A Complete Glossary of Basic Filmmaking Techniques | Part 1

This is a complete glossary of all Filmmaking Techniques, It’s the part 1 section. Read it thoroughly and then share

  • 180-degree rule/system – In continuity editing, the camera should stay on one side of an imaginary line, called the axis of action, to ensure consistent left-right spatial relations between characters and elements from shot to shot.
  • Aerial perspective It is used for suggesting depth in the frame by presenting objects in the background less distinctly than those in the foreground.
  • Aerial Shot– Shots which are filmed from above or overhead using a helicopter, drones, crane, etc.
  • Ambient Light– the natural light (usually soft) or surrounding light around a subject in a scene.
  • Arc Shot a shot in which the subject is film by a moving camera forming a circle around the subject.
  • Arret- It is a trick technique of stopping the camera, then removing or inserting an object, then restarting the camera to have an object magically disappear or appear.
  • Asynchronous Sound Sounds that is not in sync with the image on the screen.
  • Audio Bridges Audio bridges occur when sound carries over a visual transition. It is used to lead in & out of a scene and maintain a sense of continuity.
  • Backlighting The lighting which is directed at the camera from behind the subject, causing the subject appear as silhouettes. It also separates the subject from the background.
  • Back Projection Live action is filmed in front of a transparent screen onto which background action is projected. It was commonly used to film scenes of vehicles in motion.
  • Blow-up– It is an optical process used to enlarge a photographic image or film frame. It is commonly used to create 70mm release prints from original 35mm films.
  • Blue/Green Screenshot Actors are filmed in front of a blue or green backdrop. Later the blank screen is filled with digital images to complete the background.
  • Bracketing Shooting the same scene with several different F-stops.
  • Bridging Shots A type of shots used as a bridge to cover a jump in time and space or some other discontinuity.
  • Candlelight Lighting– It is a type of lighting that is provided by candlelight, to provide a warm hue or tone.

Related Read: Complete Film lighting Techniques and Tips- A must read article of every Filmmaker 

  • CGI, or Computer-Generated Imagery A term referring to the use of computer graphics in filmmaking to create filmed images, special effects and the illusion of motion.
  • Chiaroscuro It is created by contrasting uses of light and shade in scenes.
  • Clay motion Filming of figures and models constructed out of moldable material such as clay. This is often done through the use of stop-motion.
  • Close-up (CU) A shot of a subject taken from very close distance in which the subject appears magnified and fills the entire frame to grab attention and emphasize its importance.
  • Compilation films a film made up of shots, scenes, or sequences taken from other films.
  • Continuity It is a system of editing with the scenes/sequences arranged as if they had occurred continuously, when, in reality, they were shot out of sequence.
  • Crane Shot A shot that provides an overhead view of a scene by using an apparatus that can raise the camera, like a crane or a boom.
  • Cross Cutting A type of editing where two different scenes, usually set in different locations, alternates between each other. It is also known as Parallel Editing.
  • Cutaway shot A brief shot that momentarily interrupts a continuously-filmed action, by briefly inserting another related action, object, or person, followed by a cutback to the original shot.

Watch: All Filmmaking Techniques in one Video


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  1. Filmmaking Techniques Glossary, Basic Filmmaking Terms Glossary, Film Direction Technical Terms, Movie making Technical terminology list, Cinematic terms and definition list.
    I sawed these 4-5 parts of this article. Here, my question is- why won’t you add all these in a single part? May I know the reason behind this?


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