Film terms: D

Dallies
First look at the previous days footage. In film, the first print. English version is Rushes, from a ‘rush print.’

DAT
Digital audio tape recorder.

Day interior
Inside a location in supposed daylight.

Day for night
A technique or method for creating a dark night effect when shooting exterior scenes during the day, as shooting at night can be prohibitively expensive or impractical. It was used a great deal in Westerns particularly black and white films as this negates obvious color issues.
The method involves stopping down the lens, adding a filter, shooting on cloudless, sunny days which help create sharp, moonlight shadow effects and keeping the sky out of the shot. The best times for day for night are early morning or late afternoon/early evening/twilight. If cars are in the shot, turn on their head lamps.

Day rate
Daily pay, usually for ten hours.

Decibel
A unit for measuring sound.

Dedolight
Small, handy lamp with a powerful directional beam.

Defocus
Blurring an image.

Deep focus
Distances near and far and subjects and objects within those boundaries are all in sharp focus. A large distance range where everything is in focus.

Depth of field, d.o.f.
Depending on the focal length of the lens and the aperture used, at a certain distance, anything within a certain space will be in acceptable focus. The size of this space will vary due to the above factors of focal length and aperture. Camera assistants will consult charts to determine this ‘depth of field’ range at various distances from the camera. Using this d.o.f. is an essential part of cinematography.

Detail shot
Highly specific shot of a particular subject. A very tight close-up.

Diagetic sound
Sound that is part of what you are shooting

Dichroic filter
This filter using optical properties, reflects certain wavelengths while allowing others. Often used with tungsten lighting for outside shots.

Diffused light
Light that has its rays scattered creating a less harsh, softer shadow effect.

Diffusion
Any material of filtration used to soften the quality of light. Silks and trace are examples of diffusion materials.

Dimmer
Controllable lighting output box.

Diopter
A lens attachment for extreme close-ups. Basically a magnifier.

Director
On set-boss. Not unlike an end of level boss, except you don’t have to defeat them in single combat.

Director’s mum
-Whoa there, off-limits buddy!

Dissolve
A transition between shots. Usually a fade out and a fade in overlapping each other. A cross-fade. Refers to sound also.

Distagons
First introduced in 1961, this is a type of wide-angle Zeiss lens.

Docudrama
Fact and fiction combined in one film. For example, historic or crime reconstruction.

Dolly
A wheeled or track mount for the camera enabling moving shots. Dollies are usually very heavy in order to minimise vibration from surface aberrations. Ask any grip who’s had to lug one up four flights of stairs. There are lighter versions which come in suitcases but you compromise quite a bit on steadiness and not being able to sit on it to operate the camera. Check the internet for skateboard wheeled dolly designs to make at home.

Dolly shot
Any shots taken from/on wheeled/tracked camera supports.

DP or D.O.P.
Director of photography. Second in command on set and the person responsible for creating and executing the visual style of the production.

Draft
As in first draft of a script, the first attempt to produce a complete script with a beginning, middle and an end. Nowhere near a finished script! First drafts are usually always crap, but don’t worry, it’s the first draft, there’s another fourteen to go!

Dub
Re-recording sound or picture from one media type to another.

Dupe neg
Duplicate negative.

Dutch tilt/angle
A shot where the camera is tilted from the horizontal. Bad filmmakers everywhere particularly love this shit.