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Film Industry Terms – F

Film Industry Terms – F

Film Industry Terms – F

In this serial, we look at film industry terms and jargon that you are likely to come across. In this short article, we look at film jargon beginning with F.


This is when the scene gradually fades out or in. It is a simple effect but one that can add drama to a story. Fading out, for example, at the end of an emotional scene is a tool commonly used to maximise the drama and emotional impact.


This refers to a light-hearted and often fast-paced over the top comedy that pokes fun and exaggerates an already improbable situation. It could be anything from mistaken identity to physical antics that turns the comedy film into a farce. Monty Python’s ‘The Meaning of Life’ is considered a farce.

Fast motion

This is the effect of something happening at speed. The normal speed for a film is 24 frames per second and to achieve this effect, a scene is filmed at a slower rate than this. But when played back at the normal speed, the result is action as a faster rate than normal. It is normally used for comic effect. It is the opposite of slow motion or time compression, as it is also known.

Feature film

A full length or feature film is one that is 60 minutes or more in length. Most films these days are between 90 and 120 minutes. Some epics are longer. A film shorter than 90 minutes is known as a featurette.

Feel good film

This is as the name suggests, a film that is light-hearted and upbeat with a positive message and, in most cases, a happy ending. But they can also be tear jerkers too but n the main, they please the audience.

There are loads of examples of feel good films including Love Actually (2003) and The Pursuit of Happyness from 2006. And if there is one film bound to lift your spirits, it is La La Land

15 Minutes for fame

This term was popularised by Andy Warhol in the late 1960s and showcases that everyone, no matter who they are, is capable of 15 minutes of fame. For those seeking to make their name in the movie industry, the term is interchanged with a flash in the pan or one-hit-wonder. There are many, many examples of people who have enjoyed a brief ellipsis of fame but then disappeared from view.


Ever wondered where the terms ‘the flicks’ came from meaning watching a movie? In the very early days of film making, the film would flicker and look unsteady, hence the terms flicks.

Fourth wall

This refers to an imaginary place through which the audience sees the action. Some films breakthrough this fourth wall, such as in the 1903 film The Great Train Robbery in which the gunman fires directly at the audience.


This refers to a single image, the smallest composite part of a film’s structure. A film is made up of hundreds of frames all shown in quick succession. It can also be used to describe the frame in which we view the action too.

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