Above the line (filmmaking) Above-the-line is the list of individuals who guide, influence and hopefully add to the creative direction, process and voice of a given narrative in a film and their related expenditures.
Absolute film Absolute film is a film movement begun by a group of visionary artists in Germany in the 1920s: Hans Richter, Walter Ruttmann, Oskar Fischinger and the Swede Viking Eggeling.
All-star All-star (also All-Star) is a term designating an individual as having a high level of performance in their field.
Alternate ending Alternate ending, or more accurately "alternative ending" in British English, is a term used (usually in movies) to describe the ending of a story that was planned or debated but ultimately unus...
Analog recording Analog (or analogue) recording (Greek, ana is "according to" and logos "relationship") is a technique used for the recording of analog signals which among many possibilities ...
Animated cartoon An animated cartoon is a film for the cinema, television or computer screen, which is made using sequential drawings as opposed to animations in general, which include films made using clay, pup...
Art department Art department in movie terms means the section of a production's crew concerned with visual artistry.
Atmospheric theatre An atmospheric theatre is a (mostly historical) type of movie palace (cinema) which has an auditorium ceiling that is intended to give the illusion of an open sky as its defining feature.
B movie A B movie is a low-budget commercial motion picture that is not definitively an arthouse.
B-roll B-roll, B roll, or Broll is the supplemental or alternative footage intercut with the main shot in an interview or documentary.
Back to back film production Filming sequels "back to back" refers to the practice of filming two or more movies as one production, reducing costs and time.
Bankable star In the film industry, a bankable star is an actor famous or charismatic enough to be "capable of guaranteeing box-office success simply by showing up in a movie".
Beatscript A Beatscript or beat-script is a scripting aid used for describing story ideas.
Below the line (filmmaking) Below-the-line is a term derived from the top sheet of a budget (Motion Picture, Television, Commercial, Industrial, Student Film, Documentary).
Billing (filmmaking) Billing is a performing arts term used in referring to the order and other aspects of how credits are presented for plays, films, television, or other creative works.
Bird's eye shot In film, a Bird's eye shot refers to a shot looking directly down on the subject.
Bird's-eye shot In film, a bird's-eye shot refers to a shot looking directly down on the subject.
Black hat A black hat is the villain or bad guy, especially in a western movie in which such a character would wear a black hat in contrast to the hero's white hat.
Black hat (film) A black hat is a film's villain or bad guy, especially one literally wearing a black hat in a western, in contrast to the hero's white hat.
Blackout gag A blackout gag is a term mainly used in broad, rapid-fire, slapstick comedy to describe a manner in which a gag or joke is executed.
Blockbuster (entertainment) Blockbuster, as applied to film, theatre, and sometimes also video games, denotes a very popular or successful production.
Blockbuster mentality Blockbuster mentality refers to the pressure faced by the small number of conglomerates who run much of the movie industry to create formulaic productions with a high budget.
Bouncing ball The bouncing ball is a device used in video recordings to visually indicate the rhythm of a song, helping audiences to sing along with live or prerecorded music.
Box office A box office is a place where tickets are sold to the public for admission to an event.
Box office bomb The term box office bomb or flop generally refers to a film that is viewed as highly unsuccessful or unprofitable during its theatrical run, sometimes preceding hype regarding its cost, pr...
Breakthrough role A breakthrough role, also known as breakout role, is a term in the film industry to describe the performance of an actor or actress in a film which contributed significantly to the develop...
Breathing (lens) Breathing refers to the change of angle of view of a lens when shifting the focus.
Butterfly (lighting) In cinematography, butterflies (also known as overheads) are structures on which materials are mounted so to control lighting in a scene or photograph.
Cameo appearance A cameo role or cameo appearance (often shortened to just cameo) is a brief appearance or voice part of a known person in a work of the performing arts, typically unnamed or appearin...
Cameo lighting Cameo lighting in film is a spotlight that accentuates a single person in a scene.
Camera coverage Camera coverage, in filmmaking and video production, is the amount of footage shot and different camera angles used to capture a scene.
Car chase A car chase is the vehicular pursuit of suspects by law enforcers.
Cartoon A cartoon is a form of two-dimensional illustrated visual art.
