Table Key Technical Terms In English And French

Camera distance (using the human figure as measure)

extreme long shot long shot medium long shot medium medium close close-up extreme close-up background foreground plan général, plan de grand ensemble plan d'ensemble plan moyen, plan demi-ensemble plan américain plan rapproché gros plan très gros plan arrière-plan premier plan far distance full figure knees up thighs up waist or shoulders up face part of face

Camera movement crane up crane down dolly forwards dolly back dolly right dolly left pan right plan grue (haut) plan grue (bas) travelling avant travelling arrière travelling latéral (droite) travelling latéral (gauche) panoramique (droite)

camera mounted on crane camera mounted on trolly; often on a rail-track so also known as tracking shot camera swivels on horizontal tilt down tilt up high angle low angle panoramique vertical (haut) panoramique vertical (bas) en plongée en contre-plongée or vertical axis; 'pan' is short for 'panorama'

camera from high to low camera from low to high

Other Terms Associated wltli the camera image track reel lens intertitles deep focus fade in fade out superimposition framing fast motion slow motion blurred wipe zoom off screen bande-image bobine objectif intertitres profondeur de champ fondu au noir ouverture au noir fondu enchaîné

ralenti flou volet zoom hors cadre Chors champ' is more specifically used for visuals, 'off' for sound)

background and foreground are equally clear a sweeping effect across the screen to close a shot lens with variable focus allowing travelling effects without moving the camera

Lighting//, urn/ere key light filler light back light filter lumière principale lumière d'ambiance; lumière de face lumière de derrière filtre

Soundtrack/Bande-Son sound effects bruitage fully/simple diegetic (la dlégèse/dlégétique)

external diegetic displaced diegetic semi-diegetic internal diegetic non-diegetic voice-over dubbing subtitled diégétique diégétique externe diégétique déplacée demi-diégétique diégétique interne non-diégetique voix off doublagedubbing sous-titré

soundtrack coincides with what the spectator sees on screen (the story space, or diegesis)

sound in the story space, but unseen, although the spectator assumes that characters are aware of it ditto, but sound is anterior or posterior to image voice-over by character dialogue assumed to be in the mind of character not part of story space, e.g. commentary 'off' (Vo/'x off) a character speaks from 'outside' the story space (or diegesis)

Music redundant; empathetic contrapuntal; a-empathetic contrapuntal; didactic musique empathique musique anempathique musique didactique conveys the emotions of characters music indifferent to the drama, distances the spectator music asks the spectator to adopt a distanced, even ironic position

Editing credits générique establishing shot plan générai a shot, usually a long shot, that shows the spectator the general location of the scene that follows; it often provides essential information and orientates the spectator shot link shot shot - reverse shot false continuity insert flashback flash forward plan raccord champ/contrechamp faux raccord insert flashback flash forward the linking of two shots through movement, sound, etc.

conventional organisation of shots in a sequence, as in a conversation where the camera switches from one interlocutor to the other as each speaks an inserted shot, e.g. a close-up (see the section on Metz in Chapter 2 of this volume for other examples)


A commonly used term in both English and French, meaning literally 'what is put into the scene'. It covers everything the spectator sees that is not camera-specific: lighting and colour; costume, hair and make-up; settings and props; facial expressions and body language; positioning of characters and objects within the frame.

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