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215 Cards in this Set

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Phi Phenomenon

Perceiving a series of still images as continuous motion

Persistence of Vision

Optical illusion where the perception of an object doesn’t cease after rays of light preceding it stop entering the eye

Eadweard Muybridge

English photographer. Pioneer of motion pictures. Stop motion stills of horse.

Jean-Etienne Marey

1882 Chronophotographic gun taking pictures of birds in flight

Lumiere Brothers

Inventors of the cinematograph. Pioneers of documentary film.


Early motion picture theatre where admissions only cost a nickel. Offered continuous showings of 1 and 2 reel films accompanied by piano.

George Melies-

French illusionist and film director. Pioneered special effects in films. A Trip to the Moon

The Studio System

Companies owned the studio, theatres, etc

Big Five

MGM, Paramount, Warner Bros, RKO, and Fox

Little Three

Universal, Columbia, United Artists

The Star System

1890s-1900 no credits for performers

Mise en Scene

Director’s staging of a play


Where, reveals story and characters

Realistic (setting)

On location/imitates reality

Non-realistic (setting)

Movie set

Limbo (setting)



Who, what they are doing


How things are on the screen, arrangement

Deep Focus

Everything in focus

Shallow Focus

Subject in focus, bg not in focus


the techniques and materials used to control the development of a work of art by protecting a desired area from change

Color (history and use)

1910-1920s– Black and white film with some painted color frames, tinted frames for specific sequences

1916- 1st version of Technicolor created. Records red and green sensitive negative to black

1922-1952- Color popularity Singing in the Rain, Wizard of Oz, etc

Can be used as a mise en scene tool to describe the characters and environment

Aspect Ratio

1:33:1, 1:78:1, 2:35:1

1:33:1, 1:78:1, 2:35:1


Display character’s personality; time period; good guy vs villain; etc.

Framing (tight vs loose)

Tight - Usually in close shots. The mise-en-scène is so carefully balanced and harmonized that the subject photographed has little or no freedom of movement.

Loose - Usually in longer shots. The mise-en-scène is so spaciously distributed that the subject photographed has considerable latitude of movement.

Film Stock

unexposed and unprocessed motion-picture film

Clear Base (film)

Cellulose Nitrate, Cellulose Triacetate, Polyester

Slow (film)

More light needed

Fast (film)

Less light needed

Size (film)

35mm (Features), 16mm (Independent), 8mm (Amateur)


Optical texture of developed film


The atmosphere of a piece/ the emotions the piece creates in a viewer.


The director’s attitude toward a subject.


The intensity of the color/light within an image


The balance between the highlights and lowlights within an image.


The representation of a person, place, thing, or idea by using an image that suggest an association or point of similarity.


A physical representation that stands in for another object or idea.

Soft Lighting (High Key)

Evenly lit, hardly any shadows

Harsh Lighting (Low Key)

Uneven lighting, heavy shadows

Depth of Field

distances in front of camera in which all objects are in focus

Telephoto lens (depth of field)

shallow focus

Wide Angle (depth of field)

deep focus


1 image (30 fps, 24 fps, etc)


One uninterrupted image series of frames


Different versions of a shot


A series of shots connected to part of a film


A grouping of scenes in a film (similar to an act)

Master Shot

a film recording of an entire dramatized scene, from start to finish, from an angle that keeps all the players in view.

Cutaway Shot

the interruption of a continuously filmed action by inserting a view of something else.

Reaction Shot

a portrayal of a person's response to an event or to a statement made by another.


Footage from a day of production

Rough Cut

Editor’s first pass at the film

Final Cut

Editor’s final pass of the film, completed and locked

Eyeline Match

a film editing technique associated with the continuity editing system. It is based on the premise that an audience will want to see what the character on-screen is seeing.

180 Degree Rule

two characters in a scene should maintain the same left/right relationship to one another. (invisible axis must not be crossed)

Shot/Reverse Shot

one character is shown looking at another character (often off-screen), and then the other character is shown looking back at the first character.

