Video production glossary

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Working with video geeks can sometimes feel like learning a new language. We've created a glossary of some of the most used terms in video production to help you.



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.

4:4:2 (and 4:4:4)
Chroma sampling rates. 4:4:4 means that the colour and luminance components of the picture are sampled at the same rate, as is performed in cinematic postproduction. With 4:2:2, the two chroma components are sampled at half the rate of the luminance components; this reduces bandwidth by one-third with little or no visible difference.

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.

The abbreviation for Alternating Current.

Your ability to get up close and inside the world of your subject. This is the golden ticket to film making.

An Internet video term referring to online video websites that have a Sign Up function for users to upload their video content.

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

The abbreviation for Assistant Director. A film position similar to that of a production assistant.

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.

Abbreviation of the term Additional Dialogue Recording.

Advance Organizer
A preview of a program's content designed to ready the viewer for the information to follow.

The American Federation of TV and Radio Artists.

Abbreviation of the term Auto Gain Control. This is a camera feature, which allows filmmakers to automatically adjust their sound levels.

An Aircheck refers to the recording of a program in order to log or screen material.

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.

The traditional name for a liaison who communicates between film crew and the area/community/culture they wish to film.

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.

A YouTube tool that allows users to place plain-text notes and web video links into their YouTube videos.

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

An Approach refers to how a story, documentary or narrative is told on screen.

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

Abbreviation for Advertising Standards Authority.

The American Federation of TV and Radio Artists.

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.

Assignment Editor
A cinematic role referring to a production job similar to that of a Print Editor.

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

Audio Swap
A YouTube function that allows users to add music to their video from YouTube’s music library.

Augmented Reality
A new way of engaging with digital content where interactive, digital content can be accessed and viewing through real life objects in the real world.

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

A production tool used to provide a script on set for subjects to read.

Autogain Control
Commonly abbreviated as "AGC". This is a camera feature that automatically adjusts sound levels for you.

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."

An editing suite provider.

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.

Back Links
These are website links for your own website that are found on sites other than your own.

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.

An American TV slang term used to refer to stock footage that can be played at any time.

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 colour and audio: SMPTE colour 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 colour and audio to accurately reproduce what you intended.

The swapping or exchange of goods or services "in kind" rather than for cash.

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.

To distribute programs by sending them to a succession of locations.

A price quoted for an object or service.

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.

Blackwrap is heavy-duty aluminium foil coated in a heat-resistant black paint. This is a typical tool of the lighting trade used to control the direction and exposure of light on set.

Blended SERP
This refers to the introduction of Google’s Universal Search in 2007 whereby images, videos, local businesses and news stories appear alongside traditional search results when a user searches for a particular query.

Referring to the A and B Blocks of prioritised footage in broadcasting.

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.

Broadcast Music, Inc.

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.

A background so out of focus that it appears to be soft and cloudlike. Very narrow depth of field to draw attention to the main subject. It is obtained when using a digital still camera for video or when using a neutral density filter.

A program style in which viewers are presented with or "branched to" different segments of the program, depending upon their responses.

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 colours of light; red, blue, and green. Furthermore, a broadcast-quality camera allows for itnernal adjustments to achieve the best contrast and colour rendition possible.

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

A dub onto a smaller-format tape.

A dub onto a larger-format tape.

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.


C 47s
C 47s are merely wooden pins used to keep in place lighting gels.

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 an Internet video.

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

A YouTube term used for putting web videos into specific genre areas.

Community antenna television, an alternate name for cable distribution.

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

Compact disc digital audio, The standard digital music CD format that is playable on all CD players.

An abbreviation for Content Delivery Network. This is where numerous computer systems are linked up to carry the same data at different nodes to improve their overall performance.

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

A term YouTube use to refer to user Profiles.

A segment on a DVD that is used during navigation. Authored DVDs have their glossarys 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.

Character Studies
Referring to a type of video in which the story is told through one key character.

A funding scheme in which a department runs on fees charged for its services.

Traditional filming term referring to moving a member of the film crew to a new position to capture a better shot.

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.

Chroma Subsampling
Applying more compression to the chrominance portion of the signal than to the luminance. Humans process luminance with more precision than chrominance. There is no perceptible loss by compressing chrominance at a higher level than the luminance portion of the signal.

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 colour 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 colour level or colour saturation.

Circuit Breaker
An automatically operated switch created to protect electrical circuits from damage.

Clapper Board
A filmmaking essential used to mark the beginning or end of a film take (traditionally containing scene information). The Clapper Board also helps to sync visuals to sound.

The person requesting a service; the customer.

