Filmmaking Definitions

By AM Staff

  • Important Film-Making Definitions

    Depth of Field
    The additional that comes in focus when a lens is focused on a single plane of depth. The more the iris of the lens is closed, the greater the depth of field

    Edit
    Editing refers to the process where shots are sorted, arranged or cut to produce the finished product

    Fade
    Fading of a shot could either be in or out. A “fade-in” refers to the transition whereby an image goes from black and slowly begins to become brighter and more visible. A “fade-out” is the transition whereby an image goes from being bright but slowly begins to become darker until the screen/image is blackened

    Frame
    A frame is an image or series of images on film.

    Head Room
    The head room is the space between the top of the actor’s head and the top of the frame. Think of a picture you might take with a camera where you cut the person’s head of accidentally. Head Room in a film is important for this same reason.

    Master Shot
    The master shot is a wide shot that includes the whole scene in one shot. Once the master shot is taken, close-ups are then filmed.

    Outtakes
    Outtakes, as the name implies, are the scenes which are taken out in the final editing process.

    Pan
    Pan refers to the horizontal shift of the camera from left to right, as in “pan to the left”.

    Rough cut
    The rough cut is a film that has been edited but has not been completed as a final cut.

    Scene
    A scene is a single shot or several shots

    Take
    A take is the segment in which a scene is performed, as in “Take 1!”

    Recommended Posts

  • Ad

  • What is Taft-Hartley? 

    What is Taft-Hartley?  Let’s explore the law, and the report, that gets actors in the door of America’s largest actor union (by Tonya Tannenbaum) (Photo: Andrea Piacquadio | Pexels) A Taft-Hartley is the…

    What is a SAG-AFTRA Must-Join? 

    What is a SAG-AFTRA Must-Join?  Let’s explore this SAG-AFTRA status… (by Tonya Tannenbaum) (Photo: Eunice Lituanas | Unsplash) A “Must-Join” is the label placed on actors who have surpassed the grace period (usually…

    What is a Right-to-Work State?

    What is a Right-to-Work State?  There are currently 27 Right-to-Work states in the United States (by Tonya Tannenbaum) (Photo: Joey Csunyo/Unsplash) A right-to-work state is a state that forbids union security agreements. That…

    7 Words That Can Trip an Actor Up

    7 Words That Can Trip an Actor Up  Confusing, isn’t it? (by Tonya Tannenbaum) (Photo: Brett Jordan/Unsplash) As if the acting business was not perplexing enough, there’s always something else to confuse the…

    The Knock-at-the-Door Exercise

    The Knock-at-the-Door Exercise Its main purpose is to introduce actors to “imaginary circumstances” (by Jim Webb) (Photo: Adrienn/Pexels) The Knock-at-the-Door Exercise is an acting exercise, where one actor engages in a serious, consequential…

  • Ad

  • SAG-AFTRA eligible

    What does “SAG-AFTRA eligible” mean?  Some basic info about being SAG-AFTRA eligible (by Jim Webb)  (Photo: Jon Tyson/Unsplash) The union formerly known as the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) represents performers in various areas…

    What is the Pick-an-Eye Technique?

    What is the Pick-an-Eye Technique? An unofficial name for a brilliant acting technique (by Jim Webb) You probably already know who Michael Caine is from all his many roles in films like The…

    What is the Repetition Exercise?

    What is the Repetition Exercise? There are several objectives that the Repetition Exercise seeks to achieve. Chief among these is to increase the actor’s reliance on their instincts. (by Tonya Tannenbaum) The “Repetition…

  • Ad

  • What is the Private Moment Exercise?

    What is the Private Moment Exercise? The concentration that it takes to have a private moment in public, empowers the actor to bring a higher level of concentration to a character (by Tonya…

    What is “Type”?

    What is “Type”? You have to know exactly what you’re selling in order to consistently make the sale (by Tonya Tannenbaum) An actor’s “type” generally refers to the category or categories that the…

    What is a Student Film?

    What is a Student Film? It is the making of the film itself, rather than the content of the film, that usually provides the educational value (by Tonya Tannenbaum) (Photo: Chris Murray/Unsplash) A…

    What are “Profiles”?

    What are “Profiles”? Profiles give casting a more complete picture of how the actor looks when performing on-camera (by Tonya Tannenbaum) Profiles are a request for additional information about an actor’s appearance, particularly…

    What is a Sense Memory?

