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Term: Motif

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Any element of a film which takes on symbolic significance through systematic repetition. Filmmakers can develop a motif out of almost any film element, for example, gestures, costumes, locations, decoration, props, music, sound effects, colour, lighting and composition. Even aspects of cinematography, i.e. camera distance, camera angle, and focus can also be used to develop motifs, or may take on a character of a motif (i.e. a character being consistently shown from a low angle).

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