Parallel Editing

Shifting between two or more actions that are occurring simultaneously

Sometimes different locations

Builds suspense

Compare and contrast

Seven Characteristics of Hollywood Classical Cinema

1. Story set in the present

2. Focuses on 1 character or a few distinct individuals

3. Main character(s) have a goal

4. Protagonist overcomes antagonist/obstacles

5. Clear emphasis on causes and effects with little ambiguity

6. Film has closure

7. Unobtrusive filmmaking techniques

Film Genres

Categories of composition characterized by similarities in subject matter.

(Romance, Comedy, Horror, Western, Action, Thriller, Adventure, Animation)

Types of Actors

Stars, Method Actors, Character Actors, Non-professional Actors

Rule of Thirds

aligning a subject with the guidelines and their intersection points, placing the horizon on the top or bottom line, or allowing linear features in the image to flow from section to section.

Frame within a Frame

Subject is framed within the shot by another frame (ex: door, window, picture frame, television, etc)

Slow Film Stock vs. Fast Film Stock

Slow stock needs more light to get correct exposure, fast film stock needs less light.

Digital Media vs. Film

Digital- Cheap, flexible, convenient; files are corruptible

Film- Authentic look, tangible; Expensive, hard to travel with

Three Point Lighting Setup

Key Light - main light on subject

Fill Light - light to fill in shadows created by key light, preventing them from being too dark

Back Light - used to separate the subject from the background

Wide Angle Lens

a lens whose focal length is substantially smaller than the focal length of a normal lens.

Telephoto Lens

a lens with a longer focal length than standard, giving a narrow field of view and a magnified image.

Types of Camera Shots


long shot

medium shot

establishing shot

point-of-view shot

Shot Angles

Dutch angle (camera frames subject at an angle/skew) NOT A TILT

high-angle (camera looking down on subject)

low-angle (camera looking up at subject)


All editing done to the film after it is shot.

Color correction (color grading)

process of altering and enhancing thecolor of a motion picture, video image, or still image either electronically, photo-chemically or digitally.

The Kuleshov Effect

Developed by Lev Kuleshov, Juxtaposed images, Different meanings arose

Eisenstein’s Montage Theory

Sergei Eisenstein, use of contrasting shots to create meaning

Fades (transition)

Introduces or ends scene

Dissolves (transition)

a gradual transition from one image to another.

Jump Cuts (transition)

an abrupt transition from one scene to another.

Match Cuts (transition)

from one shot to another where the two shots are matched by the action or subject and subject matter.

Wipes (transition)

Pushing one image to the next.

Irises (transition)

in/out, like the opening or closing of the iris around the image

Master Shot Technique

eyeline, 180 degree rule, shot/reverse shot

Fast Cutting vs. Slow Cutting

Lots of energy, short average shot length vs Longer ASL, long takes

ASL (Average Shot Length)

cinemetrical measure of the average shot length in a film

Running Time

Length of the actual film

Story Time

The canon timeline of the story

Motion (Fast & Slow)

Slow motion, time-lapse/fast action

Silent Films

A film without dialogue, sometimes with live music

The Jazz Singer (1927)

First film with synchronized sound

Music Videos

Films supporting music


Noises in the film (dialogue, music, background noises, sound effects, etc)


(voiceover) Provide background and set the tone of the film, Reveal character insight and development


Drives the story, character development


Instrumentals, vocals, cinematic music, musical numbers, intertextuality


lack of sound in a scene or film

Sound Effects

Sound made by objects (eg. Glass falls off table and breaks), Sounds made by people (eg. High heels on concrete)

Ambient Sound

Trees blowing in the wind, HVAC system in a house, cityscape noise


Recreating sound effects for films

Sound Motif

A sound effect or combination of sound effects that are associated with a particular character, setting, situation or idea through the film


A sound motif that refers to the musical score or composition

Hyper-real Sound

Exaggerated sounds (usually sound effects) to achieve a certain effect

Contrapuntal Sound

Music that contrasts with the content of a scene (eg. Dancing during torture scene in Reservoir Dogs (1992))


