Terminology

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180° Rule
A rule that states how if two people are filmed in a scene there is an invisible line between them and the camera should be placed anywhere within the 180 degrees on any one side of the line.

Action
1. Any series of movements that are performed before the camera to propel a story.
2. The word called out by the director at the start of a shot during filming to inform actors to begin performing.

Aperture
The same as the Iris.

Arc Shot
A camera shot where the subject(s) is filmed by an encompassing and/or moving camera.

Aside
When a character breaks the “fourth wall” and addresses the audience with commentary.

Audition
The process where an actor/performer seeks a role by performing in front of a director or casting director with a prepared reading or by 'reading cold' from the film script. An actor may get a ‘call back’ if more decision time is necessary.

Backlighting
When the lighting for a shot is aimed at the camera from behind the subject(s), causing the subject(s) to appear as silhouettes in the foreground.

Barndoors
Blinders on the sides of lights that can be used to direct light and to prevent it from appearing everywhere. Barndoors can also be used to attach a lighting gel.

Barney
A blanket draped over the camera to reduce the noise of the moving internal mechanisms.

Best boy
Any technical assistant (regardless of sex) for the gaffer or grip on a set. The person is mainly responsible for the routing and coiling of power cables necessary to run the lights for a shot. The term comes from the days of whaling.

Blocking a shot
The placement of the camera, the arrangement of the lights, and the actors' positions and movements are all part of blocking.

Boom
A moveable counter-balanced pole or arm, which can hold a microphone, light or camera outside of a film shot. A mechanical boom mike can also be referred as a 'giraffe.'

Bridging shot
A type of shot used to 'bridge' a jump in time, place or other discontinuity. A transition.

Camera Reports
Reports written to log shots and takes while adding any notes that the editing room may need to know. Also contains info as to the origin of the shot, and technical info that may be needed later.

Camera Roll
Any film roll that you shoot becomes a camera roll.

Cheat
When setting the camera for a second shot at a different angle, you can move objects or actors around to make the shot more appealing, concealing the fact to the audience that things are out of place in the previous angle.

Color Temperature
A measurement of the color of light.

Continuity
The flawless attention to detail to make one shot flow to another within a scene in regards to motions by actors, location, and props.

Contrast
The difference between light and shadow or maximum and minimum amounts of light.

Cookie
A flat board full of unequal holes used for creating a pattern of shadows when put in front of a light.

Cut
1. What the director says to end the filming of a shot/take.
2. The cutting apart of two shots at the frameline during the editing stage.

Cutaway
A shot of a close-up of some detail or landscape scenery that is used to break up a matching action sequence. Generally it is used in editing to escape a break in continuity.

Dailies
Previous days prints of each camera roll of a film for the director, producer, or editor to review, to see how the film came out and help decide whether to re-shoot a scene.

Daylight Balanced
Being able to shoot outside in daylight without a color hue effect. The color temperature of daylight is 5,400K on the color temperature scale, which can vary depending on the time of day.

Depth of field
The depth of arrangement of a shot where there are several planes; a foreground, a middle ground, and a background.

Diffusion
A filter used on a camera or light to create a soft focus/shadow effect.

Dissolve or Cross Dissolve
A transition between two shots or scenes, where one shot fades away while another shot fades in.

Dolly Shot
A style of shooting where the camera is placed on a dolly and is moved while recording.

Dubbing
The recording of dialogue in a sound studio by actors after the footage has already been shot.

Edit
The cutting and arrangement of shots.

Eye Line
The direction of focus an actor should look off-screen during a shot to create continuity.

Fade
A transition from either a shot to a gradual black (Fade out), or from black to gradually the film image (Fade in).

Filter
A tinted glass or tinted plastic sheet (AKA a Gel) placed in front of or behind a lens or lighting apparatus. It is used to change the color of the shot.

Flood
A lamp that provides general diffusion lighting on a set.

Foley
The recording of custom sound effects during postproduction that usually mimics the incidental sounds that happen while shooting a scene, similar to Dubbing.

Footage
The amount of film one has shot.

Frame
A single image on a piece of film. Depending on settings, a camera will record a certain number of frames per second, which produces the flipbook effect in film.

