122 votes
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What is it called when a movie breaks the illusion of fantasy?

It's widely known as Breaking the Fourth Wall. Breaking the fourth wall is when a character acknowledges their fictionality, by either indirectly or directly addressing the audience. Alternatively, ...
Walt's user avatar
  • 99.9k
73 votes
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Are there any rules around when something can be described as "based on a true story"?

There are no rules as to when or how the term "Based on a true story/real events" can be used. Sometimes it is a legit claim, but sometimes it is a pure marketing decision to fool the audience. ...
George Derpi's user avatar
  • 1,931
72 votes
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Why are "blockbusters" called blockbusters?

Originally the word was used to describe large bombs dropped during World War II that could quite literally destroy an entire city block, or a "blockbuster bomb". The origins of the term when it ...
MattD's user avatar
  • 19.7k
62 votes

What is it called when a movie breaks the illusion of fantasy?

In addition to Walt's great answer, I'd like to add... Losing the "suspension of disbelief" When something happens that "breaks the illusion of fantasy" for the audience, you could ...
RedCaio's user avatar
  • 1,207
61 votes
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What is a "soap"?

TLDR: A "Soap" is a serialized show that's about ordinary people having interpersonal drama. There's not a high concept, story arc, external villains, or greater purpose. Don't confuse &...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
47 votes
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Shots where the characters are small in relation to a still background: do these have a name?

It's an example of 'negative space'. Mr Robot plays with this a lot, very effectively. It also uses a lot of lower quadrant framing & even adds to the negative space by removing the leading room ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
  • 53.3k
40 votes
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How did the word "Bollywood" originate?

Bollywood is a portmanteau (a blend of linguistic words), which is derived from Bombay (currently known as Mumbai) and Hollywood, California. The name "Bollywood" is a portmanteau derived ...
A J's user avatar
  • 57.9k
40 votes

What do abbreviations in movie scripts stand for?

These abbreviations represent the type of scene and the area where it's being filmed. From this glossary and this page from abbreviations used in movie scripts, EXT. => Exterior INT. => ...
A J's user avatar
  • 57.9k
39 votes

Why are "blockbusters" called blockbusters?

TLDR: The word is from a World War II bomb, and its usage in media dates back to the first war films and the media which made word plays out of this fact to describe the films as "block busters". ...
Andrew Martin's user avatar
37 votes
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Why do so many cinema industries have "wood" in their name?

1) Hollywood: 1, 2 The name Hollywood was coined by H. J. Whitley, the “Father of Hollywood.” Whitely bought 500 acres from E. C. Hurd; Hurd’s wife’s friend (stay with me here), Daeida Wilcox, ...
Nikhil Eshvar's user avatar
36 votes

Is there a word or phrase for when the movie tricks you for a moment like this?

Not sure if there is a term of art in Cinematography to refer to the suspense aspect, but the editing technique is a film transition called an L-Cut. An L Cut is an editing technique that results in ...
cde's user avatar
  • 68k
36 votes

Is there a term referring to the transgression that often begins a horror film?

It's not specific to horror movies, but the event or action that kicks off the plot of a movie is typically called it's inciting incident. This is a literary term that applies to almost anything with ...
KutuluMike's user avatar
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34 votes
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Is "Runner" A Movie Industry Term?

Is this movie industry jargon? Yes, it is. A "Runner" is an industry term for a low level staff member..a so-called (in US parlance) "gopher" because they "go for things"...
Paulie_D's user avatar
  • 136k
33 votes
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Is there a given name for "fake documentaries" posing as educational programming?

2 different terms cover it. Docufiction: is the cinematographic combination of documentary and fiction, this term often meaning narrative film. It is a film genre which attempts to capture reality ...
cde's user avatar
  • 68k
30 votes

Is there a word or phrase for when the movie tricks you for a moment like this?