Based on frequency, pitch can change the tone or mood of a scene

Diegetic vs. Non-Diegetic Sound

Diegetic: Sound with a visible or implied source in the scene

Non-Diegetic: Sound without a visible or implied source in the scene

Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Sound:

Synchronous: Sound matching visuals Asynchronous: Sound does not match visuals

Straight Cut (sound)

Most common for cutting between scenes, sometimes used in a jump-cut

Sound Dissolve

Similar to cross-fade, one sound fading to the next

Sound Fades

Commonly used in music

L Cut or J Cut

Sound bridge used for transitions


a film or video representation of actual (not imaginary) subjects.

“Mediated Reality”

The film acts as an intermediary between the subject and the audience

Expository Documentaries

Proposing a strong argument and point of view to the viewer. Often shown with narration.

Observational Documentaries

Simply and spontaneously observe life with a minimum of intervention. Fly on the wall.

Poetic Documentaries

Experimental editing and filming techniques tell a story that surpasses objective reality

Participatory Documentaries

Filmmaker is a part of the world. Emphasizes the interactions between filmmaker and subjects.

Reflexive Documentaries

Draw attention to their own constructiveness, and the fact that they are representations. (Example: Mockumentaries)

Performative Documentaries

Stress subjective experience and emotional response to the world from the filmmaker.

Character Driven Documentaries

Uses the individual's story as a means to explore broader abstract/social stakes (ex: Grizzly Man)

Subject Driven Documentaries

Not following a character, following a general subject.

Nanook of the North (1922)

Silent documentary on Eskimos from Northern Quebec. Filmed twice because of lost footage. The second time it was filmed, a lot of the “real life” scenes were staged (ex: Eskimos no longer hunted with spears, but they did in this film) causing an uproar.

Man with a Movie Camera (1929)

1929 Silent Experimental Feature Film by Dziga Vertov about Russia from day to night. Shows the filmmaking process.

Traditional “Documentary Style”

Handheld (shaky), on location (no sets), natural lighting, zoom (Telephoto lens), grainy (if shot on film)

Talking Heads

an interview where only the person's head and shoulders are visible to the camera

Action Interviews

the interview plays over the footage without the person directly talking to the camera.


visuals played over top of interview footage


staged events using actors to reenact a moment of time

Archival Footage

film or video footage that is archived so it can be used again in other films.


A representation of unified events (happenings and actions) situated in one or more settings. A story or account of events, experiences, or the like, whether true or fictitious.


different stories within a complex narrative

Narrative Types

Human vs. Human Human vs. Himself/Herself Human vs. Nature Human vs. Society Human vs. God Human vs. Machine


information that sets up the beginning of the plot

Rising Action

series of incidents leading to the climax


the peak of action in a film (the “showdown,” or “turning point”)

Falling Action

conflict and tension unravel


the events at the end of the film – the conclusion


clear consequences of events and ending


Current or normal time


Jumping back in time


Jumping forwards in time

Chronological Time

Starting with the earliest and following the order in which they occurred

Non-Chronological Time

Shots/scenes are placed in a different arrangement than the order they occurred in


Putting non-chronological events into a chronological sequence

Satire (narrative style)

Use comedy to chide, inform or reform

Parody (narrative style)

A comedy based on a serious film

Black Comedy(narrative style)

A comedy that deals with dark subjects, like death

Magical Realism(narrative style)

Using unrealistic events or happenings in an otherwise realistic story

Realism (narrative style)

Realistic story/setting with either unobtrusive or documentary style camera work

Surrealism (narrative style)

Surrealist cinema is characterized by juxtapositions, the rejection of dramatic psychology, and a frequent use of shocking imagery. (ex: Salvador Dali film)

Experimental Cinema

Rejects conventions used in mainstream cinema, explores the possibilities of the film medium, ahead of its time, relies heavily on self-expression, remains largely or entirely free of the limitations placed on commercial films

Un Chien Andalou (1929)

A 1929 silent surrealist short film by the Spanish director Luis Buñuel and artist Salvador Dalí. (match-cutting with the moon and the woman’s eye, man on the street, crowd of people)

Meshes of the Afternoon (1943)

1943 silent film directed by Maya Deren, music added later by husband Teiji Ito. (woman with the flower and knife, surreal) Deren is the early pioneer of screendance.

