Essay, 25 pages (6000 words)

Film: a critical introduction glossary

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30-degree rulethe camera should move at least 30 degrees any time there is a cut within a scene180-degree ruleThe camera does not move across an imagined line drawn between two charactersAcademy RatioThe aspect ratio of 1. 33: 1, standardized by the Academy of Motion Picture Art and Sciences until the development of widescreen formats in the 1950sActualitésEarly films that documented everyday events, such as workers leaving a factoryADR(Automatic dialogue replacement) recording synchronized dialogue in post-production, cutting several identical lengths of developed film and having actors record the dialogue repeatedlyAerial ShotA shot filmed from an airplane or helicopterAnalog VideoA videotape system that records images onto magnetic tape, using electronic signalsAnamorphic lenssqueezes the image at a ratio of 2: 1 horizontally onto a standard film frame. On the projector, it unsqueezes the image, creating a widescreen aspect ratio during presentationAnimationCreating the appearance of movement by drawing a series of frames that are projected sequentially, rather than photographing a series of still imagesAnimeA style of Japanese animation, distinguished primarily by the fact that it is not all geared for young audiencesAntagonistA character who in some way opposes the protagonist, leading to protracted conflictApertureA small, variable opening on a camera lens that regulates the amount of light entering the camera and striking the surface of the filmApparatus TheoryThe film medium’s technological apparatus is inherently ideologicalAspect RatioThe shape of the image onscreen as determined by the width of the frame relative to its heightAssistant EditorAssists the editor with various tasks, including taking footage to the lab, checking the condition of the negative, cataloguing footage, and supervising optical effects, often produced by an outside companyAuteurAuthor; A term popularized by French film critics and refers to film directors with their own distinctive styleAvailable lightNatural light; The process of suing sunlight rather than artificial studio lights when filmingAvant-garde filmExperimental film; Underground cinema; Average shot lengthThe average length in seconds of a series of shots, covering a portion of a film or an entire film; a measure of pace within a scene or in the film as a whole. Backstage musicalA musical film in which each song and dance number is narratively motivated by a plot that situates characters in performance contextsBackstoryThe details of a character’s past that emerge as the film unfolds, and which often play a role in character motivationBaseA flexible celluloid strip that, along with the emulsion layer, comprises 35mm film stockBest boyAssists the gaffer in managing lighting crewsBlaxploitationAn action film cycle of the late 1960s and early 1970s that featured bold, rebellious African American charactersBleach bypassLeaving the silver grains in the emulsion rather than bleaching them out, which produces desaturated colorBlock bookingAn outlawed studio era practice, where studios forced exhibitors to book groups of films at once, thus ensuring a market for their failures along with their successesBlockbusterA large-budget film whose strategy is to swamp the competition through market saturationBlockingA production term referring to coordinating actors’ movements with lines of dialogueBlue screenLive action is filmed in front of a blue screen and a matte. It’s then joined with the background footageBrechtian distanciationDrawing attention to the process of representation (including narrative and characterization) to break the theatrical illusion and elicit a distanced, intellectual response in the audienceB-rollSecondary footage that is interspersed with master shots, sometimes in the form of footage shot for another production or archival footageCameoA short screen appearance by a celebrity, playing himself or herselfCamera distanceThe space between the camera and subject it is filming. Canted angleDutch angle; a shot resulting from a static camera that is tilted to the right or left, so that the subject in the frame appears at a diagonalCelA transparent sheet on which animation artists draw images. Character actorAn actor whose career rests on playing minor or secondary quirky characters rather than leading rolesCharge coupler deviceThe chip in a video camera that converts the incoming light to an electronic signalChiaroscuroThe artful use of light and dark areas in the composition in black and white filmmakingCineramaA widescreen process that uses three cameras, three projectors, and a wide, curved screenCity symphonyA type of short film that blends elements of documentary and avant-garde film to document and often to celebrate the wonder of the modern cityClassical styleA style associated with Hollywood filmmaking of the studio and post-studio era, in which efficient storytelling, rather than gritty realism or aesthetic innovation, is of paramount importanceClose-upA shot taken when the camera is so close to a subject that it fills the frame. It is most commonly used for a shot that isolates and encompasses a single actor’s face, to emphasize the expression of emotionClosureThe conclusion of the film wraps up, all loose ends in a form of resolution, though not necessarily with a happy ending. Color consultantA specialist who monitors the processing of color on the se and in the film labColor filterA type of filter that absorbs certain wavelength but leave others unaffected. On