Casting couch The casting couch, casting-couch syndrome or casting-couch mentality is a term that refers to the trading of sexual favors by an aspirant, apprentice employee or subordinate to a sup...
Chroma key A chroma key subject must avoid wearing clothes which are similar in color to the chroma key color(s) (unless intentional e.g. wearing a green top to make it appear that the subject has no body)...
Cine film Ciné film (sometimes Cine, no acute accent) is the term commonly used in the UK to refer to the 9.5 mm, 16 mm, 8 mm and Super 8 motion picture film formats used for home ...
Cinéma pur Cinéma Pur (French for Pure Cinema) was an avant-garde film movement begun by filmmakers, like René Clair, who "wanted to return the medium to its elemental origins" of "vision and movement.
Closing credits Closing credits or end credits are added at the end of a motion picture, television program, or video game to list the cast and crew involved in the production.
Cold open A cold open (also called a teaser) in a television program or movie is the technique of jumping directly into a story at the beginning or opening of the show, before the title sequence or ...
Composite film A composite film is a feature film whose screenplay is composed of two or more distinct stories.
Credit (creative arts) In general, the term credit in the artistic or intellectual sense refers to an acknowledgement of those who contributed to a work, whether through ideas or in a more direct sense.
Cue mark A cue mark, also known as a cue dot, a changeover cue or simply a cue is a visual indicator used with motion picture film prints, usually placed on the right-hand upper corner ...
Cult film A cult film, also commonly referred to as a cult classic, is a film that has acquired a cult following.
Daybill A daybill is one variety of Australian film poster issued to cinemas at the time of a film's release.
Deleted scene A deleted scene refers to footage that has been removed, censored, or replaced in the final version of a film or television show.
Desktop video Desktop video refers to a phenomenon lasting from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s when the graphics capabilities of personal computers such as Commodore's Amiga, the Apple Macintosh II and spec...
Digital backlot A digital backlot (also known as a virtual backlot) is a motion picture set that is neither a genuine location shoot nor physical (i.e.
Digital cinematography Digital cinematography is the process of capturing motion pictures as digital images, as opposed to the historical use of motion picture film.
Digital compositing Digital compositing is the process of digitally assembling multiple images to make a final image, typically for print, motion pictures or screen display.
Digital container format A container or wrapper format is a metafile format whose specification describes how different data elements and metadata coexist in a computer file.
Digital copy A Digital Copy is a commercially distributed computer file containing a media product such as a film or music album.
Digital Copy Digital copy is a marketing term for a commercially distributed computer file containing a media product such as a film or music album.
Digital intermediate Digital intermediate (typically abbreviated to DI) is a motion picture finishing process which classically involves digitizing a motion picture and manipulating the color and other image c...
Digital video Digital video is a type of digital recording system that works by using a digital rather than an analog video signal.
Director's cut A director's cut is a specially edited version of a film, and less often TV series, music video, commercials, comic book or video games, that is supposed to represent the director's own approved...
Directorial debut A directorial debut is the first production of anyone working for the first time as a director of a film.
Dogme 95 Dogme 95 was an avant-garde filmmaking movement started in 1995 by the Danish directors Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg, who created the "Dogme 95 Manifesto" and the "Vow of Chastity" (kysk...
Double feature The double feature, also known as a double bill, was a motion picture industry phenomenon in which theatre managers would exhibit two films for the price of one, supplanting an earlier for...
Dub localization Dub localization, also often simply referred to as localization, which is a form of a voice-over.
Dump months The dump months is a term used in the film community for the two periods of the year when there are lowered commercial and critical expectations for new major-studio releases.
Edit decision list An edit decision list or EDL used in the post-production process of film editing and video editing.
Editor's cut An Editor's Cut of a motion picture is made by the film editor on his/her own, or working with the film director.
Ensemble cast An ensemble cast is made up of cast members in which the principal actors and performers are assigned roughly equal amounts of importance and screen time in a dramatic production.
Error concealment In signal processing, error concealment is a technique in which an error in a transmitted or encoded signal is replaced by synthetic content, often interpolated from other parts of the signal, i...
Event cinema Event cinema sometimes called Alternative Content cinema or Livecasts refers to the use of Cinema theatres to display a varied range of live and recorded entertainment excluding trad...
