Connect with us


Part 2: What are Cinematic Techniques in Film Production?

Cinematic Shot - FilmWurld


Part 2: What are Cinematic Techniques in Film Production?

In PART ONE of this article, we covered Cinematic Techniques in Film Production in relation to Basic definitions of terms. In this part, we will finalize all the Cinematic Techniques in Film Production Entails.


Movement and expression

Movement can be used extensively by filmmakers to make meaning. It is how a scene is put together to produce an image. A famous example of this, which uses “dance” extensively to communicate meaning and emotion, is the film, West Side Story.

Provided in this alphabetized list of film techniques used in motion picture filmmaking. There are a variety of expressions:

  • Aerial perspective
  • Aerial shot
  • American shot
  • Angle of view
  • Bird’s eyeshot
  • Bird’s-eye view
  • Boom shot
  • B-roll
  • Camera angle
  • Camera coverage
  • Camera dolly
  • Camera operator
  • Camera tracking
  • Close-up
  • Crane shot
  • Dolly zoom
  • Dutch angle
  • Establishing shot
  • Film frame
  • Filmmaking
  • Follow shot
  • Forced perspective
  • Freeze-frame shot
  • Full frame
  • Full shot
  • Hanging miniature
  • Headshot
  • High-angle shot
  • Long shot
  • Long take
  • Low-angle shot
  • Master shot
  • Medium shot
  • Money shot
  • Multiple-camera setup
  • One-shot (music video)
  • Over the shoulder shot
  • Panning (camera)
  • Point of view shot
  • Rack focusing
  • Reaction shot
  • Shot (filmmaking)
  • Shot reverse shot
  • Single-camera setup
  • SnorriCam
  • Stalker vision
  • Tilt (camera)
  • Top-down perspective
  • Tracking shot
  • Trunk shot
  • Two shot
  • Video production
  • Walk and talk
  • Whip pan
  • Worm’s-eye view

Lighting technique and aesthetics

  • Background lighting
  • Cameo lighting
  • Fill light
  • Flood lighting
  • High-key lighting
  • Key lighting
  • Lens flare
  • Low-key lighting
  • Mood lighting
  • Rembrandt lighting
  • Stage lighting
  • Soft light

To achieve the results mentioned above, a Lighting Director may use a number or combination of Video Lights. These may include the Redhead or Open-face unit, The Fresnel Light, which gives you a little more control over the spill, or The Dedolight, which provides a more efficient light output and a beam which is easier to control.

Editing and transitional devices

  • A-roll
  • B-roll
  • Cross-cutting
  • Cutaway
  • Dissolve
  • Establishing shot
  • Fast cutting
  • Flashback
  • Insert
  • J cut (“Split edit”)
  • Jump cut
  • Keying
  • L cut (“Split edit”)
  • Master shot
  • Match cut
  • Montage
  • Point of view shot
  • Screen direction
  • Sequence shot
  • Smash cut
  • Slow cutting
  • Split screen
  • SMPTE timecode
  • Shot reverse shot
  • Wipe

Special effects (FX)

  • 3D computer graphics
  • 3D film for movie history
  • Bluescreen/Chroma key
  • Bullet time
  • Computer-generated imagery
  • Digital compositing
  • Optical effects
  • Stereoscopy for 3D technical details
  • Stop motion
  • Stop trick


Sound is used extensively in filmmaking to enhance presentation, and is distinguished into diegetic and non-diegetic sound:

Diegetic sound is heard by both the characters and audience. Also called “literal sound” or “actual sound”. Examples include

Voices of characters;

Sounds made by objects in the story, e.g. heart beats of a person

Source music, represented as coming from instruments in the story space.

Basic sound effects, e.g. dog barking, car passing; as it is in the scene

Music coming from reproduction devices such as record players, radios, tape players etc.

Non-diegetic sound is represented as coming from a source outside the story space, i.e. its source is neither visible on the screen, nor has been implied to be present in the action. Also called “non-literal sound” or “commentary sound”. Examples include:

Narrator’s commentary;

Sound effects added for dramatic effect;

Mood music

Film score

Sound effects

In motion picture and television production, a sound effect is a sound recorded and presented to make a specific storytelling or creative point, without the use of dialogue or music. The term often refers to a process, applied to a recording, without necessarily referring to the recording itself. In professional motion picture and television production, the segregations between recordings of dialogue, music, and sound effects can be quite distinct, and it is important to understand that in such contexts, dialogue, and music recordings are never referred to as sound effects, though the processes applied to them, such as reverberation or flanging, often are. Necessary incidental units of sound, footsteps, keys, a polishing sound, are created in the Foley studio.

Techniques in interactive movies

New techniques currently being developed in interactive movies, introduce an extra dimension into the experience of viewing movies, by allowing the viewer to change the course of the movie.

In traditional linear movies, the author can carefully construct the plot, roles, and characters to achieve a specific effect on the audience. Interactivity, however, introduces non-linearity into the movie, such that the author no longer has complete control over the story, but must now share control with the viewer. There is an inevitable trade-off between the desire of the viewer for freedom to experience the movie in different ways, and the desire of the author to employ specialized techniques to control the presentation of the story. Computer technology is required to create the illusion of freedom for the viewer, while providing familiar, as well as, new cinematic techniques to the author.

Continue Reading

A blog that guides, teach, and impact aspiring and professional filmmakers on film Preproduction, film Production, and film Postproduction in Nollywood and other filmmaking industries

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Production

To Top