Filmmaking Glossary


Filmmaking Glossary

As you may already know, I recently published a filmmaking book for absolute beginners, here is the link on Amazon if you wanna check it out:

The last section of this book is dedicated to a small filmmaking dectionnary, so that beginners cn have general ideas about the new world they are stepping in. These are not all the terms used in the industry of course, there are thousands of others, I picked just those because there is no need to know everything there is from the start:

30 degree rule: A film editing guideline where the camera should move at least 30 degrees relative to the subject between successive shots of the same subject.

A roll: refers to Raw format (see camera section)

Above the Line: Above the line refers to the costs of making a movie associated with the major creative talent, including the whole crew. Usually films with special effects have a bigger number of above the line costs than films without.

Acousmatic: refers to sounds that are heard without an originating cause being seen.

Adaptation: The transfer of a creative work or story or book, fiction or nonfiction, whole or in part, to a movie.

Aerial Shot: An aerial shot is a shot filmed from far overhead. usually obtained from drone or other aerial device like a helicopter.

Anamorphic format:

1.  The technique of shooting a widescreen picture on visual recording media with a non-widescreen native aspect ratio.

2.  A projection format in which a distorted image is "stretched" by an anamorphic projection lens to recreate the original aspect ratio on the viewing screen.

Animation: Refers to a type of filmmaking where individual drawings of inanimate, static objects are filmed one frame after another.

Antagonist: An antagonist is usually the villain of the film. But the term "antagonist" could mean a person, a group, force of nature, or interpersonal conflict.

Anti-Climax: An anti-climax is anything following a film’s climax (climax is the high point of the movie), anti-climax is when what you expected to happen didn’t.

Anti-Hero: An anti-hero is the protagonist of a film who does not have the usual attributes of a traditional hero. (like Walter White in Breaking Bad).

Aperture: An aperture is the opening of a camera lens that controls the amount of light allowed to get in and actually contact the film.

Arc Shot: An arc shot is when the camera captures a subject that is moving around in a circle.

Arret: (arret means stop in French) It refers to an in-camera film technique where the camera stops recording, then an object is placed within the frame, and the camera starts recording again, to create the illusion that the item appeared magically.

Art Director: An Art Director is the person in a film crew who is in charge of the feel, look, construction, and design of the set.

Aside: Refers to when a film character breaks the fourth wall and directly addresses the audience.

Aspect Ratio: Aspect ratio is the relative length and width of a movie frame.

Assembly: An assembly is when all the shots are arranged by their order in the script without transitions or effects. It is the first step in the editing process

Asynchronous: Asynchronous is when the audio tracks are out of unison with the visuals.

Atmosphere: Atmosphere is an aesthetic of a film that adds to the overall dimensional tone of a film’s action.

Audio Bridge: An audio bridge is when a sound, music or dialogue, keeps on playing from one scene to the one that comes next.

Avant-Garde: Avant-garde is an experimental or abstract art movement. Avant-garde movies tend to challenge conventional filmmaking techniques.

B-Movie: B-movie is an offbeat, low-budget movie. Usually made by independent filmmakers.

Backdrop: A backdrop is a huge photographic painting in the background of a scene.

Background Artist: A background artist is the member of the crew who is responsible for designing the visual background of a film.

Back Lot: A back lot is a part of a studio’s property where outside scenes can be filmed in an enclosed area.

Back Story: A back story is the events that happened before the film began.

Beat: A beat is a pause that an actor makes before they carry out a movement or speaking their next line.

Below the Line: Below the line refers to any production costs that are not "above the line". This can include film crew payments, promotion, music, and so on.

Best Boy: A Best Boy is the assistant for the key grip or gaffer.

Billing: Billing is putting the actors’ names on film poster. The main actor in a movie will usually have top billing. Following by the helping actors and so on.

Biopic: A biopic is a biographical movie telling the story of a real person or subject.

Bit Part: A bit part is a small acting role. not to be confused with "Extra", a bit part will have a couple lines of dialogue in a single scene of the movie.

Black Comedy: Or dark comedy, is a sub-genre of comedy that takes typically serious subjects, and treats them with humor.

Blockbuster: A blockbuster is a film that stood out and that is a major box office success.

Blocking a Shot: Blocking a shot is when the director determines where the actors stand, where the lights will be directed to, and how the placement of the camera.

Blooper: A mistake made during the course of filming, usually embarrassing or funny.

Blow-Up: A blow-up is the optical process of the enlargement of a movie. It was usually used to make 70mm film prints from original 35mm films.

Blue Screen: A blue screen is monochromatic background evenly-lit (no shadows) that actors perform in front of. The blue (or green)color  will be replaced in post-production with the desired background.

Body Double: A body double is a person who will take the place of an actor for certain shots.

Bookends: Bookends are when the start and end scenes of a movie complement one another.

Boom Shot: A boom shot is any shot where the camera is attached to a mechanical arm.

Bounce Board: A bounce board is a solid white surface made out of poster board or foam used to reflect light during filming (see bouncing lights in the "lighting" section).

Bracketing: Bracketing is shooting the same scene several times using F-stops resulting in different exposures.

