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Glossary

 

ANGLE- Directs the camera to focus on a person or thing.

AD LIB- Instructs actors to make up and fill in dialogue in the scene.

ANAMORPHIC LENS- Len used for wide angle shots. (DIRECTOR INSTRUCTION- SHOULD BE USED IN THE SCREENPLAY)

B.g.-  Stands for background. Usually used for background music, or action in a scene.  Spell this out in the screenplay (No need to abbreviate). 

CONTINUED- Use to be used at the beginning and end of  a screenplay page. Not longer needed in the screenplay.

CRANE SHOT- Moving shot from a lift. (DIRECTOR INSTRUCTION- NO CAMERA DIRECTIONS SHOULD BE USED IN THE SCREENPLAY)

COVER PAGE- The first page of the screenplay. It contains the title, author names, and author address data. 

CUT TO: To go from one scene, or element in a scene, to another very quickly.

DISSOLVE- A film editing technique where one scene "melts" or fades into another scene. 

DOLLY OR TRUCK- A camera on wheels to shot a scene. (DIRECTOR INSTRUCTION- NO CAMERA DIRECTIONS SHOULD BE USED IN THE SCREENPLAY)

ESTABLISHING SHOT- Use to be used to give an overall perspective of a scene. It seems likes most movies shot in NEW YORK begin with the view of the NY skyline. This direction is no longer used. If you want a Establishing Shot you write one.

EXT.- Used in the scene heading. Short for EXTERIOR, or outside.

FADE IN- This is the start of the screenplay. The screenplay ALWAYS begins with this statement.

FADE OUT- Equivalent to THE END in a novel. The screenplay ALWAYS ends with this statement.

F.g.- Stands for Foreground. Used to place  an object or person in front of the scene. Spell this out if you use it at all. 

FREEZE FRAME- The image freezes on the screen and becomes a still shot. (DIRECTOR INSTRUCTION- NO CAMERA DIRECTIONS SHOULD BE USED IN THE SCREENPLAY)

INT.- Used in the Master Scene Heading. Short for INTERIOR, or indoors.

INTERCUT- To go back and forth between to locations,  scenes, or elements in a scene.

INSERT- An item that is inserted into the camera view. Usually a note, or picture is inserted so the audience can either read what is on the note, or see the picture.  

MASTER SCENE HEADING (SLUG LINE)- Begins each new scene. It consist of three parts: The LOCATION,  PLACE, and TIME of the scene. EX:

* EXT. PLAYGROUND - NIGHT  or

* INT. BEDROOM - DAY

MONTAGE/ SERIES OF SHOTS- A number of different scenes shown one after the other. Used to show a number of events passing in a short period of time.

O.S. or O.C.- OFF SCREEN or OFF CAMERA. A character talks, or something happens out of view of the camera.

OVER THE SHOULDER- A camera shot over the shoulder of a character. (DIRECTOR INSTRUCTION - NO CAMERA DIRECTIONS SHOULD BE USED IN THE SCREENPLAY)

PARENTHETICAL (WRYLIES)- Actor, or Actress, direction in a scene. Usually signals an emotional action. DO NOT OVERUSE.

PAN- A camera shot that pivots up and down, or side to side. (DIRECTOR INSTRUCTION- NO CAMERA DIRECTIONS SHOULD BE USED IN THE SCREENPLAY)

PINKS- Revision done to the shooting script of the screenplay. (Not your job unless you're pay to do this)

PLOT- The theme of your movie.  A one sentence summary of what the screenplay is about.

PLOT POINT- A turning point, or transition in the screenplay that propels the screenplay forward. 

POV- POINT OF VIEW. The perspective view of one character as they look at another character, or thing in the scene. (Think of this as the JASON VIEW from the FRIDAY THE 13TH movies)

REVERSE SHOT- When two characters are talking to each other and the camera shifts for one character to the other. (DIRECTOR INSTRUCTION- NO CAMERA DIRECTIONS SHOULD BE USED IN THE SCREENPLAY)

SLOW MOTION- Self explanatory. (Remember the BIONIC MAN?)

SPEC SCRIPT- A screenplay written while not under studio contract. (This is what your screenplay is now, before it is picked up by a studio)

SPLIT SCREEN- The location of the scene is divided in to two, or more sections.

SUBLIM- A shot lasting less than a second. (The brief  flashbacks scenes usually done when a character is dying and their live flash before their eyes)

SUPER- A SUPERIMPOSITION. One image merged into another image.

TREATMENT- A short summary of what the screenplay is about(1-20 pages long).

V.O.- VOICE OVER. Usually used by a narrator of a scene. The character doing the VO is usually not in the same location as the scene.

ZOOM- A camera focus upon something in the scene. (DIRECTOR INSTRUCTION- NO CAMERA DIRECTIONS SHOULD BE USED IN THE SCREENPLAY)

 

 
Screenplay Glossary