C D E F G
H I J K
L M N O
P Q R S
T U V W
Fade: A transitional device in
which either an image gradually dims until the viewer sees only a black
screen (Fade-Out) or an image slowly emerges from a black screen to a
clear and bright picture (Fade-In). A fade provides a strong break in
continuity, usually setting off sequences.
False Proscenium: A constructed proscenium that fits inside the
Fast Motion (accelerated motion): Movements on the screen appearing
more rapid than they would in actual life. For example, a man riding a
bicycle will display legs pumping furiously while he flashes through city
streets at the speed of a racing car. A filmmaker achieves fast motion
by running film through his camera at a speed slower than the standard
24 frames per second; subsequent projection of 24 frames per second speeds
up the action.
Field Rep: SAG-AFTRA staff member who ensures contractual compliance
Fight Director: The person who stages, with an eye for safety and
the actors' ability to repeat the actions, any fight scenes, duels, etc.
Fill Light: Light used to control shadows by "filling in"
certain dark areas.
Film Stock: Unexposed strips of celluloid holding light-sensitive
Filters: Transparent glass of gelatin placed in front of or behind
a lens to control coloration; some filters cut out certain types of light
(such as ultra- violet); others create a soft, hazy appearance, and still
others provide a dominant color when used with color films.
Fine Cut: The final assembling of all the various audial and visual
components of a film.
Fire Curtain: A non-flammable curtain hung directly behind the
proscenium that protects the audience from fire or smoke emitting from
the stage. May be the same as the Act Curtain. Also called Asbestos Curtain
or Fireproof Curtain.
First Electric: The first row of lights hung on a batten behind
First Team: Principal actors.
Fish-Eye: An extreme wide-angle lens taking in (and distorting)
an immense area.
Five Out Of Seven: A rearrangement of the five days of a work week.
Fixed Cycle: For commercials, an established 13-week period for
which the advertiser pays a holding fee to retain the right to use performer's
services, likeness and image in a previously produced advertisement.
Flash Forward: A segment of film that breaks normal chronological
order by shifting directly to a future time. Flash forward, like flashback,
may be subjective (showing precognition or fears of what might happen)
or objective (suggesting what will eventually happen and thus setting
up relationships for an audience to perceive).
Flashback - A segment of film that breaks normal chronological order by
shifting directly to time past. Flashback may be subjective (showing the
thoughts and memory of a character) or objective (returning to earlier
events to show their relationship to the present).
Flashframe: A shot lasting only a few frames; the shortness of
a flashframe makes its content difficult to assimilate. When many flashframes
follow each other, they create a feeling of intense action and often visually
resemble the effects of stroboscopic light; when used alone, flashframes
usually act as flashbacks or Hash forwards.
Flash-pot: A small box that will cause a noisy explosion of smoke
Flat: An oblong frame of timber, covered with either canvas or
hardboard and painted, which forms part of the set. There are also door
flats, window flats, even fireplace flats. Canvas flats, being lighter
and easier to move around, are the preferred option, but schools often
go for hardboard-covered flats which are more durable.
Flip: A transitional device (now used rarely) in which an image
appears to flip over, revealing another image on its backside; the effect
is much like flipping a coin from one side to the other.
Flipper: Easily removed false teeth for children, used for cosmetic
Flood: A floodlight: a lantern which gives a wide-spreading, unfocused
beam of light. These can be symmetric (i.e. casting the light equally
in all directions) or asymmetric (casting it more in one direction than
the others). The symmetric flood is probably the cheapest stage lantern
and the least useful!
Floor Pocket: A small iron box containing an electrical outlet,
sunk into the stage floor.
Fly Gallery: A platform that runs above the stage on one side, used in
the operation of fly lines.
Fly: Verb: scenery which is raised into the roof (flown out) or
lowered on the stage (flown in). The apparatus for doing this consists
of a series of ropes and pulleys in the "fly tower" (a very
high roof space) and they raise or lower the scenery by means of a counterweight
system or by directly pulling on "hemp lines". The men who operate
the "flies" are called "flymen" and the area in which
they work is called the "fly floor" of, quite simply, the "flies".
People can also be flown (as in every production of "Peter Pan"!)
in a harness.
Flyman: Crew person in charge of raising and lowering the flies.
Focal Length: The distance from the focal point of a lens to the
plane of the film (for viewers and cameramen, this is seen as the amount
of area a lens can photograph from a given distance.)
Focus: Verb used in lighting: to point the lanterns in the right
direction and set the correct beam-spread and edge.
Focus-Through (racking): A change of the field in focus taking
the viewer from one object to another that was previously out of focus.
FoH: Front of House: anything which happens on the audience side
of the curtain is said to happen "front of house". The term
"the house" is used to mean either the auditorium, or the audience
("We had a good house tonight"), or even the theatre itself.
Follow-spot: A type of profile spotlight with an iris diaphragm
and a handle so that it can be used to follow a performer around the stage
in a beam of light of exactly the right size. Traditionally called a "lime":
hence the term "being in the limelight". These produce a very
bright beam of light which is more powerful than that produced by any
other lanterns. Modern limes almost always use CSI lamps.
Footlights: A series of floodlights placed on the stage floor along
the front of the stage. Traditional in variety theatres, foots are nowadays
Forced Call: A call to work less than 12 hours after dismissal
on the previous day.
Foreign Replay: A fee paid for reruns outside the U.S.
Fourth Wall: An imaginary wall between the actor s and the audience
that disallows interaction between the two groups of people.
Frame: A single photographic image imprinted on a length of film;
also the perimeter of an image as seen when projected on a screen (a filmmaker
sees the frame as the boundaries of his camera's view-finder). Freeze
Frame A single frame repeated for an extended time, consequently looking
like a still photograph.
Franchised Agent: A talent agent approved by SAG-AFTRA to solicit and
negotiate employment for their members.
French Scene: Scene that begins and ends with an actor's entrance
Fresnel: A kind of spotlight in which the light is concentrated
by a fresnel lens (a lens with concentric ridged rings). Projects a variable
angle soft-edged beam. Sometimes called a frênel and given the French
Front Elevation: A scale drawing that gives a front view of the
FX: Slang term for special effects: usually sound effects in the
theatre but can also refer to pyrotechnics . In film, usually refers to
visual (i.e. computer generated) effects.