Bridging Shot: A bridging shot is a transitional shot used to “bridge” a jump in place or time.

Bumper: A bumper is the intro that plays before the movie starts. Usually the names and logos of the production companies.

Butterfly: A Butterfly refers to a large sheet of fabric used to diffuse a big lighting source.

Call Sheet: A call sheet is a schedule given to crew members over the course of the film’s production.

Cameo: A cameo is brief appearance by a celebrity in a movie.

Capsule Review: A capsule review is an incredibly short movie review.

Caption: A caption is a printed line of text you find at the bottom of a frame that describes or translates what characters are doing/saying. It is beneficial for deaf or hard-of-hearing viewers.

Cast: A cast is a term that refers to the collective performers in a movie.

Catchphrase: A catchphrase is a short sentence that was said in a movie by a certain character and that became popular within the audience.

Catharsis: Catharsis is the point of relief in a movie’s climax. The audience relies a cleansing of emotional tension.

CGI: Computer Generated Imagery usually refers to special.

Character Study: A character study is when the movie focuses more on the character first before the plot and narrative.

Chiaroscuro: Chiaroscuro is an Italian word that means “light” and “dark.” It is a filmmaking slang that refers to the contrast between light and darkness in a scene.

Chimera (Soft Box): A Chimera is a cloth frame that is used to defuse a hard light.

Cineaste: A cineaste is a person who is a film enthusiast.

Cinéma Vérité: Cinéma Vérité means “true cinema” in French. In filmmaking it refers to a style that is dedicated to capturing “real life” or utilizing techniques in a fictional film that suggest the audience are sneaking a peek into the lives of the characters.

Cinematographer: A Cinematographer is the member of the crew who is responsible for the technique and art of film photography.

CinemaScope: CinemaScope is a movie presentation technique that uses an aspect ratio of 2:35:1.

Cinerama: Cinerama is a process of wide-screen filming that used three cameras and three separate projectors to get an all encompassing view of the frame.

Cliffhanger: A cliffhanger is the movie that concludes with the primary conflict unresolved.

Climax: A climax is the top point of tension in a film. Like when the hero finally meets the villain and all of the consequences there within. Generally followed by denouement or anti-climax.

Close-Up: It is the shot taken from a very close distance to the subject (eyes for example).

Coda: A coda means “tail” in Italian. It refers to the scene that provides closure.

Colorization: Colorization is the process of coloring old black-and-white films.

Comic Relief: Comic Relief is a character who provides humorous moments in serious movies.

Coming-of-Age Film: A Coming-of-Age Film is the film associated teenagers growing into adulthood with what includes (loss of innocence for example).

Command Performance: A command performance generally refers to the greatest performance that was ever given by a certain actor.

Composer: A Composer is the musician who composes a film’s score.

Concert Film: A concert film is a motion picture that records a live musical performance of a singer, a band or sometimes a stand-up comedian.

Continuity: Continuity is one of the tasks of the Script Supervisor. They must make sure that every element in a shot remains the same in the next one and from scene to scene.

Contrast: Contrast is the difference in light and darkness in a scene.

Convention: A convention is a typical element that viewers expect out of certain genres of film without doubts.

Coverage: Coverage refers to all of the shots, including reverse angles and close-ups, obtained in addition to the master shot. Having “good coverage” means to have all of the necessary shots to put together the whole movie.

Crane Shot: A crane shot is the overhead view of the scene.

Crawl: A crawl is the text placed on the image in the screen that can move up, down, diagonally, or across.

Credits: Credits is the text appearing before or after a film's cast list, listing members of the crew with what everyone did in the film.

Crew: A Crew is the collective of individuals involved with the technical aspect of shooting a film. Does not include performers.

Critic: A critic (from criticize) is someone who publishes reviews of films.

Cross-Over: A cross-over is a film made for a certain audience but would also be enjoyed by a different demographic.

Crowd Shot: A crowd shot is a shot that has a big group of extras.

C-Stand: A C-Stand is a light stand that has three legs, those legs can be adjusted to accommodate steps, a long metal “arm,” and a round clamping head.

Cue: A cue is the signal for an actor to start performing. A cue can be one actor’s last line of dialogue, signaling to the other person in the scene to start. or a sign from the director.

Cue Card: A cue card is a large board with dialogue written on it to help an actor remember their lines. A teleprompter is an electronic alternative.

Cyclorama: A cyclorama is the seamlessly curved backdrop reaching from the floor to the ceiling. used to showcase a background for a scene.

Dailies: Dailies are copies of the footage shot on the previous day and reviewed. Directors review this footage at the end of the day to keep track of the film's progress.

Dark Horse: A Dark Horse is a movie that unexpectedly makes a lot of money or wins awards.

Day-for-Night Shot: A shot that is filmed during the day but appears as if it takes place at night. Can be done using lighting techniques and filters.

Deep Focus Shot: A deep focus shot is a technique in cinematography that portrays great depth of field.

Denouement: Denouement (also called the resolution) is the phase that follows a film's climax, where everything in the plot has been resolved. Most of the time it is the final scene in a movie.