black and white film, color filters lighten or darken tones. On color film, they can produce a range of effectsColor timingBecause film stock is sensitive to the color of light, directors work with film labs in post-production to monitor the color scheme of each scene in a film, making adjustments for consistency and aesthetic effectCompilation filmA film composed entirely of footage from other films. CompositingCreating images during post-production by joining together photographic or CGI material shot or created at different times and placesComposition in depthA technique of arranging the actors on the set to take advantage of deep focus cinematography, which allows for many planes of depth in the film frame to remain in focusCompositionThe visual arrangement of objects, actors, and space within the frameComputer-generated imagery (CGI)Images that originate from computer graphics technology, rather than photographyContinuity editingInvisible editing; a system devised to minimize the audience’s awareness of shot transitions, especially cuts, in order to improve the flow of the story and avoid interrupting the viewer’s immersion it inContinuity editorA crew member whose job is to maintain consistency in visual details from one shot to the nextContinuity errorAny noticeable but unintended discrepancy from one shot to the next in costume, props, hairstyle, posture, etc. Crab dollywheeled platform with wheels that rotate, so the dolly can change directionCrane shotA shot taken from a camera mounted on a crane that moves three-dimensionally in a spaceCutAn abrupt shot transition that occurs when Shot A is instantaneously replaced by Shot B. CutawayA shot that focuses audience attention on precise details that may or may not be the focus of charactersDailiesAlso called “ rushes.” Footage exposed and developed quickly so that the director can assess the day’s workDay for nightThe practice of shooting during the day but using filters and underexposure to create the illusion of nighttimeDeep focus cinematographyA cinematography technique that produces an image with many planes of depth in focus. It can be accomplished by using a small aperture, a large distance between camera and subject, and/or a lens of short focal lengthDenouementThe falling or unraveling action after the climax of a narrative that leads to resolutionDepth of fieldThe distance that appears in focus in front of and behind the subject. It is determined by the aperture, distance and focal length of lensDesaturatedMuted, washed out color that contains more white than a saturated colorDescriptive claimA neutral account of the basic plot and style of a film, a part of a film, or a group of filmsDiegesisThe imagined world of the storyDiffusion filtersThese filters bend the light coming into lens, softening and blurring the imageDigital cinemaAlso called “ d-cinema.” Not to be confused with digital cinematography (shooting movies on digital video), this term refers to using digital technologies for exhibitionDigital compositingCreating an image by combining several elements created separately using computer graphics rather than photographic meansDigital set extensionUsing computer graphics to “ build” structures connected to the actual architecture on set or locationDigital videoA system for recording images on magnetic tape using a digital signal, that is, an electronic signal comprised of 0s and 1sDirect cinemaCinema verite; a documentary style in which the filmmaker attempts to remain as unobtrusive as possible, recording without obvious editorial commentDirect soundSound recorded on a set, on location, or, for documentary film, at an actual real-world event, as opposed to dubbed in post-production through ADR or loopingDirectorThe person in charge of planning the style and look of the film with the production designer and director of photography, working with actors during principal photography, and collaborating with the editor on the final versionDissolveA shot transition that involves the gradual disappearance of the image at the same time that a new image gradually comes into viewDollyA platform on wheels, used for mobile camera shotsDouble exposureA technique of exposing film frames, then rewinding the film and exposing it again, which results in an image that combines two shots in a single frameDye couplerA chemical embedded in the emulsion layer of film stock that, when developed after exposure, releases a particular color dye (red, green, or blue)EditorA person responsible for putting a film together from a mass of developed footage, making decisions regarding pace, shot transitions, and which scenes and shots will be usedEmulsionA chemical coating on film stock containing light-sensitive grainsEpisodicA non-standard narrative organization that assumes “ day in the life” quality rather than the highly structured three-act or four part narrative, and that features loose or indirect cause-effect relationshipsEstablishing shotThe first shot in a standard shot sequence. Its purpose is to provide a clear representation of the location of the actionEthnographic filmA type of documentary film whose purpose is to present the way of life of a culture or subcultureEvaluative claimA statement that asserts a judgment that a given film or group of films is good or bad, based on specific criteria, which may or may not be statedExpositionDense accumulation of detail conveyed in the opening moments of a filmExposureLight striking the emulsion layer of the film, activating light-sensitive grainsExposure latitudeThe measurement of how forgiving a film stock is. It determines whether an acceptable