Glossary of Essential Film Terms


A Useful Film Techniques Glossary 


Above the Line: The above the line credits (or ATL) refer to the major creative talent. The film jobs that are always above the line include the director, executive producer(s), screenwriter(s), main actors, and casting director(s). Depending on notoriety, occasionally the director of photography (DP) is placed on the above the line costs for a film.

Aerial Shot: An aerial shot is a camera angle filmed from overhead at an elevated point of view. The aerial shot is captured from a drone, helicopter, plane, blimp, or jetpack! A helicopter shot is a moving shot, often used as an establishing shot taken from a bird’s eye view. It is generally taken from a helicopter, allowing it to weave through a landscape.

Ambient Light: Natural illumination present within a particular location. This may be used to gauge how a crew might approach photographing a scene.   

Angle: A space in-between two intersections. These spaces might be used by a filmmaking crew to position a camera.  

Animation: An illusion of movement. Movements, as such, might be used as a tool in narratives such as cartoons or more. 

Anime: A style of japanese animation. Akira is our favorite, what’s yours? 

Antagonist: A character that might hold goals that oppose a protagonist. These characters might directly conflict with a story's plot by default. 

Anthology Film: A collection of varying stories. They may be interrelated but potentially not always.  

Anti-Hero: Protagonist defined by their own interest. In certain cases, they may be a character with questionable attributes to varying audiences, yet could hold virtuous qualities that push them into favor for other observers of a story. 

Aperture: An opening in a camera lens that determines amounts of light contacting a camera’s sensor or lens in photography. In photographically exposing images, controlling levels of luminance may be key.    

Apple Box: A wooden tool that could be multi-purposeful for a production crew. In appearance, these might be cubic or rectangular in nature. They can have a variety of uses from propping someone up, to being used for different grip purposes. 

Arc Shot: A circulating camera shot that may utilize a subject as its point of reference. Varieties of genres or scenes could work to use this creative technique.  

Archetype: A characterization or personification. In narratives, this could be used to offer a dynamic element to a plot.  

Art Director: Designer of a production set. These creatives could be proposed as an additional lead and creative member to a department. 

Aspect Ratio: A length and width to a photographic image in cinematography. Certain implications or symbolism might be used with contracted or stretched aspect ratios, such as 4:3, 16:9, 2.35:1, or more.   

Assembly: A primary step in audio and video editing. Before splicing footage, arranging or organizing material may be one’s first consideration.  

Asynchronous: Material, be it audio and visuals, that are out of sync with one another in movie production. This could be jarring to audiences, yet might also create unique impacts. 

Audio: Sound within a movie production. This could range from effects, music, or more. 

Audio Bridge: Sound that carries from one scene to another. In clip transition, this might be a tool to consider. 

Audition: Actor’s interview in which they would potentially read from a script. These performers could be requested for additional readings. 

Auteur: Author in french. This may be referred to directors or creatives that might be heads of departments. 

Available Light: Ambient illumination that might be used to potentially photograph a scene. This could also be used in pre-production of films to gauge how a scene may be designed. 

Avant-Garde: An artistic movement. Often this might be characterized as an abstract or experimental phase. 

Axis of Action: An imaginary line that runs between one or two characters in a scene. When staging a moment in a narrative, it could be of use to ensure events are occurring within a consistent direction, in perspective to a viewing audience member.  

Backdrop: Backings or paintings placed behind action. These may be used to set design. 

Background: Items within a rear dimension or plane of action. When staging, consideration to this area could assist in formulating three-dimensionality. 

Background Artist: A visual designer for a movie. Matte artists might be used as part of an overall creative team. 

Background Music: Score heard within a scene. This audio may enhance a mood or sentiment of a moment in a narrative.  

Backlighting: Illumination that forms separation from one plane to another. This technique could be utilized by designers, cinematographers, or other creatives.  

Back Lot: An enclosed area for recording a scene. Spaces, as such for filming, might also be proposed for environments that require specificities, such as open land. 

Back Projection: A photography technique that allows for placement of a particular backing in a later time phase. This may help to supplement budgetary needs. 

Backstory: Exposition or story that began before an audience-witnessed narrative. These portions of a film might assist in educating an audience. 

Barn Doors: Foldings that may be found around a light source or bulb. In directing illumination, this tool could be of assistance. 

Below the Line: Production costs. These expenses might include salaries of laborers, publicity, or more. 

Best Boy: Technical assistants for gaffers. In certain cases, they could be utilized to create convenient filmmaking processes. 

Blockbuster: A successful film project monetarily and socially. These productions could accumulate over $100 million U.S.D. or more, depending on a region’s currency system.     

Blocking a Shot: Determination of positioning for select elements in a creative production. These decisions might be left to a director or project lead. 

Blooper: Mistakes during a filmmaking process. These could be recorded and potentially used later for comic reliefs. 

Blue Screen: Monochromatic partitions that could be used to add special effects. These might also need to be evenly lit and positioned behind courses of action in a scene.  

Body Double: A replacement actor. In scenes where much physical risk may be involved or due to a performer's specifications, these actors might step in for a cinematic moment. 

Bookends: Complementary beginning and ending scenes in a narrative. These could often add intrigue to an overall project.  