Depth of Focus: Depth of Focus is related to depth of field (see camera section). It refers to adjustments made so that a camera keeps its deep focus throughout the planes.

Diegetic sound: Diegetic sound refers to the naturally existing sounds within a scene. For example, the music coming from a radio or the sounds of keys turning within the ignition. In other words, it is the sound that the characters in the film can hear. (Musical score and narration are Non-diegetic sound).

Diffusion: Diffusion is the process of softening the intensity of light.

Digital Production: A digital production is a movie filmed with digital high-resolution cameras. Then in post-production is carried out using video editing methods, which completely eliminates the need for 35mm film.

Directing the Eye: Directing the eye is a cinematographic term. It refers to giving attention to something important in the frame using frame composition, camera movement, or lighting.

Director's Cut: A Director's Cut is a version of a film that a director makes without any studio interference. Kind of the version of film that the director would like audiences to see.

Dolby Stereo: Dolby Stereo is the stereo sound process for movies developed by Dolby Laboratories, Inc.

Dolly Shot: It is the shot in a film where the perspective of the background and subject is altered. Can be obtained but Zooming in to the subject while camera moves away in the opposite direction.

Double Exposure: Double exposure is the process of exposing one frame twice so that elements of the two images are visible in the final scene. For the purpose of creating a "ghost" effect.

Dub: A dub is the process of inserting a new dialogue sound, or soundtrack, or sound effects in post-production. To make it look natural a dub has to match the lip movements and actions of the filmed shots.

Dynamic Frame: It is a photographic technique that masks the projected image shape and size to any ratio that would be suitable for the scene. For example when the aspect ratio is narrowing when an actor walks through a narrow passageway.

Epilogue: An epilogue is the short scene at the end of a film bringing it to a closure. Most of the  times, the main characters is older, reflecting on the events just witnessed.

Establishing Shot: An establishing shot in a film is a long shot that shows the location from a distance. To informs the audience of the time and location where the events are happening, could be an aerial shot.

Executive Producer: An Executive Producer is the member of the film crew that is responsible for overseeing a movie’s financing.

Exposition: Exposition is the conveyance of vital background information, either through actions or dialogue, to push the story forward. It could also set up a film’s story.

Expressionism: Expressionism is the film technique that involves the distortion of reality through costumes, editing, and lighting. It is used to reflect the inner emotions of the characters.

Extra: An Extra is an actor who appears in a film in a non-speaking, unnoticed role, for example being part of a crowd like a big army or a guest in a restaurant.

Extreme Close-Up: An extreme close-up is a close-up shot that films the subject incredibly closely (like a shot of lips only or one eye only).

Eyeline Match: An eyeline match in filmmaking is a cut between two shots to create an illusion that the character  in the first shot, is looking at an object in the second shot.

Fast-Cutting: Fast-Cutting is a film editing technique consisting of multiple fast consecutive shots. Known as staccato shots that only last for a brief duration of time each to create a fast-paced effect.

Favor On: Favor On is when the camera focuses or highlights a certain subject or character or action within a scene.

Film Grain: Film Grain is a light-sensitive material that exists in a movie’s emulsion or coating. It results in a fine-grained aesthetic, which requires more light to film, or a coarse aesthetic, which is preferable for low-light scenes.

Film Stock: Film stock refers to a movie’s gauge or size as well as the film speed. It can also mean the unused, unexposed film where photographic images will be stored later.

Filter: A filter is a plastic, glass, or gelatinous substance placed behind or before a camera lens to change the character and effect of the lighting within the frame of the movie.

Fish-Eye Lens: A fish-eye lens is an extreme type of lens that films subjects at super wide angles. Because of its practically infinite depth of field and  the very short focal point, it has the ability to distorts the linear dimensions of the image which results in a very curved image.

Flag: A Flag is a black cloth that absorbs light and that is stretched on a metal frame. It is used to block out areas of light.

Flashback: A flashback is a technique used in filmmaking where the natural timeline and events is interrupted to show what happened at some time in the past.

Flash-Forward: A flash-forward is the opposite of a flashback. It interrupts the natural order of the story to show what will happen at some time in the future.

Focus: Focus is the degree of distinctness or sharpness in an image. To focus means to adjust the lens to create a sharper image.

Foley Artist: A Foley Artist is a member of the film crew who works during the editing and post-production phase of a film’s production. Their mission is to create incident sounds and noises, like gunshots, footsteps, punches.. and also to synchronize them to the finished product.

Foreground: Foreground is the opposite of a background. Any action or object that is close to the camera and that is in front of the main subject filmed.

Foreshadowing: Foreshadowing in filmmaking is a literary device that is used to give a hint or indication of a future event in the story of narrative.

Fourth Wall: The Fourth Wall is the imaginary plane through which the audience is able to watch the movie.

Frame: A frame is a single image. It is the smallest compositional unit you can have in a movie’s structure. The moving picture of a video are actually made of series of frames shown in rapid succession.

Gaffer: A Gaffer is the head electrician in the movie crew on a film set.

Gaffer Tape: A Gaffer Tape is a strong fabric-backed tape characterized by being able to be easily removed when no longer needed.

