C-Film Vocabulary

C-Film Vocabulary

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

Call Sheet

A listing of which actors will be required for which scenes and when they will be required. Call sheets are created by assistant directors and others.


A bit part played by a famous actor who would ordinarily not take such a small part. Originally meaning a small piece of artwork the term was borrowed by director Michael Aderson when attempting to attract famous actors to play bit parts in Around the world in 80 days.

Camera Angle

The view point chosen form which the photograph a subject.


A device for recoding images.

Camera Crew

The group of crew members directly involved with operation of the camera. Individual job titles include: clapper-loader, camera operator, assistant camera man, director of photography, focus puller, grip, key grip, additional camera.

Camera Loader

The person who operates the clapboard at the beginning of a shot, also responsible for loading film stock into film magazines. The action of slapping the clapper was invented as a way of synchronizing the visual ans audio components of a shot. Recent innovations in audio-visual synchronization have made this unnecessary, but still occurs extensively. You should see also assistant camera man.

Camera Operator

The person who operates the camera to the specifications dictated by the director of photography. A director or a director of photography sometimes assumes this role.


A unit of light intensity, a standard candle linting.

Canted Frame

Often described as ‘Dutch Angle’ or ‘Dutching’. This is a device or process whereby the camera is abgled so that the horizontal frame line is not parallel to the horizon.


A collective term for the actors appearing in a particular movie or a T.V. Show.


The process of hiring actors to ply the characters in a script typically done by a casting director, but with some input from a director, producer or studio etc.

Casting Couch

During the so called Golden Age of Hollywood, it was not uncommon for would be stars to grant sexual favours to directors and or producers in return for a role in films. These favours were usually rumored to be on a couch in the filmmaker’s office. The phrase Casting has been popularized and although the practice has diminished, the term remains in use.

Casting Director

The person who auditions and helps to select all the speaking role actors in film, television shows or plays.


During a film’s climax, the audience may experience a purging or cleansing of emotional tension, providing relief or therapeutic restoration.

CD -Compact Disk

A digitally encoded disc capable of containing more than one hour of music at a sampling frequency of 44.1khz. The data is read by the laser beam.


Changes required for a movie by some person or body other than the studio or the filmmakers, usually a national or regional film classification board.


Various countries or region have film classification boards for reviewing movies and rating their content in terms of its suitability for particular audience. For many countries, movies are required to be advertised as having a particular certificate or rating, forewarning audiences of possible objectionable content. The nature of this objectionable content is determined mainly by contemporary national, social, religious and political standards. The usual criteria which determine a outside the western world. This is by no means a hard and fast rule; see the hays production code for an example. In some cases a film classification board exhibits censorship by demanding changes be made to a movie in order to receive a certain rating. As many movie are targeted at a particular age group, studios must balance the content of their films against the demands of the classification board. Negotiations are common; studios agree to make certain changes to films in order to receive the required rating.


The use of computer graphics to create or enhance special effects.

Change Over Marks

Most completed movies consist for more than one reel, and thus for an uninterrupted screening, at least two projectors must be used. Towards the end of a reel, one or more frames may include a small circle in one of the corners. These are signals to the projectionist that the current reel is approaching the end and he or she should be ready to start the next project, which should have the next reel prepared for projection. Also many theaters have switched to a platter system which allows the entire film to be sliced together and put on large platter. The film is fed thought the center of the reel, then into the project, and then back onto another platter. This process allows the film to be show back to back without having to rewind it.

Cinema Scope

The term commonly refers to widescreen processes or anamorphic techniques; that use different magnifications in the horizontal and the vertical to fill the screen; it is also the specific trademark name for 20th century fox’s commercially successful widescreen process which uses an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 to complete with Cinerama and 3-d processes in the 1950

Cinema verit

A French word that literally means true cinema or cinema truth; a method or style of documentary movie making with long takes, no narration and little or no directorial or editing control exerted over the finished product.

Character Actor

An actor who specializes in playing a particular style of character, often stereotypical, offbeat or humorous.


Referring to performance between actors who are uncommonly suited and perfectly complementary to each other; performances that lack screen chemistry can sometimes be disastrous of a film.


Slang for a martial art film.


A person who plans and directs dance sequences within a movie.

Chroma keying

An electron computerized technique that allows for specific color elements to be replaced with different picture elements.

Chute Cowboys

Slang term for experienced parachutists that either perform or assist with stunts involving parachutes.

Cinch Marks

Scratches on a print running parallel to the edge of the strip of film. Typically caused by improper reel winding which allows one coil of the print to slide against another.


A place screenings occur. Cinemas can be hardtops or ozoners.


A person with expertise in the art of capturing images either electronically or on film stock through the application of visual recording devices and the selection and arrangement of lighting. The chief cinematographer for a movie is called the director of photography.


A small board which holds information identifying a shot. It typically contains the working title of the movie, the names of the director and director of photography the scene and take numbers, the date and the time. It is filmed at the beginning of a take. On the top of the clapboard is a hinged stich which is often clapped to provide audio/visual synchronization.


Animation of models constructed from clay or plasticine.

Clean Speech

A take in which all dialogue was performed without error.


A moment of high drama, frequently used at the end of serials. Named for the practice of leaving a hero or heroine hanging onto the edge of a cliff.

Close Up

A shot in which the subject is large than the frame, revealing much details.


Literally, means tail in Italian and usually refers to musical selection in film. It refers to the epilogue, ending or last section of a film, that provides closure, a conclusion or a summary of the preceding story line of film or T.V. show.

