film and culture vocab: 8-11

film and culture vocab: 8-11

editing
The process by which the editor combines
and coordinates individual shots into a cinematic
whole; the basic creative force of cinema.
flashback
A device for presenting or reawakening
the memory of the camera, a character, the
audience—or all three—in which the action cuts
from the narrative present to a past event,
which may or may not have already appeared in
the movie either directly or through inference.
Compare flashforward.
flash-forward
A device for presenting the anticipation
of the camera, a character, the audience—
or all three—in which the action cuts
from the narrative present to a future time, one
in which, for example, the omniscient camera
reveals directly or a character imagines, from
his or her point of view, what is going to happen.
Compare flashback
ellipsis
In filmmaking, generally an omission of
time—the time that separates one shot from
another—to create dramatic or comedic impact
montage
In Hollywood, beginning in the
1930s, a sequence of shots, often with superimpositions
and optical effects, showing a condensed
series of events
continuity editing
A style of editing (now dominant
throughout the world) that seeks to
achieve logic, smoothness, sequential flow, and
the temporal and spatial orientation of viewers
to what they see on the screen.
discontinuity editing
A style of editing—less
widely used than continuity editing, often but
not exclusively in experimental films—that
joins shots A and B to produce an effect or
meaning not even hinted at by either shot alone.
master shot
A shot that ordinarily serves as a
foundation for (and usually begins) a sequence
by showing the location of ensuing action.
Although usually a long shot or extreme long
shot, a master shot may also be a medium shot
or close-up that includes a sign or other cue to
identify the location. Master shots are also
called cover shots because the editor can repeat
them later in the film to remind the audience of
the location, thus “covering” the director by
avoiding the need to reshoot.
axis of action
See 180-degree system.
The fundamental means by which filmmakers
maintain consistent screen direction, orienting
the viewer and ensuring a sense of the
cinematic space in which the action occurs. The
system assumes three things: (a) the action
within a scene will always advance along a
straight line, either from left to right or from
right to left of the frame; (b) the camera will
remain consistently on one side of that action;
and (c) everyone on the production set will
understand and adhere to this system. axis of action
reverse shot
A shot in which the angle of
shooting is opposite to that of the preceding
shot
match cut
A cut that preserves continuity
between two shots. Several kinds of match cuts exist, including the eye-line match cut, the
graphic match cut, and the match-on-action
cut
crosscutting
Editing that cuts between two or
more actions occurring at the same time, and
usually in the same place. Compare intercutting
and parallel editing
intercutting
Editing of two or more actions taking
place at the same time that creates the effect
of a single scene rather than of two distinct
actions. Compare crosscutting and parallel
editing
jump cut
The removal of a portion of a film,
resulting in an instantaneous advance in the
action—a sudden, perhaps illogical, often disorienting
ellipsis between two shots
fade-in
Transitional devices in which
a shot fades in from a black field on black-andwhite
film or from a color field on color film, or
fades out to a black field (or a color field). Compare
dissolve. fade in
fade-out
Transitional devices in which
a shot fades in from a black field on black-andwhite
film or from a color field on color film, or
fades out to a black field (or a color field). Compare
dissolve. fade out
dissolve
Also known as lap dissolve. A transitional
device in which shot B, superimposed,
gradually appears over shot A and begins to
replace it at midpoint in the transition. Dissolves
usually indicate the passing of time. Compare
fade-in/fade-out.
wipe
A transitional device between shots in
which shot B wipes across shot A, either vertically
or horizontally, to replace it. Although (or
because) the device reminds us of early eras in
filmmaking, directors continue to use it.
iris shot
Optical wipe effect in which the wipe
line is a circle; named after the iris of a camera.
The iris-in begins with a small circle, which
expands to a partial or full image; the iris-out
begins with a large circle, which contracts to a
smaller circle or total blackness.
split screen
A method, created either in the
camera or during the editing process, of telling
two stories at the same time by dividing the
screen into different parts. Unlike parallel editing,
which cuts back and forth between shots
for contrast, the split screen can tell multiple
stories within the same frame
outtakes
Material that is not used in either the
rough cut or the final cut, but is cataloged and
saved.
mixing
The process of combining different
sound tracks onto one composite sound track
that is synchronous with the picture
fidelity
The faithfulness or unfaithfulness of a
sound to its source.
diegetic sound
Sound that originates from a
source within a film’s world. Compare
nondiegetic sound.
nondiegetic sound
Sound that originates from
a source outside a film’s world. Compare
diegetic sound
internal sound
A form of diegetic sound in
which we hear the thoughts of a character we
see onscreen and assume that other characters
cannot hear them. Compare external sound
external sound
A form of diegetic sound that
comes from a place within the world of the
story, which we and the characters in the
scene hear but do not see. Compare internal
sound.
interior monologue
One variation on the mental,
subjective point of view of an individual
character that allows us to see a character and
hear that character’s thoughts (in his or her own
voice, even though the character’s lips don’t
move).
dialogue
The lip-synchronous speech of characters
who are either visible onscreen or speaking
offscreen, say from another part of the room
that is not visible or from an adjacent room
ambient sound
Sound that emanates from the
ambience (background) of the setting or environment
being filmed, either recorded during
production or added during postproduction.
