Film it

Film it glossary

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Ambient sound: the background sounds present in a scene or a location. This might include wind and birds in a natural setting; or traffic and crowds in an urban setting. By recording ambient sound and including it in your film, the quality of your sound design can increase dramatically.

Animatic: an animated storyboard, with panels cut together with timing to reflect the intended pacing of the final film. 

Blade (split): a tool and technique used in editing software to split an existing clip in the timeline into two. Other clips can then be inserted in between. The clips can still be trimmed backwards or forwards past the splitting point.

Camera angle: refers to the angle a camera is placed on. It could be facing up, down, tilted sideways, etc.

Camera movement: refers to the various movements a camera can make either on or off a tripod.

Clapperboard: a simple device used to mark the scene and take being filmed and audio recorded. This helps the editor identify the footage being used to edit the film. If video and audio are being recorded separately, the clapperboard also provides a visual and audio cue (the clapstick hitting the clapperboard) so the audio can be synchronised with the video.

Composition: composition refers to how characters, objects, and setting are arranged within the camera frame.

Cutting on action: an editing technique whereby a 'cut' is made from one clip to another, on a point or moment of action. 

Dialogue: the lines or words spoken by characters in a film. Dialogue is usually written up in a script before filming.

Dialogue: the lines or words spoken by characters in a film. Dialogue is usually written up in a script before filming.

Fine cut: completed after a rough cut, a fine cut involves fine-tuning all the cuts and transitions of a film, bringing it one step closer to completion. 

Frame: can be referring to the camera frame and its borders, or a single frame from the many that make up a moving image

Insert: a shot, usually a close up, of something closely related to the main action taking place in the scene; e.g. a character tapping their foot or fidgeting with their hands as they wait impatiently.

Jump cut: using either a static or moving shot, jump cuts are where an editor will edit out segments of a clip so that time is 'jumped' over, rather than letting a clip play out in full.

Location: a place where a scene for a film is shot by a film crew using actors.

Panel (storyboard): one drawing in a storyboard equals one panel, and one panel equals a camera shot and or a specific action or moment in a storyboard.

Pre-production: the first stage of a film production, pre-production involves all the planning and preparation for a film shoot. It involves a range of tasks including scriptwriting, costume design, shot-lists, storyboards, casting and much more. It comes before the production stage.

Production: can refer to both the broader production (the film) as well as the production stage of filmmaking. This is where the actual shooting happens, with cast, crew and equipment on set capturing the raw footage for the film being made.

Post-production: after filming has wrapped in the production stage, we move into post-production. The main task is editing, but there are a range of things that need to happen including sound design, film score and or soundtrack creation, colour grading,  visual effects creation, all sorts of things. This is the stage where the film is put together into a completed film product.

Quick cutting: an editing technique used to condense time within a scene. This can be achieved by editing out unnecessary moments and actions, and generally shortening the length of clips used to edit a scene together.

Room tone: audio captured inside a room separate to the footage being filmed. In the editing process this audio can be spread beneath footage audio to create consistent, smooth sound between camera shots in a scene.

Rough cut: the first edit of a scene, a rough cut involves an editor placing all the clips for a scene or film in the rough order they want, without completing much fine editing. An editor isn't usually worrying at this stage about transitions and cuts between clips, they're just ensuring the story is being told in an order they think best, using the clips they have available.

Script: also known as a screenplay, a script is the written text of a film. It includes actors lines and directions, locations and props, and other actions.

Short storyboard: a storyboard that doesn’t cover every shot or moment in a film, just a selection of key shots of moments.

Shot list: a shot list is a document that lists and describes the shots that are to be filmed. A shot list might also describe the action required for each shot, as well as any camera angles or movement being applied to each camera shot. 

Trim: a tool and technique used to shorten or lengthen a clip in the timeline of editing software

Wild sounds: audio recorded of specific sounds that can be inserted into a film during editing. These recordings don't need to accompany film footage, and can help form the soundscape for a film.