Terminology Used in Film and Television Production Research Proposal

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FILM & TV Terminology


Film is more than the twentieth-century art.

Don Delillo (b. 1926).

Visual storytelling, whether in film or in television (TV), some argue, constitutes the hardest of all the art forms. "In the making of a movie, between the idea and the finished print so much can go wrong and often does."

Knowing the right techniques, however, as well as, the correct terminology, the researcher asserts, enhances the opportunities for a filmmaker or TV producer to more effectively produce a film/TV program. Consequently, this thesis purports:

As the terminology used in film and television production illustrates the specific lingo professionals utilize in the business, the use of this terminology may contribute to the success of the professional in the film/TV industry.

Along with the fulfilling the primary goal of the thesis, identifying, illustrating and investigating the use of the terminology in film and television production, the researcher addresses the following three research questions:

How did film terms evolve to become a vital part of contemporary film production?

What components contribute to the linguistic aspect of a sublanguage inside of the English language?

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What are some terms, along with their meanings, that those in the film/TV business utilized?

Thesis Structure

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language defines a thesis as:

proposition stated or put forward for consideration, esp. one to be discussed and proved or to be maintained against objections: He vigorously defended his thesis on the causes of war.

A dissertation on a particular subject in which one has done original research, as one presented by a candidate for a diploma or degree.

TOPIC: Research Proposal on Terminology Used in Film and Television Production Assignment

The structure of this thesis adheres to the following format:







Through the review of the literature, this thesis examines the terminology used in film and television production; specifically incorporating a minimum of 20 sample film terms. This thesis also includes several short conversations about the production of a film, found in film magazines, books and/or DVD commentaries to illustrate the specific lingo professionals utilize in the business.

Table 1 presents the Criteria for a Good Thesis:

Table 1: Criteria for a Good Thesis:


The thesis should express an idea that can be doubted.


The thesis should use precise, unambiguous language, and thus it should contain no metaphors, similes, or other figures of speech.


The thesis should predict the paper's plan of development, usually by mentioning the paper's main subtopics in order of appearance.


The thesis should make a unified statement expressed as a single sentence.


The thesis should be about a topic that you can master thoroughly.


The thesis should be original (at least to some degree).

If one cannot answer yes the following six questions, when designing his/her thesis, he/she may not yet have a solid tentative thesis:

Does the thesis inspire a reasonable reader to ask "how" or "why"? (arguable)

Would a reasonable reader not respond with "huh"? (clear)

Does the thesis lead the reader toward the topic sentences or subtopics needed to prove the thesis? (predictive)

Does the thesis avoid general phrasing and/or sweeping words such as "all" or "none" or "every"? (narrow)

Can the thesis be adequately developed in the required length of the paper or project? (narrow)

Would a reasonable reader not respond with "duh"? (original)

The researcher asserts an affirmative answer for each of the aforementioned questions. During the next section of this thesis, the researcher also presents affirmative considerations during the process of addressing the query designed to help the researcher maintain this study's focus: How did film terms evolve to become a vital part of contemporary film production?



It's another part of the twentieth-century mind.

It's the world seen from inside."


Throughout the history of film, Hollywood tended to produce films that utilized and depended on a vast array of technical powers; making movies that emphasized special effects.

For a culture such as that of filmmakers to thrive, a broad range of artistic production must exist, along with outlets for this assortment to reach a massive audience. During the older days of Hollywood, filmmakers reportedly attempted to make a variety of movies, "from classy a films to B's and shorts. Most of these were populist, even the top-grade ones, however there appeared to usually be a semblance of some conscience about what was being given to the public."

As time passed, producers made only tepid attempts to make "family entertainment." Serious films that dealt with vital moral issues rarely received genuine consideration among most Hollywood filmmakers and studios. Films produced to become blockbusters aimed to proffer astonishing spectacles. The bottom line became the overriding issue. As the cost of producing films skyrockets, filmmakers accepted fewer risks. Back in 1998, sex, violence, and foul language proved to be epidemic.

A www.filmsite.org/birt.html" the Birth of a Nation (1915), one of the first silent films in the U.S., although considered controversial, is noted as a ground-breaking, landmark American epic film masterpiece: The reportedly reprehensible, explicitly racist, film that D.W. Griffith produced:

is remarkable for its cinematic feel and spectacle of splendidly-staged Civil War battle scenes with historical costuming and hundreds of extras. On the battlefield, eldest son Benjamin Cameron (Henry B. Wathall), known as "the Little Colonel" leads a final desperate assault against the Union command of Capt. Phil Stoneman (Elmer Clifton) and charges down a road leading his troops, in a dramatic moving-camera shot, taken from a high angle. Cameron is wounded in action when he leads a final assault carrying the Confederate flag against the Union entrenchment line. After being hospitalized, the scene of the Little Colonel's return to his ruined home is touching and poignant - one of the greatest scenes in early film history. Weary, Ben arrives at the front fence of his home, pausing to notice its disrepair. As he stands there, "Little Sister" Flora (Mae Marsh) and other family members expectantly await his arrival inside. Ben slowly enters the fence gate and approaches the front porch. Flora bounces joyfully out of the front door - but then hesitates when she sees his anguished expression. They both feign happiness at first, and he notices the raw cotton that she is wearing. Both succumb to grateful tears and the two sadly embrace on the front porch. She guides him into the front door. From a side view, the tender hand of his mother reaches out through the door and gradually draws him inside. [the concluding Ku Klux Klan ride - with extensive cross-cutting between the scenes to create excitement and suspense - although glorifying the role of the white supremacist group, is a justly-celebrated piece of film-making that builds the film to a dramatic climax.]

Scenes include:

Scenes from the Birth of a Nation (1915)

During television's early days, critical theorists purported that the ruling elite utilized the media as a tool to maintain the social hierarchy's legitimacy. "In line with this goal, the products of the mass media bear certain values, stereotypes and ideas that aim at shaping the perception of social reality by individuals and the society in general."

The critical theory founders reflected on the relations of power and hierarchy within the boundaries of nation states and traditional classes. Contemporary critical theory considers "the development of rules of inclusiveness and exclusivity that guide the production of media content and, in particular, the ways these rules shape and are shaped by the changing relations of power, which is becoming global by its nature."

This chapter, in a sense, reflects a glimpse of the start of the terminology used in film and TV, as seen from inside; the terminology "rules" that contribute to the inclusiveness and exclusivity that guide the production of media. Lingo of a profession infiltrates the character's dialogue in film and television. When cops are part of the film/TV script, the actors recite pretend police report; when nurses or doctors are part of the script, the actors recite/refer to a chart.

In the arts and sciences, a na vete has always existed about language. Exceptions abound, however, historians traditionally perceive that their linguistic constructs constitute facts, while scientists contend that language, particularly the way they use, serves as a clear glass between an otherwise unmediated reality and themselves. The most naive of all, albeit may be the verbal artists who imagine they merely use language to "express" themselves. "Expression" consists of an ancient idea which initially presumes that a Truth prior to language resides within. Second, expression assumes that language serves as a tool for the expression of that Truth. Barthes, according to Watman, notes that "Classical art," could not possess a sense of being a language, as it was language. In other words, the language, transparent as it flowed, did not leave a deposit.

Communication and symbolism, the first two levels of language, make… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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