image will be produced when the film stock is exposed to too little or too much lightExtraAn uncredited actor, usually hired for crowd scenesExtradiegeticNon-diegetic; any element in the film that is not part of the imagined story worldExtreme close-upA shot taken from a vantage point so close that only a part of the subject is visible. On an actor, it might show only an eye or a portion of the faceExtreme long-shotA shot that makes the human subject very small in relation to his or her environment. The entire figure from head to toe is onscreen and dwarfed by the surroundingsExtreme wide-angle lensFish-eye lens; With a focal length of 15mm or less, this lens presents an extremely distorted image, where objects in the center of the frame appear to bulge toward the cameraEye-level shotA shot taken from a level camera located approximately 5′ to 6′ from the ground, simulating the perspective of a person standing before the action presentedEyeline matchA continuity editing technique that preserves spatial continuity by using a character’s line of vision as motivation for a cutFabulaThe chronological accounting of all events presented and suggestedFade-outA shot transition where shot A slowly disappears as the screen becomes black before shot B appears. A fade-in is the reverse of this processFastA description of film stock that is highly sensitive to lightFast motionRecording images at a slower speed than the speed of projection (24 frames per second). Before cameras were motorized, this was called undercranking. Fewer frames are exposed in one minute, so, when projected at 24 f. p. s., that action takes less than a minute on screen and appears unnaturally rapidFigure placement and movementThe arrangement of actors on screen as a compositional element that suggests themes, character development, emotional content, and visual motifsFilm stockThin, flexible material comprised of base and emulsion layers, onto which light rays are focused and which is processed in chemicals to produce film imagesFilterA device used to manipulate the amount and/or color of light entering the lensFirst-person narrationA story narrated by one of the characters within the story, using the “ I” voiceFlashbackThe non-chronological insertion of events from the past into the present day of the story worldFlashingPrefogging; a cinematographic technique that exposes raw film stock to light before, during, or after shooting, resulting in an image with reduced contrast. This effect can also be created using digital post-production techniquesFlashforwardThe non-chronological insertion of scenes of events yet to happen into the present day of the story worldFocal lengthThe distance in millimeters from the optical center of a lens to the lane where the sharpest image is formed while focusing on a distant objectFocus pullerA crew member whose job is to measure the distance between the subject and the camera lens, marking the ring on the camera lens, and ensuring the ring is turned precisely so that the image is in focusFog filterGlass filters whose surface is etched with spots that refract light, so they create the appearance of water droplets in the airFoley artistA crew member who works in post-production in a specially equipped studio to create the sounds of the story world, such as the shuffling of shoes on various surfaces for footstepsForced developmentA technique of “ pushing” the film (overdeveloping it) to correct problems of underexposure (resulting from insufficient light during shooting) by increasing image contrastForced perspectiveA system of constructing and arranging buildings and objects on the set so that they diminish in size dramatically from foreground to background, which creates the illusion of depthFormalist styleAn alternative to classical and realist styles, formalism is a self-consciously interventionist approach that explores ideas, abstraction, and aesthetics rather than focusing on storytelling (as in classical films) or everyday life (as in realist films)Four-part structureA contemporary modification of the standard three-act structure that identifies a critical turning point at the halfway mark of most narrative filmsFrame narrationThe plotline that surrounds an embedded tale. The frame narration may or may not be as fully developed as the embedded taleFreeze frameProjecting a series of frames of film with the same image, which appears to stop the actionFront projectionA technique used to join live action with pre-recorded background images. A projector is aimed at a half-silvered mirror that reflects the background, which the camera records as being located behind the actorsFrozen time momentA visual effect achieved through the use of photography and digital techniques that appears to stop time and allow the viewer to travel around the subject and view it from a multitude of vantage pointsGafferA crew member who reports to the Director of Photography (DP) and is in charge of tasks involving lighting and electrical needsGaugeThe width of the film stock, measured across the frame. Typical sizes are 8mm, 16mm, 35mm, and 70mmGenreA class or type of film, such as the Western or the horror movie. They share narrative, visual, and/or sound conventionsGenre conventionsThe rules of character, setting, and narrative that films that belong to a genre – such as Westerns, horror films, and screwball comedies – generally obey. German ExpressionismA film style that emerged in the 1910s in Germany. It was heavily indebted to the Expressionist art movement of the time and influenced subsequent horror films and film noirGlass shotA type of matte shot, created by positioning