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

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

Cloud Computing
Internet-based shared computing. Video and other IT resources may be shared. Cloud computing customers do not own the infrastructure but rather pay for it on a per-use basis, similar to paying for traditional utility services, such as electricity.

CMOS stands for "complementary metal oxide semiconductor."

A sarcastic name for a disc that will not play. It could be used as a coaster for drinks.

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.

Navigation of Internet pages by two or more users. Some cobrowsing tools offer synchronized playback of video with start, pause and stop functionality.

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

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

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

A YouTube function where users can respond to other online videos via text.

Community Constituency
The audience or community that is to be served.

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

Company News Program
A program following the broadcast journalism format containing news of a particular organization produced by and for that organization.

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

Composite Video
Combining video signal and colour 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 good example of such compression are formats such as MP3.

The first formal document you create in the script writing process is called a concept. Whatever you call it, concept or outline, its function is the same, namely, to set down in writing the key ideas and vision of the program. This document is written in conventional prose. There is no special format for it. It does not cover all the plat or content; nor does it include dialogue or voice narration. It is primarily an idea in a nutshell from which the script in all its detail will grow.

A private one-to-one film segment between one camera and one subject/character.

Constructed Answer
A "fill-in-the-blank" answer that must be remembered and spelled out rather than just selected from a list.

A person who offers information and advice in a particular field.

Content Expert
The subject-matter expert versed in the content of a program

Content Verification Program
YouTube’s own tool that allows copyright owners to easily find video materials that are infringing on their rights.

An emergency pot of money built into your budget. Contingency usually makes up 15% of your overall budget.

The illusion of continuous action, even when segments are edited together that were recorded at different times.

Control Pulses
Electronic pulses used to synchronize and control video play-back; these can be counted by an editing interface in order to identify relative places on tape.

Control Room
An aera that contains audio and video controls, such as a mixer and switcher for a TV studio.

Control Track
An essential track of electronic pulses that maintain continuous Time Codes for your production to ensure the editing process is as easy as possible.

A cut out pattern typically created from Blackwrap to cast creative lighting on the background of a scene.

A "patent" on an original work.

An assessment of the benefits versus the cost of something.

Counter Numbers
A revolving number scale, indicating revolutions of a tape, used to roughly index section of a tape on a playback unit.

A director must shoot the same scene from several angles so that action and dialogue are repeated in different camera angles in order for the editor to create continuity from shot to shot within a scene. Without cover, a scene cannot be edited.

Craft Services
This refers to the catering services available on a film shoot, but on a smaller basis i.e. drinks and snacks.

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

Referring to the slow movement of on screen textual graphics across a shot.

Criterion Test
A test measuring specific criteria or objectives used to evaluate the success of a program.

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.

Abbreviation of Colour Temperature Blue, which refers to a lighting gel used to cast a natural ‘daylight’ glow on scenes.

Abbreviate of Colour Temperate Orange, which refers to a lighting gel used to cast a warm ‘indoor’ glow on scenes.

A close-up frames the head and shoulders leaving head room above the head. A close-up is about detail.

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.


A Daily is the review of the days footage. This is very important when you have limited time at locations or have a large amount of footage in your production.

Unlike a video DVD or audio CD that plays on a standard machine, a data DVD or CD is designed to store AV files in a computer format. Data discs such as these are used for further editing or for Internet uploading.

Dead Air
Sections of pure silence during a production.

Dead Cat
An American slang term referring to the faux fur coverings used to block ambient noise from Boom Mics.

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

Dedicated Microprocessor
A device that has a single purpose, designed specifically for producing or playing back interactive video programs.

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

Directors Guild of America.

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.

Dimmer Box
An electrical dial used to control the brightness of a lighting setup.

The key individual in charge of organising 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 in which actual events are re-created or dramatized.

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.

Double System Audio
Audio that is recorded with a separate audio recorder apart from the camera. When shooting double system, the audio is synched up with the picture by using a clapper slate, so the sound of the clap can be aligned with physical clap seen on camera. It is also common when shooting video to record a "dirty" reference track with a camera mic to assist with synching.

Double Take
Like many comic devices, the double take is a compact with the audience. The character takes an extra long time to react to a put down or before delivering a reply. Although it can be an acting technique, it is also very much a comic effect that can be written into a script. It needs the right line or situation with an indication in the script. You do this by writing pause, beat, or even double take.

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.

Dramatic Readings
This is a narrative convention used by actors/subjects to bring to life letters, diaries and documents.

Dramatic Zoom
A cinematography technique whereby the camera zooms in or out slowly to emphasis the onscreen events.

