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Motion Picture Terminology Glossary

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motion_picture_terminology




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The film industry is built upon a large number of technologies and techniques, drawing upon photography, stagecraft, music, and many other disciplines. Following is an index of specific terminology applicable thereto.

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180 degree rule

The 180° rule is a basic guideline in film making that states that two characters (or other elements) in the same scene should always have the same left/right relationship to each other. If the camera passes over the imaginary axis connecting the two subjects, it is called crossing the line. The new shot, from the opposite side, is known as a reverse angle.

30 degree rule

The 30° rule is a basic film editing guideline that states the camera should move at least 30° between shots of the same subject. This change of perspective makes the shots different enough to avoid a jump cut. Too much movement around the subject may violate the 180° rule.

As Timothy Corrigan and Patricia White suggest in The Film Experience, "The rule aims to emphasize the motivation for the cut by giving a substantially different view of the action. The transition between two shots less than 30 degrees apart might be perceived as unnecessary or discontinuous--in short, visible." (2004, 130)

Following this rule may soften the effect of changing shot distance, such as changing from a medium shot to a close-up.

This sequence, 15 minutes (5:43) into Rose Hobart (1936), suggests a violation of the '30° rule'.

The axial cut is a striking violation of this rule to obtain a certain effect.

A

A roll

In film and video, footage is the raw, unedited material as it had been originally filmed by movie camera or recorded by a video camera which usually must be edited to create a motion picture, video clip, television show or similar completed work. More loosely, footage can also refer to all sequences used in film and video editing, such as special effects and archive material (for special cases of this, see stock footage and B roll). Since the term originates in film, footage is only used for recorded images, such as film stock, videotapes or digitized clips – on live television, the signals from the cameras are called sources instead.

Acousmatic sound

Acousmatic sound is sound one hears without seeing an originating cause. The word acousmatic, from the French acousmatique, is derived from ἀκουσματικοί akousmatikoi, a term used to refer to probationary pupils of the philosopher Pythagoras who, so that they might better concentrate on his teachings, were required to sit in absolute silence while listening to their teacher deliver his lecture from behind a veil or screen. The term acousmatique was first used by the French composer, and pioneer of musique concrète, Pierre Schaeffer. In acousmatic art one hears sound from behind a 'veil' of loudspeakers, the source cause remaining unseen. The term has also been used by the French writer and composer Michel Chion in reference to the use of off screen sound in film. More recently, in the article Space-form and the acousmatic image (2007), composer and academic Prof. Denis Smalley has expanded on some of Schaefers' acousmatic concepts.

Aerial shot

Aerial shots are usually done with a crane or with a camera attached to a special helicopter to view large landscapes. This sort of shot would be restricted to exterior locations. A good area to do this shot would be a scene that takes place on a building. If the aerial shot is of a character it can make them seem insignificant. Circular shots are also possible.

Ambient lighting

Ambient lighting can refer to:

  • Available light in an environment
  • Low-key lighting, a photographic technique using a single key light
  • A type of lighting in computer graphics

It is the combination of light reflections from various surfaces to produce a uniform illumination called the ambient light.

Day for night

Day for night, also known as nuit américaine ("American night"), is the name for cinematographic techniques used to simulate a night scene; such as using tungsten-balanced rather than daylight-balanced film stock or with special blue filters and also under-exposing the shot (usually in post-production) to create the illusion of darkness or moonlight.

Historically, infrared movie film was used to achieve an equivalent look with black and white film.

The title of François Truffaut's film Day for Night (1973) is a reference to this technique.

American shot

"American shot" is a translation of a phrase from French film criticism, "plan américain" and 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. In some literature, this is simply referred to as a 3/4 shot.

The French critics thought it was characteristic of American films of the 1930s or 1940s; however, it was mostly characteristic of cheaper American movies, such as Charlie Chan mysteries where people collected in front of a fireplace or at the foot of the stairs in order to explain what happened a few minutes ago.

Howard Hawks legitimized this style in his films, allowing characters to act, even when not talking, when most of the audience would not be paying attention. It became his trademark style.

Anamorphic format

Anamorphic format is a term that can be used either for: the cinematography technique of capturing a widescreen picture on standard 35 mm film, or other visual recording media, with a non-widescreen native aspect ratio; or a photographic projection format in which the original image requires an optical anamorphic lens to recreate the original aspect ratio. It should not be confused with anamorphic widescreen, which is a very different electronically-based video encoding concept that uses similar principles to the anamorphic format but different means. The word "anamorphic" and its derivatives stem from the Greek words meaning formed again, due to reshaping the image onto the film or recording media.

Angle of view

In photography, angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

It is important to distinguish the angle of view from the angle of coverage, which describes the angle of projection by the lens onto the focal plane. For most cameras, it may be assumed that the image circle produced by the lens is large enough to cover the film or sensor completely. If the angle of view exceeds the angle of coverage, however, then vignetting will be present in the resulting photograph.

Angular resolution

Angular resolution, or spatial resolution, describes the ability of any image-forming device such as an optical or radio telescope, a microscope, a camera, or an eye, to distinguish small details of an object.

Answer print

Answer print refers to the first version of a given motion picture that is printed to film after color correction on an interpositive. It is also the first version of the movie printed to film with the sound properly synced to the picture.

Answer prints are created during the post-production process after editing, dubbing and other related audio work and special effects sequences have been finished or completed to a degree satisfactory for pre-release viewing. They are used by the filmmaker and studio to ensure that the work going in to the film during the post-production process is cohesive with the final goals for the project. In effect, it is a post-edit editing where the filmmaker can observe and direct the course of the film's final look and feel as it pertains to color correction, sound and special effects elements and overall pacing/editing. Pre-release screenings for test audiences are often run from late answer print copies of the film, as more often than not the filmmaker is using the screening as a way to help direct the final choices he/she will make regarding the finished project.

When the last answer print is approved and finalized, it is used to make an internegative from which the release prints are struck.

Aperture

In optics, an aperture is a hole or an opening through which light travels. More specifically, the aperture of an optical system is the opening that determines the cone angle of a bundle of rays that come to a focus in the image plane. The aperture determines how collimated the admitted rays are, which is of great importance for the appearance at the image plane. If an aperture is narrow, then highly collimated rays are admitted, resulting in a sharp focus at the image plane. If an aperture is wide, then uncollimated rays are admitted, resulting in a sharp focus only for rays with a certain focal length. This means that a wide aperture results in an image that is sharp around what the lens is focusing on and blurred otherwise. The aperture also determines how many of the incoming rays are actually admitted and thus how much light reaches the image plane (the narrower the aperture, the darker the image for a given exposure time).

Apple box

Apple Boxes are wooden boxes of varying sizes with holes on each end used chiefly in film production. These boxes are specialized pieces of equipment belonging to the grip department, and should not be confused with simple crates or other boxes.

Artificial light

Lighting or illumination is the deliberate application of light to achieve some aesthetic or practical effect. Lighting includes use of both artificial light sources such as lamps and natural illumination of interiors from daylight. Daylighting (through windows, skylights, etc.) is often used as the main source of light during daytime in buildings given its high quality and low cost. Artificial lighting represents a major component of energy consumption, accounting for a significant part of all energy consumed worldwide. Artificial lighting is most commonly provided today by electric lights, but gas lighting, candles, or oil lamps were used in the past, and still are used in certain situations. Proper lighting can enhance task performance or aesthetics, while there can be energy wastage and adverse health effects of poorly designed lighting. Indoor lighting is a form of fixture or furnishing, and a key part of interior design. Lighting can also be an intrinsic component of landscaping.

ASA speed rating

Film speed is the measure of a photographic film's sensitivity to light, determined by sensitometry and measured on various numerical scales, the most recent being the ISO system.

Relatively insensitive film, with a correspondingly lower speed index requires more exposure to light to produce the same image density as a more sensitive film, and is thus commonly termed a slow film. Highly sensitive films are correspondingly termed fast films. A closely related ISO system is used to measure the sensitivity of digital imaging systems. In both digital and film photography, the reduction of exposure corresponding to use of higher sensitivities generally leads to reduced image quality (via coarser film grain or higher image noise of other types). In short, the higher the film speed, the grainier the image will be.

Aspect ratio (image)

The aspect ratio of an image is the ratio of the width of the image to its height, expressed as two numbers separated by a colon. That is, for an x:y aspect ratio, no matter how big or small the image is, if the width is divided into x units of equal length and the height is measured using this same length unit, the height will be measured to be y units. For example, consider a group of images, all with an aspect ratio of 16:9. One image is 16 inches wide and 9 inches high. Another image is 16 centimeters wide and 9 centimeters high. A third is 8 yards wide and 4.5 yards high.

Aspect ratios are mathematically expressed as x:y (pronounced "x-to-y") and x×y (pronounced "x-by-y"), with the latter particularly used for pixel dimensions, such as 640×480. Cinematographic aspect ratios are usually denoted as a (rounded) decimal multiple of width vs unit height, whilst photographic and videographic aspect ratios are usually defined and denoted by whole number ratios of width to height. In digital images there is a subtle distinction between the Display Aspect Ratio (the image as displayed) and the Storage Aspect Ratio (the ratio of pixel dimensions).

Autofocus

An Autofocus (or AF) optical system uses a sensor, a control system and a motor to focus fully automatic or on a manually selected point or area. An electronic rangefinder has a display instead of the motor; the adjustment of the optical system has to be done manually until indication.

Automatic dialogue replacement

Dubbing is the post-production process of recording and replacing voices on a motion picture or television soundtrack subsequent to the original shooting. The term most commonly refers to the substitution of the voices of the actors shown on the screen by those of different performers, who may be speaking a different language. The procedure was sometimes practised in musicals when the actor had an unsatisfactory singing voice, and remains in use to enable the screening of audio-visual material to a mass audience in countries where viewers do not speak the same language as the original performers. "Dubbing" also describes the process of an actor's re-recording lines spoken during filming and which must be replaced to improve audio quality or reflect dialog changes. This process is called automated dialogue replacement, or ADR for short. Music is also dubbed onto a film after editing is completed.

Films, videos and sometimes video games are often dubbed into the local language of a foreign market. Dubbing is common in theatrically released film, television series, cartoons and anime given foreign distribution.

Available light

In photography and cinematography, available light or ambient light refers to any source of light that is not explicitly supplied by the photographer for the purpose of taking photos. The term usually refers to sources of light that are already available naturally (e.g. the sun, moon, lightning) or artificial light already being used (e.g. to light a room). It generally excludes flashes, although arguably flash lighting provided by other photographers shooting simultaneously in the same space could be considered available light.

The use of available light may pose a challenge for a photographer. The brightness and direction of the light is often not adjustable, except perhaps for indoor lighting. This will limit the selection of shutter speeds, and may require the use of shades or reflectors to manipulate the light. It can also influence the time, location, and even orientation of the photo shoot to obtain the desired lighting conditions. Available light can often also produce a color cast with color photography.

