This must be done to line it up
with a video transfer of picture when transferring sync sound to video.
||Pull processing is a special type of processing where the film
is developed for a shorter time than normal, usually to make up for intended
||This term can be a little confusing since it has three meanings
that all apply to sound. 1.: The process of offsetting the sound 26 frames
ahead of picture when making a print (see Printer's Sync). 2.: Pull Ups, as a
noun, are transfers of the first 26 frames of sound from a reel that are
spliced onto the outgoing sound of the previous reel so that sound is not
lost when the film is printed with the sound pulled up, since 26 frames of
sound are cut off when reels are joined. 3.: A transfer of the sound from a
video, sped up from video speed, 29.97 video frames per second, which is the
equivalent of 23.98 film frames per second, to film speed, 24 film frames per
second. This must be done when the optical track is made after having mixed
||The pulldown claw is part of the camera movement, which advances
the film from the exposed frame to the next unexposed frame while the
camera's shutter is closed.
||A funny, witty line that culminates a story, joke or scene;
contrast with payoff and one-liner.
||Push processing is a special type of processing where the film
is developed for a longer time than normal, usually to make up for intended
underexposure. It should be noted that only entire rolls can be pushed, not
individual scenes. Pushing film will add some contrast and graininess.
||Refers to an ad research rating that gauges how easily a
celebrityis recognized -- and how well the celebrity is liked.
||see Apple Box.
||Most commonly occurs when characters are lost in their own
||Can also be called halogen light or tungsten light. A quartz
light is a very bright type of light that uses a tungsten filament that is
contained in a quartz envelope. The color temperature will be a fairly
consistent 3,200K. They can get very hot when in use. It is also very
important never to touch the bulb with your bare hands at any time. Oil from
your hands will cause the bulb to blister and explode.
||A latching device for quickly mounting and removing the camera
from the tripod.
||The part of the quick release that attaches to the camera is
called the quick release shoe, and is inevitably worth double-checking, as
they frequently stray away the tripod when left behind on the camera.
||A shot where focus is changed while shooting. Unlike a Follow
Focus shot, a rack focus shot is usually done not from the necessity of
keeping someone in focus but to shift attention from one thing to another.
||Refers to an on-screen film technique of focus change that blurs
the focal planes in sequence, forcing the viewer's eye to travel to those
areas of an image that remain in sharp focus; the focus changes from an
object in the foreground to an object in the background or vice versa, to
direct, shift, and steer the attention of the viewer forcibly from one
subject to another; also known asselective focusing or pull focus.
most of the early film, radio and TV comedians
found their start on the vaudeville circuit.
||Stage to screen. The Catskill Mountains in New York and the
Poconos in Pennsylvania were holdovers from the vaudeville era late into the
||A respectable and commonly used brand of Telecine machines. The
word is sometimes used interchangeably with telecine in much the same way as
"Steenbeck" is used in place of "flatbed."
system(s) or ratings
||Also known as the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America)
film rating system, first officially instituted in late 1968; it refers to
the ever-evolving classification system for films usually based upon
age-appropriateness, and the judgment of a film's suitability for various
audiences, in terms of sexual content, offensiveness, or violence; see also
||1.: A shot of someone looking off screen. Used either to lead
into a P.O.V. Shot (and let the viewer know that it is a P.O.V. shot), or to
show a reaction right after a P.O.V. shot. 2.: A reaction shot can also be a
shot of someone in a conversation where they are not given a line of dialogue
but are just listening to the other person speak.
||A quick shot that records a character's or group's response to
another character or some on-screen action or event; often accompanied with a
POV shot; reaction shots are usuallycutaways..
||Actual time it would take for an event to occur in reality, as
contrasted to filmic time (time can be sped up or slowed down). Real and
filmic time often coincide for long sequences within a film; also see running
||Filming so that the reality outside the camera is shown in a
neutral style with as little distortion and interference as possible; realism
is attained by long, uninterrupted takes, deep focusshots, and other filmic
techniques; contrast to expressionism; similar to the 'reality' of
||A special effects technique to create backgrounds, in which
actors are filmed in front of a screen on which a background scene is
projected; commonly used in early films to produce the effect of motion in a
vehicle. Also see process shot, process photography, or back projection..
||Rear projection involves the projection of either a still or a
moving picture onto the back of a translucent screen.
||Leftover film that was loaded into a magazine but (unlike a
Shortend) not even partially shot, and then loaded back in the film can.
Basically, it is a roll a film that has been opened, but not used.
||Literally, to "roll out" a welcoming 'red carpet',
laid down for major ceremonies (film premieres, awards ceremonies) to signify
an important, honorary event with dignitaries and esteemed guests attending;
often the locale for live interviews and photo opportunities.
||An instance of foreshadowing that is deliberately planted to
make viewers suspect an outcome--but the audience is to be deceived - the
opposite happens and the false clue 'plant' is irrelevant; often done for
humor, irony, or for other thematic reasons; contrast to McGuffin.
||Refers to a film project that was in production, but lost its
financial backing - resulting in a premature abandonment by the studio; aka a
film in turnaround.
||An optical reduction of a film from one gauge to another, such
as 35mm to 16mm.
||1.: A metal or plastic spool for holding film, either for
projection or editing. 2.: In 35mm a reel is 1,000 feet of film (or usually a
little less). Also known as a Single Reel.
||Refers to a plastic or metal spool for winding film; also,
earlier films were measured in reels (one reel = about 10 minutes of running
||A film production that re-creates an actual event as closely as
||Refers to how one film in its storyline (through dialogue,
images) alludes to, recalls, or refers to another film; similar to homage.
||A reflective light reading measures the amount of light bouncing
off the subject. You take a reflective reading with a light meter equipped
with a honey-comb or lensed grid. The meter is pointed at the subject, so as
to read only the light bouncing off the subject. The other type of light
reading is an Incident Light Reading.
Board or Reflector Card
||see Bounce Card.
||A viewfinding system in a camera where the image you see in the
viewfinder is viewed through the same lens that is used to photograph the
image on film.
||The degree to which one frame lines up with the next is
registration. A camera with poor registration will create an image that will
gently bobble when projected. Projectors too can have good or poor
registration (sometimes making it difficult to tell if it was the camera).
Good registration is most important for certain types of special effects
shots where images are layered and will call attention to themselves if they
are gently bobbling out of sync with each other.
||A registration pin is found in the movement certain cameras,
such as the Arriflex and the Eclair, and acts to steady the image during
||Refers to a studio releasing a work subsequent to the original
or initial release; similar to re-release.
||Refers to the first distribution and general public exhibition
of a film to theatre audiences..
||This is a print made after the answer print has been approved.
It is not retimed, but struck using the same timing as the final answer
print. Because it is not retimed it is generally much cheaper than an answer
print. On a big production, these are the prints released to movie theaters,
hence the name.
||Refers to a later production (of a previous film), with
different credits, script, and cast; a redone, second version of a film's
narrative and subject matter; remakes have been common throughout all of film
||Refers to that portion of film grosses that goes to
filmdistributors; also refers to videocassette (or DVD) rentals.
||The way that people, places and events are constructed.
||The revival or rebroadcast of a work by the original
distributor, studio, releaser, or broadcaster..
||Refers to the funds kept or saved by a producer in
casesupplementary shootings (reshoots) are required - often occurring after
test screenings or decisions made by studio executives.
||Footage filmed after shooting wraps, re-doing scenes from the
film rather than adding additional scenes or minor reaction shots etc. The
existence of re-shoots is often seen as evidence that a film is in trouble,
so filmmakers will go out of their way to describe re-shoots as pick-ups.
||The outcome, or the "untying" of tension in the scenes
after theclimax of a film; refers to how things turned out for all of the
characters; some films abruptly end without a scene following the climax; aka
||A device that governs the speed of a tape recorder during the
transfer to mag, insuring the sound will be in sync with picture. The
resolver uses the pilottone as a reference for adjusting the playback speed,
hence something can only be resolved if it has been recorded with a properly
equipped tape recorder. The Nagra IV has a built-in resolver.
||Usually a tribute, exhibition, or 'looking back' at a film
star's, artist's or director's work over a span of years with a comprehensive
compilation or montage of film clips or excerpts; also known as a retro;
also, in terms of a screenplay, a film in which nearly the entire story is
looking back in time at events that have already taken place, usually
||A type of film and method of processing that yields a positive
original. This is the movie-film equivalent of slide film and processing, in
||A basic camera angle composed of a shot photographed from the
opposite side of a subject to provide a different perspective; in adialogue
scene between characters, a shot of the second participant is commonly
composed as an over the-shoulder shot; sometimes known as an 180 degree angle
shot or change in perspective; the alternating pattern between two
characters' points of view is known as shot/reverse shot.
