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IMDB Movie Terminology Glossary


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IMDB Movie Terminology Glossary

  1. 1. Movie Terminology Glossary: CCall SheetA listing of which actors will be required for which scenes, and when they will berequired. Call sheets are created byassistant directors and others.CameoA bit part played by a famous actor who would ordinarily not take such a smallpart. Originally meaning "a small piece of artwork", the term was borrowed bydirector Michael Anderson when attempting to attract famous actors to play bitparts in Around the World in 80 Days.CameraA device for recording images.Camera CrewThe group of crewmembers directly involved with operation of the camera.Individual job titles include: clapper-loader,camera operator, assistantcameraman, director of photography, focus puller, grip, key grip, dollygrip, additional camera.Fictional Movie(s): Ed Wood (1994), Living in Oblivion (1995)Camera LoaderAKA: Clapper-Loader, Clapper LoaderThe person who operates the clapboard at the beginning of a shot, also responsiblefor loading film stock into film magazines. The action of slapping the clapper wasinvented as a way of synchronizing the visual and audio components of a shot.Recent innovations in audio-visual synchronization have made this unnecessary,but it still occurs extensively. See also assistant cameraman.Camera OperatorAKA: CameramanThe person who operates the camera to the specifications dictated by the directorof photography. A director or adirector of photography sometimes assumes this
  2. 2. role. (Luc Besson always operates the camera on films he directs.) See also Societyof Operating Cameramen, Steadicam operator.Fictional Movie(s): Living in Oblivion (1995)CampAKA: CampyA form of comedic parody where the clichéd conventions of a dramatic form likeadventure are deliberately exaggerated to the point of ridiculousness. Oftenunfairly used to describe superhero films and shows as Batman is a prime exampleof this form of comedy.On the web: List of "camp" titles at the IMDb.Canadian Society of CinematographersAKA: CSCUse of the abbreviation after a name indicates that the person is a member of theCSC.On the web: Official Home PageCastA collective term for the actors appearing in a particular movie.CastingThe process of hiring actors to play the characters in a script, typically done bya casting director, but with some input from a director, producer, or studio. Seealso CSA.Casting CouchDuring the so-called "Golden Age" of Hollwood, it was not uncommon for would-be-stars to grant sexual favours todirectors and/or producers in return for a role infilms. These favours were usually rumoured to be on a couch in the filmmakersoffice. The phrase "Casting Couch" has been popularized, and although thepractise has diminished, the term remains in use.Casting Director
  3. 3. AKA: Extras Casting, Casting Assistant, Casting AssociateThe person who auditions and helps to select all of the speaking role actors in film,television shows or plays. The CD must possess a vast knowledge of the actor pooland be able to match a variety of actors with just the right role.Directorsand producers rely on the Casting Director to assist them with assembling theperfect cast for their production. Casting Directors are also responsible for servingas the liason between the director, and the actors and their agents. CDs negotiatethe deals with agents once the actors have been cast and are also responsible for thecontracts and SAGof each actor.Casting Society of AmericaAKA: CSAThe Casting Society of America is a professional organization of Casting Directorsworking in theatre, film, and television. The C.S.A. is not a union or a guild,therefore every Casting Director working in these mediums is not necessarily amember of this organization.On the web: Official Home PageCatererAKA: CateringA person or company who provides the main meals for cast and crew eitheron set or on location. See also craft service.CelA hand drawn sheet representing a single animation frame, usualy made of a clearmaterial like cellulose or mylar to allow several layers of composition.Cel AnimationA form of animation where hand drawn pictures are transposed on to plastic sheets,each with a different element such as characters and background, and layered ontop of each other to create a complete scene. The composition is then photographedand incorporated in the finished film. It was the predominate of form of animationuntil the rise of computer generated animation in the mid 1990s.CensorshipAKA: Censoring, CensorChanges required of a movie by some person or body other than the studio or
