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Glossary

FILMMAKING TERMS


Term: Diegetic

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Refers to everything belonging to the fictional world of a film that the characters themselves experience and encounter. The implied world of the story, including its settings, events, sounds, spaces and the characters that inhabit these, as well as many other things, actions, and attitudes that are not explicitly shown in the film but are inferred by the audience as belonging to it are known as the diegesis. In keeping with this, any sound (voice, music or sound effect) that is presented as originating from a source within the film’s world is referred to as diegetic sound. In contrast, background music, a narrator’s commentary or sound effects that do not seem to originate from within the film’s world, is considered to be non-diegetic sound. The audience constructs a diegetic world from the material presented in a narrative film, and all elements that exist outside this diegesis are then labelled as non-diegetic.

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