Levels of ambient light are most frequently considered relative to additional lighting used as fill light, in which case the ambient light is normally treated as the key light. In some cases, ambient light may be used as a fill, in which case additional lighting provides the stronger light source, for example in bounce flash photography. The relative intensity of ambient light and fill light is known as the lighting ratio, an important factor in calculating contrast in the finished image.

Axial cut

An axial cut is 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.

An axial cut can be made with the use of a zoom lens, or physically moving the camera with a crane or Camera dolly. The intervening footage (as the camera moves or zooms) is then removed while editing the film. Since footage is discarded, this technique works better for static shots. If action is required, several takes will be required to get the necessary footage.

Alternately, a multi-camera setup can be used, with the cameras showing the subject at different sizes. The footage from both cameras is then edited together to create the effect. As the cameras cannot occupy the same space, there will always be a slight deviation from the axis. Moving the cameras further away from the subject and using telephoto lenses can reduce the deviation.

B

B-roll

B-roll, B roll, or Broll is supplemental or alternate footage intercut with the main shot in an interview or documentary.

Baby plate

A baby plate is a flat piece of wood especially designed to meet the needs of film makers on the sets. Baby plates are useful for holding small fixtures. They also allow for the quick mounting of fixtures in places were clamps cannot be used. Baby plates can be nailed on any surface. They are available in three different sizes.

- 3 in - 6 to 12 in - Right angle.

Backlot

A backlot is an area behind or adjoining a movie studio, containing permanent exterior sets for outdoor scenes in motion picture or television productions, or space to build temporary sets.

Some movie studios build a wide variety of sets on the backlot, which can be modified for different purposes as need requires and "dressed" to resemble any time period or look. These sets include everything from mountains, forests, ships, to small town settings from around the world, as well as streets from the Old West, to whole modern day city blocks from New York City, Paris, Berlin, and London. There are streets that comprise an assortment of architectural styles, Victorian to suburban homes, and 19th century-style townhouses that encircle a central park with trees. An example of this is "Forty Acres" in Culver City, California or, in the case of Universal Studios, the home of Norman Bates from the Hitchcock movie Psycho.

Background ligh

The background light is used to illuminate the background area of a set. The background light will also provide separation between the subject and the background. In the standard 4-point lighting setup, the background light is placed last and is usually placed directly behind the subject and pointed at the background.

In film, the background light is usually of lower intensity. More than one light could be used to light uniformly a background or alternatively to highlight points of interest.

In video and television, the background light is usually of similar intensity to the key light because video cameras are less capable of handling high-contrast ratios. In order to provide much needed separation between subject and background, the background light will have a color filter, blue for example, which will make the foreground pop up.

Balloon light

Invented in the 1920s in Germany, the lighting balloon was first patented on October 26, 1924 (patent #427894). Up until the 1990s, several patents were issued although the application was utilized very little. Lighting balloons can be used for highlighting events, the motion picture industry, nightworks, rescue, safety, and architectural enhancement, or any place that requests light and can not accept regular lighting systems.

In 1994 Pierre Chabert and Benoit Beylier, founder of Airstar, a French company based in Grenoble (Isère), creates a balloon light, a self-supporting spacelight suspended in a helium inflated balloon. It is ideal for interiors or exteriors where rigging is a problem. One of the first movies ever lit with this kind of system, which was supplied by Airlight Industries, was Titanic directed by James Cameron. From this wonderful start, thousands of jobs have been realized all over the world, such as the Opening Ceremony of the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, lighting set for Pirates of the Caribbean, Avatar, Singapore Grand Prix & the Vancouver Olympics.

Below the line

In feature-length narrative filmmaking, an imaginary line delineates those who have influence in the creative direction of a film's narrative from others who perform duties related to the film's physical production.

Below-the-line is a term that refers to the list of individuals who perform the physical production of a given film, the post-production work and all of the related expenditures. Individuals considered below-the-line do not have any official influence on the creative direction of the film. However, depending on the film director's discretion, they will still influence certain aspects of the film's overall look, feel and tone through their work in their respective departments.

Best boy

In a film crew there are two kinds of best boy: best boy electric and best boy grip. They are assistants to their department heads, the gaffer and the key grip, respectively.

Blocking

Blocking is a theatre term which refers to the precise movement and positioning of actors on a stage in order to facilitate the performance of a play, ballet, film or opera. The term derives from the practice of 19th century theatre directors such as Sir W. S. Gilbert who worked out the staging of a scene on a miniature stage using blocks to represent each of the actors. (An example of this can be found in Mike Leigh's 1999 film Topsy-Turvy.)

In contemporary theatre, the director usually determines blocking during rehearsal, telling actors where they should move for the proper dramatic effect, ensure sight lines for the audience and work with the lighting design of the scene.

Each scene in a play is usually 'blocked' as a unit, after which the director will move onto the next scene. The positioning of actors on stage in one scene will usually affect the possibilities for subsequent positioning unless the stage is cleared between scenes. Once all the blocking is completed a play is said to be 'fully blocked' and then the process of 'polishing' or refinement begins. During the blocking rehearsal usually the assistant director or the stage manager (or both) take notes about where actors are positioned and their movement patterns on stage.

Bluescreen

Chroma key compositing (or chroma keying) is a technique for compositing two images or frames together in which a color (or a small color range) from one image is removed (or made transparent), revealing another image behind it. This technique is also referred to as color keying, colour-separation overlay (CSO; primarily by the BBC), greenscreen, and bluescreen. It is commonly used for weather forecast broadcasts, wherein the presenter appears to be standing in front of a large map, but in the studio it is actually a large blue or green background. The meteorologist stands in front of a bluescreen, and then different weather maps are added on those parts in the image where the color is blue. If the meteorologist wears blue clothes, his clothes will become replaced with the background video. This also works for greenscreens, since blue and green are considered the colors least like skin tone. This technique is also used in the entertainment industry, the iconic theatre shots in Mystery Science Theater 3000, for example.

Boom shot

"A Boom shot, Jib shot, or Crane shot refer to high-angle shots, sometimes with the camera moving."

Boomerang

A color magazine is a fixture attached to a follow spot that places different color filters in the path of the beam. Instead of working with comparatively cumbersome gel frames, the color magazine allows the spot operator to easily slide color frames in or out of place using a series of levers.

The term boomerang is also used to describe a color magazine.

Bounce board

A bounce board is a board that is used to reflect light on a subject that is being filmed. It is a material that reflects the light from any source—a light bulb or the sun. It diffuses and makes softer the harshness of the immediate light thrown on the subject. In some cases, when the light can not reach the subject then the bounce board is placed against a light source, facing the subject that is intended to be filmed. It has many sizes, according to the needs of each shoot.

Butterfly

In cinema, butterfly is a methodology of lighting sets. When controlling light, grips use a variety of flags (black, opaque material), nets (one, two, or three layers of black, white, or semi translucent bobinette), and diffusion (translucent white materials of different densities). Generally, these are sewn onto frames of standard sizes, which are kept in racks or on carts where they are easily accessible. However, when a flag, net, or diffusion is needed to cover a larger area it is not practical to keep it built and sewn on the truck; thus, Butterflies.

Butterflies are also known as overheads, or are simply called for by their dimensions, which are standard: 6 ft. x 6 ft, 8x8, 12x12, and 20x20 are the standard nominal, or frame sizes, the material, often referred to as "rags", or Goods, tend to finish at about 8 inches less on a side in order to assure a flat, stretched surface. Further, while the standard rags mentioned above are on every grip truck, butterflies are often rigged with reflective fabrics as well, for instance, silver lame.

C

C-Stand

In film production, a C-stand is a piece of equipment used by the grip department to accomplish various rigging and light modification tasks.

The name comes from the official term "Century stand", which in turn comes from the earliest days of filmmaking, when the Sun was the only major source of lighting; reflectors were used to keep the light on actors. The most popular size of reflector was the 100-inch "Century"; a progenitor of today's C-stand was used to hold it up.

The Century stand is near-ubiquitous on motion picture sets because of its modular nature and versatility. Its primary purpose is to position various flags, color gels, bounce cards, and silks in front of light sources to block, direct, or modify the nature of the light. However, it can also be used to mount small lights and rig anything that can be made to fit on the stand.

Cameo lighting

Cameo lighting in film is a spotlight that accentuates a single person in a scene. It creates an 'angelic' shot, such as one where God is shining down and a light shines down onto this person.

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. It helps focus on the subject and not its environment. A problem with cameo lighting is that it can lead to color distortion and noise in the darkest areas.

Cameo

A cameo role or cameo appearance (often shortened to just cameo) is a brief appearance of a known person in a work of the performing arts, such as plays, films, video games and television. These roles are generally small, many of them non-speaking ones, and are commonly either appearances in a work in which they hold some special significance (such as actors from an original movie appearing in its remake), or renowned people making uncredited appearances. Short appearances by celebrities, film directors, politicians, athletes, musicians or even characters from other fictional works are common. A cameo should not be confused with a guest appearance, being different in that guest appearances do acknowledge the person in question for who they are, be it by explicitly naming them or in the work's credits.

Cameo role

A cameo role or cameo appearance (often shortened to just cameo) is a brief appearance of a known person in a work of the performing arts, such as plays, films, video games and television. These roles are generally small, many of them non-speaking ones, and are commonly either appearances in a work in which they hold some special significance (such as actors from an original movie appearing in its remake), or renowned people making uncredited appearances. Short appearances by celebrities, film directors, politicians, athletes, musicians or even characters from other fictional works are common. A cameo should not be confused with a guest appearance, being different in that guest appearances do acknowledge the person in question for who they are, be it by explicitly naming them or in the work's credits.

Camera angle

The camera angle marks the specific location at which a camera is placed to take a shot. A scene may be shot from several camera angles. This will give different experience and sometimes emotion.

Camera crane

In motion picture terminology, a crane shot is a shot taken by a camera on a crane. The most obvious uses are to view the actors from above or to move up and away from them, a common way of ending a movie. Some filmmakers like to have the camera on a boom arm just to make it easier to move around between ordinary set-ups. Most cranes accommodate both the camera and an operator, but some can be operated by remote control. They are usually, but not always, found in what are supposed to be emotional or suspenseful scenes. One example of this technique is the shots taken by remote cranes in the car-chase sequence of To Live and Die in L.A..

During the last few years, camera cranes have been miniaturized and costs have dropped so dramatically that most aspiring film makers have access to these tools. What was once a "Hollywood" effect is now available for under $400.

Camera dolly

A camera dolly is a specialized piece of film equipment designed to create smooth camera movements. The camera is mounted to the dolly and the camera operator and camera assistant usually ride on it to operate the camera. The person who operates the dolly is known as a dolly grip. They are a dedicated technician trained in its use.

Character animation

Character animation is a specialized area of the animation process concerning the animation of one or more characters featured in an animated work. It is usually as one aspect of a larger production and often made to enhance voice acting. The primary role of a Character Animator is to be the "actor" behind the performance, especially during shots with no dialog. Character animation is artistically unique from other animation in that it involves the creation of apparent thought and emotion in addition to physical action.

