We try to avoid jargon wherever possible but sometimes technical terms or obscure words can be useful. Here is a list of such that we hope is helpful.

If you have any suggestions for terms on our site that are not listed here but should be, please let us know.  This list will be updated as we publish.

Diegetic Sound – Sound whose source is visible onscreen or is implied to be present by the action onscreen.

Dolly shot – smooth camera movement on a horizontal axis accomplished using a camera dolly (a camera platform that moves along a track).

Mis-en-scene – Refers to the composition of a shot or, put another way, to the representation of space on film. The elements involved in mise-en-scene include framing, movement, depth, proximity, arrangement, size, lighting, lenses, etc. as a way to determine mood or to express relationships, narrative, or ideas.

Neorealism – “The neorealist movement began in Italy at the end of World War II as an urgent response to the political turmoil and desperate economic conditions afflicting the country. Directors such as Roberto Rossellini, Vittorio De Sica, and Luchino Visconti took up cameras to focus on lower-class characters and their concerns, using nonprofessional actors, outdoor shooting, (necessarily) very small budgets, and a realist aesthetic.” This definition comes from Criterion –

Pan – Moving the camera horizontally, right or left.

Subject – This is a philosophical term that refers to any being with a unique consciousness that can have a relationship with an entity (an object or another subject) outside of itself.

Tilt – Moving the camera vertically, up or down.