  4. 4. the filmmakers, usually a national or regional film classification board. See alsocertificate.Centre International du Film pour lEnfance et la JeunesseAKA: C.I.F.E.J., CIFEJ, International Centre of Films for Children and YoungPeopleA 40-year-old international non-governmental organization whose goal is topromote quality films, television programmes and videos for children and youngpeople around the world.On the web: http://www.cifej.comCertificatesAKA: Certificate, RatingsVarious countries or regions have film classification boards for reviewing moviesand rating their content in terms of its suitability for particular audiences. For manycountries, movies are required to be advertised as having a particular "certificate"or "rating", forewarning audiences of possible "objectionable content". The natureof this "objectionable content" is determined mainly by contemporary national,social, religious, and political standards. The usual criteria which determine afilms certificate are violence and sexuality, with "mature" (adult) situations andespecially blasphemy and political issues often being considered more importantoutside the Western world. This is by no means a hard and fast rule; see the HaysProduction Code for an example. In some cases, a film classification boardexhibits censorship by demanding changes be made to a movie in order to receivea certain rating. As many movies are targetted at a particular age group, studiosmust balance the content of their films against the demands of the classificationboard. Negotiations are common; studios agree to make certain changes to films inorder to receive the required rating. The IMDb uses the term "Certificate" asopposed to "Rating" to avoid confusion with "ratings" meaning the opinionsof critics. See also:Banned, NC-17, PG, G, XXX.On the web: MPAA Ratings Explanation, IMDb Certificate SectionCGIAKA: Computer Generated ImageryThe use of computer graphics to create or enhance special effects.Change Pages
  5. 5. When a script is being edited during production, changes are distributed to actorsand the filmmakers on "change pages", which are usually a different color to thepages of the script.Change-Over MarksAKA: Change-Over, Reel Change, Reel Change Marks, Cigarette BurnsMost completed movies consist of more than one reel, and thus for anuninterrupted screening, at least two projectors must be used. Towards the end ofa reel, one or more frames may include a small circle in one of the corners. Theseare signals to the projectionist that the current reel is approaching the end, and heor she should be ready to start the nextprojector, which should have thenext reel prepared for projection. Also, many theaters have switched to a plattersystem which allows the entire film to be spliced together and put on a largeplatter. The film is fed through the center of the reel (unwinding from the insideout), then into the projector, and then back onto another platter. This processallows the film to be show back-to-back without having to rewind it.Fictional Movie(s): Fight Club (1999)Character ActorAn actor who specializes in playing a particular style of character, oftenstereotypical, offbeat, or humorous.On the web: Search IMDb for Character Actors.Childrens Film FoundationTraining scheme in the UK to give schoolchildren experience of all aspects of filmmaking. Now replaced by the Childrens Film and Television FoundationChoreographerA person who plans and directs dance sequences within a movie.ChromakeyingAn electronic/computerized technique that allows for specific color elements(chroma) to be replaced with different picture elements. Seealso bluescreen and greenscreen.Chute Cowboys
  6. 6. Slang term for experienced parachutists that either perform or assist with stuntsinvolving parachutes.ChyronText graphics which appear at the bottom of a screen used to describe time, place,or name of person on screen; can also describe the technology used to add the textto the bottom of the screen.Cinch MarksAKA: ScratchesScratches on a print running parallel to the edge of the strip of film. Typicallycaused by improper reel winding which allows one coil of the print to slide againstanother.CinemaA place where screenings occur. Cinemas can be hardtops or ozoners.Cinema Audio SocietyAKA: CASA philanthropic, non-profit organization formed in 1964 for the purpose of sharinginformation with sound professionals in the motion picture and television industry.Use of the abbreviation after a name indicates that the person is a member of theCAS.On the web: Official Home PageCinema VeritéLiterally: Cinema Truth. A documentary style in which no directorial control isexerted. The term is frequently misused to describe new-wave"handheld" camera techniques.CinematographerAKA: Cinematography, CinA person with expertise in the art of capturing images either electronically oron film stock through the application of visual recording devices and the selectionand arrangement of lighting. The chief cinematographer for a movie is calledthe director of photography.
