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Cinema and Filmmaking Glossary

Ein Filmlexikon - Englisch-Deutsch

English-German Filmmaking Glossary

German words and expressions related to motion pictures, cameras, and filmmaking

  Noun genders are indicated by: r (der, masc.), e (die, fem.), s (das, neu.)
  Abbreviations: adj. (adjective), adv. (adverb), n. (noun), v. (verb), pl. (plural)

TIPP: Um einen deutschen Begriff auf dieser Seite zu finden, benützen Sie "Finden" in Ihrem Browser. (Looking for a German term? Use your browser's "Find" feature to find a word on this page. Make sure that "Search from Top of Page" is selected.)


Also see the German Movie Guide for films in German and the related links.


Academy Awards - Categories
   Best Actor, Best Live Action Short, etc. More...

action  e Aktion
  Action! Action!, Bitte!
action movie  r Aktionfilm
  lights, camera, action! Licht! Kamera! Belichtung!/Action!

actor, performer  r Schauspieler (-), r Darsteller (-)
  film actor, movie actor  r Filmschauspieler (-)
actors, cast  e Darsteller (pl.), e Besetzung
  cast and crew Stab und Besetzung (“crew & cast”)

actress, film actress  e Schauspielerin (-nen), e Filmschauspielerin

ADR  ADR (Automatic Dialogue Replacement, “looping”)

anamorphic (adj.)  anamorphotisch (wide-screen lens)

aperture, f-stop; (light) shade, visor  e Blende

The German word Blende can have several meanings in English, depending on the context. It refers to the visor on lights, the aperture of a camera lens, or the fade-in or fade-out of a scene (die Auf-, Abblende)

animation, animated film  r Trickfilm (-e)

arc light  s Bogenlicht (-er)

art direction (in credits)  Ausstattung
art director, set designer  r Filmarchitekt
  See Academy Awards - Categories

artificial light(ing)  s Kunstlicht
  natural light(ing)   s Tageslicht

aspect ratio  s Seitenverhältnis (image ratio: 1:1.33 - 4:3, 16:9, etc.)
  framing  r Kasch (-s) - round (vignette), square, horiz., vert.


backlighting  s Gegenlicht

backstage, behind the scenes  hinter den Kulissen

Bambi  r Bambi = German entertainment award (since 1948)
  Also see: "Golden Bear"
  das goldene Reh: The Bambi "golden deer" statuette was originally ceramic; gilded bronze since 1958 (see Film Awards for more). Over the years, the "Bambi" prize has gone to many German and international film, TV and music personalities, including Tom Hanks, Bill Clinton (for his charity work), and Elton John. Sponsored by the Hubert Burda media concern, the annual Bambi award ceremony is held in various German cities in November or December.
  WEB > www.bambi.de (in German)

bar (black), stripe  r Balken (-)

Berlin Film Festival  e Berlinale (see below)
Berlinale  e Berlinale: The Berlin International Film Festival is held each year in February.
  Also see "Golden Bear" below and Film Festivals for more.

best boy  r Best Boy (assists the gaffer, the chief lighting electrician)

book (script)  s Buch, s Drehbuch

box office  e Kinokasse


cameo appearance  r Cameo-Auftritt

camera  e Kamera
  behind the camera   hinter der Kamera

cast  e Besetzung, e Darsteller (pl.)
  cast and crew Stab und Besetzung (“crew & cast”)

casting  s Casting

catering  s Catering, e Verpflegung

censor  r Zensor
censorship  e Zensur

cinema, movie theater  s Kino (-s), s Lichtspieltheater (-)

cinematographer, camera man  r Kameramann

cinematography  (die) Kamera (in credits)

clapper, clapboard, clapperboard, slate (film)  e Synchronklappe, e Klappe (-n)

close-up (shot)  e Großaufnahme (-n)
  extreme close-up   e Detailaufnahme (-n)
  medium close-up   e Nahaufnahme (-n)

color temperature  e Farbtemperatur (-en)

color timer  r Farbtechniker

comedy  e Komödie (-n)

composer (film music)  r Komponist
  The best-known German film music composer today is Hans Zimmer. (German-Hollywood Connection)

continuity (script, film) e Überwachung von Details im Film, r Anschluss

credits (film) r Abspann
  in the credits im Abspann
credits (opening) r Vorspann
credits (closing) r Nachspann

SAMPLE CREDITS (English-German)

Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (2002)
Krieg der Sterne: Angriff der Klonkrieger
Produced by Rick McCallum,
  George Lucas
Produzenten: Rick McCallum,
  George Lucas
Screenplay by George Lucas Drehbuch: George Lucas
Directed by George Lucas Regie: George Lucas
Editor: Ben Burtt Schnitt: Ben Burtt
Music: John Williams Musik: John Williams
Director of Photography: David Tattersall Kamera: David Tattersall
Sound Editor: Ben Burtt Ton: Ben Burtt
Costume Designer: Trisha Biggar Kostüme: Trisha Biggar
Set Design: Peter Walpole Ausstattung: Peter Walpole

crew (film)  r Stab
  cast and crew Stab und Besetzung (“crew & cast”)

cross cut/cutting  r Kreuzschnitt

cut v.  cutten, schneiden (film editing)
   In German a film editor is der Cutter (m.) or die Cutterin (f.)
cut (to)  überblenden (zu) (scene change)
cut v.  abbrechen (stop the camera)
Cut!  Schnitt! or Aus! (said by film director)
cutting, editing  r Schnitt (film editing, see credits above)
cut (out)  herausschneiden (by censor, director)
   This scene was cut by the censor.
   Diese Szene hat die Zensur herausgeschnitten.
cut adj.  gekürzt (shortened), zensiert (censored)
   That's the cut version of his film.
   Das ist die gekürzte/zensierte Fassung seines Films.


day for night  amerikanische Nacht

deep focus  breite Schärfentiefe (objects near and far are in focus)

depth of field  e Schärfentiefe

dialect coach r Dialekt-Trainer

digital (adj.) digital

director  r Regisseur, e Regisseurin
  directed by  Regie (in credits)

director of photography  r Kameramann
  (in credits)  Kamera

direct sound, original sound  r O-Ton, die O-Töne (pl.)

dissolve (n.)  e Überblendung
dissolve (v.)  überblenden
  Also see “fade” below

documentary film  r Dokumentarfilm (-e)

dolly  r Kamerawagen, r Dolly

double  r Double (body-double, stunt-double, etc.; often pronounced DOO-bel)

dub (v.) synchronisieren
dubbed (adj.) synchronisiert
dubbing (n.) e (Nach)Synchronisation, e Synchronarbeit

Refers both to foreign-language dubbing and to the normal ADR dubbing done for various scenes. In Germany and Austria all non-German feature films are dubbed into German, while in Switzerland it is more common to use subtitles with the original language sound.

Filmtitel auf Deutsch
What are the German titles of famous Hollywood movies?

Wort des Tages
What's today's German word of the day?


edit (n.)  e Montage
editor, editing  r Schnitt
editor (in credits)  Schnitt

editor (film)  r/e Cutter(in), r/e Filmcutter(in)

effect (n.)  der Effekt
effects  die Effekte (pl.)
effects (special), FX  die special effects (pl.), Spezialeffekte (pl.)

end, the  (das) Ende

executive producer  r Produzent

exterior shot  e Außenaufnahme (-n)

extra(s)  r Komparse (-n), r Statist (-en)


fade (n.)  e Ausblende
fade (v.)  ausblenden, blenden
   fade in  aufblenden
   fade out  abblenden
   fade-out  e Abblende
   fade over  weich überblenden
   fade to black  e Schwarzblende

film, movie r Film (-e)
film, shoot (v.) filmen, (einen Film) drehen

film festival  s Filmfest (-e)

filmmaker  r/e Filmschaffende (-n)

film ratings board  FSK ("Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle" in German)

film stock, unexposed film  r Rohfilm

flashback  e Rückblende (-n)

floodlight, spotlight  r Scheinwerfer

focal length (lens)  e Brennweite

foley  ein Gerät für Toneffekte (named for sound man Jack Foley)
foley artist  r Tontechniker, r Ton-Cutter

frame (film, video)  s Einzelbild, s Bild (-er), r Frame
  frames per second   Bilder pro Sekunde

framing  r Kasch (-s) - round (vignette), square, horiz., vert.
  Also used as a verb ("to frame"): "Manche kaschen einfach das Bild mit schwarzen Balken ab oder strecken das Bild im Sucher, aufgenommen wird ganz normal mit schwarzen Balken..."


gaffer  r Chef-Elektriker (chief lighting electrician), r Oberbeleuchter

gaffer  r Chef-Elektriker

Golden Bear  r Goldene Bär - name of the German "Oscar" given out at the Berlinale

grip  r Grip (-s) - collective term for workers on film set (Bühne)

On the Web > The German-Hollywood Connection


hairstylist  e Friseurin (-nen), r Friseur (-e)

happy ending  s Happyend


interior shot  e Innenaufnahme (-n)

intertitles  e Zwischentitel (pl.)


jump cut  r Jumpcut, e Sprungblende


key grip  r Hauptgrip, r Keygrip

NEXT > L-Z - plus Web links

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Email me about cinema vocabulary.

Related Pages

Academy Awards - Categories
How to say Best Actor, Best Live Action Short, etc. in German.

Film Festivals
German and other film festivals.

Filmtitel auf Deutsch
What are the German titles of famous Hollywood movies?

Filmbegriffe Links
Web links for online German film glossaries.

More English-German Glossaries
Annotated glossaries on many topics. From your Guide.

Online Dictionaries
Links for dictionaries and glossaries for German.

Wort des Tages
What's today's German word of the day?

German Newsletters
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