Film Techniques Glossary

Classified in Arts and Humanities

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Camera Work

Camera work involves various techniques to convey meaning and emotions. These include:

  • High/Low Angles: Used to show dominance or inferiority.
  • Point of View/Over the Shoulder Shots: Encourage audience identification with the character.
  • Camera Movement: Suggests character's state, such as fast-paced or anxious.
  • Two Shots: Emphasize the relationship between characters.
  • Zoom: For emphasis.
  • Close-Ups: Capture emotions and reactions.
  • Long/Establishing Shots: Show setting and costumes.

Common camera shots include establishing shot, master shot, close-up, mid-shot, long shot, wide shot, two-shot, aerial shot, point of view shot, over the shoulder shot, high angle, low angle, canted angle.

Camera movements include pan, tilt, track, crane, Steadicam, hand-held (shaky effect), zoom, and reverse zoom.


Editing techniques create connections and convey information:

  • Cutting: Joining shots together.
  • Shot/Reverse Shot: Shows conversation between characters.
  • Eyeline Match: Shows what a character is looking at.
  • Graphic Match: Links consecutive shots through similar visuals.
  • Action Match: Shows different angles of the same action.
  • Jump Cut: Removes a portion of a shot.
  • Crosscutting: Shows simultaneous scenes.

Transitions include dissolve, fade out/fade in, and superimposition.

Other editing techniques include slow motion and long takes.


Sound elements contribute to character and setting development:

  • Diegetic Sound: Originates from within the scene.
  • Non-Diegetic Sound: Added sound, like music or voiceover.
  • Sound Bridge: Links scenes through sound.

Sound categories include dialogue, voiceover, direct address (actor speaking to camera), sound mix, and ambient sound.


Mise-en-scène refers to the visual elements of a scene:

  • Location: Where the scene takes place.
  • Set Design: The appearance of the setting.
  • Costume: Character's clothing.
  • Make-Up: Character's appearance.
  • Props: Objects used in the scene.
  • High Key Lighting: Bright lighting.
  • Low Key Lighting: Dark lighting.

These elements provide information about characters and the setting.

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