Archive for the ‘Film/TV Terms’ Category


A widescreen film process (under such trademark names as CinemaScope and Panavision) used to create an image wider than conventional television’s. The aspect ratio of most films made with anamorphic lenses today is 1:2.40 (modified slightly from 1:2.35, which was the standard in the 1950s), while the conventional television image’s aspect ratio is 1:1.33.

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auteur theory

Posits that a director is the author of a film/television program in the same manner that a writer is the author of a novel. The director is seen as injecting his/her personal artistic vision into a film/television program, and, over time, certain stylistic and thematic tendencies are discernable in the body of the director’s work.

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In Marxist terms, the middle class; owners of the means of production and employers of the proletariat.

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Brechtian performance

Anti-naturalist, confrontational performance style based in the theories of German playwright Bertolt Brecht. He demanded that the viewer constantly be made aware of the fact that he or she is watching a play and that he or she should be distanced from the characters

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camera obscura

A darkened chamber with a hole in one wall through which light enters, creating an image of the outdoors on the opposite wall. It was the earliest form of a “camera,” and is where the name derives.

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cardioid microphone

A unidirectional microphone with most of its sensitivity aimed toward the front, and a pickup pattern that resembles an inverted heart.

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Chen, Joan

Chen Joan is a Chinese actress and film director. (Family name is Chen.)

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Chen, Kaige

Chen Kaige is a Chinese film director. (Family name is Chen.)

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A low-key lighting style, usually in reference to theatrical productions or the dark paintings of Rembrandt.

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chroma key

An electronic special effects process, specific to video, making a single color (usually blue or green) transparent so that one image may be inserted into another—as in weather maps with a forecaster superimposed over them.

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