A to Z

All the way from Alan Smithee to Zolly. Enjoy.
A is for Alan Smithee

A is for Alan Smithee

A prolific director with a diverse yet staggeringly poor range of credits. It's not all it seems.

Read more
A is for Autocue

A is for Autocue

An autocue, or teleprompter, is a device used to help people appearing on television remember their lines.

Read more
B is for B-roll!

B is for B-roll!

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.

Read more
C is for Crossing The Line

C is for Crossing The Line

The ultimate guide to keeping people on the right side of the frame. Or not.

Read more
D for Dolly

D for Dolly

A dolly is a piece of kit for smoothly moving a camera either on rails or wheels.

Read more
D is for D.I.T.

D is for D.I.T.

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.

Read more
E is for Exposure

E is for Exposure

Isn’t exposure that thing that’s offered instead of pay to freelancers?

Read more
F is for Foley

F is for Foley

This is another one of those film techniques that you probably didn’t know had a name.

Read more
G for Gaffer Tape

G for Gaffer Tape

Holding the film industry together since 1959. Where would be without it?

Read more
H is for Hair in the Gate

H is for Hair in the Gate

Before the rise of digital cameras, these words would have caused an entire crew to tear their hair out.

Read more
I for Inciting Incident

I for Inciting Incident

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.

Read more
J is for Jump Cut

J is for Jump Cut

This technique was frowned upon in editing, until Jean-Luc Godard made extensive use of it in his masterpiece 'Breathless' (1960).

Read more
K is for Knock it Down

K is for Knock it Down

Lights! Camera! Hairspray! Action!

Read more
L is for Lunch

L is for Lunch

Life on set can get strange sometimes. Especially when you're having lunch at Midnight. We explain everything.

Read more
M is for Match Cut

M is for Match Cut

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.

Read more
M is for Magic Hour

M is for Magic Hour

The sun’s just come up, or just about to go down. Action!

Read more
N is for Noddies

N is for Noddies

The devious art of filming a two-person interview with just one camera. Yes, yes, that's really interesting.

Read more
O is for The Oscars

O is for The Oscars

I'd like to thank my agent, my drug dealer and my plastic surgeon.

Read more
P is for Propaganda

P is for Propaganda

"You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince by logic."

Read more
Q is for Quota Quickies

Q is for Quota Quickies

In 1927, British filmmaking was still centred around smaller studios working with contracted technicians and in competition with the more dominant theatre world.

Read more
R for Rear Projection

R for Rear Projection

Mastering this quite simple technique allowed cinematographers to put their stars in previously unimaginable situations.

Read more
R for Rule of Thirds

R for Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is a way of dividing the field of an image to aid in composition.

Read more
S is for Split Screen

S is for Split Screen

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.

Read more
S for Shot Size

S for Shot Size

The size of a shot is an important part of visual storytelling, and a variety are used to different ends.

Read more
S is for Storyboard

S is for Storyboard

Storyboards are illustrations used to plan and develop a story before it’s filmed.

Read more
T for Glorious Technicolor!

T for Glorious Technicolor!

In the Wizard of Oz (1939) Dorothy left the monochrome behind and stepped out into a brave new world of colour cinema.

Read more
U for Undercranking

U for Undercranking

Undercranking refers to the effect the mechanical operation of the camera has on the speed of a film.

Read more
V for Vox-Pop

V for Vox-Pop

Lazy, cheap journalism getting the 'man on the street' to do your job for you with often hilarious consequences.

Read more
W is for Wilhelm Scream

W is for Wilhelm Scream

If you don’t recognise this phrase, you’ve almost certainly heard the scream it describes.

Read more
W for Winnebago

W for Winnebago

Winnebago is a generic name for any caravan or RV, frequently used as private quarters on film sets.

Read more
X is for X Rated

X is for X Rated

The history of cinema classification is long and complicated. But you need to know your R from your X.

Read more
Y is for YouTube

Y is for YouTube

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.

Read more
Z is for Zolly

Z is for Zolly

Made famous by 'Jaws' (1975), the 'Dolly Zoom' was first used in Alfred Hitchcok's 'Vertigo' (1958).

Read more
Hey! Let's do Lunch

Contact Us

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.

Our Address

Studio 9,
44 St. Paul's Crescent,
London NW1 9TN

Get Directions
Our Phone

Tel. : +44 (0) 20 3876 0759

Call Us
Our Email

Main Email : atoz@nextshoot.com

Send a Message