||Refers to a trick camera effect, created by running film
backwards in the camera or during optical printing; aka reverse action.
||A shot from the other side of the previous shot (though
preferably on the same side of the 180'deg; Line), such as cutting between
two characters talking, a person exiting and entering though a doorway, a
reaction shot and P.O.V. shot, etc.
||Refers to films that present an apparent genre stereotype and
then subvert, revise, or challenge it; aka deconstruction .
||Film or exhibition theatres that are dedicated to emphasizing or
specializing in only one type of film - such as foreign films, older films,
silent films, classics, rarely-screened films, etc..
||A simple device for winding film, consisting of a crank and a
spindle for mounting one or more reels, typically found mounted on either
side of an editing bench.
||Background conversation by extras. So-called because extras were
often asked to mutter the word “rhubarb” to produce the effect of genuine
conversation, with their mouths moving convincingly. Also known as
||A type of tape splicer which uses perforated splicing tape. Two
models exist: One for straight cuts used for picture, and one for slanted
cuts used for sound.
||Refers to exploitation films (such as "sex-hygeine"
films) with controversial content (disguised as educational medical
information) that were heavily promoted and shown on the road, and would be
packed up quickly in case of the authorities; also refers to films that were
released early and shown in prestigious theatres.
||A French term literally meaning 'novel with a key'; in film
terms, refers to a film in which actual persons/events are disguised or
masked as fictional characters - but with a 'key,' the true persons/events
||A recording of the "silence" of a room or any
location, to be used to fill in gaps when editing the sound. The silence of a
location is really not very silent at all, and the room tone of one location
is not a substitute for another, so a sync sound shoot will usually end with
the sound recordist asking everyone to be quiet for the recording of 30
seconds of room tone.
||Refers to a camera rotation - which can be a vertical or
horizontalpan; or it may refer to a camera move in which the camera is moved
in a complete (or half) circle to produce a spinning, disorienting effect to
the viewer; a partial rotation is termed a tilt.
||Little used nowadays, this was once an invaluable technique for
producing high quality animation and was a favorite method in Soviet
cartoons. It refers to the time-consuming process of shooting scenes with
actors in live-action, and then tracing over those images to produce an
animation. Used in a wide range of films, from Ralph Bakshi' Lord Of The
Rings to Richard Linklater' A Scanner Darkly.
||An early edited (or 'cut') version of a film - with all the
pieces of the film assembled in continuous, sequential order, but without any
fancy editing; also sometimes known as first cut; one of the stages toward
the final cut; often used in a focus group screening..
||The edited film, between the stages of being an assembly and a
||A measure of the duration or length of a film, usually about two
hours for a feature film..
||The prints of takes (of the camera footage) from one day's
shooting, usually without correction or editing, for examination by the
director before the next day's shooting; aka daily-ies.
||The workprint, when it is just back from the lab, unedited,
called the rushes because of the rush to see that everything came out
alright. Also known as Dailies, in honor of the minority of labs that will
have it later that day.
||Another term for Academy Leader.
||An additional take, done after a successful one, as a backup.
||A cloth bag with two chambers filled with sand, used as a weight
on the legs of a light stand for additional stability.
||A mocking, ridiculing commentary on an economic, political,
religious or social institution, ideology or belief, person (or group),
policy, or human vice..
||(1) the outline for a screenplay, or (2) a complete screenplay.
||A scene is really just a single shot. But often scene is used to
mean several shots, which is more to do with the word's origin in theater. It
is sometimes clearer to say "sequence" for several shots, so as not
to confuse the filmic and theatrical meanings of the word.
||Usually a shot (or series of shots) that together comprise a
single, complete and unified dramatic event, action, unit, or element of film
narration, or block (segment) of storytelling within a film, much like a
scene in a play; the end of a scene is often indicated by a change in time,
action and/or location; see alsoshot and sequence..
||Refers to the outdoor background in a set (represented by either
a backdrop or a natural view)..
||Usually refers to a character (or group of characters), usually
subsidiary, whose appearance, actions and/or dialogue draws more attention
than other actors in the same scene; similar to the term 'chewing up the
||From the Yiddish expression for 'inferior' - refers to a
forgettable, cheaply-made, low-budget, luridly-advertised B film (or lower
Z-film) with little or non-existent quality - often unintentionally
hilarious; designed to take in profitable box office in opening week; usually
films found in the horror, comedy and science-fiction genres of the 50s and
||Damage to a film in the form of a long gouge of either the
emulsion or the base. A scratch on the emulsion is pretty much unfixable,
since part of the image itself is missing. A scratch on the base can be
alleviated with Wet Gate printing. Scratches on your workprint don't really
matter at all, since you will go back to the pristine camera original for
your final print.
||A mix with little correction of the sound, that is usually done
before the final mix in order to screen the film with all the sounds in
place, to determine if there are any changes to be made. Typically this is
not done on lower budget productions, as the added cost would be
||A scratch test is done before shooting, by running either a foot
or two of the beginning of a roll of film, or a dummy roll of film, and
checking for scratches, to insure that neither the camera nor the magazines
are scratching the film.
||A sync recording made under conditions that make the sound
useless, except for reference to the sound editor or to the actors for
||Refers to the direction that characters or objects are moving in
a film's scene or visual frame; common screen directions include "camera
left" (movement to the left) or "camera right" (movement to
the right); a neutral shot is a head-on shot of a subject with no evident
screen direction; a jump-cut often indicates a change in screen direction.
||Refers to a filmed audition in which an actor performs a
particular role for a film production; casting often depends upon the
photogenic (the projection of an attractive camera image) quality of the
||The term for a promotional DVD (or video) version of a film that
is sent to voters (and film critics) by the movie studios for their
convenience during the awards season, before the movie is officially
available to the public through video rental chains.
||The exhibition or display of a movie, typically at a
cinemahouse/theatre; to screen (or unspool) a film means to show or project a
film; types of screenings include a critical screening (a pre-release viewing
for film critics), a pre screening, or a focus-group screening (to test
audience reactions to a film's rough cut); cinema is another term for a movie
||In a screening report, you are often demonstrating your
understanding of a particular film or a director's technique. In a screening
report, it helps to focus in on one scene or a few very related scenes that
speak for the film overall. This style of writing is usually more successful
when technically specific.
||A script or text for a film production written by a scripter
orscreenwriter(s) (or scribe), written (scribbled, scripted, orpenned) in the
prescribed form as a series of master scenes, with all the dialogue provided
and the essential actions and character movements described; screenplays are
oftenadaptations of other works; known archaically as aphotoplay during the
silent era. .
||Written by the screen writer, this document tells the story and
will contain no camera direction.
||A type of highly-verbal comedy prevalent in 1930's Hollywood,
and typified by frenetic action, verbal wit and wisecracks (substituting or
serving as a metaphoric euphemism for sex),.
(also shooting script)
||Refers to the written text of a film - a blueprint for producing
a film detailing the story, setting, dialogue, movements and gestures of
actors, and the shape and sequence of all events in the film; in various
forms, such as a screenplay, shooting script, breakdown script (a very
detailed, day-to-day listing of all requirements for shooting, used mostly by
crew), lined script, continuity script, or a spec script (written to studio
specifications); a screenplay writer is known as ascreenwriter, scripter,
scribbler, scribe or penner; a last minute script re-writer is known as a
script doctor; ascenario is a script that includes camera and set direction
as well as dialogue and cast direction; a shooting script is a detailed final
version of the screenplay with the separate scenes arranged in proper
sequence, and used by the cast..
||In general terms, an actor who plays a subordinate or secondary
role; aka second fiddle; in comedies, it refers to a performer who acts as a
sidekick, foil or stooge (straight man) to a lead comedian.
||If the clapper on the slate was not visible when the shot was
being marked the camera person might call out "second sticks" to
tell the person with the slate to mark it a second time.
||In larger film productions, this refers to the less important
scenes (large crowd scenes, scenery, foreign location backgrounds, various
inserts, etc.) that are filmed by a smaller, secondary or subordinate crew,
usually headed by asecond-unit director; contrast to principal photography.
||A section or episode of a film; a series of sequences that
comprise a major section of the plot; segmentation of a film often helps to
||Sometimes it is useful to separate out all the shots you are
going to use before beginning to edit. These are known as selects.
||An industry term meaning prerecorded videocassettes or DVDs
priced lower, to encourage their sale rather than rental.
||A black-and-white image that has been converted to a sepia tone
or color (a brownish gray to a dark olive brown) in order to enhance the
dramatic effect and/or create an "antique" appearance.
||A cinematic work that presents the continuation of characters,
settings, and/or events of a story in a previously-made or preceding movie;
contrast to a prequel, follow up, serial,series, spin-off or remake..
