Vocabulary: Summary of Film Terminology, Tools and Techniques

I. Artists


II. The Image

A. Kinds of Film: film stock

1. Fast: sensitive to light
2. Slow: less sensitive to light
3. High Grain: sharp, clear, shows gradations of light
4. Low Grain: looks "grainy" and less clear

B. Light:

1. Intensity: bright, diffused, low

2. Direction; front, back, overhead, low-angle

3. Character: hazy, harsh, grey, soft

C. Lenses:

Wide Angle
Deep Focus: Telephoto (Zoom)
distortion, picture bent toward top
background hazy
no distortion, only foreground in focus
depth all in focus, but background may be hazy, objects in the back seem far, far, away

figures seem to approach very quickly from the background

no distortion in motion

motion seems to take forever, figures move to the foreground very slowly

D. Composition of the Image

Consider depth and width--the more "three dimensional" the picture appears to be, the better.

1. composition of elements
2. the movement of elements within the frame
3. camera movement

III. Editing

A. Editing Choices

1. variety of coverage
2. quality of performance
3. number of supporting shots available

B. Elements of Editing

1. Time:

a. Slowed down by reaction shots

b. Sped up by flash cutting

2. Types of Transitions:

a. flips b. wipes c. dissolves e. fades f. supers

2. Rhythm and Pace: shots make up scenes, which make up sequences

a. Internal rhythm within the scene-- how long are the shots?

b. External rhythm--how long are the scenes?

3. Visual and Aural Relations:

a. Image to Image: form cut

b. Sound to Sound: how are the sounds in one scene related to the next

c. Image to Sound: do the sounds support, undercut, or comment on the image? Do the sounds suggest things that are not on the screen?

4. the Montage

a. to suggest passing time

b. to create a mood: love, sadness, etc.

c. the "impact" montage--to make a scene seem more forceful