Glossary - abstract form A type of filmic organization in...

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Unformatted text preview: abstract form A type of filmic organization in which the parts relate to one another through repetition and variation of such visual qualities as shape, color, rhythm, and direction of movement. Academy ratio The standardized shape'of the film frame estab- lished by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In the original ratio, the frame was 11/3 times as wide as it was high (1.33:1); later the width was normalized at 1.85 times the height (1.85:1). aerial perspective A cue‘for suggesting represented depth in the image by presenting objects in the distance less distinctly than those in the foreground. anamorphic lens A lens for making widescreen films using reg— ular Academy ratio frame size. The camera lens takes in a wide field of View and squeezes it onto the frame, and a similar projec— tor lens unsqueezes the image onto a wide theater screen. angle of framing The position of the frame in relation to the subject it shows: above it, looking down (a high angle); horizontal, on the same level (a straight-on angle); looking up (a low angle). Also called “camera angle.” animation Any process whereby artificial movement is created by photographing a series of drawings (see also cel animation), ob~ jects,'or computer images one by one. Small changes in position, . recoided frame by frame, create the illusion of movement. aspect ratio The relationship of the frame’s width to its height. The standard Academy ratio is currently 1.85:1. associational form A type of organization in which the film’s parts are juxtaposed to suggest similarities, contrasts, concepts, emotions, and expressive qualities. asynchronous sound Sound that is not matched temporally with the movements occurring in the image, as when dialogue is out of synchronization with lip movements. auteur The presumed or actual “author” of a film, usually iden- tified as the director. Also sometimes used in an evaluative sense to distinguish good filmmakers (auteurs) from bad ones. axis of action In the continuity editing system, the imaginary line that passes from side to side through the main actors, defining the spatial relations of all the elements of the scene as being to the right or left. The camera is not supposed to cross the axis at a cut and thus reverse those Spatial relations. Also called the “180° line.” (See also 180° system.) backlighting Illumination cast onto the figures in the scene from the side opposite the camera, usually creating a thin outline of highlighting on those figures. boom A pole upon which a microphone can be suspended above the scene being filmed and which is used to change the micro» phone’s position as the action shifts. camera angle See angle of framing. canted framing A View in which the frame is not level; either the right or left side is lower than the other, causing objects in the ‘ scene to appear slanted out of an upright position. categorical form A type of filmic organization in which the parts treat distinct subsets of a topic. For example, a film about the United States might be organized into fifty parts, each devoted to a single state. cel animation Animation that uses a series of drawings on pieces of celluloid, called “eels” for short. Slight changes between the drawings combine to create an illusion of movement. CGI “Computer-generated imagery”: Using digital software sys— tems to create figures, settings, or other materialin the frame. cheat cut In the continuity editing system, a out which presents continuous time from shot to shot but which mismatches the posi— tions of figures or objects. cinematography A general term for all the manipulations of the film strip by the camera in the shooting phase and by the labora— tory in the developing phase. close-up A framing in which the scale of the object shown is relatively large; most commonly a person’s head seen from the neck up, or an object of a comparable size that fills most of the screen. closure The degree to which the ending of a narrative film re— veals the effects of all the causal events and resolves (or “closes off”) all lines of action. continuity editing A system of cutting to maintain continuons and clear narrative action. Continuity editing relies upon matching screen direction, position, and temporal relations from shot to shot. For specific techniques of continuity editing, see axis of action, crosscutting, cur—in, establishing shot, eyeline march, march on ac- tion, reestablishng shot, screen direction, shot/reverse Shot. contrast In cinematography, the difference between the brightest and darkest areas within the frame. crane shot A shot with a change in framing accomplished by having the camera above the ground and moving through the air in any direction. crosscutting Editing that alternates shots of two or more lines of action occurring in different places, usually simultaneously. 429 430 Glossary cut I. In filmmaking, the joining of two strips of film together with a splice. 