The abbreviation for Digital Rights Management. This refers to the copyright restriction of digital content.

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.

Dry Run
A typical practice or rehearsal of a particular scene in a production.

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.

A re-recording of a section of audio or video.

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 RackSoftware used for PCs that record live footage to a hard drive via a laptop.
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 glossarys. 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.

Transitions between shots have become so numerous because of the advent of DVE's or digital video effects in computer based editors and mixers that it would be impossible to list the dozens of different patterns and effects. Once again, this is the province of postproduction unless you have a very strong reason to incorporate a specific visual effect into your script.

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.

Editing Controller
A device that controls VTR's during the editing process; editing interface.

Editing Script
A script marked up with location numbers of each segment on the raw fotoage for expediency in assembling the final program.

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.

Referring to Special Effects, which can often be found abbreviated as FX.

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.

Enterprise WAN
Enterprise wide area network. The network links corporate offices from different locations.

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.

Executive Producer
The senior editor on a video production.

This is the standard abbreviation for exterior used in the slug line of a script.

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 the cameras and VTR's in a system.

The imaginary line that goes from athe lens of a camera len to the eyes of a subject.


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 hte event to continue but not compete with a new event that will mix from another track - typically dialogue ro 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 lwens 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.

Featured Videos
A section of YouTube which displays particularly popular or Partner videos.

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, otpical disc, or solid-state storage.

Fill Light
A light that aims to boost the lighting level on set to erase any shadows and improve the visibility of the frame.

Film Chain
A video camera, slide projector, and film projector in a unit designed to transfer film images to video.

Film-Style Shooting
Shooting with one portable camera.

Final Draft Script
It is the final document that incorporates all the revisions and input of the client or producer and all the improvements and finishing tocuhes that a writer gives to the writing job even when not explicitly asked for. A script writer, like all writers, looks at his work with a critical eye and seeks cosntant improvement. This document should mark the end of the writer's task and the completion of any contractual arrangement.

A brand of battery powered camera-mountable hard drives that capture live video.

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 Draft Script
It is the initial attempt to transpose the content of the treatment into a screenplay or script format appropriate to the medium. This is the cross-over from prose writing to script writing in which all the special conventions of camera and scene description are used. The layout of the page serves the special job of communicating action, camera angles, and audio to a production team. It is the idea of the program formulated as a blueprint for production. The producer, the client, and the director get their first chance to read a total account for every scene from beginning to end.

First Generation
An original recording, not a copy.

A boom for holding a shotgun microphone. The boom may be extended and is usually held by a soudn technician.

Referring to a Flash Player that is used by a Adobe System to stream online video content.

Flash Frame
Frames that transition so fast they can almost go completely unnoticed during a production.

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.

Flickr provides both private and public image storage. A user uploading an image can set privacy controls that determine who can view the image. A photo can be flagged as either public or private.

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

Fluorescent Light
A tubular mercury-vapour light that use a ballast to regulate the flow of power. These are used in professional film productions.

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.

A character set or alphabet style.

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.

Formative Evaluation
Assessment that takes place during the development and production process, used for "midcourse" feedback and correction.

Frame Line
An imaginary line that marks the top of a framed shot.

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.

Frame Within A Frame
A cinematography technique whereby a doorway or window is used to create a second frame within the shot.

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.

Slang term for DSLR cameras that have been outfitted with all the third-party accessories necessary to make them fully function for professional video shooting. Includes any combination of support rods, a field monitor, follow focus, audio recording device, matte box, and more.

French Flag
A shade that mounts above the lens to help keep light out of the lens. It looks like a single barn door.


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 colour light.

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

An abbreviation for Graphic Effects.

A picture problem.

Google Video
Google’s original video hosting service.

Google Video
Sometimes known as YouTube videos, but Google's search engine will display videos from any website.

A group of successive pictures within a coded video stream. Each coded video stream consists of successive GOPs. From the pictures contained in it, the visible framesare generated. The GOP is composed of I-frames, which are the least compressible but don't require other video frames to decode; P-frames, which use data from previous frames to decompress and are more compressible than I-framkes; and B-frames, which can use both previous and forward frames for data reference to get the highest amount of data compression.

An allocation of money awarded competitively for a particular project.

Any artificial on screen animation, typically consisting of infograpgics, maps, statistics, images etc.

This refers to content created either as flat artowkr, or more usually, a computer generated frame, with or without animation, in eitehr 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 focussed towards the hair.

Hard Copy
A printed document.

The abbreviation of High Definition.

Hard drive disk. The hard drive in a compter ro 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.

A point of origin for cable distribution.

Helical Scan
The way that most videotape by the head.

