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Flashcards in Elements of Film Style Deck (21):


This term derives from the Italian words for "bright" [chiaro] and "dark [oscuro]. It means the arrangement of light and dark in a pictorial composition.



The photography of moving images in the making of a motion picture, cinematography involves such technical concerns as camera, lens, film stock and lighting, and such techniques as camera angle, distance and movement. Significant to each image and the relation of images are composition, form, color, light and dark and motion. The term also applies to the entire procedure for making motion pictures, which includes photography, processing printing and projection.



The arrangement of al the elements within a scene, including setting, props, lighting, characters and movement. The frame of each particular shot must be seen both as a separate compositional unit and in the context of surrounding shots. Composition influences the way viewers read the screen, the meaning and significance they derive from each image, their emotional response to the characters and action, and their general interest throughout the film.


continuity editing

A system of cutting [See Vocabulary Week 1] to maintain continuous and clear narrative action. Continuity editing relies upon matching screen direction, position, and temporal relations from shot to shot.



Editing that alternates shots of two or more lines of action occurring in different places, usually simultaneously.



1. In filmmaking [production or post-production], the joining of two strips of film together with a splice. 2. In the finished film, an instantaneous change from one framing to another.


deep focus

A use of the camera lens and lighting that keeps both the close and distant planes being photographed [foreground and background] in sharp focus.



A transition between two shots during which the first image gradually disappears while the second image gradually appears: for a moment the two images blend in superimposition.



1. In filmmaking [production or post-production], the task of selecting and joining camera takes. 2. In the finished film, the set of techniques that governs the relations among shots [cuts, jump cuts, dissolves, wipes etc].



A single image on the strip of film. When a series of frames is projected onto a screen in quick succession an illusion of movement is created by the spectator [persistence of vision].



The use of the edges of the film frame to select and to compose what will be visible on screen.


matte shot

A type of process shot [the combination of two or more images into one, or to create a special effect] in which different area of the image (usually actors and setting) are photographed separately and combined in laboratory work.



A French term meaning "putting into the scene" . . . in discussions of film, it refers to the composition of the individual frame -- the relation of objects, people and masses; the interplay of light and dark; the pattern of color; the camera's position and angle of view -- as well as the movement within the frame.



1. A synonym for editing [See Vocabulary Week 1]. 2. An approach to editing developed by the Soviet filmmakers of the 1920s; it emphasizes dynamic, often discontinuous, relationships between shots and the juxtaposition of images to create ideas not present in either shot itself.


montage sequence

A segment of a film that summarizes a topic or compresses a passage of time into brief symbolic or typical images. Frequently dissolves, fades, superimpositions and wipes are used to link the images in a montage sequence.


point-of-view shot

Also POV shot. A shot taken with the camera placed approximately where the character's eyes would be, showing what the character would see; usually cut in before or after a shot of the character looking.



A segment in a narrative film that takes place in one time and space or that uses crosscutting to show two or more simultaneous actions.



1. In shooting [production], one uninterrupted run of the camera to expose a series of frames. Also called a take. 2. In the finished film, one uninterrupted image with a single static or mobile framing. [Shots framed in different scales have different names: close shot or close-up, medium shot, long shot etc.]


shot/reverse shot

Two or more shots edited together that alternate characters, typically in a conversation situation. In continuity editing, characters in one framing usually look left, in the other framing, right. Over-the-shoulder framings are common in shot/reverse-shot editing.


tracking shot

A mobile framing that travels through space forward, backward or laterally.



The exposure of more than one image on the same strip of film.