Glossary of Filmmaking Terms
  • ADR -

    The process of re-recording dialogue by the original actor after the filming process to improve audio quality or reflect dialogue changes.

  • Aerial Shot -

    A shot taken from a height, often from a helicopter or drone, providing a bird's-eye view of the scene.

  • Ambient Light -

    The natural light in a scene or location that exists before any additional lighting is added.

  • Anamorphic Lens -

    A special type of lens that compresses the image horizontally for widescreen films, which is then expanded back to its original aspect ratio during projection.

  • Angle of View -

    The degree of the scene that is visible through the camera lens, usually described in terms of degrees.

  • Antagonist -

    A character, group, or force that opposes the protagonist, creating conflict in the story.

  • ARRI -

    A well-known brand of professional cameras and lighting equipment used in the film industry.

  • ASMR -

    Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response is a genre of content that focuses on creating sounds that produce a tingling sensation for the audience, often used in close-up audio recordings.

  • Aspect Ratio -

    The ratio of the width to the height of the image on screen, commonly expressed as 16:9, 4:3, etc.

  • Assembly Cut -

    The first stage of editing where all the film's scenes are put together in the order they appear in the script, without any cuts for timing or pace.

  • Assistant Director (AD) -

    A person who helps the director with scheduling, managing the cast and crew, and ensuring the production runs smoothly.

  • Auteur -

    A filmmaker whose personal influence and artistic control over a movie are so significant that they are regarded as the author of the movie.

  • Available Light -

    The natural or pre-existing light available in a location, as opposed to additional lighting provided by the filmmakers.

  • Avid -

    A widely used software for non-linear editing of video and film.

  • Axis of Action -

    A basic guideline regarding the on-screen spatial relationship between characters and objects, maintaining the illusion of a coherent space. Also known as the 180-degree rule.

  • B-Roll -

    Supplemental or alternative footage intercut with the main shot to add context, cover gaps, or illustrate points.

  • Background -

    The part of a scene or picture that is farthest from the viewer, typically behind the main subject.

  • Backlight -

    A lighting technique where the light source is placed behind the subject to create a silhouette or highlight the edges.

  • Barn Doors -

    Adjustable metal flaps attached to the front of a light to control the spread and direction of the light beam.

  • Beat -

    A moment or pause in a screenplay, often used to indicate a shift in emotion, action, or thought.

  • Blocking -

    The precise staging of actors, cameras, and props in a scene to ensure optimal visual composition and movement.

  • Boom Mic -

    A microphone attached to a long pole (boom) held above the actors to capture dialogue without being seen on camera.

  • Boom Operator -

    The person responsible for holding and maneuvering the boom mic to capture the best possible sound.

  • Bounce Light -

    Light that is reflected off a surface (such as a wall or reflector) to soften its intensity and spread it more evenly.

  • Bracketing -

    The technique of shooting the same scene multiple times using different exposure settings to ensure the best result.

  • Breakdown -

    A detailed analysis of the script, identifying all the elements needed for production, such as locations, props, and costumes.

  • Broadcast Quality -

    A standard of video and audio quality that meets the requirements for television broadcast.

  • Buffer Shot -

    An extra shot filmed to provide flexibility in editing, often used to smooth transitions between scenes.

  • Bullet Time -

    A visual effect technique that creates the illusion of frozen time or extreme slow motion, often used in action sequences.

  • Buyout -

    A one-time payment to a talent or crew member that covers all rights to their performance or work, eliminating the need for future royalties.

  • Call Sheet -

    A daily schedule distributed to the cast and crew, detailing the shooting plan, locations, and times for each scene.

  • Camera Angle -

    The specific position and orientation of the camera relative to the subject, influencing the viewer's perception and interpretation of the scene.

  • Camera Operator -

    The person responsible for operating the camera, following the director's instructions regarding framing, movement, and focus.

  • Cast -

    The group of actors and performers appearing in a film.

  • Casting Director -

    A professional responsible for selecting actors for various roles in a film, often conducting auditions and negotiating contracts.

  • CGI -

    The use of computer graphics to create or enhance images and special effects in a film. CGI is short for Computer-Generated Imagery.

  • Chroma Key -

    A visual effects technique that involves shooting against a green or blue screen to later replace the background with a different image or setting.

  • Cinematography -

    The art and technique of capturing visual images on film or digital media, including aspects of lighting, framing, and camera movement.