Chroma key

Chroma key compositing (or chroma keying) is a technique for compositing two images or frames together in which a color (or a small color range) from one image is removed (or made transparent), revealing another image behind it. This technique is also referred to as color keying, colour-separation overlay (CSO; primarily by the BBC), greenscreen, and bluescreen. It is commonly used for weather forecast broadcasts, wherein the presenter appears to be standing in front of a large map, but in the studio it is actually a large blue or green background. The meteorologist stands in front of a bluescreen, and then different weather maps are added on those parts in the image where the color is blue. If the meteorologist wears blue clothes, his clothes will become replaced with the background video. This also works for greenscreens, since blue and green are considered the colors least like skin tone. This technique is also used in the entertainment industry, the iconic theatre shots in Mystery Science Theater 3000, for example.

Chromatic aberration

In optics, chromatic aberration (CA, also called achromatism or chromatic distortion) is a type of distortion in which there is a failure of a lens to focus all colors to the same convergence point. It occurs because lenses have a different refractive index for different wavelengths of light (the dispersion of the lens). The refractive index decreases with increasing wavelength.

Chromatic aberration manifests itself as "fringes" of color along boundaries that separate dark and bright parts of the image, because each color in the optical spectrum cannot be focused at a single common point. Since the focal length f of a lens is dependent on the refractive index n, different wavelengths of light will be focused on different positions.

CinemaDNG

CinemaDNG is the result of an Adobe-led initiative to define an industry-wide open file format for digital cinema files. CinemaDNG caters for sets of movie clips, each of which is a sequence of raw video images, accompanied by audio and metadata. CinemaDNG supports stereoscopic cameras and multiple audio channels. CinemaDNG specifies directory structures containing one or more video clips, and specifies requirements and constraints for the open format files, (DNG, TIFF, XMP, and/or MXF), within those directories, that contain the content of those clips.

CinemaDNG is different from the Adobe DNG (Digital Negative) format that is primarily used as a raw image format for still cameras. However, each CinemaDNG image is encoded using that DNG image format. The image stream can then be stored in one of two formats: either as video essence using frame-based wrapping in an MXF file, or as a sequence of DNG image files in a specified file directory. Each clip uses just one of these formats, but the set of clips in a movie may use both.

Clapperboard

A clapperboard is a device used in motion picture and videotape production to assist in the synchronizing of picture and sound, and to designate and mark particular scenes and takes recorded during a production. The sharp "clap" noise that the clapperboard makes can be identified easily on the audio track, and the shutting of the clapstick can be identified easily on the separate visual track. The two tracks can then be exactly synchronised by matching the noise and movement. Other names for the clapperboard include clapper, clapboard, slate, slate board, sync slate, time slate, sticks, board, and marker.

Clock wipe

It is often acknowledged that using a wipe, rather than a simple cut or dissolve is a stylistic choice that inherently makes the audience more "aware" of the film as a film, rather than a story. For example, George Lucas is famous for the sweeping use of wipes in his Star Wars films, which help evoke a kinship to old pulp science fiction novels and serials; he was inspired by a similar use of wipes by Akira Kurosawa (as can be seen in The Hidden Fortress).

The very earliest examples of a wipe are seen as long ago as 1903 in films like Mary Jane's Mishap by George Albert Smith.

Wipes can also be used as syntactic tools, but are often frowned on.

Close-up

In film, television, still photography and the comic strip medium a close-up tightly frames a person or an object. Close-ups are one of the standard shots used regularly with medium shots and long shots. Close-ups display the most detail, but they do not include the broader scene. Moving in to a close-up or away from a close-up is a common type of zooming.

Close-ups are used in many ways, for many reasons. Close-ups are often used as cutaways from a more distant shot to show detail, such as characters' emotions, or some intricate activity with their hands. Close cuts to characters' faces are used far more often in television than in movies; they are especially common in soap operas. For a director to deliberately avoid close-ups may create in the audience an emotional distance from the subject matter.

Cold open

A cold open (also called a teaser) in a television program or movie is the technique of jumping directly into a story at the beginning or opening of the show, before the title sequence or opening credits are shown. On television this is often done on the theory that involving the audience in the plot as soon as possible will reduce the likelihood of their switching away from a show.

The term "cold open" refers to the opening pre-credits scenes of a film; however, in some films the title card does not appear until the end of the film. In such cases one cannot refer to the entire film as the "opening" of the movie, and the term "cold open" in these instances refers to the opening moments or scenes. Likewise, in films with excessively long pre-credits sequences, the "cold open" does not necessarily refer to the entire pre-credits sequence. James Bond films often use pre-credit sequences with little or no relation to the subsequent film; these are not considered teasers.

Color correction

Color correction by using color gels, or filters, is a process used in stage lighting, photography, television, cinematography and other disciplines, the intention of which is to alter the overall color of the light; typically the light color is measured on a scale known as color temperature, as well as along a green–magenta axis orthogonal to the color temperature axis.

Without color correction gels, a scene may have a mix of various colors. Applying color correction gels in front of light sources can alter the color of the various light sources to match. Mixed lighting can produce an undesirable aesthetic when displayed on a television or in a theatre.

Conversely, gels may also be used to make a scene appear more natural by simulating the mix of color temperatures that occur naturally. This application is useful especially where motivated lighting (lending the impression that it is diegetic) is the goal. Color gels may also be used to tint lights for artistic effect.

Color gel

A color gel or color filter (UK spelling: colour gel or colour filter), also known as lighting gel or simply gel, is a transparent colored material that is used in theatre, event production, photography, videography and cinematography to color light and for color correction. Modern gels are thin sheets of polycarbonate or polyester, placed in front of a lighting fixture in the path of the beam.

Gels have a limited life, especially in saturated colors. The color will fade or even melt, depending upon the energy absorption of the color, and the sheet will have to be replaced. In permanent installations and some theatrical uses, colored glass filters or dichroic filters are being used. The main drawbacks are additional expense and a more limited selection.

Color grading

Color grading is the process of altering and enhancing the color of a motion picture, television image, or still image either electronically, photo-chemically or digitally. The photo-chemical process is also referred to as color timing and is typically performed at a photographic laboratory. Modern color correction, whether for theatrical film, video distribution, or print is generally done digitally.

Color rendering index

The color rendering index (CRI) (sometimes called color rendition index), is a quantitative measure of the ability of a light source to reproduce the colors of various objects faithfully in comparison with an ideal or natural light source. Light sources with a high CRI are desirable in color-critical applications such as photography and cinematography. The CRI of a light source does not indicate the apparent color of the light source; that information is under the rubric of the correlated color temperature (CCT).

CRI's ability to predict color appearance has been criticized in favor of measures based on color appearance models, such as CIECAM02 and, for daylight simulators, the CIE Metamerism Index. CRI is not a good indicator for use in visual assessment, especially for sources below 5000 kelvin (K).

Color reversal internegative

An internegative, also referred to as Color reversal internegative or CRI, is a motion picture film duplication process designed by Kodak in the 1970s as an alternative to existing processes of creating film duplicates. Originally intended for the faster pace of the television commercial industry, it began to see use in major motion pictures in the mid 1970s. It is the color counterpart to a fine grain positive, in which a low-contrast color image is used as the positive between an original camera negative and a duplicate negative.

Because CRIs are considered a temporary negative, their chemistry is not meant to be as stable as prints, and because of this, they are prone to rapid fading, usually within five to seven years. As a result, new masters have to be created from the original camera negative from time to time.

Color temperature

Color temperature is a characteristic of visible light that has important applications in lighting, photography, videography, publishing, manufacturing, astrophysics, and other fields. The color temperature of a light source is the temperature of an ideal black-body radiator that radiates light of comparable hue to that of the light source. Color temperature is conventionally stated in the unit of absolute temperature, the kelvin, having the unit symbol K.

Color temperatures over 5,000K are called cool colors (blueish white), while lower color temperatures (2,700–3,000 K) are called warm colors (yellowish white through red).

Color grading

Color grading is the process of altering and enhancing the color of a motion picture, television image, or still image either electronically, photo-chemically or digitally. The photo-chemical process is also referred to as color timing and is typically performed at a photographic laboratory. Modern color correction, whether for theatrical film, video distribution, or print is generally done digitally.

Continuity

In fiction, continuity (also called time-scheme) is consistency of the characteristics of persons, plot, objects, places and events seen by the reader or viewer over some period of time. It is of relevance to several media.

Continuity is particularly a concern in the production of film and television due to the difficulty of rectifying an error in continuity after shooting has wrapped up. It also applies to other art forms, including novels, comics, anime, videogames and animation, though usually on a smaller scale.

Craft service

In film, television or video production, craft service or crafty refers to the department which provides food services to the other departments or crafts. In addition to policing the set they set down layout boards and protect the set area, as well as provide buffet style snacks and drinks. The crafts in film refers to departments such as camera, sound, electricians, grips, props, art director, set decorator, hair and makeup, background.

There is a difference between crafts service and catering. Catering handles the regular hot sit down meals that occur every six hours and usually last between thirty minutes and an hour. Catering is brought in from an outside company hired by the production, but crafts service is a crew position and crafts service people are sometimes represented by the union, IATSE. In Los Angeles crafts service workers are represented by IATSE Local 80 but, in New York, crafts service is a non-union position and is not recognized in the Local 52 charter.

Creative geography

Creative geography, or artificial landscape, is a film making technique invented by the early Russian filmmaker Lev Kuleshov sometime around the 1920s. It is a subset of montage, in which multiple segments shot at various locations and/or times are edited together such that they appear to all occur in a continuous place at a continuous time. Creative geography is used constantly in film and television, for instance when a character walks through the front door of a house shown from the outside, to emerge into a sound stage of the house's interior.

A notable and innovative example of creative geography is the TARDIS time machine on Doctor Who, which looks like a police call box on the outside but is a large space ship on the inside. The viewer knows that the actors are stepping into a prop, and then filming at a sound stage that represents the interior, but via creative geography, suspension of disbelief, the transition is made seamless.

Cross-cutting

Cross-cutting is an editing technique most often used in films to establish action occurring at the same time in two different locations. In a cross-cut, the camera will cut away from one action to another action, which can suggest the simultaneity of these two actions but this is not always the case.

Suspense may be added by cross-cutting. It is built through the expectations that it creates and in the hopes that it will be explained with time. Cross-cutting also forms parallels; it illustrates a narrative action that happens in several places at approximately the same time. For instance, in D.W. Griffith's A Corner in Wheat (1909), the film cross-cuts between the activities of rich businessmen and poor people waiting in line for bread. This creates a sharp dichotomy between the two actions, and encourages the viewer to compare the two shots. Often, this contrast is used for strong emotional effect, and frequently at the climax of a film. The rhythm of, or length of time between, cross-cuts can also set the rhythm of a scene. Increasing the rapidity between two different actions may add tension to a scene, much in the same manner of using short, declarative sentences in a work of literature.