Boom Shot: Scenes in which a camera in a film production could be rigged to a crane, jib, or more. “Russian Arms” might be brought in for these moments, actions such as car chases. Feel free to view Netflix’s Point Blank (2019) where our very own from SICKBOAT assisted in filming. 

Bounce Board: A light reflector for potential photography purposes. These could construct or enhance lighting schemes, such as three-point strategies.   

Bracketing: Repetitive shooting of a scene at varying f-stops. This could result in a collection of exposure levels for one cinematic moment that might be selected during a post-production process. 

Bumper: Portions or segments of a film before any photographic narrative is seen. Examples might include a brand’s logo, which precedes a show. 

Butterfly: Large material that could be used to spread light. In visually designing a motion picture, it may be of use to control large pools of spill or illumination from within areas a camera records. 

Call Sheet: Schedules offered to film production crews. These may assist in informing and organizing duties performed in a single day of recording a movie or project. 

Cameo: Appearances from a notable celebrity or relatively known individual. Moments such as these could help promote a movie or draw awareness. 

Camera: A tool to photograph a film or project. Overtime, filmmakers could operate digital, film, or analogue devices to record their art.  

Camera Angle: Points of view of a photographic device. In certain cases, these could be used to create visual mood or tension.  

Camera Movement: A technique to capture a subject in motion or form visual intrigue. Moving video recording devices around, away, towards, or more could all potentially form suspense for a scene. 

Camera Operator: Professionals who activate, calibrate, or handle a photographic device during a production. These skilled talents may also rely on assistants to ensure convenient days of shooting.  

Caption: Translations that could be posted as graphics upon a screen during films or movies. This written information may assist in communicating ideas to an audience. 

Cash Cow: Film projects that could be garnered as having a probability of success financially after initial release. References, as such, could be placed on a project with specific expectations. Think of the Marvel franchise. 

Cast: A collective of performers on a project. This may more directly refer to actors or those that could be seen in camera footage.  

Catchphrase: Expressions, in a film project, that could draw notoriety with an audience. In certain contexts, these could be scripted lines in a movie that help promote it outside of theaters to attract more moviegoers. “We’re not in Kansas anymore” or “Luke, I’m your father” are good places to start. 

Cel: A sheet containing hand drawings for formation of a cartoon. In a development phase of animated work, utilizing this tool could help structure pieces.  

C.G.I.: An acronym for “Computer Generated Images ''. For narratives demanding use of surreal ideas, these visuals might assist in that overall goal.  

Character: An individual in a narrative. Whether containing condemned or virtuous qualities, these players act. 

Chimera (Soft Box): A tool that softens hard specular lighting sources. In other terms, these tools could act as necessary diffusion. 

Cinéma Vérité: “True Film en français. These films may provide perspective into daily lives of characters as they act out a narrative.  

Cinematographer: A chief or director of photography in a film crew. These professionals could, in collaboration with a project’s director, capture moments, shape light, and more. 

CinemaScope: A cinematic aspect ratio of 2:35:1. It may be characterized as filling a screen horizontally and vertically. 

Cinerama: A photographic strategy in which a filmmaking team attains an expansive view of a frame. A process such as this might require 3 cameras and 3 projectors to accomplish a task. 

Clamps: Tools that hold grip and lighting equipment to specific items or surfaces. One might refer to these as C47’s, Cardellinis, or more.  

Clapperboard: Informational slates. These could often be written on with dry-erase markers and potentially handled by a camera assistant.  

Claymation: A form of animation. Putty, plasticine or other amorphous material that creators might use to form characters for a cinematic scene.

Cliffhanger: A moment in a cinematic piece where a primary conflict is not resolved. Cinematic television shows or other content could make use of these to prolong seasons or leave audiences desiring more. 

Climax: Moments with large amounts of tension. A protagonist might confront a task that enhances plots within a narrative. 

Close-Up: An image that is captured within a relatively close distance to a subject. Tension in a scene could be increased as a frame’s size begins to condense its field of view. 

Color Correction: A process in which an image's gamma and gamut range are condensed or stretched. In coordination with potential directors of photography, colorists could begin designing a look to a movie with photographic references or with help from other creative leaders. 

Comic Relief: A moment in which a character issues comedic expressions into a cinematic piece. This might break moments of tension or simply add further intrigue to a film project.   

Composer: A  musician that implements a score to a film. Enhancement of a movie’s overall experience could be done with a well-crafted musical composition

Composition: An arraignment, which could be of characters, set pieces, or more. In certain cases, this might be performed during moments of staging actors or curating a project. 

Continuity: Consistency from one scene to another in a filmmaking production. A supervisor might be in charge of ensuring an arrangement of set pieces, actors, or more remain continuous from one shot to another with reasonable changes as a narrative progresses. 

Contrast: A difference, be it in light, shadow, color, or more. This could be a golden necessity depending on creative directions.

Coverage: A collection of photography that might encompass select angles, resevese angles, or others. In collecting this, filmmakers could ensure a narrative or scene has been shot with multiple images to choose from in a post-production setting. 

Crane Shot: A photographic angle that might be captured from an aerial device. This could be used to follow characters in flight or potentially in an action sequence. 

