Video Production Definitions

Video Production Definitions

All digital printing is not created equal.

1 Shot
A shot with one character in the frame.

1080p or 1080i
High-definition (HD) video that has 1080 lines of vertical resolution. When followed by “p”, it refers to progressive scan HD video. When followed by “i”, it refers to interlaced scan HD video.

Refers to the screen ratio used to create a letterbox style frame.

180 Degree Rule
Keeping camera angles on one side of an imaginary line running through the set. Crossing the line can cause confusing discontinuity.

2 Shot
A shot frequently used when two subjects are in a frame. Often framed face-on to one subject with the the back of the second subjects head still in shot.

3 Point Lighting
A common lighting set up featuring three lights; key light, fill light and hair light.

4 Point Lighting
A typical lighting composition using four lights; key light, fill light, hair light and backlight.

4k Resolution
Also known as 4k, refers to a display device or content having horizontal resolution of 4,000 pixels. 4k cameras and displays are becoming increasingly popular.

High-definition (HD) video that has 720 lines of vertical resolution. The “p” refers to progressive scan HD video.

A/V Screenplay Format
Industry script format that splits picture and audio into two columns so that visuals can be described with their corresponding dialog, music, and sound FX displayed side by side. Commonly used for corporate video and commercials.

Active Sharing
A YouTube feature that allows users to see who is watching a video at the same time as them.

Ad Lib
A term which refers to spontaneous or unscripted on screen action. It can refer to both oral and physical action.

Abbreviation for Americans with Disabilities Act. An act regarding the universal accessibility of online video productions.

An Americanism used to refer to the duration of Television programming.

Alpha Compositing
The process of combining an image with a background to create the appearance of partial transparency. An alpha channel is used extensively when combining computer-rendered image elements with live footage.

Ambient Noise
Background sound.

An Amp is an electrical unit of measurement.

A technique for capturing a 16:9 widescreen picture on standard 4:3 aspect ratio camera. Uses an eletronic process or a special lens that squeezes the 16:9 widescreen image into a 4:3 aspect ratio which can be later unsqueezed in postproduction.

Aperture Ring
This is the adjustable ring on a cameras lens that allows for exposure control.

Archival Footage
Archived Footage can refer to Images, Music and Film Clips, which are taken from fair-use Libraries for videos and films.

Aspect Ratio
Aspect Ratio denotes the shape of your image. Typically there are two traditional ratios; 4 : 3 (TV) and 16 : 9 (Widescreen TV).

Assemble Edit
To string together video segments recording each’s audio, video and control tracks.

An Audience is the individuals, communities and social groups you are making your video for.

Authoring Language
A computer programming language designed for producing computer-assisted instruction.

An Internet picture that represents an account, profile or person.

Advanced video coding high definition. A format for recording and playback of HD video onto removable flash media and hard drives. It uses the MPEG-4, H.264 video compression codec.

Audio video interleaved. An audio/video film format used during digital video editing frequently displayed as “.avi.”

This is the imaginary line that is drawn in a scene. This line should always have the camera on one side and the subjects on the other.

This is the leftover footage from each shoot. Also describes ambient shots.

Background Plates
The scenes, photos, or animations that are to be inserted as the background when compositing a greenscreen scene.

A light used in filming traditionally placed behind the subject/character at a top left/top right angle. This set-up helps to separate your subject/character from the background.

Barn Doors
An American term referring to the metal flaps placed on traditional film lights. These Barn Doors help to focus lighting and protect those on set if the light should shatter.

Referring to Colour Bars that are used during filming to check video signals.

Bars and Tone
The industry standard reference tools for adjusting color and audio: SMPTE color bars and one kilohertz audio tone. It’s important to include bars and tone at the beginning of every media card, tape, and every finished project so that editors, projectionists, audio engineers, and other film and TV professionals know how to adjust your color and audio to accurately reproduce what you intended.

A big close-up or extreme close-up frames the head so that the top of frame clips the forehead or hairline and the bottom of frame clips the neck.

This is a script term written in caps to indicate a wait or a PAUSE in the delivery of dialogue. It implies a reaction or some business intervenes between lines of dialogue.

Betacam SP
Broadcast-quality, analog video standard. This format is popular with television stations, but it is slowly being phased out. Betamax is an old home video format. Betacam XS is a digital broadcast Betacam format.

A half-inch cassette standard developed by the Sony Corporation.

An editing term used to refer to footage that won’t make the final cut, but still needs to be kept.

Bit Rate
This a unit of measurement used to assess the transfer of data per unit over time.

The establishing of positions and movements for talent on the set.