  7. 7. Factual Movie(s): Visions of Light (1992)Fictional Movie(s): Living in Oblivion (1995)ClapboardAKA: Clapper, SlateA small board which holds information identifying a shot. It typically containsthe working title of the movie, the names of the director and director ofphotography, the scene and take numbers, the date, and the time. It is filmed at thebeginning of a take. On the top of the clapboard is a hinged stick which is often"clapped" to provide audio/visual synchronization. See also clapper-loader, continuity report.Fictional Movie(s): Postcards from the Edge (1990)Clapper-LoaderSee camera loader.Classification and Ratings AdministrationAKA: CARAThe division of the MPAA which is responsible for administering certificates.On the web: CARA Home PageClaymationAnimation of models constructed from clay or plasticine.Clean SpeechA take in which all dialogue was performed without error.CliffhangerA moment of high drama, frequently used at the end of serials. Named for the (nowclichéd) practice of leaving a hero or heroine hanging onto the edge of a cliff.On the web: List of cliffhanger titles at the IMDb.Close Captioned
  8. 8. AKA: Close-Captioned, CCA system which displays the current dialog on screen for deaf or hard-of-hearingviewers. Contrast with subtitles,intertitles.On the web: National Captioning InstituteClose-upAKA: CUA shot in which the subject is larger than the frame, revealing much detail. Theabbreviation is often used in a slug line.Cold openA cold open, or teaser, is a short segment of a TV shows action, shown before theprograms opening credits are shown. It serves to heighten a viewers interest and tobuild dramatic tension before the show begins.ColoristAn image artist who, during post-production of a movie or television show, utilizescomputer-based alteration/correction programs to go through the movie/showframe by frame to insure color and light continuity. The colorist may also tweakcolors to stylistically heighten them (think Sin City or Kill Bill I).CompositingThe combining of visual elements from separate sources into single images (orsequences of images), often to create the illusion that all those elements are parts ofthe same scene. Examples might be incorporating rendered 3D images (CGI) intofilmed material, or extracting elements shot in front of blue/green screen. Todaymost compositing is achieved through digital image manipulation.CompositorA person who works with compositing. See also digital compositor.Co-ProducerA producer who performs a substantial portion of a creative producing function, orwho is primarily responsible for one or more managerial producing functions. Aco-producer has less responsibility than a producer for the completion of a project.Note that if a project has more than one producer, it doesnt mean that these
  9. 9. individuals are "co-producers" in the technical sense of that term. Seealso executive producer, associate producer, line producer.Color ConsultantA technical advisor with expertise in film stock and film developing, who providesadvice for cinematographers and color timers.Color TemperatureTerm that describes the color of light sources; literally, the temperature at which ablackbody emits enough radiant energy to evoke a color equivalent to that comingfrom a given light source. A high color temperature corresponds to bluer light, alow color temperature to yellow light. The color temperature of daylight is around5500K.Color TimingAKA: Color Correction, Color Timer, Color CorrectedA process which adjusts the final print so that colors match from shot to shot,regardless of the film stock and cameraused to shoot the scene. So named becauseone aspect is adjusting the exposure time of each shot. Performed by a color timer.See also color consultant.ColorizationAKA: ColorizedA film alteration process where an operator digitally alters a black and white imageto include color. It is a controversial practice because many filmmakers andviewers believe it fundamentally alters an artistic creation. Early attempts atcolorization in the 1980s were relatively crude in their shading range. Examples ofthis kind of alteration are versions ofCasablanca and Its a Wonderful Life. CitizenKane is notable in that Orson Welles was able to legally prevent its alteration.ComposerA musician whose music appears in a movies score. Most movies have at leastsome original music written for the score, usually after the relevant parts of themovie have been filmed. See also lyrics.Composite Print