High Angle
A high angle means poiting 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 colour.

A leading online aggregator of Internet video content. Founded in March 2007.


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.

International Association of Theatrical and Stage Employees.

IEEE 1359
A digital cable and connector that handles audio, video, and other informaton 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.

A Mac software used for editing digital video.

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.

Within the organization; owned by the parent company.

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

Industrial Quality
A grade of video equipment not meeting the specifications of broadcast gear, but better than consumer-type home units.

Industrial Video
Nonbroadcast video produced by an organization for instructional/informational use.

The process of capturing video onto a computer.

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

Insert Stage
A small studio used for simple recording of voice or picture inserts.

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.

Insurance Certificate
This is a representation of the insurance policy that covers a particular project or production company.

This is the standard abbreviation for interior used in the slug line of a script.

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.

Intersersing segmetns of several taped sequences to consolidate content and provide visual variety.

Interface Card
A circuit board inserted in a computer so that it can interface with a videotape or disc player.

Compression using interframe prediction. This kind of prediction tries to take advantage of the redundancy between neighbouring frames to achieve high compression rates with minimal loss.

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.

Interlaced Scanning
To economise bandwidth for CRT monitors, lines of video are recorded as separate fields of odd lines followed by scans of the even lines. Sometimes still frames in interlace scanning produce a flicker. Progressive scanning produces sharper images but requires greater bandwidth.

Internal Sync
Synchronizing pulses supplied by an individual piece of hardware.

Interview Subjects
Individuals who will be interviewed for your project.

The organization's internal website, but may be a more extensive part of the organization's information technology infrastructure.

The operating system brought forth by the iPhone from Apple.

IP Address
The number given to individuals computers in a network.

Internet protocol television.

Integrated Services Digital Network. A set of communications standards for simultaneous digital transmission of voice, video, data, and other network services over the traditional circuits of the public switched telephone network.

An abbreviation for Internet Service Provider.

Informational technology. The department in an organization that manages computer-based information systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware.

Instructional Television Fixed Service; a distribution technology using a special band of frequencies set aside for educational narrowcasting.


Jam Sync
Jamming sync is the act of using SMPTE time code generating device to send continuous matching free run timecode to one or multiple cameras or recorders. Time code is fed from one device to a second, which then syncs up to primary devices time code so they are exactly the same. The time code generating device may be an electronic smart slate, time code generator or other video or audio recording device capable of sending time code.

Java Script
A scripting language use to create client-side web applications.

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.

Kit Rental
A standard industry "rental fee" charged by professionals who also provide special equipment or supplies, such as makeup artist or sound, camera, and lighting people with their own equipment. They get their day rate for their labour plus a smaller kit rental for use of their gear and/or supplies that you would otherwise have to rent or buy separately.


A videodisc format.

A videodisc format.

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

An editing equipment company.

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

Licensing Fees
Money spent to obtain the rights to use something copyrighted by someone else.

A program style in which each viewer watches each segment of the program.

Live Shot
A video sequence captured completely live.

Local Validity
Credibility for the particular situation.

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 ShotThis is a camera view that shows a broad location perspective.
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.

Linear Tape Open is a magnetic tape storage system that uses open standards. Popular backups in larger computer systems, each tape cartridge can store up to 1.5TB of uncompressed data.


Magazine Format
A program format consisting of a number of feature stories shot in different styles.

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.

Mark Slate
To call the information on a slate out loud, typically including title of the production, scene number or name, and take number.

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.

Matching Funds
Funds awarded on the basis of "matching" money obtained from other sources.

Matte Box
A box-like apparatus that mounts onto the front of a camera lens used to avoid unwated 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.

Mechanical Editing
Physical cutting of a tape.

A list of media materials available on a given subject.

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 up.

The ability to retain a given setting.

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.

Very-short-wave frequencies used for point-to-point transmission; higher than those used by broadcast.

Mini Stereo Connectors
A term used for an 1/8” stereo sound connector like the one on your iPod. Used for headphones and mics.

A popular digital video format used in consumer and prosumer camcorders.

Model of Participatory
An instructional design system incorporating the participation of a program development team.

Model Release
The form giving permission to photograph or record someone's voice or image.

A lesson or unit of information.

Money Shots
The most important shots of a given project that will have the most impact on your audience.

Works the same as a Tripod, but only has a single extending and locking leg.

A sequence of video or images played together to represent an event or section of footage.

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.

Movie Magic Budgeting
A software program designed specifically for budgeting movies.

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.

Multiple Branching
A programmed instruction format in which different responses cause the viwer to be branched to different corresponding segments.

