A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Z

Fade: A transitional device in which either an image gradually dims until the viewer sees only a black screen (Fade-Out) or an image slowly emerges from a black screen to a clear and bright picture (Fade-In). A fade provides a strong break in continuity, usually setting off sequences.
False Proscenium: A constructed proscenium that fits inside the permanent proscenium.
Fast Motion (accelerated motion): Movements on the screen appearing more rapid than they would in actual life. For example, a man riding a bicycle will display legs pumping furiously while he flashes through city streets at the speed of a racing car. A filmmaker achieves fast motion by running film through his camera at a speed slower than the standard 24 frames per second; subsequent projection of 24 frames per second speeds up the action.
Field Rep: SAG-AFTRA staff member who ensures contractual compliance on sets.
Fight Director: The person who stages, with an eye for safety and the actors' ability to repeat the actions, any fight scenes, duels, etc.
Fill Light: Light used to control shadows by "filling in" certain dark areas.
Film Stock: Unexposed strips of celluloid holding light-sensitive emulsions.
Filters: Transparent glass of gelatin placed in front of or behind a lens to control coloration; some filters cut out certain types of light (such as ultra- violet); others create a soft, hazy appearance, and still others provide a dominant color when used with color films.
Fine Cut: The final assembling of all the various audial and visual components of a film.
Fire Curtain: A non-flammable curtain hung directly behind the proscenium that protects the audience from fire or smoke emitting from the stage. May be the same as the Act Curtain. Also called Asbestos Curtain or Fireproof Curtain.
First Electric: The first row of lights hung on a batten behind the proscenium.
First Team: Principal actors.
Fish-Eye: An extreme wide-angle lens taking in (and distorting) an immense area.
Five Out Of Seven: A rearrangement of the five days of a work week.
Fixed Cycle: For commercials, an established 13-week period for which the advertiser pays a holding fee to retain the right to use performer's services, likeness and image in a previously produced advertisement.
Flash Forward: A segment of film that breaks normal chronological order by shifting directly to a future time. Flash forward, like flashback, may be subjective (showing precognition or fears of what might happen) or objective (suggesting what will eventually happen and thus setting up relationships for an audience to perceive).
Flashback - A segment of film that breaks normal chronological order by shifting directly to time past. Flashback may be subjective (showing the thoughts and memory of a character) or objective (returning to earlier events to show their relationship to the present).
Flashframe: A shot lasting only a few frames; the shortness of a flashframe makes its content difficult to assimilate. When many flashframes follow each other, they create a feeling of intense action and often visually resemble the effects of stroboscopic light; when used alone, flashframes usually act as flashbacks or Hash forwards.
Flash-pot: A small box that will cause a noisy explosion of smoke when ignited.
Flat: An oblong frame of timber, covered with either canvas or hardboard and painted, which forms part of the set. There are also door flats, window flats, even fireplace flats. Canvas flats, being lighter and easier to move around, are the preferred option, but schools often go for hardboard-covered flats which are more durable.
Flip: A transitional device (now used rarely) in which an image appears to flip over, revealing another image on its backside; the effect is much like flipping a coin from one side to the other.
Flipper: Easily removed false teeth for children, used for cosmetic purposes.
Flood: A floodlight: a lantern which gives a wide-spreading, unfocused beam of light. These can be symmetric (i.e. casting the light equally in all directions) or asymmetric (casting it more in one direction than the others). The symmetric flood is probably the cheapest stage lantern and the least useful!
Floor Pocket: A small iron box containing an electrical outlet, sunk into the stage floor.
Fly Gallery: A platform that runs above the stage on one side, used in the operation of fly lines.
Fly: Verb: scenery which is raised into the roof (flown out) or lowered on the stage (flown in). The apparatus for doing this consists of a series of ropes and pulleys in the "fly tower" (a very high roof space) and they raise or lower the scenery by means of a counterweight system or by directly pulling on "hemp lines". The men who operate the "flies" are called "flymen" and the area in which they work is called the "fly floor" of, quite simply, the "flies". People can also be flown (as in every production of "Peter Pan"!) in a harness.
Flyman: Crew person in charge of raising and lowering the flies.
Focal Length: The distance from the focal point of a lens to the plane of the film (for viewers and cameramen, this is seen as the amount of area a lens can photograph from a given distance.)
Focus: Verb used in lighting: to point the lanterns in the right direction and set the correct beam-spread and edge.
Focus-Through (racking): A change of the field in focus taking the viewer from one object to another that was previously out of focus.
FoH: Front of House: anything which happens on the audience side of the curtain is said to happen "front of house". The term "the house" is used to mean either the auditorium, or the audience ("We had a good house tonight"), or even the theatre itself.
Follow-spot: A type of profile spotlight with an iris diaphragm and a handle so that it can be used to follow a performer around the stage in a beam of light of exactly the right size. Traditionally called a "lime": hence the term "being in the limelight". These produce a very bright beam of light which is more powerful than that produced by any other lanterns. Modern limes almost always use CSI lamps.
Footlights: A series of floodlights placed on the stage floor along the front of the stage. Traditional in variety theatres, foots are nowadays rarely used.
Forced Call: A call to work less than 12 hours after dismissal on the previous day.
Foreign Replay: A fee paid for reruns outside the U.S.
Fourth Wall: An imaginary wall between the actor s and the audience that disallows interaction between the two groups of people.
Frame: A single photographic image imprinted on a length of film; also the perimeter of an image as seen when projected on a screen (a filmmaker sees the frame as the boundaries of his camera's view-finder). Freeze Frame A single frame repeated for an extended time, consequently looking like a still photograph.
Franchised Agent: A talent agent approved by SAG-AFTRA to solicit and negotiate employment for their members.
French Scene: Scene that begins and ends with an actor's entrance or exit.
Fresnel: A kind of spotlight in which the light is concentrated by a fresnel lens (a lens with concentric ridged rings). Projects a variable angle soft-edged beam. Sometimes called a frênel and given the French pronunciation.
Front Elevation: A scale drawing that gives a front view of the set.
FX: Slang term for special effects: usually sound effects in the theatre but can also refer to pyrotechnics . In film, usually refers to visual (i.e. computer generated) effects.

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