The screenwriting term for what you describe is a "prelap". Prelap — Wikipedia Prelap is a screenwriting term that means the dialogue from the next scene precedes the cut, and the beginning ...
nsfnotthrowingaway's user avatar
28 votes
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Looking for the name of an animation technique (1930's–50's) which uses a rotating wheel to create a parallax effect

It's called "The Stereoptical Process". From the Wikipedia entry for Max Fleischer: "These color cartoons were often augmented with Fleischer's patented three-dimensional effects ...
blobbymcblobby's user avatar
27 votes
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What makes an actor an A-lister?

TL;DR "A-list" actors are exceptionally successful, their notoriety extends beyond the silver screen, and their name guarantees a box office hit. Long Explanation: As per Oxford Definition: ...
A J's user avatar
  • 57.9k
27 votes
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Is there a name for a trope where protagonist's family members are kidnapped in the climax of the movie?

There are multiple tropes for it: TV Tropes has a index for such tropes : I Have Your Index: It may shock you to know that I Have Your Index. How I came to obtain it is not important at this ...
Ankit Sharma's user avatar
  • 119k
23 votes
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Why are porn films called blue films?

It's unknown: Why off-color movies were called “blue” remains a matter of conjecture. Although one definition of “blue” has been “lewd” since the 19th century, its application to movies might ...
BCdotWEB's user avatar
  • 49k
23 votes
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What's the meaning of abbreviations in credits? (ASC, PGA, ...)

Generally, these abbreviations you see indicate a society or union that person is a member of. Since such societies are very distinctive and respected ones, people add it to their names in credits. ...
A J's user avatar
  • 57.9k
23 votes

How do you refer to key objects like the Death Star from Star Wars?

Late edit The OP's clarification means this takes an entirely different turn. The answer below is what the movie makers call these. A seller of 'imitation' objects would have to call them replicas, ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
  • 53.3k
21 votes
Accepted

Is there any term for this when a movie doesn't end as its plot suggests?

Specifically, it's a sub trope of Plot Twists called a "Twist Ending". A plot twist can happen at any time in the film. When it happens near the end to change the meaning of the entire film, it is a ...
cde's user avatar
  • 68k
19 votes

How do you refer to key objects like the Death Star from Star Wars?

I would tend to think that something as iconic as the Death Star or the Millenium Falcon would deserve a better name If you're looking for a name for something that's iconic, it's (unsurprisingly) an ...
Flater's user avatar
  • 26.6k
16 votes

What do we call a person who designs the architecture or armors of a medieval fantasy film?

The hierarchy of production design, below the actual Director, of course, radiates outwards and downwards like a family tree with more branches and people the lower you go. At the top is the ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
  • 53.3k
15 votes

Is Justice League 2021 a cut or a remake?

It is a cut with a newly shot Epilogue section I do not believe you could use the term 'remake', which implies an entirely (or almost entirely) re-shot movie. A remake can have different director, ...
iandotkelly's user avatar
  • 52.9k
14 votes

What makes an actor an A-lister?

The terms "A-list" and "Bankable star" are intricately related, and basically revolve around how much profit an actor's role in a movie can bring in for a studio. The term "A-list" has become an ...
Ghoti and Chips's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

Is there a name for when a creator plays a long-term character in their own motion picture?

The trope you are thinking of is: Descended Creator This is when a crewmember or executive for a show makes an appearance in a part that would ordinarily be cast with a professional actor — or the ...
Nikhil Eshvar's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

How do you refer to key objects like the Death Star from Star Wars?

I agree with many of the already existing answers, but I would like to add a little more... In Star Wars' case The Death Star(s) can be seen as a an iconic visual prop (model, set piece), a character (...
Darth Locke's user avatar
  • 23.2k
13 votes
Accepted

What's the proper term for individual TV episodes that feature multiple episodic storylines?

These can be referred to as anthology episodes, in which the episode consists of several shorter, potentially unrelated stories. The stories are often connected by an overarching plot, setting, or ...
Nuclear Hoagie's user avatar

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