  • Clapperboard -

    A device used in filmmaking to mark the beginning of a take and sync audio with video by creating a sharp sound and visual reference.

  • Close-Up -

    A shot that tightly frames a subject's face or a detailed object, emphasizing emotions or details.

  • Continuity -

    The consistency of elements such as wardrobe, props, and actors' positions from shot to shot, ensuring a seamless flow in the final edit.

  • Coverage -

    The variety of shots and angles captured during a scene to provide options for editing.

  • Crane Shot -

    A shot taken from a camera mounted on a crane, allowing for sweeping, high-angle movements.

  • Credits -

    The list of all personnel involved in the production of a film, typically shown at the beginning or end.

  • Cross-Cutting -

    An editing technique that interweaves multiple scenes, usually happening simultaneously, to create tension or highlight connections.

  • Cue -

    A signal for an actor or crew member to begin a specific action or dialogue, often provided by the director or assistant director.

  • Cut -

    A transition between shots in editing, also a command from the director to stop filming.

  • Cutaway -

    A shot that interrupts the main action to show a different, related scene, often used to provide context or cover edits.

  • Cyclorama -

    A large, curved backdrop (Cyc) used in studios to create the illusion of a seamless background.

  • Dailies -

    The raw, unedited footage shot during a day's filming, reviewed by the director and crew to evaluate performances and technical aspects.

  • Day-for-Night -

    A technique used to simulate nighttime scenes while shooting in daylight, often involving special filters and underexposure.

  • Deep Focus -

    A cinematography technique where both the foreground and background are in sharp focus, allowing viewers to see details at different depths.

  • Depth of Field -

    The distance between the nearest and farthest objects in a shot that appear acceptably sharp, controlled by the aperture, focal length, and distance to the subject.

  • Dialogue -

    The spoken lines between characters in a film, driving the narrative and revealing character traits.

  • Diegetic Sound -

    Sound that originates from within the film's world, such as dialogue, footsteps, or ambient noise that characters can hear.

  • Diffusion -

    A technique used to soften and spread light, reducing harsh shadows and creating a more flattering look on subjects.

  • Digital Intermediate -

    The process of digitally color grading (DI) and finishing a film, allowing for precise control over the final look.

  • Director -

    The person responsible for overseeing the artistic and dramatic aspects of a film, guiding the cast and crew to realize their vision.

  • Director of Photography -

    Also known as the cinematographer, the DP is responsible for the visual aspects of a film, including lighting, framing, and camera movement.

  • Dissolve -

    A type of transition where one shot gradually fades out while the next shot fades in, often used to indicate the passage of time or a change in location.

  • Dolly -

    A wheeled platform used to create smooth camera movements, often along tracks, for dynamic and stable shots.

  • Dolly Grip -

    A crew member responsible for operating the camera dolly, ensuring smooth and precise movements during filming.

  • Dolly Zoom -

    A visual effect achieved by zooming in or out while moving the camera in the opposite direction, creating a dramatic change in perspective.

  • Double Exposure -

    A technique where two images are superimposed onto a single frame, often used for artistic or narrative effects.

  • Draft -

    A version of a screenplay, with multiple drafts typically written and revised before the final shooting script is produced.

  • Dubbing -

    The process of replacing the original dialogue with a different recording, often in another language or to improve audio quality.

  • Dutch Angle -

    A shot where the camera is tilted on its roll axis, creating a sense of unease or disorientation.

  • Dynamic Range -

    The range of brightness levels that a camera can capture, from the darkest shadows to the brightest highlights.

  • Dystopian -

    A genre of film that explores bleak, oppressive futures, often highlighting social or political issues.

  • Easter Egg -

    A hidden feature, message, or reference within a film, often included as a nod to fans or a playful inside joke.

  • Editing -

    The process of selecting, arranging, and assembling the visual and audio components of a film to tell a coherent and compelling story.

  • Editor -

    The person responsible for piecing together the film's footage, working closely with the director to achieve the desired final cut.

  • Effects -

    Visual or audio effects used to create illusions or enhance scenes, including practical effects and computer-generated imagery (CGI).

  • Electronic Field Production -

    A production approach used for on-location shoots, utilizing portable equipment to capture high-quality video and audio.

  • Ellipsis -

    The omission of a portion of the narrative, often indicated by a transition or jump cut, to condense time or suggest an event.

  • Emulsion -

    The light-sensitive coating on photographic film, containing silver halide crystals that capture the image when exposed to light.

