Glossary Of Film Making Terms - F



Fade – A transition from a shot to black where the image gradually becomes darker is a Fade Out; or from black where the image gradually becomes brighter is a Fade In. Fades are done at the lab in the printing phase, but prepared by the negative cutter, who cuts in an overlap of black into the A&B rolls. Labs will only do fades in fixed amounts, such as 24 frames, 48 frames, etc.


Flex-Fill – A round cloth bounce card mounted on a flexible ring that can be folded up when not in use.


5,400K – is the color temperature of Daylight.


Filler, Fill or Sound Fill – Filler is scrap film, most often used to keep a sound track running the same length as the picture, even though there is just silence. When used this way in can also be called sound fill. Filler is usually a print with the emulsion scraped off the center all the way along, perhaps to prevent bootlegging, but also useful in that a mark can be seen on both sides through this wide scratch.


Film Cement – A liquid that is actually not a glue, but a chemical that melts and fuses two pieces of film together.


Film Speed – The sensitivity to light for proper exposure of a given film stock. This is primarily a result of the size of the silver halides in the emulsion, the larger the grain, the less light is needed for exposure. Film stocks are generally spoken of as being fast or slow, a fast film having large grains and needing less light, a slow film having smaller grain and needing more light.


Film Plane – The film plane is the plane of depth from the lens of the film, behind the gate, in the camera. It is also the point from where the distances on the focusing ring should be measured from, and is indicated on the outside of the camera with a little symbol that looks like the planet Saturn turned on its side.


Filter – A tinted glass or small tinted plastic sheet placed in front of the lens or behind the lens in a filter holder, used to change the color rendition of the entire shot. Filters are used to convert tungsten balanced film for use in daylight or vice versa. The can also be used for aesthetic reasons, such as a red filter to darken the sky when filming in black and white.


Fixed Focal Length Lens – see Prime Lens.


Flag – This has two meanings. 1.: It can be a large black cloth on a frame used on a shoot to keep light out of part of the composition. 2.: In the cutting room it is a small piece of tape attached to a shot in a roll and used exactly as you would use a bookmark. The flag sticks out the side of the roll, making it easy to find that shot again quickly.


Flare – This has two meanings: 1.: When using film on a daylight spool, the erratic pattern of raw light that washes out the beginning and end of the roll are known as “the flares.” 2.: A flare of the other kind is a Lens Flare. It is caused when light strikes the lens and either causes the entire image to be fogged in appearance, or for a little row of polygons (the silhouette of the iris) to appear from the light hitting the surfaces of the many elements in the lens. It is solved by flagging the lens.


Flash Frame – 1.: A flash frame is a single frame that is completely clear between two shots. It occurs when the camera is stopped with the gate open, allowing for a very long exposure on that single frame. Rather than a problem, a flash frame can actually be a very helpful thing in the editing room, making it very easy to see where one shot ends and another begins. This type of flash frame usually does not occur with spring wound cameras, like the Bolex, except when the spring winds all the way down, but the second type is something with which to be more concerned. 2.: A flash frame is also used to describe the first few overexposed, brighter frames at the beginning or the end of a shot, due to the camera needing time to reach speed. These can often be hard to see while editing, but are much more noticeable in a final print.


Flatbed – An editing machine resembling a desk with a screen in the middle. The film sits flat on plates which are threaded through the center section that has transports for picture and sound.


Focal Length – Simply put, how wide or narrow a view the lens will provide, smaller numbers being wider and larger numbers being narrower.


Fog – This is when stray raw light has found a chance to expose you film. Also a filter as in fog filter that diffuses the image.


Foley – The recording of custom sound effects during post production in the same way that dialogue is dubbed. The term comes from the name of its inventor.


Follow Focus – A shot where focus is changed while shooting to correspond with the moment of the subject (or the camera).


Footage – 1.: The amount of film one has shot. 2.: The whole of the exposed film itself.


Foot Candle – Measurement of light. One foot candle is the light of one candle, one foot away. Many light meters will use foot candles as a starting number, which then must be converted into an f-stop based on the sensitivity of the film you are using. (Because of the great variety of different film speeds it is sometimes ambiguous to talk too much about foot candles, since a given number of foot candles will not yield the same f-stop from one film speed to another.)


Frame – A single image (of a series of them) on a piece of film. There are 24 frames per second.


Frame Handles – Frame handles are extra frames at the beginning and the end of every shot, the exact number will vary from one application to the next, which are used primarily when preparing original material for optical printing, such as the Zero Cut method of blow up, or the creation of a superimposed title, etc. The purpose they serve, in the case of zero cut, is to make sure the registration pin of the printer is not grabbing a splice, which can cause the image to wobble. With opticals they are often used merely to avoid printed-in dirt, which is much more prevalent close to a splice where bits of film cement can flake off.


Frame Line – The small sliver of space between frames. This is where two shots are cut apart and joined.


French Flag – A small black metal flag attached to the camera with a positionable arm that is used to shade the lens from light in the case of a Flare (2).

F-stop – The scale used to measure the size of the opening of the iris on a lens. Opening the iris wider lets in more light, and closing it down, smaller, lets in less light. F-stops can be a little confusing, because the larger the number, the smaller the opening of the iris, and conversely the smaller the number, the larger the opening. The typical f-stop scale is 1.4 – 2 – 2.8 – 4 – 5.6 – 8 – 11 – 16 – 22. When the reading is between stops, this should be accounted for it setting the lens, however, it is much more clear, even if it sounds grammatically incorrect to the mathematically inclined, to say “One third above 5.6” rather than “5.8” because it is very hard to judge the distance in decimals between numbers like 5.6 and 8, whereas 1/3rd above 5.6 is perfectly clear.


Fullcoat – Fullcoat is Mag Stock with a layer of oxide that completely covers one side, unlike Stripe. All 16mm mag is fullcoat. 35mm is available in both fullcoat and stripe. The difference in 35mm is that fullcoat can be used for recording several tracks, and it typically used for the Mix Master. Fullcoat is also more expensive than stripe.

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