Advertisement Upgrade to remove ads

Chapters 1, 2, 4


an unbroken span of action captured by an uninterrupted run of a motion-picture camera


gives movies the power to choose what the viewer sees and how that viewer sees it at any given moment.

cut to a close-up

view the object then close up to the characters face for expression


the last part of a scene grows vaguely darker and fades into another scene.

low-angle shot

shoots the character from the bottom up to give a sense of looking up to that character

cutting on action

designed to hide the instantaneous and potentially jarring shift from one camera viewpoint to another.


main character

implicit meaning

lies below the surface of a movie's story and presentation, is closest to our everyday sense of the word meaning.

explicit meanings

available on the surface of the movie.

formal analysis

analytical approach primarily concerned with film form or the means by which a subject is expressed.


motif (props)

dollies in

camera moves slowly toward the subject


length of time

point of view

camera adjusts to adopt to where the character is looking and what she is focused on.


composes design elements such as lighting, setting, props, costumes, and makeup within individual shots.


elemental system, organized into a series of dialogue, music, ambience, effects tracks.


structured into acts that establish, develop, and resolve character conflict.

persistence of vision

process by which the human brain retains an image for a fraction of a second longer than the eye recordsi t.

phi phenomenon

illusion of movement created by events that succeed each other rapidly.

critical flicker fusion

single light flickers on and off with such speed that individual pulses of light fuse together to give illusion of one light.


concept in film theory literally to mean the process by which an agent, structure, or other formal element, whether human or technological transfers something from one place to another.


interest in or concern for the actual or real, a tendency to view or represent things as they really are


interest in or concern for the abstract, speculative, or fantastic


when movies convince you that the things on the screen people places what have you no matter how fantastic or antirealistic are "really there"


telling of its story

narrative film

a movie devoted to conveying fictional or fictionalized stories

treatment or synopsis

outline of the action that briefly describes the essential ideas and structure of the film.

story conferences

during which it is transformed from an outline into a rough draft screenplay, or scenario


shob by shot breakdown that combines sketches or photographs of how each shot is to look with written descriptions of the other elements that are to accompany each shot.

shooting script

details of each shot and can thus be followed by the director and actors during filming.

Please allow access to your computer’s microphone to use Voice Recording.

Having trouble? Click here for help.

We can’t access your microphone!

Click the icon above to update your browser permissions above and try again


Reload the page to try again!


Press Cmd-0 to reset your zoom

Press Ctrl-0 to reset your zoom

It looks like your browser might be zoomed in or out. Your browser needs to be zoomed to a normal size to record audio.

Please upgrade Flash or install Chrome
to use Voice Recording.

For more help, see our troubleshooting page.

Your microphone is muted

For help fixing this issue, see this FAQ.

Star this term

You can study starred terms together

NEW! Voice Recording