Credits: Textual details of creative members that participated in working on a project. These might be placed after a movie has commenced. 

Crew: Individuals involved with constructing and composing a creative piece. This group could range in experience yet all work cohesively to develop a story.  

Critic: An analytic professional that assesses a film or movie. They may have experience in filmmaking or a related field to work they analyze, while also potentially influencing a project's success.

Cross-Cutting: Alternated action sequences that might be viewed by audiences. Post-production professionals may implement this practice with assistance from other creatives. Scenes with this technique could preview two contrasting moments that seemingly occur at a similar time within an audience member's mind. 

Cross-Fade: A creative transition from one moment to another. When an image gradually turns from black and then into another recognizable image, this might be considered a subtle change that keeps an audience engaged. 

Cross-Over: Films segmenting for one particular demographic. This might rely on marketing research and how a movie might align to a specific audience, yet this could ensure a narrative reaches those that a creative deems needs their story. 

Crowd Shot: Large groups of extra actors that are captured by a camera during a filmmaking production. These might provide viewing audiences a sense of space or congestion in a given area where a scene takes place. 

C-Stand: A light stand. This might be proposed to hold other items such as sound recording equipment, with use of proper clamps, or other grip equipment for a filmmaking production.  

Cucoloris: A type of flag that cuts light. Special tools, as such, might be able to form unique patterns of shadows or illumination for creative purposes. 

Cue: A signal for an actor to begin a performance. Filmmaking procedures may require that cast and crew members are alerted to a scene’s commencement. 

Cue Card: A device used to assist in recollection of script for a performer. In times of script changes between preproduction and production, it could be of use to use this tool to help with any potential difficulties. 

Cutaway Shot: Creative moments where a scene is interrupted with another sequence of action to draw upon an idea. This could result in primary and secondary sequences. 

Cyclorama: A backdrop placed within a scene’s background. These help with exterior moments of a creative project that must be captured inside of a closed set. 

Dailies: Reviewed footage from a prior day of recording a film. These frames could help task a crew with needed coverage in time ahead of them.  

Day-for-Night Shot: A scene recorded during daytimes with techniques to create a night appearance. Production schedules might be enhanced or reduced to modify a project in-progress. 

Deadpan: Expressionless deliveries by a performer. This might add creative comic relief or intrigue to an overall project.  

Deep Focus Shot: A visual illusion showcasing an expansive depth of field in a given moment of action. Cinematographer’s might create this to ensure subjects within foregrounds, midgrounds, and backgrounds are in a sharp focus.   

Depth of field: A range of a camera focus during a captured moment. Film photographers might use this to clarify and intensify pieces of a frame. 

Depth of Focus: A visual technique that displays an expansive depth of field. Unlike one shot, this might be a strategy a creator uses throughout an entire project or scene. 

Diegetic sound: Audio within a cinematic moment. In certain cases, these effects might assist in forming realism for an audience member. 

Diffusion: A spread of specular light’s beam thus creating a soft quality to a back, fill, key or other positioned source. Creatives might rely on this for close-up photography or to complement a narrative.  

Digital Production: Electronically recorded movies that do not rely on analog film cameras. Although there may be distinct qualities to traditional mediums, digitally captured narratives might work to create ergonomic budgets for agencies. Additionally, cost in celluloid rolls might require precious care and expenses which one might need to prepare for in advance. 

Directing the Eye: Direction of attention formed through elements that are positioned in a frame. Cinematographers could utilize this technique to guide viewers to actions or necessary visual information. 

Director:  A lead creative of a film. This artist could be held responsible for all duties pertaining to a production from planning to execution.  

Director's Cut: A version of a film that is not influenced in content or length by a studio. In certain cases, these pieces could reveal a story to viewers that introduces further dimensions.  

Dissolve: Gradual superimpositions of varying images that could work as a visual transition. This technique might be relied upon to segue a cinematic moment to another.  

Dolby Stereo: A type of audio quality created through a laboratory for cinematic purposes. Depending on sizes of film, a series of audio tracks might be applied forming a potentially unique aural experience. 

Dolly Shot: Alteration of a frame’s background thus creating a visual illusion. Rigged photographic devices might be in movement that allow it to track subjects in-motion. 

Double Exposure: A developing image is showcased to light twice to form a dissolve-effect. One could form visual illusions, such as transitions or experimental looks in a video. 

Dub: Audio added to a film after production to potentially enhance a narrative. In cases where dialogue might be difficult to hear, an extra in-sync recording could be supplemented during post-production processes. 

Dutch Angle: Canted positioning of a camera. Photographic devices might be rolled left or right to supply tension to a frame. 

Epilogue: Scenes that wrap a motion picture. These could be moments of reflection. 

Establishing Shot: A moment captured from a distance that might offer a view of a location or set. It could be vital in varying pieces of a narrative to place these images into a viewer's mind to instill where actions may be taking place or to insinuate a tenor.

Executive Producer: A chief financier that oversees a film project. From a business perspective, these key professionals could be accountable for dividend decisions, investments decisions, or more with an understanding of a motion picure’s liquidity of assets entering and exiting productions.  

Exposition: Delivery of information that might be placed early within a movie. These scenes of expository material could help ensure audiences are understanding events that influenced other actions in a narrative. 

