Glossary for Filmmaking Terms
Screw mount type of lens.
C.T.B. (and) C.T.O.
Abbreviations for "Color Temperature Blue" (and) "Orange" respectively. The color correction gels used to convert the color temp from tungsten to daylight (BLUE) and from daylight to tungsten (ORANGE).
Listing of which actors will be required for which scenes, and when they will be required.
Bit part played by a famous actor who would ordinarily not take such a small part.
Crewmembers directly involved with operation of the camera. Individual job titles include: clapper-loader, camera operator, assistant cameraman, director of photography, focus puller, grip, key grip, dolly grip, additional camera.
Individual who operates the camera to the specifications dictated by the director of photography.
Form of comedic parody where the cliché conventions of a dramatic form like adventure are deliberately exaggerated to the point of absurdity.
Metal or plastic containers used for the transport and storage of film
A collective term for the actors appearing in a particular movie.
Process of hiring actors to play the characters in a script.
Slang term referring to "Golden Age" of Hollywood, where wannabe stars would grant sexual favors to directors/producers in return for a role in their film.
Individual responsible for selecting actors to play roles.
Hand drawn sheet representing a single animation frame, usually made of a clear material like cellulose or mylar to allow several layers of composition.
Flammable film base made of cellulose nitrate
Changes required of a movie by some person or body other than the studio or the filmmakers, usually a national or regional film classification board. See also certificate.
Certificate of Authorship
Form signed by the author of a screenplay or other written work that warrants the author's work is original, does not libel another party, does not invade anyone's privacy, and will not cause the buyer of the work to be sued for any legal action.
When a script is being edited during production, changes are distributed to actors and the filmmakers on "change pages", which are usually a different color to the pages of the script.
Marking on last few frames of a reel to signal that projectionist that the current reel is approaching the end, and they should be ready to start the next projector, which should have the next reel prepared for projection.
Double chambered black bag used for loading film into magazines.
Actor who specializes in playing a particular style of character, often stereotypical, offbeat, or humorous.
Formulaic inferred curved line which traces the development, growth, and transformation of a character over the course of the screenplay
Electronic typewriter that creates titles for video.
Print made to verify the level of success of a specific effect.
Individual who plans and directs dance sequences within a movie.
Color information in a video signal, consisting of hue (phase angle) and saturation (amplitude) of the color subcarrier signal.
It's a special effects / post-production technique for compositing (layering) two images or video streams together based on color hues (chroma range).
Process of overlaying one video signal over another by replacing a range of colors with the second signal.
Color portion of a video signal.
Scratches on a strip of film running parallel to its length caused by improper reel winding which allows one coil of the print to slide against another.
Meaning is "cinema truth." A documentary style in which no directorial control is exerted. The term is frequently misused to describe new-wave "handheld" camera techniques ala M-TV.
Individual with expertise in the art of capturing images either electronically or on film stock through the application of visual recording devices and the selection and arrangement of lighting.
A lighting fixture which can be attached (via a spring clamp) to a variety of places (door, table, chair, etc.)
Small board which holds information identifying a shot: working title of the movie, names of director and DP, scene and take numbers, date, and time. Used at the beginning of a take, the clapboard has a hinged stick which is "clapped" to provide audio/visual synchronization.
Individual who operates the clapboard at the beginning of a shot, also responsible for loading film magazines into the camera.
Animation of models constructed from clay or plasticine.
Moment of high drama, frequently used at the end of serials.
Close Captioned /CC
System which displays the current dialog on screen for deaf or hard-of-hearing viewers.
Shot in which the subject is larger than the frame; approx. from the top of chest to top of head.
Producer who has equal responsibility for the completion of a project.
Edge numbers that are inked onto a workprint and mag track after syncing.
Standard video test pattern which includes samples of primary and secondary colors.
Technical advisor with expertise in film stock and film developing, who provides advice for cinematographers and color timers.
Method for measuring the overall color of a light source, measured in degrees Kelvin (deg.K). Daylight is approximately 5500 deg.K. Fluorescent Lights are approx. 4100 deg.K. Indoor incandescent lights are 2800 deg.K and professional Movie Lights are 3200 Deg. K
Process which adjusts the final print so that colors match from shot to shot, regardless of the film stock and camera used to shoot the scene.
Film alteration process where an operator digitally alters a black and white image to include color.
With regard to writers, the money paid for writing services or for the sale of a screenplay. Also called "consideration."
Musician whose music appears in a movie's score.
Print with a images and sound on the same strip of film.
Varying progressive versions of a film that is in the editing stage.
Copy of a print whether it be a workprint, answer print, or release print.
Form of compensation received by a writer, after the writing services have been completed, if he is awarded writing credit for the project. The contingent compensation may include a production bonus, net profits, reserved rights, and/or additional payments in the event of a film or television sequel, remake, or spinoff.