Coded Edge Numbers

A system of marking films with a series of sequential numbers for the purpose of maintaining an established synchronous relationship.


An image artist, who during post production of a movie or television show, utilizes computer based alteration/correction programs to go through the movie or show frame by frame to insure color and light continuity.

Combo Box

A six pocket stage box that can be converted from three phase four wire to single phase three wire operation.

Combo Stand

A heavy duty 2K stand without wheel.it is called combo because it can be used for both reflectors and lights.

Coming of Age

A film associated with difficult teen rites of passage the onset of puberty, the loss of naïve innocence and childhood dreams, the experience of growing up, achieving sexual identity, etc. AKA teen films


Refers to a device that compresses an input signal and expands the output signal in order to reduce noise.

Completion Bond

An insurance guarantee that principal photography on a given film will be completed. It indemnifies a production against the unforeseen costs of any type, whether or not they result from problems which are covered by other types of insurance.


The combining of visual elements from separate sources into single images, often to create the illusion that all shoes elements are parts of the same scene.


A person who works with compositing.

Composite print

A motion picture print with both picture and sound on the same strip of film.


The degree to which a movie is self-consistent, for example: a scene where an actor is wearing a hat when seen from one camera angle and not from another would lack continuity.

Continuity Report

A detailed list of the events that occurred during the filming of a scene. Typically recorded are production and crew identification camera settings, environmental conditions, the status of each take, and exact details of the action that occurs. By recording all possible sources of variation, the report helps cut down continuity error between shots or even during reshooting.


The clothes worn by actors when being filmed.

Costume Designer

A person who designs the costumes for a movie.

Costume Supervisor

The person in charge of costumes usually preparing them for use and making sure they are accurate and faithful to the designs.


A person responsible for handling the costumes worn by actors.


The person or department responsible for obtaining wardrobe items specified by the costume designer. Most items are borrowed from the studio’s costume stock or rented from outside companies.

Cowboy Shot

A shot framed from mid-thigh up. Got its name during the filming of many westerns, when this was a common framing.

CP Filters

Color printing filters made in precise density value for the colors, yellow, cyan and magenta.


Color reversal intermediate. This is duplicate color negative which is made by the reversal process.

Craft Service

The person available to assist the other crafts which include camera, sound, electricians, grip, props, art director, set director, hair and makeup etc.

Crane Shot

A shot taken by a camera on a crane, often used to show the actors/action from above.


In general, this terms refers to the list of technical personnel cast and crew of a film. Specifically it refer to the list of names and functions of persons and corporations contributing and responsible for the artistic or intellectual content of a film such as story by, screenplay by, Photography by. Etc.


A collection term for anyone involved with the production of movie who does not appear in th movie.
This term is usually used to refer to the more subordinate members of a production team.


Short pieces of lumber which are used for various grip purpose.


A person who publishes a review of a movie form either an artistic or entertainment point of view.


The technique of interweaving pieces of two or more scenes, usually in order to show simultaneous action or illuminate themes.


In stereo, this is the breakthrough between channels measured as separation between the wanted sounds of the desired channel and the unwanted sound form the second channel.


The frequency at which a signal is split in order to feed separate parts of a loud speaker system.


A signal or sign for an actor to begin performing from either another performer, from the director, or from within the script; a cure is often the last word of one character’s line of dialogue, when another performer is expected to pick up their cue to speak.

Cup blocks.

Wooden blocks with a dish or indentation in the center which are used to keep the wheels of light stands form moving.


A change in either camera angle or placement, location or time. Cut is called during filming to indicate that the current take is over. See also shot, action a cut of movie is also a competed edited version of the film.

Cutaway Shot

A brief shot that momentarily interrupts a continuously filmed action, by briefly insertin another related action, object or person, followed by a cut-back to the original shot.


BA blue green color which is the complementary color to red.


A subgenre of science fiction that typically has elements which include a futuristic tone, massive urban areas in decay and poverty, partial environmental collapse, extremely powerful business corporations.


Permanent background built in a studio which is nearly always covered or curved at the floor line to create a shadow less unending backdrop.


A perforated material which is used to break up light or create a shadow pattern. AKA a cucoloris.


A producer who performs a substantial portion of a creative producing function, or who is primarily responsible for one or more managerial producing function. A co-producer has less responsibility than a producer for the completion of a project.

Color Consultant

A technical advisor with expertise in film stock and film developing, who provides advice for cinematographers and color.

Color Temperature

Term that describes the color of light sources; literally, the temperature at which a blackbody emits enough radiant energy to evoke a color equivalent to that coming from a given light source. A high color temperature corresponds to bluer light, a low color temperature to yellow light. The color temperature of daylight is around 5500K.

Color Timing

A process which adjusts the final print so that color match form shot to shot, regardless of the film stock and camera used to shoot the scene. So named because one aspect is adjusting the exposure time of each shot. Performed by a color timer.


A film alteration process where an operator digitally alters a black and white image to include color. It is a controversial practice because many film-makers and viewers believe it fundamentally alters an artistic creation. Early attempts at colorization in the 1980’s were relatively crude in their shading range.


A musician whose music appears in a movie score. Most movie have at least some original music written from the score, usually after the relevant parts of the movie have been filmed.

Composite Prin

A print with a images and sound on the same strip of film. The sound component may be either a magnetic sound track or an optical sound track.

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