Glossary

Acoustic: The amount of resonance in a room.

Action: The cue used by the director to cast or presenter to start once the camera is rolling.

Actuality sound: In radio, the sound naturally occurring in a location.

Ambient sound: The sound or ambience of a room – this could just be the silence.

Aperture: The setting on a camera which controls the size of the iris and changes the amount of light coming into the camera.

Acquired material: Anything included in the production which you have not recorded or shot yourself.

Back light: A light behind the object in a camera frame. Gives depth to the image.

Big close-up (BCU): Very close shot of a person or object.

Blocking: The process of setting the action in a scene, usually drama.

Camera left/right: Position of an object in the frame of a camera from the point of view of the camera.

Camera mic: A microphone which is either mounted on top of a camera or is integral to the camera.

Cans: Headphones.

Caption: On screen text.

Cardioid microphone: Microphone which picks up more sound from the front and side than from the rear.

Casting: Choosing actors for roles.

Close-up (CU): Close shot of a person or object.

Closed questions: Questions which only invite a very short answer.

Colour balance: Method of combining the three primary colours correctly.

Commentary: Narration added to a programme.

Continuity: The process of ensuring that props, costume and positions of objects and people remains consistent throughout the filming of a scene.

Continuity editing: Process of editing in such a way as the viewer perceives the action as continuous.

Contrast: The difference in the brightness of a scene.

Copy: Term used in advertising to describe the written/spoken element of the advertisement.

Copyright: The rights an individual or company might hold to reproduce written work, artistic work, recorded material, stills or music.

Crash zoom: Using the zoom lens at high speed.

Credits: List of people involved in a production.

Cross-fade/dissolve: Gradual mix of one shot or audio track to a second shot or audio track.

Crossing the line: Moving the camera across an imaginary line of action and disrupting the viewer’s sense of geography of a scene.

Cut: Two different shots put together in an edit.

Cutaway: Shot which takes the viewer away from the main action. Often a shot which shows some detail or illustrates the main action.

Cue: Signal to start action.

Dead acoustic: An acoustic with little or no reverberation.

Depth of field: The measure of the areas of a shot which is in sharp focus.

Dissolve/cross-fade: Gradual mix of one shot to a second shot.

Dolly: Camera equipment used for moving the camera while in use.

Dubbing: Mixing and laying the soundtrack for a TV programme.

Edit: Cutting different pictures and sound together.

Establishing shot: Wide shot giving a general view of a location.

Exposure: The amount of light entering the camera. Usually expressed as an f/stop.

Exterior: Any filming or recording done outside.

Eye line: The height or direction of a person’s gaze on camera.

F/stop: The mechanism on a camera which changes the amount of light through the lens by changing the size of the aperture.

Fade in/fade out: Gradually bringing in or taking out of an image or sound.

Fade to black: Gradually fading out an image until there is only a black screen.

Feedback: Response to your production from teacher/peers.

Feedback (audio): Howling noise from a microphone.

Fill light: Diffuse light used in conjunction with a key light to fill out shadows.

Fine cut: The polishing stage of an edit.

Focal length: The distance over which images remain sharp in an image.

Following action: Filming technique of filming the action as it happens rather than directing it.

Frame: Single image of a video field.

Framing: Composition of an image.

Freeze frame: A shot from a video which is used as a static image.

FX (sound effects): Sound added to a programme which is neither spoken word nor music.

Guide track: Rough version of commentary or music laid during the edit as a ‘guide’.

Gun microphone: Very directional microphone.

GVs (general views): Shots used in factual programmes to show the viewer the location or subject of the programme.

Handheld shots: Shots which are taken without having the camera mounted on a tripod but held on the hand or on the shoulder.

Handles: A few sections of a static shot at the beginning or end of a move.

Hard lighting: The type of lighting which produces strong shadows.

Hazard: Something which might be a safety risk on a shoot or recording.

Headroom: Framing a shot so to ensure that the person in the shot has enough space above the head and is also not too low in the frame.

High angle: A shot in which the camera is above the object looking down on it.

Hyper cardioid microphone: A directional microphone picking up a small range of sound than a cardioid microphone.

Incidental music: Music added to create mood or drama in a scene, not heard by the characters.

Ingest: Process of loading footage or recorded material onto the edit package.

Interior: Any filming or recording done inside.

Interior monologue: Inner thoughts of a character in a drama, not heard by the other characters.

Jump cut: Cut between two shots of the same subject which make it appear to jump around the screen.

Key light: The main light used in any set up.

L shaped editing: Mostly used for editing dialogue, this is the practice of cutting to a character speaking slightly after their dialogue has started.