a pane of optically flawless glass with a painting on it between the camera and the scene to be photographed. This combines the painting on the glass with the set or location – seen through the glass – behind itGo-motionA digital technique developed by Industrial Light and Magic, which builds movement sequences from single frames of filmGrainSuspended particles of silver in the film’s emulsion, which may become visible in the final image as dotsGraphic matchA shot transition that emphasizes the visual similarities between two consecutive shotsGreen screenA compositing method that allows cinematographers to combine live action and settings that are filmed or created separately. Actors are filmed against a green or blue background. During post-production, this background is filled in with an image through the use of a travelling matteHandheld shotA shot taken by a camera that is held manually rather than supported by a tripod, crane or Steadicam. Generally, such shots are shaky, owing to the motion of the camera operatorHard lightLight emitted from a relatively small source positioned close to the subject. It tends to be unflattering because it creates deep shadows and emphasizes surface imperfectionsHigh-angle shotA shot taken from a camera position above the subject, looking down at itHigh concept filmA post-studio era Hollywood film designed to appeal to the broadest possible audience by fusing a simple story line with major movie stars and mounting a lavish marketing campaignHigh-key lightingLighting design that provides an even illumination of the subject, with many facial details washed out. High-key lighting tends to create a hopeful mood, in contrast to low-key lightingHollywood BlacklistIndividuals who were prevented from working in the film industry because of their suspected involvement with Communist interestsHollywood TenThen Hollywood writers and directors cited for Contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with the House Committee on Un-American Activities’ attempts to root out Communists in the film industryHorizontal integrationA term that refers to the organization of an industry wherein one type of corporation also owns corporations in allied industries, for example, film production and video gamesHueColor. The strength of a hue is measured by its saturation or desaturationHybridA film that fuses the conventions of two or more genresInsertA shot that interrupts a scene’s master shot and may include character reactionsIntegrated musicalA musical in which some or all musical numbers are not motivated by the narrative; for example, characters sing and dance throughout the film but at least some performances are not staged for an onscreen audience. Examples include Oklahoma, The umbrellas of Cherbourg, Grease, and ChicagoInterlaced scanningA property of older television monitors, where each frame was scanned as two fields: One consisting of all the odd numbered lines, the other all the even lines. If slowed down, the television image would appear to sweep down the screen one line at a timeInterpellationLouis Althusser’s term for the way in which a society creates its subjects/citizens through ideological (as opposed to repressive) state apparatuses, which include education, media, religion, and the familyInterpretive claimA statement that presents an argument about a film’s meaning and significanceIntertextual referenceA narrative, visual, or sound element that refers viewers to other films or works of artIris inA form of shot transition, generally concluding a scene, where a circular mask constricts around the image until the entire frame is blackIris outThe reverse of Iris in: an iris expands outward until the next shot takes up the entire screenJump cutAn abrupt, inexplicable shift in time and place of an action not signaled by an appropriate shot transitionKuleshov effectA mental phenomenon by which viewers derive more meaning from the interaction of two sequential shots than from a single shot in isolationLensA glass element on a camera that focuses light rays so that the image of the object appears on the surface of the filmLetterboxingA process of transferring film to video tapes or DVDs so that the original aspect ratio of the film is preservedLightning mixA sound editing technique that links several scenes through parallel and overlapping sounds. Each sound is associated with one scene, unlike a sound bridge, where a sound from one scene bleeds into that of anotherLine of actionThe narrative path of the main or supporting characters, also called a plotline. Complex films may have several lines of actionLine readingThe way an actor delivers a line of dialogue, including pauses, inflection, and emotionLong shotA camera shot taken at a large distance from the subject. Using the human body as the subject, a long shot captures the entire human formLong takeA relatively long, uninterrupted sot, generally of a minute or moreLoose framingA technique of leaving empty space around the subject in the frame, in order to covey openness and continuity of visible space and to imply offscreen spaceLow-angle shotA shot taken from a camera position below the subjectLow-key lightingLighting design in which the greater intensity of the key light makes it impossible for the fill to eliminate shadows, producing a high-contrast image (with many grades of light and dark), a number of shadows, and a somber moodMajor studiosThe five vertically integrated corporations that exerted the greatest control over film production in the studio era: MGM, Warner Brothers, RKO, Twentieth Century Fox, and ParamountMaskingA method for producing a widescreen image without special lenses or equipment, using standard film stock and blocking out the top and bottom of the frame to achieve an aspect ration of 1. 