||A scene, or connected series of related scenes that are edited
together and comprise a single, unified event, setting, or story within a
film's narrative; also refers to scenes that structurally fit together in the
plot; sequence usually refers to a longer segment of film than a scene;
sequences are often grouped into acts (like a three-act play); a sequence
shot refers to a long, normally complicated shot with complex camera
movements and actions; see also shot and scene..
||A multi-part, 'short-subject' film that was usually screened a
chapter/episode per week at a film theatre; the predominant style of the
serial was melodrama; often, each chapter or episode, continually presented
in installments over several weeks, would conclude with an unresolved
cliffhanger to ensure that audience would return the following week to
discover the resolution; popular until the early 1950s; contrast with series
||A string or sequence of films with shared situations, characters
or themes and related titles, but with little other inter-dependence,
especially with respect to plot or significant character development. Usually
presented withoutcliffhangers; the term also applies to feature films with
more than one sequel; contrast with serials and sequels..
||The environment (an exterior or interior locale) where the
action takes place in a film; when used in contrast to location, it refers to
an artificially-constructed time/place (a backdroppainting or a dusty Western
street with a facade of storefronts); supervised by the film's art director;
strikerefers to the act of taking apart a set once filming has ended..
||Usually a self-contained, elaborate scene or sequence that
stands on its own (i.e., a helicopter chase, a dance number, a memorable
fight, etc.), and serves as a key moment in the film; in terms of production,
it may also refer to a scene with a large set.
||The time (time period) and place in which the film's story
occurs, including all of the other additional factors, including climate
(season), landscape, people, social structures and economic factors, customs,
moral attitudes, and codes of behavior; aka locale..
||The place or position where the director and the director of
photography put the camera (and lighting) when shooting a scene; a scene is
usually shot with multiple setups and with multiple takes from each setup;
||In screenplay terms, set-up refers to the first act in which the
characters, situation, and the setting are established..
||A humorous, light-hearted film with an improbable plot about
sexual relationships and extra-marital affairs, with various pairings between
numerous characters, often characterized by slamming doors; aka sex farce or
||Refers to non-pornographic, non-explicit, soft-core films that
feature sexual themes or explicit sexual material and nudity often in an
apparently crude, immature, leering way; these films exploited the concept of
sex without violating long standing cultural and legal taboos against showing
it all on the screen; often with lurid titles; aka skin flick.
||A permanent felt-tipped marker useful for labeling the cans of
exposed rolls out on a shoot and in the editing room for labeling your
leader. Sharpie is a brand-name of the most common of these markers.
||The process of filming or photographing any aspect of a motion
picture with a camera; the plan for a shoot is termed ashooting schedule..
||The ratio of how much film shot compared to running time of the
finished film. For instance a 5 minute film for which you shot 30 minutes of
footage would have a shooting ratio of 6 to 1.
||Written by the director & cinematographer (not the screen
writer), this script focuses on planning the camera shots & other
practical elements that will bring the screenplay to life.
subject (shorts or short films)
||A film that is shorter than around 30 or 45 minutes; in the
silent film era, most films were shorts, such as those shown in nickelodeons;
then, during the early film era, the price of a movie ticket included not
only the weekly feature but also "selected short subjects," as they
were usually billed; contrast to features..
||The unexposed remainder of a roll of film in a magazine that is
clipped and placed back into a can for use later. Unlike recans a shotend is
something less than 400 feet.
||A shot is the film exposed from the time the camera is started
to the time it is stopped. Shot and Scene are interchangeable terms.
||The basic building block or unit of film narrative; refers to a
single, constant take made by a motion picture camera uninterrupted by
editing, interruptions or cuts, in which a length of film is exposed by
turning the camera on, recording, and then turning the camera off; it can
also refer to a single film frame (such as a still image); a follow-shot is
when the camera moves to follow the action; a pull-back shot refers to a
tracking shot or zoom that moves back from the subject to reveal the context
of the scene; see also scene andsequence; shot analysis refers to the
examination of individual shots; a one-shot, a two-shot, and a
three-shotrefers to common names for shooting just one, two, or three people
in a shot.
||A planned list of the scenes and angles to be shot that day,
including details such as location, and which actors and departments are
||a shot is part of a film presented without any editing, as seen
from a single camera's perspective. A shot can include close-ups, panoramic
shots, camera movement and other techniques. Put shots together and one has a
scene, a series of connected shots that establish location and continuity.
The scene ends by cutting (often using a visible transition) to another
location, time, or person. A "car-chase scene" is a rather common
example where several cameras follow the action from different perspectives.
The footage later gets edited to make one long scene.
Scene, and Sequence
||A shot consists of a single take. A scene is composed of several
shots. A sequence is composed of scenes.
scene, and sequence
||A shot, scene, and sequence together make up the larger dramatic
narrative of film; scenes are composed of shots, sequences are composed of
scenes, and films are composed of sequences..
||The length of time a frame of film is left exposed in the
camera, or that the shutter is open on a digital camera. Varying this means
that you vary the amount of light that enters the camera. If the speed is
slower, this allows more light but also more motion blur.
||Aka visual gag; an image that conveys humor visually, usually
non-verbally; often used in silent film comedy, or in films with very little
||This term is often a little confusing because it does not mean a
camera that is itself silent, and therefore usable for sync sound, but it
means a noisy, unsilent camera, usable only for shooting silent, M.O.S.
film (or silents)
||The term for motion pictures without sound (spoken dialogue or
synchronized soundtrack), although they were often accompanied by live
commentary, piano-music, sound effects, and/or orchestration; the period from
about 1895 to 1927 (when "talkies" were introduced); contrast with
||18 frames per second. A slightly archaic notion left over from
the time when 16mm was used exclusively for home movies. It is not always
that easy to find a projector that will project at 18 frames per second and
so films shot at silent speed will often be speeded up slightly, whether the
filmmaker intended this of not.
||Aka "magic bullet" - a solution that completely solves
the complicated dramatic problem within a film; the term was derived from
European folklore in which only a silver bullet could kill a werewolf..
||16mm film with a row of perforations along one edge. On the film
can this will be indicated by 1R appearing on the label.
||In 35mm a reel is 1,000 feet of film (or usually a little less).
||Single System refers to recording, editing or projecting sound
and picture together on the same piece of film. Cameras used for tv news
would record the sound on a magnetic stripe as well as photograph the
picture. Also super-8 sound. Single system has some distinct editorial
disadvantages, hence the more common use of Double System for shooting and
||Refers to a film element, used by the film-maker to indicate a
character's or object's relative strength compared to other things or
||The optical printing effect of skipping or cutting out certain
frames of the original scene to speed up the action.
||A broad form of comedy in which the humor comes from physical
acts or pantomime, frequently harmless violence and pratfalls intended to
produce laughter. The name was derived from a device called a slapstick, two
boards that slapped together with a loud crack when used to strike something
or someone; prevalent during the silent era and in early talkies, with its
primary motif being pie-throwing..
||Usually a cheaply-made sub-genre film (usually in the horror
genre) designed for the teenage audience (teen movie), deliberately made to
contain gory, blood-splattering, explicit deaths without any build-up, style
or suspense, often committed by an unstoppable serial killer, with a sharp
bladed weapon; most slasher films are created to generate sequels and
repetitive boredom; aka splatter films; see also trash film, grindhouse film,
schlock film, B-film and Z-film.
||Refers to the digital board held in front of the camera that
identifies shot number, director, camera-person, studio and title; the slate
has the clap sticks on top and the scene number, take and production name or
title usually written on it, and the person operating the slate will say
"mark" and clap the sticks for picture and sound sync purposes;
originally the data was written with chalk on a slate board; the footage of
the slate at the beginning of each shot or take is used in the laboratory and
editing room to identify the shot; see alsoclapboard.
||A movie that is released with little publicity or
pre-releasebuzz, often directed by and starring relatively unknown people,
that eventually becomes popular (as a cult film) or financially successful
beyond expectations, usually due to positive word of-mouth; the term is
sometimes used incorrectly to describe unpopular movies that the critics
||An untimed black and white dupe print of your workprint, used
for projection in a sound mix. A slop print is used because splices can jump
and cause the film to go out of sync, and a slop print will have no splices.
||Slow motion is typically achieved by shooting at a fast speed
and then projecting at a normal speed.
||Refers to an effect resulting from running film through a camera
at faster-than-normal speed (shooting faster than 24 frames per second), and
then projecting it at standard speed; if a camera runs at 60 frames per
second, and captures a one second-long event, a 24-frame playback will slow
that event to two and a half seconds long; overcrank(ing) means to speed up
the camera, thereby making the action appear slower when projected - the term
dates back to the old days of physically hand-cranking film through a camera;
this filmic technique is usually employed to fully capture a 'moment in time'
or to produce a dramatic (or romantic feeling); contrast to fast-motion (or
accelerated motion, achieved by undercranking) or time compression.
||A rather unattractive sounding name for Filler.