Extra: A performer who may not have dialogue or noticable attention during a production. These actors might be viewed briefly in crowded scenes full of people.  

Extreme Close-Up: Captured moments that allow viewers to see a subject from a small proximity in distance. Visual detail could be apparent with a unique frame size. 

Eyeline Match: A sequence of frames that are cut and placed next to one another to place a connection into an audience's mind. For instance, a clip may contain a subject gazing into a distance, while moments later another clip of an object could be previewed on screen to showcase a relationship amongst both photographs. Staging during production might be vital to successfully edit this into a film.  

Fade: A change in decibels or intensity of audio. This could work to transition amongst music tracks or to alter scenes. 

Fast-Cutting: An edited sequence of clips that are rapid in succession. Audiences could be impacted psychologically by this technique that might be assembled within post-production stages. 

Favor On: A queue to focus a camera's optics onto a particular subject. This could assist in drawing attention to a character or item. 

Film Grain: A portion of illumination sensitive material that might be housed upon a celluloid strip. Large amounts of exposure could be suitable and could require analogue cameras. For digital cameras, this may be considered noise that results from over or under exposure. 

Film Noir: Translates roughly to black movies in french. These might be characterized by their fast lighting ratios from dark to light. Detective cinema might also be a close distinction to these forms of motion picutres.  

Film Stock: Speed or size of celluloid strips. In certain cases, this could influence exposure requirements during productions or also color temperatures, as certain stocks may be cooler or warmer than others when recording. 

Filter: Items or substances that are placed around a camera's lens that impact an overall look. This might persuade how an audience interprets a motion picture’s appearance, thus offering a tenor. 

Fish-Eye Lens: A wide angle optical illusion. Select camera applications could be attached in front of a camera sensor to present this perspective.  

Flag: A cloth that blocks light. Duvetine might be used and may work to absorb illumination or control spill.  

Flashback: A moment in a narrative that refers to a past action. To singal this, a post-production professional might implement visual effects or sequencing that drives a desired impact.  

Flash-Forward: A section in a story in which a future event is previewed. This could be opposed to flashbacks that alter a motion picture’s time differently. 

Focus: This might be described as sharpness or unsharpness in an image’s quality. Furthermore, bokeh could be described as undefinable pieces within a frame. 

Foley Artist: A creative that might be defined as a professional that works with post-production specialists to add audio to a motion picture. These artists could add sound effects that enhance a film’s realism or overall experience aurally. 

Footage: A portion of film or media that might be used to record a narrative. If recordings had already been performed then it may be reviewed as dailies.

Foreground: A plane closest to a camera. When staging, certain director’s might place important subjects in this area to draw immediate attention. 

Foreshadowing:  A hint that might preview a future event. This literary device might be used to keep an audience intrigued. 

Fourth Wall: A psychological plane that might describe where an audience occupies when they view a motion picture. In other terms, this may characterize a spectator point of view that a moviegoer might take when receiving a story. 

Frame: This might be defined as a single image. In viewing rectangular images a perspective could be assessed as events unfold in front of a camera’s lens. 

Frame Rate: A speed in which celluloid strips might pass through a camera. Similar processes may also take place within digital photography. Nonetheless, these rates could impact motion of events as they take place.  

Fresnel: An illumination source that may be often characterized for its specular beam and work in defining textures of subjects. These sources could be positioned to articuticulating sets or characters, while also working in an overall scheme of designing a motion picture. 

Gaffer: This may be a chief electrician for a film crew. These professionals could work to mitigate electricity usage for a production.  

Gaffer Tape: A removal adhesive that could often be managed by electricians or other film professionals. Tools, such as this, may be useful when there is a need to bind items together or for other related purposes. 

Gate: A tool that holds film in place. This could be inspected to ensure clean celluloid is being consistently exposed. For digital cameras, one may analyze a sensor that might need to be inspected for dust or unwanted particles. 

Gel: A colorful fiter. These may enhance a film’s appearance by strengthening an appearance of hues.  

General Release: Distribution of a movie. From a studio perspective, when a motion picture is exhibited to an open public this could be a chance to measure box office sales or overall success. 

Genre: Translates to “kind” in french. One could form a project that has varying types of characteristics to it in its overall nature. For example, there may be a sci-fi and romcom mix or a thriller-detective story.  

Greenlight: A project that has been approved for production. This could allow for a chance for a narrative to be released to a general public. 

Grip: Production crew responsible for running maintenance for camera equipment, such as dolly’s or more. These professionals might be best used to ensure a team can successfully record complex shots. 

Gross: A cumulative amount of box office sales. Retail earnings may not be factored into this total.   

Guerrilla Film: A project that may be moderately seeded or underfunded. These might be executed with non-union actors, however they could work to promote narratives outside of major sponsorships. 

Handheld Shot: Unstable camera footage. Camera operators' hands might be a primary tool for stabilization of photographic devices. 

Head-On Shot: Action approaching a camera. In certain cases, a crew might utilize this filming to draw attention to a message or idea as events unfold. 

High Angle Shot: Action recorded above a scene. By implementing this seemingly omniscient perspective, one might be able to evoke a meaning or add variety to their collection of camera footage.  