  • Encoding -

    The process of converting video and audio files into a digital format for editing, distribution, or streaming.

  • End Credits -

    The list of all cast and crew members involved in the production, shown at the end of a film.

  • Ephemeral Film -

    A type of film made for a specific, often short-lived purpose, such as educational, promotional, or training videos.

  • Establishing Shot -

    A wide or long shot that sets the context for a scene by showing the relationship between its important figures and objects.

  • Executive Producer -

    A producer who oversees the financial and administrative aspects of a film, often involved in securing funding and managing the budget.

  • Exposition -

    The delivery of essential background information about the plot, characters, and setting, helping the audience understand the story.

  • Exposure -

    The amount of light allowed to reach the camera sensor or film, affecting the brightness and detail of the image.

  • External Mic -

    A microphone that is not built into the camera, used to capture higher-quality audio during filming.

  • Extreme Close-Up -

    A very tight shot that focuses on a small detail, such as an eye or a hand, emphasizing its importance or emotion.

  • Eyeline -

    The direction in which an actor looks, used to create a sense of connection between shots and maintain spatial continuity.

  • Eyeline Match -

    An editing technique that ensures the direction a character is looking in one shot matches the object or character they are looking at in the next shot.

  • Fade In -

    A transition where the image gradually appears from black, typically used at the beginning of a scene or film.

  • Fade Out -

    A transition where the image gradually disappears to black, often used to signify the end of a scene or film.

  • Fast Motion -

    A filming technique where action appears sped up, achieved by recording at a slower frame rate and playing back at normal speed.

  • Feature Film -

    A full-length film, typically running longer than 60 minutes, intended as the main attraction in a commercial cinema setting.

  • Fill Light -

    A secondary light used to reduce shadows and contrast, providing balance to the key light in a scene.

  • Film Noir -

    A genre characterized by its dark, moody visual style, and themes of crime, moral ambiguity, and complex characters.

  • Film Stock -

    Photographic film used to record motion pictures, available in various formats and sensitivities.

  • Filter -

    A transparent or semi-transparent device placed in front of a camera lens to alter the light entering the lens, affecting the image's color, contrast, or exposure.

  • Final Cut -

    The last version of a film, completed after all editing and post-production work, ready for distribution and exhibition.

  • Flash Forward -

    A narrative device that interrupts the present timeline to show events that will occur in the future.

  • Flashback -

    A narrative device that interrupts the present timeline to show events that happened in the past.

  • Flat Lighting -

    Lighting that produces minimal shadows and highlights, resulting in a lack of depth and contrast, often used for neutral, even illumination.

  • Focus Group -

    A diverse group of people gathered to provide feedback on a film or its elements, used to gauge audience reactions and make adjustments.

  • Focus Pull -

    The action of changing the focus of the lens during a shot to shift the viewer's attention from one subject to another.

  • Foley -

    The art of creating and recording sound effects in post-production to enhance the audio experience, named after sound effects artist Jack Foley.

  • Footage -

    The raw, unedited material recorded by the camera, measured in feet for film or minutes for digital media.

  • Foreground -

    The part of a scene that is nearest to the viewer or camera, often containing the main subject of the shot.

  • Fourth Wall -

    The imaginary barrier between the audience and the characters in a film; breaking the fourth wall involves characters acknowledging the audience.

  • Frame -

    A single image or still in a sequence of images that make up a film; also refers to the edges of the visible area on screen.

  • Frame Line -

    The boundary that separates one frame from another on a strip of film, important for maintaining continuity and composition.

  • Frame Rate -

    The number of individual frames displayed per second in a film, affecting the smoothness of motion; common frame rates include 24fps, 30fps, and 60fps.

  • Framing -

    The composition and placement of elements within the boundaries of a shot, determining what is visible on screen.

  • Freeze Frame -

    A technique where a single frame of film is repeated to create the illusion of a still photograph, often used for dramatic effect.

  • Full Shot -

    A type of shot that shows the subject from head to toe, filling the frame, providing context and body language.

  • Gaffer -

    The head electrician on a film set, responsible for the lighting setup and execution, working closely with the Director of Photography.

  • Gaffer Arm -

    An adjustable arm used to position lights or other equipment on set, allowing for precise placement and adjustment.

  • Gaffer's Tape -

    A strong, durable tape used on film sets for securing cables, marking positions, and various other tasks; known for its easy removal without leaving residue.