(or shock cut)
||A cinematic term that refers to an abrupt, jarring and
unexpected change in the scene or film's image (and the audio), in order to
surprise the viewing audience; see alsotransition.
||During nominations or awards proceedings, when a prominent,
leading, or favored performer/director/crew member or film is inexplicably
excluded or denied an award or nomination.
||A type of light with a built-in surface to act as a bounce card,
providing soft, indirect light on the subject.
||A cinematographic effect in which a filter, vaseline or gauze
like substance placed over the camera lens reduces the clarity or sharpness
of focus, blurs the image, and produces a diffused, hazy light; often used to
enhance romantic or dreamy scenes, or to remove wrinkle lines from an actor's
||A dramatic monologue delivered by a single actor with no one
else onstage; sometimes expressed as a 'thinking aloud' dialogue of inner
reflections; delivered by a character to him or herself, or directly to the
audience; contrast to an aside..
||Sound is the audio portion of a film.
||The audio portion of a film including dialogue, music, and
effects; sound effects refers to all created sounds except dialogue or music.
||Basically just a quilted mover's blanket. Often it is thrown
over the camera (and the camera operator) to cut down on camera noise, as a
sort of improvised Barney.
||A playback head for reading mag stock, mounted on a bracket that
snaps onto a synchronizer. It is pugged into the squawk box.
||24 frames per second. The normal speed for filming and
||A large, soundproof area/room in a studio used in film
production, where elaborate sets are constructed, to allow film-makers
greater control over climate, lighting, and sound, security, and spectators..
||Soundtrack refers to all the audio elements of a film�dialogue,
music, sound effects, etc.
||Technically, this term refers to the audio component of a movie,
including the dialogue, musical score, narration, and sound effects, that
accompany the visual components. Popularly, it refers to a collection of
songs heard during the movie, and often sold as an album..
||A metal cylinder with a flat plate at one end and a hole through
the center, used between reels on the spindle of a rewind to space out the
reels the same distance as the gangs of a synchronizer. Although it is a
little shorter, in a pinch you can use cores as spacers.
||A western, low-budget B-movie filmed in Italy (or Spain) during
the 60s, usually characterized by low production values, sparse dialogue..
effects (or F/X, SFX, SPFX, or EFX)
||A broad, wide-ranging term used by the film industry meaning to
create fantastic visual and audio illusions that cannot be accomplished by
normal means, such as travel into space. Many visual (photographic) or
mechanical (physical) filmic techniques or processes are used to produce
special illusionary effects, such as optical and digital effects, CGI,in
camera effects, the use of miniatures/models, mattes, rear camera
projections, stop-motion animation,bluescreens, full scale mockups,
pyrotechnics (squibs (miniature explosions, i.e. a gunshot)), stunt
men,animatronics (electronic puppets), rain/snow/wind machines, etc.; F/X are
coordinated by the visual effects and the special effects supervisors; known
negatively as trick photography; see also visual effects - a sub-category of
special effects. See this site's Milestones in Special/Visual Effects in Film
||In sound editing, these are any effects that directly relate to
the picture, where we see a thing happen and hear it too. Backgrounds,
ambiance and speech are not specifics.
||An individual member of the audience. Although we may view a
film in the cinema together
||This is what the cameraperson or sound recordist will call out
to acknowledge that they are rolling. It comes from the days when it took a
few seconds for certain equipment to reach proper speed.
||Another, less commonly used, term for Spreader.
||Spikes are a term that comes from theater. They are little
pieces of tape placed around the legs of furniture, or the tripod legs,
before they are moved, making it easy to return things to their original
||Refers to a derivative work (film or TV), either a sequel or a
prequel which includes characters from the previous original.
||A method of joining two peices of film so they can be projected
as one continuous piece. There are three methods: the Tape Splice (usually
used for editing), the Cement Splice (used for original material), and the
far less common Ultra-Sonic Splice (used for Polyester Base film).
||A special type of clear tape, not interchangeable with scotch
tape, used to splice film. It comes in perforated (for use with a Rivas) and
unperforated (for use with a Guillotine). Transparent splicing tape is used
for picture and white splicing tape for sound.
||An editing technique used to ease the transition from one scene
to another, in which the audio starts before (or after) the picture cut; aka
L-cut or J-cut.
||A very handy reel, the two halves of which may be unscrewed and
film on a core placed between. Once screwed back together (but not too tight,
or it will never open) your film on a core has quickly been converted into
film on a reel.
||see Matte Shot. Typically a split screen is a matte shot divided
down the center of the shot.
||Split screen is the combination of two or more scenes films
separately which appear in the same frame.
||In the silent era, refers to two different short-subject films
(each too brief for a separate screening) that were joined together on one
reel for movie-house exhibition.
||The combination of two actions filmed separately by copying them
onto the same negative and having them appear side by-side within a single
frame (without overlapping); a slight variation on split-screen is termed
multiple image (different images are set alongside each other within a single
frame); split-screen is usually intended to signify simultaneous action; also
see bluescreen and matte shot.
||Information about the plot or ending of a film that may damage
or impair the enjoyment of the film if known ahead of time; usually, critics
or reviewers warn readers with a 'spoiler alert', or avoid revealing spoilers
altogether. See Greatest Plot Twists and Spoilers.
||Usually a comedic film that pays tribute to an earlier film in a
humorous way. .
||Winding an unexposed 400 foot roll down onto four 100 foot
daylight spools for use in a camera that will only take 100 feet of film.
Spooling down can only be done in complete darkness. 42 turns on a rewind per
daylight spool will divide a 400 foot roll pretty evenly. Also, it is vitally
important that the film be wound all the way through once and then spooled
down, otherwise the edge numbers will be on the wrong side, and not printed
onto the workprint.
||A type of meter for taking a Reflective Light Reading with a
short telescopic sight that enables you to take a very specific reflective
reading of a small, well-defined area.
||A piece of gear consisting of three arms on a central hub
attached to the bottom of a tripod to keep the legs from collapsing outwards.
||A round spring-loaded clamp that goes on the end of a rewind to
allow several reels to turn together.
||The teeth on a roller designed to engage with the perforations
in film. Sometimes sprocket holes are referred to as sprockets too.
||The same as Perf.
||Spun glass diffusion material. see Diffusion.
||A small amplified speaker used on an editing bench and receiving
sound from the Sound Reader.
||A small explosive device that simulates a bullet hit or very
small explosion. Used to memorably excessive effect to kill Sonny Corleone in
The Godfather (above).
||A substitute person who is physically similar (in size and
appearance) to an actor and who takes the actor's place during often lengthy
preparation of a scene (the taking of light meter readings, camera setup,
light adjustment, etc.) but not during filming. Not to be confused with a
stunt double or abody double..
||The name given to famous, talented, and popular actors or
celebrities, often in lead character roles, who can draw an audience to a
film with their photogenic appearance, inspirational acting, or some other
quality. Historically, astarlet (or ingenue) was an attractive actress
promoted by a film studio in a small role as an up-and-coming star during the
40s and the 50s; also used in the term star quality and star system.
||Refers to the way in which studios "groomed" stars
under contract, and sought star vehicles for them; studios served as
protectorates for their stars.
||A film expressly made to show off the talents of a performer,
with all other aspects almost secondary; compare with tour de force.
||An unmoving camera shot that is stationary, due to the use of a
||A specially designed harness attached to the camera operator,
which stabilises the camera as they move it. Invented by Garrett Brown, the
Steadicam eliminates the need for dolly tracks, and was used most famously to
film The Shining.
||A hand-held camera technique using a stabilizing Steadicam
(introduced in the late 70s), developed by inventor Garrett Brown, with a
special, mechanical harness that allows the camera operator to take
relatively smooth and steady shots, though hand-held, while moving along with
the action; the resulting images are comparable to normal tracking shots on a
||A Steadicam shot employs a kind of special hydraulic harness
that smoothes out the bumps and jerkiness associated with the typical
a scene (or scene-stealing)
||Usually refers to a supporting actor/actress attracting
attention from the lead actor or actress to whom the center of interest
legitimately belongs; see also 'tour de force' performance.
||A popular brand of flatbed. The word is sometimes used
interchangeably with flatbed.
||The act of portraying a particular character (or group) with a
formulaic, conforming, exaggerated, and oversimplified representation,
usually offensive and distorted.
||1.: The tripod or the tripod legs. 2.: The clapper on the slate.
||Refers to a single, static image, either (1) a frame still
(possibly enlarged) from a finished film, (2) a production still taken from
an unfinished film, or (3) a publicity shot (of an actor or scene); aka
||An official photographer who will snap on-set pics while scenes
are being rehearsed or shot, for use in promoting the film.
||an endearing term, used by electricians, for an extension cord.
