CINEMATOGRAPHY

Accelerated Montage: A sequence edited into progressively shorter shots to create a mood of tension and excitement. 

Actual sound: Sound whose source is made by an object or person in the scene.

Ambient light: The natural light surrounding the subject. 

Angle of View: The angle intrinsic to the lens type. Wide angle lenses have a broad angle view; Telephoto lenses have a very narrow angle view. 

Anamorphic Lens: A camera lens that squeezes a wide image to conform to the dimensions of standard frame width. The anamorphic lens on the projector then unsqueezes the image. 

Art Director: The designer, in charge of sets and costumes. Sometimes a major contributor to a film, play or theatre production. 

Aspect Ratio: The ratio of the height of the film or television image. In Europe 1.66 :1 is most common; in North America 1.85: 1. Cinemascope and Panavision are even wider, 2 :1 and 2.55: 1. 

Asynchronous Sound: Sound which does not operate in unison with the image. 

Backlighting: The main source of light is behind the subject, silhouetting it, and directed toward the camera. 

Camera Angle: The angle at which the camera is pointed at the subject: low, high, or tilt. Not to be confused with angle of view. 

Cell: Each of the thousands of individual drawings done on clear cellulose sheets used in traditional animation. Many (12-24 per second) sequenced drawings of each phase of the subject's movement are required to give the illusion of motion. 

Chiaroscuro: The technique of using light and shade in pictorial representation to enhance the three dimensional effect, or the arrangement of light and dark elements. In Italian, "clear” and "dark". 

Cinematographer: Also known as the "Director of Photography."  Responsible for the camera and lighting, and therefore, the quality of the image.

Closeup: 1) Precisely, a shot of the subject's face only. 2) Generally, any close shot. 

Continuity: The script supervisor is in charge of the continuity of a film production, making sure that details in one shot will match details in another, even though the shots may be filmed weeks or months apart. Continuity is guided by the script supervisor's detailed records of Takes. 

Crane Shot: A shot taken from a crane, a device resembling the "cherrypickers" used by telephone linemen. D.W. Griffiths "Intolerance" contains the first use of crane shots orchestrated by Griffiths and his cinematographer Billy Sitzer. 

Cross-cutting: Intermingling shots from two or more scenes through editing to suggest parallel action. 

Crosslighting: Lighting from the side. 

Cut: In a film or television, a switch from one image to another. 

Cutaway: A shot inserted in a scene to show action at another location, usually brief, and most often used to cover breaks in the main take. See also "reaction shot." 

Decoupage: The design of the film, the arrangement of its shots. "Decoupage Classique" is the French term for the old Hollywood style of seamless narration. 

Deep Focus: A technique favoured by Realists, in which objects very near the camera as well as those far away are in focus at the same time.  Used effectively Orson Welles' realist epic, "Citizen Kane." 

Definition: Same as Resolution: the power of the filmstock to define the elements of an image-a measure of the grain from fine to coarse. Filmstock is chosen for its effects in definition, colour temperature, etc. 

Depth of Field: The range of distances from the camera at which the subject is acceptably sharp. 

Detail shot: Usually more magnified than a Closeup. A shot of a hand, eye, mouth, flower petal, texture etc. 

Diaphragm: The device which controls the amount of light passing through the lens. 

Dissolve: The superimposition of a fading in or fading out of the image. 

Dolby: A system of recording sound which greatly mutes the background noise inherent in film and tape reproduction. 

Dolly: A set of wheels and a platform upon which a camera can be mounted to give it mobility. 

Dolly Shot: A shot taken from a moving Dolly. Almost synonymous with a Tracking Shot or Follow Shot. 

Dub: To re-record dialogue in a language other than the original. Or to record dialogue or singing in a specially equipped studio after the film has been shot. 

Editor: The cutter - the person who determines the narrative structure of a film - in charge of the work of splicing shots of a film together into final form. 

Establishing Shot: Generally, a Long Shot that shows the audience the general location of the scene that follows, often providing essential information and orienting the viewer. 

Exposure: A measure of the amount of light striking the surface of the film. Film can be intentionally overexposed to give a light, washed-out, dreamlike quality to the image, or it can be underexposed to make the image darker, muddy and foreboding or gloomy. 

Fade In and Fade Out: A punctuation device which scenes are introduced  or concluded by either making the image gradually appear to full brightness from black: Fade In. Or, to make the image dissolve slowly to blackness: Fade Out. 

