Film terms: F

Fade down
Bringing the sound level down.

Fade in
A shot appearing out of darkness. Can signify that time has passed.

Fade out
Opposite of above.

Fade up
Bringing up the sound level.

Field of view
The angle covered by the camera’s lens.


fade in

Fill light
The purpose of ill light is to ‘fill in’, or lighten, the shadow areas.

Film noir
A genre of film making which usually contains a high contrast lighting style, femme fatales. The men always get screwed.

Glass placed at the front of lens to alter the nature or quality of light entering the lens. See also Gels.

Final cut pro
Cutting edge editing software.

Fish eye
A wide angle lens giving an extreme view 180 degrees. Like the small spy holes on doors where you can see the entire corridor outside.

Anything flat, like cardboard or black cloth stretched over a square or rectangular frame and used to cut out or shape light from a lamp. For example, placed on a stand in front of a light, a flag would cut that light and cast a distinctive shadow upon a wall in the background thus creating a more interesting background. Flags are also used to stop flares from entering the lens: a flag would be placed just above the lens and adjusted like holding your hand over your eyes to keep out the sun.

An effect caused by a light source hitting the lens directly, usually seen as a series of rings within the frame.

Flash forward
Moving forward in time.

Flash frame
A single or a few frames of cut into the film. Used for shots of old cameras flashing on and off.

Flash back
Moving backward in time.

Set pieces that are completely flat. They can be wallpapered, decorated etc.

Flat lighting
Blanket lighting creating minimal dimensionality, i.e. usually frontal, leaving no obvious dramatic shadows or interest.

Widening a beam of light by adjusting the lamp itself usually via a dial or sliding mechanism, “flooding the light”. It’s the opposite of “spot”.

The rate of light energy measured in Lumens.

Focal distance
The distance between the camera and the subject.

Focal length
Measured from the optical centre of a lens to the film plane or surface

The process of adding sound to a picture. For example, a ‘foley artist’ will walk in box of sand to recreate the sound of footsteps on a beach for a scene in the film. The sound is recorded in a studio and added to the soundtrack.

Follow focus
Shifting the focus on a subject to keep the image sharp as they move around during the shot.

The area nearest to the camera or the audience.

Length of film shot or available, measured in feet.

A standard unit of illumination. Light falling one foot away from a standard candle. European equivalent is the lux.

A single picture captured on film or video.

The process of organising the compositional elements with the shot.

Freeze frame
A still frame maintained for several moments.

The distance between the crest of one wave (for instance, sound) and the crest of the next wave. This is known as a cycle. Cycles are measured in Hertz which indicates the number of cycles per second.

A convex, stepped lens. Slang for tungsten lamp heads.

French flag
Camera mounted movable metal plate which allows you to shade the camera lens from flares, sunlight etc.

Frontal lighting
Illumination from in front of the subject which eliminates shadows and modelling. Pretty boring.

A measurement of how much light a lens will allow through its optics. Smaller numbers mean more light is passing through.