High Definition: A type of image resolution that might be claimed to equate to clarity of a picture. 16 by 9 may be a standard ratio one could refer to when describing this particular visual presentation.  

Hitting a Mark: Reference points for cast and crew to coalesce towards that could be queued by a director or other creative leader. This might be of assistance in case a scene requires precise timing of an event. 

HMI: A specular lighting source. This could replicate appearances of a sun or other motivating figure in regards to illumination. 

Homage: A tribute to a person or item. In displaying appreciation for a certain idea, one could place a moment of gratitude within their project to offer deference.

Horror: A narrative genre that might be found entertaining to audiences. Certain characteristics of these films might be those that intend to horrify or scare their audience. 

Iconography: Utilization of a symbol in a film or motion picture. This might be placed to assist in driving a theme for a project. 

IMAX: A large film format for potential visual display. Formats such as this could be larger than standard 35mm or other narrower sizes.  

In-Camera Editing: A potential production technique in which camera footage is collected in a sequence that would replicate how a final picture might be released to an audience. When saving time for post-production processes, it could be worth trying this idea to accommodate time-sensitive content. 

Insert Shot: Camera footage that might be cut towards later in edited sequences. These clips could be used to briefly transition from establishing or wide shots. 

Intercut Shots: A possible editing technique in which an idea that simultaneous actions are occurring. Split-screen action might help to achieve this or consistent alternating transitions may be of use. 

Interlude: A potentially brief moment in a narrative. In certain cases, this might not relate to a plot completely. 

Jump Cut: A device that interrupts a present action. Discontinuity might be artistically dersiered, hence a potential use of this tool. 

Juxtaposition: A possible difference in two items or ideas. This could be used to convey a message. 

Key Light: A primarily source of illumination for a subject capture on camera. Positioning and angling could help curate an appearance or look in a scene . 

Kino Flo: A potential set of fluorescent lights. In scenarios where diffused sources are needed, this tool could become of use.  

Landmark Film: A project seemingly deemed reputable by select audiences. These may be characterized as legendary. 

Lavalier: A microphone that might be used to discreetly record dialogue. Sizes of these electronic devices could be placed upon performers in select areas. 

L-Cut: Asynchronous audio and video that might work to transition from one moment in a narrative to another. This may directly describe appearances of edited media in post-production software, such as Adobe Premiere Pro or Davinci Resolve. 

Leitmotif: A motif that could remind an audience of an idea in a film or motion picture. These might clarify a message to audience members, taking an appearance of any auditory and visible element in a narrative.  

Lens: An optic utilized to pass light to a camera’s digital sensor or film. These might be placed upon photographic devices to ensure illumination is focused and manipulated to curate an image. 

Letterboxing: A potential adjustment to a film’s ratio, in which a bottom and top portion cover an image. This aesthetic might be suitable depending on content recorded. For example, it may be necessary to adjust a frame as it may complement long or wide subjects recorded during a day of shooting.  

Library Shot: A possible stock image that could help establish visual space. These frames might be pulled from generic collections of photography. 

Lighting: Illumination within a cinematic moment. Light may model subjects from varying angles and directions. This element could also be measured in f-stops. 

Line Producer: A production member that might assist in on-location procedures. These professionals might mitigate expenses and monitor daily processes. 

Lip Sync: A synchronization of audio and movement of one’s mouth. When dubbing a scene, it could be of use to ensure a soundtrack of dialogue matches a pace or rhythm to images viewed on screen. 

Location: Possible places of spaces utilized to record a scene. Set designers and other creatives might rely on areas to develop a mis-en-scène for a cinematic moment. 

Location Sound: Ambient audio that might be recorded during an actual production. In establishing aural realism, an audience member may be further immersed within a narrative. 

Long Shot: A photograph of a scene taken from a relatively far distance from a subject. These frames may help establish a sense of space and allow a viewer to visually inspect a set.  

Looping: A potential re-recording of a performer’s dialogue during post-production of a motion picture. In certain instances, this may help clarify select scripts.  

Low Angle Shot: Framing of a subject from a relatively low perspective. Psychologically, characters could be viewed as superior or powerful from this point of view. 

Magic Hour: A time during a sun’s cycle, in which golden hues are emitted and ambient light is diffused. Illumination from this moment could also be referred to as “Golden Hours '' and make for a visually pleasant scene. 

Mask: Obstruction of view of a camera’s frame with opaqueness, weather created digitally or physically during a production. Subjective camera scenes or clips may utilize masks to recreate unique points-of-view. 

Master Shot: A captured frame that displays all actions from one photographic perspective. After a scene has been recorded from this wider set-up, tighter-sized frammings on subjects might be captured to extract vital detail of actions for a given moment. 

Match Cut: A transition that ties together unrelated clips or moments. These cuts might be of use to move an audience from one point in a narrative to another. Similar actions or motions could be needed from each piece of media that one would like to unify to formulate a settling sequence. 

Medium Shot: Photographic frammings that capture subjects from their wait to their heads, if applicable. These frames may place senses of intimacy or tension to a scene’s tenor. 

Melodrama: A narrative with intense emotions. These pieces might center on pusrading viewers through forms of psychological pathos with rigorous plots full of tension.  

