An up-to-date dictionary of common vocabulary and useful terminology aimed at editors and post production personnel. It is written for a UK broadcast perspective, but editors of film and digital content will find much of interest too. The list includes some camera, filming (Acquisition) and VFX terms which editors might encounter, but the list is not comprehensive in these areas.

Use the search to filter by categories: Acquisition, Audio, Colour, Editing, Hardware, Production and VFX/GFX.

EntryDefinitionCategory
A camera, B cameraMain camera, secondary camera, etc. The A camera captures the main action and the B camera gets an alternative angle. Or in cross-shot or dialogue scenes, the A/B designation shows that they were cross-shot. In practice the designation is usually arbitrary.Acquisition
acquisitionFilming. From the perspective of post production, it is using a camera to 'acquire' footage.Acquisition
actionThe events occurring in front of the camera (ideally, though often not).Acquisition
action axisLine of action.Acquisition
actualityIn television, footage of real events and activity.Acquisition
aerial shotAn overhead angle or 'bird's eye view' of a subject, typically shot from a drone.Acquisition
aliasingA visual glitch or artefact caused by filming regimented patterns whose size closely matches the pixel size of the camera. These can be seen in rushes as jagged edges (jaggies) along what should be smooth, straight lines, or lines of coloured dots appearing at a slight angle to straight edges. The effect is worse at lower resolutions since there are fewer pixels so there is a greater rounding error and since the subjects should appear geometrically perfect the error is visibly more pronounced. Professional cameras are fiited with optical low pass filters (OLPF) to mitigate this effect. In post, anti-aliasing, motion blur, or temporal blurring can help in some instances but at the cost of image quality.Acquisition
anamorphicMany widescreen film formats are recorded on a standard non-widescreen sensor. The camera is fitted with an anamorphic lens which squeezes the image horizontally onto the sensor, then in post the picture is unsqueezed (i.e. stretched) to the full widescreen aspect ratio. This has the added effect of stretching out points of light (especially lens flares) into wide stripes across the image, which is a key signifier of the 'cinematic' look.Acquisition
AVC, AVCHDAdvanced Video Coding, which uses H.264 or MPEG-4 Part 10 compression. It is based on block-oriented, motion-compensated integer-DCT coding, supporting resolutions up to 8K. It is typically lossy, although at high bitrates and with specific encoding methods it can be truly lossless. As an acquisition format, it is often criticised for the way that camera storage requires a complex folder structure with metadata in separate files which are easily lost or disassociated.Acquisition
B-rollFootage shot to supplement main or sync action. For example, cutaways of props, establishers, wildlife, skies, traffic, etc. B-roll requirements are typically driven by script or story requirements. For example, in factual and documentary shows, B-roll, archive and library footage are used to illustrate aspects of a story which might otherwise only be talked about in interview. Sometimes a dedicated B-roll unit might operate with their own shooting schedule.Acquisition
back lightIn standard three-point lighting, this is a light behind the subject. This can have a number of effects, including creating a silhouette; making a coronal glow around the subject's head to help separate them from their background; putting their face into darkness for the purpose of anonymising them; creating dramatic or stylised flares into the lens of the camera.Acquisition
blooperAn amusing mistake caught on camera.Acquisition
BokehA feature of unfocussed parts of an image caused by characteristics of the lens and lighting conditions, often accentuated by shooting with a shallow focus. Some lenses have more pleasing bokeh effects than others. By adding a lens filter, unfocussed points of light can be given shapes, including stars or Christmas trees. Pronounced either "bo-kay" or "bo-kuh".Acquisition
button offPressing the camera's record button to end recording. Editors will sometimes find they're missing a key event because the camera operator buttoned off when they thought they were buttoning on.Acquisition
button onPressing the camera's record button to start recording. Editors will sometimes encounter footage of the ground or a wall when the camera operator buttoned on when they thought they were buttoning off, often because minutes earlier they had buttoned off instead of buttoning on.Acquisition
celluloidA transparent plastic made from camphor and nitrocellulose, originally used to make the film for motion picture cameras. Typically film consisted of a sandwich of layers which responded to different wavelengths of light, resulting in a coloured negative exposure. The relative sensitivity of these layers produced different stocks designed for specific levels of exposure and shutter speed, or for specific effects such as sepia, black and white, and night shooting. These attributes contributed to the filmic look of cinema. As an organic compound celluloid was susceptible to damp and decomposes easily. In old film, the nitrates caused such rapid decomposition that it could spontaneously catch fire, producing dense toxic fumes. After the 1950s, celluloid nitrate was replaced by acetate and polyester.Acquisition
chromatic aberrationAlso chromatic distortion and spherochromatism. This is the result of an optical imperfection which refracts different wavelengths of light (i.e. different colours) by different amounts resulting in their dispersion and a coloured, rainbow fringe appearing along high contrast boundaries in an image. In wide lenses, it is common to see chromatic aberration at the extremes of the image. The look is often simulated or exaggerated in music videos and motion graphics.Acquisition
cinematicAn oft-used phrase to describe a look which feels like a traditional film. Key signifiers are: a gamma S-curve which matches film stock; anamorphic lens flares; celluloid grain; gate weave; in extreme cases, hairs in the gate, sprocket holes, scratches and burns.Acquisition
clapThe sound of a clapperboard snapping shut, providing a cue for editors to be able to sync audio with picture.Acquisition
clapperboardThe information board held up in front of the camera at the start of a shot which shows key information such as the date, shoot day, scene number, take number, name of production, director and DoP. The sound of the clapperboard provides a sound cue to help editors synchronise audio and video recorded on separate devices. The angled chevrons on the jaws of the clapper help identify when the clap occured - the frame with the sharpest reduction in visible motion blur will be the frame closest to when the 'clap' occurred.Acquisition
contribA contributor, a participant in a television programme, referring to members of the public not regular presenters.Acquisition
coverageThe minimum rushes required to be able to edit the scene. For example, shooting a dialogue scene between two people from one angle does not give any options for the editor to make cuts. This would be considered as not getting coverage.Acquisition
craneTo move the camera up or down, but not exactly vertically due to the geometry of a crane arm which will tend to pull the camera back as it rises up. Acquisition
cross-cuttingIn a two-camera shoot, intercutting between the two cameras covering the same action. Commonly seen in television drama shot-reverse-shot coverage of a dialogue scene.Acquisition
cross-shootOn a two-camera shoot, when both camera are shooting the same action from different angles.Acquisition
CUClose-up shot. If the subject is a person, framing so that their full face fits within the frame.Acquisition
cutawayA non-sync shot of a prop, point of view, reaction, or the object of a discussion, so that the editor is able to cover a cut in their edit of the scene. For example, if a person is being interviewed about the sunroof of their car, a cutaway might show them tapping the roof of their car.Acquisition
dailiesThe footage from that day or the previous day of shooting, which is typically reviewed by the director in order to give selects to the editor to work with.Acquisition
daily editor logIn film, the script supervisor will log for the editor any key or notable information about every take such as the action, actors movements, camera lens or movements, and the director's comment such as good, no good, hold take (a backup take) or print take (a good take). This will be supplied to the editor along with the rushes, pages (the annotated script pages filmed that day), continuity notes and production report.Acquisition
dirty shotA frame where the subject is partly obscured by something in the foregroundAcquisition
dollyTo move the camera forwards or backwards horizontally. In contrast to tracking which is sideways; or zooming where the camera lens zooms but the camera does not change position.Acquisition
Dutch angleThe rotation of the camera along the axis of its barrel, so that the image appears canted or sloping.Acquisition
ECUExtreme close-up shot. If the subject is a person, framing very tight on a part of the person such as their eyball.Acquisition
endslateA slate done at the end of a take if the front of the camera is not accessible at the start of the take (e.g. it is hanging over a cliff).Acquisition
establishing shotA shot which shows the environment of the ensuing scene, typically a wide shot shown at the start of the scene. An establisher.Acquisition
EWSExtreme wide shot. A shot of the landscape such as an aerial or horizon or planetscape, where any human subject would be small or invisible within the frame.Acquisition
eyelineThe direction a character is looking in a scene. In practice, their eyeline is often not actually looking at the object (with VFX, the object frequently isn't even there) but as an editor it's important to consistently make it seem as though they are. The eyeline also implies a cut: if a character is looking at something, the audience will expect you to cut to show the thing they are looking at.Acquisition
eyeline matchAn eyeline match is a film editing technique associated with the continuity editing system. It is based on the premise that an audience will want to see what the character on-screen is seeing.Acquisition
false startA take that is aborted after the cameras have started rolling.Acquisition
fill lightIn standard three-point lighting, this is a soft or diffuse light that helps to raise the overall exposure of a scene while helping the overall lighting shape.Acquisition
film stockThe physical material of motion picture film. Different stocks of film were designed for specific levels of exposure and shutter speed, or for specific effects such as sepia, black and white. Typically film stock consisted of a sandwich of layers which responded to different wavelengths of light, resulting in a coloured negative exposure. The relative sensitivity of these layers produced the different looks and uses of film. Originally, film stock was made of camphor and nitrocellulose which was susceptible to decomposition and could spontaneously catch fire. After the 1950s, celluloid was replaced by acetate and polyester.Acquisition
frameTo line up a camera on a subject.Acquisition
gate weaveThe slight movement of film relative to the aperture of a film camera as it is running through it. Today gate weave is often added digitally to simulate a filmic look.Acquisition
grainOriginally, the texture in camera footage caused by natural imperfections in organic film. Grain is also caused by the characteristics of the glass of camera lenses, in camera sensors, the Bayer filter and other digital signal processing. Today, artificial or sampled film grain is often added digitally to simulate a filmic look.Acquisition
greens1. In factual television, interviews filmed against a green screen so that the background can be replaced.
2. In film, the department responsible for plants and greenery on set.
Acquisition
GVGeneral View. A establisher or wide shot, of a location or landscape, which is generic enough that it can be applied to multiple scenes. For example, shots of double-decker buses, low angles on pedestrian feet on Oxford Street, black minicabs driving by, a pan across the Houses of Parliament... can all be used as GVs showing that the subsequent events take place in London.Acquisition
hair in the gateA sliver of acetate trapped in or behind the aperture of a film camera, usually visible on the upper or lower edge of the frame. It was the responsibility of the focus puller to check the gate after every shot, and if a 'hair' was present, the shot would be redone.Acquisition
headspaceThe state of mind and thoughts of an interviewee, taken in the midst of or shortly after a key event.Acquisition
hero shotA shot, usually posed or choreographed, where the protagonist(s) hold a characteristic posture. Often the money shot.Acquisition
HFRHigh Frame Rate. In acquisition, cameras shooting at high frame rates are able to record action in super slow motion. In exhibition, high frame rate cinema purports to add realism and immersion to film, however detractors claim it is less 'cinematic' and that realism and immersion are conflicting goals.Acquisition
hold takeAn acceptable take, the director's less preferred choice.Acquisition
insert1. A shot of an object or action that takes place within the master shot of a scene, but filmed from a different angle or focal length to emphasise that object. Typically inserts are only of objects, rather than characters, heads, faces.
2. A cutaway to an object either present or not within the master shot of a scene.
Acquisition
Italian shotAn extreme close-up, straight on, of both of a character's eyes, as typified by Sergio Leone.Acquisition
jaggiesA visual glitch or artefact caused by aliasing. This happens when filming regimented lines, grilles or patterns whose size closely matches the pixel size of the camera.Acquisition
jam syncA function on certain cameras to help synchronise the timecode between recording devices.Acquisition
key lightIn standard three-point lighting, this is a loosely focussed but not necessarily spot light on the subject of a scene. For example, a key light on an interviewee can help to separate them from a less brightly lit background.Acquisition
lens flareA characteristic shaft, spot, or stripe of light caused by a bright source catching the camera lens at a certain angle. The shape of the flare was determined by characteristics of the lens such as the number of leaves in the aperture and whether it was anamorphic. Today lens flares are often added digitally to simulate a filmic look.Acquisition
light leakA characteristic bloom of light, often coloured, caused by a light source penetrating the body of a camera and exposing the film. Today light leaks are often added digitally to simulate a filmic look.Acquisition
line of actionA filmmaking paradigm that recommends a camera remain on one side of a line drawn between two characters in a scene, in order to maintain their relative spatial positions in the mind of the viewer – unless a camera move explicitly redraws the line of action between two other characters. This is important for the editor to keep in mind, because once the editor is themselves familiar with the relative positions of the people on screen, crossing the line of action is no longer jarring, but it will be for an audience. Also known as the 180 degree rule. The rule is broken all the time.Acquisition
live actionWhat happens in front of real cameras on real sets and locations. As opposed to animation or computer generated action.Acquisition
long shotA wide shot, where the subject is a long way from the camera.Acquisition
master cameraThe main camera, but usually referring to timecode sync where the timecode on all other cameras and recorders is set from the TC on the master camera.Acquisition
master interviewIn factual and documentary, a lengthy interview with a key contributor filmed under controlled conditions.
master shotA camera position which captures the entire duration of a scene, generally in wide shot. This guarantees that minimum coverage of a scene is achieved, albeit in a lazy way.Acquisition
MIVMaster Interview. (Pronounced "miv".) In factual and documentary, a lengthy interview with a key contributor filmed under controlled conditions.Acquisition
MoiréA coloured aliasing effect caused by filming regimented coloured patterns, the size of which closely match the pixel size of the camera. For example, clothing with tight geometric patterns, or dense architectural lines filmed from a distance. Moiré is a special case of aliasing.Acquisition
money shotA shot which is remarkable, memorable or which particularly typifies the film from a marketing perspective (but which might or might not have been expensive to shoot).Acquisition
MOTPMember Of The Public. Pronounced "mott-pee".Acquisition
MSMedium or mid shot. If the subject is a person, framing loosely so that their head and torso are comfortably within the frame.Acquisition
noddieIn a single camera shoot, this is a reverse angle on the interviewer or presenter giving reactions to answers previously given by their interviewee so that the editor has something to cut to. Usually this means nodding, hence the term noddies.Acquisition
non sync wideWide shot without any visible sync (i.e. no moving lips), useful as a master cutaway especially for factual and reality TV. Commonly shot dirty with the focus on an object in the foreground.Acquisition
O/S1. Off-screen. For example, action which is heard but not visible is off-screen (see also acousmatic). Not the same as extra-diegetic, which refers to sounds completely outside the world of the story, such as voiceover or score.