Not a very commonly used term on the whole.
||A surprising, last-minute bit of dialogue (or footage) that
appears after the end (or closing) credits.
||A minor character whose actions are completely predictable,
stereotypical, or standard for his/her job or profession; similarly, a stock
situation is a basic, recognizable plot situation (e.g., a lover hiding in
the closet, twins mistaken for each other, etc.)..
footage (or stock/library shot)
||Previously-shot footage or film of common elements or scenes,
such as canyons or deserts in the American West, or travelogue shots (e.g.,
skylines, airplane takeoffs/landings, famous places, etc.) that are kept in a
film archive or library and used to fill in portions of a movie in different
film productions, thereby saving the time of reshooting similar scenes over
and over; a stock shot refers to an unimaginative or commonplace shot that
looks like it could be stock footage.
||A special-effects animation technique where objects, such as
solid 3-D puppets, figures, or models are shot one frame at a time and moved
or repositioned slightly between each frame, giving the illusion of lifelike
motion. Stop-motion was one of the earliest special-effects techniques for
science-fiction films, now replaced by CGI and animatronics; aka stop-frame
||The events that appear in a film and what we can infer from
these events; aka narrative or plot.
||The ideas & events of the narrative whole.
||A sequential series of illustrations, stills, rough sketches
and/or captions (sometimes resembling a comic or cartoon strip) of events, as
seen through the camera lens, that outline the various shots or provide a
synopsis for a proposed filmstory (or for a complex scene) with its action
and characters; the storyboards are displayed in sequence for the purpose of
visually mapping out and crafting the various shot divisions and camera
movements in an animated or live action film; a blank storyboard is a piece
of paper with rectangles drawn on it to represent the camera frame (for each
successive shot); a sophisticated type of preview storyboard (often shot and
edited on video, with a soundtrack) is termed an animatic.
||An actor/actress who serves as a stooge for a comedian
(orfunnyman), usually by adopting a serious stance or reaction to the comic
partner; the straight man often feeds lines to the other irreverent comedian
- who replies with witty comments; aka second banana or foil.
||A grease pencil mark on the workprint indicating either a fade
or a dissolve, called so because when projected it resembles a streamer
trailing across the screen.
||35mm mag stock that contains a stripe of magnetic tape rather
than the complete coating found on Fullcoat. Stripe mag will also have a
balance stripe to prevent warping.
||The head or chairperson of a film studio who has the final
authority for each film project (gives the green light - or authorization
go-ahead), and oversees the many departments (financial, legal, marketing,
advertising, distribution, etc.); also called the topper; in Hollywood's
Golden Age, the chief was called a mogul.
||Refers to the all-powerful control the monopolistic film studios
had over all aspects of assembly-line filmmaking and film production from the
1920s until the late 1950s, when chiefs - moguls (Mayer, Selznick and Zukor)
ruled; tactics included the ownership of property, control of publicity and
marketing, and iron-clad contracts with star-actors, directors, composers,
cameramen, costume designers, writers, and producers..
||(1) the for-profit companies that specialize in developing,
financing and distributing most American commercial films; (2) also refers to
the actual site for a film production, with physical sets, stages, offices,
backlots (located on the outdoor grounds of a film studio and used for
filming exteriors), etc; see also majors and independents, andmogul..
||A stunt performer(s) (aka stunts) that take the place of an
actor when the scene calls for a dangerous or risky action (car crash, fight,
window jump, etc.); doubles usually have the same build or appearance as the
star; also called stunt performer, stuntman or stuntwoman; not to be confused
with a stand-in or a body double; stunts are supervised, conducted and
planned by a stunt coordinator.
||A term that refers to the artificial exaggeration or elimination
of details in order to deliberately create an effect - in other words, to
make (or interpret) a person, a face, a tree, a figure, or something as
'grotesque,' 'disturbing,' or 'overbright' as opposed to realistic or
||A film in which the narrator has a limited point-of-view
regarding the characters, events, action, places, thoughts, conversations,
etc.; a subjective camera is a style of filming that allows the viewer to
look at events from the POV of either a character or the author, when the
camera position is close to the line of sight of the character; contrast to
||A secondary, subordinate, or auxiliary plotline, often
complementary but independent from the main plot (the A story), and often
involving supporting characters; not the same as multiple plotlines; aka the
B story or C story.
||The deeper and usually unexpressed "real" meanings of
a character's spoken lines or actions - if the viewer can 'read between the
||Refers to the printed line(s) of text superimposed and displayed
at the bottom of the screen frame, often used to translate a foreign-language
phrase, or to describe a time/place; also the text translating an entire
foreign language film (that hasn't been dubbed); often termed caption.
||Short for the influential Sundance Film Festival, known for the
exhibition and screening of the best of independent films each year in Utah;
also see (film) festival.
||A format using single perf 16mm film on which a wider image is
exposed than is the case with regular 16mm, using the area that would
normally have the soundtrack. Super 16mm was conceived specifically for blow
up to 35mm, and is typically rather inconvenient for anything else.
||Just a fancy way for Zeiss to describe a fast prime lens,
typically with a T-stop of 1.3.
||An optical printing process that places or 'exposes' one image
on top of another on the same piece of filmstock, such as inserted credits
and titles at the beginning of a film; sometimes composed as a double
||Superimposition is when two or more image are placed over each
other in the frame.
||The same as Double Exposure, but often used expressly to
describe a double exposure done through optical printing, as in superimposed
roles or players
||Characters seen less frequently than the lead role characters,
but still in important, secondary roles; often termed a featured player or
feature player; well-known guest stars often play brief supporting roles in a
film; character actors are usually in supporting roles.
||A term applied to a film, signifying a distorted or fantastic
dream state, a nightmarish or hallucinogenic world, or a subconscious thought
or death experience; often expressed by a random, non-sequential
juxtaposition of images that go beyond realism.
||Another term for a suspense/thriller film .
||Usually refers to adventure films with an heroic, athletic,
||A swish pan looks like a blur as one scene changes to
another�the camera appears to be moving rapidly from right to left or left to
||A term for the class of fantasy movies characterized by the
presence of wizards and warriors, magic and sword fighting.
||A term for a movie, usually a Roman or Biblical epic,
characterized by the weapons (swords) and footwear (sandals) of the period.
||An object in a film that stands for an idea, or that has a
second level of meaning to it, e.g., a window or train=freedom, a
rose=beauty, a cross-roads=a decision point, etc.; the more a symbol is
repeated, the greater its significance.
||Within a film when two or more distinct plotlines 'mirror' each
other or develop variations on the film's theme or plot; akamirroring.
||The degree to which sound and picture are lined up, in-sync
being lined up exactly, and out-of-sync not so exactly. It can be applied to
any specific sound and picture relationship, not just voices and not just
sync-sound, but any type of specific effect too.
||1.: The point at which the clapsticks come together at the
beginning of a shot, and the accompanying sound on the sound track. 2.: An
"X" mark on a single frame at the beginning of a reel of picture
that lined up with a second sync mark on a roll of sound (May also be used
anywhere where needed). Sync marks are also used at the beginning of A'amp;B
||Sync sound is sound recorded while shooting picture. Usually it
involves footage of people speaking, and is thus sometimes called lip sync.