  • Gag Reel -

    A compilation of outtakes or bloopers from a film, often humorous, shown to the cast and crew or included as bonus material in releases.

  • Gate -

    The opening in a film camera through which the film passes and is exposed; checking the gate ensures that the film is properly loaded and advancing.

  • Gel -

    A colored or neutral filter placed over lights to alter the color temperature or create specific lighting effects.

  • Genre -

    A category or classification of films based on similar narrative elements, styles, or themes, such as horror, comedy, or drama.

  • Gimbal -

    A stabilization device that allows for smooth camera movements, reducing shake and vibration, especially useful for handheld shots.

  • Gobo -

    A stencil or template placed in front of a light source to create patterns or shapes on a surface, often used for creative lighting effects.

  • Golden Hour -

    The period shortly after sunrise or before sunset, characterized by soft, warm, diffused light, ideal for filming due to its flattering and cinematic quality.

  • Green Screen -

    A technique where actors are filmed in front of a green backdrop, which is later replaced with digital backgrounds or special effects in post-production.

  • Greenlight -

    The approval given by a studio or producer to start production on a film project.

  • Greensman -

    A crew member responsible for selecting, placing, and maintaining plants, trees, and other greenery on a film set.

  • Grid -

    A framework of intersecting lines used in the composition to help arrange elements within the frame according to the rule of thirds or other guidelines.

  • Grip -

    A crew member responsible for setting up and maintaining equipment that supports the camera, such as tripods, dollies, and cranes.

  • Gross -

    The total box office revenue generated by a film before deducting any expenses or distributions.

  • Guerrilla Filmmaking -

    A low-budget, independent filmmaking approach characterized by minimal crew, rapid shooting schedules, and often without obtaining permits.

  • Guest Star -

    A prominent actor who appears in a single episode of a TV series or a specific part of a film, often with a significant or memorable role.

  • Guiding Line -

    A compositional technique where lines within the frame lead the viewer's eye towards the main subject or point of interest.

  • Guild -

    A professional organization representing the interests and rights of its members in the film industry, such as the Directors Guild of America (DGA) or the Screen Actors Guild (SAG).

  • Gun Mic -

    A highly directional microphone, also known as a shotgun mic, used to capture sound from a specific area while minimizing background noise.

  • Handheld Shot -

    A shot where the camera is held by the operator rather than mounted on a tripod or other support, often creating a sense of immediacy and realism.

  • Head Slate -

    The practice of using a clapperboard at the beginning of a shot to mark the scene and take number, aiding in synchronization and organization during editing.

  • Headroom -

    The space between the top of a subject's head and the top edge of the frame, important for proper composition and avoiding a cramped look.

  • Hero Prop -

    A prop that is central to the storyline or given special attention, often highly detailed or featured prominently in scenes.

  • High Angle Shot -

    A shot taken from above the subject, often making the subject appear smaller, weaker, or more vulnerable.

  • High Key Lighting -

    A lighting style that minimizes shadows and produces a bright, even illumination, often used in comedies and upbeat scenes.

  • Highlight -

    The brightest area of an image, where light is most intense, often used to draw attention to a specific part of the scene.

  • Histogram -

    A graphical representation of the tonal values of an image, used to assess exposure and contrast levels.

  • Hit -

    A precise moment in the script or performance where an action, line, or effect occurs, often used to emphasize timing.

  • Hitchcock Zoom -

    Also known as a dolly zoom, a technique where the camera zooms in or out while simultaneously moving in the opposite direction, creating a sense of disorientation.

  • HMI Light -

    Hydrargyrum Medium-Arc Iodide is a type of high-intensity discharge lamp used in film lighting for its daylight color temperature and powerful output.

  • Hold -

    A direction in the script or from the director to maintain a specific position, action, or expression for a set duration.

  • Hook -

    An engaging element in a story or scene designed to grab the audience's attention and keep them interested.

  • Hot Set -

    A film set that is perfectly arranged and ready for filming, where any changes or disruptions should be avoided to maintain continuity.

  • House Lights -

    The general lighting in a theater or studio used before and after the performance, separate from the stage or set lighting.

  • Hybrid Camera -

    A camera that combines features of both still photography and video recording, popular for its versatility in various types of productions.

  • Hybrid Genre -

    A film that blends elements from two or more genres, creating a unique narrative style or theme.