Degree to which a movie is self-consistent without error or jumpcuts.
Detailed list of the events that occurred during the filming of a scene.
Type of video editing that controls the in and out points of edits by counting pulses on a control track portion of the videotape.
Flat piece of material with irregular holes cut into it. Used for creating pattern of shadows when positioned in front of a light source.
Body of United States federal laws and international laws that protect original and creative expression that is in a fixed and tangible form.
Plastic piece used to hold film without a reel.
Individual who designs the costumes for a movie.
Individual responsible for handling the costumes worn by actors.
Performed by a reader, this process involves a script synopsized, reviewed, and evaluated with respect to the story, character development, plot development and so forth, and then rated, with the intention of informing others as to whether or not the script is worthy of further consideration.
The authorship given to a written work in the entertainment industry. For film: "Story by," "Screenplay by," and "Written by." For TV: "Created by," Story by," and "Teleplay by."
Process run by the Writers Guild of America in which disputes concerning the award of credit (as in "Story by, "Screenplay by," "Teleplay by," and "Written by") are decided. The method in which these decisions take place has the WGA sending all drafts of the disputed work to three separate individuals; separately and without knowledge of each other, they decide which writer deserves the award of credit. When two of the three individuals agree on the award of credit, the decision is considered final.
Collective term for anyone involved with the production of a movie who does not appear in the movie.
Label on a film can that notifies the lab that filming ran out during important shot and to salvage as many frames possible
Individual who publishes a review of a movie from either an artistic or entertainment point of view.
Sync sound created using a camera that has a quartz crystal-governed motor.
In filming, to change from one shot to another immediately. In directing, called by the director to stop action by the performers, camera, and audio equipment. In film editing, to eliminate unwanted portions, visual or audio, of a film.
Shot of something outside the frame which can be used to hide an edit.
D.A.T. (Digital Audio Tape)
Audio recording and playback format developed by Sony, with a signal quality capability surpassing that of the CD.
Professional digital video formats. The D1 system uses component video. The D2 and D3 systems use composite video.
First positive prints made from the negatives photographed on the previous day.
Color temperature of daylight (5400K). Color film that is "daylight balanced" should be used outdoors. If shot indoors (w/o a filter), the film image will have an orange hue.
Black film spool that protects the film from becoming completely exposed when loading a camera in daylight. Note: Always load a camera in a relatively dark area away from any light source.
Money to be paid from funds that, for a writer, are generally the net profits. Rarely will the writer ever see such compensation.
Concluding scenes of a movie where the story elements are finished and the characters' status after the climax is shown.
Depth of Field
Measure of the range along a camera's line of site in which objects will be in focus.
Process in which a script is altered, changed, modified, etc., by a series of collaborative meetings between the writer and/or production executive, studio executive, director, or other individuals who may be attached to the project.
(1) Material used on a movie light to soften shadows. (2) Filter used on a camera to create soft focus effect.
Technique whereby separately filmed components are combined through digital editing.
Editing a portion of a movie by digitizing one or more frames and altering them electronically or combining them with other digitized images, and then printing the modified frame.
Adjustable part of camera viewfinder which compensates for individuals eyesight.
Principal creative artist on a movie set.
Director of Photography
Cinematographer who is ultimately responsible for the process of recording a scene in the manner desired by the director.
Cut of a movie without studio interference as the director would like it to be seen.
Director's Guild of America
Union guild for directors.
Editing technique whereby the images of one shot is gradually replaced by the images of another.
Organization responsible for coordinating the distribution of the finished movie to exhibitors, as well as the sale of videos, laserdiscs, and other media versions of movies.
Non-fiction narrative without actors.
Dolby Noise Reduction
Enhances different levels of audio depending upon the desire effect.
Small truck which rolls along dolly tracks carrying the camera and some camera crewmembers.
Dolly (dolly shot)
A wheeled platform that is pushed on rails while the picture is being taken
Crewmember who moves a dolly.
List of scenes from the script that have already been filmed, or a list of the contents of an exposed reel of film stock.
16mm film stripe which has perforations on both edges.
Individual who creates the plans for set construction.
Individual who drives either equipment or passenger trucks, typically between location shootings, sets, and the studio.
Type of SMPTE time code designed to exactly match the real time of common clocks. Two frames of time code are dropped every minute, on the minute, except every tenth minute. This corrects for the fact that video frames occur at a rate of 29.97 per second, rather than an exact 30 frames per second.
Defect on the videotape which causes a brief flash of a horizontal black line on the screen
Duplicate copy of a videotape.
Technique of combining multiple sound components into one.
Shot composed with the horizon not parallel with the bottom of the frame a.k.a. "canted angle."