2. Over the shoulder shot. Common in two-shot or shot-reverse-shot dialogue scenes.
Acquisition
on the flyA short interview done in the midst of, or shortly after, a key event intended to capture a participant's headspace in the moment.Acquisition
one-shot film, one-take filmA film consisting of a single take (or presenting itself as such).Acquisition
OTFOn-the-fly interview. A short interview done in the midst of, or shortly after, a key event intended to capture a participant's headspace in the moment.Acquisition
OTSOver the shoulder shot. Common in two-shot or shot-reverse-shot dialogue scenes.Acquisition
panTo turn the camera to the left or right, or completely in circles, ideally on a tripod. Note: turning the camera up or down is tilting, not panning; raising the entire camera vertically up or down is called raising, lowering, craning, or a pedestal move on studio cameras.Acquisition
pedestalTo move the camera vertically up or down, especially studio cameras where a crank or hydraulics allow a camera to be elevated or lowered. Note: this is different from tilting.Acquisition
perfs, perforationsThe holes found along the edge of film stock used to guide and steady the film as it runs through a camera. Film stocks were listed by the number of 'perfs' per frame. For example, 35mm Academy is also known as 4 perf-35mm; Todd-AO 70 mm film is 5 perf-70mm; IMAX is 15 perf-70mm. The perfs are never visible when exposing or projecting moving pictures, except at the instant of a serious breakdown.Acquisition
pickupsA block of filming scheduled after principal photography intended to shoot additional scenes, or to reshoot or augment existing scenes, typically scheduled during post-production and informed by the needs of editorial.Acquisition
pillow shotA cutaway to an apparently unrelated scene or object. Coined by critic Noël Burch referring to the director Ozu's tendency to cut to static shots of a vase, a lighthouse, a television screen: “Makurakotoba or a pillow-word modifies a word, usually the first, in the next line." A pillow shot, therefore, is a rhetorical cinematic device, a non sequitur, even nonsensical image which breaks the direct connection between consecutive scenes and modifies the expectations for the following scene.Acquisition
POVPoint of View. Especially a camera angle showing what a character is looking at, matching the eyeline of that character.Acquisition
principal photographyThe main scheduled block, or blocks, of filming which might last weeks or months, and might encompass multiple sets and locations. Subsequent periods of filming might be scheduled for pickups. There is no 'secondary' photography.Acquisition
print takeA good take, the director's preferred choice.Acquisition
PTCPiece To Camera. Footage when the talent addresses the camera directly. For example, presenters in factual programming, news anchors, location reporters. Acquisition
push inEither scale up a shot by a fixed amount in order to reframe the subject; or do so slowly over the duration of the shot.Editing
RAWAn uncompressed acquisition format found on professional camera. Examples include BRAW on Black Magic Cinema cameras, or RED RAW on RED cameras. Note: RAW is not a generic term; it does not simply mean the unprocessed data from a camera's image sensor, although it can be that. RAW formats are specific and often proprietary to a given camera.Acquisition
reaxReactions. Typically spoken reactions, as opposed to just noddies.Acquisition
rollingRecording. For example, "camera rolling", "sound rolling".Acquisition
scratchIn film, when the acetate has been physically damaged by friction or abrasion on the projector, editor's desk, cutting room floor. Today scratches are often added digitally to simulate a filmic look.Acquisition
shot reverse shotA method of filming a scene, particularly with two characters. The camera films the action from one angle, usually close to the shoulder of one character, then changes position to get the reverse angle close to the shoulder on the same side of the other actor (thus avoiding crossing the line of action). This constitutes coverage of the scene, because the editor can readily cut between these two angles at any point during the scene. In a two camera shoot, the scene can be shot in one take with each camera positioned as described, then the editor can cut between these two cameras just the same.Acquisition
single camera shootThe advantages of a single camera shoot are speed, flexibility and a smaller crew. The disadvantages are deliberate effort needs to be put into shooting coverage, cutaways and noddies throughout the shoot.Acquisition
single take filmA film consisting of a one uninterrupted shot (or presenting itself as such).Acquisition
slateThe clapperboard held up in front of the camera at the start of a shot which shows key information such as the date, shoot day, scene number, take number, name of production, director and DoP. The sound of the clapperboard provides a sound cue to help editors synchronise audio and video recorded on separate devices. The angled chevrons on the jaws of the clapper help identify the closest frame where the clap occured - the frame with the sharpest reduction in visible motion blur will be the frame closest to when the 'clap' occurred.Acquisition
SOTSound on Tape. In documentary or journalism, a break from interview to actuality with some upsync (and often then voiceover). Broadly the same as sync in factual or documentary.Acquisition
sound reportA report created by the sound recordist for the editor, noting details for each audio file in table form. This would include scene, slate, shot, take, mic track allocations, any other notes such as buzz tracks, false starts, bad takes. Typically the file name will reflect the date and roll name, and the files themselves will have embedded timecode.Acquisition
soundbiteA short succinct section of speech, sync or interview which is especially impactful or insightful.Acquisition
sprocket holesThe perforations found along the edge of film stock used to guide and steady the film as it runs through a camera. The sprocket holes are never visible when exposing or projecting moving pictures, except at the instant of a serious breakdown.Acquisition
stabilization1. In camera, equipment such as tripods, gimbals, Steadicam, Glidecam, Easyrig to eliminate shaking and wobbling of the camera, especially for handheld shooting.
2. In post, processing an image in an effort to remove shake or wobble.
Acquisition
sticksA camera tripod.Acquisition
stop-motion animationAn animated technique where objects are manually adjusted between each frame, resulting in the appearance of continuous motion. Commonly used in childrens animations, especially plasticine or 'claymation', or with paper or fabric as 'cutout animation'.Acquisition
takeIn film, a single continuous recording of a performance, usually between the the 1st AD calling 'action' and 'cut'. The take number will incremented with each call of action. Usually more than one take is filmed from each camera position, and more than one camera position, in order to provide coverage for editing.Acquisition
tiltTo angle the camera upwards or downwards without changing its position.Acquisition
time-lapseFootage recorded over many hours or days which is speeded up to show action which would otherwise be imperceptible or too slow to observe. Timelapse cameras typically shoot at very low framerates, called interval recording, for example one frame every minute.Acquisition
tripodA three-legged stand which a camera is mounted on to provide stabilisation, especially for static, panning and tilting shots.Acquisition
truck, trackTo move the camera left or right horizontally. In contrast to dollying which is forwards and backwards; or panning where the camera pivots left or right but does not change position.Acquisition
upsyncIn television, dialogue where the speaker is visible on screen, usually dialogue between contributors as opposed to for the camera.Acquisition
VFRVariable Frame Rate. In acquisition, especially in live streaming and video gaming, frame rates vary according to processor load. This is difficult to edit and there are no modern NLEs which handle variable frame rate footage reliably, typically resulting in green flash frames or dropped frames. VFR footage should be ingested and converted to a fixed frame rate before editing.Acquisition
vox popAn on-the-fly interview taken with a member of the public, recording in public. Recently this terms has come to mean any on-the-fly interview with a contributor.Acquisition
walkiesWalking and talking shots, typically where the presenter is talking with a contributor.Acquisition
WSWide shot. If the subject is a person, framing very loosely so that their full body is comfortably within the frame, possibly up to the extent that the primary subject of the image becomes the landscape or environment around them.Acquisition
zoom1. To use the scale effect to increase the size of an image on screen. For video footage, a loss of quality will be incurred.
2. On a camera, to use a zoom lens to 'get closer' to a subject, to increase the size of it on screen.
Acquisition
2-popA single frame of tone or beep preceding the beginning of the programme in audio deliverables. This matches up with a single frame of white at the same point in the picture, ensuring that both picture and audio are exactly in sync. This typically occurs exactly two seconds before the first frame of picture, and is commonly called a '2-pop'.Audio
acousmatic soundSound that comes from off-screen, the source is not visible on-screen but is present in the scene (it is diegetic).Audio
ADRAdditional Dialogue Recording. During editing it might become necessary to re-record production dialogue due to technical, editorial, legal or scheduling reasons. In this case the talent is brought into the studio to re-record their lines as closely as possible to match their pace, performance and intonation from the original shoot. Also called looping, because typically the talent will keep repeating the same line multiple times to give the dialogue editor many options to ensure a good match with the original recording.Audio
ambienceAudio of the background and environmental sound of the location. This might include indistinct speech, traffic, footsteps, passers by, tree movement, wind.Audio
atmosAudio of the set or location provided to the editor to fill gaps between dialogue. The sound recordist will generally ask for quiet on set to eliminate crew talking and movement.Audio
attenuateTo reduce the level of a signal, especially to lower the volume of a sound.Audio
audioThe sound track of a film.Audio
audio mixThe balancing of the elements within the sound track of a film to achieve a pleasant, effective and compliant soundtrack. Mixing involves balancing the relative volume levels of dialogue, music, sound design, foley and voiceover while also considering spatial, reverberant and EQ characteristics to match the environment of the scene. For example, a typical mix might include monophonic voiceover centre-panned at -6dB, music mixed in stereo to -18dB, and dialogue and foley mixed with ambient reverb appropriate to the environment and spatial positioning matching the onscreen position.Audio
band pass filterIn audio, an effect which isolates frequencies within a specified range (band) in order to raise or lower their volume.Audio
buzz trackAudio of the set or location provided to the editor to fill gaps between dialogue. The sound recordist will generally ask for quiet on set to eliminate crew talking and movement.Audio
clippingWhen any signal exceeds its maximum value, the excessive value will be held at the maximum value. For example, an audio waveform that is clipped will have a characteristically square top and it will sound 'crunchy' and 'abrasive'. Similarly, a picture that is clipped will look over-exposed and the bright areas will be 100% white with no visible details. In cases where the recording itself was clipped, it cannot be rectified because the data is gone.Audio
comm, commentaryVoiceover. A descriptive or informative voice which addreses the viewer, but not the characters in the story.Audio
cueA piece of music or score.Audio
delayThe echo caused by the reflection of a sound by a surface some distance away, so that a short time passes before the repetition is heard. This is distinct from reverb which might be considered close-at-hand, overlapping and indistinct like a wash of sound, whereas delay causes distinct, separate but diminishing repetitions of the original sound.Audio
dialogueWords spoken by cast or contributors in the scene.Audio
dialogue editorA sound editor responsible for cleaning up dialogue, removing noise or hesitations, replacing dialogue re-recorded during ADR, recording crowd/group sounds (walla or 'rhubarb'), and ensuring speech is generally clear and intelligible. In a multi-team mix, typically the lead sound editor will be responsible for the dialogue mix.Audio
dialogue editorA sound editor who fixes, tidies, tightens and sweetens the dialogue in the film. If ADR is required, they will synchronise and edit the new lines.Audio
diegeticDescribes elements of a film which occur within the world of the film and observable by the characters within that world. Mostly it describes sounds heard by the characters within the film. This might include dialogue, atmos, sound effects, foley, background music on a radio or by performers in the scene, etc. Audio
dubbing1. The primary meaning of dubbing with post production is the process of preparing, editing and mixing the audio tracks of a film. The sound editor balances the dialogue, ADR, sound effects, sound design, voiceover, foley, and score and records the finished soundtrack. "The dub" is a synonym for this phase of post-production, especially in television and commercials.
2. Outside of film, dubbing refers primarily to replacing the language of a film with another language, including matching lip movements and expressiveness.
Audio
echoGeneral term for reverb and delay in audio.Audio
extra-diegeticDescribes elements of a film which occur outside the world of the film, which cannot be observed by the characters within the film. Mostly it describes sounds which are heard by the audience but not by the characters in the film. This might include sound design, musical score, voiceover and narration.Audio
foleyAdditional sounds recorded to replace or augment the natural sounds in the scene. Commonly including footsteps on various surfaces like gravel or concrete, the movement of clothing, trees and foliage, water movements, interactions with props and furniture, the sounds of fights, crashes and explosions.Audio
gainIn audio, the amount by which volume is raised or lowered (increased or attenuated), measured in decibels (dB)Audio
head popA sync pop at the start of a stem.Audio
headroom1. The space between the top of a subject's head and the top edge of the frame of the picture.
2. The margin of error between operating levels and legal peak levels. Considered as a rule of thumb, not a specified value. For example, in audio, if the legal level for dialogue is -6dB and a recording is comfortably peaking around -12dB then the headroom is around 6dB.
Audio
high pass filterIn audio, an effect which isolates frequencies above a specified frequency in order to raise or lower their volume.Audio
laybackThe stage when the final mixed audio is laid onto the finished picture.Audio
LCRSLeft, Centre, Right, Surround. A term indicating the typical channels required for surround sound (although in practice most surround systems use at least 6 channels).Audio
loopingAdditional Dialogue Recording. During editing it might become necessary to re-record production dialogue due to technical, editorial, legal or scheduling reasons. In this case the talent is brought into the studio to re-record their lines as closely as possible to match their pace, performance and intonation from the original shoot. Also called looping, because typically the talent will keep repeating the same line multiple times to give the dialogue editor many options to ensure a good match with the original recording.Audio
low pass filterIn audio, an effect which isolates frequencies below a specified frequency in order to raise or lower their volume.Audio
mixingThe process of balancing the levels of the various elements of a soundtrack, including dialogue, music, voiceover, production sound, sound effects, sound design, ADR, foley and score.Audio
MOSPicture recorded without sound. The acronym is disputed, either "motor only sound", or "mit out sound".Audio
natural soundAudio of the background and environmental sound of the location. This might include indistinct speech, traffic, footsteps, passers by, tree movement, wind.Audio
noise reductionNoise Reduction. In audio post, various methods can be used to improve noisy recordings to avoid re-recording the audio. The methods vary depending on the type of noise. Line noise or hum is typically caused by the local AC electricity frequency, which can be minimised using a band pass filter tuned to that frequence. Hiss can be minimised by a high pass filter, rumble by a low pass filter. Noise between dialogue can be minimised with a noise gate or dynamic compression. Software noise reduction can use a noise sample to remove similar noise from a recording. In general however all noise reduction modifies the recording and usually causes a loss in quality. It only reduces the noise not removes it.Audio
NRNoise Reduction. In audio post, various methods can be used to improve noisy recordings to avoid re-recording the audio. The methods vary depending on the type of noise. Line noise or hum is typically caused by the local AC electricity frequency, which can be minimised using a band pass filter tuned to that frequence. Hiss can be minimised by a high pass filter, rumble by a low pass filter. Noise between dialogue can be minimised with a noise gate or dynamic compression. Software noise reduction can use a noise sample to remove similar noise from a recording. In general however all noise reduction modifies the recording and usually causes a loss in quality. It only reduces the noise not removes it.Audio
patch1. In editing, an audio effect applied to a track which uniformly affects all clips on that track. A common patch is to apply dynamic compression to a voiceover track.
