Glossary of Terms

A

Adapter
a device used to achieve compatibility between two items of audio/video equipment.
Audio
the sound portion of television production.
Audio dub
an editing technique that involves erasing the existing audio track on a video tape and replacing it with a new one.
Audio Mixer
an electronic component that facilitates the selection and combination of audio signals.
Audiovideo Mixer
a single electronic component that consists of an audio mixer and a video mixer. Also called an A/V mixer.
Automatic focus
a feature on most camcorders that automatically makes minor focal-length adjustments, thus freeing the operator from focusing concerns.

B

BNC
a video connector characterized by a single shaft enclosed by a twist- lock mechanism.
Backlight
a light used in production that is designed to highlight head and shoulders.
Blocking
planned movements and actions of talent and crew.
Bust Shot
a video shot of a person including the head and shoulders area.
Buy-out music
production music purchased for a one-time fee, as opposed to a lease or per-use fee schedule.

C

Camcorder
an item of video equipment that uses a video camera permanently attached to a video deck to create and record video signal.
Character generator
a video component that allows the creation of words and simple graphics for the television screen.
Chroma key
a video-based electronic effect, in which a second video source is substituted for a color within a video shot. For example, a weather reporter stands in front of a green screen. A weather map (the second video source) replaces the green background using a chroma key effect.
Clips bin
a section of the nonlinear editing system display screen that contains icons representing each audio, video, and graphic elemert available for use in the video project.
Close-up
a video shot of a person that includes only the head and neck.
Continuity
preserving the visual coherence and perceived reality of an event.
Contrast ratio
the comparison of the brightest part of the screen to the darkest part of the screen, expressed as a ratio.
Crawl
graphics that move across the bottom of the television screen, usually from right to left. The weather alert that moves along the bottom of the TV screen is a crawl.
Cue (noun)
an audio mixer function that allows the user to hear an audio source (usually through headphones) without selecting that source for broadcasting or recording; the audio counterpart of a preview monitor.
Cue (verb)
the act of rewinding or fast
forwarding a video
or audio tape so that the desired section is ready for play.
Cut
one video shot appearing immediately after the previous one, with no apparent transition.
Cut-away shot
a video shot used to intercut between two shots in order to avoid jump cuts and continuity problems.
Cyclorama (cyc)
a large, seamless cloth or curtain that is hung on tracks to provide background for studio sets.

D

Digital zoom
a feature found on some camcorders that electronically increases the lens zoom capability by selecting the center of the image and enlarging it digitally.
Dissolve
a video transition in which the first video signal is gradually replaced by a second video signal.
Dolly (noun)
a set of casters attached to the legs of a tripod to allow the tripod to roll.
Dolly (verb)
a forward
backward rolling movement of the camera on top of the tripod dolly.

E

Editing
the process of combining, adding, and deleting, audio and video elements to create a finished element.
Establishing shot
video shot used early in the sequence to identify the setting for the following action. Establishes time and location of the scene for the audience.
Exporting
recording a finished video program onto a medium such as videotape, DVD, or computer file.
Extreme close-up
a video shot that includes only part of a person's face.

F

F-connector
a video connector characterized by a single metal wire. F- connectors may be either push-on or screwpost.
Fade
a video technique in which the picture is gradually replaced with a background color, usually black.
Fader
a vertical slide controller on audio and video equipment.
Fill light
a light used on studio production designed to fill in and eliminate shadow areas caused by the use of key light.
Firewire
apple computer's registered name for IEEE-1394 digital cable and connectors.
Flats
wooden frames containing fabrics or lightweight materials used as backgrounds for studio sets.
Focus
adjustment made to the focal length of the lens to create a sharper, more defined picture.
Font
a style of type. Many character generators offer the user a menu of several fonts.
Frame
a complete video picture. NTSC televisions display 30 frames each second.

G

Gain
an increase in the output of audio or video signal.
Gels (gelatins)
Colored squares of plastic material used on the front of lights to provide colored lighting on backgrounds, sets, and people.

H

Headroom
The space between the top or a person's head and the top of the video screen.

I

Imaging device
The part of the video camera or camcorder that converts light into electrical signal.
Impedance
A resistance to signal flow. Microphones and audio mixers are rated for impedance and can be categorized as high impedance or low impedance.
Import, importing
The process of recording audio and video segments onto a hard drive (or other storage medium) for use in nonlinear digital video editing.
Iris
The mechanism that controls the lens aperture.
iVGA
A client Program installed on any computer on the network running windows 2000 or XP. Once launched it broadcasts its screen data across the network where TriCaster adds it to a list of potential live inputs.