  • Hydrophone -

    A microphone designed for recording underwater sound, used in marine and aquatic filmmaking.

  • Hyperlapse -

    A technique involving time-lapse photography with the camera moving between each shot, creating a dynamic, flowing motion effect.

  • Image Stabilization -

    A technology in cameras and lenses that reduces blur caused by camera movement, resulting in smoother, clearer footage.

  • IMAX -

    A high-resolution film format known for its large screen size and immersive viewing experience, requiring specialized cameras and theaters.

  • In the Can -

    A phrase meaning that a film or scene has been successfully shot and is ready for editing or further processing.

  • In-Camera Effects -

    Special effects created on set using practical techniques and camera tricks, rather than post-production processes.

  • In-Point -

    The starting frame of a video clip or segment selected for editing or playback.

  • Indicating -

    An actor's overly obvious or exaggerated performance, often seen as unnatural or lacking subtlety.

  • Indie -

    Short for independent film, referring to films made without the backing of major studios, often characterized by unique storytelling and artistic freedom and greater creative control for filmmakers.

  • Ingest -

    The process of importing and organizing video and audio files into an editing system for post-production.

  • Insert Edit -

    An editing technique where new footage is inserted into the middle of an existing sequence without affecting the surrounding shots.

  • Insert Shot -

    A close-up shot of a specific detail within a scene, such as a note, clock, or hand movement, often used to emphasize important information.

  • Instant Replay -

    The immediate playback of a recorded segment, often used in sports broadcasting to review key moments.

  • Interactive Cinema -

    A form of filmmaking that allows the audience to participate in the narrative, making choices that affect the outcome of the story.

  • Intercut -

    An editing technique that alternates between two or more scenes happening simultaneously or in parallel, building tension or creating connections between events.

  • Interior (INT.) -

    A screenplay notation indicating that a scene takes place indoors. (INT.)

  • Interlude -

    A brief scene or sequence inserted between main scenes or acts, often used to provide exposition or a pause in the narrative.

  • Intermission -

    A break in the middle of a film, usually in longer features, allowing the audience time to rest or discuss the first half.

  • Internegative -

    A film element created from the original negative, used to produce release prints for distribution.

  • Invisible Cut -

    An editing technique designed to make the transition between shots seamless and unnoticeable, maintaining the flow of action.

  • IP -

    Short for Intellectual Property (IP) are creative works or ideas that are legally protected, such as scripts, characters, or trademarks, often the basis for film adaptations.

  • ISO -

    ISO is short for International Organization for Standardization and is a camera setting that determines the sensitivity of the sensor to light, affecting exposure and image quality.

  • J-Camera Movement -

    A technique where the camera moves in a J-shaped path, starting with a horizontal move followed by a vertical rise or drop.

  • J-Cut -

    An editing technique where the audio from the next scene begins before the current scene ends, creating a seamless audio transition.

  • Jack-in-the-Box -

    A shot composition where a character or object suddenly appears within the frame, often used to create surprise or tension.

  • Jam Sync -

    The process of synchronizing multiple cameras or audio devices to a common timecode to ensure accurate alignment during editing.

  • Jersey Barrier -

    A concrete barrier used on film sets to block off areas or protect crew members, named after its common use on highways in New Jersey.

  • Jib Arm -

    A type of camera crane that allows for smooth, sweeping movements, often used for dynamic high-angle shots.

  • Jib Operator -

    A crew member responsible for operating the jib arm, ensuring smooth and precise camera movements during filming.

  • Jigsaw Editing -

    An editing style that pieces together various shots and scenes in a non-linear or unconventional order to create a unique narrative structure.

  • Jitter -

    Unstable or shaky camera movements, often an undesirable effect that can be minimized with stabilization techniques.

  • Journalistic Style -

    A filmmaking approach that emphasizes factual reporting and documentary-like presentation, often used in news and investigative films.

  • Judge's Cut -

    An initial rough cut of a film used for early screenings to get feedback and make necessary adjustments before the final edit.

  • Jukebox Musical -

    A film that features popular songs as part of the narrative, often using the music of a specific artist or era to drive the story.

  • Jump Cut -

    A sudden, abrupt transition between shots, often creating a jarring effect by showing a noticeable change in the subject or scene.

  • Jump Scare -

    A sudden, unexpected event in a film designed to startle the audience, commonly used in horror and thriller genres.

  • Justice -

    A theme or narrative element in a film where characters seek fairness, retribution, or moral righteousness.