2. In VFX, a visual element composited on top of the picture to hide or replace something else.
Audio
peak levelThe maximum level of a signal, or the maximum permitted level of a signal. For example, a speech recording might peak at -12dB and the delivery specification for audio peaking might require it to be at or below -6dB.Audio
peakingOn an audio meter, when the audio is approaching the maximum level of a channel, it is peaking. If it hits or exceeds the maximum level, it is clipping. On a coloured VU meter, typically a healthy signal is mostly green and at its loudest moments it is peaking in the yellow range. A signal which is peaking too high or even clipping is in the red range.Audio
post-syncIn the UK, post-synchronisation refers to foreign language dubbingAudio
production audioSound recorded on the day of the shoot.Audio
Q factorIn a band pass filter, the Q factor determines the roll-off at either end of the band, whether it tapers off gently or cuts off sharply at specific frequencies.Audio
reverbThe echo caused by a sound reflecting off surfaces in its environment. The reverb inside a car is very different from the reverb inside a bathroom. If sounds such as foley or ADR are added to a scene in post, they should be recorded 'dry' in a studio that has minimal reverberation (by having dampening panels on the wall, or using an anechoic chamber) then reverb is added in the sound mix to match the environment of the scene.Audio
roll-offIn audio, the rate at which a filter takes effect relative to frequency. For example, a filter which slowly tapers off the volume of a sound as the frequency increases has a long roll-off; a filter which suddenly lowers the volume above a specific frequency has a short roll-off (the latter is a cut-off filter).Audio
sample frequencyThe rate at which an audio single is recorded. A higher rate means higher fidelity to the source audio. 48kHz (48,000 samples per second) is typical for most film and video projects. It can be 22kHz for low quality telephone or FM radio, 48kHz for audio CDs, 96kHz for professional studio audio.Audio
score1. n. Music composed for a film.
2. v. To compose music for a film.
Audio
separatesIn audio, a final mix will also be supplied with a set of the component tracks, or stems. A typical set of separates will include: full mix, full mix minus M&E, dialogue only, M&E only, voiceover only.Audio
soundThe audible part of a film, including dialogue, voiceover, sound effects, sound design, foley and music.Audio
sound effectsAdditional audio used to augment or replace specific moments in a film, but not usually music or dialogue. Specific practical sound effects might include gunshots, vehicle sounds, weather and animal sounds. More general sound effects, or sound design, might emphasise cuts, transitions or actions such as whooshes, risers, and record scratches. Foley is a specialised area of sound effects.Audio
sound, sound trackThe audible part of a film, which includes the dialogue, narration, music, sound effects, foley.Audio
spatial audioAudio designed for VR and other immersive viewing environments. This is not solely about the listener hearing sound from every direction (this is surround sound) but the viewer is also able to move around within the space and the audio sources will adjust to match the viewer's position.Audio
speechWords spoken by cast or contributors in the scene.Audio
spottingAfter an edit has been locked, the sound post department gather for a 'spotting' session to determine the sound post needs of the film, including identifying where lines of dialogue need re-recording, where sound effects and foley are needed, where score will go, what sound design could be incorporated, and any other issues that need addressing.Audio
stemIn audio, a final mix will be supplied as separates, or stems. A typical set of stems will include: full mix, full mix minus M&E, dialogue only, M&E only, voiceover only.Audio
surround soundA soundtrack which is split into channels for speakers located in front, behind and to each side of you, providing more opportunity for spatial placement of sound from off-screen events, and thus a greater sense of immersion in the scene. In a typical 5.1 surround setup this includes Left, Centre, Right and Sub speakers in front of you and Rear Left and Rear Right surround speakers behind you. In cinemas, especially those equipped for IMAX and Dolby Atmos, surround sound can include dozens or hundreds of speakers on all sides and also above and below.Audio
sweeteningTypically refers to filtering or adding sound effects and sound design to a scene to create depth and interest. This can include noise reduction, adding dynamic compression, reverb or simply adjusting or normalising sound levels to make a particular element stand out more clearly.Audio
sync popA single frame of tone or beep preceding the beginning of the programme in audio deliverables. This matches up with a single frame of white at the same point in the picture, ensuring that both picture and audio are exactly in sync. This typically occurs exactly two seconds before the first frame of picture, and is commonly called a '2-pop'.Audio
tail popA sync pop at the end of a stem.Audio
VOVoiceover. A descriptive or informative voice which addreses the viewer, but not the characters in the story.Audio
voiceoverCommentary or narration. A descriptive or informative voice which addreses the viewer, but not the characters in the story. Added during editing as extra-diegetic audio.Audio
volumeIn audio, the loudness or intensity of a sound, how loud the sound is perceived by the listener rather than an absolute value.Audio
VSTVirtual Studio Technology. An audio software ecosystem which allows effects, plug-ins, filters and instruments to be integrated into any supporting software.Audio
waveformThe visual representation of an audio signal.Audio
wild trackAudio of the set or location provided to the editor to fill gaps between dialogue. The sound recordist will generally ask for quiet on set to eliminate crew talking and movement.Audio
CMYKCyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black. The colour definition used for print media, as opposed to RGB which is the colour definition for video and digital media. Assets for video project must be supplied as RGB, not CMYK, to ensure reliable colour reproduction.Colour
colour calibrationTo measure and then adjust the colour profile of a device to a known state. In video, this typically means monitors and projectors. For calibrating a monitor, a colorimeter is placed on the display, shielded from ambient light. Software displays a series of reference images and compares the values detected by the calibration device. The software calculates any corrections required which are saved as a colour profile (an ICC profile). Colour calibration is necessary for all devices in a colour-managed workflow.Colour
colour correctionThe process of manipulating chroma and luminance to balance an image, mitigate issues with white balance or exposure, match the look of footage shot on different cameras or in different lighting conditions. This is synonymous with grading, although grading implies creating an artistic look for a film, whereas colour correction is more focussed on unifying a look.Colour
colour pipelineThe series of hardware, software, operating system, displays, drivers, scopes and monitors which must be managed, profiled and calibrated correctly to ensure consistent and correct handling of colour information, starting with image acquisition (i.e. the camera) and ending with exhibition (i.e. the TV or projector).Colour
colour spaceThe range of colour values within the definition of a colour profile for a given screen, camera or editing environment.Colour
colour wheelA circular element on a colour correction interface which allows the colourist to control the hue and luminance of an image.Colour
colouristA colourist is responsible for colour correcting and grading the picture, usually in collaboration with the director of photography with the goal of creating a distinctive 'look' across the entire picture. This is best done in a controlled environment with neutral lighting, grey walls, calibrated monitors and video scopes to ensure the best conditions for accurately and consistently viewing colours. Aspects of this workflow include matching colour balance and exposure across shots from different cameras or lighting conditions within a single scene; applying looks to enhance mood and atmosphere; mitigating problems such as under- or over-exposure or clashing colour palettes; ensuring compliance with broadcast and delivery specifications for white levels, black levels, IRE, luminance and chroma levels.Colour
correctionIn grading, a colour correction. Often used to fix white balance issues, or to match footage from different cameras or with changing lighting conditions.Colour
curveIn grading, a graphical method of adjusting colour balance. A curve allows smooth roll off of particular colours for particular chroma or luma levels. Common presets aim for film-like S-curves where the lower midtones are raised, and the upper mid tones are lowered, or vice versa. Other curves Colour
day for nightA process where footage shot in the day can be made to look like night, by adding a blue tint, increasing contrast and reducing exposure. However ideal shooting conditions require few shadows and overcast conditions (since long shadows suggest a strong low light source, i.e. the sun) and no birds or diurnal insect life, and shooting at dawn or dusk when lights in windows and vehicles are visible.Colour
gainIn colour correction, to raise the luminance level of the highlights (white levels) of an image, or of an individual colour channel in an image.Colour
gammaIn colour correction, to raise the luminance level of the midtones while retaining the existing shadows and highlight levels of an image, or of an individual colour channel in an image.Colour
gamutThe range of colour values within the definition of a colour profile for a given screen, camera or editing environment.Colour
gradingThe process of applying a 'look' to footage by manipulating colour and luminance. The goal is to enhance the mood and heighten the atmosphere of the footage to best serve the story, but also in the best examples to provide a singular, at-a-glance look for the film, reflects the tastes of the director or studio. For example, Michael Bay's cyan and orange hues, the hyper-colorised Marvel Cinematic Universe, or the descent from childish adventure into gothic nightmare of the Harry Potter series.Colour
hexadecimalA counting method with a base of sixteen, shown as the decimal digits 0-9 and letters A-F which represent values 0-15. Hex values are preceded by a # symbol. For example, #0A in hex is 10 in decimal, #20 in hex is 32 in decimal, #FF in hex is 255 in decimal. Hex is commonly used for component RGB colour values, for example pure white is decimal (255,255,255) or hex #FFFFFF.Colour
hueColour.Colour
liftIn colour correction, to raise the luminance level of the shadows (dark tones or black levels) of an image, or of an individual colour channel in an image.Colour
LUTLook-Up Table. A colour space transformation useful for providing a first light grade on set and in the edit, prior to the colourist doing a full grade on the picture.Colour
one light gradeA primary 'rough' colour correction to give an indication of the look a director or DoP is going for, prior to the colourist doing a full grade on the picture. This might involve basic primary colour correction done in the NLE to set the black, white and gamma levels, or it might involve a LUT which is installed on the camera during acquisition and embedded in the rushes given to the editor.Colour
primary correctionIn grading, a basic colour correction which affects the entire frame of the picture equally. Typically this is limited to brightness, contrast, saturation, gamma, lift, gain, curve and shadow/mid/highlight adjustments. Colour
RGBRed, green and blue. Typically of component video which splits an image into a signal for each component colour. Each pixel is defined by a triple value. For example (255,0,0) and #FF0000 represent pure red in decimal and hex respectively.Colour
secondary correctionIn grading, a selective colour correction which affects only specific chroma/luma ranges of the picture, selected with the use of a key. For example, desaturating all colours except skin tones to achieve a 'wartime' look; or hue-shifting the colour of the sky to achieve a dystopian sci-fi look.Colour
compliance1. Technical compliance refers to adhering to given specifications, particularly of the delivery format. Broadcast formats typically dictate the digital file format (e.g. MXF Op1A), audio channels (e.g. stereo) and peak level (e.g. -12dB), picture IRE level (e.g. 03dB) and timecode (e.g. zero-based, 10:00:00:00 based, 09:59:50:00 based).
2. Legal compliance refers to ensuring due legal consideration has been given to the content of the edit to mitigate against potential litigation. For example, whether clearance has been obtained for music tracks, whether uncleared contributors need to be blurred out, whether facts stated in voiceover have corroborating sources, etc.
Editing
4KFootage with horizontal resolution of approximately 4,000 pixels. In TV television and consumer media, 4K or UHD is typically 3840×2160 pixels, approximately 8.3 millions pixels. For cinema, DCI 4K is 4096×2160 pixels, approximately 8.8 million pixels.Editing
6KFootage with horizontal resolution of approximately 6,000 pixels. Currently this is not a broadcast format. 6K camera sensors and TVs are typically 6144 x 3456 resolution, approximately 21 million pixels.Editing
8KFootage with horizontal resolution of approximately 8,000 pixels. Currently this is not a broadcast format. 8K camera sensors and TVs are typically 7680 x 4320 resolution, approximately 33 million pixels.Editing
AACAdvanced Audio Coding. A standard of lossy digital audio compression. Designed to replace MP3, giving higher quality at the same bit rate.Editing
AAFAdvanced Authoring Format. A file standard for cross-platform data interchange, particular for transferring audio from the edit to audio post production. AAFs can contain embedded audio, or can link to external audio files, with or without handles.Editing
actIn a film, a series of scenes and sequences, loosely unified by the stage of a protagonist's mission (in conventional storytelling). For example, the journey to the Emerald City, how Steve becomes Captain America, Bilbo being persuaded to go on a journey.Editing
action safe areaAn area of the screen where the main action of a scene must take place, subject to specifications supplied by the channel or distributor.Editing
Adobe After EffectsVisual effects, motion graphics and compositing software developed by Adobe Systems. It provides comprehensive tools for keying, motion tracking, rotoscoping, title animation, character animation, stereoscopic 3D, time remapping, Java-based scripting, and a stable plug-in architecture supported by a longstanding ecosystem of developers.Editing
Adobe Premiere ProEditing software published by Adobe Systems. It provides a comprehensive suite of timeline and trim editing tools, plus GPU-accelerated realtime playback of multiple video and audio formats up to 10K resolution RGB and YUV up to 32 bits per channel, editing of 360º 3D material, surround audio, and proxy and ingest workflows. It is available only Windows and macOS by subscription only. It integrates via dynamic linking to Adobe After Effects, a leading motion graphics and visual effects package, as well as other Creative Cloud applications. It is widely used in the commercial, web and branded content industries. However it is less common in film and television where Avid Media Composer dominates.Editing
AE1. Assistant Editor
2. After Effects
Editing
ALEAvid Log Exchange. An Avid-specific tab-delimited ASCII text file similar to an EDL.Editing
AMCAvid Media ComposerEditing
ASLAverage Shot Length. A measurement of the pace of an edit. The length of the film divided by the number of shots, devised by film scholar Barry Salt in the 1970s. In 1930, the average shot length in movies was 12 seconds. In 2014 it was 2.5 seconds.Editing
aspect ratioThe ratio of the horizontal dimension of the image compared to the vertical dimension of the image. For example, widescreen broadcast television is typically 16:9 whereas theatrical cinema widescreen is typically 2.39:1.Editing
assemblyThe first cut of a film which blocks out the story structure. Typically this will closely reflect the script, be several times the intended duration, and may or may not include temp score, sound effects or visual effects. This precedes a rough cut.Editing
assetAny element to be used in an edit, such as library music, graphics renders, sound effects – but not including rushes.Editing
assistant editorA mainly technical role supporting the editor by pulling selects, doing playouts, updating graphics or VFX, and managing media. Occasionally the editor might delegate editing to the assistant.Editing
1st assistant editorA mainly technical role supporting the editor by pulling selects, doing playouts, updating graphics or VFX, and managing media. A common role on films, but not TV. The 1st AE is effectively the technical leader of the editorial department, where the editor might be considered the creative lead.Editing
AstonOn-screen text, usually a lower third, showing the name and role of a contributor.Editing
Avid Media ComposerEditing software published by Avid Inc. It was one of the original and remains the leading and most longstanding non-linear editing system for Mac and PC. It uses a unique bin-based project structure which allows reliable and seamless network-based editing which is especially useful for environments with multiple editors working on the same show in parallel, such as factual television. Its non-linear editing tools use a film-like paradigm with a strong bias towards trim editing. Today this paradigm is seen as idiosyncratic and unintuitive in light of more modern, powerful and flexible rivals such as Davinci Resolve and Final Cut Pro X which support non-broadcast formats, have GPU acceleration, intuitive timeline management and robust motion graphics and visual effects tools. However these lack the robust project sharing that Avid provides. Due to its status as forerunner, the widespread use of its legacy workflows, and its proven server infrastructure, Media Composer remains the dominant editing tool for professional offline and online editors in TV and film, although it is rarely used outside of these industries.Editing
axial cutA jump cut in the direction of the camera's axis, i.e. in a direct line towards or away from the subject.Editing
Betacam, DigibetaThe last predominant magnetic tape formats for professional and broadcast recording.Editing
binIn Avid Media Composer, a file within an Avid project which contains sequences, master clips, effect clips and other references clips. A bin can be opened by multiple users, but only one user can write to that bin at a time.Editing
BITCBurnt-In Timecode. (BITC pronounced "bitsy".) Timecode visible on the picture, helpful for giving timecoded feedback, and also for preventing unwanted distribution.Editing
bitrateThe amount of data used in playing back media per second. Commonly measured in kilobits per second (kbps) and megabits per second (Mbps). The correct capitalisation of units is critical: 1 kbps = 1 kilobit per second = 1,024 bits per second which is eight times smaller than 1 kBps = 1 kilobyte per second) = 1,024 bytes per second = 8,192 bits per second.Editing
Black Magic ResolveSee Davinci Resolve.Editing
bridging shotA shot to express a jump in or passage of time. For example, the change of seasons, hands of a clock, sunset/sunrise, etc.Editing
burnIn film, when the acetate is exposed to a heat source (such as a projector lamp) it will tend to break down, producing characteristic melting and singeing in the image.Editing
captureTo record footage in realtime. Typically this means playing footage on one device while recording it in realtime on another. For example, recording a live stream, or recording someone interacting with their computer screen (screen capture). This is distinct from acquisition which is about recording something on camera which is occurring live and which is not already playing on another device. It is also distinct from a screenshot which is a single still image.Editing
CinemaDNGCinema Digital Negative. An industry-wide open file format for digital cinema files, lead by Adobe Inc. It specified a folder structure containing image sequences, audio and metadata. CinemaDNG is distinct from Adobe DNG which is primarily for still images, but both use the same DNG image encoding.Editing
clipA block of audio or video which can be placed on and moved around the timeline in editing software; or a piece of audio or video media.Editing
closed captionsSubtitles which also describe the mood music, key sounds and changes of speaker, as well as spoken words.