Cross burning

Cross burning or cross lighting is a practice widely associated with the Ku Klux Klan, although the historical practice long predates the Klan's inception. In the early twentieth century, the Klan burnt crosses on hillsides or near the homes of those they wished to intimidate.

Cutaway

In film, a cutaway is the interruption of a continuously filmed action by inserting a view of something else. It is usually, although not always, followed by a cut back to the first shot, when the cutaway avoids a jump cut.

Cutting on action

Cutting on action or matching on action refers to a film editing technique where the editor cuts from one shot to another view that matches the first shot's action. Although the two shots may have actually been shot hours apart from each other, cutting on action gives the impression of continuous time when watching the edited film. By having a subject begin an action in one shot and carry it through to completion in the next, the editor creates a visual bridge which distracts the viewer from noticing the cut or noticing any slight continuity error between the two shots.

A variant of cutting on action is a cut in which the subject exits the frame in the first shot and then enters the frame in the subsequent shot. The entrance in the second shot must match the screen direction and motive rhythm of the exit in the first shot.

D

Dailies

Dailies, in filmmaking, are the raw, unedited footage shot during the making of a motion picture. They are so called because usually at the end of each day, that day's footage is developed, synched to sound, and printed on film in a batch (and/or telecined onto video tape or disk) for viewing the next day by the director and some members of the film crew. However, the term can be used to refer to any raw footage, regardless of when it is developed or printed.

Another way to describe film dailies is "The first positive prints made by the laboratory from the negative photographed on the previous day." In addition, during filming, the director and some actors may view these dailies as an indication of how the filming and the actors' performances are progressing.

Day for night

Day for night, also known as nuit américaine ("American night"), is the name for cinematographic techniques used to simulate a night scene; such as using tungsten-balanced rather than daylight-balanced film stock or with special blue filters and also under-exposing the shot (usually in post-production) to create the illusion of darkness or moonlight.

Historically, infrared movie film was used to achieve an equivalent look with black and white film.

Deep focus

Deep focus is a photographic and cinematographic technique using a large depth of field. Depth of field is the front-to-back range of focus in an image — that is, how much of it appears sharp and clear. Consequently, in deep focus the foreground, middle-ground and background are all in focus. This can be achieved through use of the hyperfocal distance of the camera lens.

Deep focus is achieved with large amounts of light and small aperture. It is also possible to achieve the illusion of deep focus with optical tricks (split focus diopter) or composite two pictures together. It is the aperture of a camera lens that determines the depth of field. Wide angle lenses also make a larger portion of the image appear sharp. The aperture of a camera determines how much light enters through the lens, so achieving deep focus requires a bright mise en scène. Aperture is measured in F-stops (T-stops on lenses for motion picture cameras are f/stops adjusted for the lens' light transmission. Do not use T-stops for depth of focus determination.) with a higher value indicating a smaller aperture.

Depth of field

In optics, particularly as it relates to film and photography, depth of field (DOF) is the distance between the nearest and farthest objects in a scene that appear acceptably sharp in an image. Although a lens can precisely focus at only one distance at a time, the decrease in sharpness is gradual on each side of the focused distance, so that within the DOF, the unsharpness is imperceptible under normal viewing conditions.

In some cases, it may be desirable to have the entire image sharp, and a large DOF is appropriate. In other cases, a small DOF may be more effective, emphasizing the subject while de-emphasizing the foreground and background. In cinematography, a large DOF is often called deep focus, and a small DOF is often called shallow focus.

Depth of focus

Depth of focus is a lens optics concept that measures the tolerance of placement of the image plane (the film plane in a camera) in relation to the lens. In a camera, depth of focus indicates the tolerance of the film's displacement within the camera, and is therefore sometimes referred to as "lens-to-film tolerance."

Dichroic lense

Dichroism has two related but distinct meanings in optics. A dichroic material is either one which causes visible light to be split up into distinct beams of different wavelengths (colours) (not to be confused with dispersion), or one in which light rays having different polarizations are absorbed by different amounts.

The original meaning of dichroic, from the Greek dikhroos, two-coloured, refers to any optical device which can split a beam of light into two beams with differing wavelengths. Such devices include mirrors and filters, usually treated with optical coatings, which are designed to reflect light over a certain range of wavelengths, and transmit light which is outside that range. An example is the dichroic prism, used in some camcorders, which uses several coatings to split light into red, green and blue components for recording on separate CCD arrays, however it is now more common to have a Bayer filter to filter individual pixels on a single CCD array. This kind of dichroic device does not usually depend on the polarization of the light. The term dichromatic is also used in this sense.

Diffraction

Diffraction refers to various phenomena which occur when a wave encounters an obstacle. Italian scientist Francesco Maria Grimaldi coined the word "diffraction" and was the first to record accurate observations of the phenomenon in 1665.In classical physics, the diffraction phenomenon is described as the apparent bending of waves around small obstacles and the spreading out of waves past small openings. Similar effects occur when light waves travel through a medium with a varying refractive index or a sound wave through one with varying acoustic impedance. Diffraction occurs with all waves, including sound waves, water waves, and electromagnetic waves such as visible light, x-rays and radio waves. As physical objects have wave-like properties (at the atomic level), diffraction also occurs with matter and can be studied according to the principles of quantum mechanics.

Digital audio

Digital audio is the result of sound reproduction, using pulse-code modulation and digital signals. This includes analog-to-digital conversion (ADC), digital-to-analog conversion (DAC), storage, and transmission. In effect, the system commonly referred to as digital is in fact a discrete-time, discrete-level analog of a previous electrical analog. While modern systems can be quite subtle in their methods, the primary usefulness of a digital system is the ability to store, retrieve and transmit signals without any loss of quality.

Digital cinema

Digital cinema refers to the use of digital technology to distribute and project motion pictures. A movie can be distributed via hard drives, optical disks (such as DVDs) or satellite and projected using a digital projector instead of a conventional film projector. Digital cinema is distinct from high-definition television and, in particular, is not dependent on using television or HDTV standards, aspect ratios, or frame rates. Digital projectors capable of 2K resolution began deploying in 2005, and since 2006, the pace has accelerated (2K refers to images with 2,048 pixels of horizontal resolution).

Digital compositing

Digital compositing is the process of digitally assembling multiple images to make a final image, typically for print, motion pictures or screen display. It is the evolution into the digital realm of optical film compositing.

Digital cinematography

Digital Cinematography is the process of capturing motion pictures as digital images, rather than on film. Digital capture may occur on tape, hard disks, flash memory, or other media which can record digital data. As digital technology has improved, this practice has become increasingly common. Many mainstream Hollywood movies now are shot partly or fully digitally.

Many vendors have brought products to market, including traditional film camera vendors like Arri and Panavision, as well as new vendors like RED and Silicon Imaging, and companies which have traditionally focused on consumer and broadcast video equipment, like Sony and Panasonic.

Digital cinematography's acceptance was cemented 2009 when Slumdog Millionaire became the first movie shot mainly in digital to be awarded the Academy Award for Best Cinematography and the highest grossing movie in the history of cinema, Avatar, not only was shot on digital cameras as well, but also made the main revenues at the box office no longer by film, but digital projection. In 2010 the Academy Award for Best Cinematography again was won by a movie shot digital, and the Academy Award for the Best Foreign Language Film, El secreto de sus ojos, as well was won by a movie shot digitally.

Digital image processing

Digital image processing is the use of computer algorithms to perform image processing on digital images. As a subcategory or field of digital signal processing, digital image processing has many advantages over analog image processing. It allows a much wider range of algorithms to be applied to the input data and can avoid problems such as the build-up of noise and signal distortion during processing. Since images are defined over two dimensions (perhaps more) digital image processing may be modeled in the form of Multidimensional Systems.

Digital intermediate

Digital intermediate (typically abbreviated to DI) is a motion picture finishing process which classically involves digitizing a motion picture and manipulating the color and other image characteristics. It often replaces or augments the photochemical timing process and is usually the final creative adjustment to a movie before distribution in theaters. It is distinguished from the telecine process in which film is scanned and color is manipulated early in the process to facilitate editing. However the lines between telecine and DI are continually blurred and are often executed on the same hardware by colorists of the same background. These two steps are typically part of the overall color management process in a motion picture at different points in time. A digital intermediate is also customarily done at higher resolution and with greater color fidelity than telecine transfers.

Digital Negative

Digital Negative (DNG) is an open raw image format owned by Adobe used for digital photography. It was launched on September 27, 2004. The launch was accompanied by the first version of the DNG specification, plus various products including a free of charge DNG Converter utility. All Adobe photo manipulation software (such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom) released since the launch supports DNG.

DNG is based on the TIFF/EP standard format, and mandates significant use of metadata. Exploitation of the file format is royalty free; Adobe has published a license allowing anyone to exploit DNG, and has also stated that there are no known intellectual property encumbrances or license requirements for DNG. Adobe stated that if there was a consensus that DNG should be controlled by a standards body, they were open to the idea. Adobe has submitted DNG to ISO for incorporation into their revision of TIFF/EP.

Digital projection

A digital projector is a device that receives a video signal and projects the corresponding image on a projection screen using a lens system. All video projectors use a very bright light to project the image, and most modern ones can correct any curves, blurriness, and other inconsistencies through manual settings. Video projectors are widely used for conference room presentations, classroom training, home theatre and live events applications. Projectors are widely used in many schools and other educational settings, connected to an interactive whiteboard to interactively teach pupils.

Dissolve

In film editing, a dissolve is a gradual transition from one image to another. In film, this effect is created by controlled double exposure from frame to frame; transitioning from the end of one clip to the beginning of another.

In video editing or live video production, the same effect is created by interpolating voltages of the video signal.

In non-linear video editing, a dissolve is done in software, by interpolating gradually between the RGB values of each pixel of the image. The audio track optionally cross-fades between the clips. A dissolve effectively overlaps two clips for the duration of the effect. The lengths of the two scenes can be adjusted by trimming, which, if desired, can change the original durations of the scenes before the dissolve was added.

DMX512

DMX512 is a standard for digital communication networks that are commonly used to control stage lighting and effects. It was originally intended as a standardized method for controlling light dimmers, which, prior to DMX512, had employed various incompatible, proprietary protocols. However, it soon became the primary method for linking not only controllers and dimmers, but also more advanced fixtures and special effects devices such as fog machines and moving lights.

DMX512 employs EIA-485 differential signaling at its physical layer, in conjunction with a variable-size, packet based communication protocol. It is unidirectional and does not include automatic error checking and correction. Consequently, it is strongly discouraged for use in safety-critical applications such as controlling pyrotechnics or laser lighting displays, where audience or performer safety is at risk.

Dolly grip

In cinematography, the dolly grip is the individual who operates the camera dolly. He places, levels, and moves the dolly track, then pushes and pulls the dolly and usually a camera operator and camera assistant as riders. If the dolly has a moveable vertical axis, such as a hydraulic arm, then the dolly grip also operates the "boom". If both axis are used simultaneously, this type of dolly shot is known as a compound move.

