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What does “Action” really mean? Who is it intended for? And is it the director who actually says it?
A prolific director with a diverse yet staggeringly poor range of credits. It's not all it seems.
An autocue, or teleprompter, is a device used to help people appearing on television remember their lines.
B-roll is any topical, but non-specific, material used to establish context or mood or to support the narrative contained in the main footage or dialogue.
Filming can’t proceed until the little white-and-black board has been snapped shut in front of the camera.
The ultimate guide to keeping people on the right side of the frame. Or not.
A digital imaging technician (DIT) is a product of the post-film age. A DIT is responsible for backing up any and all digital footage.
A dolly is a piece of kit for smoothly moving a camera either on rails or wheels.
Isn’t exposure that thing that’s offered instead of pay to freelancers?
This is another one of those film techniques that you probably didn’t know had a name.
Holding the film industry together since 1959. Where would be without it?
Before the rise of digital cameras, these words would have caused an entire crew to tear their hair out.
It may well sound like a euphemism you'd find in a clumsily-worded police report, but the inciting incident is, if not the most important part of a story, certainly one of the crucial ones.
This technique was frowned upon in editing, until Jean-Luc Godard made extensive use of it in his masterpiece 'Breathless' (1960).
Lights! Camera! Hairspray! Action!
Life on set can get strange sometimes. Especially when you're having lunch at Midnight. We explain everything.
The sun’s just come up, or just about to go down. Action!
To string together a smooth narrative requires careful editing. A film can’t simply go from one image to a completely different one without a good reason.
Want to go from just a beginner to a pro? You need a montage
The devious art of filming a two-person interview with just one camera. Yes, yes, that's really interesting.
A one-shot film is either filmed in a single take or shot and edited to look like it was.
I'd like to thank my agent, my drug dealer and my plastic surgeon.
"You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince by logic."
In 1927, British filmmaking was still centred around smaller studios working with contracted technicians and in competition with the more dominant theatre world.
Mastering this quite simple technique allowed cinematographers to put their stars in previously unimaginable situations.
The rule of thirds is a way of dividing the field of an image to aid in composition.
The size of a shot is an important part of visual storytelling, and a variety are used to different ends.
You can probably guess what ‘split screen’ means at first glance, but the reasons for using it and how it’s achieved deserve a closer look.
Storyboards are illustrations used to plan and develop a story before it’s filmed.
In the Wizard of Oz (1939) Dorothy left the monochrome behind and stepped out into a brave new world of colour cinema.
If you don’t recognise this phrase, you’ve almost certainly heard the scream it describes.
Undercranking refers to the effect the mechanical operation of the camera has on the speed of a film.
Lazy, cheap journalism getting the 'man on the street' to do your job for you with often hilarious consequences.
Winnebago is a generic name for any caravan or RV, frequently used as private quarters on film sets.
The history of cinema classification is long and complicated. But you need to know your R from your X.
You might think this one doesn't even need any explanation. We all know what YouTube is, don't we? It's that website where we get our funny videos of cats for free.
Made famous by 'Jaws' (1975), the 'Dolly Zoom' was first used in Alfred Hitchcok's 'Vertigo' (1958).
Did you like it? Did you not like it? Did we get something wrong? Or is there something you think it's worth including on the A to Z? Whatever the reason, we're always delighted to hear from you.
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