2..ln the finished film, an instantaneous change from one framing to another. See also jump cut. cut-in An instantaneous shift from a distant framing to a closer view of some portion of the same space. deep focus A use of the camera lens and lighting that keeps both the close and distant planes being photographed in sharp focus. deeprspace An arrangement of mise—en—scen'e elements so that there is a considerable distance between the plane closest to the camera and the one farthest away. Any or all of these planes may be in focus. depth of field The measurements of the closest and farthest planes in front of the camera lens between which everything will be in sharp focus. A depth of field from, five to sixteen feet, for ex— ample, would mean everything closer than five feet and farther than sixteen feet would be out of focus. dialogue overlap In editing a scene, arranging the cut so that a bit of dialogue coming from shot A is heard under a shot which shows another character on another element in the scene. diegesis In a narrative film, the world of the film’s story. The diegesis includes events that are presumed to have occurred and ac— tions and spaces not shown onscreen. See also diegetic sound, nondiegetic insert, nondiegetic sound. diegetic sound Any voice, musical passage, or sound effect pre- sented as originating from a source within the film’s world. See also nondiegetic soundr direct sound Music, noise, and speech recorded from the event at the moment of filming; opposite of postsynchronization. discontinuity editing Any alternative system of joining shots together using techniques unacceptable within continuity editing principles. Possibilities would include mismatchian of temporal and spatial relations, violations of the axis of action, and concentration on graphic relationships. See also elliptical editing, graphic match, intellectual montage, jump cut, nondiegetic insert, overlapping edit— zng. dissolve A transition between two shots during which the first image gradually disappears while the second image gradually ap— pears; for a moment the two images blend in superimposition. distance of framing The apparent distance of the frame from the mise—en—scene elements. Also called “camera distance” and “shot scale.” See also close—up, extreme close-up, extreme long shot, medium close-up, medium shot, plan ame’ricain. distribution One of the three branches of the film industry; the process of supplying the finished film' to the places where it will be shown. See also exhibition, production, A camera support with wheels, used in making tracking doHy shots. ’ extreme long shot dubbing The process of replacing part or all of the voices on the sound track in order to correct mistakes or rcrecord dialogue. See also postsynchronization. duration In a narrative film, the aspect of temporal manipula— tion that involves the time span presented in the plot and as- sumed to operate in the stoty. See also frequency; order: editing In filmmaking, the task of selecting and joining camera takes. 2. In the finished film, the set of techniques that governs the relations among shots. ellipsis In a narrative film, the shortening of plot duration achieved by omitting intervals of story duration. See also ellipti» cal editing, viewing time. elliptical editing Shot transitions that omit parts of an event, causing an ellipsis in plot and story duration. establishing shot A shot, usually involving a distant framing, that shows the spatial relations among the important figures, ob- jects, and setting in a scene. exhibition One of the three general areas of the film industry; the process of showing the finished film to audiences. See also distribution, production. exposure The adjustment of the camera mechanism in order to control how much light strikes each frame of film passing through the aperture. external diegetic sound Sound represented as coming from a physical source within the story space and which we assume characters in the scene also hear. See also internal diegetie sound. extreme close-up A framing in which the scale of the object shown is very large; most commonly, a small object or a part of the body. A framing in which the scale of the object shown is very small; a building, landscape, or crowd of people will fill the screen. eyeline match A cut obeying the axis of action principle, in which the first shot shows a person looking off in one direction and the second shows a nearby space containing what he or she sees. If the person looks left, the following shot should imply that the looker is offscreen right. ' fade l. Fade~in: A' dark screen that gradually brightensas a shot appears. 