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Film Terminology

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  1. Film Terminology The buzz words that make movie buffs true movie buffs.

  2. Shot: what is recorded by a single, uninterrupted operation of the camera when a camera starts to where it stops Scene: section of film of continuous action taking place in continuous time and space usually contains multiple shots Scene vs. Shot

  3. Cut: 1. action of stopping the film (“Cut!”) 2. a strip of film 3. joining separate shots together. 4. a version of a movie (“director’s cut”) Take: a version of a shot

  4. Frame:(3 definitions) 1. a single picture from a strip of film 2. borders of the projected film on a screen 3. to position the camera in such a way that the subject is kept within the borders of the image Collin Farrel in Phone Booth (2002)

  5. Widescreen/Letterbox: a VHS or DVD version that is shown with the same dimensions and ratios as the original (or close to it) theater version Return of the King (2004) http://www.widescreen.org/widescreen.shtml

  6. The Mummy (1999) Cutthroat Island (1995)

  7. Intertitles/ title cards: D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation (1915) printed material that appears periodically on the screen, most often used in silent films to give exposition, dialogue, thoughts, descriptions not shown.

  8. Mise-en-scène: French for “staging”; the composition and arrangement of a shot The Graduate (1967) The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

  9. The Searchers (1956) Rain Man (1988)

  10. Montage: type of editing in which brief shots are used to present a condensation of time and events http://www.movie-montage.com/trainingMontages.php

  11. Voice-over: off-camera narration or commentary. narrating I —a storyteller, usually a part of the movie voice of God –a disembodied, objective voice with no part in the story voice from the machine —not the voice of God, but a random voice that tries to wrap up the ending repetitive voice over –voice from a character reverberating in another character’s head, usually previous dialogue and more!

  12. Types of Shots… Close Up (CU): shot of the head Close Shot (CS): shot of the head and shoulders Braveheart (1995) Pirates of the Caribbean (2003)

  13. Long Shot (LS) Aka: the Full Shot (FS): a shot of the entire person and much of the background The Matrix Reloaded (2003) Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) Pirates of the Caribbean (2003)

  14. Medium Shot (MS): a shot between a close shot and a long shot Bourne Identity (2002) House of Flying Daggers (2004)

  15. Extreme Close Up (ECU): close up of a specific body part: eye, mouth, etc Extreme Long Shot (ELS): broad, panoramic view Fellowship of the Rings (2001) War of the Worlds (2005)

  16. Establishing Shot (ES): a shot which defines and area or setting The Searchers (1956)

  17. Shot-reverse-shot: alternating shots of characters in a conversation so that the first person is seen, then the other Notice how the camera is over this fellow’s shoulder. What is the next shot in the film? When Harry Met Sally (1989)

  18. Objective Shot: Represents what the camera sees Subjective Shot: Represents what a character sees Memento (2000)

  19. Random picture of a tunnel in Scotland How did Dark Passage (1947) use subjective shots? Imagine a character is walking down a dark passageway. What would it look like from a subjective shot?

  20. Pan: camera placed on a stationary base and pivots horizontally. A swish pan is one that moves quickly to create blur. Tilt: when a camera moves vertically up and down Tracking Shot: a camera mounted often on a track or on a vehicle; the camera moves with the action.

  21. Fade: Fade-out (FO) when the light decreases to (usually) blackness. Fade-in (FI) when darkness gradually becomes lighter. It doesn’t have to be blackness. Can be bright, like Return of the King’s three fades The Truman Show (1998)

  22. Dissolve: outgoing and incoming images merge—one disappears to be replaced by another. Form dissolve is when similar frames fade (bodies in the same location) Edward Scissorhands (1990)

  23. Iris Shot: a masking shot in which everything is blacked out except for one portion, usually in the shape of a circle, but often times a key hole, binoculars, etc.

  24. Wipe: One shot is pushed off the frame by another shot replacing it.