Filter Light: An auxiliary light usually from the side of the subject or bounced from a surface to soften shadows or illuminate areas not covered by the Key Light (main light source). 

Final Cut: The film as it will be released. The guarantee of final cut assures a filmmaker that the producer will not be able to revise the film after the filmmaker has finished it. 

Fish-eye Lens: An extreme Wide Angle Lens that has an angle of view approaching 180 degrees. It greatly distorts the image. 

Flash Cutting: Editing the film into shots of very brief duration that succeed each other rapidly. 

F-stop: The size of the opening of the diaphragm. The higher the F-stop, the smaller the opening, the less light enters the camera and the longer the Depth-of- Field. 

Focus In and Focus Out: Can be used as a punctuation device where the image gradually comes into or out of focus. 

Front Projection: Live action is filmed against a highly reflective screen. An image from a slide or movie projector is projected on the screen by means of mirrors along the axis of the taking lens so that there are no visible shadows cast by the actors. Since the screen is exceptionally reflective, and since the live actors are well lit, no image from the projector is visible on the actors or objects in front of the screen. This system was perfected by Douglas Trumbull for Kubrick's "2001. A Space Odyssey". Digital editing systems are slowly replacing this system, as seen in the more recent Forrest Gump.  The sequence where Forrest shakes hands with President Kennedy is a merger of digitized archival footage with new cut-out footage of Tom Hanks. 

Hand-Held: Since the development of lightweight portable cameras, hand-held shots have become much more common. See Direct Cinema. 

High Key: Where the Key Light is very bright, often producing shadows. 

Insert Shot: A detail shot that gives specific and relevant information necessary to complete the understanding of the meaning of a scene. 

Jump Cut: A cut that occurs within a scene rather than between scenes, to condense the shot, It can effectively eliminate dead periods, such as between the time a character enters a room and the time he reaches his destination on the other side of the room. When used according to certain rules, Jump Cuts are unobtrusive. But in "Breathless" Jean-Luc Godard deliberately inserted jump cuts in shots where they would be quite obvious. Godard used other disruptive devices in order to challenge the viewers' perception and conventional ways of seeing. 

Long Shot: Usually includes full figures or more of the scene. 

Macro lens: A lens that can focus to a very close distance from the surface of the subject. 

Macro Zoom Lens: A lens first developed by Canon Corp. that can focus from 1 mm to infinity and can zoom as well.  

Master Shot: A long take of an entire scene, generally a relatively Long Shot that facilitates the assembly of component closer shots and details. 

Medium Shot: A shot intermediate between a Closeup and a Full Shot.

Mise En Scene: The term usually denotes that part of the cinematic process that takes place on the set, as opposed to Montage, which takes place afterwards during editing. Literally, "putting in the scene".. the direction of actors, placement of cameras, choice of lenses, etc. Mise en Scene is more important to Realists, Montage to Expressionists. 

Model Shot: A shot using miniature models to represent real objects or locations. 

Montage: 1) Simply Editing. 2) Eisenstein's idea that adjacent shots should relate to each other in such a way that A and B combine to produce another meaning, C, which is not actually recorded on the film but is implied through the juxtaposition of types of shots, character portrayal, pacing, etc. 3) "Dynamic Cutting": a highly stylized form of editing, often with the purpose of providing a lot of information in a short period of time. 

Narrative: Story; the linear, chronological structure of a story.  

Over-the-shoulder Shot: A shot commonly used in dialogue scenes in which the speaker is seen from the perspective of a person standing just behind and a little to one side of the listener, so that the parts of the head and shoulder of the listener, as well as the head of the speaker, are in the frame

Pan: Movement of the camera from left to right around the imaginary vertical axis that runs through the camera. Usually covers a range of movement which can include a 180 degree vista. 

Panavision: Now the most widely used Anamorphic process, it has largely superseded other similar processes. Uses 7Omm filmstock with a 1:1.25 squeeze ratio. 

Reaction Shot: A shot that cuts away from the main scene or speaker in order to show a character's reaction to it. 

Scene: A complete unit of film narration. A series of shots or a single shot that takes place in a single location and that deal with a single action. 

Tilt Shot: The camera tilts up or down, rotating around the axis that runs from the left to right through the camera head. 

Tracking Shot: Generally, any shot in which the camera moves from one point to another either sideways, towards the subject or away from the subject.  


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