A dolly grip must work closely with the camera crew to perfect these complex movements during rehearsals. Focusing the lens is critical to capturing a sharp image, so a dolly grip must hit his/her marks in concert with a camera assistant who pulls focus. It is a skill that experience can hone to a point, but the best dolly grips are known for their "touch" and that makes them highly sought-after talents. Despite this expertise, these key members of the filmmaking community have on occasion been dubbed with the derogatory term, "dolly jockey".

Dolly shot

In motion picture terminology, a tracking shot (also known as a dolly shot or trucking shot) is a segment in which the camera is mounted on a camera dolly, a wheeled platform that is pushed on rails while the picture is being taken. One may dolly in on a stationary subject for emphasis, or dolly out, or dolly beside a moving subject (an action known as "dollying with").

The Italian feature film Cabiria (1914), directed by Giovanni Pastrone, was the first popular film to use dolly shots, which in fact were originally called "Cabiria movements" by contemporary filmmakers influenced by the film; however, some smaller American and English films prior to 1914 had used the technique prior to Cabiria.

The tracking shot can include smooth movements forward, backward, along the side of the subject, or on a curve. Dollies with hydraulic arms can also smoothly "boom" or "jib" the camera several feet on a vertical axis. Tracking shots, however, cannot include complex pivoting movements, aerial shots or crane shots.

Dolly zoom

The dolly zoom effect is an unsettling in-camera special effect that appears to undermine normal visual perception in film.

The effect is achieved by using the setting of a zoom lens to adjust the angle of view (often referred to as field of view) while the camera dollies (or moves) towards or away from the subject in such a way as to keep the subject the same size in the frame throughout. In its classic form, the camera is pulled away from a subject whilst the lens zooms in, or vice-versa. Thus, during the zoom, there is a continuous perspective distortion, the most directly noticeable feature being that the background appears to change size relative to the subject.

Double-system recording

Double-system recording is a form of sound recording used in motion picture production whereby the sound for a scene is recorded on a machine that is separate from the camera or picture-recording apparatus.

Double-system recording is the standard procedure on motion pictures that are originally photographed on film. Recording sound-on-film directly at the time of photography has several technical limitations, and no professional motion picture camera supports this option, so all production sound is recorded on a separate recorder. This procedure requires that both camera and sound recorder share a very accurate time reference, and that the speed of the camera and sound recorders be carefully governed. Originally this was done with an electro-mechanical interlock between the camera and recorder, necessitating a physical link, a cable, between recorder and camera. As quartz-based timers came into common use, film cameras and sound recorders adopted these, and these were accurate enough to remove the need for an interlock cable.

Drawn-on-film animation

Drawn-on-film animation, also known as direct animation or animation without camera, is an animation technique where footage is produced by creating the images directly on film stock, as opposed to any other form of animation where the images or objects are photographed frame by frame with an animation camera.

Dubbing

Dubbing is the post-production process of recording and replacing voices on a motion picture or television soundtrack subsequent to the original shooting. The term most commonly refers to the substitution of the voices of the actors shown on the screen by those of different performers, who may be speaking a different language. The procedure was sometimes practised in musicals when the actor had an unsatisfactory singing voice, and remains in use to enable the screening of audio-visual material to a mass audience in countries where viewers do not speak the same language as the original performers. "Dubbing" also describes the process of an actor's re-recording lines spoken during filming and which must be replaced to improve audio quality or reflect dialog changes. This process is called automated dialogue replacement, or ADR for short. Music is also dubbed onto a film after editing is completed.

Films, videos and sometimes video games are often dubbed into the local language of a foreign market. Dubbing is common in theatrically released film, television series, cartoons and anime given foreign distribution.

Dutch angle

Dutch tilt, Dutch angle, oblique angle, German angle, canted angle, or Batman Angle are terms used for a cinematic tactic often used to portray the psychological uneasiness or tension in the subject being filmed. A Dutch angle is achieved by tilting the camera off to the side so that the shot is composed with the horizon at an angle to the bottom of the frame. Many Dutch angles are static shots at an obscure angle, but in a moving Dutch angle shot the camera can pivot, pan or track along the director/cinematographer's established diagonal axis for the shot.

E

Electrotachyscope

The électrotachyscope is an 1887 invention of Ottomar Anschütz of Germany which presents the illusion of motion with transparent serial photographs, chronophotographs, arranged on a spinning wheel of fortune or mandala-like glass disc, significant as a technological development in the history of cinema.

A Geissler Tube was used to flash light through the transparencies to provide a weak projection to a single person or small audience through a small window.

It was first publicly demonstrated at the Chicago World's Fair of 1893.

An earlier, related device is described in the January 24, 1878 issue of the journal Nature.

Ellipsoidal reflector spot light

A Lekolite (often abbreviated to Leko) is a type of ellipsoidal reflector spotlight (ERS) used in stage lighting. Introduced in 1933, it was developed by Century lighting which eventually became a part of the Strand Lighting Corporation. The instrument was widely used in theatre and entertainment venues into the 80s and 90s, particularly in the USA.

Century Lighting founders and the instrument's inventors, Joseph Levy and Edward Kook, combined the first two letters of their own last names and called the unit "Leko." Rival lighting company, Kliegl Brothers, released their own Elipsoidial Reflector Spotlight that same year, calling it "Klieglight". It is unclear which company was first to develop the new technology, but the Leko nickname, as well as the Lekolites themselves, became much more widely used. While most spotlights used in theatre today are not technically Lekos, the term has stuck and is commonly used to refer to any ERS. For example, a "Source Four Leko" is a Source Four lighting instrument in the ERS configuration, as opposed to, for instance, the PAR configuration.

Establishing shot

An establishing shot in film and television sets up, or establishes the context for a scene by showing the relationship between its important figures and objects.It is generally a long- or extreme-long shot at the beginning of a scene indicating where, and sometimes when, the remainder of the scene takes place.

Establishing shots may use famous landmarks to indicate the city where the action is taking place or has moved to, such as Big Ben to identify London,, the Statue of Liberty to identify New York, the Sydney Opera House to identify Sydney, the Eiffel Tower to identify Paris or the Las Vegas Strip to identify Las Vegas.

Extreme close-up

In film, television, still photography and the comic strip medium a close-up tightly frames a person or an object. Close-ups are one of the standard shots used regularly with medium shots and long shots. Close-ups display the most detail, but they do not include the broader scene. Moving in to a close-up or away from a close-up is a common type of zooming.

Close-ups are used in many ways, for many reasons. Close-ups are often used as cutaways from a more distant shot to show detail, such as characters' emotions, or some intricate activity with their hands. Close cuts to characters' faces are used far more often in television than in movies; they are especially common in soap operas. For a director to deliberately avoid close-ups may create in the audience an emotional distance from the subject matter.

Extreme long shot

In photography, film and video, a long shot (sometimes referred to as a full shot or a wide shot) typically shows the entire object or human figure and is usually intended to place it in some relation to its surroundings. It has been suggested that long-shot ranges usually correspond to approximately what would be the distance between the front row of the audience and the stage in live theatre. It is now common to refer to a long shot as a "wide shot" because it often requires the use of a wide-angle lens. When a long shot is used to set up a location and its participants in film and video, it is called an establishing shot.

A related notion is that of an extreme long shot. This can be taken from as much as a quarter of a mile away, and is generally used as a scene-setting, establishing shot. It normally shows an exterior, eg the outside of a building, or a landscape, and is often used to show scenes of thrilling action eg in a war film or disaster movie. There will be very little detail visible in the shot, as it is meant to give a general impression rather than specific information.

Eye-level camera angle

An eye-level camera angle is a camera angle with the camera at the level of human eyes. It is one of the most common camera angles.

F

F-number, F-stop

In optics, the f-number (sometimes called focal ratio, f-ratio, f-stop, or relative aperture) of an optical system expresses the diameter of the entrance pupil in terms of the focal length of the lens; in simpler terms, the f-number is the focal length divided by the "effective" aperture diameter. It is a dimensionless number that is a quantitative measure of lens speed, an important concept in photography.

Fade

In audio engineering, a fade is a gradual increase or decrease in the level of an audio signal.The term can also be used for film cinematography or theatre lighting, in much the same way (see fade (filmmaking) and fade (lighting)).

A recorded song may be gradually reduced to silence at its end (fade-out), or may gradually increase from silence at the beginning (fade-in). For example, the songs "Bitter Sweet Symphony" by The Verve and "Turn to Stone" by Electric Light Orchestra fade in from the beginning, while the songs "Born to Be Wild" by Steppenwolf, "Boogie Oogie Oogie" by A Taste of Honey, and "Hey Jude" by The Beatles fade out. However, "Born to be Wild" and "Boogie Oogie Oogie" fade out in a matter of seconds, whereas "Hey Jude" takes over 2 minutes to completely fade out. "Goodbye Stranger" by Supertramp takes about a minute to fade out. Fading-out can serve as a recording solution for pieces of music that contain no obvious ending.

Fast cutting

Fast cutting is a film editing technique which refers to several consecutive shots of a brief duration (e.g. 3 seconds or less). It can be used to convey a lot of information very quickly, or to imply either energy or chaos. Fast cutting is also frequently used when shooting dialogue between two or more characters, changing the viewer's perspective to either focus on the reaction of another character's dialog, or to bring to attention the non-verbal actions of the speaking character.

Fast motion

Time-lapse photography is a cinematography technique whereby each film frame is captured at a rate much slower than it will be played back. When replayed at normal speed, time appears to be moving faster and thus lapsing. Time-lapse photography can be considered to be the opposite of high speed photography.

Processes that would normally appear subtle to the human eye, such as the motion of the sun and stars in the sky, become very pronounced. Time-lapse is the extreme version of the cinematography technique of undercranking, and can be confused with stop motion animation.

Feature length

Feature length is motion picture terminology referring to the length of a feature film. Five-reel features became common practice in the industry in 1915. During the silent era a one-reel short ran for an average of 10 minutes, and a two-reeler (usually a comedy) for 20 minutes, thus a feature was around 50 minutes or more.

According to the rules of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, a feature length motion picture must have a running time of more than 40 minutes to be eligible for an Academy Award.

The term may also be applied to non-feature films with the minimum length, such as television movies and direct-to-video releases.

Field of view

The field of view (also field of vision, abbreviated FOV) is the (angular or linear or areal) extent of the observable world that is seen at any given moment.

Different animals have different fields of view, depending on the placement of the eyes. Humans have an almost 180-degree forward-facing horizontal field of view, while some birds have a complete or nearly-complete 360-degree field of view. In addition, the vertical range of the field of view in humans is typically around 100 degrees.

The range of visual abilities is not uniform across a field of view, and varies from animal to animal. For example, binocular vision, which is important for depth perception, only covers 120 degrees (horizontally) of the field of vision in humans; the remaining peripheral 60 degrees have no binocular vision (because of the lack of overlap in the images from either eye for those parts of the field of view). Some birds have a scant 10 or 20 degrees of binocular vision.

