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11 AP English Visual Rhetoric Terms

Visual Track

These are the images on the screen. They could be primary footage shot by the filmmaker, cutaways that support or counter the other visuals, perhaps shot by the filmmaker, or they could be found footage from some other source to support the new film's purpose.

Audio Track

This is the sound viewers hear during the film. It could include the voices and dialogue of people in the film, as well as narration, music, and sound effects.

Text Track (or Graphic Track)

This is the written information that appears on the screen that has been added by the filmmaker in postproduction. Examples are subtitles, identifications, charts, and graphs.


People in the frame, what they look like, and what that communicates.


Objects/scenery behind the central figures and the atmosphere and message these objects/scenery create.

Framing (or Marginalizing)

The thing centered in the shot. It could be a close-up, medium, or long-shot. Could also be something near the edge or even cut off.


If the scene is light or dark, filled with shadows or is clear.


Color that dominates the scene and the feelings that the color could produce.

Eye Level Shot

The most natural camera position, so the subjects are straight ahead.

High Angle Shot

Position of the camera above its subject, which suggests weakness or diminishment.

Low Angle Shot

Position of camera is below its subject, which suggests power or dominance.

Aerial Shot

An extreme high angle shot is used to establish or emphasize the location.

Bird's Eye View Shot

An extreme high angle shot that is directly overhead and tends to distort an image.

Over-the-shoulder Shot

Camera is placed behind a person looking over his/her shoulder.

Point of View Shot

Camera shows what a character is actually seeing. (Can be shot from the cameraman's point-of-view)

Patterns and Grouping

Possibility of repeating images, people/items being posed, and a relation between the people or objects in the frame.

Camera Tracking

Camera moves horizontally through space (as though rolling on a track).

Camera Panning

Camera swivels horizontally on a fixed base.

Close-up Shot

Looking very closely at an object to emphasize an effect it has on the shot.

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