Event movie An event movie is a film whose release itself is considered a major event, such as an anticipated sequel or a big budget film with major stars generating considerable attention and state-of-the-...
Extreme cinema Extreme cinema is a type of film containing violence, gore, and sex of an extreme nature.
Fade (filmmaking) Fade, as it relates to film, is the process of causing a picture to gradually darken and disappear, or reverse.
Fake Shemp Fake Shemp or simply, "Shemp," is the term for someone who appears in a film as a replacement for another actor or person.
False ending A false ending has two contexts; in literature it is a narrative device where the plot seems to be heading to its conclusion, but in reality, there's still more to the story.
Fan edit A fan edit is a version of a film modified by a viewer, that removes, reorders, or adds material in order to create a new interpretation of the source material.
Feature length Feature length is motion picture terminology referring to the length of a feature film.
Fernseh The Fernseh AG television company was registered in Berlin on July 3, 1929 by John Logie Baird, Robert Bosch and other partners with an initial capital of 100,000 Reichsmark.
Field dominance In video engineering, field dominance refers to the choice of which field of an interlaced video signal is chosen as the point at which video edits occur.
Fig Rig Fig Rig is a camera stabilization device for smaller film cameras/video cameras, designed by film director Mike Figgis.
Film adaptation A film adaptation is the transfer of a written work, in whole or in part, to a feature film.
Film canon Film canon is the limited group of movies that serve as the measuring stick for the highest quality in the film genre, based on criteria that look past personal and popular taste, to encompass o...
Film cement Film cement is a special glue designed to join motion picture film.
Film distributor A film distributor is a company or individual responsible for the marketing of a film.
Film leader A film leader is a length of film attached to the head or tail of a film to assist in threading a projector or telecine.
Film modification The term film modification can be used in general for any form of modification of a film to suit the distributor or the audience's politics or age.
Film poster A film poster is a poster used to advertise a film.
Film promotion Film promotion is the practice of promotion specifically in the film industry.
Film rights Film rights are the rights under copyright law to make a derivative work—in this case, a film—derived from an item of intellectual property.
Film still A film still (sometimes called a publicity still or a production still) is a photograph taken on or off the set of a movie or television program during production.
Film title design Film title design is (and always has been) an essential part of any motion picture.
Film-out Film-out is the process in the computer graphics, video production and filmmaking disciplines of transferring images or animation from videotape or digital files to a traditional film print.
Filmography A filmography is a list of films related by some criteria.
Final cut privilege Final cut privilege (final cut right) is a film industry term, usually used when a director has contractual authority over how a film is ultimately released for public viewing.
First run (film) A film is said to be in its first run when it has been just released.
Footage In filmmaking and video production, footage is the raw, unedited material as it had been originally filmed by movie camera or recorded by a video camera which usually must be edited to create a ...
Four wall distribution In the film industry, four wall distribution (also known as four-walling) is a process through which a studio or distributor rents movie theaters for a period of time and receives all of t...
Four-quadrant movie In the movie industry, a "four-quadrant movie" is one which appeals to all four major demographic "quadrants" of the moviegoing audience: both male and female, over and under 25 years old.
Frame line A frame line is the unused space that separates two adjacent images, or film frames, on the release print of a motion picture.
Full frame In cinematography, full frame refers to the use of the full film gate at maximum width and height for 35 mm film cameras.
Gamine A gamine is a slim, often boyish, elegant, wide-eyed young woman who is, or is perceived to be, mischievous, teasing or sexually appealing.
Graphic violence Graphic violence is the depiction of especially vivid, brutal and realistic acts of violence in visual media such as literature, film, television, and video games.
Guerrilla filmmaking Guerrilla filmmaking refers to a form of independent filmmaking characterized by low budgets, skeleton crews, and simple props using whatever is available.
Guest appearance In show business, a guest appearance is the participation of an outsider performer (such as a musician or actor) in an event such as a music record or concert, show, etc., when the performer doe...
High concept High concept is a term used to refer to an artistic work that can be easily described by a succinctly stated premise.
High-angle shot In film, a high angle shot is usually when the camera angle is located above the eyeline.
High-concept High concept is a term used to refer to an artistic work that can be easily described by a succinctly stated premise.