A music track is created independently of production. Music videos begin with a defined soundt rack. Other programs have music added in postproduction to fit dialogue, sound effects, and mood.

MySpace Video
Introduced in 2007 as a similar video sharing site to YouTube.


National Association for Broadcast Employees and Technicians.

The oral telling of a story, typically via a voiceover.

Narrative Filmmaking
A fictional filmmaking genre that tells a story.

To distribute programming to a limited, well-defined audience.

Network Attached Storage. System of multiple hard drives, such as a RAID, that may be accessed by all terminals on a network.

Nat Sound
The abbreviation for Natural Sound regarding ambient noise in a location or in a particular scene.

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

Needle Drop
A measure or unit of music determined by how many times a selection is played or the "needle dropped" on the record.

Neutral Cutaways
Very useful shots that can be inserted almost anywhere in a scene because they aren't very time or action specific. For example,a cutaway to a picture on the wall, a subject's hand gestures, or a reaction shot of someone listening.

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

An Americanism referring to filming the reactions of subjects, interviewers and interviewees.

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.

Nonbroadcast Video
Programming designed for limited access rather than broadcast distribution.

Nonexclusive Rights
The right to use a work, but not to prevent anyone else from obtaining the rights also.

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.


An abbreviation for both On Camera and Off Camera.

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.

Off-The-Shelf Programs
Commercially produced generic programs that can be rented or purchased.

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.

The width of videotape within which there are three formats: Type A, Type B, and Type C.

Open-Ended Question
A question that requires more than a short answer, giving the respondent an opportunity to express opinions.

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 placedd 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.

The costs of running the physical facility.

An abbreviation for Online Video Platform i.e. YouTube or Vimeo.


P2 Card
Digital media cards used by some Panasonic cameras including the Panasonic HVX-200.

An occupation term referring to a Production Assistant.

PA System
Public address system of microphones, amplifiers, and speakers, usually installed in an auditorium or meeting room.

The timing and segmenting of a program to control the rate of presentation.

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.

Paper Edit
A document consisting of transcribed storyboards of your footage, which can be organised to create a paper version of your final cut. This document is great for the editing stage.

YouTube’s major content partners, allowing partners to monetize their videos.

Pay Per View
Streaming or downloadavle videos that require payment to view.

Camera moves vertically lower or raises the camera higher whilst maintaining camera level.

Pelican Cases
Popular industry-standard hard plastic cases designed to store and protect film and video equipment during transit. Pelican cases are water resistant and are typically used with foam.

A video DVD of photos combined with music. This is usually produced at a video editing workstation by a professional video editor. Images frequently have dissolves for smooth transitions, and movements such as zooms, pans, and tilts may be applied.

Pick Up Pattern
Outlines the directions in which a microphone best captures and records sound. Typical patterns are cardioid, hypercardioid and omni.

Pin-Registered Camera
A very precise film camera that exposes images in exact registration from one frame to the next.

Pitching is talking not writing. It is part of the communicating and selling of ideas in the entertainment industries.

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.

The cutting out of a certain percentage of frames in a sequence to produce a fast-motion, jumpy effect.

Viewing or listening back to recorded video/audio.

YouTube allows for videos to be categorised into a flowing list of video content.

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.

Point-Of-Purchase Program
One designed to be viewed alongside a product it demonstrates in a store.

The abbreviation for Point of Presence, which typically refers to the location of a server or Content Delivery Network.

Positive Feedback
Information confirming that a response was correct.

Post Production
Refers to all the activities that follow shooting such as editing, post-syncing, music, recording, titling, and mastering that lead to a completed program or show print.

An evaluation taking place after a subject has been exposed to some treatment or material.

Another name for the knobs on audio equipment.

Practical Lights
Aesthetic lights that appear as part of your on screen set.

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.

An audiod evice similar to but simpler than a mixer that is used to boost, control, and/or transform audio signals.

The term refers to a compact statement of teh essential idea of a movie or program. It embodies the essential conflict or dilemma that will drive the plot and the characters.

An assessment of student's entering abilities or opinions before they're exposed to some treatment or material.

Private Video
A YouTube video that has a restricted viewership.

Private Video Network
A video playback system set up by an organization to communicate to its various branch offices or affiliates.

Processing Time
The time it takes for a video to become playable after upload to the Internet.

A cinematic role that is responsible for both editorial and production duties.

Production House
A company that rents out video studio and/or portable production gear.

Production Insurance
Insurance that covers you and your crew from liabilities as a result of any property damage, theft or loss, and personal death or injury caused by your production.

Production Value
The professional look of a production.