Persona (Intro, 1966)

1966 feature film, directed by Ingmar Bergman. (Hybrid film, found footage)


a merging of film and dance where the camera and movement work together to evoke a kinesthetic response

SHUNPO (2013)

Screendance film about a woman in an office, when she dances she escapes

Installation Art

Works of art that usually consist of multiple components exhibited in a carefully chosen space in an arrangement specified by the artist.

Hybrid Films

A film that incorporates both traditional narrative elements & experimental elements

Non-Commercial Films

Films not made to sell or promote something. (story, theme message, idea)

Short Narrative

fiction film that tells a story

Short Animation

short, animated film


short documentary

Commercial Films

Films made to sell or promote something


Made to sell a product (ex: Adidas commercial)


Promote a new film coming out

Fashion Films

Promote a new fashion line or brand


not a genre…it is a filmmaking technique

2D animation

“Traditional Animation,” hand-drawn, computer assisted

3D animation

“Computer Animation,” CGI: Computer Generated Images

Stop-Motion (Different Types)

Claymation (Wallace & Gromit), Puppet Animation (Corpse Bride), Cutout Animation (South Park), Model Animation (King Kong)

Cel Animation

Overlaying transparent sheets, or “cels,” with images on them in order to avoid constantly re-drawing images (Character Cel, Background Cel)


Animators trace live-action movement frame by frame (e.g. Waking Life)

Magic Lantern

a device having an enclosed lamp and a lenslike opening, formerlyused for projecting and magnifying images mounted on slides orfilms.

Motion Capture

Record motion data → Animation

Hayao Miyazaki

Japanese Film Director/Animator, Recurring Themes: Strong Young Women; An Interest in Nature (and Flying); Contempt for War; Complex, Interesting Villains


Importance of intervals, gaps, spaces, silence Yasujiro Ozu - trains, ships, laundry in the wind… The gaps make the meaning

Independent Film

feature film that is produced mostly or completely outside of the major film studio system, including producing and distribution with a low production budget.

Easy Rider (1969)

1969, co-written, directed and starred Dennis Hopper. Two Harley riding Hippies, traveling cross-country to search for spiritual truth.

First film to feature hippie culture and explicit drug use in America during the time Groundbreaking soundtrack featuring rock music as well as original songs made for the film Experimental/avant-garde editing for its time

The Puffy Chair (2005)

2005, written and directed by Mark and Jay Duplass. A musician wins a vintage recliner on Ebay, who drives from NYC to Atlanta with his girlfriend and brother to pick up chair and runs into problems on the journey. Early mumblecore film featuring non-professional actors Mark Duplass, his wife, Katie Aselton, and Rhett WilkinsCharacters lack to develop throughout the storyOne of the first and early feature films recorded on digital rather than film with a docu-style presence

Tangerine (2015)

2015, directed and written by Sean S. Baker. Comedy-drama following a transgender sex worker who discovers her boyfriend and pimp has been cheating on her.The film was entirely shot on 3 iPhone 5S smartphones Lead actors, Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor had no major acting experienceOne of the few films focusing on the sex trade subculture in LA

Indie Film

Indie is the genre, and independent is the film itself


(Mostly) Character development rather than story development; Ensemble cast v. Central character; Exploring Race, Gender, Identity; Experiencing personal or social issues; Writing Style; Indie Music


Heavily coordinated color palette; Use of expressive &/or experimental camera angles; Documentary-style elements; B or C-List Celebrities, Non-professional actors, Up and coming actors


a style of low-budget film typically characterized by the use of nonprofessional actors and naturalistic or improvised performances

Sundance Film Festival

1978, known as the Utah/US Film Festival to attract filmmakers to Utah, Most renowned film festival in the world, Allows Hollywood executives to explore fresh and new titles for larger audiences, Creates crossovers for the Academy Awards

