Film & Television Dictionary – Letter M
Magazine: This is a light-tight chamber designed to hold film and move the film stock through the film camera for exposure. In most film cameras the magazine is a removable piece of equipment. Opening the magazine and exposing or “flashing” it to light can potentially ruin your raw film. The technique of “flashing” can also used to create a washed out effect in your film.
Magic Arm: An adjustable arm that can be used to mount small lights and/or cameras.
Magic Hour: That “magical” time characterized by warm and soft natural light that occurs for roughly 30 minutes around sunset and sunrise.
Mark: 1. Something placed on the ground (tape, chalk, stick etc.) used to let the talent know where they should stand for the shot. 2. the name for clapping the slate to sync sound and picture.
Martini Shot: Martini refers to the final shot of the day. It comes from the idea that at the end of the day the crew would go out for drinks or shots. Also known as the Window shot.
Mask: Covering or blocking out a portion of the frame with black, white or another colour.
Match Cut: A transition where there is a cut between two shots that are matched by visual or metaphorical similarities.
Matte Box: An attachment used on the end of a lens to block light sources from preventing glare and lens flare. Most matte boxes also have slots where various filters can be inserted in order to create in camera effects.
Matte Painting: A hand or digitally painted landscape, set or location that allows the filmakers to create the illusion of a location or envirenmont that does not exist or would be too costly or impossible to build or visit.
Meal penalty: On most North American sets crews must be given a first meal break within 6 hours from call time. If this is not met there is a meal penalty amount that is paid to the crew until this is met.
Meat Axe: A large and very long flag used to cutting and/or blocking light.
Meat Flag: See above
Medium Close Up (MCU): A Medium Close Up is half way between a Medium and a Close Up. This is usually capturing some of the torso and up.
Method Acting: Based on the system evolved by Stanislavsky and brought into prominence in the US in the 1930s, method acting is a technique where the actors aspires to achieve emotional identification with a part. Method acting was extensively developed at the Actors’ Studio in New York City, by Elia Kazan and Lee Strasberg. Some famous “Method” actors include, Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, Daniel Day-Lewis & Dustin Hoffman.
Mickey Rooney: 1. A famous, short actor. 2. In Dolly Grip terminology, this mean “a short creep”, basically a short and slow movement of the camera.
Miniature: Largely replaced by CGI, miniature models was a common way of creating various effects, such as explosions, floods or fires. Although almost completely replaced by CGI, there are still many modern filmmakers that still use this technique to great effect.
Mirror Shot: A cheated shot where the viewers sees the actor from the perspective of a non-existent mirror. In these shots the actor is not actually looking into a mirror and seeing themselves, they are actually looking toward the camera, but reaction as if they are seeing themselves in an imaginary mirror.
Mise en scene: The arrangement of scenery and stage properties in a play.
Montage: A series of shots, usually set to music that builds toward something.
M.O.S.: No sound recorded.
Moviola: A linear editing machine used before modern, computers based, non linear editing was created.
M.O.W.: Movie of the Week – An often low budget movie made for television. Movies of the Week are sometimes based on true events or correspond with a particular time of the year, such as Christmas.