One continuous piece of film footage, ending with an edit, or cut to the next shot.
A series of shots combined to represent a discrete set of actions or a coherent narrative section.
Similar to a "sequence," a series of shots combined to represent a set of actions happening within the same time and place.
Anything repeated more than a few times in a film. A motif can be visual (an image or cinematic technique), sonic (a sound or piece of music), or rhetorical (a word, phrase, metaphor, etc.).
A term used to define the ways in which the camera captures the shot. Under the heading of cinematography, we speak of such things as the different lenses used by the camera, how the camera frames the shot, the angle of the camera relative to the action, and how the camera moves.
Refers to how the individual shots are spliced together. The norm here is "continuity editing," in which shots are put together to achieve narrative continuity—to make the action appear to flow logically and naturally from shot to shot
Literally meaning "put into the scene," this term refers to the arrangement of actors and objects in front of the camera. Setting, lighting, costuming, and acting are aspects of mise-en-scène.
Refers to both the sounds that come from the scene itself, such as spoken dialogue or ambient noise, and the sounds that are imposed on the scene, such as voice-overs or musical scores.
Extreme Long Shot
A shot of a character's full figure at a great distance, including a panoramic view of the surroundings.
A shot that includes a character's full figure as well as the surroundings.
A shot that captures a figure from the waist up
The frame is filled primarily by the subject's face, including little to no background.
A shot filled entirely by a small part of the subject's body.
The camera looks down at the subject
The camera looks up at the subject
A shot in which the framing is tipped, or no longer horizontal
The camera scans horizontally from a fixed axis
The camera scans vertically from a fixed axis
The camera follows the action, travelling along a parallel path to capture the movement.
Also called a "telephoto lens," this long focal length lens is used to capture subjects at a distance. It foreshortens the distance between background and foreground
A short focal length lens that emphasizes the distance between foreground and background.
Objects in the background and foreground are equally in focus.
Only objects in one plane are in focus, while others are out of focus.
A shift from one plane of focus to another within a shot.
Changes focal length to create motion towards or away from the subject.
Images are overlaid within the frame
Images created or modified by computer software
Text from outside the world of the narrative appearing on screen to supply information to the audience.
Text that appears on screen from within the world of the narrative.
The process of putting shots together to create the impression of continuous narrative time and/or visually coherent space.
180 Degree Rule
A principle of continuity editing dictating that the camera remain on one side of the action to maintain the viewer's perspective and understanding of the left-right spatial relationship between characters.
Alternating shots between subjects, usually in conversation, viewed from different camera positions.
Transitioning back and forth between two or more action sequences taking place simultaneously.
A cut between a shot of a person looking towards an object and a shot of the object being viewed.
Match on Action
A cut that transitions between two different views of the same action so that the action appears continuous from one shot to the next.
A cut that relates consecutive shots through repeated compositional features (shapes, colors, patterns, etc.).
A cut that distorts continuity, skipping ahead in time or space.
The spatial parameters of a shot within which the scene is composed.
The arrangement of subjects, props, and environments within a given shot.
A film set in a distinctive past era, costumed and decorated in the particular style of the period.
Level of Realism
The degree to which the world of the film resembles the audience's familiar reality.
Three Point Lighting
Standard lighting using three light sources: a key light to provide the main source of illumination along with a fill light from another side and back light from behind.
Nearly all parts of the image are brightly illuminated.
Extreme contrast between light and dark within an image.
The use of strong contrasts between light and dark to create a sense of visual drama or a sense of volume and dimension to the space and the figures within it.
Level of Realism
The degree to which the actors' dramatic choices resemble real-life human behavior and interaction.
Performance conventions that change with time period and type of film.
Sound produced in the world of the film, taking place within the narrative (dialogue, sound effects, etc.)
Sound originating from outside the narrative, not produced in the on-screen setting (voice-overs, soundtrack, etc.).
A transition assisted by a continuous sound from one scene to the next, often to introduce a new scene before it appears visually.