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Dictionary of Film Terms

The Aesthetic Companion to Film Art – Fifth Edition

Frank Beaver

Now in its fifth edition, Frank Beaver’s Dictionary of Film Terms has become an indispensable reference tool for the study of films and filmmaking. This trusted and practical handbook clearly and concisely defines the essential terms of film analysis and film art, with a special focus on the aesthetic parameters and values of filmmaking.
The updated and expanded edition includes new definitions ranging from «bullet-time» optical effects, to the coming-of-age narrative, and LED lighting technology in science fiction films such as Gravity. More than 200 film title references not cited in previous editions have been added. Many classic and contemporary photo stills are included to illustrate terms. Extensive cross-referencing among individual definitions ensures easy access to interrelated terms, and a comprehensive topical index relates to larger concepts of film art.
This up-to-date and comprehensive resource is a useful companion for film students and filmgoers, who will find it illuminating in its range and clarity.
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Editor The individual responsible for the aesthetics of film construction in the postfilming stages. In dramatic filmmaking the editor determines cutting style, transitions, and the development of the narrative. Astute rearrangements of scenes to aid dramatic effect and enhance tempo, as well as the deletion of undesirable material, are within the jurisdiction of the film editor. It is not uncommon for the director and the producer to work closely with the editor in making editorial decisions or in approving both the rough cut (first assemblage) and final cut of the motion picture.

Emulsion The layer of a film stock that contains light-sensitive particles of metallic silver. These particles (grains) are “tagged” at the moment of exposure; in black-and-white emulsions the film, when processed, produces images that are rendered in various shades of gray. These shades vary from light to dark according to the quality of reflected light that “tags” emulsion particles. A color film is one in which the emulsion layer has been chemically developed to respond to reflected light in such a way that color images are produced rather than gray ones. ← 98 | 99 → Film emulsion particles are suspended in a clear gelatin substance on a flexible celluloid base (film base).

Ensemble film A film in which a sizable number of screen characters/actors appear in principal and supporting roles that are interrelated and critical to the plot as a whole. An ensemble film differs from one in which a single protagonist is at...

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