Gate: A Gate is a mechanism inside a camera or projector that holds the film steady as it passes by the lens.

Gel: A Gel is a tinted, transparent plastic sheet that is colored, it is used for the purpose of being a filter for light. It creates a colored glow over a scene. This is typically done to evoke a certain vibe to the scene.

Genre: Genre means "type" or "kind" in French. It refers to a specific class of film.

Greenlight: Greenlight in filmmaking refers to when a movie granted the right to go into the production phase. The opposite of redlight, where a film remains stuck on a shelf.

Grip: A Grip is a crew member who sets up dolly tracks, moving props, camera cranes, and other filmmaking equipments.

Gross: Gross is the total box office gains of a film. The total amount of money a movie brings in during its theatrical release. It does not include earnings from DVD/Blu-Ray sales or rentals.

Guerrilla Film: A guerrilla film is a low-budget movie made without acquiring filmmaking permits and often using amateur actors.

Head-On Shot: A head-on shot is where the action comes directly to the camera. It is usually used to increase the audience’s feeling of participating in the movie.

Helicopter Shot: A helicopter shot is an aerial moving shot, most of the time used as an establishing shot taken from a bird’s eye view. It is generally taken from a helicopter.

Hitting a Mark: Hitting a mark refers to when actors moving to the correct position during rehearsals and while the camera is rolling. That mark can be set with a physical piece of colored tape on the floor to help the performer to stand in the right spot.

HMI: A HMI is an intense hard light that can be used to replace the sunlight.

Horror: Horror is a genre of storytelling intended to scare, shock, and thrill the viewers.

Hybrid: A hybrid filmmaking is a film that combines elements of two distinct genre types.

Iconography: Iconography is the use of a famous icon or symbol in a film.

IMAX: IMAX is a large-screen film format roughly 10 times larger than the traditional cinema format (35mm).

In-Camera Editing: In-camera editing is a technique used for filming in the precise order needed for the final product. It helps a lot in post-production editing.

Ink: Ink in filmmaking is a word used when people sign a contract to work on a film.

Insert Shot: An insert shot is a shot occurring in the middle of a larger shot, like a close-up  or an extreme close up of another object or another tiny detail. It draws the audience’s attention to the item.

Intercut Shots: An intercut shot is a series of shots containing two events that are happening at the same time and alternating between them to build suspense.

Interlude: An interlude is a short, intervening film sequence or scene that appears in a movie. Sometimes it is not even related to the plot.

Intermission: An intermission is a break in the middle of a film in a cinema theater, to give the audience a chance to use the restrooms or get snacks.

Juxtaposition: Juxtaposition in filmmaking, it is the contiguous positions of two scenes, objects, characters, or images in a sequence to contrast and compare them.

Kino Flo: A Kino Flo is a bank of fluorescent bulbs used to create a soft light.

Klieglight: A Klieglight is a powerful type of carbon-arc lamp that creates a hard light. Landmark Film: A landmark film is a film that was judged "revolutionary".

Lap Dissolve: A lap dissolve is a kind of transition between two scenes. The first scene ends with a fade out while the beginning of the next scene comes starts with a fade in.

Lavalier: A lavalier is a small microphone that is clipped or taped to a performer either on their clothes or even their skin, to record dialogue.

Leitmotif: A Leitmotif in filmmaking is a recurring, intentionally-repeated theme or element in a film. It could be a person, a sound, an action, or an idea. It helps reminding the audience of its earlier appearance.

Letterboxing: Letterboxing in filmmaking is the process of shrinking a movie image so that it can appear on a television screen with black spaces below and above the image.

Library Shot: A library shot is a term used to describe a stock shot. It can also refer to a commonplace or unimaginative shot.

Line Producer: A Line Producer is the film producer who works on location. They are responsible for the budget of a given film shoot as well as the daily operations.

Logline: A logline in a 1-2 sentence summary of the movie that focuses on the main character, the conflict and an emotional hook.

Long Shot: A long shot is the camera view of a character or object from a far away distance. It is used to make the subject look small in the frame. There is also the medium or extreme long shot.

Magic Hour: Magic Hour in filmmaking is the best time of day to film magical or romantic scenes with the soft and naturally warm lighting conditions. It is also called Golden Hour, it is characterized by golden-orange hues and soft shadows. It takes place 30 minutes around sunset and 30 minutes around sunrise.

Mask: A mask is the act of blocking out or covering up part of the camera frame with darkness or opaqueness. Most masks are black.

Master Shot: A master shot is a long take or continuous shot that shows the setting or main action of a whole scene. A scene typically has one or two master shots and the rest is comprised of smaller, tighter angles.

Matte Shot: A matte shot refers to the process of optically combining or compositing separate shots into one print.

Medium Shot: A medium shot is when the performer is filmed from the waist up from a medium-length distance.

Melodrama: A Melodrama is a movie with an emotionally expressive plot where the characters have intensely strong emotions.

Method Acting: Method acting refers to actors who draw on personal emotions and experiences to create a more realistic performance.

