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Mutants On Parade 11/27/08
by Lance Norris

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I have been remiss in updating my Hollywood Dictionary over the past the few weeks. So, the playground sniping with have to wait; we've made it to the letter F:

FADE: As in Fade To Black, Fade Out, Fade In. A transition from an image to a black screen or black screen to image. Also what happens to wunderkinds like Tarentino and Kevin Smith.

FAKE SHEMP: Using another actor (who's face is not seen) to fill in for the original actor because the real actor is either drunk or dead. Coined by Sam Raimi on EVIL DEAD in honor of the Three Stooge who are rumored to have completed several of their shorts with a Fake Shemp and old footage, after Shemp died. Perhaps a more modern reference should be Oliver Reeding It.

FEATURE FILM: A move that is at least 45 minutes long. Anything else is a short and may get you into a festival in Plymouth, MA or Cribdeath, IA but it ain't going to pay the bulldog.

FEATURED BACKGROUND: An extra that anyone of the Above The Line people are banging, and thus, they are placed in a more prominent position in the shot.

FEEL GOOD FILM: A light-hearted and upbeat film. A date movie.

FESTIVAL: A great excuse to get out of town and screw local volunteers and other helpers.

FILM BUYER: The person that decides which four blockbusters to put on the 15 screens of the local mall. The perfect job for a 12 year-old girl.

FILM COMMENT: Movie magazine published by Lincoln Center. Unsure of the content because I keep falling asleep every time I try to read it.

FILM MAGAZINES: A reel of film ready for use in a camera, or a publication put together by failed screenwriters, directors and producers hoping to get discovered or sleep with an up and coming starlet.

FILMMAKERS: Anyone with the power to fuck up your screenplay. Directors, producers, editors, other screenwriters and studio suits.

FINAL CUT: The last version of a film. More than likely it has nothing to do with what the director wanted and bares little resemblance to your script.

FISH-OUT-OF-WATER-TALE: The lowest form of comedy. The lead character faces a culture shock because he is in an environment where he just doesn't belong.

FLASHBACK: Hack scene that breaks the chronological continuity of your story because you couldn't think of a cleaver way to give out exposition. Or an over-priced book test: See Larry Becker.

FLASHFORWARD: See Flashback.

FOAM TECH: Or Foam Runner. The guy that will be suing the studio in a few years because all of that latex work he did for the makeup artist gave him cancer.

FOCUS: The sharpness of an image. Something that most actors loose in about two minutes if they are not the topic of conversation.

FOCUS GROUP: A small group of people who have nothing better to do so they go to a sneak preview of a movie and give, no their own opinion, but the opinion that they think will present them in the best light. Great plausible deniability tool for most studio suits because they can blame almost anything on a focus group and protect their jobs for another week.

FOCUS PULLER: The most sober of the folks hanging around the camera. Responsible for keeping the camera in focus. I think I was on the set of a commercial once when Patriot's quarterback Tom Brady asked a crewmember what he did. The star struck guy said that he was the focus puller, to which Tom quipped, "Well, call me focus", but my lawyers tell me I might have just dreamt that.

FOLEY: Named for soundman Jack Foley, it is the art of recreating sound effect in post-production.

FOLEY STAGE: The place in the sound studio where they still create sound effects by hand, just like they did in the olds days. If you ever get to see one in action, do it. They will all be replaced by Pro-Tools and other soulless computers soon.

FORCED PERSPECTIVE: Creating fake distance or size in shot by using objects of various size and placing them at creative distances.

"FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION": Translation: this pain in the ass doesn't stand a chance to win an Oscar, but we want to use them on another project so we are throwing them a bone.

FRAME: Anything that will actual appear in the shot.

FREEZE FRAME: Repeating a single frame to give the illusion that the action has stopped, or The J Giels Bands breakout album (some say it was the beginning of the end for the band. Fame; that fickle whore).

FULLSCREEN: Or 4:3. What a movie looks like on TV.

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Ask a Bitter Man
Every Thursday

Lance Norris gives us his opinions on the state of film, vents about Hollywood, and generally lets his thoughts fly.

Other Columns
Other columns by Lance Norris:

Later On Croutons

Mutants On Parade 11/12/09

Mutants On Parade 11/5/09

Mutants On Parade 10/29/09

Mutants On Parade 10/21/09

All Columns

Lance Norris
Lance Norris, dubbed "Boston's only straight Film Critic" reviews movies for WZLX in Boston.

He has two books entitled Ask A Bitter Man: The Best of 1984 - 1999 Vol. 1 and I've Seen Better Film On The Teeth of Wolverines. which you can buy here

If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Lance Norris by clicking here.

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