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Lit and film terminology
Terms in this set (41)
A shot whose purpose is to briefly establish the viewer's sense of the setting of a scene. Almost always an extreme long shot.
extreme long shot
A shot that is typically far enough away from the subject that the subject is too small to be recognized. Usually includes a wide view of a location or general background
aerial view shot
An omniscient-point-of-view shot that is taken from an aircraft or crane.
A shot that shows the full human body, usually filling the frame.
medium long shot
A shot that shows the character from the knees (or anywhere between the knees and waist) up and includes most of the body.
medium close up
A shot that shows a character from the middle of the chest (or above the waist) to the top of the head. It catches minor changes in expression and some details of the character's posture.
A shot that often shows a part of the body filling the frame.
extreme close up
A very close shot of a particular detail, such as a person's eye, a ring on a finger, or a watch face. It should be a part of a whole, made large enough to fill the frame.
A shot that is created by movement of a camera mounted on an elevated arm (crane) that in turn is mounted on a vehicle that can move along tracks.
Slow movement of the camera toward a subject, making the subject appear larger in the frame
. A shot that has the camera moving on a track. It feels like the viewer is moving with the action of the shot.
Slow movement of the camera away from a subject that is often used for slow disclosure - a process of gradually revealing the elements of a scene
A shot taken from a camera held by an operator either on the shoulder or in the hands. The resulting shot generally shows movement that suggests the perspective of someone running or walking.
The horizontal movement of a camera mounted on the head of a tripod.
The vertical movement of a camera mounted on the head of a tripod.
A shot in which the image is magnified by movement of the camera's lens only, without the camera itself moving.
low angle shot
A shot that is made with camera below the action and places the observer (through the eyes of a character) in a position of inferiority.
high angle shot
A shot that is made with camera above the action and places the observer (through the eyes of another character) in a position of superiority or power over the subject.
dutch 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.
This shot is used to highlight something by placing it in a circle. In the early days they used a black border to make this obvious, but it can be any creative use of a circle where the viewer is being shown something of importance.
deep space composition
An approach to composition within a frame that places figures/characters in all three planes (background, middleground, and foreground) of the frame, thus creating an illusion of depth. Often shot with deep-focus cinematography.
A change of the point of focus from one subject to another within the same shot. It guides our attention to a new, clearly focused point of interest while blurring the previous subject in the shot.
180 degree rule
The fundamental means by which filmmakers maintain consistent screen direction, orienting the viewer and ensuring a sense of the cinematic space in which the action occurs.
The process by which the cinematographer determines what will appear within the borders of the moving image (frame) during a shot. This is done to draw attention to people, items, or symbolic things within a shot.
an approach to framing the shot that implies that a character is constrained
a frame from which a character or object can theoretically leave
Consists of cuts between shots of different characters, usually in a conversation or confrontation. Sometimes framed over one another's shoulder (180 degree rule), but other times only one character is onscreen at a time.
style of editing that seeks to achieve smoothness, sequential flow, and the temporal and spatial orientation of viewers.
eye-line match cut
An editing transition that shows us what a particular character is looking at. The cut joins two shots: (1) the character's face, with his/her eyes visible (2) whatever the character is looking at. When it involves two people, the shots establish their proximity and interaction.
Editing that cuts between two or more lines of action, often implied to be occurring at the same time but in different locations.
match on action cut
A match cut that shows us the continuation of a character's or object's motion through space without actually showing the entire action.
An editing technique that expands viewing time and adds emphasis to an action or movement by repeating it a number of times.
. In the pre-digital era, the act of gluing or taping together shots to form a continuous whole.
fade in/ 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 a color film, or fades out to a black field (or color field)
The overall look and feel of a movie - the sum of everything the audience sees, hears, and experiences while viewing it.
. A sequence of shots, often with superimpositions and optical effects, showing a condensed series of events. This can show years go by, or minutes.
The process of editing different shots together in such a way that the resulting sequencing makes us aware of the POV of a particular character or group of characters. Most frequently, it starts with an objective shot of a character looking toward something outside of the frame and then cuts to a shot of the object, person, or action that the character is supposed to be looking at.
Point of view (POV)
The position from which a film presents the action of the story; not only the relation of narrator(s) to the story but also the camera's act of seeing and hearing. The two fundamental types are omniscient and restricted.
The most common POV in film. It allows the camera to travel freely, almost godlike in its view of the world.
Providing a view from the perspective of a single character. It reveals information to the audience only as a specific character learns it.
POV that is captured by a shot made with the camera close to the line of sight of one character showing what the character would see.
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