Miniature: A miniature in filmmaking is a small-scale model photographed in a certain way to give off the illusion they are larger than what they actually are. This shot is known as a miniature shot.

Mise-en-Scène: Mise-en-Scène means "putting into the scene" in French. It refers to all the elements that exist within the frame.

Mockumentary: A mockumentary is a fictional film that looks like a documentary but with irreverent humor that was designed to mock the subject it talks about.

Money Shot: A money shot in filmmaking is the moment, revelation, or frame that gives the audience "their money’s worth", this has nothing to do with how much does the moment creation cost.

Motif: A motif is an element that is repeated through the film to add to its significance. It can be a symbol, word, object...

MPAA: MPAA stands for "Motion Picture Association of America". It is an organization that represents the interests of the primary motion picture studios including film ratings.

Mumblecore: Mumblecore refers to an independent film movement that appeared in the early 2000s. It is characterized by naturalistic acting that’s mostly improvised.

Narration: Narration in films is completing the story by providing supplemental information by a voice off-screen. The narrator is either a character in the film or an omniscient presence.

Naturalism: Naturalism in filmmaking is a term that refers to a hyper form of realism. With naturalism, life is depicted in an unbiased, stoic way.

New Wave: New Wave originally referred to a collective of non-traditional, innovative French filmmakers. Characterized by non-linear storytelling, improvised direction, and jump cuts.

Nitrate Film Base: Nitrate film base refers to an old type of film base that was highly-flammable.

Nut: A nut in filmmaking means the operating expenses associated with a film. It is the exhibitor’s calculation of what it will take to lease a theater, run it, and staff it. It is also called a house nut.

Off Book: Off book refers to a point where there is no need for the performer to hold a script because everything has been memorized, they completely learned their lines.

Omniscient Point of View: Omniscient point of view refers to when the narrator knows everything going on in a movie. They understands all of the thoughts, feelings, and events transpiring between the characters.

One-Liner: A one-liner is a term that refers to a quick, one-line joke. The best one-liners are when punch-lines come instantaneously after a set-up.

Overcranking: Overcranking is a filmmaking technique when the frame rate is above 24 frames per second. Which results in the image on screen appearing to be in slow-motion. It is a common technique for shooting miniatures.

Overexposed: Overexposed is when a shot has more light than it should be, When done on purpose it can give a washed-out, blinding effect. Usually used for dreams or flashbacks.

Overture: An overture is the opening credits or pre-credits in a movie.

PA: A PA stands for "production assistant". This assistant is responsible for several aspects of the filmmaking process.

Pace: Pace is the tempo or speed of the dramatic action in a movie. The elements usually used to enhanced the pace of a film are the speed of the dialogue, the soundtrack, and the style of editing used.

Pan: A pan is short of "panorama shot", it refers to the rotation, scan, or horizontal movement of the camera in one direction. It could also mean expressing a negative opinion of a film in film criticism.

Pan and Scan: Pan and Scan is a filmmaking technique used to avoid letterboxing of a widescreen film. Instead, it focuses on elements of the frame that are more relevant to the plot. Then the picture will mechanically pan to the side to show the missing part.

Persistence of vision: Persistence of vision refers to the optical phenomenon where the illusion of motion is created because the brain interprets multiple still images as one. When many images appear in fast enough succession, the brain blends them into a single, persistent, moving image.

Pipeline: A pipeline refers to a movie project that is currently in the system and that is under development. Scheduled for a future release. It is also described as "in process", "in the queue", or "in the works".

Pixilation: Pixilation is a filmmaking technique where the illusion of continuous movement in three-dimensional subjects, typically people, is broken up and made to look jerky or uneven. This look is obtained by only printing selected frames from the continuously-exposed negative.

P.O.V. Shot: A P.O.V. (point of view) shot is a shot taken from the perspective of one of the characters for the purpose of showing what the scene would look like through their eyes. It is usually paired with a reaction shot to establish the point of view.

Positive Print: A positive print refers to the original light image captured or printed on the film reel. It is the opposite of a negative print.

Post-Credits Sequence: A post-credits sequence is an epilogue or throwaway scene that plays during or after the end credits. It can help in generating buzz for an additional scene.

Postmodern: Postmodern is a description of all art that rebukes more modernist themes. Postmodern movies work to subvert expectations of classic narratives and film structure.

Pre-Production: Pre-Production refers to the planning phase of a production after a movie has been given the green light. Before the shooting begins. Pre-production usually involves script refining, scheduling, casting, location scouting, set design, and financial planning.

Prequel: A prequel is the opposite of sequel, it refers to a later film in a franchise that talks about events and characters that are set chronologically before the time of the original film.

Pre-Screen: A pre-screening is usually the first version of the film. before being released to the public. Studios often pre-screen films to receive feedback from audiences to know what to edit or change before it is officially released.

Principal Photography: Principal photography is when the majority of filming is done. These are the scenes that typically involves the lead actors. This is in contrast to second-unit photography or certain VFX shots needing to be completed.

Principals: Principals is a way to describe the main characters in a film. It is usually those who have long roles with dialogue. The principals are different from the protagonists and have greater roles than extras.

