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Glossary - D

All terms

Dailies The unedited film footage often viewed by crew including the director at the end of a day’s shooting
Dance Floor An area covered with light plywood specifically to enable the dolly to move around smoothly
Day-For-Night Shot Artificially created impression of night time
Dead Air A period of complete silence during a broadcast
Deep Focus A term used for when the camera can move from far away to close up all in one shot
Demo Reel

Showreel - A montage of an actor, crew member or company's work, used to secure future jobs

Denouement The final coming together of the various plot strands within a drama
Depth Of Field / Depth Of Focus The shortest or longest distance over which the object will stay in camera focus
Deus ex machina

A plot device where an unsolvable problem is quickly resolved by the unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability or object.


Dialect Coach

Someone who helps an actor design the voice and speech of a character in the context of the film. Usually for regional or foreign accents.

Dialogue Coach Someone who teaches the actors to use their voice to the maximum potential, including breathing techniques, accent, inflexion and projection. Also called voice coach
Dialogue Editor Someone who amasses all the dialogue then smooths and edits it, resulting in a dialogue track ready to be used by the mixer to integrate with the other sounds of the production
Diegetic Sound The sounds made by people or objects seen on the screen, such as voices, animals, or music played visibly on an instrument
Diffusion When light intensity or harshness is softened using a filter such as gauze or glass
Digital Technology which uses numerical codes to record and read sound and pictures
Digital Imaging Technician

The person who works on reaching high quality images, often involving collaborating with the cinematographer on creative and technical manipulation. Also known as a DIT

Director The person in charge of the overall end product, creative decisions and the actors’ performances
Director Of Photography

The person with overall responsibility for the lighting and camerawork - Also known as the cinematographer

Discovery Shot When the camera lands on a previously unseen object or person
Dissolve The process whereby one shot gradually transitions gently into another shot
Distributor The company responsible for getting a film to market
Distrify Online film distribution and marketing platform
Docu-Drama A partly-dramatised version of real events
Documentary A factual piece on a specific subject with a narrative involving no actors

A term that has been used for many documentary-style reality TV shows, these are shows that have been filmed deliberately to mimic the appearance and structure of soap operas. 


A mount on which a camera is pulled along to ensure a smooth camera movement

Dolly Grip The person responsible solely for operating the dolly

Director of Photography - The person with overall responsibility for the lighting and camerawork

Down Camera Eye The eye of the actor which is closest to the camera
Dubbing A process employed during post-production in which sound is added to the already filmed footage. Also used abroad to change the language of a production
Dutch Angle / Dutch Tilt Phrase used to indicate a diagonal position for the camera