Diegetic/Non Diegetic Sound
Diegetic – The world which is created on the screen to tell a
story – an artificial world/setting. For example a dog barking,
birds tweeting, someone making a speech. These are all
sounds that characters would usually expect to hear.
Non Diegetic – Sound that would not be heard in a
diegetic/artificial world. Such as a sound track or voice over.
For example this is shown in the film ‘The Notebook’, as one
of the main characters (Noah) narrates the story so we can
see things from his perspective and sympathise with him.
Synchronous Sound – Sound that fits in with the
pace/beat of the action taking place on the screen. For
example this usually occurs in action films - such as horses
charging synchronises with the fast beat of the rhythm.
Asynchronous Sound – Sound that doesn’t fit in with the
pace/beat of the action taking place on the screen. For
example this occurs in the horror film ‘Insidious’ in order to
create tension and make viewers feel uncomfortable.
Parallel/ Contrapuntal Sound
Parallel sound – Sound that fits in with the mood
of a scene. For example romantic music or soft
violin music playing whilst a couple move closer
towards each other.
Contrapuntal Sound – Sound that does not fit in
with the mood of a scene and is a contrast to the
scene. For example a nursery rhyme juxtaposed
against the action of someone being stabbed.
Is simply background sound that is usually non diegetic
that fills what otherwise would be a unnaturally quiet
patches in the film. For example ambient sound is
commonly used in films set in urban areas in order to
create a constant busy and noisy city scene; sounds such
as traffic, car horns beeping and people being loud and
socialising tend to occur.
Sound or speech that is used to link shots together e.g a
voice over, over two shots to show something is happening at
the same time. E.g Sound Bridge’s are common in adverts,
as a voice over is usually talking about the product whilst
showing several different shots of the same product.
The use of a voice over moving images, perhaps an
introduction to a film, can be used as a linking
narrative device for action. Also allows the
audience to see inside the head of a character
(usually the protagonist) to help us empathise with
them. For example at the start of the film ‘The
Notebook’ a voice over is used of the protagonist
as he tells a story over moving images so we can
apply the plot with the action taking place.
A sound/piece of music that we associate with a
character or place. For example the tune ‘I’ll be
there for you’ we associate with the famous
comedy TV Show F.R.I.E.N.D.S.
Creates something in a film or TV programme that is
credible/realistic and the audience can relate to easily. For
example Soap Operas reflect Verisimilitude as the real life
shown on TV is identifiable with our every day life.
Where a character (usually the protagonist) speaks
to the audience directly. It breaks the reality for the
audience, but helps them to see the character as
an equal or friend and someone to sympathise
with. This often occurs in TV shows such as
‘Scrubs’ and ‘Malcolm in the Middle’.
A shot that cuts to another continuing a piece of
action or movement between the shots. This allows
the audience to see a smooth piece of action
despite a cut in the shot. For example we might
see someone shoot a gun the editor would then
perform an action match so we then see the bullet
hit someone else and the two shots then fit
together seamlessly so we see both people’s
Where an editor cuts between two separate
scenes that occur in two separate locations to
show the audience something is happening at the
same time or to create a specific link or meaning
between the two shots . For example in the film
‘The Godfather’ the editor cut back and forth
between the christening of a child in a catholic
church and the violent killing of several men.
A brief shot that is not totally necessary but is cut
into the scene in order to show a related action,
object or person before cutting back to the original
shot. For example a couple may be having an
argument, then the editor performs a cutaway shot
of their child crying before cutting back to the
original shot of the couple. This helps the audience
to sympathise with the child and portray what the
couple are doing as wrong.
The removal of elements of a narrative in order to
speed up the action. For example an editor might
use ellipsis in a sequence about a young man
taking a drink by cutting straight to him as an old
man, drunk and alone. The editor has missed out
the story during the middle to speed up the action
and show us how quick the man’s life has passed.
A cut from one shot to another that look visually
the same, shots that are linked by a similar shape
or colour etc. They are there to show us a clear link
between two scenes. For example a young girl
playing with a red doll is then cut together using a
graphic match with a woman holding a baby
dressed in red, this might suggest the young girls
developed into a woman or emphasise the gender
stereotype of women typically looking after the
A cut that moves to a similar part of the same
scene but missing a piece of action out. They are
often used to disorientate the viewer or show how
disorientated a character is. For example if a group
of young people at a party were being shown and
included lots of jump cuts, it would represent the
young people as disorientated, drunk and wild.
A series of shots edited together to show the
passing of time. For example in the film ‘Rocky’ we
see a montage of shots of Rocky progressing
during his training (getting better and better before
his fight). This allows the audience to see Rocky’s
progression without having to film from start to
finish as this is time consuming as well as boring.