Producer: A Producer in filmmaking is the chief of the film's production. They are in charge of raising funds, hiring key personnel, and arranging for distribution. The producer often serves as the liaison between the filmmakers and the money givers.

Production Value: Production Value is to the overall quality of a film. This value is based on criteria like set design and costumes. It is not based on criteria like the directing, acting, and the script.

Prologue: A prologue is the opposite of an epilogue, typically a brief scene, preface, or speech preceding the main plot of the movie. It helps the audience to better understand the plot by providing some information.

Protagonist: A protagonist in a film refers to the character who pushes the story forward. They are also the central force of the story.

Pull Back: A pull back is the opposite of a push in. In cinematography is a camera shot where the camera moves away physically from the subject. It helps in providing the full context of the scene.

Push In: A push in is a camera shot where the camera moves toward the subject physically. It provides a closer look for the purpose of seeing more details. The opposite of a pull back.

Racking Focus: Racking focus is an in-camera technique when the focus changes from a subject or character in the foreground to another in the background, or the other way around.

Real Time: Real time is when the running time of the movie is equal to the time-span of a plot. if the whole story of the movie happens in one hour than the film duration is also one hour. The opposite is filmic time where time can be slowed down or sped up depending on the plot.

Realism: Realism in filmmaking is a style that is used for the purpose of presenting the film as realistically as possible. Realism is further attained through deep focus shots and long continuous takes. It is the opposite of Expressionism.

Rear Screen Projection: Rear screen projection is a photographic technique in which a live action scene is filmed in front of a transparent screen where a background is added later. It was popular in the 1960s whenever they want to show a character driving a car.

Redlight: A redlight is a film project that has been cancelled after being granted a green light for production, the cancellation could be either temporary or permanent. Another term used for this case is "a film in turnaround".

Reel: A reel is the metal or plastic spool for winding film. Older movies would be measured in reels since one reel would equal about 10 minutes of running time. Another meaning of the word reel is the highlights of an actor or director's work used for self promotion.

Rembrandt Lighting: Rembrandt lighting is a technique utilizing one light and one reflector or two separate lights. It’s predominantly characterized by a lit-up triangle underneath the subject’s eye on the less illuminated area of the face.

Reverse Angle Shot: A reverse angle shot is photographed from the reverse side of the subject to offer a different perspective. It is often used in dialogue scenes and can be combined with an over-the-shoulder shot.

Reverse Motion: Reverse motion is a camera trick created by running the film backwards within the camera or in the middle of optical printing. Another term for it is reverse action.

Rigger: A Rigger is the member crew on a film set who hangs, sets up, and focuses all of the lighting tools and equipments.

Rotoscoping: Rotoscoping is an animation technique in which live-action footage is traced frame by frame by animators. This can be done either automatically or manually.

Rough Cut: A rough cut is a term used for the early edited cut of a film (not to be confused with an assembly). A rough cut is when all of the main pieces have been assembled in sequential order, but it may not contain all of the finer details, like finished CGI. they are usually used during focus group screenings.

Rush: A rush is a print of the camera footage from one day's worth of shooting. Usually without editing or color correction. The filmmaker will look through it before starting the next day's shooting.

Score: A score is the music part of a movie's soundtrack. It is most of the time the music created specifically for the film by a specialized music composer. It includes background music and orchestral pieces.

Screen (Single, Double): A screen is a mesh on a metal frame used to cut the intensity of light without blocking it out.

Screen Direction: Screen direction in filmmaking is the direction that characters and objects move in the scene. Some common screen directions can include "camera right" or "camera left". A jump cut can also be a form of screen direction.

Screen Test: A screen test is filmed during Pre-Production to test various elements and see how they would appear on the screen, many things can be tested from costumes and make-up and practical effects to auditioning actors.

Screener: A screener is a physical copy of a movie that is sent to film critics and awards jury. The film studios send them out as a convenience during awards season.

Screenwriter: A Screenwriter is the person who creates the screenplay of a film. While a "scripter" can either create an original screenplay or adapt another author's work, such as a book or article, into a film.

Second Unit Photography: Second unit photography is the unit responsible for filming less important scenes, such as foreign location backgrounds or large crowd scenes. This unit is essential for larger film productions where the main crew cannot be available. It is helmed by a second-unit director and a subordinate crew.

Sepia Tone: Sepia Tone is an image that was originally black and white but has been converted into a dark olive brown tint. Sepia effect is used to increase the dramatic vibe or create an "antique" aesthetic.

Sequel: A sequel is the opposite of prequel, it is a film that continues the events, characters, and settings of a previously made one.

Setting: Setting refers to the time and place where the story of the film is taking place. It includes the landscape, social structures, climate, moral attitudes, customs, and codes of behavior.

Simile: A simile is a figure of speech that makes a comparison, showing similarities between two different things using the words "like" or "as".

Shot, Scene, and Sequence: Shot, Scene, and Sequence are concepts that make up the film's dramatic narrative. One is part of the other, scenes are made up of shots, sequences are made up of scenes, while films are comprised of entire sequences.