It must be recorded with either crystal or cable sync to line up and not
drift out of sync.
||A very helpful tool of the editing room, a synchronzier is a
device with a center axle and several sprocketed wheels attached to it. The
wheels are called gangs. Film may be clamped into the gang, so that it can be
measured with a footage counter on the front of the synchronizer. One
revolution of the synchronizer equals one foot of film. Several elements,
such as film and sound, A'amp;B rolls, can be run in tandem can easily cut to
the same length. It is used by the negative cutter for the assembly of A'amp;B
rolls, as well as for logging, measuring footage, syncing, and checking sync
in the editing room.
||Refers to sound whose source can be seen in the image's frame,
or whose source can be understood from the context of the image.
||The actual lining up of sound and picture before editing a sync
sound film. This also involves cutting the excess sound between takes, and
adding filler, so that the picture and sound are now in sync for beginning to
||A gauge on a camera measuring the film speed when the camera is
||A clever phrase or short sentence to memorably characterize a
film, and tease and attract potential viewers, or sell the movie; also
creates a catchy 'soundbite' often repeated or presented in a trailer or on a
film's poster, sometimes along with the film's leitmotif.
||The end of a shot or a roll is called the tail.
||Sometimes it is necessary to mark a shot at the end rather than
at the beginning. When this is done it is called a tail slate. It is
customary to call "Tail Slate" just before clapping the slate, so
that the person syncing the film does not get confused. To easily distinguish
a tail slate, the slate is held upside down when marking the shot.
||A single continuously-recorded performance, shot or version of a
scene with a particular camera setup; often, multiple takes are made of the
same shot during filming, before the directorapproves the shot; in box-office
terms, take also refers to the money a film's release has made.
||A take is one run of the camera, recording a single shot
||versions of the same shot are called takes.
||An empty reel, used on a projector to gather up the film after
it has passed through the movement.
||An empty spool in a camera used to gather up the film after it
has passed through the movement.
||A term applied to the actors, as a group, on a film set.
||The common term used for films with sound (beginning in 1927),
although rarely used currently. The advent of talkies marked the dawning of
the era of sound films, as opposed tosilent films.
||A medium shot of people conversing; used as a criticism -
denoting an uninteresting image.
||A slang term, meaning to "pick", "select",
"name", or "appoint".
||A method of joining two pieces of film so they can be projected
as one continuous piece. Tape splices are used in the editing stage. To cut
the negative Cement Splices are used.
||An excessively-sentimental or emotional film, usually with
suffering female protagonists, tragic circumstances, manipulative scenes, and
dramatic musical scoring; akamelodramas or weepies; derogatively known as a
'woman's film' or 'chick flick'; contrast to feel-good film.
||The trade name for the best known color film process; 3-strip
color is often used as a synonymous term; also used generically as a term for
rich, bright, vibrant, sometimes garish colors; Technicolor films were
described as highlysaturated (with pure and vivid colors); Technicolor (a 3-
color dye transfer system) was introduced in the Disney short cartoon,
Flowers and Trees (1932).
||Modern day (or post-modern) expressionistic film noirs set in
the future, with dark, decaying societies.
||A machine for transferring film to video.
||Refers to a feature-length motion picture made for television;
also known as telepic or telepix; see also made-for TV movie.
||Used as an equivalent to Long Lens, but for those who wish to be
overly exact, a telephoto lens is a long lens that is physically shorter than
its focal length.
||Refers to a camera lens with a very long focal length and narrow
angle of view - the effect is to compress or condense depth in space, thereby
bringing distant objects closer to the viewer (without moving the camera),
but it also flattens the depth of the image; it has the opposite of the
effect of a wide angle lens.
||often called "dramatic tension." In most texts and
films we study, several tensions may exist. These are dramatic or even
melodramatic elements of plot, setting, or character that serve to "move
things along" well. Unlike a MacGuffin, however, the tension is
significant. A love triangle might not be the subject of a film, for
instance, but it would certainly be one of the tensions.
||An industry slang or trendy buzzword term, meaning a film that
is expected to serve as a primary support for a studio, i.e., to be a
top-grossing blockbuster (usually during the summer season), to compensate
for a studio's other flops; usually the film is the start of, or an
installment in, afranchise.
||This is the sequence of directions that begin a take, typically:
"Roll Sound" "Roll Camera" "Mark it" and
||A flat surface of etched glass in the viewfinding system of a
camera that is the same distance from the lens as the film plane.
||A slang term that refers to Metro-Goldwyn Mayer (MGM)Studios --
with the legendary "Leo the Lion" logo.
||The parts of a camera or projector that move the film
intermittently: the pulldown claw, the rollers before and after the loops,
and the gears connecting these parts form the movement. If there is a
registration pin, this is also part of the movement. Sometimes the shutter
can also be considered part of the movement.
||A board with two hinged sticks attached. The slate is used to
record a scene number and sync point (via the clapstick) at the beginning of
||On a turret, the lens that is actually in front of the gate,
producing an image on the film.
||The place for screening, presenting, or viewing a film or motion
picture; aka cinema.
||A slang term referring to a feature-length motion picture.
||The central characteristic, idea, concern or motif in a film.
||The opening or closing music of a motion picture, often
containing the film's 'signature' or leitmotif tune/phrase that is associated
with a character or situation within the film.
case, the soundtrack, not a visual image, connects
the two shots or scenes; aka lightning mix
||The next scene of the spinning blades of an overhead fan.
||Character seems unfriendly or anti-social, rejecting out
||Refers to a medium shot that contains three people; compare to
||Refers to any commercial venture connected to a film.
||A device for bypassing the fuse box and electrical wiring of a
location by tapping power directly from the mains.
||A handy attachment sometimes found on an editing bench on the
right rewind, used to wind film onto a core and giving it a very smooth edge.
It can be quicker than opening and tightening split reels if you are just
rewinding an entire roll.
||A tight wind is useless without it. This is the hub that holds a
core on the spindle of a rewind.
||A vertical camera move on an axis, up or down. Not to be used
interchangeably with pan. It is not really correct to say "pan up"
or "pan down," when you really mean tilt.
(or oblique angle)
||A camera tilted up or down on a diagonal along a vertical axis;
a vertical camera movement from a fixed position often used to suggest an
imbalance, or strangeness, or to emphasize size, power or menace; also known
as tilt pan, tilt up or tilt down (or reveal), or vertical pan, although not
technically the same as "pan up" or "pan down", similar
to a moving close up; a dutch angle is filmed at an extreme diagonal tilt.
||A method of filming where frames are shot much slower than their
normal rate, allowing action to take place between frames, and giving the
appearance of the action taking place much faster in the finished product;
often done for nature filming (the blooming of a flower, the movement of
clouds, etc.), allowing the viewer to witness the event compressed from real
time (hours or days) into a few seconds; (one frame shot every 30 seconds
over 24 hours of real time would equal two minutes of film time); opposite of
||Time lapse is when single frame shooting is used to dramatically
speed up the action over the course of a long period of time. Typically it is
a process where a single frame is shot after a consistent pause. It could be
one frame every ten seconds, or one frame every hour, and such.
||Unlike a One Light Print, this is a print where the timer has
gone through and timed every shot.
||The person at the lab who goes through your film, shot by shot
and selects the printing lights.
||The lab's process of selecting printing lights to for the proper
redition of exposure and color when making a print. The term is a little
consuing, as it has nothing at all to do with "time" as in
"running time" or such.
||A list of the timing lights and corresponding footages the lab
used in making your print. The timing report can be very helpful for
analyzing the footage and judging the possibilities of further corrections.
Any serious problems with the footage (out of focus, scratches, edge fog,
etc.) are usually also noted on the timing report
||The use of color to physically tint film stock to achieve a
desired mood, usually done selectively by hand; often used by silent
black-and-white films before the widespread use of color film. See gel and
||The lead part in a movie or other production for an actor or
actress, that is named after the title of the film.
||The words that appear on the film screen and convey information;
categories of titles include: credit titles, main titles, end titles, insert
titles, and subtitles; a creeper title, also known as a roll-up title, refers
to a film title that appears to move solwly across the screen - vertically or
horizontally; in silent film, "titles" (called title cards or
intertitles) included the written commentary and full screens of textual
dialogue spliced within the action; title design refers to the artistic
manner in which the title of a film is displayed on screen; theworking title
is the name by which a film is known while it is being made (e.g., during the
filming of Psycho (1960), it was known as Production 9401); see Movie Title
Screens; see also credits.
||Abbreviation for tickets.
||1.: A 1,000 Hz sine wave used at the beginning of a tape to
provide consistent volume when transferring sound. 2.: Room Tone
||The mood or atmosphere of a film scene, often revealed by the
director in the way a film is directed, e.g., serious, humorous, satiric,
||Abbreviation for cartoon.
||Sometimes suggests ideas dealing with power, dominance,
authority and aspiration.
||To star; or to be billed above the title of a film; the topliner
is the star of a particular film.
||Refers to the head of a company or organization.
||Literally "forceful turn" (French); usually refers to
a lead actor's performance that was incredibly skillful, brilliant, notable,
masterful, reflecting a very high standard, and perfectly displaying the
actor's ability; compare to 'stealing a scene' - the equivalent for a
supporting actor role.
||A tracking, or trucking, shot is one in which a camera is
mounted on some kind of conveyance (car, ship, airplane, etc.) and films
while moving through space.
||A tracking shot is one where the camera is placed on a dolly and
is moved while filmming. Also known as a dolly shot
shot (or truck)
||A smooth shot in which the camera moves alongside ('tracking
within') the subject, usually mounted on a dolly, in a side-to-side motion
(relative to the scene or the action); also known as following shot;
sometimes used interchangeably withdolly shot, pull back (pull-out, push-out,
widen-out orpush back) shot, track back (moving away) or track in (orpush-in)
(moving forward), or zoom shot; see alsoSteadicam.
||Refers to a personal touch or embellishment of an actor,
director, writer or producer within a film; aka signature,calling card..
||Refers to the professional magazines and publications that
report the daily or weekly entertainment news of the entertainment industry..
||A short publicity film, preview, or advertisement composed of
short excerpts and scenes from a forthcoming film or coming attraction,
usually two-three minutes in length; often presented at the showing of
another film. Historically, these advertisements were placed at the end of a
newsreel or supporting feature and so "trailed" them, hence the
name; also commonly known as preview(s); also, another name for the tail - a
length of blank leader (strip of film) at the end of a reel; a teaser is basically
a very short trailer (of 15-30 seconds in length) that only provides a few
hints about the film (a Web address, a few bars of music, a quick sequence of
images, specially-shot footage, etc.)..
||the type of editing technique used to connect shots. Sometimes
there is no transition, and others can be quick complicated. Fading to black
is a popular transition, as are wipes and dissolves.
