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Glossary: Film grammar

Here's a list of definitions introduced during this lesson.
  • Camera Motion: how the camera moves in relation to the characters and the action
  • Center Framing: putting your main subjects right in the middle to establish a feeling of stability or neutrality
  • Close Up Shots: camera shot that is very close to punctuate an emotional moment or story point
  • Dolly: dynamic shot where the camera moves parallel to the ground, as if moving on tracks
  • Down Shot: shot by placing your camera above the subject and pointing downward
  • Dutch Angle: shot by tilting the camera to get a diagonal view of the scene
  • Dynamic Shots: shots taken with a moving camera
  • Extreme Close Up Shots: shot framed very tightly around the subject to feel intense emotion
  • Extreme Wide Shots: used to show how big a world is, create a sense of scale or make details difficult to see
  • Framing: the part of the scene you see through the camera’s lens and from what perspective
  • Major Beats: key moments in the story
  • Medium Shots: camera shot that is personal and close enough to establish emotion and conversation
  • Minor Beats: smaller ideas that collectively make up each scene
  • Pan: dynamic shot where the camera rotates either horizontally or vertically to reveal addition information
  • Rule of Thirds: framing technique used by dividing frame into equal thirds and placing the subject at one of the four intersection points
  • Scene: the part of the story that takes place at a particular time and location where our character learns something new to carry them forward in the story
  • Sequences: collection of scenes that make up a major beat
  • Shots: a visual representation of a character’s action in time
  • Staging: the positions of the characters in the scene and where the action occurs
  • Static Shots: shots taken using a fixed position and direction throughout the entire shot
  • Tracking Shot: dynamic shot where the camera follows a particular subject as it moves within the environment
  • Up Shot: shot by placing your camera down low and pointing it upward
  • Wide Shots: camera shot staged by placing the camera far away from your characters to give a broad perspective and understanding of a new location; also called “establishing shots”
  • Zoom: dynamic shot where you push into or pull back from the action within a frame

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