82 terms

Cinematography

Chapter Six
STUDY
PLAY

Terms in this set (...)

cinematography
the process of capturing moving images on film or some other medium
shot
one uninterrupted run of the camera; can be as short or as long as the director wants, but it cannot exceed the length of the film stock in the camera
take
an indication of the number of times a particular shot is taken
setup
one camera position and everything associated with it; setup is the basic component of the film's production
camera crew
technicians that make yo two separate groups--once concerned with the camera, the other concerned with electricity and lighting
camera operator
the member of the camera crew who does the actual shooting
assistant cameraperson
AC
AC
member of the camera crew who assists the camera operator
first AC
oversees everything having to do with the camera, lenses, supporting equipment, and the material on which the movie is being shot
second AC
prepares the slate that is used to identify each scene as it is being filmed, files camera reports, feeds film stock into magazines to be loaded into the camera
slate
the board or other device that is used to identify each scene during shooting
gaffer
the chief electrician on a movie production set
best boy
first assistant electrician to the gaffer on a movie production set
grip
all-around handy person on a movie production set, most often working with the camera crews and electrical crews
film stock
celluloid used to record movies; two types: one for black-and-white and the other for color; each type is manufactured in several standard formats
format / gauge
the dimensions of a film stock and its perforations, and the size and shape of the image frame as seen on the screen; extend from super 8mm through 70mm (and beyond into such specialized formats as IMAX), but they are generally limited to three standards: 8mm, 16mm, and 35mm
film-stock speed
exposure index; the rate at which film must move through the camera to correctly capture an image very fast film requires little light to capture and fix the image; very slow film requires a lot of light
colorization
the use of digital technology, in a process similar to hand-tinting, to "paint" colors on movies meant to be seen in black and white
additive color systems
in early filmmaking, techniques used to add color to black-and-white images, including hand-coloring, stenciling, tinting, and toning
subtractive color systems
adopted in the 1930s, this technique involved shooting three separate black-and-white negatives through three light filters, each representing a primary color (red, green blue); certain color components were subtracted from each of the three emulsion layers, creating a positive image in natural color
widescreen aspect ratio
any aspect ratio wider than 1.33:1, the standard ratio until the early 1950s
focusable spotlight
a lamp that produces hard, mirrorlike light that can be directed to precise locations
floodlight
a lamp that produces soft (diffuse) light
reflector board
a piece of lighting equipment, but not really a lighting instrument, because it does not rely on bulbs to produce illumination; a double-sided board that pivots in a U-shaped holder; one side is a hard, smooth surface that reflects hard light; the other side is a soft, textured surface that reflects softer fill light
three-point system
perhaps the best-known lighting convention in feature filmmaking, a system that employs three sources of light--key light, fill light, and black light--each aimed from a different direction and position in relation to the subject
key light
also known as main light or source light; the brightest light falling on a subject
fill light
lighting, positioned at the opposite side of the camera from the key light, that can fill in the shadows created by the brighter key light; may come from a reflector board
lighting ratio
the relationship and balance between illumination and shadow--the balance between key light and fill light; if the ratio is high, shadows are deep, resulting in low-key lighting; if the ratio is low, shadows are faint or non-existent and illumination is even, resulting in high-key lighting
low-key lighting
lighting that creates strong contrasts; sharp, dark shadows; and an overall gloomy atmosphere; its contrasts between light and dark often imply ethical judgments
high-key lighting
lighting that produces an image with very little contrast between darks and lights; its even, flat illumination expresses virtually no opinions about the subject being photographed
backlight
lighting, usually positioned behind and in line with the subject and the camera, used to create highlights on the subject as a means of separating it from the background and increasing its appearance of three-dimensionality
production values
the amount of human and physical resources devoted to the image, including the style of its lighting; helps fettering the overall style of a film
lens
the piece of transparent material in a camera that focuses the image on the film being exposed; four major types are the short-focal-length, the middle-focal-length, the long-focal-length, and the zoom
aperture
also known as gate; the camera opening that defines at the area of each frame of film exposed
iris
an adjustable diaphragm that limits the amount of light passing through the lens of a camera
focal length
the distance from the optical center of a lens to the focal point (the film plane that the cameraperson wants to keep in focus) when the lens is focused at infinity
short-focal-length lens
also known as wide-angle lens; creates the illusion of depth within a frame, albeit some distortion at the edges of the frame
long-focal-length lens
also known as telephoto lens; flattens the space and depth of an image and thus distorts perspectival relations
middle-focal-length lens
also known as normal lens; does not distort perspectival relations
zoom lens
also known as variable-focal-length lens; moved toward or away from the subject being photographed, has a continuously variable focal length, helps reframe a shot within a take; permits the camera operator during shooting to shift between wide-angle and telephoto lenses without changing the focus or aperture settings
prime lenses
lenses that have fixed focal lengths
depth of field
the distance in front of a camera and its lens in which objects are in apparent sharp focus
plane
any of the three theoretical areas--foreground, middle ground, background--within the frame
framing
