Film Language I-L

Insert shot

A shot that occurs in the middle of a larger scene or shot, usually a close-up of some detail or object, that draws audience attention, provides specific information, or simply breaks up the film sequence. Here’s an example of an insert shot from The Silence of the Lambs.

Jump cut

An abrupt transition between shots which is disorientating for the spectator in terms of the continuity of space and time. In Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey there a famous sequence of jump cuts .

Key light

The main source of illumination for a shot. High-key lighting (with everything evenly and brightly lit, with a minimum of shadows) is  often used in musicals and comedies. Here are examples of high-key lighting in The Wizard of Oz.

 High-key lighting can be contrasted with low-key lighting which has less illumination, more shadows, and many dark areas. It is termed expressionistic and often used in film noir such as The Third Man.

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