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Film Terminology and Cinematic Effects

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Ryan Woods

on 23 February 2018

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Transcript of Film Terminology and Cinematic Effects

Film Terminology and Cinematic Effects
Camera Movement
The Shot
Examples from
Slumdog Millionaire
-Long Shot:
the object on the screen appears to be seen from some distance
If a person is shown, you usually see the entire body.
Can establish a scene by showing the entire setting like a skyline
Can show distance or separation between characters
-Close up:
the object takes up nearly 80% of the screen space and therefore appears very large
Can be used to focus on a critical clue in a detective story
Can be used to emphasize facial expressions or gestures
Forces audience to look only at what the director had intended
-Medium Shot:
Most common and most natural since it is most common in our real lives.
Doesn't necessarily communicate much in the cinematic effect
Neutral shot

-Soft Focus:
ever so slightly out of focus
Used to keep ideas, motives, and identity always in question
-Rack Focus:
When the focus changes during a scene
A character in the background is in focus but then a phone rings and that is now the image in focus.
Shows that there is a change in importance
To bring either the background or the foreground into focus
-Deep Focus:
all images in the foreground and background remain in focus
Critics say that it gives a deeper sense of reality
Low Angle
: when the camera is below the subject
Makes characters look: huge, powerful, dominating, in control
Size and strength can be exaggerated
High Angle
: when the camera is above the subject
Makes characters look: small, weak, powerless, trapped, less in control
Eye Level
: when the camera is on the same level as the subject
Much like the medium shot. Very neutral.
Characters are on an even balance with one another
Look for this angle after a low/high angle to show change in a character
Dutch Angle
: when the camera tilts itself slightly
Image appears sideways
Often used in horror or gangster films to show evil characters or dangerous situations
Can create tension or peculiarity in an otherwise normal situation which should imply danger!
the camera is pivoting along the horizontal axis (left to right/right to left) The camera never actually moves
Pan is usually used to introduce a setting
Pan usually only worked left to right, like reading a book but that is not absolute...Hitchcock changed that for viewers
Also used from the point of view of a character so that the audience can take in the character's surrounding/settings (Think western/horror movies)
the camera is moving along the vertical axis (bottom moving up/ up moving down) The camera never actually moves
Effective way to communicate distance, size, and strength
Example: Mountain climber stands at the base of a mountain. We see from behind her and follow her head as she looks up, up, up until we see the top of the mountain. This shows the audience the physical struggle she will go through
Example: Male looks at female. Audience sees through his eyes. Starting at her feet, the camera tilts up looking at her body until it finally shows her face.
Camera Movement
-a single uninterrupted piece of film
-the image that appears on screen until it is replaced by another image
-Not always in focus even though we would like it that way
the focal length of the lens changes, thus making the object appear to move closer or further away.
Just like Pan and Tilt, the camera doesn't actually move
A way to direct audience's attention to a detail that the director does not want them to miss.
The audience moves into the scene without leaving their seats.

-Tracking or Dolly Shots:
Any time that the camera is moving
Camera can be on a track, a truck, a helicopter, or even attached to a person
The shot can actually move the audience through the space of the film
Camera goes with the action, become part of it, or go behind it
Look at the background, if it changes in relation to the way objects appear and it flattens then it is a ZOOM feature and not a tracking/dolly shot.
Camera Movement cont...
-Low-key Lighting
: not entirely lit up, often most of the scene is in shadow
Associated with: Darkness, Shadows, Patches of bright key lights
Used to create moods of suspicion, mystery, or danger
Great for horror, film noir, and detective films
-High-Key Lighting
: Everything is lit up with barely any piece in the shadow
Distinguished by: brightness, openness, lack of shadows and contrast between dark/light
Perfect for romantic comedies, musicals, costumed dramas
Characters and situations are seen without misunderstanding or threat
-Neutral Lighting
: not high- or low-lighting. Average/balanced --not saying much
-Bottom/Side Lighting
: Lighting from below. Illuminating portions of areas
Effect of creating an evil character, someone hiding something, morally ambiguous, or somehow conflicted.
Example: Flashlight under chin to tell ghost stories
-Front Lighting
: Lit from the front so that no shadows appearing. Can create a halo effect on facial features
Used to show innocence or openness (Characters with nothing to hide; Hero or heroine)
-The principal souce of light on a movie set is called "key light"
-Other lights balance, soften or shade the key light
-first films were fixed to a tripod
-camera operators have found ways to have cameras move and/or appear to move to engage the audience
-often overlooked
-helps to create an effect on a viewer
-Diegetic Sound:
Any sound that can be heard by a character within the movie environment
Examples: Characters speaking, background noise, and sound effects that characters are meant to hear in the movie
Audience is also intended to hear these sounds.
-Nondiegetic Sound:
sound that cannot be heard logically by characters within the film. Any sound that is intended only for the audience
Example: Horror movies that have theme songs for the killer (Michael Myers in Halloween) or the music that accompanies Jaws when he is in the water
Usually music unless the music is being listened to by the character
Voice overs meant directly for the audience's purpose
-Internal Diegetic Sound:
Sounds that are meant to be heard inside of a character's head.
Think about narration or Point of View in literature
Only one character and the audience will hear these sounds
Can be a sound that the character is remembering having heard or a character talking to him/herself
-How the "shots" get put together
-methods by which the director chooses to move form one shot to another
The Fade
: when the image on screen slowly fades away and the screen itself is entirely black (or some other color) for a noticeable amount of time
Used for the end of a scene or to show that "some measurable time has passed" between shots
Used to edit out the "inbetween" time (Ex: man and woman walk into a bedroom. They look at each other. FADE. They reappear smoking cigarettes under the covers...time has passed!)
Slow type of transition and not realistic
The Dissolve
: like the "fade" as the image slowly fades out, but instead of going all the way blacked out it is replaced by another image that is fading in
Another slow type of transition as there are overlapping images
Used as a way to make connections between two objects
The Crosscut
: also known as parallel cutting which allows the director to show that events are occurring in different spaces at the same time.
Example: "Quiet town" CUT TO "missile blasting to earth" CUT BACK TO "quiet town" and CUT BACK TO "Missile one more time" There is no logical reason for the audience to think that the missile will destroy the town but the years of film editing like this encourage the audience to think this way.
-Flashback and Flash-forward:
connecting shots designed to give the viewer important information about what has happened in the past or what will happen in the future.
Characters narrate the story: "It all started when..." and the scenes dissolve into different shots to show a person growing up...
Flashbacks in film tend to happen less regularly than literature due to conventions of film making
Flash-forward is showing the audience ahead of the present story time
Flash-forward is used to show foreshadowing and create tension

-Eye-line Match:
shots can be assembled to connect a sight-line to an object.
Example: Person looking at something and the camera cuts to whatever the camera was looking at from that person's perspective, and the series normally ends with a return to the person to show his or her reaction.
Very important editing as it reveals what the character is thinking.
Editing cont...
Extreme long shot
Long Shot
Medium shot
Soft Focus
Rack Focus
Deep Focus
Low Angle
High Angle
Eye-Level Angle
Dutch Angle
Camera Movements
Tracking/Dolly Shot

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