85: 1Master positiveThe first print made from a film negativeMaster shotA single take that contains an entire sceneMatch on actionA rule in continuity editing, which dictates that if a cut occurs while a character is in the midst of an action, the subsequent shot must begin so that audiences see the completion of that actionMatteA black masking device used to black out a portion of the frame, usually for the insertion of other imagesMatte paintingA painting used on the set as a portion of the backgroundMedium close-upA shot that includes a human figure from the shoulders upMedium long shotA shot that depicts a human body from the feet upMedium shotA shot depicting the human body from the waist upMethod actingA style of stage acting developed from the teachings of Constantin Stanislavsky, which trains actors to get into character through the use of emotional memoryMinor studiosSmaller corporations that did not own distribution and/or exhibition companies in the studio era, including Universal, Columbia, and United ArtistsMixingA process of blending the three elements of the sound track (dialogue, music, and effects) in post-productionMockumentaryA fiction film (often a comedy) that uses documentary conventions on fictional rather than real-world subject matterMontage sequenceA series of related scene joined through elliptical editing that indicates the passage of timeMorphingAn animation technique that uses a computer program to interpolate frames to produce the effect of an object or creature changing gradually into something different. The program calculates the way the image must change in order for the first image to become the second over a series of framesMotifAny narrative, visual, or sound element that is repeated and thereby acquires and reflects its significance to the story, characters, or themes of the film. MotivationThe central cause(s) behind a character’s actionsNarrativeA story; a chain of events linked by cause-and-effect logicNarrative sequencingthe arrangement of images to depict a unified storylineNatural-key lightingLighting design where the key light is somewhat more intense than the fill light, so the fill does not eliminate every shadow. The effect is generally less cheerful than high-key lighting, but not as gloomy as low-key lightingNegativeExposed and developed film stock from which the master positive is struck. If projected, the negative would produce a reverse of the image, with dark areas appearing white and vice versa or, if color film, areas of color appearing as their complementary hueNegative cutterA technician responsible for splicing and assembling the film negative to the editor’s specificationsNeutral-density filterA filter that simply reduces the amount of light entering the lens, without affecting the color characteristicsNewsreelA short documentary on current events, show in movie theaters along with cartoons and feature films beginning in the 1930sNon-diegeticA term used for any narrative sound, or visual element not contained in the story world. Also called “ extradiegetic” Normal lensAny lens with a focal length approximately equal to the diagonal of the frame. For 35mm filmmaking, a 35-50 mm lens does not distort the angle of vision or depthOeuvreA consistent style, theme, and subject matter developed over the course of a director’s body of workOffscreen spaceA part of the story world implied by visual or sound techniques rather than being revealed by the cameraOmniscient narrationThe technique of telling the story from an all-knowing character. Films that use restricted narration limit the audience’s perception to what one particular character knows, but may insert moments of omniscienceOn-the-nose dialogueDialogue that restates what is already obvious from images or actionOpen-endedA term describing a conclusion that does not answer all the questions raised regarding characters or storylines, nor tie up all loose endsOptical printerA machine used to create optical effects such as fades, dissolves, and superimpositions. Most are now created digitallyOrthochromaticA term for film stock used in early cinema that was insensitive to red huesOutsourcingThe practice of Hollywood studios contracting out post-production work to individuals or firms outside the U. S. Out-takeA scene filmed and processed but not selected to appear in the final version of the filmOverexposureAn effect created when more light is required to produce an image strakes the film stock, so that the resulting image exhibits high contrast, glaring light, and washed out shadows. This effect ma or may not be intentional on the filmmaker’s partOverhead shotA shot taken fro a position directly above the action, also called a “ birds’ eye shot” Overlapping dialogueSound design that blends the speech of several characters talking simultaneously, used to create spontaneity, although it may also confuse the audiencePanThe horizontal turning movement of an otherwise immobile camera across a scene from left to right or vice versaPanchromaticA type of film stock that is sensitive to (in other words, registers) all tones in the color spectrumPanning and scanningAlso called “ full screen,” the technique of re-shooting a widescreen film in order to convert it to the original television aspect ration of 1. 