Fill light

In television, film, stage, or photographic lighting, a fill light (often simply fill) may be used to reduce the contrast of a scene and provide some illumination for the areas of the image that are in shadow. A common lighting setup places the fill light on the lens axis, roughly perpendicular to the key light.

The fill light is often softer and, by definition, less intense than the key light. The ratio between light and shadow depends on the desired effect. For example, a fill light that is a small fraction of the power of the key light will produce very high-contrast or low-key lighting, while filling with half or more of the key light power will produce a high key, low-contrast tone.

Film gate

The film gate is the rectangular opening in the front of a motion picture camera where the film is exposed to light. The film gate can be seen by removing the lens and rotating the shutter out of the way. The film is held on a uniform plane at a calibrated distance in the gate by a pressure plate behind the film.

As the film passes through the gate occasionally friction can cause small slivers of celluloid to break off and stick in the side of the opening. This debris is called hairs. A "hair in the gate" will remain in front of the film and create a dark line that sticks into the edge of the film frame as the camera is filming a shot. A hair can ruin the shot and is almost impossible to fix in post production without being painted out digitally.

Film modification

The term film modification can be used in general for any form of modification of a film to suit the distributor or the audience's politics or age.

Film plane

A film plane is the area inside any camera where the individual frame of film or digital sensor is positioned during exposure, and the focussed image is received upon the light-sensitive material. It is sometimes marked on camera body with the 'Φ' symbol where the vertical bar represents the exact location.

Movie cameras often also have small focus hooks where the focus puller can attach one side of a tape measure to quickly gauge the distance to objects that he intends to bring into focus.

Film recorder

A Film Recorder is a graphical output device for transferring digital images to photographic film.

All film recorders typically work in the same manner. The image is fed from a host computer as a raster stream over a digital interface. A film recorder exposes film through various mechanisms; flying spot (early recorders; photographing a high resolution video monitor; electron beam recorder (Sony); a CRT scanning dot (Celco); focused beam of light from an LVT (Light Valve Technology) recorder; a scanning laser beam (ARRILASER); or recently, full-frame LCD array chips.

For color image recording on a CRT film recorder, the red, green, and blue channels are separately displayed on the same gray scale CRT, and exposed to the same piece of film through a filter of the appropriate color. (This approach yields better resolution and color quality than one could obtain with a color CRT.) The three filters are usually mounted on a motor-driven wheel. The filter wheel, as well as the camera's shutter, aperture, and film motion mechanism are usually controlled by the recorder's electronics and/or the driving software.

Film scanner

A film scanner is a device made for scanning photographic film directly into a computer without the use of any intermediate printmaking. It provides several benefits over using a flatbed scanner to scan in a print of any size: the photographer has direct control over cropping and aspect ratio from the original, unmolested image on film; and many film scanners have special software or hardware that removes scratches and film grain and improves color reproduction from film.

Film scanners can accept either strips of 35 mm or 120 film, or individual slides. Low-end scanners typically only take 35mm film strips, while medium- and high-end film scanners often have interchangeable film loaders. This allows the one scanning platform to be used for different sizes and packaging. For example, some allow microscope slides to be loaded for scanning, while mechanised slide loaders allow many individual slides to be batch scanned unattended.

Film speed

Film speed is the measure of a photographic film's sensitivity to light, determined by sensitometry and measured on various numerical scales, the most recent being the ISO system.

Relatively insensitive film, with a correspondingly lower speed index requires more exposure to light to produce the same image density as a more sensitive film, and is thus commonly termed a slow film. Highly sensitive films are correspondingly termed fast films. A closely related ISO system is used to measure the sensitivity of digital imaging systems. In both digital and film photography, the reduction of exposure corresponding to use of higher sensitivities generally leads to reduced image quality (via coarser film grain or higher image noise of other types). In short, the higher the film speed, the grainier the image will be.

Filter

In photography and videography, a filter is a camera accessory consisting of an optical filter that can be inserted in the optical path. The filter can be a square or oblong shape mounted in a holder accessory, or, more commonly, a glass or plastic disk with a metal or plastic ring frame, which can be screwed in front of the lens or clipped onto the lens.

Filters allow the photographer to have more control of the images being produced. Sometimes they are used to make only subtle changes to images; other times the image would simply not be possible without them.

Fisheye lens

In photography, a fisheye lens is a wide-angle lens that takes in an extremely wide, hemispherical image. Originally developed for use in meteorology to study cloud formation and called "whole-sky lenses", fisheye lenses quickly became popular in general photography for their unique, distorted appearance. They are often used by photographers shooting broad landscapes to suggest the curve of the Earth. Hemispherical photography is used for various scientific purposes to study plant canopy geometry and to calculate near-ground solar radiation.

The focal lengths of fisheye lenses depend on the film format. For the popular 35 mm film format, typical focal lengths of fisheye lenses are between 8 mm and 10 mm for circular images, and 15–16 mm for full-frame images. For digital cameras using smaller electronic imagers such as 1/4" and 1/3" format CCD or CMOS sensors, the focal length of "miniature" fisheye lenses can be as short as 1 to 2mm.

Flicker fusion threshold

The flicker fusion threshold (or flicker fusion rate) is a concept in the psychophysics of vision. It is defined as the frequency at which an intermittent light stimulus appears to be completely steady to the observer (this article centers around human observers). Flicker fusion threshold is related to persistence of vision.

Focal length

The focal length of an optical system is a measure of how strongly the system converges (focuses) or diverges (defocuses) light. For an optical system in air, it is the distance over which initially collimated rays are brought to a focus. A system with a shorter focal length has greater optical power than one with a long focal length; that is, it bends the rays more strongly, bringing them to a focus in a shorter distance.

In telescopy and most photography, longer focal length or lower optical power is associated with larger magnification of distant objects, and a narrower angle of view. Conversely, shorter focal length or higher optical power is associated with a wider angle of view. In microscopy, on the other hand, a shorter objective lens focal length leads to higher magnification.

Focus

In geometrical optics, a focus, also called an image point, is the point where light rays originating from a point on the object converge. Although the focus is conceptually a point, physically the focus has a spatial extent, called the blur circle. This non-ideal focusing may be caused by aberrations of the imaging optics. In the absence of significant aberrations, the smallest possible blur circle is the Airy disc, which is caused by diffraction from the optical system's aperture. Aberrations tend to get worse as the aperture diameter increases, while the Airy circle is smallest for large apertures.

An image, or image point or region, is in focus if light from object points is converged almost as much as possible in the image, and out of focus if light is not well converged. The border between these is sometimes defined using a circle of confusion criterion.

Focus puller

A focus puller, or 1st assistant cameraman, is a member of a film crew’s camera department whose primary responsibility is to maintain image sharpness on whatever subject or action is being filmed.

“Pulling focus” refers to the act of changing the lens’ focus distance setting in correspondence to a moving subject’s physical distance from the focal plane. For example, if an actor moves from 25 feet away from the focal plane to 9 feet away from the focal plane within a shot, the focus puller will change the distance setting on the lens during the take in precise correspondence to the changing position of the actor. Additionally, the focus puller may shift focus from one subject to another within the frame, as dictated by the specific requirements of the shot.

Foley artist

Foley is the reproduction of everyday sounds for use in filmmaking. These reproduced sounds can be anything from the swishing of clothing and footsteps to squeaky doors and breaking glass. The best Foley art is so well integrated into a film that it goes unnoticed by the audience. It helps to create a sense of reality within a scene. Without these crucial background noises, movies feel unnaturally quiet and uncomfortable.

Foley artists look to recreate the realistic ambient sounds that the film portrays. The props and sets of a film do not react the same way acoustically as their real life counterparts. Foley sounds are used to enhance the auditory experience of the movie. Foley can also be used to cover up unwanted sounds captured on the set of a movie during filming that might take away from the scene at hand, such as overflying airplanes or passing traffic.

Follow focus

A follow focus is a focus control mechanism used in film and video cameras. It is ergonomic rather than strictly necessary; in other words it does not contribute to the basic functionality of a camera but instead allows the operator to be more efficient and precise. It is usually operated by a focus puller (often called the 1st assistant camera, or 1st AC) but some camera operators prefer to pull their own focus (the act of changing focus is called "pulling" or "racking" focus).

Follow shot

Follow shot or tracking shot is a specific camera shot in which the subject being filmed is seemingly pursued by the camera. The follow shot can be achieved through tracking devices, panning, the use of a crane, and zoom lenses resulting in different qualitative images but, nevertheless, recording a subject (performer) in motion.

Followspot

A followspot, sometimes known as a spot light, is a powerful stage lighting instrument which projects a bright beam of light onto a performance space. Followspots are controlled by a spotlight operator who follows actors around the stage. Followspots are most commonly used in concerts, musicals and large scale presentations where highlighting a specific, mobile, individual is critical. Followspots are usually located in the overhead catwalks. In some theatres, they can also be found in the control booth or purpose built "spot booths" in addition to the catwalk.

Forced perspective

Forced perspective is a technique that employs optical illusion to make an object appear farther away, closer, larger or smaller than it actually is. It is used primarily in photography, filmmaking and architecture. It manipulates human visual perception through the use of scaled objects and the correlation between them and the vantage point of the spectator or camera.

Fourth wall

The fourth wall is the imaginary "wall" at the front of the stage in a traditional three-walled box set in a proscenium theatre, through which the audience sees the action in the world of the play.The idea of the fourth wall was made explicit by Denis Diderot and spread in nineteenth-century theatre with the advent of theatrical realism, which extended the idea to the imaginary boundary between any fictional work and its audience.

The presence of the fourth wall is an established convention of modern realistic theatre, which has led some artists to draw direct attention to it for dramatic or comedic effect when this boundary is "broken", for example by an actor onstage speaking to the audience directly.

Film frame

A film frame, or just frame, is one of the many single photographic images in a motion picture. The individual frames are separated by frame lines. Normally, 24 frames are needed for one second of film. In ordinary filming, the frames are photographed automatically, one after the other, in a movie camera. In special effects or animation filming, the frames are often shot one at a time.

The term may also be used more generally as a noun or verb to refer to the edges of the image as seen in a camera viewfinder or projected on a screen. Thus, the camera operator can be said to keep a car in frame by panning with it as it speeds past.

Frame rate

Frame rate, or frame frequency, is the frequency (rate) at which an imaging device produces unique consecutive images called frames. The term applies equally well to computer graphics, video cameras, film cameras, and motion capture systems. Frame rate is most often expressed in frames per second (FPS), and in progressive scan monitors as hertz (Hz).

Freeze frame shot

A freeze frame shot is used when one shot is printed in a single frame several times, in order to make an interesting illusion of a still photograph.

"Freeze frame" is also a drama medium term used in which, during a live performance, the actors/actresses will freeze at a particular, pre-meditated time, to enhance a particular scene, or to show an important moment in the play/production[like a celebration]. The image can then be further enhanced by spoken word, in which each character tells their personal thoughts regarding the situation, giving the audience further insight into the meaning, plot or hidden story of the play/production/scene. This is known as thought tracking, another Drama Medium.