Editing
cold openThe practice of jumping directly into a story at the beginning of programme before titles, pretitles or opening credits. Common in films (where title sequences and opening credits are also becoming less common), and in scripted and unscripted television. In some cases it will even be placed at the end of the preceding TV show before an ad break in an effeort to retain audiences.Editing
commitIn Avid, to convert a line cut into a flattened edit, to replace a grouped clip on the timeline with the original clip itself.Editing
conformTo take an offline edit and reconnect it with online (full resolution) media while ensuring all motion and retiming effects are accurately carried over.Editing
consolidateTo gather all assets and media used in a project into a single location, for portability or backup. Usually also implies removing or ignoring the assets which were ingested but were ultimately not used in the project.Editing
continuity editingThis is the philosophy behind what we think of as editing. Essentially, when we see one picture followed by another picture, our minds imagine an assocation between the images. In film, the sequence of shots suggests associations of how one character is reacting to another, how one event leads to the next, how these discrete images in fact form a continuum. Editing takes advantage of this sense of continuity to create a narrative, to manipulate our intellectual response and heighten our emotional response.Editing
continuity errorIn editing, a lapse in self-consistency of a scene or story, such as props which change position, cigarettes which change the amount they've been smoked, or a drink in a glass which changes level over the course of a scene. The importance of continuity is often a point of contention between those who believe story trumps continuity - if an audience is engaged with the story, they won't notice the errors - and those who think continuity errors take them out of the story.Editing
crawlThe movement of credits up a screen. Also called roll.Editing
CSMClean master. A version of the edit without on-screen graphics or text so that the programme can be localised for other territories, languages or branding. Textless versions of on-screen graphics may be provided as snap-ins.Editing
cut aroundTo tweak an edit to remove something. For example, if a dog is peeing in the background, choosing different takes or camera angles so it can't be seen.Editing
cut detectionA function in some NLEs which automatically detects the beginning of shots in a long piece of media, then adds a cut or a marker at that point.Editing
cutdownTo take an edit and make it shorter, tighter, less repetitive, more to the point.Editing
cut in1. To insert a shot or a scene into an edit.
2. To begin a scene. As in "cut in when he sits down".
Editing
cut on actionTo cut from an action beginning in one shot to the completion of that action in the following shot. Especially common in fights, battles, action scene, but equally effective in maintaining momentum in any scenes.Editing
cut out1. To remove a shot or a scene from an edit.
2. To end a scene. As in "cut out before he stands up".
Editing
cutting rhythmThe pace and regularity established by the duration of the shots in a scene, aka the external rhythm, as distinct from the internal rhythm implied by the actions taking place within those shots. Typically, editors avoid cutting rhythmically as it can be deadening or predictable, and it goes against the natural internal rhythm of the action and therefore tends to disengage the viewer from the action. However, being mindful about when you can lengthen or shorten shots, or give more head or tail frames on a shot before cutting out of it, can begin to impose a complementary rhythm to a scene, which can heighten tension or build rising action in a sequence. (Nolan's Dunkirk is an almost mathematical example of this.) Similarly being aware of how transitions affect the external rhythm - straight cuts are fast compared to dissolves and wipes which are slow; cuts between action are 'fast' but cuts from close ups to long shots are 'slow', etc.Editing
cutting room floorWhere all the unwanted bits of a film end up, both literally and figuratively.Editing
cuttyHaving too many cuts and causing narrative incoherence or disrupting the flow of the edit.Editing
Davinci ResolveEditing software published by Black Magic Design which includes robust intuitive timeline and trim editing tools, plus GPU-accelerated realtime playback of multiple video and audio formats in YRGB colour pipeline at 32 bits per channel. It is available in a free version which is limited to HD resolution, or a paid Studio version which is unlimited. The software, available for Windows, macOS and Linux, covers a full post production workflow through a series of 'rooms': Cut for rushes assembly; Edit for fine cutting; Color for grading; Fusion for motion graphics and visual effects; and Fairlight for audio post; plus tools for batch ingest and exporting. It is the newest of the big four NLEs (Avid, Premiere, Final Cut Pro, Resolve) and the most modern in its adoption of accelerated workflows and advanced formats. Despite its unparalleled performance on all platforms and comprehensive suite of professional tools (especially at its price point) Resolve has the lowest market share in all industry sectors, with the possible exception of grading.Editing
DCPDigital Cinema Package. The commonest form of delivery for audio, video and metadata for cinema distribution and exhibition.Editing
debayerAll digital images are stored using a Bayer filter so that each pixel on the camera sensor is encoded into a group of pixels. Typically, this would be a group of four pixels, one each for Red and Blue and two for Green, because this more closely matches the physiology of the human eye. A debayer filter takes a group of groups and averages a single pixel out of these, resulting in a lower quality but much more flexible and lightweight image in terms of CPU load. NLEs such as Adobe Premiere allow users to set a debayer level of 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, etc, so that when handling, say, an 8K image with a 1/4 debayer the CPU will only process 2K pixels. This reduces the need for proxies, however it still requires fast storage and can introduce latency when switching between debayed and non-debayed viewing modes so a fast RAM bus is also preferred.Editing
deinterlacingThe process of converting interlaced video into non-interlaced or progressive video. On digital displays, such as all modern TVs, interlacing is noticeable and unncessary and is rarely used, except in certain broadcast cases like sports and news. So in playing back older interlaced formats it is necessary to remove the interlacing. There are several ways to achieve this: by only displaying one of the two fields, by interpolating one or both fields to create new fields to make a progressive image. Modern DVD and BluRay players will upscale interlaced images to HD by interpolating fields as well as increasing the size of the image. However once an image has been interlaced, it cannot be reliably deinterlaced without loss of quality in the image or the motion of the image.Editing
deliveryThe final stage of finishing when a picture has been QCd and is ready for distribution or broadcast.Editing
delivery specA document describing specific technical requirements for the delivery of a finished show to the broadcaster or distributor. The finishing editor must ensure the final picture and audio conform to this spec in every detail. Any failure to match this spec could be expensive, time consuming and reputationally damaging.Editing
digital cut listAnother form of edit decision list.Editing
Digital IntermediateA digital intermediate (DI) is a digitised scan of a film. In the early 2000s, this allowed digital manipulation of the colour and other characteristics of a film image. Today the post production of all films is fully digital. Very few films are shot on actual film, even fewer (possibly zero) are edited on film, and no new films are distributed that way, so the notion of it being an 'intermediate' is somewhat redundant.Editing
dissolveA transition where one picture fades out as another picture fades in at the same time. Different dissolves have different effects, such as additive dissolve or film dissolve. Originally it referred to frames of film acetate being chemically dissolved by a fixed amount each frame resulting in a smooth transition from a fully opaque to a fully transparent moving image.Editing
DPXDigital Picture Exchange. A professional file format used for high quality digital intermediate scans and for visual effects on film and television. Based on the Kodak Cineon format.Editing
driftThis is when two recordings which should be in sync become progressively more and more out of sync. It is often caused by variable frame rate recording, live stream recordings, or an incorrect ingest/conforming workflow. This is impossible to rectify other than by manually resynchronising the clips at regular intervals.Editing
drop frameHistorically, NTSC colour television was designed to run at 30fps but transmission complications meant it had to be broadcast at 29.97fps to reduce interference on old monochrome televisions. This altered frame rate meant that one hour according to the timecode 01;00;00;00 was in fact 01:00:03:18 in real clock time, a discrepancy of 3.6 seconds every hour. A drop frame system was invented which skipped the first and second frames of the first second of every minute in the timecode, except when minutes are a multiple of ten. No actual frames of picture were dropped, only the numbering of those frames. This reduced the discrepancy to 1 frame every 9h15mins. Drop frame timecode is indicated by semicolons like 01;00;00;00.Editing
dupe detectionA function of most NLEs which adds a highlight colour to video or audio which has been used somewhere else on the same timeline.Editing
edit1. v. To arrange sound and picture in a sequence to tell a story.
2. n. A cut applied to a clip resulting in two separate clips.
Editing
editingThe process of arranging sound and picture in sequence to tell a story, weaving many strands simultaneously including dialogue, action, narration, music, visual effects, motion graphics, silence and titles to create a coherent and convincing world, inhabited by characters who are compelling, believable and rounded. Editing is sometimes called the only art unique to filmmaking.Editing
editorAn editor takes the rushes for a show and turns them into an engaging, impactful and coherent story. An editor creatively weaves and manipulates multiple layers of picture, sound, dialogue and music, but more fundamentally the editor moulds on-screen performances into strong and sympathetic characters, and places them in a self-contained world which is credible, unique and consistent. The role is highly technical, requiring expert knowledge of non-linear editing, sound mixing, and post production workflows, and increasingly knowledge of compositing, grading and motion graphics. But primarily it is about leveraging that expertise in the service of the story and emotional journey of the film. Editors work closely alongside directors and producers and have a dynamic and creative role in nurturing the full potential of a finished film.Editing
editorialThe Editing Department. The team of editors, assistant editors, and supporting staff.Editing
EDLEdit Decision List. A basic but versatile text document which lists the clips on a timeline. An EDL has multiple uses. It can contain filenames for library assets which can help production in clearing and licensing those assets. It can contain the filenames of VFX shots to keep tracking databases up-to-date. The original intent of an EDL was to provide a means of transferring a sequence of clips and their in- and out-points between editing systems. In practice however modern timelines are more complex and involve visual effects, motion graphics, motion effects and dynamic assets which an EDL cannot encapsulate, so EDLs have largely been replaced by XML.Editing
encodeTo convert a signal into a digital format. For example, an audio recording is encoded as Linear PCM or AAC; a moving picture is encoded as MP4 or ProRes.Editing
end creditsThe list of personnel who contributed to the making of the programme. In film, these are typically rolling credits aka a crawl.Editing
even fieldThe second of lower field of an interlaced broadcast image.Editing
exportTo play out the contents of the timeline to a video file. This might be a compressed format such as MP4 or HEVC, intermediate format such as DNxHD or ProRes, or an uncompressed format such as 8-bit or a TIFF sequence. Export is often confused with render. In 3D and motion graphics packages, finished sequences are typically rendered out, not exported. Whereas in video, complex effects within a sequence are rendered, but finished sequences are typically exported. But this terminology is not consistently applied between different software and systems.Editing
external rhythmSee cutting rhythm.Editing
fadeA transition where the picture goes from full opacity to full transparency, or vice versa.Editing
fast cuttingA series of shots of typically 3 seconds or less, used as a montage to convey energy, chaotic action, multiple or repeated actions, or simply to provide rhythmic variation.Editing
fast motionFootage recorded in realtime which is speeded up to convey frenetic or busy activity.Editing
FCPFinal Cut ProEditing
feature filmA full length movie.Editing
fieldInterlaced broadcast images consist of two fields, an upper (odd or first) field and a lower (even or second field).Editing
field orderThe order in which lines of an interlaced broadcast image are transmitted. For example, PAL and NTSC are both lower or even field formats which means the second line is broadcast first. (By convention, 'first field' means the topmost field of the image, not the first field to be transmitted.)Editing
filterIn video editing, an effect which can be added to footage to achieve a desired look (such as Black & White, or Vignette) or add elements to it (such as Lens Flare, or Particles) or distort or manipulate the image (such as Morphing, Blur or Camera Lens Correction). All NLEs come with a large collection of filters and effects, and more can be added as plug-ins or extensions.Editing
final cutThe creative authority to have the last word on a film's edit. Usually retained by the studio, but sometimes offered to directors as incentive to sign a deal.Editing
fine cutThe cut of a film done in collaboration between the editor and director. Typically this reflects their best judgment on how to effectively tell the story, be approximately to length, and will include temp score and visual effects.Editing
finishingThe final stage of post production which typically includes conforming, grading, sound mix, QC and delivery.Editing
flash frameA single erroneous frame. Typically a frame of black between two clips, or a frame of another clip.Editing
flashbackA scene which reveals action that had occured previously but the audience was not aware of and which gives them new insight at the present time.Editing
flashforwardA scene which shows action that has not yet taken place, but gives the audience insight into the present time.Editing
flipTo reflect an image vertically (top to bottom).Editing
flip-flopTo reflect an image both horizontally and vertically at the same time.Editing
flopTo reflect an image horizontally (left to right). In editing, this is often used to correct eyelines when the line of action has been crossed.Editing
footageAny moving pictures. Originally moving pictures shot by a film camera, the duration of which was measured in feet.Editing
FPSFrames per second. A measure of the rate of playback of a moving picture.Editing
frameA single image in the sequence of images which constitue a moving picture.Editing
frames per secondThe rate of playback of the frames of a moving picture. For example, PAL is 25fps, NTSC 29.97fps, cinema 23.976fps typically.Editing
FrankenbiteTo construct sentences by assembling words or phrases from other sentences. A dishonest and common practice, especially in factual and reality TV.Editing
free run timecodeTimecode which continuously counts up whether the camera is recording or not. The result is the clips can be easily laid out in their correct chronological sequence on a timeline. Time of day timecode, set to the actual clock time on the day of shooting, is the most common form of free run timecode.Editing
freeze frameHolding on a single frame of moving picture, for comedic or dramatic but usually ironic effect.Editing
Full HDSynonym for 1920x1080 HD, as distinct from 1280×720 'HD Ready'.Editing
GIFA moving picture format which uses run length encoding (RLE) so it is most efficient on images with a restricted colour palette, such as diagrams or cartoons. It is inefficient for encoding video. (Pronounced "jiff" though often pronounced "giff".)Editing
Golden MomentsThe visual highlights which leave a strong impression while reviewing rushes. Based on a Peter Jackson technique to watch the rushes without sound.Editing
GPU accelerationMost modern NLEs leverage the graphics card (GPU) to accelerate the user interface, realtime playback, rendering, exporting and other CPU-intensive tasks, and do more background processing. This frees up the CPU to deliver a fast, flexible and responsive user experience even while the GPU is under heavy load.Editing
grabA short succinct section of speech, sync or interview which is especially impactful or insightful. A soundbite taken from rushes.Editing
guidesA grid or lines on-screen which indicate the legal safe area for titles and action, usually subject to specifications supplied by the channel or distributor.Editing
H.264The most common video compression format officially known as Advanced Video Coding (AVC) or MPEG-4 Part 10. Container formats such as MP4 and M4V typically contain H.264-encoded video tracks. It is based on block-oriented, motion-compensated integer-DCT coding, supporting resolutions up to 8K. It is typically lossy, although at high bitrates and with specific encoding methods it can be truly lossless. Currently (Jan 2022) in the process of being superceded by HEVC H.265.Editing
H.265A video compression codec also known as HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) and MPEG-H Part 2. It is the successor to H.264 Advanced Video Coding (AVC). HEVC is up to 50% more efficient and supports resolutions up to 8K.Editing
handles1. Extra frames at the start and end of a clip, usually to allow for transitions. For example, when supplying an edit to audio post, it is common to supply the audio clips as an AAF file with 25 or 50 frame handles.
