Segments in this Video

Film: A Visual Language (04:54)


The three stages of making a film are writing the script, production, and postproduction. Film genres include horror, romance, action, drama, and comedy. The conventions of these genres are easily recognizable. Film elements create an on-screen reality.

Film Technique: The Narrative (02:54)

Like a novel or short story, the narrative elements of a film unfold through the characters, especially the protagonist whose actions propel the story to its climax. Film techniques include cinematography, mise en scene, sound, and editing.

Film Technique: Mise En Scene (06:12)

Mise en scene, French for "that which is put into the scene," includes costumes, set design, and lighting, which creates mood and atmosphere. Alterations to the mise en scene alters the viewer's perception of the narrative.

Film Technique: Camera (06:48)

Cinematography includes lighting, framing, camera shots, and movement. Framing controls viewing point, angles, and distance or shots. The context of narrative influences the type of framing techniques used. Camera movements include tracking, pans, and tilts.

Film Technique: Editing (04:01)

Film rarely uses one continuous shot but a series of shots strung together. Continuity editing means relating images in a logical sequence. Editing techniques include eye line match, shot reverse shot pattern, and match on action.

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The Vocabulary of Film and TV

DVD Price: $99.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $149.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $99.95



Motion pictures have a language all their own, and media students need to become fluent in it. This video is the ideal primer, using an entertaining story line to teach basic film vocabulary. Set in an actual movie studio, the program explores the stylistic conventions of action, horror, and other genres, and demonstrates principles of camera placement, mise-en-scène, lighting, sound, shot size, and editing. The spine-tingling (but not too scary) horror plot keeps viewers focused on film language and how it is manipulated to tell a story with a logical flow that builds to an emotional conclusion. Viewable/printable educational resources are available online. (27 minutes)

Length: 27 minutes

Item#: BVL35314

ISBN: 978-1-4213-3211-6

Copyright date: ©2004

Closed Captioned

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