Miniature: Photography of subjects that enlarge their physical structure. Visually stories may require that character’s sizes are embellished or over emphasized. 

Mise-en-Scène: A word in french that may refer to an “arrangement of scenery” for a given scene. When blocking or orchestrating  a cinematic moment, an idea could be extracted by an audience that could be promoted as visually pleasuring.

Mixing: Combining audio tracks for a media project that requires a soundtrack or other purposes. These could also pull varying sounds that drive a message or idea. 

Mockumentary: A genre of content that appears as a documentary, yet withholds humor and references to a realistic person, place, or idea. In certain cases, this could be used to clarify or intensify a message. 

Money Shot: A moment that offers a realization of value for an audience member. Media projects might contain an element that drives audience satisfaction. 

Montage: An assemblage of clips for a sequence. These orderings of content could work to drive and implant ideas in an audience’s mind.  

Motif: A repetition of an idea or symbol. Thematic elements such as these could work to formulate messages for viewers and those that take in a piece of media. 

M.P.A.A.: An acronym standing for Motion Picture Association of America. This organization works to collect and mitigate studio interest, while also deliberating rankings for films.  

Narration: Informative audio that may be voiced by a performer to provide clarity to a story. This could be done by a character or an all-wise presence. 

New Wave: A form of filmmaking in which improvisation and creative routes of producing stories were released. Its style looked to have been championed by artists navigating away from a traditional format of structuring stories.    

Off Book: A performer that has recalled all of their script and could execute their role. Professionals might work without aids to guide them. 

180-Degree Rule: A framework for directing placement of a camera. This could be an axis that is in relation to a subject's direction of action that a cinematographer could work to stay away from in order to deter crossing that path. In essence, staying on one side of a subject or room could assist in maintaining a suspension of disbelief for an audience viewing your media. .  

One-Liner: An inserted piece of script for potential comedic impact. These areas of dialogue might be used to maintain an entertaining sentiment throughout a media project.  

Overcranking: Frame rate that overpasses 24 frames per second. For example, a clip recorded at 60 F.P.S. may result in an overcranked image. Certain creators might use this technique to later retard a clip’s speed later in post-production. 

Overexposed: An image revealed to light to an extensive amount. Combining this strategy with lenses and certain filtrations may also form helation glows in photographs, drawing unique attention to highlights of clips.

Overhead Shot: Frames in which a camera is positioned above recorded action. A bird’s eye view could be used to offer perspective to an image. 

Over-the-Shoulder Shot: A frame composed with a medium sized subject in view and from behind. Framing characters in this matter might create three-dimensionality to a scene. 

Overture: A media project’s opening or closing credits. Audio may be accompanied in these portions of a picture. 

P.A.: An acronym for “Production Assistant. These professionals might work cross-functionally with varying departments often as an aid to other ranked crew members. 

Pace: A tempo to an action or idea. Utilization of this tool might be established through audio, dialogue or more. 

Pan: A rotation of a photographic device. This could direct attention or  allow viewers to expand their visual understanding of a scene’s landscape. 

Paradox: An idea that may be false and true simultaneously. Devices, as such, might work as psychological tools to implement an idea to an audience member’s mind. 

Parenthetical: A potential suggestion for how one could consider a section of written work. In scripts, these portions might be used to guide performers in their delivery. 

Pipeline: A project in development. Media creators could have either one or more pieces progressing on a path to release for massive audiences. 

P.O.V. Shot: A scene displayed from a character's perspective. In these unique scenes, ideas and outlooks could be presented that may drive messages to a potential audience. 

Post-Credits Sequence: An epilogue for a project. Audiences may view this as a closing of a narrative. 

Pre-Production: A possible planning stage for media projects. This phase allows creators to assess what tools that may further develop their story once it has been approved by stakeholders, such as a client or studio.  

Prequel: An event that supposedly took place before another narrative. These portions of a project might further inculcate a viewing audience about events that might have an impact on future actions. 

Pre-Screen: A viewing of a project before a larger release. Select audiences might be able to offer producers or other attached creatives a perception of how a piece may perform in grander box offices. 

Principal Photography: A phase in which a project has been significantly recorded. A director of photography from a 1st unit may be present to complete this task, while 2nd units of a camera department may arrive later to finish portions of a narrative that were logistically inconvenient to capture. 

Producer: A senior professional of a project’s production. These liaisons might coordinate between crews and financers to solve budget, narrative, or more issues.  

Production Design: A creative that potentially orchestrates an appearance to a project. They might also work in tandem with an art department to drive a style to a piece. 

Production Value: A project’s perceived quality. In these terms, media might be evaluated by select criteria such as through costumes, design, or more.

Prologue: A moment that arrives before an engaging piece of a narrative. Specifically, a plot might not be introduced yet or main characters might be missing from a story. 

Protagonist: A character with a clear goal that audience’s may recognize and hopefully support. These players may also be valued for progressing a story through events and to a conclusion.  

Pull Back: A frame  travels away from a subject. This visual movement might enhance any present three-dimensionality to an overall image, while also drawing distance from a particular item. 

Push In: A frame that approaches a subject. In this scenario, items might enlarge and become a focal point of attention.  