Fresnel lens

A Fresnel lens (pronounced /freɪˈnɛl/ fray-NELL) is a type of lens originally developed by French physicist Augustin-Jean Fresnel for lighthouses.

The design allows the construction of lenses of large aperture and short focal length without the mass and volume of material that would be required by a lens of conventional design. Compared to conventional bulky lenses, the Fresnel lens is much thinner, larger, and flatter, and captures more oblique light from a light source, thus allowing lighthouses to be visible over much greater distances.

Full frame

In cinematography, full frame refers to the use of the full film gate at maximum width and height for 35 mm film cameras. It is sometimes also referred to as silent aperture, full gate, or a number of other similar word combinations. It is the original gate size pioneered by William Dickson and Thomas Edison in 1892 and first used in the short film Blacksmithing Scene. Full frame is generally used by all 4-perf films, whether silent, standard 35 (Academy ratio width), or Super 35. The introduction of Academy ratio in 1932 required that the lens mount needed to be shifted slightly horizontally to re-center the lens at the new center of frame; however, the gate size did not change as the extra negative information would be cropped out by lab processes in post-production. 4-perf Super 35 is nearly identical to the original full frame standard, although the lens mount requires vertical re-centering when common topline extraction is used. It should also be noted that hard mattes for all common ratios exist and either replace the film gate itself or are inserted within it. However, these are usually not used in the event that any reframing needs to be done.

Full shot

In photography, film and video, a long shot (sometimes referred to as a full shot or a wide shot) typically shows the entire object or human figure and is usually intended to place it in some relation to its surroundings. It has been suggested that long-shot ranges usually correspond to approximately what would be the distance between the front row of the audience and the stage in live theatre. It is now common to refer to a long shot as a "wide shot" because it often requires the use of a wide-angle lens. When a long shot is used to set up a location and its participants in film and video, it is called an establishing shot.

A related notion is that of an extreme long shot. This can be taken from as much as a quarter of a mile away, and is generally used as a scene-setting, establishing shot. It normally shows an exterior, eg the outside of a building, or a landscape, and is often used to show scenes of thrilling action eg in a war film or disaster movie. There will be very little detail visible in the shot, as it is meant to give a general impression rather than specific information.

G

Gobo

A gobo (or GOBO) derived from "Go Between" or GOes Before Optics -originally used on film sets between a light source and the set is a physical template slotted inside, or placed in front of, a lighting source, used to control the shape of emitted light.

In the design of an artificial environment in which lighting instruments are used, it is sometimes desirable to manipulate the shape of the light which is cast over a space or object. To do so, a piece of material with patterned holes through which light passes is placed in the beam of light to allow only the desired "shape" or pattern through, while blocking the rest of the light, casting a specific shadow/light into the space.

Go motion

Go motion is a variation of stop motion animation, and was co-developed by Industrial Light & Magic and Phil Tippett. It was used for some shots of the tauntaun creatures in the 1980 Star Wars film The Empire Strikes Back,the dragon in Dragonslayer (1981), the lord demon creature in Howard the Duck (1986), the winged satan character in The Golden Child (1986), and the Eborsisk dragon in Willow (1988).

Godspot

The effect is created using a powerful spotlight (usually a beam projector, Fresnel, or ERS) placed directly above the stage at an angle of less than 10 degrees from vertical, i.e. almost straight down. The light has no color gel, and is usually directed downwards to hit a single actor or a huddled group of actors with a bright white light.

The effect is meant to evoke an understanding that God is present and directly watching the scenes proceeding below. Use of the godspot in this fashion often foreshadows a deus ex machina ending. The godspot can also used at times to suggest an angelic nature of a particular character.

Green-light

To green-light a project is to give permission or a go ahead to move forward with a project. In the context of the movie and TV businesses, to green-light something is to formally approve its production finance, thereby allowing the project to move forward from the development phase to pre-production and principal photography.

The term is a reference to the green traffic signal, indicating "go ahead."

The power to green-light a project is generally reserved to those in a project or financial management role within an organization. The process of taking a project from pitch to green light formed the basis of a successful reality TV show titled Project Greenlight. The term has found its way into general business and military culture as a result of its use in the film industry.

Grip

In the U.S. and Canada, grips are lighting and rigging technicians in the film and video industries. They make up their own department on a film set and are directed by a key grip. Grips have two main functions. The first is to work closely with the camera department to provide camera support, especially if the camera is mounted to a dolly, crane, or in an unusual position, such as the top of a ladder. Some grips may specialize in operating camera dollies or camera cranes. The second main function of grips is to work closely with the electrical department to create lighting set-ups necessary for a shot under the direction of the Director of Photography.

In the UK, Australia and most parts of Europe, grips are not involved in lighting. In the "British System", adopted throughout Europe and the British Commonwealth (excluding Canada), a grip is solely responsible for camera mounting and support.

Gaffer

A gaffer in the motion picture industry is the head of the electrical department, responsible for the execution (and sometimes the design) of the lighting plan for a production. Gaffer, outside of the motion picture industry, is a traditional British English word for an older man or boss. It is essentially a variant on grandfather, used as a term of respect for a village elder, and applied to those in charge of workers since the 19th century. Gaffer within the motion picture industry originally related to the moving of overhead equipment to control lighting levels using a gaff. It has been used for the chief electrician in films since 1936. His assistant is the best boy.

H

Hard light

Soft light refers to light that tends to "wrap" around objects, casting shadows with soft edges. The softness of the light depends mostly on the following two factors:

  • Distance. The closer the light source, the softer it becomes.
  • Size of light source. The larger the source, the softer it becomes.

The softness of a light source can also be determined by the angle between the illuminated object and the 'length' of the light source (the longest dimension that is perpendicular to the object being lit). The larger this angle is, the softer the light source.

Head-on shot

In film, television, still photography and the comic strip medium a close-up tightly frames a person or an object. Close-ups are one of the standard shots used regularly with medium shots and long shots. Close-ups display the most detail, but they do not include the broader scene. Moving in to a close-up or away from a close-up is a common type of zooming.

Close-ups are used in many ways, for many reasons. Close-ups are often used as cutaways from a more distant shot to show detail, such as characters' emotions, or some intricate activity with their hands. Close cuts to characters' faces are used far more often in television than in movies; they are especially common in soap operas. For a director to deliberately avoid close-ups may create in the audience an emotional distance from the subject matter.

Heart wipe

It is often acknowledged that using a wipe, rather than a simple cut or dissolve is a stylistic choice that inherently makes the audience more "aware" of the film as a film, rather than a story. For example, George Lucas is famous for the sweeping use of wipes in his Star Wars films, which help evoke a kinship to old pulp science fiction novels and serials; he was inspired by a similar use of wipes by Akira Kurosawa (as can be seen in The Hidden Fortress).

High-angle shot

In film, a high angle shot is usually when the camera is located above the eyeline.

With this type of angle, the camera looks down on the subject and the point of focus often get "swallowed up" by the setting.

High angle shots also make the figure or object seem vulnerable or powerless.

High angle shots are usually used in film to make the moment more dramatic or if there is someone at a high level that the character below is talking to.

High concept

High concept is a term used to refer to an artistic work that can be easily described by a succinctly stated premise.

High-intensity discharge lamp

A high-intensity discharge (HID) lamp is a type of electrical lamp which produces light by means of an electric arc between tungsten electrodes housed inside a translucent or transparent fused quartz or fused alumina arc tube. This tube is filled with both gas and metal salts. The gas facilitates the arc's initial strike. Once the arc is started, it heats and evaporates the metal salts forming a plasma, which greatly increases the intensity of light produced by the arc and reduces its power consumption. High-intensity discharge lamps are a type of arc lamp.

High-key lighting

High-key lighting is a style of lighting for film, television, or photography that aims to reduce the lighting ratio present in the scene. This was originally done partly for technological reasons, since early film and television did not deal well with high contrast ratios, but now is used to suggest an upbeat mood. It is often used in sitcoms and comedies. High-key lighting is usually quite homogeneous and free from dark shadows. The terminology comes from the key light (main light).

Hip hop montage

Hip hop montage is a film editing technique which refers to several consecutive shots of a brief duration (e.g. 3 seconds or less). It can be used to convey a lot of information very quickly, or to imply either energy or chaos. Fast cutting is also frequently used when shooting dialogue between two or more characters, changing the viewer's perspective to either focus on the reaction of another character's dialog, or to bring to attention the non-verbal actions of the speaking character.

Hydrargyrum medium-arc iodide lamp

Hydrargyrum medium-arc iodide, or HMI, is a Osram brand metal-halide gas discharge medium arc-length lamp manufactured for the film and entertainment industry. Hydrargyrum is Latin for mercury (Hg). The term HMI has become a genericized trademark for all similar high-quality metal-halide lamps made for film and entertainment, regardless of manufacturer.

K

Key grip

In the United States and many parts of the world in film-making, the key grip is the head of the grip department and chief rigging technician on the set. Using light, he or she is in charge of the shadows of light, the movement of the camera, the placing of cameras on any stationary, moving, flying, or floating surface--anywhere a camera is to work. As a supervisor, the key grip directs the crew of grips, many with specialized skills such as dolly grips, crane operators, or special equipment operators. The key grip is sometimes credited as the "first company grip." In Great Britain the "grips" are part of the camera department exclusively and are not generally responsible for regular grip duties as they are in the United States. In Australia and New Zealand the key grip generally owns the grip equipment, often consisting of dollies, track, cranes, camera cars, and insert trailers.

Key light

The key light is the first and usually most important light that a photographer, cinematographer, or other scene composer will use in a lighting setup. The purpose of the key light is to highlight the form and dimension of the subject. The key light is not a rigid requirement; omitting the key light can result in a silhouette effect. Many key lights may be placed in a scene to illuminate a moving subject at opportune moments.

L

Letterbox

Letterboxing is the practice of transferring film shot in a widescreen aspect ratio to standard-width video formats while preserving the film's original aspect ratio. The resulting videographic image has mattes (black bars) above and below it; these mattes are part of the image (i.e., of each frame of the video signal). LTBX is the identifying abbreviation for films and images so formatted. The term refers to the shape of a letter box, a slot in a wall or door through which mail is delivered, being rectangular and wider than it is high.

M

Martini Shot

Martini Shot is a Hollywood term that describes the final shot set-up of the day. According to Dave Knox, author of the film industry slang guide Strike the Baby and Kill the Blonde, the Martini Shot was so named because "the next shot is out of a glass", referring to a post-wrap drink.

Mise en scéne

Mise-en-scéne (French pronunciation: [mizɑ̃sɛn] "placing on stage") is an expression used to describe the design aspects of a theatre or film production, which essentially means "visual theme" or "telling a story" —both in visually artful ways through storyboarding, cinematography and stage design, and in poetically artful ways through direction. Mise-en-scène has been called film criticism's "grand undefined term."

