48 terms

Film Studies Vocabulary

Film studies vocabulary
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Long shot
Shot taken from a distance. Shows full subject. A shot that shows the full human body, usually filling the frame, and some of its surroundings.
Establishing shot
Sets the scene or emphasizes setting
Close up
Image being shot takes up at least 80% of the screen
Medium shot
Subjects seen from waist up/knees up (knees up shot aka American Shot)
Low key lighting
Darkness and shadows. Often create suspense/ suspicion
High key lighting
Light, bright, open looking. Creates warmth and happiness
Neutral lighting
Lighting is not intentionally manipulated.
Bottom/side lighting
Direct lighting from below or side. Associated with secrecy, dangerous or evilness, moral ambiguity, slit personalities
Soft focus
Intentional edge blur. Innocence, new life
Rack focus
When the director shifts the focus from one object to another in the same scene. Changes attention. Signifies power or significance.
Deep focus
When the foreground and background are in the same focus.
Low angle
Shooting subject from below. Makes them look important and powerful.
Eye level
Natural angle.
Dutch angle
Tilted sideways on a horizontal line. Adds tension to static frame. Sinister/distorted view of character.

"Also known as Dutch Shot or oblique-angle shot. A shot in which the camera is tilted from its normal horizontal and vertical positions so that it is no longer straight, giving the viewer the impression that the world in the frame is out of balance."
Ex: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTPE81N7EFs
Dolly shots
Camera moves with action on a track. Often used in "walk and talk"
Pan
Camera pivots along the horizontal axis left or right. To take in scenery.
Tilt
The camera is stationary and rotates in a vertical plane (up/down rather than left/right). Results in a motion similar to someone nodding their head "yes". Often used to emphasize setting or do a slow reveal of a subject.
Zoom
Lens moves, but not camera. Object appears bigger or smaller depending on focal length. Often used to create an intense mood and develop characterization.
Fade
Scene fades to black. Often implies that time has passed.
Dissolve
One image fades into another. Creates connection between scenes.
Crosscut
Cut between 2 scenes that are happening simultaneously.
Eye line match
Shot of a person looking, cut to what they're looking at.
Cutaways
Single shot is inserted into a sequence of shots that momentarily interrupt the action. It is usually, although not always, followed by a cut back to the first shot.

Examples: For example, if the main shot is of a man walking down an alley, a possible ___ may include a shot of a cat on a nearby dumpster or a shot of a person watching from a window overhead.
Diegetic
Sound that can logically be heard by the characters. Noise in the film.
Nondiegetic
Sounds that aren't heard by characters in the film. Theme music, voiceover, etc.
Overhead shot
this depicts the action or subject from high above, sometimes looking directly down on it
Cinematography
The techniques which have to do with how the camera is positioned and moved, and how the film stock is manipulated
Editing
The process by which the editor combines and coordinates individual shots into a cinematic whole; the basic creative force of cinema.
Mise en scene
All of the elements placed in front of the camera to be photographed: the settings and props, lighting, costumes and makeup, and figure behavior.
Props
objects used by the actors in the production of a film
Montage
a quick succession of images or impressions used to express an idea, often one not indicated by the individual shots themselves
Fade-in vs. Fade-out
Transitional devices in which a shot fades in
from a black field on black-and-white film or from a color field on color film, or fades out to a black field (or a color field).
High angle shot
Camera is above. Makes things look small, even weak and powerless.
Chiaroscuro
Film lighting technique using a bold contrast between light and dark
Camera Angle
The position of the camera in relation to the subject it shows: above it looking down (high angle); on the same level (straight on angle); looking up (low angle
Extreme Close Up
A very tight shot focusing on one small detail
Three Point Lighting
Classic use of three lighting elements to light a subject in a scene. The three elements are: key light, fill light and back light.
Extreme Long Shot
A wide angle shot from a great distance, such as an aerial or high angle shot of a location
Two Shot
A medium or close shot wide enough for two people.
Over the Shoulder Shot
A shot that shows a character's point of view, but includes part of that character's shoulder or head
Key Light
Primary source of illumination. Creates the dominant area that first attracts the eye
Fill Light
Dimmer lights that soften the shadows and reveal details otherwise hidden in shadow
Back Light
Lift from behind the subject. Can create a romantic silhouette or halo effect.
Bird's Eye View
"God shot" shot directly overhead.
Point of View shot
A shot taken with the camera placed approximately where the character's eyes would be, showing what the character would see; usually cut in before or after a shot of the character looking.
Tracking shot
a shot produced with a camera that moves smoothly alongside, behind, or ahead of the action
Crane Shot
a shot taken from a camera mounted on a crane that can vary distance, height, and angle
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