Blown Out
This is a typical film term referring to the extreme overexposure of video. If your images are Blown Out they will be irreparable and the footage will be worthless.

A High-definition disc format similar in size and operation to a DVD, but capable of holding eight times the data. Sony and Panasonic support Blu-Ray, while Microsoft and Toshiba support HD DVD.

Blue Screen
A chroma-keying technique where the subject is shot in front of a blue background and that background is replaced during post production.

A commonly used video cable for monitors, projects and other audio/video equipment.

BNC Connector
A Broadcast standard video connector used with coax cable. A Single BNC connector is used for analog video. Multiple BNC connectors carry SDI or serial digital interface video.

Breakaway Cables
This is a sound cable that connects two XLR cables and a headphone extension cable into one cable that connects between a camera and a mixer/microphone.

Broadcast Quality
Video and audio quality standards developed by the National Association of Broadcasters. Frequently used to describe a broadcast camera.

Broadcast-Quality Camera
A high-resolution video camera with three chips for each of the primary colors of light; red, blue, and green. Furthermore, a broadcast-quality camera allows for internal adjustments to achieve the best contrast and color rendition possible.

An online video term referring to the downloading process of a video.

Bus Drive
These are small high-capacity mini-hard drives that are powered by plugging them into a computer via a USB or FireWire cable. Because they don’t require AC power, they are an ideal choice for offloading HD video footage at remote locations and run-and-gun shooting.

A combination video camera and recorder. Camcorders may record on videotape, DVDs, hard drives or flash cards.

Film slang for industry standard headphones.

A web video term referring to subtitles on video.

A term used to refer to the committal of footage to a computer or device in order to begin the editing stage.

Community antenna television, an alternate name for cable distribution.

Closed-circuit TV, or video distribution through receiving sites physically wired to the source.

These letters stand for character generator, the electronic text composing device that is the most downstream device in a television switcher before program. In video post production, a character generator is now integrated with desktop editors.

A segment on a DVD that is used during navigation. Authored DVDs have their glossaries created at specific points to divide the video for easy navigation and interactivity.

Character Generator
A keyboard device used to create letters, numbers, and simple characters in a video form.

A popular brand of lighting used in Interviews.

Chinese Lantern
A white paper lantern that produces a soft warm light.

A small circuit board for processing data. Camcorders have one or three optical chips.

The replacement of part of a video picture with the corresponding part of another shot by punching a “hole” in a picture where a certain color appears. It is used to insert pictures on part of a set backdrop, as commonly seen in news programs, or to place a person in a setting in which he or she is not physically present.

The color level or color saturation.

Close Up
A tightly framed camera shot in which the subject/object on screen dominates the frame.

Closed-Circuit TVA
distribution system using receiving sites physically wired to the source.

CMOS stands for “complementary metal oxide

Coax or Coaxial Cable
A video cable that consists of an inner conductor, an insulating layer, and a conducting shield consisting usually of braided metal. Coax is thicker than shielded audio cables because of the higher frequencies of video. RG59 is a common size for coax cable.

A type of cable used to connect cameras, mixing desks, monitors and other equipment together.

This is a digital system that can compress video files into a smaller, more manageable size for file transferring.

Color Bars
A standard test signal used as a reference when setting up equipment.

Color Temperature
The color of a light source, measured in degrees Kelvin.

Compact Flash Card
Digital media card used by some cameras including the RED camera.

Component Video
Separating primary colors and picture information of a video signal into three cables, usually colored red, green, and blue. This allows for a sharper display of video.

Composite Video
Combining video signal and color into a single cable, usually the yellow RCA-type connector on a monitor, camcorder, or DVD player.

Combining several images together, sometimes using layering, to create a single scene. Chroma-key and green screen are examples of compositing.

The visual makeup of a video frame.

There are two main types of compression; signal compression and data compression.

A piece of equipment used to raise a camera to capture high-angle shots.

Referring to the slow movement of on screen textual

Crop Out
A camera and post production technique used to tighten or recompose a shot that has unwanted images creeping into the frame.

Typically used during audio mixing this term refers to the fade in and fade out of one audio track to another.

Crossing The Line
Also known as the 180-degree rule. Keeping camera angles on one side of an imaginary line running through the set. Crossing the line can cause confusing discontinuity.

The practice of separating sections of video during the editing process.

Cut Away
A filming technique where the camera shoots something other than the central subject of the video.

Cut On Action
To change shots while an action is taking place.

A shot showing a tight close-up of something in the previous shot.

Dead Air
Sections of pure silence during a production.

