Questions tagged [terminology]

Terms, definitions of terms, and clarification of terms used in the film industry.

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What is the term for video quality that is intentionally made to look old or degraded?

What is the term for video quality that is intentionally edited to make it look older or degraded, even when the original was captured on high quality video? For example, video quality can purposely ...
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2 answers
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Is there an industry-specific term for the animated logo that precedes a movie studio’s films?

Most studio films begin with an animated sequence that shows off the studio’s logo. For example, the 20th Century Fox “searchlights” or the Universal Studios Earth orbit. Is there an industry-specific ...
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Is there any common name for this type of shot?

When a character makes a decision to do something, we see actors looking down and then blinking and looking forward at the same time. I think I often see this in English dramas. Is there a name given ...
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5 votes
3 answers
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What is it called when an actor plays themselves in a movie?

In Oceans 13 - Julian Roberts plays a character doing an impression of Julia Roberts. There is a Nicolas Cage movie that seems to employ a similar narrative choice. I'm trying to work out the word or ...
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What's the proper term for individual TV episodes that feature multiple episodic storylines?

I was watching an episode of Bob's Burgers where the characters recite stories that are largely unrelated to the actual plot of the episode, while the stories themselves are the actual content of the ...
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29 votes
1 answer
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Shots where the characters are small in relation to a still background: do these have a name?

I'm wondering if these shots have a name: shots where the character(s) is sitting or otherwise still and takes up only a small part of the screen, which is also still, i.e. the rest is pretty much a ...
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Is Justice League 2021 a cut or a remake?

Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021) is widely referred to as "the Snyder cut." Zack Snyder directed the 2017 Justice League, which has a similar plot and the same lead actors. But I can't ...
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2 answers
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What do we call a person who designs the architecture or armors of a medieval fantasy film?

I heard character designer, mechanical designer so I am wondering if the term used for someone who designs architecture would be called an environment designer and a person who design armors a costume ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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Is Leslie Nielsen's distinction between a comedian and a comic actually insightful, or is he just telling a joke here?

I am having difficulty resolving humor from seriousness in this case and need some help. After about 05:00 in Leslie Nielsen Monologue: Serious Actor - Saturday Night Live (Season 14, aired 02/18/89): ...
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8 answers
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How do you refer to key objects like the Death Star from Star Wars?

Is the Death Star from Star Wars a "prop" or a "character" or something entirely different? I would tend to think that something as iconic as the Death Star or the Millennium ...
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What is the term for a cut from one close-up object to another absurdly similar close-up object? [duplicate]

What is the term for a cut from one close-up object to another absurdly similar close-up object? For example, in the movie "A Christmas Story", I think there is a cut from a close-up of a ...
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1 answer
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What's the term and production process for a teaser consisting of clips from the show?

In television production, a teaser or cold open is a short sequence that runs before the opening credits. Teasers are designed to grab the audience's attention, usually (for narrative shows such as ...
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6 votes
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What would you call this specific war scene effect?

Sorry I am not native so it's difficult to find information about it and I can't put a name on that special effect. In movies sometimes you have an explosion and the soldier is lost in his own ...
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Why do shows say "Netflix Original" when they are reruns from other channels?

Why do shows say "Netflix Original" when they are reruns from other channels? It almost seems childish that a company like Netflix would put something like that before a show they didn't ...
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2 votes
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Term for when the sound of a movie starts before the image [duplicate]

Is there a technical term for when the first sound of a movie is heard while the screen is still black? A hypothetical example: we hear the sound of howling wind for a second or two before we see an ...
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1 answer
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What's the Billboard 200's counterpart for TV shows that publishes viewing statistics periodically?

The Billboard 200 is a record chart ranking the 200 most popular music albums and EPs in the United States. What's the Billboard 200's counterpart for TV shows, that publishes viewing statistics ...
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2 answers
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Difference between movie producer and creator

From Wikipedia Marta Fran Kauffman (born September 21, 1956) is an American writer and TV producer. She is best known as the co-creator of the NBC sitcom Friends with her longtime friend, David Crane....
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What's the term for some sequel where we see the characters in the original but much older?

What's the term for a sequel of a film, film series, or TV series where some of the same characters from the original are in the sequel, but they're older by 5+ years? Usually you get the same cast ...
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What does "twist" mean in film criticism?

A critic says about LEFT BEHIND It believes people might buy a ticket to Left Behind and not know the twist, like someone sitting down to watch Godzilla and being shocked by the entrance of a giant ...
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1 answer
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What does Psychotronic (Series, Movies or TV Shows) mean?

I ofter read the term "Psychotronic". What exactly does this mean and where does this term come from? It seems to be related to the Sci-Fi and Horror genres.
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3 votes
1 answer
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What do you call this type of action shot of car racing?

I am looking for the name of a specific kind of shot, if it has one. It's something you see a lot in car races movies or video game, the idea is that a car (or anything moving fast) comes towards the ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Name of the character who introduces the viewer to the larger story?

In many films, TV shows, and books, there exists a character who begins the story as a "normal" person, and then gets caught up in some larger, ongoing conflict. This person becomes the "new guy" on a ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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Does this device used to create suspense have a name?

Sometimes films will create suspense by having the audience along with character not know whether or not another character knows a secret. And if the character does actually know the secret, it would ...
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What does "all-new episode" mean?

Quite often, (maybe more often a few years ago than now) on an ad for a TV programme, the announcer will say something like, "Tonight: An all-new episode of The Simpsons!" My question is, what does ...
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Is there a name for a film in the style of a picaresque novel?

