Glossary Of Film Making Terms - O



O.C.N. – O.C.N. stands for Original Color Negative. It is simply your developed negative.


180° Rule – This is the rule which states that if two people are filmed in a sequence there is an invisible line between them and the camera should only be positioned anywhere within the 180 degrees on one side of the line. Crossing the line results in a certain particular jump, where is appears that the two people suddenly switched places. A simple way to keep from crossing the line If two people are talking to each other in a scene is that one person should always be looking left and the other looking right.


One Light – The alternative to a Timed Print, a one light is a print that has not been corrected shot by shot, but shows what all the shots look like with the same printing lights in contrast to each other. Sometimes this can be helpful to know the range of fluctuation in exposure and color. (But it is curiously common for a lab to do some timing, even on a one light print, at the change of locations, at the change of rolls, or if one shot is so drastically off from the rest and it would be practically unseeable otherwise.)


Optical Printing – Basically, rephotographying film frame by frame. this is a way to make a copy of a film with many more possibilities than contact printing, but, at least with 16mm, resulting in a little added contrast and a little loss of clarity.


Optical Sound – Optical Sound is the system used by a projector to play back sound from a film print. The sound is exposed onto the film as a clear modulating line against black. It corresponds to the moduations of the sound. The projector reads the track by passing it between the exciter lamp a light-sensitive photo-electric cell which generates a voltage that is amplified and fed into a speaker.


Optical Track – An intermediate step from going from your mix master to your final print is to have an optical track struck. An optical track is photographed onto a blank piece of special high contract stock by the facility where the mix is done, or by the lab. The optical track is a separate roll of film from the original negative and is combined with picture when a print is struck. (The track itself still remains a separate element from the A&B Rolls, it is printed in a separate pass through the contract printer.)


Opticals – Effects produced through Optical Printing, including transitions, superimposed titles, etc. Sometimes called Optical Effects. However, anything optically printed can be called an optical, so even blowing film up from 16mm to 35mm, though it does not involve an effect, is an optical.


Orange Stick – An orange stick is found at the drug store for cleaning your nails. It is the preferable way to clean the gate.


Original – Any film, negative or reversal, that was shot by a camera, as opposed to a print or intermediate copy. The term original can be used interchangeably with negative, but is as especially handy term when taking about reversal film, where it is the clearest way indicating whether something is a dupe or the original.


Outdated Stock – Film is perishable. When it starts getting stale the dyes will shift color and the grain will build up, giving you a generally fogged, muddy and desaturated effect. It is only after about 2 or 3 years that this will start to happen, provided the film is refrigerated. Faster films tend to become outdated slightly faster than slow films. Likewise, color film will become outdated a little sooner than black and white. The flip-side is that outdated stock can be gotten quite cheaply, and often for free.


Outtakes – The footage from your workprint that is not used in your edited version. Very small bits, a few frames or as little as one frame, are known as Trims.


Overcrank – To run the camera faster, producing slow motion. The term has survived from the time when you would crank a camera.


Overexposure – Filming a scene with more light than the emulsion of the film can easily tollerate. The image will be too light and there will be less depth of field than if the lens had been set correctly. If compensated for in printing, the image will appear contrasty.

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