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Elena Le

Film Techniques Vocabulary and Descriptions

1. Research to find the various techniques used in film making.
2. You should NOT copy/paste, but include information in your own words to show comprehension.
3. Visit several websites and documents to collect comprehensive information.



Technique and Description

1. Diegetic: telling of a story by a narrator who summarizes events in the plot and
comments on the conversations, thoughts. Sound that could be heard by the
characters in the film.
2. Non-Diegetic: sound is represented as coming from the A source outside story
space. Sound only heard by the audience. Creates emotional reaction.
3. Dubbing: mixing or re-recording a soundtrack in the film. (Voice-over): offcamera narration by either a character or a commentator.
4. Soundtracks: background music.
5. Internal diegetic: only one character can hear. Internal monologue, supernatural
1. Depth of field: Focusing on close objects and blurring out far and/or vice versa.


2. The Vertigo Effect: making to movement of the character the same as the zoom so
that the character remains the same size.
3. Deep focus: Regardless of the space frame stays in focus throughout.
4. Soft Focus: The scene is soft, somewhat blurred or diffused.


What is the purpose of the technique? Why is it useful?

How does it enhance the viewers perception of a scene
or character?
Sound depends on our understanding of the conventions of
film viewing and listening.
In order to make the film more dramatic and appealing to
the audience.
To enhance the dramatized scenes.
Usually for building up the anticipation to a scene.
To make more intense
In order to narrow out the most important characters in a
scene or frame.
For a better frame.
When filming something close or far moving further or
creates lighter mood or lighting

5. Rack focus: Brings background or foreground into sudden focus. Forces viewer to
focus on one thing.

focuses attention on one thing

1. Long-Shot: The object seems small or is seen from a distance. If a person is in the
shot, it is the entire body and a great deal of background visible.

Offers viewers a sense of time and place; also offers the

viewer a choice of where to focus.

2. Establishing shot: a long-shot establishing a scene or identifying a location.

3. Extreme long shot: Captures the bigger picture, focuses more on the landscapes,
buildings, skyscrapers, etc.
4. Mid/Medium Shot: A view of the person from the waist up; focuses on small

Capture scenery
To focus more on the exterior architectures.
Shooting two to three people in a frame.



shops and houses.

Close-Up: More focused on the face, from the neck up. Facial expressions,
computer screens, etc. Takes up to 80% of screen. A shot close to the subject.
Extreme Close-Up: when focusing on a very small object or a specific portion of
the character. Mole, or phone screen, etc. A shot that focuses on a single body part
or object, a monogram.
Dolly Shot: Basically a camera man and the camera filming on a wheeled board or
Two-shot/ Three-shot: A shot with two or three characters.

1. Field of View: (<) A cone like angle determined by the cameras focal length. The
longer the focal length the view would be more narrow, and vice versa.
2. Birds eye view: an eye level view of the frame or scene.
3. Eye-Level: More of a straight forward view. A shot from the characters eye level.

4. High angle shot: shot made above eye level. Camera is above or at an angle above
the subject. Makes the object look weak or more vulnerable.

When facial expression becomes a key detail.

Facial features, such as high cheek bones, or a mole.

Used to move in and out of a setting, frame, or scene.

The FOV is used in order to capture the right frame.
Focusing more on what is straight ahead.
When the character is looking straight forward as if looking
at the audience directly.
Usually used to film anything underneath or below. Uses a
higher platform to film.
used to make subject look strong, powerful or threatening

5. Low Angle: a camera is below the subject.


6. Dutch Angle: Camera is slightly tilted.

indicates tension, uncertainty or danger

1. Bottom lighting/ Side Lighting lighting from the side that leaves the subject half
in light and half in the shadows.
2. Back lighting/Background lighting: used to focus on what is ahead instead of
what is in the back. Lighting from the back.
3. High-Key Lighting/ Hard-lighting: casts a bigger shadow. Lighting that produces
uniform brightness; scene is flooded with light.
4. Front lighting/Soft lighting: casts a shadow but is more blurred. Lighting from the
5. Cucocolis (cookies): often used for cut outs of wood, metal, plastic, etc.
6. Gobo (Go before Optics): cut out of metal or glass that goes directly in front of
lighting to on cast a shadow.

It can indicate a split personality or a secret/something

hidden by a character.
To focus more on the objects closer to the camera than the
background details.

7. Low-key lighting: Lighting that produces dark shadows.


1. Panning: used to follow anything moving.

2. Tilting: used as a transition between one cameras to another. A camera is
stationary, but the camera head rotates up and down.

Used kind of like a spot light.

When the scene is focusing on something when evenly
distributed lighting.
Focus on objects.
Make the illusion of having something there that really
Creates suffrage, mystery, danger, or suspension
To focus on someone walking or a ball moving, to bring
focus to anything in movement.
Movement or scene shifting.

3. Tracking shot: having the camera in space parallel to the ground moving forward or
3. Long take: long shots of a single frame.
4. Tracking: a shot in which the camera is mounted on a wheeled vehicle. General
term for the camera in a moving state.
5. Craning: a shot or scene taken on a crane or jib. The camera is mounted on a crane
enabling the camera to take overhead shots.

To look at objects below. Needs a high platform to capture

the right frame.
Mainly used for plays and long scenes.
Effect of movement along with character of object.
Minimum height to shot scene.
Used for a larger frame or focus.

6. Proxemic Patterns: when the distance of the camera is far from the scene being
filmed to capture all movement.
7. Zoom: The camera is stationary, but the lens moves to or farther away from the

1. Fade a scene fades to black (or any other color) for a very short time as is slowly
replaced with another image; may start the next scene or change subjects
2. Wipes: When one screen wipes across screen introducing a new scene. A new
images wipes off the previous image.
3. Dissolve: transition between scenes. A transition technique where one image is
gradually replaced by another.
4. Straight cut: A quick transition between two shots.
5. Strobing: panning to fast causing an abrupt movement in the frame.
6. Blur: to help more of the movement effect, avoiding strobing.
7. Shot-Reverse-Shot/Cross cutting: when moving back and forth quickly between
two scenes or characters.
8. Crosscut (Parallel editing): when one shot is replaced quickly by another. A
joining of two separate shots so that the first is instantaneously replaced by the
second; two pieces of film are sliced together. Switching back and forth between
two actions taking place at the same time, but not necessarily in the same place.
9. Continuity editing: when the action flows smoothly across the frame.
10. Point-of-View (POV): A shot from the characters point of view- what the character
11. Flashback/ Flash forwarding: A segment of a film that dramatizes what has
happened in the past or what will take place at some point in the film.

To focus attention on a person or subject.

It indicates a passage of time or the end of a segment.

Another technique of transition to a new scene or setting
When one screen fades out and another comes in. Basically
introducing another setting.
To get both or more than one perspective of the setting.
Could cause motion sickness or the site of movement to be
Sharing information from one scene to another.
To capture both perspectives of the scene. Often used to
show reaction in a conversation.
Transitioning from one scene to the next. Comparing two
actions going on at the same time.

Mainly for action and intensity.

Makes audience feel part of the scene

to give additional info of character.

12. Eye-Line Match: A cut from a person to an object and back to the person.

Elena Le

To focus of what the character is looking at