Lapel mics (Lavalier, neck mics): Microphone which can be clipped onto a person and, if necessary, hidden.

Line of action (180 degree line): An imaginary line connecting the characters in a scene which serves as a guide to place shots in order to keep the geography of a scene clear in the mind of a viewer.

Links: Commentary used to link one section of a programme to the next.

Live acoustic: An acoustic with a lot of reverberation.

Location: Any place you are recording or filming which is not a studio.

Logging: Process of watching or listening to rushes and making notes.

Long shot (LS): A shot of a person which shows their whole body.

Looking room: Framing a shot so that a character has space to the left or right in which to ‘look’ and is not perceived by the viewer to be too close to one side of the frame.

Magazine programme: Type of TV or radio programme which contains a number of different items linked by a presenter/s.

Medium close-up (MCU): Shot which shows the head and shoulders of a person.

Mid shot (MS): Shot which shows head and torso of a person.

Mix: The mixing together of sound.

Mood music: Music which has been especially composed to be used as incidental music.

Mute shot: Shot taken without any sound.

Oblique angle (Dutch tilt, canted angle): Shot composition which involves tilting the camera to one side.

Observational documentary: Type of documentary which ‘observes’ the subject rather than narrates a story.

Omnidirectional mic: A microphone which is not directional and records all sounds equally.

Over the shoulder shot: Camera angle which shows action from the point of view of a character or person in a scene and which also shows a small section of their head and shoulder.

Pan: Swivelling the camera horizontally.

Popping: Distortion on the microphone caused by exhalation of breath.

POV shot (point of view): Camera angle which shows the action from the point of view of a character or person in a scene.

PTC (piece to camera): Piece of commentary delivered by a presenter in vision.

Radio microphone: Wireless microphone connected to the recording device by transmitters.

Reaction shot: During dialogue a shot of the person being spoken to. It could also be reaction to some action or event they are watching.

Recce: Visit to a location prior to a shoot or recording.

Reflector/bounce: Card or screen used to reflect or bounce light back onto the subject in a shot.

Reveal: A shot which ‘reveals’ something to the audience as it develops.

Reverse shot: Shot which creates a reverse angle to the previous shot.

Right of reply: Term used in news and factual programs to give each side of a controversy the opportunity to put forward their point of view.

Risk assessment: A document detailing the perceived risk associated with a shoot or recording and the proposed action to mitigate the risk.

Rule of thirds: Photographic term referring to the guideline that if a picture is divided horizontally and vertically into three, then the eye is most easily drawn to the intersections between the horizontal and vertical lines.

Rough edit/cut: The first assembly of an edit.

Rushes: The unedited material which has been filmed or recorded.

Schedule: Document which details all the information needed for a shoot or recording.

Shooting ratio: The ratio of material which has been collected to material shown in the finished programme.

Shot gun microphone: Highly directional microphone.

Singles: Shots which depict just one person.

Soft light: A light which does not cast strong shadows.

Sound level: The volume of sound.

Spot FX/Foley: Sound created and added to a particular point in the action of a drama.

Stills: Photographs which are incorporated into a programme.

Storyboard: Set of drawings which outline the sequence of shots in a scene.

Stops: Settings for the aperture on a camera.

Sync: Term used in editing for interviews, Vox Pop where the speaker is in vision.

Take: An attempt to film a shot.

Telephoto lens: A lens with a long focal length which allows you to film objects in the distance.

Tease: Term used in factual programmes to refer to the opening section designed to grab the audience’s attention.

Tilt: Swivelling the camera vertically.

Time code: A digitally encoded signal which uses hours, minutes, seconds and frames number to identify individual frames.

Timeline: Time table for the production, allocating periods of time to specific tasks.

Track/dolly: Moving the entire camera while filming.

Transitions: Moves/effects between shots or scenes.

Treatment: An outline of a programme which describes the main elements but which is not the finished script.

Tripod: A mounting for the camera, usually three legged with adjustable height.

Two shot: Shot which depicts two characters.

Voice-over: Commentary from a narrator when not in vision.

Vox Pop: Practice of getting a series of short unprepared comments from the public on a subject.

Whip pan: Swivelling the camera horizontally at speed.

White balance: The process of allowing the camera to correct the colour in accordance with the lighting conditions. Achieved by allowing the camera to focus on something white.

Wide angle lens: A lens which creates a wide view of a scene.

Wide Shot (WS): Shot which shows all the action of a scene.

Wild track: Ambient sound which is recorded separately from the pictures or the main recording and is used in the final edit.

Zoom lens: A lens which can vary the focal length.