Grammar of TV & Film Flashcards

Terms Definitions
Long Shot
Shot which shows all or most of a fairly large subject (for example, a person) and usually much of the surroundings
Establishing Shot
Opening shot or sequence, frequently an exterior 'General View.' Used to set the scene.
Medium Shot
In this shot the subject or actor and its setting occupy roughly equal areas in the frame. In the case of the standing actor, the lower frame passes roughly through the upper legs or waist. Frequently used for the tight presentation of two actors.
Close Up
A picture which shows a fairly small part of the scene, such as a character's face, in great detail so that it fills the screen. It abstracts the subject from a context.
Angle of shot
The direction and height from which the camera takes the scene.
Point-of-view shot
A shot made from a camera position close to the line of sight of a performer who is to be watching the action shown.
Tilted shot
When the camera is tilted on its axis so that normally vertical lines appear slanted to the left or right, ordinary expectations are frustrated
Zoom
In this camera action, the camera does not move; the lens is focused down from a long-shot to a close-up while (or vice-versa) the picture is still being shown.
Pan:
The camera swivels but remains physically fixed in order to follow a moving subject.
Crab
The camera physically moves right or left.
Tracking/Dollying
Tracking involves the camera itself being moved smoothly towards or away from the subject.
Cut
Sudden change of shot from one viewpoint or location to another.
Matched cut
In this type of cut, a relationship is established between the shots so that the viewer understands there is a connection (such as between characters)
Jump cut
Abrupt switch from one shot to another without a transition.
Fade/Dissolve
A gradual transitions between shots, either by overlapping shots or transitioning to/from black.
Flashback
An interjected scene that takes the narrative back in time from the current point the story in literature, film,television and other media;; often used to recount events that happened before the story's primary sequence of events or to fill in crucial backstory.
Flash-forward
An interjected scene that takes the narrative forward in time from the current point of the story in literature, film,television and other media; often used to represent events expected, projected, or imagined to occur in the future. May also reveal significant parts of the story that have not yet occurred, but soon will in greater detail.
Voice-over
Commentary spoken off-screen over the shots shown. The commentary confers authority on a particular interpretation, particularly if the tone is moderate, assured and reasoned. In dramatic films, it may be the voice of one of the characters, unheard by the others.
Music
In the background, this helps to establish a sense of the pace, tone, mood, etc. of the accompanying scene.
Soft/Harsh lighting
This manipulates a viewer's attitude towards a setting or a character by making objects, people and environments look beautiful or ugly, soft or harsh, artificial or real; can be used expressively or realistically.
Backlighting
Source of light is behind a character, adding a dramatic, romantic, spiritual, etc. element to the shot.
Subjective Treatment
A camera style wherein the viewer is treated as a participant (e.g. when the camera is addressed directly or when it imitates the viewpoint or movement of a character).
Objective Treatment
A camera style that involves treating the viewer (audience) as an observer. A major example is the 'privileged point of view' which involves watching from omniscient vantage points.
Mise-en-scene
'Realistic' technique whereby meaning is conveyed through the relationship of things visible within a single shot (rather than, as with montage, the relationship between shots--i.e. cutting). Editing or fragmenting of scenes is minimized; composition is therefore extremely important. The way people stand and move in relation to each other is important. Long shots and long takes are characteristic.
Talk-to-camera
The sight of a person looking ('full face') and talking directly to the camera; establishes their authority or 'expert' status with the audience.
Tone
The atmosphere of a program (e.g. ironic, comic, nostalgic, romantic).
Shot
A single run of the camera or the piece of film resulting from such a run.
Scene
A dramatic unit composed of a single or several shots; usually takes place in a continuous time period, in the same setting, and involves the same characters.
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