J

Jack
A receptacle for insertion of audio or video cable on audio or video equipment. For example, headphones plug into the audio mixer's headphone jack.
Jog
Frame-by-frame advancement of a videotape in a VCR, video deck, or a NLE non-linier editor).
Jog and shuttle wheel
A dial on many video decks and VCRs that controls jog and shuttle function.
Jumpcut
An awkward shift in continuity when two scenes are abruptly linked through either videotaping or editing.

K

Key
A function on a video mixer that enables graphics or other video elements to be superimposed on video or colored backgrounds.
Key light
The main source of illumination in a video production, usually facing the on-camera talent.

L

Lavaliere microphone
A small microphone used in television production.
Leadroom
The area between a subject shot in profile and the edge of the screen that he or she is facing.
Lens
The curved glass on a video camera or camcorder that collects light.
Line
out monitor
A monitor that is connected to a recording device to show how the finished product will appear or sound. A line
out monitor may be a video monitor (video product), an audio speaker (audio product), or a television (both audio and video).
Long shot
A video shot consisting of the entire subject you are shooting.
Loop
A brief, repeatable audio segment (usually one or two measures long) used as a building block of a song created using music creation software. Such a song might include a drum loop, a bass loop, a keyboard loop, and a guitar loop, all of which are combined and repeated to create a song.

M

Macro lens
a lens used for videography when the camera-object distance is less than two feet. The macro lens is usually installed within the zoom lens of the video camera or camcorder.
Medium shot
a video shot of a person that includes the body from the knee area up.
Microphone
an audio component that converts sound waves into electrical energy.
Microphone directionality
the property of a microphone that describes the area from which the microphone collects sound.
Mnidisc
a digital audio format characterized by a small, optical recorded disk housed with a 2.5-inch square plastic shell. A minidisc can store 74-80 minutes of digital quality audio.
MiniDV
a digital videotape format that consists of quarter-inch-wide magnetic tape in a small plastic videocassette shell.
Minitripod
a small, three-legged mounting device used to hold 35mm cameras, and small camcorders. Minitripods are about six inches tall and are usually used on a tabletop.
Monitor, audio
a speaker or head set.
Monitor, video
a video screen. A video monitor accepts video signal and does not have a tuner.
Monochrome
a video picture consisting of different saturations of a single color, usually grey. The technical term for black-and-white television.
Monopod
a one-legged mounting device used to help the videographer steady a handheld camera shot and reduce fa"tigue.
MP3 (MPEG
1 audio player-3)-a digital audio format for compressing sound into a very small computer file, while preserving the original level of quality. MP3 uses an algorithm to achieve this compression, reducing data about sound that is not within the normal range of human hearing (MPEG is the Motion Picture Experts Group).

N

Nonlinear digital video editing
Postproduction work using audio and video elements saved as digital files on a computer hard drive or other storage device. Nonlinear digital video editing is characterized by the ability to work on segments in any sequence (as opposed to traditional Linear editing, which requires working from the beginning of the production until the end).
Nonlinear editing system (NLE)
a computer system that performs nonlinear digital video editing functions.

O

One-eighth-inch mini
a small audio connector used frequently in consumer electronics.
One-quarter-inch phone
A connector used in audio production that is characterized by its single shaft with locking tip.
On-screen display
A function on many VCRs and televisions in which operational functions (tint, brightness, VCR function, programming, etc.) are displayed graphically on the television screen.
Optical zoom lens
A camcorder lens with a variable focal length. The optical zoom lens achieves this variability by moving a series of glass lenses inside a larger lens housing.
Over-the-shoulder shot
A video shot that places the back of the head and shoulder of a person (e.g., an interviewer) in the foreground and the subject of the shot in the background.

P

Pan
A horizontal movement of a camera.
Phantom power
Electricity provided by audio mixers for use by condenser microphones connected to the audio mixer. Some microphones require phantom power and must be connected to audio mixers that provide it.
Phono (RCA)
A connector used in audio and video components that is characterized by its single connection post and metal flanges.
Pickup pattern
The description of the directionality of a microphone. The two dominant microphone pickup patterns are omnidirectional and cardiod.
Pixel
A single section of a charge
coupled device capable of distinguishing chromanance (color) and luminance (brightness); professional slang for "picture element."
Postproduction
The phase of television production that includes all activity after the raw footage is shot.
Preview monitor
A video monitor that displays the picture from a video source. The technical director uses the preview monitor to evaluate a video source before selecting it.
Production music
Musical selections created specifically for use in audio and video programs. When customers buy production music, they also buy copyright permissions not granted with standard music purchases, thus averting copyright violations.
Props
Objects used in the scene either by actors or as part of the set design.

Q

Quick release
a system for mounting a camcorder on a tripod. A quick release system provides a metal or plastic plate that is attached to the bottom of the camcorder. That plate easily attaches and locks into the tripod head.