  10. 10. AKA: Synchronized PrintA print with a images and sound on the same strip of film. The sound componentmay be either a magnetic soundtrack or an optical soundtrack. See also advance.ConductorAKA: Musical Conductor, Orchestra ConductorA person who directs the orchestras performance of the score, often the composer.Confédération Internationale des Cinémas dArt et EssaiAKA: C.I.C.A.E., CICAE, Internationaler Verband der FilmkunsttheaterConstruction Co-ordinatorAKA: Construction Foreman, Construction ManagerFinancial responsibilities include budgeting, tracking costs, generating reports, etc.Through drawings, a construction co-ordinator is directed artistically bythe Production Designer and Art Director to produce their "vision" in threedimensions. Also responsible for the physical integrity of the structures built by theconstruction department.ContinuityAKA: Continuity ErrorThe degree to which a movie is self-consistent. For example, a scene wherean actor is wearing a hat when seen from one camera angle and not from anotherwould lack continuity. A person is often employed to check that continuity ismaintained since reshooting embarrassing lapses in continuity can be prohibitivelyexpensive. See also continuity report. In modern times, some continuity errors canbe corrected through digital compositing. See the Terminator 2: JudgmentDay trivia entry for an example.On the web: IMDb Goofs SectionContinuity ReportAKA: Continuity ScriptA detailed list of the events that occured during the filming of a scene. Typicallyrecorded are production and crewidentification, camera settings, environmentalconditions, the status of each take, and exact details of the action that occurs. Byrecording all possible sources of variation, the report helps cut down continuityerror between shots or even during reshooting.
  11. 11. CostumeThe clothes worn by actors when being filmed.Costume DesignerA person who designs the costumes for a movie.Costume SupervisorThe person in charge of costumes, usually preparing them for use and making surethey are accurate and faithful to the designs. Other responsibilities includeconsulting with the designers and training, supervising, and scheduling thecostume staff.CostumerAKA: Wardrobe, Assistant Wardrobe, Wardrobe AssistantA person responsible for handling the costumes worn by actors.Fictional Movie(s): Postcards from the Edge (1990)CostumesThe person or department responsible for obtaining wardrobe items specified bythe costume designer. Most items are borrowed from the studios costume stock orrented from outside companies; others may be created specifically for theproduction.Cowboy ShotA shot framed from mid-thigh up. Got its name during the filming ofmany westerns, when this was a common framing used.Craft ServiceAKA: Crafts ServiceThe person (or people) available to assist the other crafts which include camera,sound, electricians, grips, props, art director, set decorator, hair and makeup,service the other crafts during the actual shooting of a motion picture, with tasksincluding providing snacks and cleaning the set.Crane Shot
  12. 12. A shot taken by a camera on a crane; often used to show the actors/action fromabove. Cranes usually carry both thecamera and a camera operator, but some canbe operated by remote control.Creative ConsultantA multi-faceted individual that works primarily for the director of a feature, whohelps with the creative process of a film in more than one field (e.g. script, specialeffects, photography sound design, music, etc.) In many cases, creative consultantsgo unaccredited, like ghost writers, for various reasons.CreatorAKA: ConceptThe writer or other primary creative force behind a movie, series, or group ofcharacters.CrewmembersAKA: CrewA collective term for anyone involved with the production of a movie who doesnot appear in the movie. This term is usually used to refer to the more subordinatemembers of a production team (contrast with filmmakers.)CriticA person who publishes a review of a movie from either an artistic orentertainment point of view.CrosscutThe technique of interweaving pieces of two or more scenes, usually in order toshow simultaneous actions or illuminate themes.CutA change in either camera angle or placement, location, or time. "Cut" is calledduring filming to indicate that the currenttake is over. See also shot, action. A "cut"of a movie is also a complete edited version.On the web: IMDb Alternatve Versions SectionFictional Movie(s): Ed Wood (1994)Cyberpunk
  13. 13. A subgenre of science fiction that typically has elements which include a futuristictone, massive urban areas in decay and poverty, partial environmental collapse,extremely powerful business corporations, random street gang violence with theoverall presence of extremely powerful computer, robotic and informationtechnology. Blade Runner is considered the definitive cyberpunk movie.