This may be a duplicate, since I don't know what this is actually called. I just watched the James Bond movie GoldenEye (1995) and the final scene (almost) of the movie prompted this question. James and Natalya have just escaped the explosion of the antenna base. The rise as Jack Wade strolls up. After the standard Bond witticism, Jack pumps his arm and says "Yo! Marines!"

A bunch of US Marines (we assume) in ghillie suits pop up where we didn't see them. This I get. However, at the same time, in the background, three (or more) Bell Huey helicopters descend into the shot.

OK, I get that Bond (and us) didn't see the Marines hidden around him, but the helicopters? No way. They weren't even Black-hawks modified for quiet use (which are still pretty noisy). So, we, as the voyeuristic viewers of the scene are supposed to 'believe' that they were hidden from sight and sound, even though they were simply up and off screen.

The same technique is used in some scenes where a protagonist might be 'sneaking' through some bushes... to the point of view of the camera, they are sneaking, but to the point of view of the people actually filming the scene? There they are, plain as day, with absolutely nothing hiding them.

What is the technique, if it is such a thing, called?

  • There is a technical term for this. You can find it in some of the most astute textbooks used in film schools. It's called a "hokey" shot. : )
    – ipso
    Jul 4, 2014 at 7:47
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    @ipso, hmmm... never heard of it, can't seem to find a reference to it anywhere... can you supply one? Jul 4, 2014 at 9:05
  • Sorry. It was just a lame attempt a humor. Not to be confused with humour.
    – ipso
    Jul 4, 2014 at 18:26
  • @ipso, awww man, can't believe I missed that this was a Joke :P... I'm such a stiff. Jul 4, 2014 at 19:47

2 Answers 2


TVTropes calls this Behind the Black:

The tendency for something or someone to be completely invisible to the on-screen characters simply because it is not visible to the camera, i.e. "behind the black" - even when that object or person should be in clear view. Some TV shows, films, and video games are guilty of assuming that characters can't see something just off-screen because, well, the viewer can't, and the viewer is the center of their universe.

They also mention the specific scene you were referring to in their Film examples section:

In GoldenEye, Bond and Natalya are lying in a field having a romantic interlude with nobody around "within 25 miles". Then a squad of marines pops up, forgivable because they are camouflaged... then a group of helicopters appears. They were completely silent and apparently invisible until they were within frame.

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    An uptick isn't enough. Nice takedown!
    – ipso
    Jul 4, 2014 at 7:53

Anything that occurs infront of a camera, and is caught in shot, is Pro-Filmic.

Anything that happens in the filmic world/universe and affects its story, but not necessarily shown in shot, is Diegetic.

Anything that is within the film but is not within the diegesis (title cards, Voiceover), is Extra-Diegetic.

There is not a technical word for the specific event you are describing: if anything, it refers to the willing suspension of disbelief: wherein we must accept events that appear outwardly unrealistic because the conventions of the cinema are unaligned with reality.

  • I should come up with a question, or questions, to which this could be an accepted answer, this is great information.
    – CGCampbell
    Jul 4, 2014 at 11:15
  • @CGCampbell You already did. ;-)
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Jul 4, 2014 at 11:18
  • @NapoleonWilson I disagree, respectfully, of course. While what I described is Diegetic, that is not a specific term for what I was interested in. It was not Pro-filmic. I would accept the trope answer as more specific to my question.
    – CGCampbell
    Jul 4, 2014 at 11:26
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    @CGCampbell Yeah, I see, there doesn't seem to be a technical term for what you asked, as the answer points out. Of course it's your decision what answers you accept, but a made up "trope" is far from an official term for me. But as said, you accept the answer you deem appropriate and I don't want to take that right from you.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Jul 4, 2014 at 11:30
  • I would take this to chat, but you're not there. :) Hmm. You're probably right. I'll have to think about which I prefer, a more specific 'answer' or a more 'correct' one.
    – CGCampbell
    Jul 4, 2014 at 11:38

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