R

Record review
a feature on many camcorders that allows the operator to see the last few seconds of video recorded on the videotape.
Rendering
the process by which the nonlinear editing system (the computer) actually creates each transition, effect, or graphic.
Resolution
The sharpness of the picture. Resolution can be measured numerically by establishing the number of scanning lines used to create each frame of video or by the number of pixels in a camera or display.
Rule of Thirds
the videography concept that states that the subject, or most interesting part of a video shot, should be located along the "thirds": one-third and two-thirds:both vertically and horizontally.

S

Scrim
A fiber or plastic covering placed on the front of a lighting fixture to diffuse (spread out) the light.
Scroll
Graphics that roll from the bottom to the top of the screen (e.g., end credits).
Send
a secondary output on an audio mixer.
Shotgun microphone
a microphone with an extremely directional pickup pattern.
Shuttle
a variable-rate search, forward or reverse, of a videotape using a VCR capable of such an operation.
Slate
a small blackboard-like device recorded on camera that gives program information (name, title, date, and take numbers).
Sound bite
a videotaped segment in which the audio and video portions of the tape must remain in sync. Sound bites are usually three to five seconds in length.
Stand-up
an on
camera shot of a reporter as he or she presents information about the topic.
Storyboarding
the process of planning a video project that includes drawing a simple sketch of the desired shot, planning the accompanying audio, and estimating the duration of each element.
Studio address system
an intercom system that allows communication between control-room personnel and personnel working on the studio floor.
Surge protector
an electronic device that protects electronic equipment from power fluctuations.

T

Tag
a standard format for the final sentence of script ending an ENG report. Identifies the reporter (name) and station affiliation.
Teleprompter
An electronic version of cue cards; the talent's script is displayed and manipulated on a computer monitor or refracted through a glass and mirror in front of the camera lens.
Television
a combination tuner, display element, and audio speaker that converts RF signal into picture and sound.
Tilt
a vertical movement of a video camera or camcorder.
Tracking
the video control that allows proper placement of the videotape across the video and audio heads.
Treatment
A brief description of a film topic or idea.
Trim (audio)
an audio mixer control (usually a potentiometer) that lets the audio technician adjust each individual microphone so that all microphones will perform at the same level. Also referred to as "gain."
Trim (editing)
the editing technique of eliminating part of the beginning or end of a video or audio clip used in the nonlinear digital video editing process. Trimming a clip allows the editor to select the exact point where the imported clip will begin and end.
Tripod dotty
a set of wheals to easily move the tripod
Tripod head
the top-most part of a tripod. The tripod head provides the mechanism for mounting the camcorder on the tripod and facilitates panning and tilting motions.
Truck
A lateral movement of the camera achieved by moving or rolling the tripod dolly to the left ("truck left") or right ("truck right").

U-V

Video
the visual portion of television production.
Video camera
A video device consisting of a lens and at least one imaging device that converts light into electrical video signal.
Video deck
an electronic component used for recording and playback of videotape. It consists of a video/audio head assembly, a mechanism for transporting videotape past the heads, and operational controls.
Video mixer
a video device that allows the selection of a video source from several source inputs. Most video mixers allow the technician to perform wipes, dissolves, and fades.
Video noise
a poor
quality video signal within the standard video signal. Also known as "snow."
Videocassette
A length of videotape wound around two reels and enclosed in a plastic shell.
Videocassette recorder (VCR)
An electronic component consisting of a tuner and a video deck used for recording and playback of a videocassette.
Videographer
A person who operates a video camera or camcorder.
Videography repertoire
a collection of six video shots that represents the standard work of videography. All videographers should learn to properly compose the shots in the videography repertoire.
Viewfinder or viewscreen
a small video monitor mounted on a video camera or camcorder that provides a view of the video image to the operator. Viewfinders or viewscreens may be presented as eyepieces, as small screens mounted on the side of the camcorder, or as larger video monitors mounted near the top of a studio camera.
Volume unit (VU)
meter a device used to measure the intensity of an audio signal.

W-X-Y-Z

White balance
the process of adjusting the video camera or camcorder's color response to the surrounding light.
Wild sound
Random sounds recorded on location to add to the soundtrack to add ambience and realism.
Windscreen
a form
fitting foam cover for the top of the microphone that eliminates the rumbling sound caused by wind and sudden bursts of air.
Wipe
a video transition in which one video source replaces another with a distinct line or lines of definition.
Wireless microphone system
a microphone system consisting of a microphone, an FM transmitter, and a tuned receiving station that eliminates the need for long runs of microphone cable.
XLR
An audio connector characterized by three prongs covered by a metal sheath.
Zoom lens
a lens with a variable focal length.