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GCSE Film Language

Gill Clayton | Saturday September 03, 2011

Categories: GCSE, Dictionary, Media & Film Studies Dictionary, Hot Entries, Key Concepts, Film Language

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FilmEdu GCSE Film Language.doc

Camera Shots

Establishing Shot - ES - Establishes where, when and who of a sequence of film.

Long Shot - LS - The subject being filmed can be seen from head to foot in their surroundings.

Mid/medium Shot - MS - Classic newsreader shot. A person can be seen from the waist upwards. We can still see some of the setting.

Close Up - CU - The subject fills the screen. We cannot see much of the background.

Big/Extreme Close Up - BCU/ECU - A small detail fills the screen: an insect on a leaf, an eye

Point of View Shot - POV - The shot is from a character’s Point-of-view, as if you are seeing things through their eyes

Over the Shoulder Shot - The shot is from behind a character as if you are looking over their shoulder

Bird’s Eye View Shot - The camera is above the subject like a bird in the sky.

Camera Angles

High Angle - HA - The camera is placed higher up than the subject, looking down on them.

Eye Level - EL - The camera is at the same height as the eyes of the subject.

Low Angle - LA - The camera is placed lower than the subject, looking up at them.

Camera Movements

Pan - Camera stays in one place and moves horizontally from left to right or right to left.

Tilt - Camera stays in one place and moves vertically from high to low angle or low to high.

Zoom - Zoom in / out to make things seem larger or smaller.

Track - Camera moves along following the action, like it is on a track.

Edit Transitions

(Main ones – there are many others)

Straight Cut - The most common transition, the shot simply moves to the next one.

Fade - Shot fades to black / white etc. and then fades back to the next shot

Dissolve - Shot dissolves (disappears) into the next shot

Jump Cut – A Jump Cut is when the Director cuts on the same shot, but from a different angle or focal length to disrupt the audiences’ attention. 

Page Curl Up Left/Right - Shot peels like a page to the next one

Diagonal Down Right - As...


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