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Camera terms aren’t exclusive to the camera department in a film set. If you’re working on a film set, it’s a wise idea for you to pick up these terms. Why? Well, knowing these terms will help you work with the rest of the team better and reduce the possibility of communication errors.
So, here is a list of camera terms that you should start memorizing:
This is probably one of the more obvious terms. It simply refers to the direction the camera is facing. For example, the camera’s right would be the subject’s left.
A shot that is framed slightly above the subject’s knees.
It is an abbreviation used to refer to accessories. You’ll likely find boxes or bags marked with this abbreviation.
Check the Gate
This is a term called out after a take that leases the director. Here, the 1st assistant cameraman (AC)will check the camera’s gate, an internal part. The objective is to determine if the film is usable or not. However, these days, we actually use the term “Check the Chip” because of the shift to digital cameras. In the case of chips or hard drives, the 1st AC will play the take and assess it.
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A cutaway is a shot that is not directly related to the main sequence. However, it is usually within context or done as a form of symbolism. For example, a cutaway of a clock to show that the subject is running out of time.
You yell this out when you’re going past the camera lens when the cameraman starts lining up a shot. It’s just a way to alert him/her that you’re in front of the camera.
When something or someone ends up in the foreground, you shout dirty.
An eyepiece chamois to cover the viewfinder’s eye cup.
When the actor’s look and the camera angle are in relation. In order to fix the issue, the eyeline can be adjusted on different cameras.
As the name suggests, this is the first position from where an actor begins the scene.
When the subject looks in the same direction as the camera lens, towards the right side of the camera.
Describes a tool bag that contains all the essentials for the cameraperson.
A small tripod