A-Film Vocabulary

A-Film Vocabulary

Film Vocabulary, Film vocab, Writers, Cinematographers, Co-Producers, Director

Above the line

Part of budget reserved for major players in the production such as the direct, produce, writers, actors and any one related to the film project. Everything else is below the line.


The science of the transmission of sound waves. Generally refers to the characteristics of auditoriums theatres and studios with respect to their design.

ADC-Analog to Digital Converter

ADC-Analog to digital converter is an electronic device used at the input of digital audio equipment to convert analog electrical signals to digital values whose numbers represent the level and frequency information contained in the original analog signal.

Aerial Shot

Aerial shot is an extremely high angle view of a subject usually taken from a crane or a high stationary camera position, but may also refer to a shot taken from an actual airplane or helicopter.


A person responsible for the professional business dealings of an actor, director or other artist. An agent typically negotiates the contracts on behalf of the actor or director, and often has some part in selecting or recommending roles for their client.

Ambient Light

General, non-directional, room light or lightings

Angle of View

This is size of the field covered by a lens, measured in degrees. However, because of the aperture masks in film, the angle of view for a given lens is generally described in term of the height and width of lens.

Answer Print

The first graded print of a film that combines sound and picture, which is created for the client to view and approve before printing the copies of the film.


The opening in the lens through which light is admitted. The aperture determines the cone angle of the bundle of light rays that come to a focus in the image plane. The aperture dermis how collimated the admitted rays are which is of great importance for the appearance at the image plane. If the admitted rays also pass through a lens, highly collimated rays will result in sharpness at the image plane, while uncollated rays will result in sharpness for rays the right focal length only. This mean that a wide aperture results in an image that is sharp around what the lens is focusing on and blurred otherwise.


A lighting unit that generates illumination from an electrical arc between two carbon electrodes for light production.

Art department

The section of a production’s crew concerned with visual artistry. Working under the supervision of the production designer or art director or both, art director, the art department is responsible for arranging the overall look of the film as desired by the director, individual positions within in the department include: production designer, production buyer, special effects supervisor, draftsman art director, assistant art director, self-decorator, set dresser, property master, lead-man, swing gang and property assistant.

Art director

The person who oversees the artist and crafts people who build the sets. See also production designer, set designer, set director, lead-man and swing gang.


A visual defect in an image caused by limitation or the malfunction of imaging equipment, see also motion artifacts, contract with cinch marks.

Assistant Director

An assistant director’s duties include tracking the progress of filming versus the production schedule and preparing call sheets.


The work of organizing and joining the shots of a film in the sequence in which they will appear in the finished print. (the part of film editing)

Associate Producer

This is normally the person who acts as the liason between a production company and the various personnel involved in the post production process.

Aspect Ratio

A measure of the relative sizes of the horizontal and vertical components of a n image. AKA academy ratio.


Extras who are staged and photographed to portray normal human traffic needed to add detail in various script situations.


A filmmaker, generally a director who creates a body of work with a unified sensibility that reveals, through the interplay of themes and styles, a personal worldwide.


Manufacturer of a popular non-linear editing system. Often used to refer to the system itself as AVID editor. Competitors include light works and Apple’s final cut pro.

Axis of Action

Also called the 180 degree line in an imaginary line that passes through the two main actors of a scene defining the spatial relations of the elements of the scene as being to the right or left.

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