Jargon and vocabulary of the French cinema/ English

Jargon et vocabulaire du cinéma Français/ Anglais

Lexicon Movie

French/ English


You who follow this blog regularly, you already know it but this summer I worked on one of the next original creations by Canal+ : Black Baron. This series, produced by Kwaï productions, has been performed by Ziad Doueri. Ziad is Lebanese and has worked extensively in the USA, in particular on the films of Tarantino (Reservoir dogs, Pulp Fiction etc…). Anyway, all this to say that the French vocabulary that are usually used on a film set shortly, on certain productions, explode into a thousand pieces and it is the English vocabulary/american who takes over. Not that the director does not make effort, quite the contrary, but simply because, when we have the habit of using a language, the habits die hard in the swirl of the flow of the day as Much awareness of this vocabulary in English/ American, however, already present ;o)

I noted these words during the whole shoot so you can transcribe them today. I added other so that you can have, learn, learn this vocabulary in case tomorrow you’d be on a shoot in French or English.


Accessory = Prop

Prop master = Prop man

Lead actor : Lead actor

Turn on = Switch on

Angle of view = camera angle

Announcement ! = slate it

Increase the light = sun in

On trays you can hear it, sometimes, an electro or a chief op to say : “it should be dimmer this projo “. The aim and put a dimmer, a sort of box (dimmer) that allows you to raise or lower the light.

Foreground/ foreground = Foreground



Focusing ring : the Focusing Ring

White Balance = White Balance

Editing : Editing bench

It is in the box = It’s a wrap

This expression is here to announce the end of filming and not to say that something is in the box ;o)

Black box = Black box

Edge = Cut-off

Brightness = Brigthness



Cable = wire

Frame = frame

We’re talking about making a frame, or modify a framework.

Subjective camera = Sujective shot

cube = Apple box

A cube is a cube of wood (of different sizes) that have the grips. One can often hear a machino say : “bring me a 15/20” it is the size and therefore the name of the cube in question. There are different sizes of apple box : full apple box, half apple box, quarter apple box, pancake

Stunt = stunt man

Field/ counter field = angle/ reverse angle or reverse shot

I leave you the link on the field and against the field here

Trolley Dolly = dolly

I leave you the link to the article on the dolly

Clape = slate or clapboard

Backlight = backlight

Against-angle = tilt shot

Costume = wardrobe

Cut ! = cut !



Decor = set

Cutting (technical) = shot breakdown



Ellipse = jump to

Exposure = exposur



Included = extra

Fuzzy = fuzzy

In the sense that the point is not there, the plan is fuzzy

Fade = fade

You already know fade in and fade out, fade in and fade out



Form = gaffer tape

The gaffer this is the self-adhesive that grips or assistants to cam use. It is scotch tape very sticky and solid.

Close up : close up

Crane = notch

There is also the platform that enables you to mount a projo. This is called = cherry picker


Pig : Sand bag

The sled is a bag of colored sand (black, orange) which allows to set a door, to put a stop to the wheel of a car, but especially to lester’s feet projo to prevent it from falling off.



Out-of-field = off screen



Image : Frame

As for a framework that we saw earlier

Freeze frame : freeze frame



Lens = lens

Daylight = daylight

Light from the front : front light

Diffused light : diffused light



Smoking Machine = smoke machine

Engine ! = roll camera, roll sound



Socket number = take number

Sharpness = sharpness



Lens = lens

Shutter = shutter

Shadow of microphone = mike shadow

Opening = aperture



Pan = pan shot

Actually it says : pan, it is shorter, and there is quite the wish of the director. Pano right = pan to the right, the pano on the left = pan to the left etc…

Pan up = Tilt up, pan down = tilt down

Perch = boom

Foot camera = camera tripod

If you just say ” tripod “, it also includes very well ;o)

For the plans I will let you go see the article on the values and their meaning here : https://www.commentfaireunfilm.com/?p=5713

Plan = shot

Shot = establishing shot

Plan of work = shooting schedule

Overall Plan = long shot

Plan insert = insert shot

Plan diving = high angle

Plan against diving = low angle tilt shot

Plan foot = full figure

Plan fixed = static shot

Wide = wide shot

Medium shot = medium shot

Close-up = close-shot

Plan tight = tight shot

Depth of field = deep focus or depth: of field



Connection = continuity shot

Fitting movement = matching-cut

Rail dolly track = track

Slow = slow motion

Crop = reframe

Rehearsal = rehearsal



Backup = back up

Sole camera = mount



Temperature colour = color temperature

Dolly back = tracking out

Dolly = tracking in

Ultra wide angle lens = fish eye

Excited by the sound = speed

Word that tells the sound engineer to signify that he begins to record the sound. Before the actors begin to play it is necessary : to be put in place, the silence, ask for the engine, the sound engineer said : “it turns” (speed) wait until the wizard its says in his turn : “camera is running “, ad,



Frosted glass = frosted glass

Optical glass = optical glass

Speed = speed

Camera car = tracking because

The off-voice = voice-over

Pane camera = flap



Zoom = zoom out (or zoom lens)


That’s it for this article on the French vocabulary/ English on a film set. I know, I doubt, that this is an article a little peculiar because I don’t give you advice per se. So here is a tip that may be of interest to you, go to the website : Anglais5minutes you will be able, among other make an English test ;o)

But know one thing, the shootings are becoming more “americanized” or ” anglicized “. Often, technicians, producers and directors to use this type of vocabulary, of language. Just like the article on the vocabulary of the series ( https://www.commentfaireunfilm.com/?p=7086), you need to master this jargon, especially if tomorrow you want to be on a plateau. So I may be cases of saying ” you must “, I believe I should moderate my remarks,…it is necessary that you have knowledge, it can make you of the services ;o)

Starting next week, I will give you an article with more conventional ;o)



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