According to Wikipedia, a picaresque novel depicts the adventures of a roguish, but "appealing hero", of low social class, who lives by his wits in a corrupt society: A picaresque narrative is ...
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1 answer
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Is there a term for actors rehearsing lines in a different accent?

I've seen two examples of actors rehearsing a scene, but in different accents to their own. In Shaun of the Dead Simon Pegg and Peter Serafinowicz pretend to be John Lennon and Paul McCartney. ...
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Is there an industry specific term for hard backed movie posters?

I'm trying to find the value of a movie poster (for Gladiator, not that it matters...) and it's unlike any other poster I've ever seen. Most posters I've ever had were printed on paper and rolled into ...
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51 votes
4 answers
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Are there any rules around when something can be described as "based on a true story"?

Are there any rules or regulations as to when the term "based on a true story" or "real events" and so on can be used? Does anything in the movie has to be somehow based on the real world, or is this ...
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3 votes
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What is a porcupine driver (credits)?

I just watched Rambo: Last Blood, and in the credits there was listed a "porcupine driver". It was a couple of names before the honeywagon driver, which I know sucks the crap out of porta potties, but....
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Is there a term for shows where each episode has a different setting

There are some shows where each episode feature a new setting with some unique attribute. Examples include Doctor Who or Star Trek (which have a recurring cast), and Twilight Zone or Black Mirror (...
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10 votes
1 answer
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Is there an over-arcing term for this style of movie?

I am wondering if there is a label or term for the particular style of movie that provides just enough plot upon which to hang some specialty focused features. The three top examples would be: ...
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7 votes
6 answers
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Have there ever been other TV shows or Films that told a similar story to the new 90210 show?

In the new 90210 series, the actors are now playing themselves and their former characters were just TV show characters. This comes in the beginning of the episode, and when I watched it I thought it ...
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46 votes
6 answers
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What is a "soap"?

I have read that "Dallas" is a soap, I know that it is a genre, but what are key elements of a soap? Is it just anything schmaltzy? Wikipedia does not help me a lot: A soap opera is an ongoing ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Is the genre "reality television" partitioned into the sub-genres "factual" and "scripted reality"?

Reality television is a genre of television programming that documents purportedly unscripted real-life situations, often starring unknown individuals rather than professional actors. Source: ...
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23 votes
1 answer
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What is the difference between a historical drama and a period drama?

I've been under the impression that a historical drama is non-fiction whereas a period drama is fiction.
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9 votes
1 answer
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What does "vrit' mean with reference to documentaries?

Over on EL&U, we are mystified by a usage of an unknown word: vrit ...as in The Interventionists is a half-hour vrit documentary that follows the days and nights of a unique mental-health ...
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17 votes
1 answer
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What do abbreviations in movie scripts stand for?

What do abbreviations in movie scripts stand for? For example, EXT., INT., (O.S.), (V.O.), ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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How is narrative affected by cinema turnover schedules?

My question comes from part of an answer on Writers which says, in part... Forcing the story to fit a rigid, arbitrary amount of pages – like a screenplay that must introduce pre-requisite ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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Is there a name for a scene that bridges two episodes?

At times in series a particular scene with which one episode ends is continued directly at the beginning of the following episode. Is there a name or technical term for this? An example is the scene ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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What do you call an ending that explains everything that happened prior to it?

In Stein's Gate, the viewers finally get to understand all of the weird things that happened at the beginning of the series at the end, or near the end of the series. What do you call an ending or ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Discrete "Zoom" Used in 2001: A Space Odyssey

There is a "zoom" where a series of short clips, each one getting closer to the subject, are shown in quick succession. I've seen it in a number of movies and in possibly more than one Kubrick film. ...
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3 votes
2 answers
552 views

Is there a term to describe this plot characteristic?

I've watched shows like The Simpsons, Family Guy, Spongebob, etc. wherein each episode feels somewhat disconnected. In shows like Arrow, The Flash, and others, each episode builds up to a series ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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What is it called when sound from next scene begins before the current scene is over? [duplicate]

Sometimes, in films the sound for the next scene will begin while the current scene is still playing. For example, in Episode 3 of Season 5 of Game of Thrones, Arya is washing a corpse for the first ...
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What is the name for a film that sets up another film?

TL;DR - is there any specific, one-word, film-specific name for films that are feature-length but don't have a specific ending? Traditionally, films are said to have three parts- a beginning, a ...
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Does David Lynch's eerie atmosphere (closer to german "Unheimlich"), have a definition and clear origin?

One aspect that all of lynch's films have is that eerie feeling that something is not quite right, but I find that atmosphere to be different from pure surrealism. Did Lynch start this? Or does it ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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What is the term for wide angle shots shown in Kriti?

In the short Indian YouTube short film Kriti: They show way wide angles a lot of times so that the focus comes on surrounding objects more. What is the term for such ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Is there a formal title for Larry's "lying inspection" bit?

When Larry suspects someone of lying, he inches toward them and "inspects" their face while a song plays. This happens all the time throughout Curb Your Enthusiasm. Is there a name for this?
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12 votes
2 answers
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Is there a name for when a creator plays a long-term character in their own motion picture?

I just noticed that David Lynch plays one of the major characters in his own show Twin Peaks and it got me wondering about other instances like how Stan Lee appeared in his superhero movies, but only ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Why we don't use "TV" before "miniseries"?

Why we typically say "TV series", but we don't say "TV miniseries" (i.e., instead of this, we simply say "miniseries")? Does it mean, that there are "theatrical" miniseries as well as "TV" miniseries?...
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1 answer
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Series vs. serial

As I learned from Wikipedia and some other sites/forums, there is a difference between series and serials: A series contains the same characters throughout, but each episode is a different story. So, ...
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