An iris shot was a technique frequently used in silent films where the black circle of the iris partly masks the frame. More often than not, the iris shot was used to convey the passage of time. It’s similar to a fade-out, fade-in transition.
In some cases, post-silent-era films have employed (or imitated) this technique as an homage to the silent film era. It’s used to make a film sequence appear as though it might have been filmed in the silent film era.« Back to Glossary Index