5 Most Important Terms of Cinematic Language

The cinematic language of a film is essential to conveying the meaning of a film. Cinematic language is a from of storytelling told through camera movement, mise-en scene, cinematography, editing, sound, and anything else within the film’s frame. Needless to say a films cinematic language greatly impacts the viewers experience with the film.

The top 5 terms of cinematic language are as follows…

  1. Fade In/ Out

A fade in/ out eludes to a change in the narrative time of a film

2. Cutting Action

When a shot ends with a movement and the next shot picks up that same movement. A perfect example of this is in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey… when the bone is thrown in the air the shot cuts to a similar shaped space ship.

Match Cuts & Creative Transitions with Examples - Editing Techniques

3. Mise-en-scene

This comprises of everything within the frame of a film. Including lighting, setting, props, costume, and makeup within each individual shot.

Mise en Scène: 20 Script Elements Every Filmmaker Needs to Know

4. Content

This includes the subject of the film. Including things like characters, dialogue, themes, and symbols.

Normalizing Male Dominance: Gender Representation in 2012 Films ...

5. Form

Means by which the subject is expressed and experienced. Including camera movement, editing, pace, plot, and structure. The best movies will consist of form and content that either complement each other or intentionally clash in order to achieve a common meaning.

Film, Form and Function - Arts Matters

A helpful tip when making a film is that the more pattern and progressions that meet an audience members expectations ( or doesn’t in interesting ways) the more likely the audience member is to enjoy, analyze and interpret the work


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