Basic Film Terms - MsEffie

Basic Film Terms - MsEffie

Basic Film Terms Frame Dividing line between the edges of the screen image and the enclosing darkness of the theater Single photo of film

Types of Shots Cinematic shots are defined by the amount of subject matter within the frame Shots can vary in duration Shots vary in time from subliminal (a

few frames) to quick (less than a second) to average (more than a second but less than a minute) to lengthy (more than a minute) Establishing Shot (or Extreme Long Shot)

Shot taken from a great distance, almost always an exterior shot, shows much of locale ELS Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom

Long Shot (LS) (A relative term) A shot taken from a sufficient distance to show a landscape, a building, or a large crowd Austin Powers and

the Spy Who Shagged Me Medium Shot (MS) (Also relative) a shot between a long shot and a close-up that might show two people in full figure or several people from the waist up

The Talented Mr. Ripley Close-Up (CU) A shot of a small object or face that fills the screen Adds importance to object

photographed Under Pressure Extreme Close-Up (ECU) A shot of a small object or part of a face that fills the screen

Rocky Horror Picture Show The Saint In London Over the Shoulder Shot Usually contains two figures, one with his/her back to the camera, and

the other facing the camera Cast Away Hollow Man Types of Angles

The angle is determined by where the camera is placed not the subject matter Angles can serve as commentary on the subject matter Birds Eye View

Camera is placed directly overhead Extremely disorienting Viewer is godlike Beverly Hills Girl Scouts High Angle (h/a)

Camera looks down at what is being photographed Takes away power of subject, makes it insignificant Gives a general overview Without Limits

Low Angle (l/a) Camera is located below subject matter Increases height and power of subject

The Patriot Oblique Angle Lateral tilt of the camera so that figures appear to be falling out of the frame Suggests tension

and transition Sometimes used as the point of view of a drunk The Matrix Point of View (POV)

A shot taken from the vantage point a particular character, or what a character sees Eye-Level Roughly 5 to 6 feet off the ground, the way an actual observer might

view a scene Most common Camera Movement Pan The camera moves horizontally on a

fixed base. Tilt The camera points up or down from a fixed base Tracking (dolly) shot

The camera moves through space on a wheeled truck (or dolly), but stays in the same plane Boom The camera moves up or down through space

Zoom Not a camera movement, but a shift in the focal length of the camera lens to give the impression that the camera is getting closer to or farther from an object

Getting from Scene to Scene Cut Transition between scenes when one scenes ends and another one begins

Most common Dissolve A gradual transition in which the end of one scene is superimposed over the beginning of a new one.

Fade-out/Fade in A scene gradually goes dark or a new one gradually emerges from darkness Wipe An optical effect in which one shot

appears to push appears to push the preceding one from the screen. Iris An optical effect in which one shot appears to emerge from a shape on the screen.

What This Means These are the basic elements of film that a director can use to tell his/ her story.

Through editing, these shots are put together to create (hopefully!) a coherent story.

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