A description of a film story written as if you were seeing the film; often used to "sell" a movie to a studio, or the step before the script is prepared.
Script or screen play
A shot-by-shot description of the film, often with dialogue, settings, action, sound, and camera directions.
Drawing of each shot in the script, including picture and sound directions.
Shot or take
Basic unit of film structure--one scene, shot on one piece of film, on one camera, in one take--can last from one second to ten minutes.
Over a minute long (Orson Wells)
Cut in interesting or provocative ways (Alfred Hitchcock, Sergi Eisenstein)
Sequence or scene
A number of shots put together to show a single event, usually in the same setting.
Extreme long shot
Could be an establishing shot (establishing a location in the minds of the audience) or a panoramic perspective showing a number of objects and people simultaneously.
Shot that takes in a character's entire body. Also called a full shot.
Shot that takes in a character's upper body.
Close shot (closeup)
Shows the head and shoulders of a single character.
Low angle shot
Camera shoots scene from below.
High hat shot
An extreme low angle shot.
High angle shot
When the camera is above the objects being filmed.
An extreme high angle shot.
Designates that one character is in the shot.
Shot with too little light.
Shot with too much light.
Off-screen narrative voice over a film image.
Special noises added to soundtrack to add realism.
Most basic linking of shots, going from one to the other directly.
When shots are linked without a sense of continuity and seem unnatural; suggests tension, scares, etc.
Matching action (continuity editing)
When shots are edited to suggest natural continuity.
Editing calls attention to the juxtaposition of shots.
The alternating of shots between two sequences, often in different locales, suggesting that they are taking place simultaneously.
Fade in or fade out
Shows time passing in moving from one shot to another.
When using fade in and fade out transition.
When one shot and another are shown one over another, seen together.
Optical effect in which one shot wipes across the previous shot (seen in old serials and more recent homages to them like Star Wars. Note diagonal, and hesitant wipes in Mammoulian's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde).
When one shot flips quickly around to reveal the next shot.
Action stops and remains on screen (end of Rocky or any 1970s TV show (satirized on Police Squad))
When a blackness encircles the shot from the edges of the screen progressively to the middle, wiping out the shot. (Used in silent films--sometimes quickly done, sometimes slowly).
Mis en scene
Both the staging of the action and the way it is photographed within the frame. Can likewise refer to all you see in the frame: props, costumes, etc.
Camera runs slower than normal to make action appear faster.
Camera runs faster to make action appear slower.
Focus changed from one object to another in one shot.
Point-of-view shot (subjective camera)
Any shot taken from the point of view of a character in the film.
A cut to a shot of a character's reaction to the contents of the previous shot.
Camera swivels on fixed base--right or left.
Tilt shot or vertical pan
Camera tilts up or down on a fixed base.
When camera is on a little truck (or moving car) that can move the camera forwards, backwards, or sideways, often allowing the camera to keep up with the action.
Same as a dolly shot except the camera is on a track vehicle.
Crane shot or boom
Camera moves on a crane vertically or horizontally.
The camera using a zoom lens appears to move towards or away from subject. Sometimes this is mistaken for a dolly shot.
Wide angle lens
Wide angle, exaggerated perspective, sped up motion to and from the camera.
Perspective and motion much as human eye sees them.
Flat perspective, slower motion toward camera, and narrow angle of view.
Changeable focal length.
Shots made without sound.
Sounds recorded separately from film.
Writing in light.
Denotes the style/look of the film (lighting).
High key lighting
Bright and even lighting; used in comedies and musicals. Bright, hopeful, and happy.
High contrast lighting
Harsh bursts or shafts of light or huge areas of darkness; used in tragedies and melodramas. Things are nightmarish.
Low key lighting
Diffused shadows and atmospheric pools of light; used in mysteries and thrillers. Things are mysterious.
Uses a lot of available, natural light.
Uses very dramatic, artificial lighting patters to express character psychology--usually in a studio.
Illuminates the background and gives 3-dimensional sense (can give a halo effect).
The brightest source of light, creating shadows and emphasis--what your eyes go to.
Softer light from another direction to prevent the key light from creating too-dark shadows.