Film terms: A

Above the line
In the budget above the line refers to the costs of the ‘talent’ : the producer, writer, director and actors.

Absorption filter
A filter allowing only certain wavelengths of light to pass through it.

AC
Alternating current.

Ace
A 1kw Fresnel.

AD
Assistant director.

ADR
Automatic Dialogue Replacement.

Adaption
Taking an original story and translating it into a new medium. For example, novel to screenplay.

Aerial shot
A shot taken from the air by from helicopter or a plane or remote controlled devices.

AFI
American Film Institute.

Ambient light
The existing light level created through natural sources, reflections etc.

Ampacity
Amperage capacity of connections and cables.

Amperage
Unit of current.

Ampere (amps)
Measurement of current.

Anamorphic
Special anamorphic lenses squeeze the shot footage onto the the film frame, this picture is then unsqueezed through a similar lens on the projector to produce a very wide “widescreen” image. The ratio for anamorphic pictures is 2.40:1

Antagonist
The force acting against the protagonist, our hero.

Anti-flare
A spray for surfaces that produce too much reflection

Aperture
The lens opening which allows passing light to reach the recording medium. The opening in the film gate or aperture plate that determines the precise area of exposure of the film frame.

Apple box
A general purpose box coming in four sizes: full, half, quarter, pancake, used on set. For example, an actor will stand on it to raise them to a particular height for a shot.

Arc light
Carbon arc discharge source.

Arriflex
Makers of traditional 16mm and 35mm cameras.

Atmosphere track
The recording of the sound of a location.

Auteur
One creative mind controlling the film, creating their vision. Egomaniac? Dictator? Little Hitler? Haha never.

ASA
American Standard Association speed rating for film. Speed being the film’s sensitivity or how quickly the film reacts to light, the higher the speed the quicker the reaction time and the less light you need. High ASA numbers correlate with high speed film and vice versa.

ASC
American Society of Cinematographers. Publisher of American Cinematographer Magazine and The American Cinematographer Manual.

ASC Manual
Magic book of knowledge for D.P’s and Camera crew with info on lenses, depth of field table, filters and much more. Pocket size…just.

Assembly
When footage is first put together to form a rough sequence, a ‘first assembly’.

Anti-climax
An emotional letdown at end of a film. Not satisfying an audiences expectations.

Aspect ratio
The ratio between the height and the width of any viewing system. Common ratios are 1.33:1 for television. 1.66:1 European standard theatrical and High-def t.v. 2.36:1 anamorphic 35mm film.

Aspheron
Zeiss prime lens attachment, a wide angle adapter, which increases the field of view of wide angle lenses.

AC
Assistant camera person.

Available light
Naturally existing light within a given space.

Avante garde
Surreal or experimental cinema. Ooo.