The unit of measurement for tracking sound levels. Abbreviated as dB.

Depth Of Field
A cinematography term referring to the proportion of area in front or behind a subject/character/object is in/out of focus. Abbreviated as d.o.f

Digital Compositing
The process of digitally assembling multiple images to make a final image. Adobe After Effects, Apple Shake and Autodesk Smoke are digital compositing applications.

Digital File Conversion
Transferring one type of audio/video file to another for the purpose of uploading it to the Internet or making a CD or DVD.

Digital Recording
Audio and video are converted to bits of data. This results in no signal loss when digital copies are made. DVDs are digital, while VHS tape is analog.

Digital Video Editing
Using a computer to perform video editing, the scenes are assembled in the order required.

Digital Video Manipulator
A special-effects device that can control the size and position of a shot.

The transfer of traditional analogue footage to a new digital format.

The key individual in charge of organizing the cinematic filming of a production.

Dirty Track
A low quality track of audio that is not suitable for the final project, but recorded just for reference, so that better quality audio from a separate source can be synched up or recreated in post-production.

Another word for monitor, whether it is a computer monitor or video monitor.

Fading one piece of video into another.

A trade name for a digital video compression format based on the MPEG-4 standard that compresses video into a small file.

A program format documenting a real event rather than creating a scripted one.

A piece of equipment that allows for the camera to roll/move smoothly across a scene.

The practice of using two microphones on a person as a precaution against failure.

Downloadable Video
Video that may be downloaded from a website and stored on a user’s computer. Downloadable video takes longer to start playing than streaming video, but streaming video may not be stored.

This term refers to breaks and missions in the audio, usually caused by a cable short, wireless interference, or power issues that result in no sound being recorded for a few seconds here and there. This can’t be fixed in post.

Short for digital single lens reflex camera, which is a popular form of professional still camera. The “single-lens” part simply means the picture you see in the viewfinder is the actual picture the camera is taking through the lens. The important distinction about these cameras is that they are basically still photo cameras that have added HD video capability. However, they were never meant to be dedicated video cameras so lack some common professional features found even in dedicated prosumer video cameras.

Making copies of DVDs, CDs, or videotapes. The process usually includes verification to confirm that the signals had been properly recorded on the discs or tapes. Frequently, labels and boxes are included with duplication.

Dutch Angle
A typical film technique in which the camera is titled diagonally to express tension, energy or fun.

An abbreviation for Digital Video.

DV Rack
Software used for PCs that record live footage to a hard drive via a laptop.

A popular digital videotape format. It is used in broadcast-quality camcorders and in digital video editing.

Digital versatile disc. Can be used to store video and other kinds of data.

DVD Authoring
The process of creating a custom DVD by dividing a video into glossaries. Chapters are listed in a menu and allow for easy navigation and interactivity.

DVD Video
A DVD disc that has standard video and audio recorded on it. Will play in standard DVD players or a computer.

Connector for HD video display on a monitor. It is similar and compatible with HDMI, but it carries no audio.

Edit Decision List
A printout of desired in-and-out cues of segments to be edited.

Edited Master
The original copy of an edited program.

Combining video shots together in an organized method. Includes addition of voice-over narration, music, titles, graphics, and special effects.

The professional technician who performs video editing, postproduction, photo montages, and digital file conversion.

An abbreviate of Edit Decision List, which refers to the master list of every sound, visual and effect made during editing.

Electronic field production; shooting video generally with one camera out of the studio.

Electronic Editing
Rearranging and “cutting” segments by means of duplication.

YouTube provides a website HTML code for all videos allowing users to copy and paste that code into their websites and blogs to display the video on other platforms.

End Roll
A filming practice where shots are left to record for a few extra seconds after the scene has completed to ensure editing is as easy as possible.

Electronic news gathering; a production style using small portable equipment for high mobility in the field, as pioneered by broadcast news.

To filter an audio track to balance the reproduction of ranges of frequencies.

Equipment Package
An absolute list of the equipment you need to create your video.

Essential Area
The area in the center of a shot that will be reproduced in full by almost any TV monitor.

Establishing Shot
A film technique used to establish the scene, story or genre of a video. Typically a wide or long shot to help viewers take in a location.

Exclusive Rights
The right to use a given work and to prevent anyone else from using it.

Exterior Shot
The practice of filming outside of a building, room or area to provide on screen context. Similar to an Establishing Shot.

External Sync
Sync provided by a generator in common to all

F Stop
Also known as the Aperture, F Stops are the numbers that refer to the size of the holes that let light into a lens.