the process by which the cinematographer determines what will appear within the borders of the moving image (the frame) during a shot
extreme long shot, XLS or ELS
a shot that is typically photographed far enough away from the subject that the subject is too small to be recognized, except through the context we see, which usually includes a wide view of the location, as well as general background information
establishing shot
a shot whose purpose is to briefly establish the viewer's sense of the setting of a scene--the relationship of figures in that scene to the environment around them; this shot is often, but not always, an extreme long shot
long shot, LS
also known as full-body shot; shows the full human body, usually filling the frame, and some of its surroundings
medium long shot, MLS
also known as plan american or american shot shows a character from the knees up and includes most of a person's body
medium shot, MS
showing the human body, usually from the waist up
close-up, CU
often shows a part of the body filling the frame--traditionally a face, but possibly a hand, eye, or mouth
medium close-up, MCU
shows a character from the middle of the chest to the top of the head; provides a view of the face that catches minor changes in expression, as well as some detail about the character's posture
extreme close-up, XCU or ECU
a very close shot of a particular detail, such as a person's eye, a ring on a finger, or a watch face
two-shot
two characters appear
three-shot
three characters appear
rule of thirds
a principle of composition that enables filmmakers to maximize the potential of the image, balance its elements, and create the illusion of depth; a grid pattern, when superimposed on the image, divides the image into horizontal thirds representing the foreground, middle ground, and background planes and into vertical thirds that break those planes into additional elements
shooting angle
the level and height of the camera in relation to the subject being photographed
eye-level shot
made from the obrserver's eye level and usually implies that the observer's attitude is neutral toward the subject being photographed
high-angle shot
also known as high shot or down shot; made with the camera above the action and that typically implies the observer's sense of superiority to the subject being photographed
low-angle shot
also known as low shot; made with the camera below the action and that typically places the observer in a position of inferiority
dutch-angle shot
also known as dutch shot or oblique-angle shot; the camera is tilted from its normal horizontal and vertical positions so that is is no longer straight, giving the viewer the impression that the world in the frame is out of balance
aerial-view shot
also known as bird's-eye-view shot; an omniscient-point-of-view shot that is taken from an aircraft or extremely high crane and implies that the observer can see all
scale
the size and placement of a particular object or a part of a scene in relation to the rest--a relationship determined by the type of shot used and the placement of the camera
pan shot
the horizontal movement of a camera mounted on the gyroscopic head of a stationary tripod; it is a simple movement with dynamic possibilities for creating meaning
tilt shot
the vertical movement of a camera mounted on the gyroscopic head of a stationary tripod; it is a simple movement with dynamic possibilities for creating meaning
dolly shot
also known as traveling shot; taken by a dolly
dolly
a wheeled support for a camera that permits the cinematographer to make noiseless moving shots
dolly in
slow movement of the camera toward a subject, making the subject appear larger and more significant; such a gradual intensification is commonly used at moments of a character's realization and/or decision, to as a point-of-view shot to indicate the reason for the character's realization
dolly-out
movement of the camera away from the subject that is often used for slow disclosure, which occurs when an edited succession of images leads from A to B to C as they gradually reveal the elements of a scene; each image expanded on the one before, thereby changing its significance with new information
tracking shot
made when the camera mounted on a dolly runs on tracks, or when the camera is mounted to a crane or an aerial device
zoom-in
the image is magnified by movement of the camera's lens only, without the camera itself moving
crane shot
created by movement of a camera mounted on an elevating arm (crane) that, in turn, is mounted on a vehicle that, if shooting requires it, can move on its own power or be pushed along tracks
omniscient POV
the most common point of view portrayed in movies; allows the camera to travel freely within the world of the film, showing us the narrative's events from a god-llike, unlimited perspective that no single character in the film could possibly have
single character's POV
captured by a shot made with the camera close to the line of sight of one character (or animal or surveillance camera), showing what that person would be seeing of the action
group POV
captured by a shot that shows what a group of characters would see, but at the group's level
slow motion
cinematographic technique that decelerates action on-screen; it is achieved by filming the action at a rate greater than the normal 24 fps; when the shot is then played back at the standard 24 fps, cinematic time proceeds at a slower rate than the real action that took place in front of the camera
fast motion
cinematographic technique that accelerates action on-screen; it is achieved by filming the action at a rate less than the normal 24 fps; when the shot is then played back at the standard 24 fps, cinematic time proceeds at a more rapid rate than the real action that took place in front of the camera
special effects, SPFX or FX
technology for creating images that would be too dangerous, too expensive, or in some cases, simply impossible to achieve with traditional cinematographic materials; the goal is generally to create verisimilitude within the imaginative world of even the most fanciful movie
in-camera effects
created in the production camera (the regular camera used for shooting the rest of the film) on the original negative
mechanical effects
created by an object or event mechanically on the set and in front of the camera
laboratory effects
created in the laboratory through processing and printing
CGI
computer-generated imagery
process shot
live shooting against a background that is front- or rear-projected on a translucent screen