Sofia Coppola

dir. of Lost in Translation

David Lynch

dir. of Lost Highway

Sophia Coppola style

Style: Highly prone to pastel color palettes, Use of empty/loose framing, Camera gaze & subjective camera, Similar to Wong Kar-Wai: Equal parts image, equal parts music, Use of lack of dialogue

Sophia Coppola Characters and Actors

Actors/Characters: Mostly works with the same actors within an ensemble cast, Main characters are usually lost in a world suffering from an existential crisis, Search for identity

David Lynch Style

Soundscapes - Takes his time on setting a mood journey rather than rushing through the story, Creating aural depth to scenes with subtleties, Use of silence, Highly reliant of ambient soundscapes within nighttime sceneries. Music - Makes music within the experimental rock, ambient soundscapes, and electropop genres (Chrysta Bell), Created music for most of his own productions, Collaborated often with electronic-synth musicians Angelo Badalamenti & Julee Cruise for films & studio albums

David Lynch Themes

Dream-like/Surreal narrative plotlines, subconscious, Magic realism intertwining with the everyday, Juxtapositions with the humble small-town Americanacoupled with the psychosexual and surreal nature, Open-ended stories, Deformity, Corrupted society, Death from head injury, 1950s American Subculture, Female Leads with multiple or fractured identities, Absence of identity

David Lynch Films

Eraserhead (1970), Blue Velvet (1986), Inland Empire (2006)

Sherlock Jr.

Silent, black and white film. Experimental editing for the time. Comedy. (Hollywood)

Rear Window

Hitchcock film. Strong female character. Intricate set design. Voyeurism. Mystery and suspense. (Hollywood)

The Shining

Kubrick film. Use of color to represent characters. Framing and reflections. Mise-en scene. Hotel as a character. (Hollywood)


Black and white Woody Allen film. Lots of intricate dialogue. Camera movement (tracking shot). Lighting (museum scene). (Hollywood)

City of God

Editing of scenes, action sequences, and color grading. Cinematography. Chicken metaphor and gangsters. Rocket’s camera. (Hybrid)

Barton Fink

Hyper-realistic sound. Hotel as a character. Metaphor for hell. Commentary on Hollywood as an industry. Coen Brothers classic. (Hollywood)

ChungKing Express

Wong Kar-Wai film. “California Dreaming”. Editing and passing time (time-lapse). Expiration. Open-ended ending. (Narrative) (Hybrid)

Grizzly Man

Documentary film. Found footage. Unbiased, informative view of Timothy Treadwell’s bear activities. (Documentary)

All’s Fair

Tells a short story. Relationships. Comedic. (Short Film) (Hollywood)Omelette - Short animated film. Uses animation to depict fantastical events (dog making omelette). Comedic. (Short Film)


Short animated film. Dark humor. Mixed media (live action film and animation). Comedic. (Short Film)

Log Off

Experimental short film. Experimental editing. Strange images. Seclusion. (Short Film) (Experimental)

I Hate Dancing

Short film with dialogue played over footage. Talks about hating dancing ironically. (Short Film) (Screendance)

Adidas Commercials

Short films to promote Adidas shoes. Told through animal imagery in one, and editing in the other. (Short Film) (Commercial)

H&M Come Together

Wes Anderson short film. Tells a short christmas narrative. Promoting the H&M brand. (Short Film) (Commercial)


Fashion film. Lots of shots depicting characters (in the clothes) doing “cool” activities. (Short Film) (Commercial)


Experimental editing. Music video. Depicting money culture and black subculture. (Music Video) (Short FIlm) (Experimental)


Short film telling a fictional story. Dark comedy. Quick punchline. Open ended. (Short Film) (Hollywood)

La Jete’e

French film told mostly through still photos. Black and white. Post nuclear war. Time loop. (Experimental)

Spirited Away

Miyazaki film. Strong female character. Change. Environmentalist. (Hollywood)

Lost in Translation

Coppola film. Transcendentalism (The everyday, Disparity, Stasis). Subtle character growth. (Hybrid)

Lost Highway

Lynch Film. Surrealist feeling. Deformity. Dual identities. (Experimental/Hybrid)

Phillips defines the documentaries as “mediated reality”. Explain the meaning of “mediated reality” as it relates to documentaries. What makes a documentary objective or subjective? How “real” is Grizzly Man?

