Industrial Media – Some Terms

A lot of the terms on this list I am still relatively unfamiliar with. However, I feel that my knowledge is growing as I work more on my Fiction and Non Fiction projects. Some of these terms I was vaguely familiar with and some I just plain had no idea what they meant so this exercise was an interesting test to me, to see what I needed to familiarise myself with and see what I felt relatively knowledgeable about.

Storyboards – Storyboards are used to help writers, producers etc. visually organise a sequence in a film, animation or motion graphic. The scenes are illustrated in sequence to help lay out what the scene is going to look like visually. Directors use the storyboard to help stage the shots they are going to use.

Birds Eyes View – An elevated viewpoint that positions the observer as if they were a bird. In film making this is used to construct floor plans, that is a sort of blueprint of a film scene that shows the camera positions for every take.

The Line – ‘Crossing the line’ is a phrase in video and film production that refers to an imaginary line that cuts down the middle of the scene you’re shooting. Crossing from side to side of this imaginary line creates confusion and disorientation within the scene so once shooting has started from one side it is a general rule to be conscious and not to ‘cross the line’ onto the other side.

Continuity Coverage – A production will often have a ‘continuity supervisor’ who is responsible for tracking all the elements of a shoot to ensure that continuity errors do not occur in the next shoot. Taking meticulous notes and still shots of each shoot can help to ensure errors do not occur.

Takes – In film a ‘take’ refers to a recorded version of a shot. Multiple ‘takes’ may be necessary if you cannot get a satisfactory ‘take’ to use in editing.

Shot – Different shots make up what becomes a scene in the final production of a film. A shot is the time from when the camera starts rolling to when it stops. Different types of shots include close up’s, mid shot’s and wide shots, these are all used effectively in post production to create a scene. When you see different camera angles in a scene in a film these are all different shots.

Scene – A scene in a film refers to a sequence of action filmed in the same location in an unbroken time frame. For instance if you have a film where your protagonist starts off waking up in his bedroom, getting out of bed and getting dressed, then moving into his bathroom to brush his teeth these two sequences would be considered different scenes. A scene is made up of a series of shots.

First Assistant Director – The First Assistant Director works closely with the director and is tasked with taking on a lot of responsibilities to ensure the director can focus on the creative process of filming. Some responsibilities the First AD is expected to take on include drawing up a filming schedule and enforcing that this runs on time. They also need to supervise the crew and cast to ensure everything runs problem free and co-ordinate the production activity.

Camera Assistant: – A camera assistant sets up the positioning of the camera for different shots during the filming process. The camera assistant ensures the equipment is in good condition and is always ready to set up in the next location, they work closely with the camera operator to ensure a smooth shoot.

DOP: – The director of photography (or DOP), also known as the cinematographer, is responsible for the operations of the camera as well as the lighting during the length of the film production.

Audio: – Refers to all the sound recorded for/during filming.

Boom Swinging: – This refers to swinging the boom mic (which is attached to a pole) between actors during a scene to ensure you capture the best possible audio of their dialogue.

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