When applied to the cinema, mise-en-scène refers to everything that appears before the camera and its arrangement—composition, sets, props, actors, costumes, and lighting. Mise-en-scène also includes the positioning and movement of actors on the set, which is called blocking. In modern filmwork, these are all the areas overseen by the director, and thus, in French film credits, the director's title is metteur en scène, "placer on scene." During the 1920s through the 1940s, these areas were typically overseen by the producers, titled variously as the producer, the production designer, the art designer, or the art director. Irving Thalberg of MGM was a legendary example of a producer who oversaw such production details.

Montage

Montage is part of the process of filmmaking. It involves the selection and combining of shots into sequences, and ultimately creating a finished motion picture. It is an art of storytelling. Film editing is the only art that is unique to cinema, separating film-making from other art forms that preceded it (such as photography, theater, dance, writing, and directing), although there are close parallels to the editing process in other art forms like poetry or novel writing. Film editing is often referred to as the "invisible art" because when it is well-practiced, the viewer can become so engaged that he or she is not even aware of the editor's work.

On its most fundamental level, film editing is the art, technique, and practice of assembling shots into a coherent whole. A film editor is a person who practices film editing by assembling the footage. However, the job of an editor isn’t simply to mechanically put pieces of a film together, cut off film slates, or edit dialogue scenes. A film editor must creatively work with the layers of images, story, dialogue, music, pacing, as well as the actors' performances to effectively "re-imagine" and even rewrite the film to craft a cohesive whole. Editors usually play a dynamic role in the making of a film.

MOS

MOS is a standard motion picture jargon abbreviation, used in production reports to indicate an associated film segment has no synchronous audio track.

Omitting sound recording from a particular shot can save time and relieve the film crew of certain requirements, such as remaining silent during a take, and thus MOS takes are common on film shoots, most obviously when the subjects of the take are not speaking or otherwise generating useful sound.

In post-production, an MOS take may be combined with miscellaneous sounds recorded on location, the musical soundtrack, voice-overs, or sound effects created by a foley artist.

Movement mechanism

The intermittent mechanism or intermittent movement is the device by which film is regularly advanced and then held in place for a brief duration of time in a movie camera or movie projector. This is in contrast to a continuous mechanism, whereby the film is constantly in motion and the image is held steady by optical or electronic scanning methods. The reason the intermittent mechanism "works" for the viewer is because of a psychological phenomenon called persistence of vision.

Movie camera

The movie camera is a type of photographic camera which takes a rapid sequence of photographs on strips of film which was very popular for private use in the last century until its successor, the video camera, replaced it. Many of these cameras today have become collectors items and there is a small but well organized group of fans of these devices who still use and maintain these cameras as hobby or a special interest, even if they went out of productions a long time ago. For professional purposes however, movie cameras are used and produced today, especially for the production of full feature movies. In contrast to a still camera, which captures a single snapshot at a time, the movie camera takes a series of images; "frame". This is accomplished through an intermittent mechanism. The frames are later played back in a movie projector at a specific speed, called the "frame rate" (number of frames per second). While viewing, a person's eyes and brain merge the separate pictures together to create the illusion of motion.

N

Negative cutting

Negative Cutting (also known as Negative Matching and Negative Conforming) is the process of cutting motion picture negative to match precisely the final edit as specified by the film editor. Original camera negative (OCN) is cut with scissors and joined using a film splicer and film cement. Negative cutting is part of the post-production process and occurs after editing and prior to striking internegatives and release prints. The process of negative cutting has changed little since the beginning of cinema in the early 20th century. In the early 1980s computer software was first used to aid the cutting process. Kodak introduced barcode on motion picture negative in the mid 1990s. This enabled negative cutters to more easily track shots and identify film sections based on keykode.

P

Pan and scan

Pan and scan is a method of adjusting widescreen film images so that they can be shown within the proportions of a standard definition 4:3 aspect ratio television screen, often cropping off the sides of the original widescreen image to focus on the composition's most important aspects. Some film directors and film enthusiasts disapprove of pan and scan cropping, because it can remove up to 45% (on 2.35:1 films) of the original image, changing the director or cinematographer's original vision and intentions. The vertical equivalent is known as "tilt and scan" or "reverse pan and scan".

Persistence of vision

Persistence of vision is the phenomenon of the eye by which an afterimage is thought to persist for approximately one twenty-fifth of a second on the retina.

The myth of persistence of vision is the mistaken belief that human perception of motion (brain centered) is the result of persistence of vision (eye centred). The myth was debunked in 1912 by Wertheimer but persists in many citations in many classic and modern film-theory texts.A more plausible theory to explain motion perception (at least on a descriptive level) are two distinct perceptual illusions: phi phenomenon and beta movement.

A visual form of memory known as iconic memory has been described as the cause of this phenomenon. Although psychologists and physiologists have rejected the relevance of this theory to film viewership, film academics and theorists generally have not. Some scientists nowadays consider the entire theory a myth.

Perspective

Perspective, in context of vision and visual perception, is the way in which objects appear to the eye based on their spatial attributes; or their dimensions and the position of the eye relative to the objects. There are two main meanings of the term: linear perspective and aerial perspective.

Post-production

Post-production is part of the filmmaking process. It occurs in the making of motion pictures, television programs, radio programs, advertising, videos, audio recordings, photography and digital art. It is term for all stages of production occurring after the actual end of shooting and/or recording the completed work.

R

Reel

A reel is an object around which lengths of another material (usually long and flexible) are wound for storage. Generally a reel has a cylindrical core and walls on the sides to retain the material wound around the core. In some cases the core is hollow, although other items may be mounted on it, and grips may exist for mechanically turning the reel.

Replay

Instant replay is the replaying of video footage of an event or incident very soon after it has occurred. In television broadcasting of sports events, instant replay is often used during live broadcast, to show a passage of play which was important or remarkable, or which was unclear on first sight.

Some sports organizations allow referees or other officials to consult replay footage before making or revising a decision about an unclear or dubious play. This is variously called video referee, video umpire, instant replay official, television match official or third umpire. Other associations allow video evidence only after the end of the contest, for example to penalize a player for misconduct not noticed by the officials during play.

S

Slow cutting

Slow cutting is a film editing technique which uses shots of long duration. Though it depends on context, it is estimated that any shot longer than about fifteen seconds will seem rather slow to viewers from Western cultures.

A famous example of slow cutting can be found in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange (1971). In a segment that lasts three minutes and fifteen seconds and contains only three shots, the main character (Alex de Large) is followed as he walks the length of a futuristic record store, meets two young ladies, and brings them back to his (parents') house for sex.

Slow motion

Slow motion or slowmo is an effect in film-making whereby time appears to be slowed down. It was invented by Austrian August Musger.

Typically this style is achieved when each film frame is captured at a rate much faster than it will be played back. When replayed at normal speed, time appears to be moving more slowly. The technical term for slow motion is overcranking which refers to the concept of cranking a handcranked camera at a faster rate than normal (i.e. faster than 24 frames per second). Slow motion can also be achieved by playing normally recorded footage at a slower speed. This technique is more often applied to video subjected to instant replay, than to film. High-speed photography is a more sophisticated technique that uses specialized equipment to record fast phenomena, usually for scientific applications.

Stand-in

A stand-in for film and television is a person who substitutes for the actor before filming, for technical purposes such as lighting.

Stand-ins are helpful in the initial processes of production. Lighting setup can be a slow and tedious process; during this time the actor will often be somewhere else. Stand-ins allow the director of photography to light the set, the camera department to light and focus scenes. The director will often ask stand-ins to deliver the scene dialogue ("lines") and walk through ("blocking") the scenes to be filmed. In this way, a good stand-in can help speed up the day's production and is a necessary and valuable cast member on a film.

Storyboard

Storyboards are graphic organizers such as a series of illustrations or images displayed in sequence for the purpose of pre-visualizing a motion picture, animation, motion graphic or interactive media sequence, including website interactivity.

The storyboarding process, in the form it is known today, was developed at the Walt Disney Studio during the early 1930s, after several years of similar processes being in use at Walt Disney and other animation studios.

T

Take

A take is a single continuous recorded performance. The term is used in film and music to denote and track the stages of production.

Time code

A time code is a sequence of numeric codes generated at regular intervals by a timing system. Time codes are used extensively for synchronization, and for logging material in recorded media. SOM is also a related term (in the broadcast industry) and stands for 'Start of Message' or 'Start of Media' also known as Time Code (TC) in. Similarly EOM stands for 'End of Message' or 'End of Media' also known as Time Code (TC) out.

Time-lapse

Time-lapse photography is a cinematography technique whereby each film frame is captured at a rate much slower than it will be played back. When replayed at normal speed, time appears to be moving faster and thus lapsing. Time-lapse photography can be considered to be the opposite of high speed photography.

Processes that would normally appear subtle to the human eye, such as the motion of the sun and stars in the sky, become very pronounced. Time-lapse is the extreme version of the cinematography technique of undercranking, and can be confused with stop motion animation.

Tracking shot

In motion picture terminology, a tracking shot (also known as a dolly shot or trucking shot) is a segment in which the camera is mounted on a camera dolly, a wheeled platform that is pushed on rails while the picture is being taken. One may dolly in on a stationary subject for emphasis, or dolly out, or dolly beside a moving subject (an action known as "dollying with").

The Italian feature film Cabiria (1914), directed by Giovanni Pastrone, was the first popular film to use dolly shots, which in fact were originally called "Cabiria movements" by contemporary filmmakers influenced by the film; however, some smaller American and English films prior to 1914 had used the technique prior to Cabiria.

The tracking shot can include smooth movements forward, backward, along the side of the subject, or on a curve. Dollies with hydraulic arms can also smoothly "boom" or "jib" the camera several feet on a vertical axis. Tracking shots, however, cannot include complex pivoting movements, aerial shots or crane shots.

U-Z

Voice acting

Voice acting is the art of providing voices for animated characters (including those in feature films, television program, animated short films, and video games) and radio and audio dramas and comedy, as well as doing voice-overs in radio and television commercials, audio dramas, dubbed foreign language films, video games, puppet shows, and amusement rides.

Voice-over

Voice-over (also known as off-camera or off-stage commentary) is a production technique where a voice which is not part of the narrative (non-diegetic) is used in a radio, television, film, theatre, or other presentation. The voice-over may be spoken by someone who appears elsewhere in the production or by a specialist voice actor.

Widescreen

Widescreen images are a variety of aspect ratios used in film, television and computer screens. In film, a widescreen film is any film image with a width-to-height aspect ratio greater than the standard 1.37:1 Academy aspect ratio provided by 35mm film.

For television, the original screen ratio for broadcasts was 4:3 (1.33:1). In the 2000s, 16:9 (1.78:1) TV displays have come into wide use. They are typically used in conjunction with Digital, High-Definition Television (HDTV) receivers, or Standard-Definition (SD) DVD players and other digital television sources. With computer displays, aspect ratios wider than 4:3 are also called widescreen. Widescreen computer displays are typically of 16:9 aspect ratio.





Published - Fabruary 2011








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