Wordsmith – Test your ‘Celluloid Vocabulary’

How would you rate your knowledge of all things cinematic, your vocabulary of the movies? See how many of these movie related words you know by matching each of the words below to one of the multiple possible definitions.

Vocabulary Ratings
14-15 correct ………………….. excellent
12-13 correct ………………….. good
9-11 correct ………………….. fair

(1) arc lights {ahrk lahyt} n A: dressing room light bulbs B: cinema illusions C: powerful film-set lights

C: powerful film-set lights often used in silent films. “It was hard for Charlie Chaplin not to perspire under the arc lights”

(2) aperture {ap-er-ture} n A: applause in cinema B: camera opening C: short run in cinemas

B: camera opening. Latin apertus (open).

(3) film noir {film nwär} n A: badly written film B: animal film C: crime film with dark elements

C: : crime film with dark elements. “1940s cinema was the heyday of film noir.” French (black film).

(4) animatronics {an-i-ma-tron-ics} n A: robot-making technique B: wooden acting C: dubbed dialogue

A: : robot-making technique. “The Muppet Show didn’t need any animatronics.”

(5) slapstick {slap-stick} adj A: comic in a simple, physical way B: tragicomic C: violent

A: : comic in a simple, physical way. “Laurel and Hardy were masters of slapstick.” From slap and stick.

(6) flashback {flash-back} n A: scene from the past B: explosion effect C: complete re-edit

A: : scene from the past. “Back to the Future depended on flashbacks.”

(7) CGI {sea-ghee-eye} n A: special effects B: police drama C: film tax break

A: : special effects – acronym for “computer-generated imagery”. “The CGI made the cartoon almost lifelike.”

(8) gross-out {grōs-ˌau̇t} adj A: high-earning B: outrageously disgusting C: tear-jerking

B: : outrageously disgusting.

(9) Avid {av-id} n A: film-editing system B: prompt card C: film that goes straight to video

A: : film-editing program. “Avid made it much easier and quicker to edit films.”

(10) Dolby {Dol-by} n A: fake backdrop B: noise-reduction system C: hidden camera

B: : noise-reduction system. “The crackling sound on the 1930s dialogue was cleaned up with Dolby.” Named after the company’s founder Ray Dolby.

(11) police procedural {po-lice pro-ce-dur-al} n A: illegal film B: very dull scene C: authentic crime drama

C: : authentic crime drama. “Police procedural are often full of autopsies.”

(12) MacGuffin {Mac-Guf-fin} n A: mysterious plot device B: follow-up to an earlier film C: high-school comedy

A: : mysterious plot device. The term was popularised by Alfred Hitchcock.

(13) turkey {tur-key} n A: star's big pay packet B: terrible film C: shocking scene

B: : terrible film. Thought to relate to the fact that Christmas is one of the busiest times for new films.

(14) cinema-veritel {cin-e-ma ver-ih-tay} n A: sporting film B: documentary C: outdoor scene

B: : documentary. French (cinema truth).

(15) foley {fo-ley} n A: night shooting B: stuntman C: reproduction of everyday sound effects

C: : reproduction of everyday sound effects. “Foley artists create everyday background noise.” Named after its inventor Jack Foley.

Author: Robert

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