33 to 1. Rather than reproduce the original aspect ratio, as a letterboxed version does, a panned and scanned copy eliminates some of the visual information and introduces camera movement and editing that are not in the originalParellelA similarity established between two characters or situations that invites the audience to compare the two. It may involve visual, narrative, and/or sound elementsParellel editingA technique of cutting back and forth between action occurring in two different locations, which often creates the illusion that they are happening simultaneously. Also called “ cross cutting.” Persistence of visionAn optical effect whereby the eye continues to register a visual stimulus in the brain for a brief period after that stimulus has been removedPhi phenomenonAn optical effect whereby the human eye fills in gaps between closely spaced objects, so that two light bulbs flashing on and off are understood as one light moving back and forthPixelA picture element, a measure of image density. There are approximately 18 million pixels in a frame of 35mm film and 300, 000-400, 000 in a video imagePixilationAlso called “ stop motion photography.” A technique of photographing a scene one frame at a time and moving the model between each shotPlot summaryA brief chronological description of the basic events and characters in a film. It does not include interpretive or evaluative claimsPoint-of-view shotA technique in which the audience temporarily shares the visual perspective of a character or a group of characters. The camera points in the directions the character looks, simulating the character’s field of visionPolarizing filtersFilters that increase color saturation and contrast in outdoor shotsPost-productionThe period after principal photography during which editing and looping take place, and special visual effects are added to the filmPre-productionThe period of time before principal photography during which actors are signed, sets and costumes designed, and locations scoutedProduct placementAn agreement made between filmmakers and those who license the use of commercial products to feature those products in films, generally as props used by charactersProduction valuesA measure of the visual and sound quality of a film. Low-budget films tend to have lower production values because they lack the resources to devote to expensive pre- and post-production activitiesProgressive scanningAn attribute of newer television monitors, where each frame is scanned by the electron beam as a single field. If slowed down, each frame would appear on the monitor in its entirety on the screen, rather than line by line, as is the case with interlaced scanningPromotionMaterials intentionally released by studios to attract public attention to films and their stars. Promotion differs from publicity, which is information that is not (or does not appear to be) intentionally disseminated by studiosPropaganda filmA documentary or occasionally, a narrative film that presents only one side of an argument or one approach to a subjectProsthesisDevices that attach to actors’ faces and/or bodies to change their appearanceProtagonistA film’s main characters, one whose conflicts and motives drive the story forwardPullingA technique of underdeveloping exposed film stock (leaving it in a chemical batch a shorter amount of time than usual) in order to achieve the visual effect of reducing contrastPushingA technique of overdeveloping exposed film stock (leaving it in the chemical bath longer than indicated) in order to increase density and contrast in the imageRack focusA change of focus from one plane of depth to another. As the in-focus subject goes out of focus, another object, which has been blurry, comes into focus in either the background or the foregroundRealist styleA film style that, in contrast to the classical and formalist styles, focuses characters, place, and the spontaneity and digressiveness of life, rather than on highly structured stories or aesthetic abstractionRear projectionA technique used to join live action with a pre-recorded background image. A projector is placed behind a screen and projects an image onto it. Actors stand in front of the screen and the camera records them in front of the projected backgroundRecursive actionA technique of shooting a scene at a very high speed (96 frames per second), then adding and subtracting frames in post-production, “ fanning out” the action through the overlapping imagesRe-establishing shotA shot that appears during or near the end of a scene and reorients viewers to the settingReframingA technique of shifting the camera angle, height, or distance to take into account the motion of actors or objects within the frameRelease printsReels of film that are shipped to movie theaters for exhibition. Digital cinema, which can be distributed via satellite, broadband, or on media such as DVDs, may soon replace film prints because the latter are expensive to create, copy, and distributeRestricted narrationA narrative approach that limits the audience’s view of events to that of the main character(s) in the film. Occasional moments of omniscient narration may give viewers more information than the character shave at specific points in the narrativeReverse shotA shot in a sequence that is taken from the reverse angle of the shot previous to itRevisionistA genre film that radically modifies accepted genre conventions for dramatic effectRoadshowingA marketing strategy of screening a blockbuster prior to general release only in premier theatersRotoscopeA device that projects photographs or footage onto glass so that images can be traced by hand to create animated imagesRunaway productionFilm productions shot outside the U. S. for economic reasonsRunning timeThe length in minutes for a film to play in