Video Production Glossary

Working in a new industry, or part of your industry can bring a lot of new phrases, acronyms and terms that you’ve not heard of before. We’ve put together a glossary of terms below that you might hear when working with a video production agency. There are lots more we could share, but this is a good start.

  • 2.5D – A combination of two and three-dimensional images in an animation.
  • 8K – Ultra high-definition resolution that includes 8,000 horizontal pixels and 4,000 vertical pixels.
  • B-Cam – A second camera, used in addition to the main camera that gives the editor a different angle to cut to when editing a video.
  • B-Roll – A supplementary video that is considered to be secondary to your main footage. B-roll can be captured with a separate camera, come from stock footage, or gathered from any source other than your main photography.
  • Breathing – Leaving pauses between sections of a film structure to aid punctuation and the wider narrative; “needs room to breathe”. It might also be referred to as adding (non-musical) ‘beats’.
  • Call sheet – A document that provides all of the shoot information for the cast and crew. It includes locations, times, equipment, contact details, locations of the nearest hospitals, emergency information, risk assessments, and any other information the crew might need.
  • Depth of field – The visual effect that separates the foreground from the background in a video image, by blurring the background. The depth of field changes based on the aperture of the camera lens.
  • DoP/DP – Director of Photography – They work alongside the director and is frequently a camera operator too. The DoP is in charge of the look, lighting and composition of the film. Different DoPs are used depending on the tone and genre of production.
  • Eye direct – A mirrored device that attaches to the camera, allowing the person being interviewed to see the interviewer while looking straight at the camera lens. This makes the interview more direct and engaging than an off-camera format.
  • Foley – A unique sound effect technique that involves creating and “performing” everyday sounds for movies and television shows.
  • Frame rate – Refers to the number of frames in one second. A high frame rate can give a video a very smooth look, or be used to slow the video down to slow motion.
  • Gimbal – A gimbal is a device used to mount a camera on. The gimbal will smooth out any bumps normally visible when shooting handheld.
  • Grade – When video content is recorded, the colours are flat and raw. The colour will vary from location to location, indoors or out. We colour grade it at the end of the process to bring it to life.
  • Graphic match – An editing technique where an object passes frame and using that object to transition to a different shot.
  • J Cut – An editing technique where the audio from the second shot starts before the first video cuts.
  • L Cut – An editing technique where the video cuts to the second shot while the audio of the first shot is still playing.
  • Lower thirds – Lower thirds refers to any graphic or animation in the lower third of the video frame. Usually, this would be a name and occupation title.
  • Motion control – A specialised camera rig where the camera is mounted on a robotic arm. The movement is pre-programmed, allowing for stylish, precise camera moves that would not be possible by hand.
  • Non-diegetic – Any type of sound that does not exist within the world of the film. In other words, it’s the type of sound that characters in a film are not able to hear, but that we can.
  • Overlay – An overlay in a video can refer to any graphics, titles, or other layers ‘on top of’ the video.
  • Render – When a motion graphics project is exported, the file is known as a render. Some editing software requires a ‘render’ (without export) for smooth playback. You’ll hear us referring to renders and rendering a lot.
  • Rough cut – The first version of the unfinished video. Often includes a sample voiceover and music, placeholder graphics, and indicative of the direction of travel.
  • Rushes – The raw, unedited video files that come straight from the camera.
  • Storyboard – A series of still images to help you imagine what the film will look like.
  • Style frame – A still image – usually a mock-up of one frame of an animated film – to help you decide on the final style. It is similar to a mood-board.
  • Sound design – The use of bespoke sound effects to help bring a film to life during post-production.
  • Title safe – A border around the screen that ensures titles will not disappear off the screen if the monitor is not set up correctly. This is particularly important in broadcast.

We hope this has helped you feel more confident when working on your next video project! Get in touch if you want to have a chat about any projects you might have coming up.