There’s a lot jargon and technical terminology in today’s fast-moving, modern, media-centric world.
If you find yourself wondering what a video production term or an acronym means, don’t worry, lots of people do.
Here’s Nemorin Creative Film & Video’s ultimate and (fairly) comprehensive glossary of video production terms. From A-Z, we bust the jargon and cut the waffle.
We’re adding to this list all the time. Can’t find it or want to add a word?
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NEMORIN’S ULTIMATE A-Z GLOSSARY OF VIDEO PRODUCTION TERMS
Animatic: A short, basic animation, used as a test to make sure everyone is happy with the direction it is going. So you know what you’re getting.
Animation: A video made of designs or drawings rather than real life footage. Could be hand-drawn or computer-generated, 2D, 2.5D or 3D. Great for explainers.
Aerial filming: Filming from the sky using drones or helicopters, to get dramatic high, low and sweeping angles. Always increases production values, which reflect well on your brand.
Assembly: An extremely early version of the video, before the rough cut. Barely more than putting the shots in the right order, but it is where we start to build the story.
Assets: Anything included in a physical video, from video rushes and images to music and audio files.
Assistant: A member of the film crew who supports a key member of staff. Could be assisting sound, camera or the producer. Useful person for our clients too.
B-Cam: A second camera, used in addition to the main camera. It gives the editor a different angle to cut to when editing a video.
Branded content: Brand-funded original video content that focuses on being useful, engaging and entertaining rather than a traditional ‘hard-sell’. Audiences are receptive to it, and brands see increase in Reach, Engagement and Conversion. We were early pioneers of this sector, now a multi-billion dollar industry.
Breathing: Leaving pauses between sections of a film structure to aid punctuation and the wider narrative; “needs room to breathe”. Related to pacing. Might also be referred to as adding (non-musical) ‘beats’.
Clearcast: UK agency that must review all advertising content before it is broadcast on TV. Uses very specific criteria to pass or fail content prior to transmission.
Delivery: When the production company gives the client the final file(s). The delivery file types vary depending on what the client will use the video for.
Development: The process in which a client and the producer develops and then settles on a story, theme and type of video before making it. We like to do this with mood boards, brainstorm sessions, reference videos and getting embedded with your brand and its ethos.
DoP: Director of Photography. Frequently a camera operator too. Works alongside the director. In charge of the look, lighting and composition of the film using various complex physical and technical skills. We use different DoPs depending on the vibe and genre of production.
Edit: A version of the film. A film might have several different edits. We can provide different edits for different platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, broadcast, events, regional versions with translations and more.
Editor: The person who edits the film. Works with the director to choose the best shots, form the overall narrative and assemble your film. The editor may also adds logos, music and a basic colour grading. Although we always suggest using dedicated people for these additional tasks for even higher production quality.
Executive Producer: The senior person in charge of the entire project. We recommend assigning an Executive Producer whenever possible. Usually part of bigger projects. Often the company owner too.
Export: When the film has been edited it exists as an exported video file such as ProRes or H264. We will provide you with a high-res master and a smaller file type.
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. Type of grade depends on the sensibilities of the film.
Grip: A lighting and rigging technician. He works closely with the camera crew and DoP on set. Invaluable on bigger shoots.
HD: High Definition. Content with 1080 horizontal lines of resolution. Standard for all modern screens. We often shoot in 4K – nearly 4x times the resolution of ‘standard 4k’. This future-proofs your content. UHD – ultra high definition and 8k has also now been developed. Some scenes of the London 2012 Olympics were test filmed in 8k.
Location: The place where the filming takes place. Could be interior or exterior. From luxury penthouse apartments to empty factories and airports. We use a library of locations to match your requirement.
Motion graphics: Computer generated graphics. Could be moving titles, logos, annotations, characters or an entire film made of computer animated images.
Native advertising: Content such as an article or video that is designed to advertise a product but matches the form and function of its platform. Very closely related to branded content – arguably the same.