its entirety (for example, 120 minutes). Also referred to as “ screen time.” SaturationThe measure of intensity or purity of a color. Saturated color is purer than desaturated color, which has more white in it and thus offers a washed-out, less intense version of a colorSceneA complete narrative unit within a film, with its own beginning, middle, and end. Often scenes are unified, and distinguished from one another, by time and settingScoreA musical accompaniment written specifically for a filmScratchingA technique of intentionally adding scratches in a film’s emulsion layer for aesthetic purposes, such as to simulate home movie footageScreenplayThe written blueprint for a film, composed of three elements: dialogue, sluglines (setting the place and time of each scene), and description. Feature-length screenplays typically run 90-130 pagesScript supervisorA crew member responsible for logging the details of each take on the set so as to ensure continuitySecond unitA production crew responsible not for shooting the primary footage but, instead, for remote location shooting and B-roll. See also B-rollSelective focusA technique of manipulating focus to direct the viewer’s attentionSet-upThe individual arrangement of lighting and camera placement used for each shotShooting scriptThe annotated script, containing information about set-ups used during shootingShotThe building block of a scene; an uninterrupted sequence of frames that viewers experience as they watch a film, ending with a cut, fade, dissolve, etc. See also TakeShot/reverse shotA standard shot pattern that dictates that a shot of one character will be followed by a shot of another character, taken from the reverse angle of the first shotShot transitionThe use of editing techniques, such as a fade or dissolve, to indicate the end of one scene and the beginning of anotherShutterA camera device that opens and closes to regulate the length of time the film is exposed to lightSlowA term applied to film stock that is relatively insensitive to light. This stock will not yield acceptable images unless the amount of light can be carefully controlledSlow motionA technique of filming at a speed faster than projection, the projecting the footage at normal speed of 24 frames per second. Because fewer frames were recorded per second, the action appears to be speeded upSoft lightLight emitted from a larger source that is scattered over a bigger area or reflected off a surface before it strikes the subject. Soft light minimizes facial details, including wrinklesSound bridgeA scene transition wherein sound from one scene bleeds over into the ext scene, often resulting in a contrast between sound imageSoundtrackEverything audiences hear when they watch a sound film. The soundtrack is the composite of all three elements of film sound: dialogue, music, and sound effectsSoviet montageAn alternative to continuity editing, this style of editing was developed in silent Soviet cinema, based on the theory that editing should exploit the difference between shots to generate intellectual and emotional responses in the audienceSpec scriptA screenplay written and submitted to a studio or production company without a prior contract or agreementSpecial visual effectsOptical illusions created during production, including the use of matte paintings, glass shots, models, and prosthesisSpeedA measure of a film stock’s sensitivity to light. “ Fast” refers to sensitive film stock, while slow film is relatively insensitiveSplit screenAn optical technique that divides the screen into two or more framesStandard shot patternStandard shot pattern: A sequence of shots designed to maintain spatial continuity. Scene begin with an establishing shot, then move to a series of individual shots depicting characters and action, before reestablishing shots re-orient viewers to the settingStar filterA filter that creates points of light that streak outward from a light sourceStar personaPublic identity created by marketing a film actor’s performances, press coverage, and “ personal” information to fans as the star’s personalityStar systemA system initially developed for marketing films by creating and promoting stars as objects of admiration. The promotion of stars has now become an end in itselfSteadicamA device worn by a camera operator that holds the motion picture camera, allowing it glide smoothly through spaces unreachable by camera mounted on a crane or other apparatusStoryboardA series of individual drawings that provides a blueprint for the shooting of a sceneStudio systemA model of industrial organization in the film industry from about 1915 to 1946, characterized by the development of major and minor studios that produced, distributed, and exhibited films, and held film actors, directors, art directors, and other technical crew under contractSubgenreA group of films within a given genre that share their own specific set of conventions that differentiate them from other films in the genre. For example, the slasher film is a subgenre of the horror genreSubtextAn unstated meaning that underlies and is implied by spoken dialogueSuperimpositionA technique of depicting two layered images simultaneously. Images from one frame or several frames of film are added to pre-existing images, using an optical printer, to produce the same effect as a double exposureSwish panA pan executed so quickly that it produces a blurred image, indicated rapid activity or, sometimes, the passage of timeSynthespianA computer-generated actor that some speculate will replace flesh and blood actors in the not so distant futureSyuzhetThe selection and ordering of