Hitchcockian Hitchcockian films are those made with the styles and themes similar to those of Alfred Hitchcock's films.
Hollywood blacklist The Hollywood blacklist—as the broader entertainment industry blacklist is generally known—was the mid-20th-century practice of denying employment to screenwriters, actors, directors, musi...
Horse opera A horse opera, or hoss opera, is a western movie or television series that is extremely cliched or formulaic (in the manner of a soap opera).
Hyperlink cinema Hyperlink cinema is a term coined by author Alissa Quart, who used the term in her review of the film Happy Endings (2005) for the film journal Film Comment in 2005.
Independent film An independent film is a professional film production resulting in a feature film that is produced mostly or completely outside of the major film studio system.
Intermission An intermission (American English) or interval (British English) is a recess between parts of a performance or production, such as for a theatrical play, opera, concert, or film screening.
International co-production An international co-production is a production where two or more different production companies are working together, for example in a film production.
Intertitle In motion pictures, an intertitle (also known as a title card) is a piece of filmed, printed text edited into the midst of (i.e.
Iris shot An iris shot is a technique frequently used in silent film in which a black circle closes to end a scene.
Key light The key light is the first and usually most important light that a photographer, cinematographer, lighting cameraman, or other scene composer will use in a lighting setup.
Keykode Keykode is an Eastman Kodak Company advancement on edge numbers, which are letters, numbers and symbols placed at regular intervals along the edge of 35 mm and 16 mm film to allow for frame-by-f...
Kill off The killing off of a character is a device in fiction, whereby a character dies, but the story continues.
Lighting technician Electrical Lighting Technicians (ELT) or simply Lighting Tech., are involved with rigging stage and location sets and controlling artificial, electric lights for art and entertainment venues (th...
Live action In filmmaking, video production, and other media, the term live action refers to cinematography or videography that is not animated, sometimes based on its original animated series.
Log line A log line or logline is a brief summary of a television program, film, or motion picture often providing both a synopsis of the program's plot, and an emotional "hook" to stimulate interest.
Low-angle shot In cinematography, a low-angle shot, is a shot from a camera angle positioned low on the vertical axis, anywhere below the eyeline, looking up.
Low-budget film A low-budget film is a motion picture shot with little or no funding from a major film studio or private investor.
MacGuffin In fiction, a MacGuffin (sometimes McGuffin or maguffin) is a plot device in the form of some goal, desired object, or other motivator that the protagonist pursues, often with little...
Making-of In cinema, a making-of, also known as behind-the-scenes, the set or on the set is a documentary film that features the production of a film or television program.
Marriage plot Marriage plot is a term used, often in academic circles, to categorize a storyline that recurs in novels most prominently and more recently in films.
Matinee idol Matinée idol is a term used mainly to describe film or theatre stars who are adored to the point of adulation by their fans.
Matinée idol Matinée idol is a term used mainly to describe film or theatre stars who are adored to the point of adulation by their fans.
Message picture A message picture is a motion picture that, in addition to or instead of being for entertainment, intends to communicate a certain message or ideal about society.
Midnight movie The term midnight movie is rooted in the practice that in the 1950s of local television stations around the United States airing low-budget genre films as late-night programming, often with a ho...
Money shot A money shot is a moving or stationary visual element of a film, video, television broadcast, or print publication that is disproportionately expensive to produce and/or is perceived as essentia...
Monologue In theatre, a monologue is presented by a single character, most often to express their mental thoughts aloud, though sometimes also to directly address another character or the audience.
Moster (motion movie poster) A Moster, or motion poster, is a high resolution animation of an original film poster authorized by the movie's film studio.
Motion graphics Motion graphics are graphics that use video footage and/or animation technology to create the illusion of motion or rotation, and are usually combined with audio for use in multimedia projects.
Motion picture credits Two types of credits are traditionally used in films, television programs, and video games; all of which provide attribution to the staff involved in their productions.
Movie packaging In film industry terminology, movie packaging or film packaging is a type of product bundling where a top level talent agency starts up a film or television project using writers, ...
Movie star A movie star (also known as a film star and cinema star) is a celebrity who is well-known, or famous, for his or her starring, or leading, roles in motion pictures.