Phillips’ definition of “mediated reality” gives the documentary film the role of an intermediary between the subject and the audience. Objective documentaries simply give facts, while subjective ones convey the director’s opinion on the subject matter.It is “real” in that the subjects and footage are real, but the views of the topic are told through the lens of other people.

What is the importance of independent filmmaking? Explain what themes the genre explores and why it is popular in today’s modern age.

The importance of independent filmmaking is that it gives a forum for directors to express their views in. It is a way to convey ideas, cultures, narrative film expressions, and different voices from many different cultures and connecting them to one another. The exploration of themes like gender, personal identity, and struggles within social classes resonate with modern people looking to see something outside of conventional film genres.

Provide your own definition for experimental cinema, narrative Hollywood cinema, and hybrid films. Then place one of the films we have watched this semester into one of those three categories, and explain in detail why it fits one of these categories better than the others, using examples from the film.

Experimental - A style of film that defies Hollywood/mass media film conventions and explores alternative modes of storytelling. Hollywood Narrative- A style of film that works within the bounds of classical narrative continuity.Hybrid- A style of film that incorporates ideas from both Hollywood Narrative and Experimental styles.

Barton Fink, Chungking Express, and Lost Highway all use sound in very different ways. Pick two of these films. Then compare and contrast the role of sound in the two films you pick.

Barton Fink- Uses hyper realistic sound to amp up tension; diegetic noise from play stage and typewriter; the sound of water; atmospheric sounds; sounds reflect Barton Fink’s inner turmoil. Chungking Express- Diegetic music from radio (California Dreamin); expresses character personalities and desires. Lost Highway- Uses silence; hyper realistic sound; sound motifs of Jazz music for Fred; rock and roll sound motif for Pete; experimental music; ambient soundscapes.

Recurring metaphoric images are carefully used in The Shining, Barton Fink, and Lost in Translation represent a certain state of mind amongst the main character(s). Pick one of the films and explain how repetition is used throughout the film. Why does the film use repetition? Does it use this tool effectively?

The Shining - Mazes (The hotel, the big hedge maze, maze diorama), Color shifts (Blue to Red) (Jack- Red rooms, pink/gold bar as a conduit between worlds, red hallways) (Danny- shift to indicates his shift between himself and Tony) (Wendy- used to show the shifts in lies and truth), Reflections (mirror in the bedroom, mirror in the bathroom, window) Used to show Jack’s duality in personality. Barton Fink - The beach/ocean/water (the picture on his hotel wall, walking on the beach) represents unattainable ideologies, Decay of the hotel/mind (wallpaper peeling off), Lost in Translation - Insomnia (Disconnect with the time and place that they’re in); the bar/alcohol (transitional space); Phones/fax machines (communication only on the surface, partners no longer need them.) Messy rooms (messy mentality, chaos in relationships) Windows (desire, freedom, but also a barrier, reflection) Advertisements (seeing an image of himself in different spaces, public view vs his own perception of himself)

How does La Jete’e ‘s photographic storytelling add context to the narrative? Explain why the director focuses on a specific ASL. How would the film be different if executed in a live action layout?

La Jete’e’s photographic storytelling adds context by showing us snapshots of the story. We see the film as memories in this sense, and memory is an important concept in the film. The main character has the memories of a woman and a man’s death from a long time ago, and when we only see these moments as the viewer, it connects you to the main character. We see how he would remember it. Every moment becomes more important, and moments where the ASL is higher, such as the moment the woman wakes up, become even more precious and important. If the film was live action, it wouldn’t have the same sense of memory and what is or isn’t important. You wouldn’t be seeing snapshots anymore, so that connection shared between the viewer and the main character would be lost.