  • Justice Shot -

    A scene where a character receives their due reward or punishment, often used to provide closure or moral resolution.

  • Juxtaposition -

    Placing two or more elements side by side in a film to highlight their differences or create a specific effect or meaning.

  • Ken Burns Effect -

    A technique of panning and zooming in on still images to create a sense of movement, popularized by documentary filmmaker Ken Burns.

  • Key Art -

    The primary promotional image or poster for a film, used in marketing materials to attract audiences and convey the film's tone or theme.

  • Key Grip -

    The head grip responsible for supervising the rigging and setup of equipment that supports the camera, such as lighting stands, dollies, and cranes.

  • Key Light -

    The main source of light in a scene, used to illuminate the primary subject and establish the overall lighting style.

  • Key Scene -

    A pivotal or important scene in a film that significantly impacts the plot or character development.

  • Keyframe -

    A specific frame in animation or video editing that marks the start or end of a transition or movement, used to control changes in position, opacity, or other attributes.

  • Kicker Light -

    A light placed behind and to the side of the subject, creating a rim of light that helps to separate the subject from the background.

  • Kill Fee -

    A payment made to a freelancer or contractor when a project is canceled before completion, compensating for lost time and effort.

  • Kinescope -

    An early method of recording live television broadcasts by filming the monitor, used before the advent of videotape.

  • Kinesthesia -

    The sense of movement or physical sensation experienced by viewers through the visual and auditory elements of a film.

  • Kinetic Typography -

    The art and technique of animating text to express ideas, often used in title sequences and informational videos.

  • Kinetoscope -

    An early motion picture exhibition device invented by Thomas Edison, allowing one person at a time to view moving images through a peephole.

  • Klieg Light -

    A powerful carbon-arc lamp used in early film production, known for its intense and focused beam of light.

  • Kuleshov Effect -

    A film editing effect demonstrated by Soviet filmmaker Lev Kuleshov, showing that viewers derive more meaning from the interaction of two sequential shots than from a single shot in isolation.

  • L-Cut -

    An editing technique where the audio from the previous scene continues to play over the beginning of the next scene.

  • Lavalier Mic -

    A small microphone that can be clipped to a person's clothing, commonly used for recording dialogue in a discreet manner.

  • Lead Actor -

    The primary performer in a film, playing the central character around whom the story revolves.

  • Letterboxing -

    A technique used to display widescreen content on a standard screen by adding black bars to the top and bottom of the image.

  • Lighting Plan -

    A detailed diagram and description of the lighting setup for a scene, used to ensure consistent and effective illumination.

  • Line Producer -

    A key member of the production team responsible for managing the budget, schedule, and day-to-day operations on set.

  • Line Reading -

    The way an actor delivers a line of dialogue, which can be directed to convey specific emotions or meanings.

  • Line-Up -

    The process of positioning actors and setting up the camera and lighting before filming begins, ensuring everything is in place.

  • Linear Editing -

    An editing process where footage is arranged in a sequential order, often used in traditional tape-based systems.

  • Loading Bay -

    An area on set where film is loaded into cameras or where equipment and props are prepared for use.

  • Location Manager -

    A person responsible for overseeing the logistical aspects of filming on location, including permits, security, and coordinating with local authorities.

  • Location Scout -

    A person responsible for finding and securing locations for filming, ensuring they meet the director's and production's needs.

  • Location Sound -

    The audio recorded on location during filming, as opposed to sound added in post-production.

  • Logline -

    A brief summary of a film's plot, typically one or two sentences, designed to hook potential viewers or investors.

  • Long Shot -

    A shot that captures the subject from a distance, often showing the entire body and some of the surrounding environment.

  • Looping -

    The process of re-recording dialogue in a studio to improve audio quality or change lines, also known as ADR (Automated Dialogue Replacement).

  • Low Angle Shot -

    A shot taken from below the subject, often making the subject appear larger, more powerful, or more imposing.

  • Low Key Lighting -

    A lighting style that uses minimal fill light, creating strong shadows and high contrast, often used in film noir and horror genres.

  • Luma -

    The brightness or intensity of light in an image, affecting how light and dark areas appear.

  • LUT -

    A Look-Up Table (LUT) is a mathematical formula used in color grading to map one set of colors to another, allowing for consistent color correction and stylization.