Shot List: A shot list is a list describing all of the shots that the director wants to get done during the day, it is then provided to the film crew one day before.

Showrunner: A showrunner (the person who runs a TV show) the term refers to the person who has primary creative control and management of a TV show. Not necessarily the creator of the show.

Shepard Tone: The Shepard Tone is technique or you could say an audio illusion that creates the feeling of consistent, never-ending rising or falling.

Skip Frame: A skip frame is an optical printing effect of cutting out or skipping specific frames of an original scene.

Slate: A slate is the digital version of the traditional clapperboard, it is held in front of the camera that identifies the camera operator, the director, take number, and the movie title. the slate operator usually says "mark" before clapping. This is for sound sync purposes (see the sound recording section of this book).

Sleeper: A sleeper is a movie that was released with minimal promotion and that eventually becomes incredibly popular. It grows to become a financial hit, usually because of positive buzz created around it.

Slow Motion: Slow Motion is a filmmaking technique that consists of running film through a camera at a faster than typical rate. Then it is projected at a standard speed, which results in the playback appearing slower than it actuality is.

Snub: A snub is a term that comes up during awards season when a prominent movie, crew, actor, or director is excluded for nominations without any explications. audience would say a movie was "snubbed" by the Academy.

Soft Focus: Soft focus is a filmmaking effect that cinematographers use when applying Vaseline or a filter over the camera lens to reduce sharpness. It blurs the image, creating a hazy light. The same effect can be obtained filming slightly out of focus, usually used for dreamy or romantic scenes.

Soundstage: A soundstage is a big, soundproof room used for film productions. Elaborate sets can be constructed, allowing filmmakers more control over the sound and lighting.

Spec Script: A spec script is a non-commissioned or unsolicited screenplay sent to a studio by a screenwriter in hopes of landing a paid gig. There is also the hope the spec script itself will be purchased or optioned.

Special Effects: Special Effects in films includes all the fantastical audio and visual illusions that could not have been filmed by normal means. Special effects can be in-camera effects, miniatures, CGI, rear-camera projections, and stop motion animation. not to be confused with "Visual effects" which is just a portion of special effects.

Spin-Off: A spin-off in filmmaking is a derivative work of another movie that can either be a sequel or prequel. It includes characters from a previous property but takes them in a different direction than a straightforward sequel would do. for example the film "Alien vs. Predator" was a spin-off of two separate films "Alien" and "Predator".

Split-Reel: A split-reel refers to two different short films that would be put together for showings in the silent era. both the two films are too short to be screened separately, so they are joined together to make a single reel for exhibition.

Split-Screen: Split-screen in filmmaking is the process of combining two actions filmed independently and then copying them into one single frame, to sell the illusion that they took place side by side.

Spoiler: A spoiler is term that refers to any information about how the film ends or any plot details that could hinder a viewer's enjoyment of watching the film if it is known ahead of time. "Spoiler alerts" is a term that is always used by critics as a warning to people before they read or watch a film review.

Static Shot: A static shot is any shot where the camera does not move at all during the whole shot. A tripod can be used for that matter to ensure there is zero movement.

Steadicam: A Steadicam is a camera that is hand-held, it was developed in the late 1970s by Garrett Brown, the operator uses a mechanical harness to take smooth, steady shots, even when the camera is moving. It allows the cameraman to move along smoothly with the action.

Still: A still in filmmaking is a single static image. It can either be a frame image from a completed movie or a production image taken from an unfinished film. It can also be made public as a way to advertise the fact that a certain actor will be in the film.

Stinger: A stinger is a piece of footage or  dialogue that occurs in the last minute of the closing credits, often surprising.  Another meaning of "A stinger" is: an extension cord.

Stock Footage: Stock footage is a previously-recorded footage of the same elements, it could be of natural landscapes like footage of beaches or deserts or it can be footage of historical events that have been archived.

Stop Motion: Stop motion is an animation technique that uses 3D models, figures, or puppets. To sell the illusion of movement, we shoot one frame at a time then the models are repositioned, and the next frame is shot then models repositioned...and so on.

Subplot: A subplot is a secondary plot that typically complements the main one. It is referred to as the B story, while the main storyline is known as the A story.

Subtitles: Subtitles are the lines of text appearing at the bottom of the video image. Subtitles can be used to translate a phrase in a foreign language or to describe a place and time.

Superimposition: A superimposition is an optical printing process that exposes one image directly on top of another on the same strip of film-stock.

Surrealism: Surrealism is an art movement that prioritizes images and narratives born from the subconscious. These works often present a fantastic, distorted, or nightmarish dream state.

Swish Pan: A swish pan in filmmaking is a camera rotation on the x-axis that moves so quickly it creates an intentionally disorienting effect. It can be done on a dolly, a Gimbal, or even a tripod. Another term for it is a whip pan.

Symmetry: Symmetry in filmmaking is when the two halves of the frame mirror each other. It can also be said about the story.

Symbolism: Symbolism in filmmaking is the art of imbuing objects/things with meaning, making them represent something more than the sum of its parts.

