101 video production terms you should know
ADR: Automatic Dialog Replacement. Also known as “looping.” A process of re-recording dialog in the studio in synchronization with the picture.
Aerial Shot: An extremely high angle view of a subject usually taken from a crane or a high stationary camera position, but may also refer to a shot taken from an actual airplane or helicopter. (Production).
Aliasing: An undesirable distortion component that can arise in any digitally encoded information (sound or picture).
Ambient Light: General, nondirectional, room light. (Lighting)
Analog: An electrical signal that continuously varies in strength as related to some form of input.
Aperture: A variable opening inside a lens that regulates the amount of light reaching the image plane. Also known as an iris. (Camera/Lighting)
Apple Box: A box build of a strong wood or plywood which is capable of supporting weight. These may be of various sizes, the smallest of which is also known as a ‘pancake’ because it is nearly flat. (Lighting/Grip)
Baby: Usually a reference to a 1K Mole Richardson light.
Baby Legs: A short tripod for camera.
Barndoors: Folding doors which are mounted on to the front of a light unit in order to control illumination. (Lighting)
C-47: Ordinary wooden clothespins which are used to secure gels to barndoors. They are also known as a #1 wood clamp. (Grip/Lighting)
C Stand: A general purpose grip stand. (Grip/Lighting)
Call Sheet: A form which refers to all of the scenes to be filmed and all of the personnel and equipment required for shooting on a particular day. (Production)
Camera Blocking: The process of notating the changing position of the camera, lens size, and focus during a particular scene. (Production)
Compression: The reduction of a span of amplitudes done for the purpose of limiting the reproduction of those amplitudes. (Post Production)
Dailies: The first positive prints made by the laboratory from the negative photographed on the previous day. It also now refers to video which is transferred from that original negative. (Laboratory)
DGA: Director’s Guild of America. A union which represents directors, assistant directors, production managers, and various video personnel.
Dissolve: A transition between two scenes where the first merges imperceptibly into the second. (Film/Video)
Fade: An optical effect in which the image of a scene is gradually replaced by a uniform dark area or vice versa.
Frame Rate: The frequency at which film or video frames run. For example, film is shot at 24 frames per second.
Gigabyte: A unit for measuring computer memory capacity, equivalent to 1,000 megabytes.
Gaff Tape: similar to duct tape to tape down cables on set.
HMI: An enclosed, AC mercury arc lamp. (Lighting)
Iris: A variable aperture that controls exposure or the amount of light which is released from a lighting unit. (Camera/Lighting)
Jib Arm: A mechanical are which is supported on a dolly, tripod, or other device, which is counterweighted to hold a camera for an increased range of motion. (Production)
Jump-Cut: An editorial device where the action is noticeably advanced in time, either accidentally or for the purpose of creating an effect on the viewer. (Film Editing)
Junior: A 2K fresnel light unit. It may also mean any 1 1/8 inch spud or mounting pin or any 1 1/8 inch female receiver. (Grip)
Kelvin: the unit of measurement used for absolute temperatures and color temperatures.
Key Light: The main light on a subject.
Montage: The assembly of shots and the portrayal of action or ideas through the use of many short shots. (Film Editing)
NTSC: National Television Standards Committee. The organization that sets the American broadcast and videotape format standards for the FCC. Color television is currently set at 525 lines per frame.
Pan: A horizontal movement of a camera on a fixed axis.
Post-Production: The period in a project’s development that takes place after the picture is delivered, or “after the production.”
Video Production: the process of creating video by capturing moving images (videography), and creating combinations and reductions of parts of this video in live production and post-production.
Score: The original-music composition for a motion picture or television production which is generally recorded after the picture has been edited.
Senior: A 5K fresnel lighting unit. (Lighting)
Set Up: Each discrete position of the camera, excluding those in which a dolly or crane is used to move the camera during filming. (Production)
Sound Designer: A film sound specialist responsible for the development and augmentation of all soundtrack material, or a significant portion thereof, and is ultimately in charge of the entire sound production.
Sound Effect: A recorded or electronically produced sound that matches the visual action taking place onscreen.
Widescreen: A general term for film presentation in which a film is shown in an aspect ratio of greater than 1.33 to 1. In today’s terms, this now means in an aspect ratio of greater than 1.85 to 1.
Wrap: The span of the tape path along which the tape and head are in contact. (Audio/Video) More often, this refers to securing equipment at the end of the day or when work is completed at a particular set or location.
XLR: One of several varieties of sound connectors having three or more conductors plus an outer shell which shields the connectors and locks the connectors into place. (Sound)
Closeup (CU) A tightly framed camera shot in which the principal subject is viewed at close range, appearing large and dominant on screen. Pulled back slightly is a “medium closeup” while zoomed in very close is an “extreme closeup (ECU or XCU).
Composition Visual make-up of a video picture, including such variables as balance, framing, field of view and texture all aesthetic considerations. Combined qualities form an image that’s pleasing to view.