2. Manipulation controls on a keyframe or vertex which adjust the smoothness or acceleration of a Bezier curve in or out of that point.
Editing
Harding testA quality control check done to ensure there are no flash frames which might cause bandwidth or power transmission issues in a broadcast signal. A cut from a black frame to a pure white frame will typically fail a Harding test, so editors should generally use a 2- or 3-frame 'dip to white' in these instances. Also called a flash test.Editing
HDHigh Definition digital image format, defined as 1920×1080 square pixels resolution, total 2 million pixels.Editing
HD ReadyA sub High Definition digital image resolution, defined as 1280×720 square pixels resolution, total 1 million pixels.Editing
HDR1. High Dynamic Range. Footage with at least 13 stops (a measure of photographic exposure) between the black and white levels.
2. Hard Disk Recorder. Generally superceded by solid state recorders.
Editing
HEVCHigh Efficiency Video Coding. A video compression codec, also known as H.265 and MPEG-H Part 2, the successor to H.264 Advanced Video Coding (AVC). HEVC is up to 50% more efficient and supports resolutions up to 8K.Editing
High DefinitionHigh Definition digital image format, defined as 1920×1080 square pixels resolution, total 2 million pixels.Editing
High Dynamic RangeHigh Dynamic Range. Footage with at least 13 stops (a measure of photographic exposure) between the black and white levels. Traditional cameras have a dynamic range of 6 to 10 stops, while the human eye is about 20 stops. The advantage of HDR is it allows for more detail in both shadows and highlights at the same time. For example, on a sunny beach with a cave in the background, a camera with a standard dynamic range will not be able to expose for both the low lighting in the cave and the bright lighting on the beach, so either the cave will be well exposed and the beach will be an over-exposed white region with no detail, or the cave will be a black shape with no details and the beach will be exposed correctly. An HDR camera sensor can expose for both parts of the image at the same time.Editing
hip hop montageAn example of fast cutting coined by Darren Aronofsky referring to the "pills and TV" montages in Requiem For A Dream.Editing
iAs in 1080i, refers to interlaced frames. Each frame of an interlaced picture consists of alternating lines where odd lines show image data for the previous 1/fps earlier in time, and the even lines show image data from the current moment in time. See interlacing.Editing
importTo bring media or an asset into a piece of software. See also ingest.Editing
in pointAn indicator on a timeline marking the starting point of a selection. The selection ends at a later indicator called the out point.Editing
ingestTo transcode media at the point of importing it into the editing environment, from a camera or any other source. Typically this is done when converting compressed rushes into intermediate and proxy formats for ease of editing.Editing
insertAn edit where the incoming clip shifts any existing clips on the same tracks to later (down) on the timeline.Editing
inter-frame compressionA form of video encoding where the data for a given frame of picture is spread across a group of frames. This means each frame only needs to store the parts of the picture which have changed from the preceding frame, therefore it is extremely efficient in reducing file size. Formats which use inter-frame compression include MPEG, MP4, HEVC.Editing
interlacedA format of broadcast television where each frame of a moving picture consists of alternating lines called upper (odd numbered) and lower (even numbered) fields. The fields are drawn at twice the framerate of the picture. First all the lines of one field are scanned down the screen, and then all the lines of the second field are scanned, half a frame later. This results in perceptually smoother motion. Originally it also helped with radio transmission. The disadvantage is that the picture at a given moment in time is only half the resolution and often 'combing' is visible between frames with a lot of motion. Interlacing also poses challenges for conventional digital compression. Interlacing is still common for broadcast television, especially sports events.Editing
intermediate formatA format of video encoding which is suitable for editing, such as ProRes or DNxHD. Many cameras record in highly-compressed formats such as MP4 or HEVC so these should be transcoded prior to editing in an intermediate format. Typically an intermediate format has moderate compression and moderate file size; the footage might require more storage space than a highly compressed camera format recorded by the camera, but it will require lower processing overheads and be more fluid and responsive to edit on an average computer. See also proxy.Editing
internal rhythmSee cutting rhythm.Editing
interpolateTo create new data by projecting new values from known values. Specifically, when slowing down video footage, new frames must be interpolated between the existing frames. These frames will be low quality and show visual artefacts of the motion interpolation method chosen to slow down the footage. Traditional methods include field duplication, field interpolation and blended field interpolation. Modern methods include Pixel Motion, Optical Flow, Fluid Motion and most recently Depth-Aware Video Frame Interpolation (DAIN).Editing
interpretTo change the framerate of footage with no loss of image quality but with a corresponding change of speed. For example, conforming film footage at 24fps to 25fps for broadcast means the action is sped up by 4% but no additional frames need to be interpolated so image quality is preserved. Also conforming 200fps footage to 25fps means the footage plays in 1/8th speed slow motion on a standard 25fps timeline.Editing
intra-frame compressionA form of video encoding where every frame contains all the data required to draw that frame, in contrast to inter-frame compression which spreads the data for a given frame across a group of frames. Formats which use intra-frame compression include ProRes, DNxHD, Cineform.Editing
iris transitionA transition where the picture shrinks down to an iris shape, or expands up from one (the intro to every James Bond movie).Editing
ISISThe former name for the Avid network storage and server management solution. Changed, for obvious reasons, to NEXIS.Editing
J cutA method of cutting where the audio of the next sceme comes in before the picture. This creates anticipation and increases engagement and tends to accelerate the pace of a story.Editing
J-K-LBy default in all NLEs, the JKL keys on a computer keyboard control shuttling and playback up and down the timelineEditing
jump cutA method of cutting where a continuous shot abruptly cuts to a later part of the same shot with the implication of jumping forward in time. This can be done to jar or put off an audience. Modern audiences are generally unused to jump cuts, causing them to disengage from a film – unless the cut is bolstered by sound design at the moment of the cut to emphasise that the jump is deliberate.Editing
keyboard macroA method of using one keystroke or keyboard shortcut to trigger a series of actions, using software such as Automator, Keyboard Maestro, Macro Creator.Editing
keyboard shortcutA key press or combination of key presses which triggers an action. For example, ctrl+S on Windows (cmd+S on macOS) saves what you're working on; ctrl+tab on Windows (cmd+tab on macOS) switches between the applications you have open. Typically a keyboard shortcut will combine one or more modifier keys (ctrl, shift, opt, alt, cmd, fn) with a number or letter key. Keyboard shortcuts for most common commands can be seen next to that command in dropdown menus. Most NLEs also allow you to define your own keyboard shortcuts.Editing
keyframe1. A point in time where the value of something is fixed. The computer will automatically calculate the change in the value between the fixed points. For example, in motion graphics, to move an object across the screen, place a keyframe at the time you want it to start moving and another keyframe at the time you want it to stop moving, then change the position of the object at each of these times. When it is played back, the software will automatically calculate the position of the object for every frame between the keyframes.
2. In compressed video formats, a keyframe contains all of the data required to draw a given frame of picture. Subsequent frames will contain only the data which has changed compared to the keyframe, thus considerably reducing the total data needed to represent the sequence.
Editing
Kuleshov effectThe effect which underpins continuity editing, as demonstrated by Russian film theorist Lev Kuleshov. He showed a sequence of shots of the expressionless face of Russian actor Ivan Mosjoukine intercut with a bowl of soup, a child in a coffin, and a seductive woman. Supposedly, viewers inferred that Ivan's face expressed hunger, grief and desire in each case, even though the same shot of his face was repeated. Kuleshov claimed this demonstrated the power of montage, that the power was not in the content of pictures but in their combination, which can be reordered by the filmmaker to express an intent that is different from the original.Editing
L cutA method of cutting where the audio of the preceding scene carries on under the picture in the next scene. The creates an implied association, or the sense that the previous scene is 'commenting' on the next scene. It can accelerate or slow down the pace of an edit depending on its application, but it increases engagement.Editing
lassoA selection method which draws a region to select the objects within in. In Avid, this is rectangular, in most other apps it is elliptical in shape.Editing
latencyThe delay between a user's input and a system's response to it. High latency times mean slow, unresponsive systems, like lag in online gaming. Low latency times mean fluid, responsive systems, for example when working with lightweight media in GPU-accelerated software like Resolve or Final Cut Pro. It is possible to have a fast connection but also high latency, for example traditional spinning disk hard drives might have long seek times (latency) but fast sequential read times; or in editing long-GOP media, an NLE might need to decompress and buffer multiple frames before it can start playing it.Editing
leaderA section of film preceding the main picture, which might include a countdown from ten, or simply a section of black footage. The leader was originally intended to provide a layer of physical protection to the outermost exposed layers of acetate film on a reel. In cinema projection, the leader and tail would be removed from each reel of film when it was spooled onto the projector platter, then after the film had played the film would be broken down into reels again and the leaders and tail reattached to each reel for safe transportation. See also tail.Editing
letterboxingBlack bars which appear above and below the picture when the picture is not tall enough to fill the dimensions of the display format.Editing
library1. Assets used in a film which must be licenced or bought for use in that production. For example, library music can be licenced in addition to or instead of score music; library sound effects can be purchased to augment an edit; library footage of animals or weather or crowds might be easier to licence than to film.
2. A company from which a production can licence or purchase music, effects or footage.
3. In shared projects, a collection of assets available for all editors or operators to use.
Editing
line cutIn a show with multiple cameras, to decide which camera angle to show at a given moment.Editing
linear editingThis describes all film editing prior to the use of computer-based editing. Lengths of acetate film were spliced (connected) together using tape or glue and wound round reels. Moving a given shot earlier or later on the reel was a laborious and slow task, so the editing was planned in a linear fashion with the clips being selected and spliced as close as possible to the order they would appear in the final film. The terms is used to contrast with non-linear editing, which is the method by which all computer-based editing is done.Editing
link1. In Avid, to reconnect a piece of media which is offline to some media in the Avid MediaFiles folder. Typically Avid will automatically find matching media present in such folders, but if there has been database, drive or media corruption or the media went offline, then it might be necessary to ask it to relink the media.
2. In Avid, link also means to import media without transcoding it. Previously called Avid Media Access (AMA). Other NLEs including Premiere, Resolve and Final Cut Pro, by default only link to media but can optionally ingest and transcode it to their internal media pool/library. In Avid, it is the opposite whereby most media will be ingested and transcoded to an Avid MediaFiles folder, which takes time. So by linking it, the user can edit with it immediately, then during downtime at a later stage they can ingest and transcode it.
Editing
log notesNotes taken during logging, but sometimes notes taken by crew. See daily editor log.Editing
loggingThe process of watching rushes and taking notes and timecodes for the key events. This is a critical process for the editor to record their first impressions and reactions to the rushes. In a long post production phase, these initial impressions will closely match the audience's so it is very important to remember, record and respect them for the duration of the edit.Editing
long formatAny full length programme, either a feature film of at least 75 minutes, or a TV show of at least one hour, though these durations are only guidelines.Editing
long GOPLong Group of Pictures. Many compressed video formats use inter-frame compression where a given frame is made from data stored in a series of frames called a Group of Pictures (GOP). Typically, this group begins with a keyframe then a number of inter-frames which only contain the data which has changed compared to the preceding frame. Long GOP groupings can be up to 16 frames long. Therefore in order to read the last frame of the group, potentially all 16 frames in the group need to be decoded. For editing, this is highly inefficient and puts high demand on the CPU/GPU and storage, and creates considerable latency for the user. Long GOP compression is good for acquisition by camera, and for other sequential read processes, such as BluRay. But it is very bad for non-linear, non-sequential access like editing. Therefore long GOP rushes are typically transcoded to an intermediate format such as ProRes or DNxHD which use intra-frame compression for editing. Intra-frame compression means any image compression occurs within a single frame and is not dependent on any other frames, so decoding/decompressing is much more efficient.Editing
lower fieldThe second or even field of an interlaced broadcast image.Editing
lower thirdOn-screen text in the bottom third of the screen, especially Astons. Editing
M&EMusic & Effects. Typically in delivery, a separate audio mix will be provide without dialogue so that the programme can later be dubbed into other languages more easily. What remains in the mix without dialogue is typically referred to as M&E.Editing
machine roomA room in a post facility, typically windowless and in the basement, filled with computers, servers, portable hard drives and tape ops providing tech support and playouts for suites, over the noise of several hundred congested computer fans. Possibly some physical media decks for BluRay and tape backup. Occasionally a stack of dusty DigiBeta decks used as furniture or door stops.Editing
marker1. An indicator on a timeline placed by the editor, which contains notes, annotations, reminders, or any other purpose.