  • MacGuffin -

    An object, event, or character in a film that serves to set and keep the plot in motion despite usually lacking intrinsic importance.

  • Mark -

    A specific spot on the floor or ground where an actor needs to be positioned during a scene, often indicated with tape or chalk.

  • Martini Shot -

    The last shot of the day, named humorously as the next shot is from a martini glass.

  • Master Shot -

    A continuous shot that captures the entire scene from start to finish, often used as a reference during editing to ensure coverage.

  • Match Cut -

    A cut that connects two shots by matching the action, composition, or subject matter, creating a seamless transition.

  • Match on Action -

    A continuity editing technique where the action in one shot matches the action in the next, creating a seamless transition.

  • Matte Box -

    A device attached to the camera lens to block out unwanted light and prevent lens flare, often used with filters.

  • Matte Painting -

    A painted representation of a landscape, set, or distant location used to create the illusion of an environment that is not present at the filming location.

  • Medium Shot -

    A shot that typically frames the subject from the waist up, balancing detail and context.

  • Method Acting -

    An acting technique where actors immerse themselves in their character's emotional experiences and circumstances to deliver more authentic performances.

  • Mise-en-scène -

    The arrangement of everything that appears in the framing – actors, lighting, décor, props, and costume – and the overall look and feel of a scene.

  • Monologue -

    A long speech by a single character, often revealing their thoughts, feelings, or background.

  • Montage -

    A sequence of shots, often set to music, used to condense time, convey information quickly, or create emotional impact.

  • MOS -

    MOS (Mit Out Sound) is a term used to indicate that a scene is filmed without synchronous sound, with the audio added later in post-production.

  • Motif -

    A recurring visual, thematic, or audio element that has symbolic significance in a film.

  • Motion Capture -

    A technique for recording the movement of objects or people, often used to create realistic animation in films and video games.

  • Motivation -

    The reasons behind a character's actions and behavior, essential for creating believable and relatable characters.

  • Multicam -

    A production technique using multiple cameras simultaneously to capture different angles of the same scene, often used in live events and sitcoms.

  • Mumblecore -

    A subgenre of independent film characterized by naturalistic acting, low-budget production, and focus on personal relationships.

  • Music Score -

    The background music composed specifically for a film to enhance the mood, emotion, and atmosphere of scenes.

  • Narration -

    A commentary delivered by a narrator who provides context, background information, or additional insight into the story.

  • Narrative Arc -

    The structured sequence of events in a story, including the setup, conflict, climax, and resolution.

  • Narrative Device -

    A technique or tool used by the filmmaker to tell the story, such as flashbacks, voice-over narration, or unreliable narrators.

  • Narrative Film -

    A film that tells a fictional or fictionalized story, with a structured plot and characters, as opposed to documentary or experimental films.

  • Natural Light -

    Light that comes from natural sources, such as the sun or moon, as opposed to artificial lighting.

  • ND Filter -

    A Neutral Density (ND) filter that reduces the intensity of light entering the lens without affecting color, allowing for greater control over exposure settings.

  • Needle Drop -

    The use of pre-existing music in a film, often licensed for specific scenes to enhance the mood or evoke a certain time period.

  • Negative Space -

    The empty or unoccupied space around the subject in a frame, used to create balance and emphasize the main subject.

  • Neorealism -

    A style of filmmaking that emerged in Italy post-World War II, focusing on the everyday lives of ordinary people and often using non-professional actors and real locations.

  • Night-for-Night -

    Filming night scenes during actual nighttime conditions, as opposed to day-for-night techniques.

  • Noddy Shot -

    A type of reaction shot where the interviewer nods or responds to the interviewee, often used in documentaries and news interviews.

  • Non-Diegetic Sound -

    Sound that does not originate from the film's world and is not heard by the characters, such as background music or a narrator's commentary.

  • Non-Linear Editing -

    A method of editing where shots and scenes can be accessed and arranged in any order, often using digital editing software.

  • Non-Linear Narrative -

    A storytelling technique where events are presented out of chronological order, often used to create suspense or reveal character backstory.

  • Non-Synchronous Sound -

    Sound that is not recorded simultaneously with the image or does not match the action on screen, often added in post-production.

  • Nose Room -

    The space in front of a subject's face in the direction they are looking, also known as lead room, ensuring a balanced composition.

  • NTSC -

    The National Television System Committee (NTSC) is an analog television color system used in North America and parts of South America, with a frame rate of 29.97 frames per second.