(or transitional technique ordevice)
||One of several ways of moving from one shot or scene to the
next, including such transitional effects or shots as a cut,fade, dissolve,
and wipe; a transition focus between two scenes means the current scene goes
out of focus and the next scene comes into focus.
||Refers to second-run, low-budget films that are deliberately
over-the-top, infantile, amateurish, sometimes excessively gory or raunchy
which are intended to shock, disgust, and repel mainstream audiences, and
appeal to non-traditional audiences. Sometimes described as a sub-category
ofexploitation and cult films, or called a 'turkey' film. Compare with
sexploitation, B-films, and Z-films..
||A film made for the purpose of showing scenes from foreign,
||A detailed literary summary or presentation of a film's story,
with action and characters described in prose form, often used to market
and/or sell a film project or script; a completed treatment is a late stage
in the development of a screenplay after several story conferences have
incorporated changes into the script; contrast to a synopsis (a brief
summation of a film);.
||A group of three films that together compose a larger narrative
and are related in subject or theme.
or Editing Bin or Bin
||A trim bin is a bin on wheels lined with a fabric bag and topped
off with a frame with a row pins on which to hang film while editing. Oddly
enough, a trim bin is not used for trims, which are small, but for selects
and outtakes. Not to be confused with a waste basket!
||Trims are outtakes of a few frames, usually a foot or less. To
keep them from getting lost they are usually stored separately from longer
outtakes, either in their own vault box or in a trim book
||Refers to an actor or actress who can sing, dance and act
skillfully and equally well on a consistent basis; usually applicable to
performers in the musicals genre; it also could refer to a person who can
act, direct, and screenwrite!.
||The part of the tripod with the pan and tilt mechanism to which
the camera is attached
||Similar to an F-Stop, some lenses, particularly zoom lenses,
will have f-stops on one side of the aperture ring and t-stops on the other.
To differentiate the two, the t-stops will be red and the f-stops white.
T-stops are used in place of f-stops for setting exposure. Lenses with a lot
of glass elements will often lose a little bit of light. The t-stops are
calibrated to the actual amount of light that is hitting the film, rather
than arrived at mathematically, as is the case with f-stops. However, the
f-stops are still relevant, because while the t-stop should be used to set
the exposure, the resulting f-stop will indicate how much Depth of Field you
||A term that denotes to promote or draw attention to; usually
conducted by publicists, advertisers, and agents; from the ancient show
business custom of actors wandering the streets banging on tubs and drums to
draw an audience together.
||The color temperature of artificial light which is 3,200K on the
color temperature scale. Quartz Lights use a tungsten filament, which burns
at 3,200K, and gives us this term. Color film for indoor shooting is balanced
for tungsten light, otherwise the image would appear orange in hue. If
tungsten balanced film is used out-of-doors without a correction filter the
image will have a washed-out blue hue
||Refers to a film or project that has been abandoned by a studio
and is no longer active (and now available for being shopped to another
||A rotating lens mount allowing for the mounting of three or
sometimes four lenses on a camera, allowing for the quick change from one
lens to another. Only one is in use at any given time, and this is known as
the taking lens
||A film that is marketed as having a surprise ending that
shouldn't be revealed (as a spoiler) to those who haven't seen the picture.
||Slang for coupons that discount an film's admission price to
"two for" the price of one.
||Refers to a film with only two characters .
||In the silent era, this referred to a film lasting a little over
||A medium or close-up camera shot of two people (often in
dialogue with each other), framed from the chest up; often used to provide a
contrast between the two characters; compare to three-shot.
||When an actor or actress is commonly (but unfairly) identified,
associated with, or 'stereotyped' by a particular character role;casting
against type is the reverse of typecasting; typagerefers to director
Eisenstein's theory of casting that shunned professional actors in favor of
'types' or representative characters.
||The entire camera can move or the focus of the lens can change.
||A sophisticated cleaning machine found at labs to clean
negatives prior to printing or transfer to video. It uses sound waves to
shake loose dust.
||An expensive and sophisticated splicing machine used for
splicing Polyester Base stock.
||Refers to 3/4 inch magnetic tape, originally a professional
cassette tape format now being supplanted by new digital formats; a competing
tape format was the inferior 1/2" VHS orbeta.
||A 'supporting' role for a major (sometimes minor) star that is
officially credited (usually in the end credits), but no mention (or billing)
is made in the film's advertisements or the opening credits; contrast with
cameo and uncredited role..
||A role that a major (or minor) star plays that is not credited
in the credits or in the film's poster; contrast with cameo andunbilled
||Refers to an understated, neutral and muted acting performance;
contrast with overacting.
||To run the camera slower, producing fast motion. The term has
survived from the time when you would crank a camera.
||Refers to the slowing down of a camera, by shooting at less than
the standard 24 fps, so that the image, when normally projected, will appear
in fast motion; often used to produce a comic effect.
||Refers to a film shot that has less light than normal, causing
an indistinct, dimly-lit, unclear image; the opposite ofoverexposed.
||Filming a scene with less light than the emulsion of the film
needs for a correct exposure. The image will be too dark. If compensated for
in printing, the image will appear grainy, and very muddy.
||A low-budget, non-commercial film, usually independently made,
without the traditional sources of funding or distribution.
||Organizations that represent professionals in the motion picture
industry (e.g., directors, actors, writers, etc.), and help those individuals
negotiate contracts, receive recognition, pursue rights, protect interests,
etc.; aka guilds.
||The poor soul who sets up press visits to a film set and handles
all press matters relating to the film during shooting. It will be their job
to, say, squelch reports of a developing affair between Richard Burton and
Elizabeth Taylor on Cleopatra, and hide it from the press, as well as getting
out positive buzz about the film.
||An insult hurled at someone during a crisis when they have
broken some unwritten rule of professional conduct. Commonly the term is used
with the most frequency by people to whom it would just as easily apply.
||A literary term meaning a protagonist or narrator whose
perspective is skewed to their own perspective, producing a portrayal of
events that may or may not be accurate or truthful; the lack of credibility
may be deliberate or due to a lack of knowledge.
||A slang term meaning to screen or show a film.
Part of the Composition
||It is heavier than the lower, therefore objects likes sky
scrapers seem more top heavy, so if the sky dominates and looks more heavy,
it can make the inhabitants seem overwhelmed from above.
Moviola or Upright
||An editing machine with arms in back to hold the take up and
supply reels. The film moves up and around to a screen on the front. Foot
petals control motors for sound speed and variable speed viewing.
||Refers to an imaginary, ideal (or mythical), perfect state or
place (especially in its laws, government, social and moral conditions),
often with magical healing, restorative properties; see also its opposite -
||A femme fatale or woman with a bad reputation, usually seductive
and scheming in nature or behavior..
||A motor or the control for a motor which will run a camera or an
editing machine at speed faster or slower than sound speed.
||A respected, oft-quoted show-biz periodical or trade paper (or
one of the trades) that reports and provides coverage on the entertainment
industry (including the film industry), and best known for its goofy,
shorthand 'Varietyese' headlines, using made-up words, e.g. 'dee jay' (disc
jockey), or 'B.O.' (box office or boffo).
||A stage variety entertainment show, featuring a series of short
acts - songs, dancing, acrobatics, comedy skits, and animal acts; it was
highly popular in America from the late 1880s to the 1920s, when it became
overtaken by sound films and.
||A white, flat, square cardboard box designed to hold 1,000 feet
of 35mm or two 1,000 foot rolls of 16mm.
||Literally, 'Video-Cassette Recorder'; aka VTR (video tape
recorder); a consumer-level machine for home entertainment that plays-back
and records images and sounds from TV on magnetized tape in a videotape
cassette; VHS stands for 'Video Home System' or the 1/2 inch video cassette
tape format; see also U-matic or beta.