narrative events presented in a filmTableau shotA long shot in which the film frame resembles the proscenium arch of the stage, distancing the audienceTakeA production term denoting a single uninterrupted series of frames exposed by a motion picture or video camera between the time it is turned on and the time it is turned off. Filmmakers shoot several takes of any scene and the film editor selects the most appropriate one to useTelecineA machine that converts film prints to videotape formatTelephoto lensA lens with a focal length greater than 50 mm (usually between 80mm and 20mm), which provides a larger image of the subject than a normal or wide-angle lens but which narrows the angle of vision and flattens the depth of the image relative to normal and wide-angle lensesTextThe term for a film’s spoken dialogue, as opposed to the underlying meaning contained in the subtextThird-person narrationLiterary narration from a viewpoint beyond that of any one individual characterThree-act structureThe classical model of narrative form. The first act introduces characters and conflicts; the second act offers complication leading to a climax; the third act contains the dénouement and resolutionThree-point lightingAn efficient system developed for film lighting. In a standard lighting set-up, the key light illuminates the subject, the fill light eliminates shadows cast by the key light, and the back light separates the subject from the backgroundTight framingA visual effect created when the subject in the frame is restricted by the objects or the physical properties of the setTiltA vertical, up-and-down, motion of an otherwise stationary cameraTime-lapse photographya technique of recording very few images over a long period of time – say, one frame per minute or per dayTintingAn early color process, involving bathing lengths of processed film in dye one scene at a timeToningAn early color process that replaced silver halide grains with colored saltsTracking shotA technique of moving the camera, on a specially built track. Such shots often trace character movement laterally across the frame or in and out of the depth of the frameTrailerA short segment of film used to promote an upcoming releaseTravelling matteA system for combining two separately filmed images in the same frame that involves create a matte (a black mask that covers a portion of the image) for a live action sequence and using it to block out a portion of the frame when filming the background imagesTrombone shotA shot combining two kinds of movement: the camera tracks in toward the subject wile the lens zooms outTurning pointA narrative moment that signals an important shift of some kind in character or situationTwo-shotA shot that contains two characters within the frameTypecastingThe practice or repeatedly casting actors in similar roles across different filmsUndercrankingA technique of running the motion picture camera at a speed slower than projection speed (24 frames per second), in order to produce at a fast motion sequence when projected at normal speed. The term derives from early film cameras, which were cranked by handUnderexposureAn effect created when too little light strikes the film during shooting. As a result the image will contain dark areas that appear very dense and dark (including shadows) and the overall contrast will be less than with a properly exposed imageVertical integrationA business model adopted by the major studios during the Hollywood studio era, in which studios controlled all aspects of the film business, from production to distribution and exhibitionVideo assistA device attached to the film camera that records videotape of what has been filmed, allowing the director immediate access to video footageVista VisionA film process that uses 35mm film stock but changes the orientation of the film so that the film moves through the camera horizontally instead of vertically. The larger image is of higher quality than standard 35mm processesVisual effectsOptical illusions created during post-productionVoice-overA direct vocal address to the audience, which may emanate from a character or from a narrative voice apparently unrelated to the diegesisWide-angle lensA lens with a shorter focal length than a normal or telephoto lens (usually between 15-35mm). The subject appears smaller as a result, but the angle of vision is wider and an illusion is created of greater depth in the frameWide filmA format that uses a larger film stock than standard 35mm. IMAX, Omnimax, and Showscan are shot on 70mm filmWidescreenProcesses such as Cinemascope and Cinerama, developed during the 1950s to enhance film’s size advantage over the smaller television imageWipeA scene transition in which the first frame of the incoming scene appears to push the last frame of the previous scene off the screen horizontallyWireframeThe first step in the process of creating CGI. The wireframe is a three-dimensional computer model of an object, which is then rendered (producing the finished image) and animated (using simulated camera movement frame by frame)Zoom inA technique of moving a zoom lens from a wide-angle position to a telephoto position, which results in a magnification of the subject within the frame, and keeps the subject in focusZoom lensA lens with a variable focal length that allows changes of focal length while keeping the subject in focusZoom outA technique of moving from the telephoto position to the wide-angle position of a zoom lens, which results in the subject appearing to become smaller within the frame, while remaining in focus

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