March 8, 2018
The ABCs of Production: The Video Vocabulary of the Professionals
Video Definitions: Fade, Pans, Lav, Slate, Sync… what?
The video vocabulary or glossary of words involved in video production is odyssey-like. Take charge of your video jargon with our handy “ABCs of Video” dictionary.
- The aspect ratio is the proportional relationship between the width and height of an image. The most common aspect ratios are 4:3, 16:9 and 1:85:1.
- A boom microphone is a long, corn-shaped microphone that allows sound to be clearly picked-up in filming while simultaneously being out of sight.
- Bounce is a material simply used to bounce light on an area of focus while filming.
- B-roll is supplemental footage that provides visual details of your subject.
- Color correction is an editing technique that manipulated video color post-production.
- Ranging from cool to warm, color temperature is a unit measure for absolute temperature measured in Kelvins.
- Videos are giant, but compression allows them to upload faster and take up less space on your camera or computer.
- Opposite of a wide angle, a close up puts the frame entirely on a subject’s face.
- A crane allows capture of moving shots that require height, and is often called a jib or jib arm.
- A C-Stand is a fancy tripod with a long arm that allows positioning of light modifiers and riggers.
- Codec is a computer program that facilitates compression of footage.
- The depth of field is the part of an image that is in-focus; shallow DOF results in a narrow focus on a subject whereas deep DOF has the whole frame in focus.
- Diffusion is the spreading light evenly to reduce harshness or glare.
- Digital Zoom is the rapid cropping of an image that gives appearance of zooming.
- A dolly is a piece of equipment on wheels that prevents footage from looking messy due to shaky hands.
- Fade is the effect of transitioning an image to black screen or black screen to image.
- Frame rate is the rate at which a shutter opens and closes. Scenic Road typically shoots in 24 for a more film-like quality.
- Follow focus is a feature that allows for quick changes in the subject of focus.
- Importing is the process of transferring videos from a camera to a computer, or from a computer to editing software
- A jump cut is an abrupt edit between two sequential shots of the same subject taken from camera positions that vary only slightly, if at all. A jump cut gives the viewer an abrupt “what just happened” feeling, because it can seem as if you moved or “jumped” through time or space.
- A lavalier microphone, or lav, is a tiny microphone typically attached to the shirt of a subject or to the side of their mouth; Scenic Road prefers to use nude moleskin to “tape” the microphone in place, which hides it from the viewer and eliminates any distractions from the viewing experience.
- A matte box is an umbrella for your camera. It blocks light to prevent lens flares.
- While also a technique used by models, an over the shoulder shot (or OTS) allows the audience to view a scene from the character’s perspective. Think of the powerful No Country for Old Men scene when Javier Bardem taunts a store clerk.
- A pan shot is simply a shot where the camera moves horizontally.
- A point of view shot (or POV) shows what a subject is looking at – not to be confused with an over the shoulder shot.
- Prime lenses are lightweight lenses with a fixed focal length.
- Room tone is the empty sound of a room recorded after filming to add in the editing process later to eliminate abrupt editing point.
- Resolution measures the number of pixels in an image. Higher resolution means more pixels and a clearer image.
- The rule of thirds allows a producer to build interest in a frame while filming. The rule states a frame should be divided into nine squares with the subject of the film being in focus in one of the guide areas.
- A shot list or shot sheet is a list of all scenes or images wanting to be captured in the filming process. It can coincide with a storyboard.
- A shoulder rig helps someone filming with a handheld camera keep the image stabilized. It’s like a shaped tripod for your shoulder.
- A slate is that black and white rectangular object that a crewmember snaps before each take. “3…2…1…*snap* ACTION!” It helps keep sound aligned in the editing process.
- Split screen divides a screen in half to show typically two separate scenes, but there can be more.
- Stop motion is the effect where several photographs are taken of shifting inanimate objects and edited together to look like they are moving.
- Storyboards are what filmmakers use to map out what will be shot so a story can be told in a cohesive manner.
- A slider is a track that allows a camera to steadily move from side to side or back and forth.
- In order to film smoothly, flying stabilizers called steadicams are used.
- Three-point lighting is a technique where three lights are strategically placed around a scene to create optimal lighting.
- A timelapse is a scene that is filmed from the same point of view for a long period of time and then sped up to show rapid changes.
- A viewfinder is a screen that shows a filmmaker what image their camera is picking up.
- A wide angle shot captures more of a subject and its surroundings.
- White balance helps keep the white in your images white and not tinted. Cameras can have white balance settings or film can be altered for white balance in editing.
- A zoom lens allows a filmmaker to manually zoom in and out on a scene by adjusting the lens.
Any video vocabulary or industry jargon that you commonly use? Email us and we’ll add it to the list!
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