Get Glossary of Motion Picture Terms essential facts below. View Videos or join the Glossary of Motion Picture Terms discussion. Add Glossary of Motion Picture Terms to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
A basic guideline regarding the on-screen spatial relationship between a character and another character or object within a scene. By keeping the camera on one side of an imaginary axis between two characters, the first character is always frame right of the second character. Moving the camera over the axis is called jumping the line or crossing the line; breaking the 180-degree rule by shooting on all sides is known as shooting in the round.
A basic film editing guideline that states the camera should move at least 30 degrees relative to the subject between successive shots of the same subject. If the camera moves less than 30 degrees, the transition between shots may look like a jump cut, which could jar the audience and take them out of the story by causing them to focus on the film technique rather than the narrative itself.
The list of individuals who guide and influence the creative direction, process, and voice of a given narrative in a film and related expenditures. These roles include but are not limited to the screenwriter, producer, director, and actors. Contrast below-the-line.
Any source of light that is not explicitly supplied by the cinematographer. The term usually refers to sources of light that are already "available" naturally (e.g. the Sun, Moon, lightning) or artificial light that is already being used (e.g. to light a room).
A translation of a phrase from Frenchfilm criticism, plan américain, which refers to a medium-long ("knee") film shot of a group of characters, who are arranged so that all are visible to the camera. The usual arrangement is for the actors to stand in an irregular line from one side of the screen to the other, with the actors at the end coming forward a little and standing more in profile than the others. The purpose of the composition is to allow complex dialogue scenes to be played out without changes in camera position.
The process of re-recording dialogue by the original actor after the filming process to improve audio quality or reflect dialogue changes. In India the process is simply known as "dubbing", while in the UK, it is also called "post-synchronisation" or "post-sync". The insertion of voice acting performances for animation, such as computer generated imagery or animated cartoons, is often referred to as ADR, although it generally does not replace existing dialogue.
A type of jump cut, where the camera suddenly moves closer to or further away from its subject along an invisible line drawn straight between the camera and the subject. While a plain jump cut typically involves a temporal discontinuity (an apparent jump in time), an axial cut is a way of maintaining the illusion of continuity. Axial cuts are used rarely in contemporary cinema but were fairly common in the cinema of the 1910s and 1920s.
In a film crew, an assistant to either of two department heads: the gaffer or the key grip (with the assistant sometimes referred to as the best boy electric or best boy grip, respectively). The best boy acts as the foreman for his department.
A type of lighting whereby a spotlight accentuates a single character or other subject and sometimes a few props in a scene, so that the focus of the scene is on the subject and not its surrounding environment. It is often used to create an "angelic" shot, such as one where a light used to represent God or heaven shines down onto the character. Cameo lighting derives its name from the art form in which a light relief figure is set against a darker background. It is often achieved by using barn-doored spotlights. A problem with cameo lighting is that it can lead to color distortion and noise in the darkest areas.
The schedule crafted by the assistant director, using the director's shot list. It is issued to the cast and crew of a film production to inform them of when and where they should report for a particular day of filming. The production schedule is usually listed by call time, the time when people are expected to start work on a film set.
A type of camera shot where the camera is set at an angle on its roll axis so that the shot is composed with vertical lines at an angle to the side of the frame, or so that the horizon line of the shot is not parallel with the bottom of the camera frame. This produces a viewpoint akin to tilting one's head to the side. In cinematography, the Dutch angle is one of many cinematic techniques used to portray psychological uneasiness or tension in the subject being filmed.
Any shot which sets up or establishes the context for a scene by showing the relationship between its important figures and objects. It is often a long or extreme long shot at the beginning of a scene indicating where, and sometimes when, the remainder of the scene takes place.
The collective term for a group of people hired by a film production company for the purpose of producing a film or motion picture. The crew is distinguished from the cast, which is generally understood to consist solely of the actors who appear in front of the camera or provide voices for characters in the film, as well as from the producers, who own at least a portion of the production company or the film's intellectual property rights.
The process of making a film or motion picture, generally in the sense of a film intended for extensive theatrical exhibition. Filmmaking typically involves a large number of people and takes from a few months to several years to complete.
Is a cinematic technique where the camera looks down on the subject from a high angle and the point of focus often gets "swallowed up."
High-angle shots can make the subject seem vulnerable or powerless when applied with the correct mood, setting, and effects. In film, they can make the scene more dramatic. If there is a person at high elevation who is talking to someone below them, this shot is often used.
Is a cinematographic technique in which the camera stays in a fixed position but rotates up/down in a verticalplane. Tilting the camera results in a motion similar to someone raising or lowering their head to look up or down. It is distinguished from panning in which the camera is horizontally pivoted left or right. Pan and tilt can be used simultaneously. In some situations the lens itself may be tilted with respect to the fixed camera body in order to generate greater depth of focus.
A sequence of numeric codes generated at regular intervals by a timing synchronization system and commonly used in video production and other applications which require temporal coordination or logging of recordings or actions.
Is a motion picture that is playing nationally. This is contrast to a film that is having premiere showings at a few cinemas, or is in limited release at selected cinemas in larger cities around the country. In the American film industry, a movie is considered by some to be a wide release when it plays in 600 cinemas or more in the United States and Canada.