Movieoke Movieoke (Japanese: ムービーオケ) is a form of entertainment in which an amateur actor or actors perform along with a muted DVD in order to give voice to the character in the film.
Multilingual titling The term multilingual titling defines, in the field of titling for the performing arts, the chance for the audience to follow more than one linguistic option.
Multimedia Multimedia refers to content that uses a combination of different content forms.
Multimedia translation Multimedia translation is a specialized branch of translation which implies the presence of any kind of multimedia electronic system in the translation or in the transmission process.
Negative cost Negative cost is the cost of actually producing and shooting a film.
Night-for-night In cinematography, night-for-night filming is the name given to the practice of actually filming night scenes at night.
No budget film A no-budget film is a film made with very little or no money.
One liner schedule A One Liner Schedule or One-Line Schedule is a filmmaking term for a shorter version of the shooting schedule.
Oneiric (film theory) In film theory, the term oneiric ("pertaining to dream") refers to what proponents describe as the depiction of dream-like states in motion picture, or to the use of the metaphor of a dream or t...
Open matte Open matte is a filming technique that involves matting out the top and bottom of the film frame in the movie projector for the widescreen theatrical release and then scanning the film without a...
Oscar bait Oscar bait refers to movies that are perceived as intended by their makers to be at least nominated for an Academy Award, commonly known as an Oscar.
Oscar season Oscar season is the time period in which Hollywood studios release their more critically acclaimed films, hoping to win at the Academy Awards.
Outtake An outtake is a portion of a work (usually a film or music recording) that is removed in the editing process and not included in the work's final, publicly released version.
P. Adams Sitney P. Adams Sitney, is a historian of American avant-garde cinema.
Particle Transfer Roller The Particle Transfer Roller, often abbreviated to PTR, is a device for cleaning motion picture film.
Physical effects Physical effects is a sub-category of special effects in which mechanical or physical effects are recorded.
Pick-up (filmmaking) In filmmaking, a pick-up is a small, relatively minor shot filmed or recorded after the fact to augment footage already shot.
Picture lock Picture lock is a stage in editing a film or editing a television production.
Possessory credit A possessory credit in filmmaking is the use of a film credit which gives primary artistic recognition to a single person - usually (but not always) the film's director.
Post-credits scene A post-credits scene (also called a button, stinger, credit cookie, tag or coda) is a short clip that appears after all or some of the closing credits of a movie or...
Poverty Row Poverty Row was a slang term used in Hollywood from the late 1920s through the mid-1950s to refer to a variety of small (and mostly short-lived) B movie studios.
Pre-credit In film production, the pre-credit is the section of the film which is shown before the opening credits are shown.
Prelap Prelap is a screenwriting term that means the dialogue from the next scene precedes the cut, and you hear the beginning of the dialogue in the outgoing scene.
Premiere A premiere (or première, from the French première, meaning "first") is the first public performance of a work, such as theatre work, film, dance, or musical composition.
Prequel A prequel is a literary, dramatic, or filmic work whose story precedes that of a previous work, by focusing on events that occur before the original narrative.
Private screening A private screening refers to a screening of a commercially made film to a group of people somewhere other than one of their homes.
Product displacement Product displacement is the removing of trademarked products from primarily visual media in order to avoid the payment of licensing fees, if the trademark owner objects, or if the broadcaster wo...
Product placement Product placement, or embedded marketing, is according to the European Union "any form of audiovisual commercial communication consisting of the inclusion of or reference to a product, a s...
Production babies Production babies refers to a section in the closing credits of films, listing the given names of children born to anyone involved in the making of a film during its production.
Production baby Production babies are children born to anyone involved in the making of a film during its production.
Production budget A film production budget determines how much money will be spent on the entire film project.
Reverse chronology Reverse chronology is a method of story-telling whereby the plot is revealed in reverse order.
Runaway production Runaway production is a term used by the American film industry to describe filmmaking and television productions that are "intended for initial release/exhibition or television broadcast in the...
Scream queen A scream queen is an actress who has become associated with horror films, either through an appearance in a notable entry in the genre as a frequent victim or through constant appearances as the...
Screen quotas Screen quotas are a legislated policy that enforces a minimum number of screening days of domestic films in the theater each year to protect the nation’s films.
