A Glossary of Film Terms


I'd like to share with you a glossary of film terms I came across while looking at different film related sites. It comes from the Foutz Studios page, but the true origin of the glossary is unkown. If you know where it originated from, please let me know.

Here are some of the defintions (it's a 45 page document):

Best Boy
Whether male or female, a best boy, or second electric, is a chief assistant lighting electrician who works with the gaffer.

The Director is responsible for interpreting and translating the shooting script, and directing the actors. The Director works closely with the DP to get the visual qualities and character for the project desired by the producer.

The Gaffer is the chief lighting electrician on a production.

Line Producer
A producer responsible for overseeing and coordinating the critical everyday functioning of a production.

Location Mixer (Location Sound Mixer, Sound Recordist)
The chief sound recordist who mixes and records sounds on location. The mixer determines optimal microphone type and placement, balances the levels from different input sources, directs the boom operator, and keeps a sound log or report.

Low-key Lighting
High contrast lighting design in which the key light provides less of the proportion of the overall illumination of a scene, allowing areas within the frame to fall into semidarkness or even total blackness, accentuating what remains visible. Low-key lighting is used for works reliant on drama, horror, mystery, intrigue, and suspense.

A reference to the arrangement of all the visual elements within the frame.

Motion Capture
A method of recording the movement of an actor or object and automatically reapplying that movement to a 3D model for computer animation. There are two methods: 1) Magnetic: The use of magnetic "markers" on various points of an object so that its movement can be recorded magnetically. 2) Optical: The use of optical "markers" (usually ping pong balls) on various points of an object so that its movement can be recorded optically.

A sequence of brief scenes or still shots juxtaposed to quickly establish a mood, narrative, or setting.

Post-Production (Post)
The phase of a projects completion which ensues after the principal photography is finished – including sound and picture editing, addition of effects, foley work, transfers, printing, etc.
Here is the direct link to download the glossary.