||Literally, "to see," in other words, the visual or
pictured image (either projected, taped, etc.), as opposed to the audio
aspect of film; also refers to the visual component of television;digital
video refers to a video signal represented by a series of binary numbers that
are readable by computer - compare with analog video; aka vid (for short).
||A British term from the 1980s that refers to a select group of
ultra-violent videos (low-budget films produced in Italy and the US) that
were considered highly objectionable and to be regulated.
||Usually a type of action film in which the protagonist takes the
law into his/her own hands as a self-appointed doer of justice, revenge, and
||A scene in a film that can stand on its own; also refers to a
masking device, often with soft edges..
||Virtual camera movement refers to the creation of the perceptual
sense of movement through space by the manipulation of focal length or by
more irregular techniques.
||Considered a sub-category of special effects; refers to anything
added to the final picture that was not in the original shot; visual effects
can be accomplished in-camera (like stop motion, double exposures and
rear/front projection) or via a number of different optical or digital
post-production processes (CGI, for example), usually with a computer.
||Voice-over is dialogue, usually narration, that comes from an
unseen, offscreen voice, character, or narrator.
||Refers to recorded dialogue, usually narration, that comes from
an unseen, off-screen voice, character or narrator (abbreviated as o.s.
meaning beyond camera range), that can be heard by the audience but not by
the film characters themselves; narration is a type of voice-over; v.o. often
conveys the character's thoughts, either as a 'voice' heard within one's
head, or as other narrative information and commentary to explain the action
or plot; often a technique infilm noirs; the abbreviation is used as an
annotation in a script.
||This film term was named after Serbian-American film
director/editor Slavko Vorkapich; the term 'vorkapich' was popularized in
screenplays of the 1930s and 1940s - it meant a montage sequence, that
Vorkapich himself called "symphonies of visual movement".
||A minor role consisting of a single, brief appearance on the
screen, usually not appearing in the credits and without dialogue; contrast
with extras, bit parts, and non-speaking roles..
||The first rehearsal on the set, to figure out lighting, sound,
camera positioning, etc..
||Refers to the atmospheric, background sound effect for the
indistinct murmurings and buzz of voices in a crowd; extras in crowd scenes,
in older films (or in radio), would be asked to murmur a phrase ('walla
walla,' 'rhubarb,' 'peas and carrots,' or 'watermelon,' etc.) to create the
sound of the crowd and to pretend that they were talking; see also foley
artist, dubbing, and non-synchronized sound.
||The general name for the costume department, or the costumes
(and their accessories) themselves; see alsocostume.
||Refers to the object that motivates the main action in a
serial(e.g., a lost city, buried treasure, or missing plans, etc).
||A contact printing method, made on a specially equipped printing
machine, where the film is in a liquid that temporarily fills in any
scratches on the base, preventing them from refracting light and showing up
in the print. Commonly, answer prints are printed with a wet gate. Labs often
charge a little extra for wet gate printing.
||When the camera pans particularly quickly, resulting in motion
blur. This is often used to sneak in a hidden cut, as in the lengthy opening
shot of Serenity. See
||In early film production, an individual on a film set's sound
stage who was employed to make sure all noises were "shushed"
before filming. The whistleman would blow on a whistle just before the
shooting of a take commenced, to make sure that the set was quiet and that
extraneous noises near or outside the studio set were silenced..
||Refers to electronically setting or 'color-correcting' a
camera's white balance - or the true color of white, since white doesn't
appear 'white' with all lighting conditions.
||Refers to a mystery/detective film.
||In sound effects, this refers to the extra noises added to a
sound, e.g., bells, horns, or whistles to an explosion, to make it more
interesting or exciting.
||A lens with a focal length smaller than 25mm in 16mm, or 50mm in
35mm, which, like looking into the wrong end of a pair of binoculars,
provides an extended view of a large area.
||A wide-angle lens has a short focal length, which exaggerates
the relative size of objects within field of view.
||A shot (often abbreviated WS) taken with a lens that is able to
take in a wider field or range of view (to capture more of the scene's
elements or objects) than a regular or normal lens; a wide-angle shot
exaggerates the distance, depth or disparity between foreground and
background planes, thereby creating greater depth-of-field and keeping all
objects in focus and in perspective; an extreme or ultra-wide-angle lens
giving a 180 degree view is called a 'fish-eye' lens.
||A shot with a greater horizontal plane of action and greater
depth of field is known as a wide-angle shot.
||Refers to projection systems in which the aspect ratio is wider
than the 1.33:1 ratio that dominated sound film before the 1950s; in the
1950s, many widescreen processes were introduced (to combat the growing
popularity of television), such as CinemaScope (an anamorphic
system),VistaVision (a non-anamorphic production technique in which the film
is run horizontally through the camera instead of vertically), and Todd-AO
and Super Panavision (that both used wider gauge film); also known as
||A red warning light located above each entrance-exit door on a
film set sound stage, designed to flash (with a buzzer sound) to indicate
when shooting commences or ends; also known as"red-eye".
||Not sync. A wild motor is one that runs close to 24 frames per
second, but not close enough for sync sound. Also applies in a few other
cases, such as, if you are filming a rear screen projection scene and the
projector and camera are not Interlocked they can be said to be running wild.
||Non-sync sound, recorded without the camera running, usually
recorded to supplement the sync takes.
||The giant trailers that stars occupy when not required on set.
||A transitional technique or optical effect/device in which one
shot appears to be "pushed off" or "wiped off" the screen
by another shot replacing it and moving across the existing image; also
called a push-over; a flip-over (or flip) wipe is when one scene rotates or
flips-over to the new scene; wipes were very commonly used in the 30s .
||Wipes allow one scene to effectively erase the previous scene
and replace it.
||A term referring to the public discussion or buzz that a film
can acquire, fueled by sneak previews and advance advertising; word of mouth
is an important marketing element in a film's success or failure - positive
word of mouth gives a film legs, while negative word of mouth may prematurely
close it down.
||A positive copy of the original negative that is cut during the
editing process. At the end of editing the original negative is then cut by
the negative cutter to match the workprint shot for shot, and an answer print
struck from the cut negative. A workprint can also be made from reversal
||End of shooting.�
||Refers to the completion of film shooting (either for the day or
for the entire production or project); in the early days of cinema, the
cameraman would say after filming: "Wind, Reel, And Print' - abbreviated
as WRAP; a entirely completed film is termed in the can.
||Refers to the individual who authors the content of the piece
from pre-existing material or uses an entirely new idea; usually there are
many writers involved with re-writes, adaptations, character development,
etc.; aka screenwriter.
||A very bright, daylight balanced projection lamp, or a projector
with a xenon lamp. A xenon lamp is not interchangeable with a tungsten lamp
or arch lamp, but requires a different lamp housing on the projector. Because
xenon lamps are daylight balanced it is sometimes advisable with color film
to have the lab make a print that is balanced for xenon. This is sometimes
called a 5,400K print, the color temperature of daylight.
||What Fred Flinstone says when he'#39;s happy. This was put in
here to see if you were paying attention.
||A slang term, meaning a boring film.
||A method of negative cutting specifically for blow up, where
every shot is given Frame Handles so that the registration pin of the printer
is never engaging with a splice, which can cause the image to wobble at the
cut. It is most commonly used when you are blowing up from 16mm to 35mm. Zero
cut should be done only if really necessary, because the lab can only print
the film as an optical, which is far more expensive than a contact print.
Zero cutting is a little more complicated than standard A'amp;B rolls, so the
negative cutter also charges more for it.
||Refers to a very low-budgeted, independently-made, non union,
less than B-film grade movie, usually with first-time director and actors;
often quickly-made for the teenaged youth market and amateurish-looking, but
with campy appeal; with exploitational subject matter that includes surfing
films, motorcycle flicks, cheap horror films, etc.; Z-films become prime
candidates for cult film status.
||A variable focal length lens. A zoom lens will have a third
ring, besides ones controlling focus and iris, that will allow you to change
the focal length within a range of wide to long.
||A single shot taken with a lens that has a variable focal
length, thereby permitting the cinematographer to change the distance between
the camera and the object being filmed, and rapidly move from a wide-angle
shot to a telephoto shot in one continuous movement; this camera technique
makes an object in the frame appear larger; movement towards a subject to
magnify it is known as zoom in or forward zoom, or reversed to reduce its
size is known as zoom out/back orbackward zoom.
||A zoom shot is one that permits the cinematographer to change
the distance between the camera and the object being filmed without actually
moving the camera.
||A revolutionary special effects, 3-D process invented by
cameraman Zorian Perisic, incorporating a camera system and a projector with
synchronized zoom lenses, to create the illusion of movement in depth.