2. For visual effects, a physical target placed on set, usually one of many, made from bright, luminous or highly-coloured plastic, which is visible in the rushes to aid compositing, motion tracking, matchmoving and camera resolving. The markers will be painted out of the footage when the visual effects are composited.
Editing
marquee1. A selection method which draws a rectangular shape around clips on the timeline, or around objects in a graphics composition.
2. One of the titling tools available in Avid Media Composer.
Editing
match cutA method of cutting where the framing or composition of one shot is very similar to the framing or composition of the next shot. It is an intellectual conceit which is intended to draw a parallel between the two shots in the mind of the viewer. In practice, a cross dissolve is more effective, or any number of other more nuanced transition effects.Editing
match frameA function which opens the source clip in a project from the instance of that clip used on the timeline. In all NLEs, when you match frame from a clip on the timeline, the source clip will be opened in the source monitor on the same frame.Editing
MCRMachine Room. A room in a post facility, typically windowless and in the basement, filled with computers, servers, portable hard drives and operators providing tech support and playouts for suites, over the noise of several hundred congested computer fans. Possibly some physical media decks for BluRay and tape backup. Occasionally a stack of dusty DigiBeta decks used as furniture or door stops.Editing
media managementThe process of organising, supplying, maintaining and backing up assets associated with a given editing project. Editing
metadataDescriptive information. For example, a video clip might have metadata giving the framerate, the camera settings, the date of recording, the scene and take numbers, the type of content, keywords to aid searches.Editing
mid-credits sceneA scene which occurs after the above-the-line credits at the end of the film, and before the below-the-line credits.Editing
MKVA video container format which can contain video, sound, subtitles and metadata tracks, and use any accepted codec.Editing
monitor1. n. The window in which an editor views footage in their editing software. The source monitor shows rushes or media which have not been edited into the timeline, while the record or program monitor shows playback of the edit timeline.
2. n. A physical screen or display device, but usually interpreted as shorthand for the secondary display where only the edit is viewed (as opposed to the monitor which shows the software interface).
2. v. To watch playback with particular attention towards technical and quality control aspects.
Editing
montageMontage theory is the basis of film editing, essentially the same as continuity editing. However, in extremis, montage editing is an intellectual conceit whereby putting apparently unrelated images consecutively creates associations in the mind of the viewer. However modern audiences are likely to disengage from this kind of exercise. Today, montage usually refers to an edited series of shots which compress a long event or many diverse or repetitive events into a short sequence, conveying a sense of repetition or diversity or multitudinousness.Editing
motion effectGeneral term for any 2D effects which alters the position, scale, rotation, skew, etc, of an image.Editing
MOVAlternative name and file extension for a Quicktime movie, a media container format created by Apple, which can contain any video, audio, interactive and metadata tracks, using most standard codecs and encodings, especially ProRes and DNxHD. Its use outside professional environments has diminished.Editing
multi-format timelineIn an NLE, a timeline which can play and edit different formats of media. Whether it works smoothly or in realtime is dependent on how well the software leverages the underlying hardware. For example, Resolve and Final Cut Pro use highly optimised GPU acceleration to handle almost any format. In contrast, Media Composer requires most media to be ingested and conformed to a single format and has very limited multi-format abilities.Editing
multicamA method of editing footage from several cameras which are shooting the same subject at the same time, for example, a concert. An editor will synchronise the picture from all cameras into a single grouped or multicam clip. The editor can watch a split screen of 4, 9 or even 16 cameras at the same time and select (or line cut) the angles they want.Editing
muteTo disable an audio or video track.Editing
nestIn NLEs, a sequence treated as a clip inside another sequence. Opening the clip will open the nested sequence.Editing
NEXISThe Avid network storage and server management solution.Editing
NLENon-linear editor. Any editing software such as Premiere, Final Cut Pro, Resolve or Media Composer which does non-linear editing.Editing
non-destructive editingAny form of digital editing.Editing
non-drop frameAll TV standards except NTSC are non-drop frame. See drop frame.Editing
non-linear editingNon-linear editing describes all forms of editing by computer, where clips can be moved around in any part of the editing timeline at any time. This is in contrast with traditional 'linear' film editing which involved manually assembling physical strips of film.Editing
obligatory sceneA scene which the audience is anticipating, or which is a trope of the genre. For example, Bond will confront Blofeldt one-on-one, the Avengers will unite as a team, the couple in a romantic comedy will kiss.Editing
odd fieldThe first or upper field of an interlaced broadcast image.Editing
offlineIf the source files for a given clip are not available - because the drive was remove, or they were deleted - then the media is 'offline'. Most NLEs will indicate that by colouring the clip red and putting a card in the viewing monitor saying the media is offline.Editing
offline editingStory editing. The basic construction of story, typically using only camera rushes, sync, interview, voiceover, titles, music and sound effects. In television, this is the phase where rushes are selected and edited to lay out the structure of a show and make the story compelling, coherent and engaging. In many cases, this involves editing low resolution or low quality versions of the rushes in 'offline' suites, then the locked cut is delivered to the 'online' suite where it is conformed to full resolution rushes for finishing and delivery.Editing
offline editorStory editor. In television, the offline editor lays out and finesses the flow and structure of the story from rushes, typically using actuality, interviews, dialogue, voiceover, titles, music and sound effects to tell the story in an entertaining way, resulting in a picture locked edit which goes to the online editor.Editing
onlineIf the source files for a given clip are available to be played, then they are online. This is in contrast to when the media is missing or deleted, then it is said to be 'offline'.Editing
online editingFinishing. The final stage of editing where an offline edit is taken and conformed to use full resolution rushes. Any picture issues such as blurring, object removal, reframing and cropping, stabilising can now be performed on the full resolution rushes. Motion graphics and grade are added, along with finalised sound elements provided by audio post. The completed online edit is delivered to the broadcaster or distributor in a legal and compliant format for broadcast or exhibition.Editing
online editorFinishing editor. In television, the online editor is responsible for delivering the final legal and compliant edit for broadcast and distribution.Editing
OOSout of syncEditing
opacityThe degree to which an image cannot be seen through. High opacity means it cannot be seen through; low opacity means it is easy to see through.Editing
OpenEXRA professional digital image file format used for high quality digital intermediate scans and other high end, high-dynamic range, multi-channel raster based workflows. It is open standard supported by software tools created by Industrial Light & Magic (ILM). Uniquely it supports multiple channels of different pixel sizes and colour spaces, both lossless and lossy compression algorithms, and can encode multiple points of view (e.g. left and right stereoscopic images).Editing
opening creditsThe list of above-the-line talent who contributed to the making of the film, although opening credits are increasingly uncommon in favour of a cold open and a title card.Editing
opening titlesAn opening sequence, usually including opening credits, which presents a stylised sequence to begin the film or to exemplify the film overall.Editing
out pointAn indicator on a timeline marking the ending point of a section. The selection starts at an earlier indicator called the in point.Editing
outtakeAn unused or removed section of a film.Editing
overwriteAn edit where the incoming clip overrides and deletes any existing clips on the same tracks.Editing
pAs in 1080p, refers to progressive frames. Each frame of the film contains the data for one frame of motion, as opposed to i interlaced which contains alternating lines which present the motion of half of one frame and half of the next frame.Editing
pan and scanA method of following the subject of a shot when the film is being presented in a different aspect ratio than the one it was shot in. Originally, pan and scan referred to adapting widescreen films to a 4:3 television format without letterboxing. Today it would equally apply to adapting a film to 1:1 social media formats for marketing purposes.Editing
pancake editingA way to layout an interface in Premiere with two (or more) timelines visible, where one typically contains the source rushes and the other is the edit timeline.Editing
PARPixel Aspect Ratio. In a digital image, the aspect ratio of a picture (e.g. 16:9) is not necessarily the same as the aspect ratio of the pixels in the picture (e.g. square pixel). Both must be taken into account to calculate the dimensions of the displayed image.Editing
PCMPulse Code Modulation. In general, a type of digital encoding for audio signals. Typicakly, linear PCM audio is lossless and uncompressed, giving maximum quality and large file sizes.Editing
peakThe highest value of a given signal. For example, in a picture white levels might peak at 110% but might have to be limited to 85% to be compliant for broadcasting. Similarly, in audio, dialogue levels might be peaking at -6dB but the broadcast spec might require peak level of -12dB.Editing
pictureThe visual element of a film.Editing
picture lockThis is the cut of the film done after collaboration and consultation between the editor, director, producers, studio, commissioner and distributor, and all parties are in agreement that the timeline can now be 'locked'. In theory this is the final stage of editing. In practice there are usually many 'picture locks'.Editing
pillarboxingBlack bars which appear to the left and right of the picture when the picture is not wide enough to fill the dimensions of the display format.Editing
pixel aspect ratioPAR. In a digital image, the aspect ratio of a picture (e.g. 16:9) is not necessarily the same as the aspect ratio of the pixels in the picture (e.g. square pixel). Both must be taken into account to calculate the dimensions of the displayed image.Editing
playheadThe cursor of an editing timeline. As the edit plays, the playhead moves along the timeline indicating where playback is currently focussed.Editing
playoutAn export of an edit, typically for viewing purposes.Editing
post-credits sceneA scene which occurs after the end credits, usually teasing some element of a sequel or connected film.Editing
PremiereSee Adobe Premiere ProEditing
pretitlesIn television, the opening section of the programme before the main title card appears. This section might include a generic introductory sequence which explains the format and is the same across all episodes, a recap of preceding events in earlier episodes, and a tease of upcoming events in this episode. Typically the pretitles would not include all of these elements.Editing
program monitorThe window in an NLE which shows the playback of the edit.Editing
ProResApple ProRes is a high quality, lossy video compression format used in acquisition, editing and delivery. It supports uncompressed media up to 8K resolution, down to low bitrate Proxy codecs for lightweight and remote editing. It consists of three families of codecs: those with 4:2:2 10-bitcolour sampling (ProRes 422, ProRes HQ, ProRes Proxy, ProRes LT), those with 4:4:4 sampling at 10-bit or 12-bit depth with or without an alpha transparency channel (ProRes 4444, ProRes 4444 XQ) and ProRes RAW which records unfiltered camera sensor data. It is compatible with both macOS and Windows.Editing
proxyModern video files can be very large or highly compressed, both of which present challenges to editors. Using smaller or less compressed proxy files is the recommended workflow in nearly all cases. In the case of large files such as 4K footage, editors can create lower resolution proxies, say at 1080p, which will be smaller files and easier to manipulate, and if the correct proxy workflow is used the difference in resolution will be automatically accounted for by the editing software. In the case of highly compressed footage, especially long GOP formats such as MP4, AVC and HEVC files, editors can create proxies which are less compressed but potentially larger than the original files. These put less demand on CPU/GPUs so they are more responsive to edit.Editing
pull1. To make rough but comprehensive selects from the rushes, to 'do a pull' of the footage for a scene. The goal is to pull everything you need, but not necessarily everything you don't. The pull will be several – if not many – times longer than the intended duration.
2. Referring to compositing and keying, to 'pull a key' means to create a transparency matte based on a green screen or some other keying source.
Editing
pulldownA method of converting film to broadcast format. Most commonly, 3:2 pulldown ("three-two pulldown") converts film at 24fps into NTSC TV standard 29.97fps by reordering the interlaced fields in a 3:2 pattern so that each set of four frames becomes five frames, so 24fps becomes 30fps, and then played back (interpreted) at a marginally slower rate to make it 29.97fps.Editing
push transitionA form of transition where the incoming shot moves on to the screen and the outgoing shot moves off screen with the same speed and direction.Editing
QCQuality Control. The final stage before delivery is to ensure the programme conforms to broadcast legal or other exhibitor specifications. This might include checking chroma and luma levels, checking text sizes, audio peaking and phasing, and ensuring the bitrate and encoding of files is correct.Editing
QuicktimeQuickTime is a multimedia framework developed by Apple Inc. which handles digital video, picture, sound, and interactive elements. Quicktime movie files, MOV files, Alternative name and file extension for a Quicktime movie, a media container format created by Apple, which can contain video, audio, interactive and metadata tracks, using most standard codecs and encodings, especially ProRes and DNxHD. However its used outside profesional environments has diminished.Editing
rasterA method of drawing an image from numerous discrete sections. For moving pictures, this typically refers to the scan lines which form a broadcast television image. In general, it means any digital image made of pixels, lines or any other discrete format. All video is raster images.Editing
raster dimensionThe dimensions, or spatial resolution, of a broadcast image, specifically one drawn in scan lines which might or might not be interlaced. For square pixel formats, it is the same as the image resolution. For non-square pixel formats, it is the broadcast dimension accounting for pixel aspect ratio (for example, widescreen standard definition PAL has a native resolution of 720×576 but a raster dimension of 1024×576.)Editing
rasterisedIn contrast to a vector image which consists of shapes mathematically defined by curves and lines connected at vertices, a rasterised image consists of a grid where every cell contains a colour value. A rasterised image is digitised and therefore it is easier to handle by image processing and transmission systems. A vector image can be losslessly resized and reshaped, but it is only efficient for relatively simple geometric forms. All video formats are rasterised formats.Editing
rec run timecodeTimecode which only counts up while the camera is shooting and pauses between shooting. The result is the clips have continuous timecode, with no gaps in timecode between clips even if there was a long gap between shooting them.Editing
recapIn television, a short, tightly-edited, impactful overview of key, relevant events from earlier episodes.Editing
render1. v. In video, to process complex video effects to a single layer so they can be reviewed and played back. The single layer is stored as a temporary render file. Any changes to the effects will require the section to be re-rendered. Usually editing software will indicate which sections of the timeline cannot be played back by the editing system with a red, orange or yellow render bars above the section of timeline which needs rendering. Render bars are often also seen when the footage on the timeline does not match the format of the timeline.
2. v. In 3D and motion graphics, to export a scene or composition to a video file.
3. n. A single layer video file created by exporting a complex edit or composition from editing or graphics software.
