Glossary of Terms

Areas you need to be able to identify and write about in an essay on an action sequence:

Camera Shots, Angle, Movement and Composition
Shots: establishing shot usually a wide shot that shows where the action is), close-up, mid-shot, long shot, wide shot, aerial shot, point of view shot, over the shoulder shot,
Angle; high angle, low angle, canted/dutch angle
Movement: pan (sideways move of lens whilst camera itself remains static- hence 'panorama') , tilt (up/down movement on camera axis), track/dolly (camera physically follows character or action), crane, steadicam (steady shot whilst moving due to mechanism that operator wears), hand-held, zoom,
Composition: framing, rule of thirds (eyeline of characters is roughly one third down from top of screen), depth of field – deep and shallow focus (what the lens focuses on near or far or both), focus pulls

Includes transition of image and sound – continuity (dominant editing form designed so that editing is not that noticeable in the telling of the story) Cutting; shot/reverse shot (tyypical way to shoot conversations), eyeline match, graphic match, action match (cuts halfway through an action to a new view making the cut seamless), jump cut, crosscutting (between two simultaneous or related scenes), cutaway (to something significant);
Other transitions: dissolve; fade-in; fade-out; wipe; superimposition;
Long take (without cuts for a long time), short take, slow motion, ellipsis (missing out time) and expansion of time,

Diegetic and non-diegetic sound
Sound effects; sound motif, sound bridge, dialogue, voiceover,
Soundtrack; score, incidental music, themes and stings, ambient sound

Production design; location, studio, set design, costume and make-up, properties
Lighting; colour design

Special effects
stunts, CGI (computer generated imagery), bluescreen, pyrotechnics, animatronics/robotics, prosthetics (false limbs etc), models

In all cases, your first step is identifying what is there in the sequence and secondly how it is used and thirdly why it is there/used and what its impact is on the viewer


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