If you’re hiring a video production company for the first time or are new to the world of video production, the terminology can sometimes be confusing and you might wonder what everyone is referring to! To help you out, we’ve put together a video production glossary of some of the most common video production terms that we use at Southpoint Films. You might hear us mention some of these on the day of filming or when your project is in post-production.
Two dimensional. When talking about animation this is referring to a flat shape, image or graphic that only has two dimensions, height and width.
Three dimensional. Referring to a shape, image or graphic that can be measured in three dimensions, usually height, width and depth.
360-degree video. This video format lets the viewer choose which part of the video they want to look at. Great for giving customers a virtual reality tour of premises or facilities.
Refers to ultra-high definition resolution with a horizontal display resolution of approximately 4000 pixels. (Usually, 3840 to be precise!)
Aerial Photography or Footage
Photography or footage captured from up to 120m in the air by a drone. Drones let us capture amazing shots of buildings, locations and other points of interest that would be impossible to see from the ground.
A software application that is used in post production to create visual effects, motion graphics and compositing.
Animation is a video production technique for illustrating concepts, ideas and information visually on screen. Includes 2D and 3D animation, motion graphics, stop motion animation and video titling.
The ratio of a videos’ width to its height. Expressed by two numbers separated by a colon. The most common aspect ratios are 4:3 (SD), 16:9 (HD) and 1.85:1 (Cinematic).
The process of combining several recorded audio tracks resulting in a final blended sound product.
Additional video clips that support a story. Also referred to as cutaways and can be used to hide the transition between two different takes or hide pauses or errors in an interview or piece to camera. Check out our article on B-Roll.
A logo or watermark that appears in the corner of the video.
A document that’s sent out to the cast and crew of a film, TV or video production that tells them where to be, when to be there, and sometimes includes a shot list.
A shot that ‘cuts away’ from the main footage to show something else that is relevant and then cuts back to the main footage again. Also referred to as B-Roll.
Depth of Field
Refers to which part of your frame is in focus. A shallow depth of field will mean that the background is out of focus and therefore will place more emphasis on the main subject that is closer to the camera. A deep depth of field will mean that pretty much everything in your frame will be in sharp focus.
An unmanned aerial vehicle usually remote controlled that is used to capture shots from up in the air.
Editing consists of changes that are made to footage in the post production process using editing software. Includes clipping, rearranging, transitions, colour grading, audio, on screen graphics and special effects.
The final version of a video after all amendments have been made. Also a short name for “Final Cut Pro”, the video software made by Apple. ( Our video editing software of choice!)
A motorised device that keeps a camera steady when it’s moved around by the operator. There’s a really helpful guide to the best Gimbals for phones and cameras that can be found here.
Grading is the process of altering the colour of footage in post production. Usually used if the colours of footage vary from location to location or if the light changes between shots.
A cloth or paper backdrop, or a painted wall, which is green. The colour green is then isolated and removed from the video image using a “Key”. Once the colour is removed, another image can be put in its place, like a virtual background or another colour.
A small microphone that is usually clipped to your clothing to allow your audio to be recorded hands free. If you would like some more information on how to wear a lavalier microphone, you should check out this helpful article.
A live-stream is a broadcast of an event or conference over the internet for global live viewing.
A graphic, usually the name and title of a contributor (such as an interviewee), that appears in the lower third of the video frame.
Computer generated moving graphics, animations, logos or titles.
Stages of production happening after the filming has taken place. Includes editing, sound mixing and grading.
This is the unprocessed footage from a camera before any editing has taken place. If you ask to be given the raw footage, it means you want the footage as the camera captured it.
The process of combining all of the footage, audio, effects and animations and exporting it as a file that can be viewed as one final output.
The number of pixels contained in each frame displayed horizontally and vertically. For example 640×480 (SD) 1280×720 (HD), 1920×1080 (HD), 3840×2160 (4K). Sometimes just referred to by the vertical dimensions such as 480p, 720p, 1080p, 2160p.
The first version of the video that will show the scenes or shots in sequence with audio. May be missing colour grading, a proper audio mix and other elements like branding. This cut is usually a quick draft so that the client can get a feel for how the project is coming together.
Screen capture is a technique that is used to record software on a computer or mobile device. It can be used to create videos that demonstrate how to use an app or website or to create software product promotional videos. It can also be used to record presentations at conferences and events.
A piece of camera equipment that is mounted onto a tripod and allows the operator to capture footage whilst moving smoothly on a horizontal plane.
A short video or animation that can be displayed at the beginning or end of your video or live stream. Usually consists of a brand logo and its purpose is to give your audience a lasting impression of your brand.
A document that usually contains a sequence of drawings that represents the shots planned for a film or video production. It can also detail key components of filming like lighting preferences, transitions, graphics or animations.
A time-lapse is a series of photographs or a sped-up video clip that shows long passages of time at a rapid pace. It can be used to condense hours, days or even years’ worth of footage into a short video.
On screen graphics and text. These can be used to show the name and title of an interviewee, or display a company logo for example.
Voiceover is a production technique that provides narration over a video. Usually recorded in a soundproof booth.
Widely understood to stand for ”Video Tape”. We usually use this term when referring to a pre-recorded video that we are using in a live-stream.
There are of course plenty of other video production terms that we haven’t listed here (we could go on and on and on and on) but hopefully this Video Production Glossary has been helpful to you. We have lots of other useful articles on our website that give tips and advice on various aspects of video production, so why not take a look!
Alternatively, if you have a video project coming up that you would like Southpoint Films to help you with, you can get in touch with us here.
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