Fade In
Almost all audio events are faded in and faded out to avoid the snap cut to music or effects at full level. This also permits us to use music cues that do not necessarily correspond to the beginning and end of a piece.

Fade In From Black
All programs begin with this effect that is simply a mix from black to picture. Sometimes you might write in this effect to mark a break in time or sections of a program.

Fade Out
This is the audio cue that most people forget to use. They fade in music or effects and then forget to indicate where the audio event ends. The fade out eases out the sound so that an abrupt cut off or stop does not shock the ear or draw attention to itself.

Fade Out To Black
All programs end with this effect that is a mix from picture to black, the opposite of the fade in from black. Logically, these two fade effects go in pairs.

Fade Under
Fading an audio event such as music under is necessary when you want the event to continue but not compete with a new event that will mix from another track – typically dialogue to commentary. Be clear that these decisions are largely made by audio mixers and editors. Nevertheless, you should know these terms for the rare occasion when you need to lock in a specific audio idea in your script.

Fade Under
Fading an audio event such as music under is necessary when you want the event to continue but not compete with a new event that will mix from another track – typically dialogue to commentary. Be clear that these decisions are largely made by audio mixers and editors. Nevertheless, you should know these terms for the rare occasion when you need to lock in a specific audio idea in your script.

Fast Lens
A fast lens refers to a lens that is capable of opening to a very low f-stop, generally lower than 2.8, and therefore let’s more light into the lens. Fast lenses can better handle low-light shooting situations and are generally more versatile and faster to shoot with, since you have less lighting hassles and can use filters more freely. Naturally, fast lenses are more expensive than other lens.

Referring to when video or audio is fed to another source or location to another.

Any place not in the studio.

The thin spring that glows to produce light inside a bulb.

File-Based Editing
Instead of videotape, editing is done using file-based media such as a hard drive, optical disc, or solid-state storage.

Fill Light
A light that aims to boost the lighting level on set to erase

Firewire 400/800 (IEEE 1394/iLink)
These are super quick connections for transferring video data to or from a camera, computer or hard drive.

First Generation
An original recording, not a copy.

Flash Video
A Macromedia codec used to allow the playback of digital web video productions on websites.

Flashback/Flash Forward
These terms refer to a narrative device that both writers and editors use to manage the relationship of different moments in a dramatic story.

A Flood is used to widen a beam of light to make it less intrusive in the frame.

Rack-mounted video production equipment encased in a shipping case that is approved for airline shipping.

Follow Focus
Controlling lens focus to maintain image clarity throughout a scene.

Refers to the type of video you are shooting as expressed by vertical pixels and frame rate, typically in terms such as 1080/60i or 720/24p. May also be more generally referred to as “standard definition” or “high definition” as determined by the lines of vertical resolution.

Frame Rate
Refers to the number of frames of video you are shooting each second. Frame rates are usually shown in camera specs followed by a designation of “p” for progressive or “i” for interlaced scanning. Typical frame rate specs are expressed in terms such as 24p, 30p, and 60i.

A term to describe the highest precision in video editing. A frame is 1/30 of a second, and it is the smallest measurement of time in a video or audio recording.

The composition of a filming shot.

Gaffer’s Tape
Film industry tape, which is easy to rip for editing, yet still very strong.

A term used to denote audio and video levels. Audio gain refers to volume and Video gain refers to image brightness.

Commonly used within lighting gels are transparent sheets of material used to color light.

To be “driven by” or accept the sync of another piece of equipment.

An abbreviation for Graphic Effects.

A picture problem.

a) Any artificial on screen animation, typically consisting of infographics, maps, statistics, images etc.
b) This refers to content created either as flat artwork, or more usually, a computer generated frame, with or without animation, in either 2-D or 3-D.

Green Screen
A chroma-keying technique where the subject is shot in front of a green background and that background is replaced during postproduction.

A format that is typically used when compressing video.

Hair Light
A light used in filming traditionally placed behind the subject/character at a top left/top right angle focused towards the hair.

The abbreviation of High Definition.

Hard drive disk. The hard drive in a computer to an external hard drive for a computer or video camera.

Abbreviation for High Definition Multi Interface, which refers to a connection that allows the convergence between video devices and monitors.

High-definition television. Sharper than standard definition, it displays up to 10,50 lines of resolution.

A type of high-definition video that is popular with camcorders.

Head Room
A film term referring to the space between a subjects head and the top of the frame.

High Angle
A high angle means pointing the camera lens down to an object or a person.

A cinematic term referring to when a subject is overexposed by intense lighting.

A tag of Hypertext Markup Language that adds support for embedding video in an HTML page. This is an alternative to Adobe Flash.