Pacing: Variations of speed and timing within a finished video. Relates to a combination of script, video, voiceover and music. Sometimes a video might seem too fast, or too slow – adjusted throughout the post production process. See ‘breathing’. You’re always invited to comment on the pacing of your film.
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. Should resemble the agreed approach. Not usually for public viewing. Still malleable. This is the moment to consulate any feedback for the edit to proceed into the next pass. Our producer will guide you through this.
Rushes: The raw, unedited video files that come straight from the camera.
SD: Standard definition (less than 720p). Not much use anymore unless it’s for artistic purposes.
Sequence: A short section of a video that follows a chain of events – maybe a character or an action. Generally a video consists of a series of sequences.
Sequence: A timeline in Adobe Premiere Pro. When editing, the sequence has its own settings such as resolution, frame rate etc. These relate to the export preferences and ingested material.
Timeline: A visual representation of the film in editing software. Video clips, titles, logos, music all appear as coloured blocks which are rearranged on the timeline. See ‘Sequence’
TVC: Television commercial. A short advertisement played during a break on a commercial TV channel.
UHD: See – 4K & 8K – We shoot 4k where possible to future proof client content.
Out of home: Video advertising that appears on billboards and other public screens.
Post-production: Once a video has been filmed, post-production is when it is edited, graded, sound mixed, and finished to become the final film.
Pre-production: Before filming, pre-production is the process of developing the concept, writing a treatment and/or script, storyboarding and generally planning the production of the video. We take care of the whole process for you.
Prime lenses: Camera lenses with a fixed focal length, as opposed to zoom lenses. Prime lenses can add richer production values that reflect well on brands.
Production: The process where the actual video is filmed with a camera crew, or the animation is created by the artists, illustrators and motion graphics designers. The main bulk of the video production process.
ProRes: A high quality video format used in editing and exporting. Masters are often delivered in ProRes (422, 444 etc).
Render: Similar to an export. 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.
SFX: Sound effects or ‘foley’. Sound added in to the video during the edit to support the visuals. Sound is often overlooked (pardon the pun), but vital. Foley is sound that has been recored after the shoot to sound like the image seen on screen.
Storage: Video files are huge, and projects can be hundreds of gigabytes. Production companies store them on hard drivers and servers.
Storyboard: A series of still images to help you imagine what the film will look like.
Style frame: A still image – usually a mockup of one frame of an animated film – to help you decide on the final style. Similar to a mood-board.
Subtitles: On-screen text of what a person in a video is saying, usually for hearing-impaired audiences or translations.
Sound design: The use of bespoke sound effects to help bring a film to life during post-production. Good sound design is often subliminal. It adds an extra dimension to your film. Vital in animation and motion graphics.
Titles: On-screen text or moving images that helps illustrate points in the video. Opening titles maybe used in TV.
Title safe: A border around the screen that ensures titles will not disappear off the screen if the monitor is not set up correctly. Particularly important in broadcast.
Video frame: A single frame (still image) taken from the video. Traditionally one second of footage is made of 25 frames. Incredibly, researchers have developed a camera that can shoot at 4.4 trillion frames per second. That’s fast.
Voiceover: A spoken narration and commentary to accompany the video. Recorded in a sound studio. We use a range of artists, male and female.
VR: Virtual Reality – the use of a headset to immerse yourself in a digital world. Usually interactive, always impressive. Contact us for VR / 360 services.
2D: Two dimensional. In animation, refers to the images sitting flat on the screen.
2.5D: A combination of two and three-dimensional images in an animation.
3D: Three dimensional. When images are created using the Z axis as well as X and Y – giving the illusion of depth.
360: 360-degree video. Video that can be viewed from all angles rather than a fixed 16:9 frame. Great for the travel sector. Can be viewed with or without a VR headset.
4K: Ultra high-definition resolution that includes 4,000 horizontal pixels and 2,000 vertical pixels. We like to shoot 4K whenever possible.
8K: Ultra high-definition resolution that includes 8,000 horizontal pixels and 4,000 vertical pixels.