Editing
resolutionA measure of detail in a digital signal; in video, the measure of quality of an image. For moving images there are two types of resolution: spatial and temporal. The spatial resolution is the quality of the image at a given moment, usually represented by its dimensions in pixel. So for full HD footage 1080p = 1920 x 1080 = 2,073,600 pixels which has more than twice the spatial resolution of footage at 720p = 1280 x 720 = 921,600 pixels. Whereas temporal (time) resolution reflects the quality of the motion, how smoothly objects move over time. So 50fps can show motion twice as smoothly as 25 fps, or in other words 1080p50 has twice the temporal resolution of a 1080p25 moving image.Editing
ResolveSee Davinci Resolve.Editing
reverse match frameA function which goes to any instance of the current frame of the current source clip used on the timeline. Essentially the opposite of match frame. In Avid, with a source clip open in the source monitor, it will locate the first instance of that frame in the timeline. In Premiere, the project window shows a dropdown list of all usages of that clip in any sequence in the project, then the user can select the instance to go directly to it.Editing
ripple editTo adjust an edit by moving the in point or out point of a clip so that the clip becomes longer or shorter, but also all subsequent clips on the timeline are moved earlier or later by the same amount. The overall length of the sequence is changed.Editing
RLERun Length Encoding. A simple compression format which counts a series of identical pixels with a single value, so can compress images with restricted colour palette with high accuracy and high efficiency, but has very poor efficiency with natural video and textured images.Editing
roll editTo adjust the edit between two clips at the same time, so the out point of one clip and the in point of the next clip move together, so that one clip gets longer and the other clip gets shorter. All other clips on the timeline are unaffected and its overall length remains the same.Editing
rough cutThe editor's cut of a film. Typically this will reflect the editor's best judgment on how to effectively tell the story, be somewhat over length, and will include temp score and visiual effects. This often precedes the director or producer's involvement in the edit. On film, a rough cut might be done while the shoot is progressing and presented to the director a week or so after principal photography is complete.Editing
Run Length EncodingA simple compression format which counts a series of identical pixels by a single value, so can compress images with restricted colour palette with high accuracy and high efficiency, but has very poor efficiency with natural video and textured images.Editing
running timeDuration of moving footage or an edit.Editing
rushesFootage shot by a camera.Editing
sceneA series of shots spatially connected and unified by a continuity of action and observation. A series of scenes makes a sequence.Editing
scene detectionA function in some NLEs which automatically detects the beginning of scenes in a long piece of media, then adds a cut or a marker at that point.Editing
screen captureTo record moving footage of a computer screen, with or without sound.Editing
screen shotA single image taken of a computer screen.Editing
scrubTo move the playhead along the timeline and hear the audio play at the same time. Disabling scrubbing often improves responsiveness.Editing
SD, SDTVStandard Definition. A broadcast TV format which was superceded by HD. Two competing formats existed: PAL for most of the world and NTSC for the United States. Defined as 576i for PAL (720x576 interlaced pixels at 25fps with 12:11 non-square pixel aspect) and 480i for NTSC (720x480 interlaced pixels at 29.97fps with 10:11 non-square pixel aspect). Natively the image was 4:3 aspect ratio, or widescren by adjusting pixel aspect ratio.Editing
segmentIn Avid Media Composer, the term for a clip of audio or video on the timeline. In Segment Mode editing, segments can be moved and overwritten without affecting surrounding clips.Editing
selectsThe chosen parts of the rushes, the best parts, or the bits that are needed to tell the chosen story. Generally the first stage after logging the footage when the editor begins an assembly.Editing
sequence1. n. In editing, an arrangement of clips of sound and picture which are played through at the same time to create narrative and emotional impact.
2. v. To put clips of sound and picture in order on a timeline.
Editing
sequenceIn a film, a series of scenes unified by a continuity of narrative intent. For example, an action sequence, a robbery sequence, a musical sequence.Editing
slide editTo adjust the contents of a clip by moving the clip along the timeline while adjusting the in and out points by the same amount of time, so that the clips remains the same length but it is in a new position and the visible portion is now a different section of the source clip. The clips around it slide either earlier or later to fill the gap left by the clip. The overall length of the timeline is unaffected.Editing
slip editTo adjust the contents of a clip by changing the in and out points at the same time, so that the clip remains at the same position and of the same length but the visible portion is now a different section of the source clip. The clips around it are unaffected. The overall length of the timeline is unaffected.Editing
slow motionFootage recorded at a very high framerate (for example, athletics footage might be shot at 1000fps) then played back at regular speed so that it appears slower (the athletics footage would appear 40 times slower than realtime).Editing
SMPTEThe Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, who devised a set of standards for what is now called SMPTE timecode (pronounced "simp-tee") found on all digital media and non-linear editing systems. It is a form of metadata.Editing
snapTo helpfully restrict the movements of a clip so that when repositioning it on the timeline, it lines up perfectly with other clips, the playhead, markers or other timeline objects.Editing
snap-inIn factual programming, additional sections of varying lengths typically 5 seconds to 60 seconds, which are fully edited and provided separately (typically on the same timeline at an agreed time after the main programme ends) so that broadcasters have the option to increase the duration of the programme to fulfil scheduling requirements. Typically each snap-in will be provided without handles and with an exact timecode within the main programme where the first frame of the snap-in will be insert-edited.Editing
soloTo hear or see only the content of the current audio or video track, and automatically mute all other tracks.Editing
source/recordTypically an NLE has two windows (or monitors) which show the original footage on the left (the source monitor) and the footage currently in the edit on the right (the record monitor). Source/record editing is an approach where an editor watches rushes on the source side and edits them into the record side sequence. This is typically how an assembly or sync pull is begun.Editing
spanned markerA marker which has a duration of more than one frame. Most markers are attached at a timecode for a single frame. However most NLEs allow markers to be stretched out to span a range of frames.Editing
spanned clipA clip whose duration exceeds the maximum allowed by for a single file. Most cameras will continue recording the footage into a second file without stopping. The size limit depends on the file system of the storage device, but file size limits of approximately 2GB or 4GB are typical. Most NLEs recognise spanned clips automatically if the rushes are ingested via the NLE's source browser. However if the editor manually imports the files individually, the NLE might not recognise they are spanned which might cause errors later in the workflow.Editing
spatial resolutionA measure of the visual quality of an image, or the fidelity of the image to the source of that image. The term is used in contrast with temporal resolution, which determines the quality of the motion of an image. Generally spatial resolution is described by the image dimension in pixels.Editing
speech recognitionAutomated identification and transcription of spoken words, such as Premiere's Speech To Text function.Editing
spliceTo connect two pieces of film in sequence, originally with glue or tape.Editing
split editAn edit where the picture and sound do not cut at the same. In a J-cut the sound from the next scene precedes the picture of the next scene. An L-cut does the opposite.Editing
split screenA method of showing parallel simultaneous action to heighten tension, compress time, or create visual interest. For example, in Kill Bill the left of screen shows the Bride lying in a hospital bed apparently unaware that, on the right of screen, Elle Driver is coming down the hallway to kill her.Editing
standard definitionA broadcast TV format which was superceded by HD. Two competing formats existed: PAL for most of the world and NTSC for the United States. Defined as 576i for PAL (720x576 interlaced pixels at 25fps with 12:11 non-square pixel aspect) and 480i for NTSC (720x480 interlaced pixels at 29.97fps with 10:11 non-square pixel aspect). Natively the image was 4:3 aspect ratio, or widescren by adjusting pixel aspect ratio.Editing
standards conversionThe process of converting footage between different broadcast standards, especially between PAL and NTSC.Editing
SteenbeckThe foremost flatbed film editing suite for physically cutting 16mm and 35mm film. A tool for 'linear' editing in contrast to modern digital 'non-linear' editing software. Today, they are mainly used by archivists.Editing
string outA sequence of rushes or selects or B-roll or assets, roughly collected, put in order, and then played out for the purpose of a producer, edit producer to quickly review.Editing
subclipTo create a new clip or sequence from a selected part of another clip or sequence.Editing
substitution spliceA trick edit which conceals a change on set. For example, in Bewitched, the actor playing Samantha wrinkles her nose then stands still while the actor playing her husband Darrin walks onto the set. In the edit, Darrin's walk on is edited out, so it appears that Samantha wrinkles her nose and her husband instantly appears. Also called stop trick.Editing
subtitleOn-screen text at the bottom of the screen which translates foreign language speech or clarifies unclear speech. Some subtitles translate only spoken words, but subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing (SDH) also indicate key noises or music cues.Editing
sync1. n. The audio, typically the speech, which is visibly in sync with the picture. For example, dialogue from a person who is seen speaking on-screen. In factual television, this is typically the dialogue between contributors, rather than dialogue in interview or to producers.
2. v. To synchronise audio with picture. Commonly necessary when audio is recorded on a separate device from the camera and needs to be synced (or synched) on the timeline before editing can begin.
Editing
sync locksIn Avid Media Composer, enabling the sync locks on tracks is designed to ensure the trim edits on any of the tracks will not cause the audio and video to go out of sync with any other tracks. (Not to be confused with track locks, which lock the contents of the tracks so they cannot be altered.)Editing
sync mapA timeline where all sound and picture from all cameras is laid out by time of day, especially in factual and documentary shows. This allows editors to see at a glance if camera were cross-shooting and provides all sync audio for those scenes. It also shows when cameras were shooting simultaneously but not cross-shooting.Editing
sync pullIn factual television, this is selecting from the rushes key moments of actuality and upsync which will tell the story. This will result in a sequence several times longer than the intended duration, but the purpose is to ensure everything that might be needed has been 'pulled' so that the editor can now begin cutting it down into a scene.Editing
tailA section of film attached at the end of the main picture, which might include a countdown or simply a section of black footage. See also leader.Editing
tape opA tape operator, someone who loaded tapes into decks in the machine room.Editing
TCTimecode.Editing
telecineThe process of converting film to video for the purpose of editing or broadcast. Similarly, reverse telecine used to convert digital edits back onto film for cinema distribution.Editing
temporal resolutionA measure of the motion quality of a moving image, or the granularity of time measurement in a moving image - i.e. what's the smallest measurement of time the footage can show. Generally temporal resolution is described by the speed of playback in frames per second. In general, 25 fps has half the temporal resolution of 50 fps. For interlaced formats, 25p has half the temporal resolution of 50i but twice the spatial resolution at a given moment.Editing
time of dayTimecode which reflects the actual time when the camera was recording. For example, 09:23:18:14 means 9.23am plus 18 seconds and 14 frames. This is especially useful in post when synchronising audio and video between multiple cameras or sound recordists.Editing
timecodeA clock recorded alongside the picture and sound tracks in a digital file, which assists in keeping picture and sound synchronised throughout the post production process. Most cameras record a timecode track alongside the picture and audio tracks. This is in the format HH:MM:SS:FF (hours:minutes:seconds:frames). Sometimes the hours, minutes and seconds reflect the actual realworld time when it was shot; this is called time of day timecode. However many cameras record only zero-based timecode where the timecode for each clip resets to 00:00:00:00 when the camera starts recording.Editing
timecode lock, timecode syncA method of ensuring that all camera and audio recorders shooting concurrently are synchronised by accurate timecode, usually time-of-day.Editing
timelineIn editing software, the part of the interface where an editor manipulates and plays back parallel layers of video and audio, using keyboard, mouse or graphics tablet. Typically this consists of multiple video tracks positioned above multiple audio tracks, all of which may be individually altered and moved in or out of sync.Editing
titleText on screen. Title cards might be explanatory text, introductory titles for chapters or sections, or the main title of the film.Editing
title safe areaAn area of the screen where readable text must fall within, subject to specifications supplied by the channel or distributor.Editing
tracklayTo arrange the content of timeline tracks by type. For example, with audio where A1 is Dialogue 1, A2 is Dialogue 2, A3-4 are atmos, A5-A6 is M&E, A7 is voiceover, etc. This is hugely timesaving for audio post and delivery of music-less or dialogue-less masters by simply disabling the tracks which aren't needed. Similarly, tracklaying titles and on-screen graphics on their own channel allows for easy playout of textless or clean masters.Editing
transcodeTo convert video footage from one format into another. For example, transcoding AVC camera rushes into ProRes 4444 online media and ProRes Proxy media for editing.Editing
transcriptionAn accurate text log of spoken words or interviews. Especially useful in factual and documentary to quickly locate soundbites and sync.Editing
transparencyThe degree to which an image can be seen through. High transparency mean it is easy to see through; low transparency means it cannot be seen through.Editing
trim editTo adjust a clip in editing software by adjusting the in or out point of that clip. Trim editing reflects how editing was done on film, where one would extend or shorten the piece of film in one's hand by reeling out or reeling in the start or end of that piece of film, or both ends at the same time. Trim operations include extending, shorting, slipping and sliding.Editing
TRTTotal Running Time, the duration of a full programme which might include leader, tail, black gaps.Editing
TSMTextless master. A version of the edit without on-screen text so that the programme can be localised for other languages. Textless versions of onscreen graphics may be provided as snap-ins.Editing
UHDUltra High Definition. A loosely defined marketing term referring to resolutions beyond HD, especially 4K.Editing
upper fieldThe first or odd field of an interlaced broadcast image.Editing
versioningThe creation of different versions of an edit. For example, a TV commercial which has different phone number for differents parts of the country.Editing
reversioningThe creation of different versions of an edit. For example, a TV commercial which has different phone number for differents parts of the country.Editing
localisingThe creation of different versions of an edit, with different languages, adhering to different legal regulatory requirements, or encompassing specific changes requested by individual territories.Editing
wipe transitionA form of transition where the incoming shot moves across the screen in such a way that the preceding shot is covered over. Examples include edge wipe (a straight line), iris wipe (a circle radiating outwards or inwards), star wipe (a star shape radiating outward or inward).Editing
WMVWindows Media Video. Proprietary video format and codec created by Microsoft and only native on Windows systems.Editing
XMLEXtensible Markup Language. A versatile generic data file format, often used to transfer simple edit sequences between systems.Editing
YUVA format of component video encoding which use three channels representing luma (Y, brightness) and blue and red (U and V respectively), rather than the standard RGB channels. All transmitted signals incur errors and artefacts, but the YUV format emphasises brightness over colour. Human perception is more forgiving towards errors in colour than in brightness, so YUV would be perceived better than RGB. However since traditional broadcast transmission has waned, so has the use of YUV.Editing
breakout box, BOBAn external device which provides additional connections for input and output. For example, SDI input to capture video from a live camera, or HDMI output to playback on an external monitor.Hardware
DisplayportA digital connector and protocol for video and audio which can support one 10K (10240 × 4320) display at 60 Hz, or up to three 4K (3840 × 2160) displays at 90 Hz via daisychaining. The original DP connector has been superceded by a USB-C style connection, but the Displayport protocol remains the industry standard.Hardware
DPDisplayport. A digital connector and protocol for video and audio.Hardware
DVI, DVI-A, DVI-D, DVI-ADigital Video Interface, -Analogue, -Digital, or -Integrated (both). A connector found on most PCs which can carry screen resolutions up to 2560 × 1600 at 60 Hz using a dual link connection. DVI is common but being superceded by USB-C based connections.Hardware
hyperthreadingMost Intel CPUs can intelligently schedule processing tasks between the multiple physical cores of a chip to minimise the downtime on any given core. The CPU can do this to the extent that the operating system sees double the number of cores. So a typically Intel i7 with four physical cores will appear to have eight virtual cores. Some processes, especially video encoding and decoding, are well suited to being split into parallel tasks called threads. Hyperthreading allows up to 200% CPU usage on a single core, achieving CPU intensive tasks in nearly half the time.Hardware
QSXGAQuad Super Extended Graphics Array. A display resolution of 2560 × 2048. Not a standard video resolution.Hardware
QUXGAQuad Ultra Extended Graphics Array. A display resolution of 3200 × 2400. Not a standard video resolution.Hardware
QWXGAQuad Wide Extended Graphics Array. A display resolution of 2048 × 1152. Not a standard video resolution.Hardware
QXGAQuad Extended Graphics Array. A display resolution of 2048 × 1536. Not a standard video resolution.Hardware
SXGASuper Extended Graphics Array. A display resolution of 1280 × 1024. Not a standard video resolution.Hardware
TBThunderbolt. A digital connector and protocol for video and audio.Hardware
ThunderboltA digital connector, original developed by Intel and Apple in 2010. It was originally called Light Peak because of its use of optical interconnects. Today it combines PCI Express (PCIe) and DisplayPort (DP) capabilities over traditional metal-based cables. Initial adoption of Thunderbolt was slow and limited mainly to Macs due to licensing costs and a complicated implementation for attaching multiple devices. However since Thunderbolt 3 adopted USB-C connectors and Thunderbolt 4 went royalty-free and adopted the USB 4.0 protocol, uptake is expected to increase. However the convergence of USB-C standards raises questions over the longevity of Thunderbolt as a separate entity.Hardware
USBUniversal Serial Bus. An ubiquitous digital connection, found with various connector types on most electronic devices. It is able to carry video, audio, data and power. The current USB-C style connector with the USB 4.0 protocol supports up to 40Gbps transfers, up to 240W power (5A at 48V) with Extended Power Range, and full Displayport video and audio capabilities.Hardware
UXGAUltra Extended Graphics Array. A display resolution of 1600 × 1200. Not a standard video resolution.Hardware
VGAVideo Graphics Array. A display resolution defined as 640 x 480, but now synonymous with the 15-pin D-sub connection found on many monitors and projectors capable of carrying analogue video signals at near HD resolutions. Not a standard video resolution.Hardware
WQSXGAWide Quad Super Extended Graphics Array. A display resolution of 3200 × 2048. Not a standard video resolution.Hardware
WQUXGAWide Quad Ultra Extended Graphics Array. A display resolution of 3840 × 2400. Not a standard video resolution.Hardware
WQXGAWidescreen Quad Extended Graphics Array. A display resolution of 2560 × 1600. Not a standard video resolution.Hardware
WUXGAWidescreen Ultra Extended Graphics Array. A display resolution of 1920 × 1200. Not a standard video resolution.Hardware
above-the-line talentThe named talent which draw audiences to a production. Typically the cast, director, presenters, crew.Production
audio post productionThe phase of production which occurs after editing where the various elements of the sound track are put together. These elements might include voiceover, foley, sound design, score recording, sound mixing, surround sound and spatial audio mixing, foreign language dubbing.Production
below-the-line talentThe technical, production, support, management, legal and other personnel, who no one outside the business is likely to have heard of.Production
broadcastTelevision. Traditionally this meant by radio transmission, now it mostly means by streaming.Production
deliveryThe finishing line of post production. Usually a broadcaster or distributor will have strict delivery specifications which the post house will adhere to when supplying the deliverables. Once all the required deliverables have been supplied and checked, post production is complete.Production
exhibitionThe screening of a finished film, on cinema, on projectors, on digital screens.Production
postThe phase of post production. As in the phrase "fix it in post".Production
post facility, post houseA post production facility. Typical a building filled with offline edit suites, some online suites, some audio suites, a screening room and a machine room (MCR), and lots of runners.Production
post productionThe phase of production which occurs after a show has been filmed. The goal is to deliver the final cut of the show for broadcast or distribution. This primarily means editing, but also involves many ancillary industries including visual effects, audio post, motion graphics, grading, etc, depending on the specifics of the show.Production
pre-productionThe phase before production involving casting, crewing, location scouting, prop making, set building, previz, etc.Production
production1. The phase between pre-production and post production where cameras are rolling, cast are acting and a large crew is engaged in the process of acquisition of rushes to supply to editorial.