    What is a Sense Memory? Armed with a sense memory, the actor’s experience is no longer rooted in fantasy. It is now real to them. (by Tonya Tannenbaum) (Photo: Aliya Jamous/Unsplash) Sense memory…

  • Ad

  • What are Notes, Adjustments and Redirects?

    What are Notes, Adjustments and Redirects? Regardless of what one might call them, these changes are usually necessary for a thorough evaluation of the actor’s fitness for the role being cast (by Tonya…

    What is “Slating”?

    What is “Slating”? The slating process makes it easier for casting to keep track of each actor’s name and match it to their performance as they review audition tape (by Tonya Tannenbaum) The…

    5 Basic Facts About Method Acting

    5 Basic Facts About Method Acting Method Acting refers to a collection of training techniques meant to aid actors in the understanding and building of their characters (by Jim Webb) (Photo by Vadim…

  • Ad

  • What are Inner Motives?

    What are Inner Motives? In order to consistently deliver natural, emotionally sincere performances the actor must understand their character’s inner motives (by Tonya Tannenbaum) (Photo: Joe Gardner/Unsplash) Inner Motives are the rationales that…

    What are Animal Exercises?

    What are Animal Exercises? An actor can study how an animal or animals move and, then, use some of those movements when preparing to capture the physicality of their character (by Tonya Tannenbaum)…

    What are Actions?

    What are Actions? Simply put, actors act. (by Tonya Tannenbaum) (Photo: Jakob Owens/Unsplash) Once the actor understands their character’s objective in the scene, or in the moment, the actor takes actions. Actions are…

    What is a Cold Read?

    What is a Cold Read? A “cold read”, on the other hand, challenges the actor to perform without much preparation (by Tonya Tannenbaum) (Photo by Spencer Backman on Unsplash) A “cold read” refers…

    What is a Background Actor?

    What is a Background Actor? Commonly referred to as an “extra”, the background actor’s role is to help give a scene the illusion of a real-life situation (by Tonya Tannenbaum) (Photo: Obregonia Torreto…

  • Ad

  • What is an Obstacle?

    What is an Obstacle? Obstacles are at the heart of dramatic tension. (by Tonya Tannenbaum) In acting, an obstacle is a person or object that stands in the way of your character achieving…

    What is “Being in the Moment”?

    What is “Being in the Moment” “Being in the moment”, usually refers to the abstract event when an actor feels genuinely connected to their character. (by Tonya Tannenbaum) (Photo by Avel Chuklanov on…

    What is the Super-Objective?

    What is the Super-Objective? Unlike short-term or moment-to-moment objectives, the super-objective influences and guides the character’s actions throughout the entire course of the story. (by Tonya Tannenbaum) (Photo by TK Hammonds on Unsplash)…

  • Ad

  • What is the “Unbroken Line”?

    What is the “Unbroken Line”? When this line is broken, Stanislavski believed, the actor gets “lost” in the role, the life of the character “stops” and the actor loses the overall thrust of…

    What is “Continuity”?

    What is “Continuity”? Successful application of the principal of continuity can make the difference between a professional, well-done piece of filmmaking and an amateurish one (by Tonya Tannenbaum) Continuity, as it relates to…

    What is a Backstory?

    What is a Backstory? Every role is two-dimensional. The actor must make it three-dimensional. (by Tonya Tannenbaum) (Photo: Chris Lawton/Unsplash) In acting, creating a “backstory” generally refers to the process of inventing details…

    What is the Magic If?

    What is the Magic If? By placing themselves in their character’s situation, the actor gains a better understanding of the given circumstances facing the character (by Tonya Tannenbaum) (Photo: Jonathan Crews/Unsplash) Every actor…

    What is the Substitution Technique?

    What is the Substitution Technique? Using substitution, actors can justify, to themselves, their character’s actions in various moments (by Tonya Tannenbaum) The Substitution Technique, or simply “Substitution”, is an acting technique that actors…

    What are the Given Circumstances?

    What are the Given Circumstances? By analyzing the given circumstances, the actor can better understand who they are, where they are and understand the motivations of the character (by Tonya Tannenbaum) The “given…

    What is Affective Memory?

    What is Affective Memory? The acting technique was abandoned by its originator, Konstantin Stanislavski, but lived on in one of his disciples, Lee Strasberg (by Carmichael Phillips) (Photo by Claudia on Unsplash) Affective…

    What is an Objective?

    What is an Objective? Objectives help actors make strong character choices and deliver more interesting performances (by Tonya Tannenbaum) An “Objective”, in acting, refers to something (or some things) a character wants and…

    Load More