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Film Industry Terms – I

Film Industry Terms – I

In our continuing alphabetical series, we jargon-bust the film terms beginning with ‘I’.

Iconography – This is the use of a well-known symbol, often referred to as an icon, in a film or TV production. Sometimes, actions or shots from the film can become iconic in their own right. The scene where Marilyn Monroe struggles to control the skirt of her white dress over the pavement vent in Some Like it Hit is an iconic scene and one that is still referred to today even though the film was made in the mid-1950s.

IMAX – One reason why film lovers flock to the cinema to watch the latest releases is because of the big-screen effect. Along with surround sound, it is an all-immersive experience. IMAX is a specialised, big-screen film format that is ten times larger than the traditional cinema format. It was debuted in the 1970s and was used for short films, originally. Nature documentaries, for example, gave a much better viewing experience. There are many modern films shown with IMAX technology.

In-camera editing – Most films and TV productions are shot out-of-sequence e.g. outside scenes can be shot after the studio scenes etc. The film is then edited post-production, meaning that the scenes are edited and knitted together to make a complete story. In-camera editing is the opposite of this. It means that the film is filmed in sequence, saving a lot of post-production editing time. If a film is on a budget, this is one way of saving money but, it needs a lot of advance planning before filming starts to make sure none of the action is missed.

In-the-can – When a director utters this, it means that the scene they wanted to film has been successful and they are happy with the results… until post-editing that is!
Independent or indie films

These films or productions are made by small studios who usually have very little in the way of budget. They can often be edgy films, taking on difficult subjects and using new or unusual filming techniques. Sometimes, it means that the subjects or filming technique may not be of interest to ‘mainstream audiences’. That said, there are some amazing indie films that have appealed to the masses such as American Beauty with Kevin Spacey and Annette Benning, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower starring Emma Watson.

Ink – If you’re asked to ink something, it means you are being asked to sign it. This term is usually used in the case of signing contracts.

Intercut shots – These are the shots in the film that are spliced into the action. For example, in Speed 2, as Julia Roberts’s character speeds along, the action features shots of the speedometer, outside the bus and so on. It adds detail and reference to the action.

Iris or Irising – This is a cinematic technique in which it feels like the audience is looking through a tunnel or an eye. The shot is contained in a circle at the centre of the screen, with a black or coloured border around the edge. It is not as popular today as it was in early 20th Century film making.

Join for the next blog post that looks at film and production jargon beginning with J.

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