2. Fade—out: A shot gradually darkens as the screen goes black. Occasionally, fade—outs brighten to pure white or to a color. fill light Illumination from a source less bright than the key light, used to soften deep shadows in a scene. See also three- point lighting. film noir “Dark film,” a term applied by French critics to a» “ type of American film, usually in the detectiVe or thriller genres” f 7 ' with low-key lighting and a somber mood. Mt. Glossary 4 3 l film stock The strip of material upon which a series of still pho— tographs is registered; it consists of a clear base coated on one side with a light-sensitive emulsion. filter A piece of glass or gelatin placed in front of the camera or printer lens to alter the quality or quantity of light striking the film in the aperture. - flashback An alteration of story order in which the plot moves back to show events that have taken place earlier than ones already shown. flashforward An alteration of story order in which the plot presentation moves forward to future events, then returns to the present. focal length The distance from the center of the lens to the point at which the light rays meet in sharp focus. The focal length deter- mines the perspective relations of the space represented on the flat screen. See also normal lens, telephoto lens, wide—angle lens. focus The degree to which light rays coming from the same part of an object through different parts of the lens rcconverge at the same point on the film frame, creating sharp outlines and distinct textures. following shot A shot With framing that shifts to keep a moving figure onscreen. form The general system of relationships among the parts of a film. ~ frame A single image on the strip of film. When a series of frames is projected onto a screen in quick succession, an illusion of movement is created by the spectator. framing The use of the edges of the film frame to select and to compose what will be Visible onscreen. frequency In a narrative film, the aspect of temporal manipula— tion that involves the number of times any story event is shown in the plot. See also duration, order. front projection Composite process whereby footage meant to appear as the background of a shot is projected from the front onto a screen; figures in the foreground are filmed in front of the screen as well. This is the opposite of rear projection. frontal lighting Illumination directed into the scene from a posi— tion near the camera. frontality In staging, the positioning of figures so that they face the viewer. function The role or effect of any element within the film’s form. ' gauge The width of the film strips, measured in millimeters. genres Various types of films which audiences and filmmakers recognize by their familiar narrative conventions. Common genres are musical, gangster, and Western films. graphic match Two successive shots joined so as to create a strong similarity of compositional elements (e.g., color, shape). hand-held camera The use of the camera operator’s body as a camera support, either holding it by hand or using a harness. hard lighting Illumination that creates sharp—edged shadows. height of framing The distance of the camera above the ground, regardless of the angle of framing. high-key lighting Illumination that creates comparatively little contrast between the light and dark areas of the shot. Shadows are fairly transparent and brightened by fill light. ideology A relatively coherent system of values, beliefs, or ideas shared by some social group and often taken for granted as natural or inherently true. intellectual montage The juxtaposition of a series of images to create an abstract idea not present in any one image. internal diegetic sound Sound represented as coming from the . mind of a character within the story space. Although we and the character can hear it, we assume that the other characters cannot. See also external diegetic sound. interpretation The viewer’s activity of analyzing the implicit and symptomatic meanings suggested in a film. See also meaning. iris A round, moving mask that can close down to end a scene (iris—out) or emphasize a detail, or it can open to begin a scene (iris—in) or to reveal more space around a detail. jump cut An elliptical cut that appears to be an interruption of a single shot. Either the figures seem to change instantly against a constant background, or the background changes instantly while the figures remain constant. See also ellipsis. key light In the three—point lighting system, the brightest illumi— nation coming into the scene. See also backlighting, fill light, three~point lighting. lens A shaped piece of transparent material (usually glass) with either or both sides curved to gather and focus light rays. Most camera and projector lenses place a series of lenses within a metal tube to form a compound lens. linearity In a narrative, the clear motivation of a series of causes and effects that progress without significant digressions, delays, or ' irrelevant actions. long shot A framing in which the scale of the object shown is small; a standing human figure would appear nearly the height of the screen. long take A shot that continues for an unusually lengthy time before the transition to the next shot. low-key lighting Illumination that creates strong contrast be- tween light and dark areas of the shot, with deep shadows and little fill light. 