HTML5 Video
An element of HTML5 that allows for video playback within websites.

The tint of color.

I/O Input/output
Refers to connectors and cables going between teh computer and AV devices. In computing, I/O also refers to the communication between an information processing system and its user.

IEEE 1359
A digital cable and connector that handles audio, video, and other information between computers, camcorders, and other digital devices. Also known as FireWire.

Interruptible feedback. Intercom used for remote broadcasting. Usually includes earpieces that the host and guest wear to hear both each other and the director.

Imagine magnification. Frequently used at conferences and conventions, a camera video output is connected to a data projector to project a live image onto a projection screen.

In Player Ads
These are online video advertisements that play during the beginning and at intervals during web video content.

In Point
The very start of a time code for a shot/edit.

In Video Ads
YouTube’s advertising system that plays video ads within their web videos.

The beginning of a given portion of tape.

A light that passes electricity through a filament that heats up inside the vacuum of a bulb to provide light.

Insert Edit
To drop in video and/or audio segments on a tape that already has a control track.

Instructional DVD
Unlike a training video, an instructional DVD is marketed to the general public or to a special interest group. Instructional DVDs include how-to videos.

A term referring to the quantity of light.

Interactive Video
A video style in which the viewer must actively participate in the video and in which the presentation may vary depending upon the viewer’s responses.

Refers to how a video picture is captured or displayed. Interlaced scanning skips every other vertical row of pictures – making one pass on the odd-numbered pixel rows (1, 3, 5, etc.) and then a second pass on the even-numbered pixel rows (2, 4 , 6, etc.) and alternating between these two half images known as video “fields” to form a single interlaced frame of video. Interlaced video is not as detailed and smooth as progressive video.

A mechanical arm which balances a camera on one end and a counterweight (with camera controls) on the other.

Joint photographic experts group. JPEG is the most popular compression technique for still photos.

Jump Cuts
These are cuts made in the editing process where shots of the same subject are cut together, but filmed from different angles.

Jump-Cut Style Shooting
Videos that consists of rapid manual zooming to switch composition from a wide shot to a close-up, or vice-versa, during a scene.

Ken Burns Effect
A popular visual effect for animating digital still photos that smoothly pans, zooms in, zooms out and otherwise adds life by performing digital “camera moves” on simple still photos.

Key Light
The main light source.

A popular brand of fluorescent lighting used during filming.

Lavaliere (Lav) Microphone
A small mic designed to be worn close to the body.

Refers to the on-screen effect created by shooting video in a 16:9 Aspect Ratio.

Live Shot
A video sequence captured completely live.

A real environment you are filming in such as public places, an office or a home.

Location Release
A legal agreement between location owner and filmmaker that allows a filmmaker to shoot within a specific location.

Lock Down
Secures a tripods pan and tilt functions to maintain smooth footage.

Log Sheet
A form used to make notes about locations, scenes and footage for each day of filming. These often include time codes, and overall opinion on the shots.

The process of going through your footage to note the start time code, contents and other information necessary for locating scenes and making decisions during editing.

Long Shot
This is a camera view that shows a broad location perspective.

Footage that is shot to appear as if it was captured live.

Lossless Data Compression
A compression technique that allows the original data to be reconstructed when uncompressed. This is in contrast to lossy data compression, where only an approximation of the original data is available.

Lossy Data Compression
Compression used to minimize bit rate for editing and processing. Video can sometimes be compresses 100:1 without noticeable quality loss. Audio can be compressed 10:1 before noticing loss.

Low Angle
A shot taken from a camera close to the ground aiming up at a subject.

Low-Light-Level Gain
A boost of sensitivity for a camera when operating in dim surroundings.

This stands for long shot. A long shot should include the whole human figure from head to foot so that this figure or figures are featured rather than the background.

Magic Lantern
Third-party firmware that can be installed on some models of DSLR cameras to add some basic video camera features such as zebra stripes, audio meters, etc.

Referring to the primary copy of footage.

Master Scene Script
The standard form of the screenplay for feature film is sometimes referred to by this name because each scene is usually the description of an action from which a master shot will come.

Master Shot
This is the camera shot that captures the whole scene and its dialogue in one single take. The standard practice of directors is to shoot a master and then cover it with other angles of the same action and with cutaways.

Matte Box
A box-like apparatus that mounts onto the front of a camera lens used to avoid unwanted lens flare from the sun and artificial lights. Matte boxes also allow you to mount multiple filters on the front of the lens.

Shorthand for “medium close-up”. Basically a shot from the shoulders up.