2. The Production Department, consisting of producers, 2nd assistant producer, production manager, series producer, series editor, and other roles as befit the needs of a given production.
3. The entire show, the programme you're working on, the movie you're making...
Production
scriptedDrama. Any production that starts from a script which is then performed.Production
talentActors, the on-screen talent.Production
360ºRefers to pseudo-VR content where the viewer can look in any direction within a virtual environment, but they can't move around within that environment.VFX/GFX
3DIn video, the simulation of three-dimensional depth in a two-dimensional picture, with the intention of increasing the sense of immersion. There have been numerous approaches to 3D over the last hundred years with varying degrees of technical and commercial success, but 3D has never superceded traditional 2D viewing.VFX/GFX
3D conversionA process where a film shot on traditional 2D cameras is converted to 3D in software, predominantly by algorithm.VFX/GFX
AmbisonicsA format of audio use in virtual reality and 360º content.VFX/GFX
ARAugmented Reality. Adding realtime digital elements over live environments visible through the screen of a phone, tablet or other devices.VFX/GFX
Bezier curveA method to give smoother changing of values between keyframes, to allow a value to accelerate or decelerate gently, to ease in or ease out of a keyframe. With Bezier motion, keyframes will typically gain control handles that allow the editor to visually adjust the smoothness of the Bezier curve on a graph. As opposed to linear motion where the change will start abruptly at one keyframe and then come to a sudden halt at the next.VFX/GFX
blue screenSee chroma key.VFX/GFX
camera resolvingExtracting the movement of a camera based on the motion of stationary objects visible in the footage.VFX/GFX
CG, CGIComputer Generated Imagery. See visual effects.VFX/GFX
chroma keyTo add transparency to the areas of an image which contain a specific colour. Common examples of chroma keying are green screen and blue screens, chosen because these colours are typically absent from skin tones. For example, with an actor filmed against a blue screen, 'keying out' the blue area makes it transparent.VFX/GFX
compShort for composition.VFX/GFX
compositeTo combine layers of visual elements into a single picture, usually to create a realistic and coherent scene. Most compositing is achieved through digital effects where parts of a screen are replaced or augmented. This uses techniques including keying, rotoscoping, blending, tracking, matchmoving, camera resolving, and aided by additional elements such as motion blur, particles and smoke, digital lighting and colour correction.VFX/GFX
compositingThe combining of visual elements, typical visual effects and camera footage. For example, replacing the sky in a landscape requires compositing a new sky to replace the old one; adding a glowing user interface to a futuristic computer screen; removing objects such as cars from the background of a period film.VFX/GFX
compositionA scene created by combining multiple layers and elements, the canvas in a compositing environment.VFX/GFX
datamoshA method of 'smearing' digital glitch effects on video footage. Using a tool such as FFMPEGX, users remove keyframes so that the image data from the previous GOP is altered by the subsequent GOP, since the keyframe is no longer present to reset the full image in between.VFX/GFX
digital double, digi doubleA fully digital recreation of a real actor used in 3D virtual environments for visual effects purpose, and usually also in the final film. Their body and costume might be fully digitally recreated, but in general their real face will be composited on to the digital double in the final film.VFX/GFX
digital effectsAny modifications to a signal produced by a computer, usually referring to CG visual effects.VFX/GFX
dustbustingThe process of removing or 'painting out' unwanted elements from a picture, especially dust, hair, insects, droplets, and other specks and imperfections in the footage. Typically done during finishing by the colourist prior to beginning the grade.VFX/GFX
dynamic linkIn Adobe Creative Cloud, Dynamic Linking allows changes to a motion graphics composition in After Effects to be immediately updated on the timeline in Premiere, without having to render or export the composition.VFX/GFX
green screenSee chroma key.VFX/GFX
keyTo add transparency to specific areas of an image. For example, a chroma key adds transparency wherever a particular chroma value (i.e. colour) is found in an image, so for an actor filmed against a green screen, 'keying out' the green area makes it transparent.VFX/GFX
luma keyTo add transparency to the areas of an image which are of a specific luminance (brightness).VFX/GFX
matchmoveLike motion tracking, this process records motion in video footage to aid the compositing of elements into the footage. However where motion tracking is intended to record the movement of an object within the footage, matchmoving extracts the movement of the camera based on its movement related to stationary objects seen within the footage. This is important because the resulting camera movement data can be transferred to a 3D visual effects environments to create a virtual camera so that when the effects elements are composited into the live action footage, they will match any perspective, motion blur and parallax shifts caused by the camera's motion.VFX/GFX
matteA single colour mask placed on an image which overlays the areas that are transparent or opaque. With a luma matte, the white areas of a the mask are opaque and the black areas are transparent. With an alpha mask, the alpha channel contains the opacity.VFX/GFX
matteIn motion graphics, any solid layer. However matte has specific meanings in some contexts. A track matte is a layer that provides transparency values for the layer beneath it, either as a luma matte where bright areas are opaque and black areas are transparent, or as an alpha matte where the alpha channel of the matte contains the opacity values. (Note: track matte has nothing to do with motion tracking.) A key matte is the result of keying out specific elements such as a green screen or blue screen from footage, leaving a stencil (or conversely, a silhouette) with transparent areas.VFX/GFX
MOGRTMotion Graphics Template. A motion graphics designer can create a complex composition template where a video editor can edit the text, for example, or place video into a drop zone without having to use or know how to edit motion graphics.VFX/GFX
motion captureMocap is the process of recording the movement of actors to drive digital characters. The actors might be human or animal, and the characters they drive might be anything. The performers wear suits covered in markers that can be tracked by specialised cameras. Typically motion capture actors will repeat the same actions many times to record copious animation data which is then cleaned up and sanitised to suit the specific digital character. Motion capture of facial expressions and gestures is referred to as performance capture.VFX/GFX
motion controlThe precise computerised control of camera movements to allow exact repetition. For example, filming several elements with the same camera motion, or the same actor playing several characters, then compositing them into a single shot. Scaled motion control allows two cameras to perform the same action but with one performing the motion proportionally smaller/shorter than the other, resulting in a composite where actors on the smaller/shorter shot appear to be larger than those shot on the regular scale. (As used in The Hobbit.) Motion control is also useful in long exposures for weather or sky photography.VFX/GFX
motion graphics, mographVisual elements which overlay the picture to illustrate, highlight or explain aspects of the story. Common in factual, documentary and news. Rare in scripted.VFX/GFX
motion trackingThe process of recording the movement of an object in video footage, generally in order that another object can be tracked on to it. For example, to blur out the face of someone walking down the street, their face would be motion tracked, then the resulting motion tracking data would be attached to another layer with a blur effect on it.VFX/GFX
multi-frame renderingA method to utilize multiple CPU cores to render more than one frame simultaneously. A deprecated feature of After Effects which was reinstated in 2021.VFX/GFX
node-basedA paradigm common in visual effects and motion graphics software, which are typically more clip-based than sequence-based compared to video editing. An input image is passed through a series of branching nodes which each have an effect on the image to produce the final image.VFX/GFX
Optical FlowA method of motion interpolation in Premiere which identifies key features in adjacent frames and applies morphing transformation to interpolate new frames. Results vary widely especially with solid edges, but the imagery can be interesting.VFX/GFX
Pixel MotionA tool in After Effects to create artificial motion blur in footage with high shutter speed (hence low motion blur) especially drone footage.VFX/GFX
plate, plate shotA shot of a set or location without any cast or crew present, in order to provide a clean background for visual effects artists and compositors.VFX/GFX
pre-compIn After Effects, a nested composition. A composition placed inside another composition is a pre-comp.VFX/GFX
previsualisation, previzIn VFX-heavy productions, many scenes will be planned meticulously in 3D software, such as Unity, in order to plan the live action elements effectively. The previz will not be photo-real but will give productioh an indication of timings, blocking and practical elements required. In some cases the film can be assembled using previz and the shots replaced as and when the VFX are completed.VFX/GFX
pull a keyTo select the parts of an image which will be made transparent by keyingVFX/GFX
rendererThe software or hardware engine which produces the visible image. For example, on Windows Direct3D is the renderer in DirectX which manages and accelerates the handling of 3D graphics. In After Effects, a software renderer can be slower but more robust, whereas a hardware renderer might be faster but is dependent on the GPU supporting the specific task (notably ray-tracing and 3D lighting may not be supported by integrated graphics cards).VFX/GFX
special effectsPhysical or practical effects which take place on set. For example, car crashes, explosions and pyrotechnics, rain and wind machines, prosthetic effects, animatronics. As distinct from visual effects which are digital effects added in post.VFX/GFX
speed rampTo speed up, slow down, or even reverse video footage. Common in action films and music videos. Speed ramping specficialy refers to a change in speed between two keyframes with the motion smoothed by Bezier or linear handles on the keyframes.VFX/GFX
stereoscopicAll human vision is based on binocular or stereoscopic imaging, where the left eye sees a slightly different image of an object compared to the right eye. Stereoscopic films use a number of different techniques to simulate this effect.VFX/GFX
time remappingTo speed up, slow down, or even reverse video footage. Common in action films and music videos. Time remapping specifically refers to moving time keyframes placed on key moments in the action, then these keyframes can be moved around so that action hits the beats of the edit accurately.VFX/GFX
TrapcodeA suite of visual effects tools, useful for creating 3D digital elements in 2D video, including Trapcode Particular which creates particle effects like fireworks and precipitation; Trapcode Form creates 3D meshes and shapes from particle clouds.VFX/GFX
VFXVisual Effects.VFX/GFX
virtual cameraA camera in a 3D virtual environment, often driven in realtime by a physical camera whose movements are mapped to the virtual camera.VFX/GFX
visual effectsDigital elements which augment the world of the film, being part of the story and visible to the characters. These are added in post-production but will have been planned since pre-production, often as previsualisation (previz). During production, props and chroma elements (green screen, blue screen) will stand in for the finished effects for the cast and crew to interact with. In post-production, computer generated digital elements will be composited onto the footage, and augmented by lighting, particles and sound design. Digital elements commonly include set extensions, sky replacements, object removal, skin/blemish enhancement. In high end productions, elements might include CG characters, creatures, landscapes and crowds. VFX are common in scripted, but rare in factual and news. VFX are distinct from special effects which are physical, practical effects which take place on set.VFX/GFX
visual effects editorAn editor responsible for managing updates and versioning of visual effects on the edit timeline.VFX/GFX
VRVirtual Reality. Immersive environments viewable in every direction at any time at the viewer's choice. Primarily in gaming. True virtual reality is not currently possible in film, only in restricted 'on rails' 360º wraparound experiences.VFX/GFX
wireframeAn outline display of a shape where only the edges and vertices are shown. This typically allows more lightweight and responsive manipulation on a computer, and allows the user to see the full shape of a 3D form without foreground elements occluding the background.VFX/GFX