Although it may incorporate other types of film
sound—dialogue, narration, sound effects,
Foley sounds, and music—ambient sound does
not include any unintentionally recorded noise
made during production.
sound effects
A sound artificially created for the
sound track that has a definite function in
telling the story
Foley sounds
A sound belonging to a special category
of sound effects, invented in the 1930s by
Jack Foley, a sound technician at Universal Studios.
Technicians known as Foley artists create
these sounds in specially equipped studios,
where they use a variety of props and other
equipment to simulate sounds such as footsteps
in the mud, jingling car keys, or cutlery hitting
a plate.
Photography
Literally, “writing with light”;
technically, the recording of static images
through a chemical interaction caused by light
rays striking a sensitized surface.
camera obscura
Literally, “dark chamber.” A
box (or a room in which a viewer stands); light
entering (originally through a tiny hole, later
through a lens) on one side of the box (or room)
projects an image from the outside onto the
opposite side or wall.
revolver photographique
Also known as
chronophotographic gun. A cylinder-shaped camera
that creates exposures automatically, at
short intervals, on different segments of a
revolving plate.
fusil photographique
A form of the chronophotographic
gun (see revolver photographique)—
a single, portable camera capable of taking
twelve continuous images.
kinetograph
The first motion-picture camera.
kinetoscope
A peephole viewer, an early
motion-picture device
aesthetic approach
this approach seeks to evaluate individual
movies and/or directors using criteria that
assess their artistic significance and influence
technological approach
Historians who chart the
history of cinema technology examine the circumstances
surrounding the development of each
technological advance, as well as subsequent
improvemen
economic approach
Historians
interested in this subject help us to understand
how and why the studio system was founded,
how it adapted to changing conditions (economic, technological, social, historical), and how and why
different studios took different approaches to producing
different movies, how these movies have
been distributed and exhibited, and what effect this
had on film history
social approach
Writing about movies
as social history continues to be a major preoccupation
of journalists, scholars, and students alike.
Historian Ian Jarvie suggests that, in undertaking
these studies, we ask the following basic questions:
Who made the movies, and why? Who saw the
films, how, and why? What was seen, how, and why?
How were the movies evaluated, by whom, and
why?4 In addition, those interested in social history
consider such factors as religion, politics, and cultural
trends and taboos, and ask to what extent, if
any, a particular movie was produced to sway public
opinion or effect social change.
analog
Film is an analog medium in which the
camera creates an image by recording through a
camera lens the original light given off by the
the subject and stores this image on a roll of
negative film stock. Opposite of digital
digital
An electronic process that creates its
images through a numbered system of pixels
(which we can think of as the binary numbers 0
and 1) that are stored on a flash card or a computer
hard drive
shooting
The first stage of creating motion pictures,
in which images are recorded on previously
unexposed film as it moves through the
camera. Shooting is followed by processing and
projecting.
processing
The second stage of creating motion
pictures in which a laboratory technician
washes exposed film (which contains a negative
image) with processing chemicals. Processing
is preceded by shooting and followed by
projecting.
projecting
The third stage of creating motion
pictures, in which edited film is run through a
projector, which shoots through the film a beam
of light intense enough to project a large image
on the movie-theater screen. Projecting is preceded
by shooting and processing
exposure
(the length of time
that the film is exposed to light), and the opening of
the lens aperture (this regulates the amount of light that passes through the lens onto the surface
of the film);
pixels
Short for “picture elements,” these are
the small dots that make up the image on a
video screen. The dots (denoted by the binary
numbers 0 and 1) are meaningless in themselves;
but when they are arranged in order,
like the pieces in a jigsaw puzzle, they form a
picture.
resolution
The capacity of the camera lens, film
stock, and processing to provide fine detail in
an image.
preproduction
The initial, planning-andpreparation
stage of the production process.
production
The second stage of the production
process, the actual shooting. Production is
preceded by preproduction and followed by
postproduction.
postproduction
The third stage of the production
process, consisting of editing, preparing
the final print, and bringing the film to the public
(marketing and distribution). Postproduction
is preceded by preproduction and production
producer
The person who guides the entire
process of making the movie from its initial
planning to its release and is chiefly responsible
for the organizational and financial aspects of
the production, from arranging the financing to
deciding how the money is spent.
director
The person who (a) determines and
realizes on the screen an artistic vision of the screenplay; (b) casts the actors and directs their
performances; (c) works closely with the production
design in creating the look of the film,
including the choice of locations; (d) oversees
the work of the cinematographer and other key
production personnel; and, (e) in most cases,
supervises all postproduction activity, especially
the editing.