432 Glossary mask An opaque screen placed in the camera or printer that blocks part of the frame off and changes the shape of the photo— graphed image, leaving part of the frame a solid color. As seen on the screen, most masks are black, although they can be white or colored. ' masking ln exhibition, stretches of black fabric that frame the theater scene. Masking can be adjusted according to the aspect ra4 tio of the film to be projected match on action A continuity cut which splices two different views of the same action together at the same moment in the movement, making it seem to continue uninterrupted. matte Shot A type of process shot in which different areas of the image (usually actors and setting) are photographed separately and combined in laboratory work. meaning 1. Referential meaning: Allusion to particular items of knowledge outside the film which the viewer is expected to recog— nize. 2. Explicit meaning: Significance presented o'vertly, usually in language and often near the film’s beginning or end. 3. Implicit meaning: Significance left tacit, for the viewer to discover upon analysis or reflection. 4. Symptomatic meaning: Significance which the film divulges, often “against its will,” by virtue of its historical or social context. medium close-up Aframing in which the scale of the object shown is fairly large; a human figure seen from the chest up would fill most of the screen. medium long shot A framing at a distance which makes an ob— ject about four or five feet high appear to fill most of the screen vertically. See also plan ame’ricain, the special term for a medium long shot depicting human figures. medium shot A framing in which the scale of the object shown is of moderate size; a human figure seen from the waist up would fill most of the screen. mise-en-seene All of the elements placed in front of the camera to be photographed: the settings and props. lighting, costumes and make—up, and figure behavior. mixing Combining two or more sound tracks by recording them onto a single one. mobile frame The effect on the screen of the moving camera, a zoom lens, or certain special effects; the framing shifts in relation to the scene being photographed. See also crane shot, pan, tilt, tracking shot. monochromatic color design Color design which emphasizes a narrow set of shades of a single color. montage l. A synonym for editing. 2. An approach to editing developed by the Soviet filmmakers of the l920s; it emphasizes dynamic, often discontinuous, relationships between shots and the juxtapOSition of images to create ideas not present in either shot by itself. See also discontinuity editing, intellectual montage. montage sequence A segment of a film that summarizes a topic or compresses a passage of time into brief symbolic or typical im— ages. Frequently dissolves, fades, superimpositions, and wipes are used to link the images in a montage sequence. motif An element in a film that is repeated in a significant way. motion control A computerized method of planning and repeat~ ing camera movements on miniatures, models, and process work. motivation The justification given in the film for the presence of an element. This may be an appeal to the viewer’s knowledge of the real world, to genre conventions, to narrative causality, or to a stylistic pattern within the film. narration The process through which the plot conveys or withholds stow information. The narration can be more or less re— stricted to character knowledge and more or less deep in presenting characters’ mental perceptions and thoughts. narrative form A type of filmic organization in which the parts relate to each other through a series of causally related events tak— ing place in time and space. nondiegetic insert A shot or series of shots cut into a sequence, showing objectsrepresented as being outside the space of the nar- rative. nondiegetic sound Sound, such as mood music or a narrator’s commentary, represented as coming from a source outside the space of the narrative. nonsimultaneous sound Diegetic sound that comes from a source in time either earlier or later than the images it accompa— nies. normal lens A lens that shows objects without severely exagger— > ating or reducing the depth of the scene’s planes. In .35an filming, a normal lens is 35 to 50mm. See also telephoto lens, i-vide—angle lens. offscreen sound Simultaneous sound from a source assumed to be in the space of the scene but outside what is visible onscreen. offscreen space The six areas blocked from being visible on the screen but still part of the space of the scene: to each side and above and below the frame. behind the set, and behind the camera. See also space. 1800 system The continuity approach to editing dictates that the camera should stay on one side ’of the action to ensure consistent left—right spatial relations between objects from shot to shot. The 180° line is the same as the axis of action. See also continuity edit— , ing, screen direction. order In a narrative film, the aspect of temporal manipulation that involve...
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