Medium Close Up
A shot framed from the shoulders up. Abbreviated as MCU.

Medium Shot
Defines the difference between long shot and close-up typically framing a subject from the waist

The opening screen of an authored DVD that shows the glossarys. Frequently the glossarys are shown as thumbnails.

Meta Data
This is the data about your data. For example for videos on a site like YouTube Meta Data is the title, description, thumbnail, and tags.

This refers to a computer generated effect that makes one shape or object metamorphose into, or transitio to, anotehr object unlike the first. For example, a human face changes into an animal face.

Motion Effects
During editing and postproduction, still images can be made to move or look like the camera is zooming, panning, or tilting movements.

The file format used by QuickTime for compressing audio and video for computer and Internet displays.

The most popular method of compressing audio and video for computer and Internet displays.

Moving Picture Experts Group. Standards for compressing video for recording on discs, hard drives, and the Internet.

The standard for video CDs and audio MP3 compression.

The standard for video DVD compression, high-definition compression for camcorders.

A digital video compression format sometimes referred to as advanced video coding, or AVC. MPEG-4 is frequently used for compressing video for solid-state devices such as mobile phones and iPods.

ND Gel
A clear grey lighting gel used to lower the intensity of lighting.

Short for “nonlinear editors.” Final Cut Pro, Avid, Premiere, and iMovie are all NLEs.

Disruptive camera noise caused by video static, gain, digital zoom and other electronic functions.

Non-Linear Editing
The ability a modern day editors has to access digital footage on a computer or device and piece together a production (in particular different scenes) in any order they wish.

Nose Room
The distance between a subject and the edge of the frame.

National Television Standards Commission. The video system used in the United States and Japan.

Off-Line Editing
Editing using inexpensive systems, allowing you to do “striaght” editing only without special effects or without the control of a computer interface.

On-Disc Printing
Rather than use paper labels, discs with an inkjet printable surface allow label art to be printed directly on the disc.

On-Line Editing
Editing using VTR’s with a computer interface, or with studio-type mixing and switching equipment.

A term used to mean that a particular device is “live” or its output is being recorded or broadcast. Also called on-line.

Opening Up The Lens
This practice refers to the altering of the camera’s aperture to allow more light to enter the lens.

Over the shoulder. Camera is placed behind the interviewer and is focused on the interviewee. Sometimes the back of the shoulder and side of the head of the interviewer are visible in the frame.

Out Point
The end time code of a shot or edit.

The end of a given portion of tape.

Over Modulate
Referring to the distortion typically caused by having high levels of audio or video. Over Modulation cannot be fixed in post-production.

Over The Shoulder Shot
The view of the primary subject with the back of another person’s shoulder and head in the foreground.

An occupation term referring to a Production Assistant.

Phase Alternate Line. The video system used in Europe and other countries. PAL videotapes and discs need to be converted to NTSC for viewing the United States.

Horizontal camera pivot, right to left or left to right from a stationary position.

The little red, green, and blue microdots that make up the image on a TV or monitor screen. The more pixels there are, the sharper and clearer the picture will be.

Streaming video or audio that is regularly scheduled in a similar way as a radio or television broadcast.

Point Of View Shot
Shot perspective whereby the video camera assumes a subject’s viewpoint.

Post Production
Refers to all the activities that follow shooting such as editing, post-syncing, music, recording, titling, and

Pre Production
The planning and overall preparation that occurs before you begin filming.

Pre Roll
The wise practice of starting to record a few seconds before a take begins.

Refers to how a video picture is captured or displayed. Progressive video scanning goes straight down the vertical rows of pixels to form a complete picture on each frame of video. Progressive cameras and TVs have smoother, more film-like images.

Progressive Scanning
A method for displaying, storing, or transmitting moving images in which all the lines of each frame are drawn in sequence.

Promoted Videos
An AdWords campaign for videos on YouTube, where advertisers pay to have their video placed highly in search rankings.

The generic term for the popular brand TelePrompTer.Prompters display the script for the talent to read. The text is displayed onto a clear glass panel that may be placed in front of the camera lens.

ProRes 442
An intraframe-only codec that is part of Apple Final Cut Studio. Designed for lossy compression of HD, it is designed to be simpler to decode than distribution-oriented formats such as H.264. It is comparable to Avid’s DNxHD codec, which has the same purpose and uses similar bit rates.

A cross between consumer and professional equipment. Frequently used to distinguish a three-chip camcorder from a consumer, single-chip camcorder.

Pull Focus/Rack Focus
Racking focus, also known as pulling focus, refers to a deliberate change of focus executed by twisting the focus ring on the barrel of a lens. This technique is typically used to shift attention from one character to another when they are speaking.