Tagline: A tagline is a short sentence or a catchy phrase that summarizes the film to a general audience in a way that would make them remember it. It’s supposed to tease what the film will be about. The best taglines are the ones that raise the level of curiosity of the audience to the point that would push them to watch the film.

Take: A take in filmmaking is simply a single continuous shot of a scene. The director films several takes of the same shot from different angles. Once they are happy with the shot, the crew moves on to the next.

Technicolor: Technicolor is the best-known color film process. These films were described as being high saturated with vivid colors and a three-color dye transfer system, the high saturation was back when colors first came to filmmaking, people used to go to see movies mainly for their colors. It is also known as three-strip color.

Telephoto Lens: A telephoto lens is a camera lens with a very long focal length along with a narrow angle of view. The purpose of this lens is to condense and compress depth within a space. Its purpose is to bring faraway objects closer to the audience without having to move the camera.

Theme: A theme is the inferred stance taken on the central topic or message of a story.

Three Shot: A three shot in filmmaking refers to a shot where there are is three characters in the frame. This is in contrast to a "single" or "two shot."

Tight On: Tight on is a cinematographic term that relates to a close-up shot of the character or subject. The director says "tight on" when they want an extreme close-up subject.

Tilt Shot: A tilt shot is when a camera tilts down or up along a vertical axis. It is often used to suggest a sense of imbalance or to emphasize a character’s menace or power.

Time Lapse: Time lapse is a videography technique where frames are shot at a slower rate than normal (for example filming at 48 frames per minute instead of 24 frames per second). This makes the action progress much faster than in reality. This is perfect to show the progress of something that would otherwise take a very long time if shown in real time.

Tint: A tint is technique where a color is used to make film stock appear in a different shading for the purpose of obtaining a certain mood. Generally done by hand, and it was often used in black and white films before filming in color took over.

Tracking Shot: A tracking shot is where the camera moves alongside the character or subject throughout a space. The camera could be handheld or mounted on a dolly track, and it is best for side-to-side motions. Another term used for tracking shot is a follow shot.

Treatment: A treatment in filmmaking is a detailed summary of the story of a movie, it includes each major scene. It is written in prose form, and it is necessary when pitching a movie to a studio.

24 Frames Per Second: 24 frames per second (short version is 24fps) is the standard frame rate for movies shot on film. It simply means the number of frames projected onto the screen per each second. Most modern films come in at 24 frames per second, but in the past, they would be projected 16 or 18 fps.

Two Shot: A two shot is a close-up or medium shot of two individuals, who are typically talking to one another. The two performers are often framed from the chest up, and this is meant to create a contrast between the two characters.

U-matic: A U-matic is a ¾-inch magnetic tape, which would originally be found on a professional cassette tape format. In recent years, it has been supplanted to new digital formats. It was a competing yet inferior tape format to both beta and VHS.

Undercranking: Undercranking is the filmmaking technique of slowing down a camera’s frame rate for the purpose of making the captured images appearing in fast motion. This result is achieved by shooting at a slower speed than the usual 24 frames per second.

Underexposure: Underexposure refers to when an image is photographed with less light than what it should be for it to be considered properly exposed. This results in a dimly-lit, indistinct image that lacks contrast. Is the opposite of an overexposed image.

Vertigo Effect: The Vertigo Effect is a filmmaking camera technique obtained by tracking backwards while simultaneously zooming toward the subject, or the other way around. This keeps the subject at the center of the image while the surroundings stretch or contract behind them. Also known as a dolly effect or dolly zoom, the name of this effect came from its Hitchcock's prominent use in Vertigo.

Vignette: A vignette is a scene in a movie that can stand on its own. A vignette is often viewed and referenced on its own, separated from the rest of the movie.

Visual Effects: Visual Effects is anything added to a film that was not in the original shot (it cannot be achieved with normal shooting) under the subcategory of special effects. They can either be achieved through CGI or through special techniques, such as rear projection and double exposures.

Walk-On: A walk-on in filmmaking refers to a role consisting of a brief appearance on the screen. A role without  any dialogue and the talent won't get any film credit. It is different from being an extra, who may be on screen for an extended period of time.

Walk-Through: A walk-through means the first rehearsal done on the movie set. Directors do it to figure out camera positioning, sound, and lighting. A walk-through is done before the cameras start to film.

Wardrobe: Wardrobe is the term used to design anything related to the costume department. Sometimes it can refer to an individual costume and all of the accessories associated with it.

White Balance: White balance is a camera setting that establishes the true color of white. It serves as a baseline from which all other colors are measured. White balance allows the correction of all the white colors that do not appear white under all lighting conditions.

Wide Angle Shot: A wide angle shot is taken with a camera lens that is able to capture a wider background than a regular lens. It exaggerates the disparity, depth, and distance between the background and foreground. All the elements in the frame are kept in focus and within perspective.

Widescreen: Widescreen is a rectangular aspect ratio, wider than the standard 1:33:1 used before the 1950s. After that time, widescreen processes became the industry standard.

Wrap: A wrap is when the shooting ends, either for the day or for the entire Production.

Z-Movie: A Z-movie is an independent, low-budget movie, and often non-union movie with first-time directors and actors.

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