Program Control
Program design that assumes the program will be viewed straight through without intervention of an instructor or student.

Program Development Team
A group of people representing clients, content experts, media professionals, and representative audience members who together develop a program.

Program Format
The style in which a subject is covered: documentary, interview, demonstration, and so on.

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.

Proxy Editing
Creating a low bit rate copy of your HD source footage that uses less computer resources. After editing at that low resolution, the editor switches to HD and renders the finished video in full quality.

Public Domain
The status of not being copyrighted.

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.


An autocue company.

A method of videotape scanning using four heads, found on two-inch machines.

Quick List
A YouTube function that allows users to create and delete playlist quickly and easily via the “+” symbol.

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


Raccoon Eyes
A lighting error when high angle lights cast shadows under the subjects eyes.

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

Rate Cards
A rental houses's or other vendor's price list.

A YouTube system that allows Likes/Dislikes to rank online video content.

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

An interviewing technique used to get the same response from a subject, but allow the film team to capture it from a different angle.

A dramatic acting out of a significant event.

Reaction Shot
A shot showing how a subject/character is responding to an event.

Real Time
This setting allows you to share the video you are watching with your friends.

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.

A video shoot captured on location, outside of a studio environment.

Res Up
The practice of making low resolution footage (typically created to save space) into high resolution in order to make it suitable for production use.

Any and all work you do to learn more about your subject as you prepare to shoot your video.

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.

Rolling Shutter
Rolling shutter refers to the method that CMOS cameras use to scan an image by "rolling" or moving teh shutter across part of the image, so that not all part of the image are recorded at the same time, even though they are played back as a single frame.

The technique of manually creating a matte for an element on live-action footage so it may be composited over another background.

Rough Cut
The first edit of a video production.

A loose style of handheld camerawork, most common in reality TV and some scripted dramas where the camera is continually moving and shifting slightly (as if hovering) as opposed to traditional handheld camerawork where the objective would be to hold the camera as steady as possible.

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.


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

Screen Actors Guild.

S.A.G Paperwork
Very important forms required by the Screen Actors Guild whenever an actor in their professional union works on a production.

The abbreviation for Sound Up.

A production occupation referring to a Script Assistant.

Software as a service over the Internet. Rather than purchase the software, the user is licensed to use the software through a subscription or based on the usage, similar to a traditional utility service such as eletricity.

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.

Sales Motivation Video
Training video used to teach selling techniques and to stimulate viewers to improve their sales.

Storage area network. A system to attach external storage devices to servers so the devices appear as attached locally to the operating system.

The depth or richness of a colour.

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.

The scene is the basic unit of visual narrative for the screenplay. it has unity of time and place. A new scene begins when either time or place changes.

Scene Detection
A automated process software programmes use to separate video footage into clips by scanning time codes.

Scene Outline
This term refers to a way a writer might compose a visual narrative by listing scenes rather than writing a treatment.

Screen Captions
Titles placed at the bottom of frames to provide subtitles or information on the subject/character on screen.

A screenplay or script is the translation of the treatment into a visual blueprint for production layering end to end the particular scenes emplying the specific descriptive language of the medium to describe what is to be seen on hte screen and heard on the sound track.

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.

The box at the top of every web Browser or Video hosting website used to find video and other online content.

A video standards used in France and several other countries.

Second Generation
A copy of a first-generation original tape.

Screen Extras Guild.

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 abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization, which refers to the process of getting a website to a high ranking on a search engine website.

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

The abbreviation for Search Engine Results Page.

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.

Shooting Script
A writer builds a screenplay out of scenes, which is its fundamental building block. The director has to compose a scene out of shots. This means a director has to create a shooting script out of the screenplay. The director has both the right and the responsibility to break down the scene into camera set-ups or shots that will cover the action of the scene.

A loose or bad connection in any cable that results in the cable not clearly and consistently carrying an audio or video signal, which generally will result in static, pops, and dropouts of the signal.

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, focussing 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.

Show Print
A print or dub from an edit master that embodies the finished program as it will be distributed.

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).

Single Branching
A programmed-instruction format in which all wrong answers are treated in the same way: by branching to a single given segment.

Single System Audio
Audio that is recorded on the camera at the same time as picture.

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

The mchien recording the output of a master machine.

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.

Small-Format Video
Smaller, less expensive video equipment generally used for nonbroadcast purposes.

Sosciety of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. This long-standing group of film and TV engineers develop industry standards.

SMPTE-Format Video
An address in digital time readouts used to identify exact places on a tape.

Cylindrical inserts that fit in front of lights to reduce the width of the beam to highlight a specific subject.

Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers
A long-standing group of film and TV engineers who develop industry standards. Abbreviated as SMPTE.

Soft Money
Grant or contract money that is not guaranteed from year to year.

The abbreviation of Sound On Tape.

Sound Blankets
Thick, quilted blankets used to dampen echoes caused by hard room surfaces and muffle unwanted noise.

Sound Up
The practice of increasing the volume of sound in a segment of video.

This term refers to the moment shortly after you press the record button when a camera has finished its pre-roll and reached the necessary speed to record both video and audio efficiently.

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

Spill Light
Any excess, unwated, 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.

Stand Up
A term used in News Reporting where a reporter is shot in long/mid shot and presenting to the camera.

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.

Standards Conversion
The duplication of a tape into another video standard - for instance, NTSC to PAL or PAL to SECAM.

Statement Of Work
A document that describes the work that you are proposing to do and clearly spells out what you will do as a producer/director, the basics of how it will be accomplished, and how much it will cost your clients.

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.

Often found in TV productions, Stings are used to promote upcoming events.

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.

An Americanism referring to getting audio interviews off general members of the public.

Style Sheet
A general term for the written description of the look and feel of various visual and graphic elements such as lower thirds and main titles, transitions, on-screen graphics, how interviews are framed and lit, colour palette, style of cinematography etc.

This feature allows you to stay up to date with new videos from users on the YouTube site.

Summative Evaluation
Assessment of the final product.

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

Super Tech
A production occupation referring to Supervising Technicians.

A superimposition is simply the mix or dissolve mixed into the midprinter light or midfader position and then out. Beginners often go to unnecessary lengths to describe the way titles superimpose on picture or a background. A sentence can be reduced to; super titles over black, super titles over LS of street or super name under CU of face.

Surveillance Video
Video that is recorded passively or secretly.

A member of the production team who is in charge of switching between production sources.

SxS Card
Digital media cards used by some Sony model cameras, including the Sony EX-1, Sony EX3, and the Sony F3.

Sync Track
A track on a tape of control pulses used to stablize 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.

Those appearing or being heard in a program.

Talking Heads
A production consisting of static shots of people talking.

Tally Light
A film term referring to the red light present on a camera during recording.

Tape To DVD/CD/HDD/Flash Drive Transfers
Tape is dead, or they may wear out soon. Hard drives, flash drives, and discs are designed for archival storage and are easier to search through than tapes.

Time based corrector. Used during copying or transferring from videotape to correct distortions caused by tape. Also used for colour and brightness correction.

The abbreviation for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, which refers to how the Internet communicates in order for it to function correctly.

The process of converting motion picture film to video.

A large meeting transmitted to a number of sites using satellite distribution.

Telephoto is the longest lens setting achieved by zooming all the way in to a scene.

A high-end videoconferencing system that simulates a live conference. Large monitors and loudspeakers positioned near the images of individuals speaking create the illusion of a live conference.

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

A piece of reporting equipment (earpiece) that allows a production team to feed information to a subject during filming.

Test Recording
A brief recording made to test the correct operation of the equipment.

A system used for the compression of digital video files.

A term referring to the switch over of narration, dialogue or reporting on-screen during a production.

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.

This is a vertical camcorder rotation from a single axis on a tripod.

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 inv arious areas to register their responses.

An abbreviation for the occupation Technical Producer, which is similar to that of a Super Tech.

Lateral video camera movement that travels with a moving subject.

Training Video
A video, DVD, or online video used to train employees on the procedures and policies of the organization.

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

Translucent Powder Makeup
Makeup used to smooth and even out complexions as well as diminish the appearance of common blemishes such as wrinkles, acne, freckles, and moles. Particularly useful for counteracting the unflattering effects of HD video on close shots.

A narrative description of the way a subject will be treated and a program will look when completed; an experimental condition.

Triaxial Cable (Triax)
Similar to coax, but with the addition of an extra layer of insulation and a second conducting sheath. It provides greater bandwidth and rejects interference better than coax.

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

Tube Mogul
A service that provides users with data analytics on video content.

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

Tweak Up
To make fine adjustments.

A post on Twitter with no more than 140 characters. Retweeting refers to forwarding a tweet to others.

Two Shot
A camera view that includes two subjects.


Three-quarter inch video cassette tape or the type of player that uses that format.

The abbreviation for User Generated Content, referring to content that has been produced by customers, clients, consumers or fellow staff members rather than by a production company.

A term used in all aspects of video production referring to low light, quiet audio and faint images.

A site sending signals up to a satellite.

The function of uploading video content onto YouTube and other video sharing websites.