Quick Time
A computer program from Apple that allows audio/video to be displayed on home and office computers. The file extension is .mov.

Rack Focus
Shifting focus between subjects in the background and foreground.

Very common yellow, white and red cables used with video equipment; yellow = video, white = left and red = right.

Refresh Rate
The number of times per second an image is scanned on a screen to form the picture. This number is measured in units called Hertz (Hz). A screen with a 60Hz refresh rate scans the image on-screen 60 times per scound to form an image.

The size of the image in pixels. In camera and TV specs, resolution is listed as the number of horizontol pixels x vertical pixels. For HD, there are usually 1080 or 720 vertical pixels.

Reverse Shot
Capturing the same action at different angles to show a counter viewpoint.

The abbreviation for Radio Frequency.

Rough Cut
The first edit of a video production.

Rule of Thirds
A composition rule for framing shots whereby the camera is divided into thirds horizontally and vertically to form a noughts and crosses pattern. Subjects should be framed at the intersection of any two or more lines.

Run and Gun
An American phrase referring to the Guerrilla style shooting that occurs in hectic, unpredictable filming locations.

Safe Title Area
On a video monitor, the center 80% of the picture within which text should be limited. Some playback monitors cut off the edges of the text, so a safe title area is used when creating text during postproduction.

S Video
A analogue cable used to transmit high quality video signals between cameras and monitors.

Safe Title Area
On a video monitor, the center 80% of the picture within which text should be limited. Some playback monitors cut off the edges of the text, so a safe title area is used when creating text during postproduction.

Safety Training Video
A video or DVD that shows exact procedures for security or safety training. Rather than read a manual, employees learn from the video, which is the next best thing to a live class.

The depth or richness of a color.

Scan Converter
A device that converts one video standard to another.

Scanning Area
The area of a shot actually scanned or reproduced by the camera.

Metal fixtures used to adjust light intensity. Typically in a full or half circle shape.

The audio and video plan or directions for a program word-for-word and shot-for-shot.

Small, relatively cheap reusable flash media cards used to record audio and video. Common in most consumer and prosumer video cameras.

A video standards used in France and several other countries.

The visual journey from the transition of one video sequence to another.

Segue To
This term means to cross fade two audio events. It is the audio equivalent of the video mix. You do not need to write this into the audio side of a script every time you use a mix to transition. It is understood by all involved that one goes with the other.

The merging of shots from a particular scene to create a seamless streamed video segment.

This is a convenient abbreviation for sound effects. Instead of describing a thunderstorm and the sound of thunder at length, it is sufficient to write – SFX thunder. In postproduction, whoever assumes responsibility for the audio tracks will pull a stock effect from a bank of effects on a CD-ROM, or audio tape. A sound effect is anything other than speech or music.

Shooting Ratio
The ratio of total tape shot that actually gets used in the final production.

A shot describes the way a lens produces an image. It frames the subject in the viewfinder and is usually defined in two dimensions by how much or little of the human figure is included in the frame. It also has a third dimension that is defined by the foreground and background in the frame. The shot is the basic unit of narrative for the camera and for the director who shoots the movie.

Shot Sheet
A rundown of shots in sequence for a given camera for a studio taping.

An alternative name for hypercardioid mics that have a very narrow pick-up pattern, focusing on sound from one direction.

A Shotlist works the same as a Log Sheet.

Shoulder Graphic
An on-screen graphic places above a subjects shoulder.

Shutter Speed
Refers to the amount of time the camera’s shutter stays open to expose each frame of video.

Signal-To-Noise Ratio
The ratio of a desired signal to an unwanted signal (static or noise).

This is a device used to sync pictures and sound as well as mark particular scenes and takes recorded during production.

Text that is edited into a project as a note or reminder for those working in post-production, projection or broadcast usually to denote things such as titles, audio tracks used, or unfinished elements.

Slug Line
A slug line is the accepted convention for summarizing the technical information that defines the place and time of a scene.

Unwanted light that is infiltrating any aspect of your scene other than the targeted area.

Spill Light
Any excess, unwanted, or uncontrolled light that appears in shot.

The act of adjusting a light’s spot or flood control so the light is at its narrowest, most intense beam.

Solid state drive. These are hard drives that use flash memory similar to P2 and SxS cards. They have no moving parts, so they are sturdier and not as susceptible to the malfunctions that can occur with hard disk drives which have spinning disks.

Staging Area
An area set aside on a set or location for a department to exclusively use as homebase to store and set-up all their equipment and supplies.