Racking Focus: An optical illusion in which a focal plane alters. Attention of a viewer might drive from one object to another through manipulation of a camera’s lens in a media clip. 

Reaction Shot: A frame that may preview a response from a character or subject. These moments might also provide psychological cues for how an audience reacts to a given action.  

Real Time: A potential timespan of a narrative’s plot. This could contrast how viewers experience a project.  

Rear Screen Projection: A recording or a scene, in which a backdrop may be placed in at a later moment. This could allow for an addition of visual effects to a media project, such as for driving scenes or more. 

Redlight: A project in turnaround that might be halted from production. These pieces might be permanently or temporarily stalled. 

Reel: In cinema, this may be a winding spool to hold rolls of celluloid strips. Associatively, this may also refer to a highlight of a creator's work. 

Reverse Angle Shot: A diverse perspective of a frame that may relate to a previously recorded clip as its opposite point of view. This may allow for more of an inventory of clips to choose from in a later post-production process.  

Rotoscoping: A tracing of frames by animators. Creators may formulate a scene through this technology.  

Rough Cut: A draft of an edited project. Media creators might be able to try varying effects and styles at this phase of their process and preview it to others. 

Satire: A potential mocking of an institution for a symbolic impact. Certain narratives may take on this form to make comments towards a select aspect of their society. 

Score: Musical audio within an overall soundtrack of a project. Media may require that sound is carefully orchestrated to complement a piece. 

Screen (A Single and Double): A frame that blocks or cuts light. These tools may become effective when a certain lighting set-up requires shielding from possible illumination. 

Screen Direction: A potential pathway in which characters might move throughout a scene. Director’ might orchestrate this to formulate a structure to a scene.  

Screen Test: An pre-examination of a varying element within a project. Actors and more may be requested to review how they may appear or work within an actual production.  

Screenplay: A possible script. Screenwriters might be responsible for developing a narrative that could be turned into an visal project.

Screenwriter: A potential individual that formulates a screenplay. These creatives might be accountable for how a story begins and ends. 

Second Unit Photography: An additional crew that may record what other units of a camera department might have missed. These professionals could be responsible for continuing work comlpeted by a director of photography in a 1st unit. 

Sequel: A potential narrative that continues a story from another released project. These may help develop a following of a series by audiences.   

Setting: A possible place and time that a project ocurres. In detailing information through dialogue, a narrative might also be positioned in a viewer’s minds through scenery.

Shot, Scene, and Sequence: Potential ideas that structure a narrative. One could develop a project through these concepts to progress a story for an audience. 

Shot List: A possible itemized record of needed photography for a production day for a crew reference. These may contain pieces of an overall scene that would have to be recorded to maintain a schedule. 

Showrunner: A potential professional that holds much influence over a project. These individuals might be writers or more. 

Shutter Speed: A time in which potential frames are exposed to illumination. Shutters may rotate or flicker to disrupt an image.   

Slate: A possible digital board that may contain vital information. Details such as crew members, titles, or more could be placed upon these boards to assist post-production professionals with organization of film or media, without viewing an entire clip once having ingested material. 

Slow Motion: Film or media that might playback at a quick rate. This optical illusion could influence ways in which viewers experience a cinematic moment. 

Soft Focus: A possible visual effect in which sharpness of a lens is reduced. A cinematographer might utilize this optical technique to alter appearances of a select frame. 

Sound: A potential audio piece to a media project. This could be measured in decibels to accurately assess intensity or loudness.  

Soundstage: A possible soundproofed room. These spaces might alter how audio travels and is recorded. 

Soundtrack: An optical audio section of a motion picture. Furthermore, media projects might utilize this aural tool to enhance a mood to a scene.  

S.O.T.: A possible acronym for “Sound On Tape” to those working with media projects. This could assist with evaluating whether a crew may have to record more audio after a production, dub a scene, or more.   

Spec Script: A potentially non-commissioned script. These might be sent by screen-writers to secure employment or more. Writers may draft work that is inspired by an existing project in this case.  

Special Effects: Possible optical illusions that are formed outside of traditional means of production. In certain cases where a visual element is not present on a day of recording a scene, a crew may implement a creative substitute to form an alternative of their own. Computer generated images might also be useful in this process as well. 

Spin-Off: A possible prequel or sequel project that derived from an existing one. These might enhance a previously released story. 

Split-Screen: A potential optical illusion that displays two or more actions next to each other on one screen. This could offer a psychological idea to a viewer that multiple occurrences are taking place simultaneously.

Split Screen Film Mattes: A design asset for content creators of all kinds to easily create the split screen aesthetic. Also called, Split Screen Matte and Split Screen Matte Overlays.

Spoiler: Information about a narrative that might reduce psychological tension for a viewer. In select cases, first-time viewers to a certain media project might need to be oblivious to ideas pertaining to a story in advance of witnessing it.

Static Shot: A frame that is stationary. Cameras might abstain from movement to form a desired effect. 

Steadicam: A handheld photographic device. Cinematographers could resort to this tool to record a scene from an unstable point of view. 

Still: A static camera recording that may often capture one moment in time, rather than a series of photos per second. This could also be referred to as an immobile image. 

Stinger: An unexpected selection of footage that might be placed in a narrative’s conclusion. Media creators might place these moments in a project to add an intriguing ending to their works.