Frames per Second or FPS
Movies are usually run through a camera at a frame rate of 24 fps (frames per second). You can “undercrank” or “overcrank” footage by recording at a certain fps and playing it back at a different fps. This produces a fast-motion if recorded at a low fps and played on a high fps, or slow motion effect if vise versa. The broadcast frame rate used in Television is 29.97 fps.

F-stop
The scale measurement of the size of the opening of the iris on a lens; common f-stops are 1.4, 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, and 22. Oddly enough the smaller the f-stop the larger the opening, and the more light that is allowed into the lens.

Gaffer
The head electrician or lighting technician in the film crew on a movie set. Is responsible for the design and implementation of a production's lighting on the set.

Gaffer’s Tape
Cloth tape (similar to duct tape) designed for use on film shoots. Crafted to not leave any sticky residue behind.

Gate
The opening on a camera just behind the lens where a single frame is exposed.

Gel
A sheet of transparent tinted plastic used as a filter for a light. They can convert a lights color temperature to another or simply make a unique color to shine through.

Grip
A crewmember responsible for setting up tracks for cameras, moving props or backgrounds, building scaffolding, or anything else related to the equipment used during production. Usually receives duties from the Gaffer.

Incident Light Reading
Measures the amount of light hitting a subject(s). Another type of light reading is a Reflective Light Reading.

Insert Shot
A close-up of some detail in a scene. Similar to a Cutaway.

Iris
Like the iris of the eye, a valve within a lens controls the amount of light that passes through it to the camera. F-stops determine how much light will go by the lens.

Lavalier
A miniature wireless microphone small enough to be taped or clipped to an actor to record vocals.

Mark
1. The clapping of the slate to create a sync mark for picture and sound for the shot.
2. A piece of tape on the floor that marks where an actor should hit or stand.

Martini
The last shot of the day.

Master Shot
A wide shot that encompasses the whole scene from beginning to end. A master shot will be filmed and then all the other shots needed are filmed after.

Mix
The process of blending and equalizing all your soundtracks and effects into one master soundtrack.

M.O.S.
Stands for “Mit Out Sound.” A shot that is filmed without sound, which is added later.

Outtakes
Footage that is not used in a final edited version.

Overexposed
A film shot that has more light than normal to create a bleached or glare like effect.

O.T.S.
Over The Shoulder shot. Used in dialogue scenes to link two characters by framing each character face to face with the camera angle.

Pan
A horizontal camera turn from right to left or left to right.

P.O.V. Shot
Point Of View Shot. A shot from the perspective of one of the characters in a scene.

Practical
Any flood-type of bulb used in a common fixture that’s visible within a shot.

Preroll
Extra time given at the start of a take to make up for the slow delay of some editing time code devices.

Props
The furnishings, hand-held objects, or decorations that are seen and/or used on a set.

Rack Focusing
A technique of changing the focus on the camera to have objects in the foreground clear while objects are blurry and unrecognizable in the background. The focus is then shifted to clear up and reveal the background object.

Reaction Shot
A shot of a character in a dialogue scene that is listening to what is being said. A reaction shot could also be a character looking off screen.

Reflective Light Reading
Measures the amount of light bouncing off a subject. Another type of light reading is an Incident Light Reading.

Reverse Shot
A scene shot from the opposite side of the previous shot creating continuity.

Room Tone
A recording of the silence, or incidental sound of a location to set as a background tone in editing sound.

Safety
A back up take after a successful one.

The Slate
A board with two hinged sticks attached. Used to record a scene number, and other information about the scene, that you “clap” together to mark a sync point.

Soft Light
A light with a special surface providing soft yet indirect light on the subject.

Speed
What the soundman will call out to let the crew know that they are rolling.

Sync
The state when sound and picture are lined up.

Take
Multiple versions of the same shot.

Tilt
A vertical camera move, either up or down.

Transition
Moving from one scene to the next. Some transitions are cut, fade, dissolve, and wipe.

Wardrobe
Name for the costume department.

White Balance
Electronically color-correcting a camera's true color of white due to the fact that white appears different in every lighting condition.

Wipe
A transition between two shots or scenes where the current shot is incrementally replaced by the second one in a wiping fashion.

Wrap
What one says when you are done shooting either for the day or production.






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