Standard Definition
Standard video that is currently used on DVDs and VHs tapes. It is limited to approximately 480 lines of resolution. High definition goes up to 10,080 lines.

A camera-stabilizing device used to get smooth fluid handheld camera shots.

To go through a program frame by frame.

An alternative word used for Tripods.

The capturing and playback of a single video frame to stop or “freeze” action.

Refers to stationary images such as photographs or paused video.

Stock Footage
This is any footage that wasn’t originally shot for your video production.

Stopping Down
The act of making a shot darker by closing the lens aperture.

A script complete with pictures representing each shot.

This term has two meanings; the stream of data which is transmitted over a network to allow for the play back of a video and it also refers to watching streams that other YouTube users are watching.

Streaming Video
Video that may be viewed from a website but not stored on the user’s computer. Streaming videos usually start playing faster than downloadable videos.

The abbreviation of Superimpose, often used to refer to the editing of images on screen.

Sync Track
A track on a tape of control pulses used to stabilize playback of the tape.

A piece of Meta Data used to help users find video content.

A Take is the footage shot from when you press Record on a camera to when you Press stop.

A device that displays the script to the talent as a prompt during taping.

The small picture that represents your entire online video.

Connecting to an existing sound system, such as those found in auditoriums or meeting rooms. A tie-in allows the videographer to get high-quality sound from the microphones in that room.

Time Code
A digital signal recorded as a track on a DV tape that maintains consistent playback by digitally marketing the time and tape position in seconds and frames.

Time Code Break
The common anomaly that can occur when there is an error in recording that results in the time code track not recording.

Time-Base Corrector
A device that corrects minor electronic errors on a prerecorded tape.

The presentation, compressed into a short segment, of events that took place over a long period of time.

A Non-Linear Editing term used to refer to the rough outline of the completed production so far during the editing process.

Text on the video screen; sometimes referred to as character generator.

Touch Screen
A video screen that viewers can touch in various areas to register their responses.

Lateral video camera movement that travels with a moving subject.

The written, recorded script of any word-for-word audio.

The practice of moving a camera into or out of a shot on wheels instead of using the cameras zoom function.

A type of lighting that has a filament that results in an orange glow.

Two Shot
A camera view that includes two subjects.

USB Drives
Also known as “thumb drives”, these are popular, sturdy flash media storage devices a little bigger than a pen cap that plug into a computer’s USB port. USB stands for “Universal Serial Bus”.

An abbreviation of Universal Serial Bus. This refers to data cables and connectors that are used to connect digital equipment to cameras, computers and hard drives.

Video cassette recorder. An old video recording device.

Short for visual effects.

Video Blog
Often called a Vlog, a Video Blog is a type of video that acts as a visual representation traditional written blogs.

Video Production
The process of planning, videotaping, editing, and other procedures to come up with a finished video or DVD.

The small monitor on a camera giving the cameraperson the image of what is being shot.

A special effect that shows images through shaped hole.

Visual FX
General term used to describe a wide array of special effects accomplished using comptuer software such as Adobe After Effects or Aplle’s Motion. Spinning metallic text, muzzle fire added for a fake gun, or digital snow are all examples of common visual FX.

Very long shot. There is no precise definition about what is very long other than that it should include the whole human figure, the whole action, and a good view of the background.

Voice Over
Refers to the audio that is presented over images or video from a subject who is typically not present in the images/video themselves.

Another word for a rehearsal, practice or Dry Run.

Whip Pan
A rapid pan movement that often blurs the image.

Whip Zoom
A quick manual zoom move in or out that’s so fast that it causes the image to blur in the middle of the move until the lens rests on the final shot. This movie is common in reality, sports, music videos and other high energy productions.

White Balance
A camera function that adjusts your image to the correct colour temperature.

White Cards
Pure white card use as a reference to set a camera’s white balance.

Wide Angle
This term is somewhat loose. It generally means a long shot or an establishing shot that shows the whole scene.

Window Dub
A copy of a master video, usually on DVD, where the time code numbers are displayed in a window on the monitor.

Wireless Microphone
A microphone that does not need a cord. Usually it consists of a clip-on microphone attached to a small belt pack transmitter. At the camera is the receiver portion of the system.

A commonly used high quality cable that is used for professional sound applications.

Zebra Stripes
These are the vibrating diagonal stripes that are superimposed on the overexposed parts of the image on a view finder or LCD screen to help filmmakers judge exposure.

This is the variance of focal length from wide-angle to telephoto focus on video cameras to allow for a zoom in or zoom out of a frame.

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