Stinger: A potential extension cord for electricity purposes. Crew might utilize this tool to ensure power could be supplied to a given piece of equipment. 

Stock Footage: A possible selection of pre-recording. These images might be historical in nature or reference common visual elements, such as landscapes.  


Stop Motion: A potential animation technique to assist in forming a story. Certain creators might utilize models or more to formulate unique creations.   

Storyboard: A possible sketch of a narrative from one moment to another. To sequence a scene, creatives could utilize this tool to pre-visualize their plans for recording a cinematic piece. 

Subtitles: Text that could be placed in a lower portion of a frame. Creatives might utilize this tool to translate dialogue or apply descriptors to a visual image that one might see.  

Surrealism: Ideas that may resonate with one’s subconscious. This form of cinema might also utilize fantastical or unrealistic themes within its overall works. 

Swish Pan: A rapidly turned camera, that while recording, could direct a viewer's attention.Tripods and other stabilization devices might help to formulate this movement of swiveling from left or right. 

Symmetry: Ideas that might resemble one another. This could be an image or shape that is captured on video to formulate a unique visual dimension within an overall image.  

Symbolism: An object or a word that inspires an idea. Media projects may contain characters or other creative elements that represent an abstraction.   

Tagline: A potential summation of a narrative to an audience. Creatives might present a hint about a plot through this tool.  

Take: A continuously recorded scene that may run during a production day. Cinematographers might be asked to record a few rounds of one moment for creative purposes. 

Technicolor: A development process for possible film or celluloid strips that might have been used to record a scene. Three strip color processes might enhance an image's gamut or range in chrominance.   

Telephoto Lens: A photographic accessory that might be used to formulate compression of space within an image. These tools might be long in focal length with narrow angles of view. 

Theme: A potential message of a narrative. In certain cases, these messages might also assist critics with assessing value to projects. 

Three Shot: A possible frame that might contain two and plus one more character. These framings might be wide in nature. 

Tight On: Frames that might be close in proximity to recorded action or light in negative space within an overall image. Notice in detail might certainly be viewed as potentially subtle movements become clarified to characters.  

Tilt Shot: Frames in which there may be an imbalance in horizontal symmetry of an image. A camera might be canted or rolled to one side. 

Time Lapse: Images that might be recorded at a slower speed than potentially 24 frames per second. This could display a passage of time or how events change in a given moment. 

Tint: A possible strategy to adjust hues within a given image. Project’s might be altered during recordings on sets or in post-production phases.    

Tracking Shot: A frame that may follow a moving subject. These images could also require a great amount of coordination with a crew to construct, yet this may also offer viewers a more immersive perspective as they engage with a project.  

Treatment: A summarization of a film or media project. Pre-production processes might require this document to plan narratives and prepare for production. 

24 Frames Per Second: A frame rate that might be garnered as a standard for recording a scene. Creatives, such as cinematographers, might manually set this function within cameras. 

Two Shot: A frame that might include more than one subject. Photographic devices could be in close proximity to characters during recordings depending on chosen focal lengths for capturing that moment.  Additionally, this image might also be used for dialogue scenes.

Undercranking: A process in which a frame rate is retarded in speed. Images might be previewed with quick motions from subjects. 

Underexposure: An image that might be offered less light or luminance. This technique might be referred to as an opposite to overexposing. Lastly, depending on recording formats, such as those that might be found within a digital camera, a lessening of exposure to light might be required to craft a desired image.

Vertigo Effect: A possible video capturing technique that requires an operator to zoom and dolly a photographic device simultaneously. Certain creatives might be able to achieve this effect through post-production editing. Nonetheless, on set, operators might expand their field of view with a variable focal length lens, while also pushing a camera towards a recorded action. That procedure could also be done in reverse, forming what others may refer to as  a dolly zoom.  

Vignette: A section within a narrative that might be able to be independent from other pieces of a story. Viewers may reference these portions out of an entire project. 

Visual Effects: Additions to media projects that might be computer generated or included with special techniques. Post-production specialists may complete these tasks and build on to stories by enhancing a visual feature or space  

Voice-Over: Select dialogue that might be recorded. Performers might narrate these pieces to increase comprehension of a story or more. 

Walk-Through: A possible rehearsal that could be done on a day of production. Camera’s might not record action, however blocking and practice of running a scene may be done in tandem with a director’s command. 

Wardrobe: A potential reference to a costume division. This title might also be placed on a leading creative or material that could be worn by performers.

White Balance: A technique that a camera operator might use to establish a relative standard for hues that may be captured in a scene. This process might also ensure that discoloration is avoided.  

Wide Angle Shot: Frames that might be recorded with an expansive field of view. An amplification of space might be previewed or seen that could intrigue viewers. 

Widescreen: An expansive aspect ratio, which could be used to display a film or project. Frames may be wider than 1:33:1 in size. Movies may display wide landscapes that impress viewers. 

Wipe: A visual transition that might be used to to move from one scene to another. This may take an appearance of one image moving horizontally away from a viewer while another comes in to replace it. 

Wrap: A possible completion of recording a film or media project. In certain cases, this might be used to signal that a piece has finished a phase, such as production, post-production, or more.



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