Uploading Time
The time it takes for a video to upload onto YouTube.

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.


The industry term used to talk about video commerce.

Video cassette recorder. An old video recording device.

A hardware monitor or software plug-in that enables the technical director to ensure that the colours coming from cameras are accurate.

Verbal Release
This is a verbal agreement between filmmaker and subject that allows the filmmaker to use their image in their video.

The practice of checking over a script to ensure it is ready to be presented on camera.

A video sharing platform set up in 2009.

Short for visual effects.

Video home system. The format of video tape and VCR that has been popular with consumers but is gradually being phased out.

Vicarious Travel
The simulation of a trip through interactive video.

Video Ads
YouTube’s in-video advertisements supported by True View ads as well as standard auto-play ads.

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

Video Conference
Two-way audio and video displayed at two or more locations for several people to speak to one another from different sites.

Video Editing Workstation
An ensemble of digital video editing computers, monitors, postproduction VCRs, DVD recordrs, and other equipment used for video postproduction and production of photomontages.

Video Format
The size, housing, and recording configuration of video tape or disc and the type of playback ahrdware associated with it, such as three-quarter inch or one-inch Type C.

Video Identification
This tool allows YouTube Partners to identify any of their copyrighted video content uploaded without their consent.

Video Journalist
Abbreviated as VJ, this refers to the occupation of filming or presenting video.

Video Noise
Undesirable static, dots, and graininess in a video picture. Most common when shooting in low light or with the gained turned up.

Video On Demand
Streaming videos that users view from a website whenever they want, as opposed to a webcast, where the video streams at certain times. Video on demand is often shortened to VOD.

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

Video Response
A YouTube function that allows users to comment on video content through video.

Video Sitemaps
Files that inform search engines what particular web page on a website an Internet video can be found.

Video Verité A style of shooting in which the camera tries to capture real life without intrusion. Videodisc
A video recording in a recordlike disc format.

Viewer Control
Program design that assumes an individual viewer will control the program's presentation.

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.

Viral Video
Online videos that users send to one another via e-mails with a link to the video. Sometimes written comments accompany the video.

Visible Measures
A third party video analysis service.

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.

Visual Literacy
The ability to express and interpret ideas visually rahter than verbally.

The industry abbreviation for Visuals.

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.

Video tape recorder.


Another word for a rehearsal, practice or Dry Run.

A reporting slang term used to refer to pictures in a film sequence that have little connection, and add little benefit to the script or story at hand.

Wide area network.

Warm Cards
Pale green or blue cards that give your image a warmer look when you white-balance your camera on them.

Watch Page
The YouTube page that display the full-sized video.

A unit used to measure electricity.

Waveform Monitor
A hardware device or software plug-in that allows the camera technician to accurately adjust the brightness and contrast with either lighting or the camera's internal white and black levels.

A video camera often built in to PCs, Laptops and Macs used to record one-to-one videos, video phone calls and video blogs.

Webcast Video
Video that may be viewed online at a scheduled time.

A system used for the compression of electronic video files.

Writers Guild of America.

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.

Small applications that allow users to turn personal content into dynamic web apps that can be shared on just about any website.

Wild Sound
Ambient, natural sounds that occur in any filming environment.

Wind Jammer
A faux fur covering used to minimise ambient noise from Boom mics.

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

Windows Media Player
A computer program from Microsoft that allows for audio/video to be displayed on home and office computers. The file extension is .wmv.

To erase a digital media card by reformatting it which clears all video and or audio clips from the card. This function is usually found in the camer'as menu and likely at the very bottom of the menu set. Never wipe a card until you've verified your footage by playing it back and listening to it.

Wireless Microphone
A mcirphone 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.

Wrap Out
Referring to finishing a shoot and packing equipment away.


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

Abbreviate of eXtensible Markup Language.

An enterprise shared disk file system that encourages collaborative postproduction. It allows several computers to read and write to the same storage volume at the same time.


Yahoo! Video
A video sharing/hosting site launched in 2008.

A way of encoding RGB colour. Y is the luminance or the black and white element of the signal. Cb is the colour difference, which is represented as the colour blue minus the luminance (B-Y). C5 is the red minus the luminance (R-Y). In analog video it is referred to as "YUV."

The second most used search engine in the world and most popular video sharing website. Shot to popularity in 2005.

YouTube VideoVideos, usually under 10 minutes in length. That can be uploaded and displayed on YouTube at no charge.
Videos, usually under 10 minutes in length. That can be uploaded and displayed on YouTube at no charge.


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.

A large shield used to protect Boom mics from ambient noise.

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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