Screenplay A screenplay or script is a written work by screenwriters for a film, video game or television program.
Screenplay slug line A slug line is unique to the screenplay and states numerous things about a scene.
Screenwriting Screenwriting, also called script-writing is the art and craft of writing scripts for mass media such as feature films, television productions or video games.
Sequel A sequel (also known as follow-up) is a narrative, documental, or other work of literature, film, theatre, television, music, or game that continues the story of, or expands upon, some ea...
Sequence (filmmaking) In film, a sequence is a series of scenes which form a distinct narrative unit, which is usually connected either by unity of location or unity of time.
Shooting ratio The shooting ratio in filmmaking and television production is the ratio between the total duration of its footage created for possible use in a project and that which appears in its final cut.
Shooting sequences In a film script, a shooting sequence is a part of the script consisting of a single unified action and which can be shot in one place, at one time, with essentially the same cast throughout.
Shot-for-shot Shot-for-shot (or shot-for-shot adaptation, shot-for-shot remake) is a way to describe a visual work that is transferred almost completely identical from the original work without mu...
Simultaneous release Simultaneous Release is the name given to an experimental new method of making movies available to consumers.
Skypan In filmmaking, a skypan is used by the director of photography for lighting scenery that lies outside a set's window or door.
Sleeper hit A sleeper hit, also known as a surprise hit, sleep-killer or sleeper, refers to a film, book, single, album, TV show, or video game that gains a sudden and unexpected success o...
Soundtrack A soundtrack can be recorded music accompanying and synchronized to the images of a motion picture, book, television program or video game; a commercially released soundtrack album of music as f...
Spec script A spec script, also known as a speculative screenplay, is a non-commissioned unsolicited screenplay.
Spinning newspaper A spinning newspaper is frequently shown in television and movies and is used as a transition device.
Spiritual successor A spiritual successor, sometimes called a spiritual sequel, is a successor to a work of fiction which does not build upon the storyline established by a previous work as do most traditiona...
Spit-take A spit-take is a comic technique in which someone spits a beverage out of his or her mouth when he or she reacts to a statement.
Split screen (filmmaking) In film and video production, split screen is the visible division of the screen, traditionally in half, but also in several simultaneous images, rupturing the illusion that the screen's frame i...
Stock sound effect A stock sound effect is a prerecorded sound effect created for or contained within a sound effect library for the intended reuse within entertainment productions; as opposed to creating a new, u...
Story canon A Story Canon is theoretically combining two films which serve as a metaphor to describe the story or plot of a screenplay, teleplay or a work yet to be produced.
Storyboard Storyboards are graphic organizers in the form of illustrations or images displayed in sequence for the purpose of pre-visualizing a motion picture, animation, motion graphic or interactive medi...
Structural film Structural film was an experimental film movement prominent in the US in the 1960s and which developed into the Structural/materialist films in the UK in the 1970s.
Stunt casting Stunt casting is a term in casting that refers to hiring of well known actors, such as movie stars, to play small roles on television series and in films.
Superstar Superstar is a term used to refer to a celebrity who has great popular appeal and is widely known, prominent or successful in some field.
Tally light In a television studio, a tally light is a small signal-lamp on a professional video camera or monitor.
Tent-pole (entertainment) The term tent-pole refers to a broadcast programming or motion picture expected to hold up (as is the function of a tent pole) and balance out the financial performance of a movie studio or ...
Tent-pole programming Tent-pole programming is a term from motion picture and television programming for a production expected to hold up and balance out the financial performance of a movie studio or television ...
Titling In typography titling capitals are a variant of uppercase designed for heading and titles.
Titular line The titular line is a line in a film, book or song which includes the name of the film, book or song.
Trailer (film) A trailer or preview is an advertisement for a feature film that will be exhibited in the future at a cinema.
Trailer (promotion) A trailer or preview is an advertisement or a commercial for a feature film that will be exhibited in the future at a cinema.
Videodance Videodance is a genre of dance made for the camera.
Web film A web film is a film made with the medium of the Internet and its distribution constraints in mind.
White hat (film) In the movie industry, a white hat was someone in a western movie in which such a character would wear a white hat in contrast to the villain's black hat.
Z movie Z movies are films that are low-budget that have qualities lower than B-movies.