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"A bee's dick" An expression for an exceptionally small amount
"Dark as a bat's arse" Expression for little to no light available for filming. (Polite version: Dark as a bat's bottom.)
"Go Hollywood" An instruction to spotlight operators to sweep the lights around the room to create excitement - sometimes called "balloo" in South Africa or UK.
"Let's alter some Oxide" expression for "Roll Record"
"Let's expose some Rust" expression for "Roll Record.
16x9 The wide screen television format for HDTV or std TV where the aspect ratio of the screen is 16 units wide by 9 high as opposed to the 4x3 of normal TV.
3:2 Pulldown In NTSC 60HzTV where 24 frames per second film is stretched into a 30 frames per second video system. The first frame starts with 2 video fields then the following film frame is held for 3 fields resulting in a 3:2 fulldown sequence of 3 fields, 2 fields, 3 fields, 2 fields, etc.
4:2:2 The sampling ratio used CCIR 601 digital video signal. For every 4 samples of luminance there are 2 samples each of R-Y (Red minus Luminance) and B-Y (Blue minus luminance).
4:4:4 A sampling ratio that has equal amounts of the luminance and both chrominance channels.
A & B Roll (FILM) An edited master of original film material assembled into two separate rolls, one for the odd numbered shots and one for the even numbered shots, so that dissolves wipes and even supers can be overlapped and printed together, or to hide slices on a print.
A & B Roll (VIDEO) Two submaster tapes so that dissolves or wipes can be achieved from the two sources and recorded onto a third VTR.
A.C.S Australian Cinematographers Society. The initials ACS are placed after the name of accredited society members.
A.D.R Automatic Dialogue Replacement. Putting words into Actor's mouths.
A.F.M A method of recording audio signals as an F.M. signal on the videotape using a video head.
A.G.C Automatic Gain Control. An electronic circuit that automatically controls audio or video input levels during recording.
A.S.A American Standards Association. In relation to film ASA units of which are used to designate the recommended sensitivity or speed of film - today refferred to as EI Exposure Index
AatonCode Aaton's ASCII-based proprietary in-camera timecode system,exposed in the camera during filming, carries data which is both machine and man-readable for its conversion into SMPTE LTC
Academy leader a leader placed at the head of release prints containing information for the projectionist and featuring numbers which are black on a clear background, counting from 11 to 3 at 16 frame intervals (see SMPTE leader).
Active Picture Area The part of a TV picture that contains actual picture as opposed to sync or other data. Vertically the active picture area is 576 lines for PAL and 487 lines for NTSC and The inactive area is called blanking.
AES/EBU The digital audio standard set by the Audio Engineering Society and European Broadcast Union and used by most forms of digital audio from CDs to Deva
A-Frame Edit (for NTSC TV) A video edit which starts on the first frame of the 5 video frame (4 film frame) sequence created when 24 frame film is transferred to 30 frame video (see 3:2 pulldown). The A-frame is the only frame in the sequence where a film frame is completely reproduced on one complete video frame. Here is the full sequence. (The letters correspond to film frames.) A-frame = video fields 1&2, B-frame = video fields 1&2&1, C-frame = video fields 2&1, D-frame = video fields 2&1&2.
Aliasing Defects in the picture caused by too low a sampling frequency or poor filtering. Usually scene as "jaggies" or stair steps in diagonal lines.
Alternating Current: Or Voltage This may be at a frequency of 50 Hz (Europe) or 60 Hz (USA, Japan and certain other countries.)
A-Mode Edit An editing method where the footage is assembled in the final scene order. Scene 1, scene 2, ...
Analogue A signal that varies continuously. A digital signal by contrast varies in discreet steps.
Anti-aliasing The process of removing aliasing artifacts.
Aperture Adjustable opening, known as the iris, which controls the amount of light reaching the CCD tube or film emulsion. It is calibrated in f-stops.
Apple Box A wooden box for use on set.
Arc (light) A light source similar to daylight generated by the electrical burning of two carbon rods, as either a lamp for direct illumination or for a film projector.
Artifact A visual effect caused by an error or limitation in the system.
Aspect Ratio The ratio of width to height in a picture. Theater screens generally have an aspect ratio of 1.85 to 1, widescreen TV (16x9) is 1.78 to 1, and normal TV (4x3) is 1.33 to 1.
Assembly Editing Electronic editing where Audio, Video and Control signals are recorded sequentially.
Attenuator A device for reducing the strength of any electrical signal.
Audio A general term for the sound portion of a composite sound/video signal.
Audio Head A magnetic recording head that records or replays sound.
Auto Assembly An edit in which the off-line edit decision list is loaded into the on-line edit computer and all the edits are assembled automatically with little or no human intervention.
Azimuth The angle of a given recording head in rela tion to the video or audio track.
B.B.C British Broadcasting Corporation, England's own ABC.
B.C.U Big Close Up. Shot framing only a small part of an object. Tighter than CU.
Babies Baby legs, very short tripod legs.
Back light Light directed towards the camera on to the subject usually to help separation from the background.
Bandwidth The amount of information that can be passed in a given time. The lager the bandwidth the greater the picture detail
Barn door A black metal flap fitted on hinges in front of a lamp, that can be opened or closed to control light spill.
Barney A soundproof bag that's put over a camera to reduce it's noise or to protect it from bad weather.
Barry box Box to raise the height of small cinematographers to viewfinder, usually yellow.
Bashers Simple floodlight in a dished reflector or shade.
Batboard Small foldable polly reflector.
Batphone Mobile telephone.
Bean Counter The Production Accountant.
Best Boy The Gaffer's right hand man
Betamax The Sony 1/2 Inch domestic video cassette format. (Gone the way of nitrate filmstock).
Big Close-up (abbr. BCU) a shot taken very close to the subject (closer than would be necessary for a close-up), revealing extreme detail. (i.e., part of the human face)
Bit A single element (1 or 0) of digital information.
Bit Rate The amount of data transported in a given amount of time, usually defined in Mega (Million) bits per second (Mbps). Bit rate is one means used to define the amount of compression used on a video signal. Uncompressed 601 has a bit rate of 270 Mbps. Mpeg 1 has a bit rate to 1.2 Mbps.
Bit Stream A continuous series of bits.
Black Bag Film changing bag, lightproof.
Black Berocca Coke (with bubbles - the 'after a heavy night pick-me-up').
Black Box A term used to describe a piece of equipment dedicated to one specific function, usually involving a form of digital video magic.
Black Level That portion of a video signal which deter-mines pure black in the video image.
Blacks Black dense cloth for absorbing light and reflections.
Blackwrap Trade name for anodised black aluminium tin foil, used for lighting control.
Blanking The part of the video signal that contains no picture information.
Blanking That period of time during the TV scanning of the raster when the beam is shut off as it returns to scan the next line on either camera tube or receiver
Blondie Trade name for an lanero Blonde, a yellow, open faced two kilowatt lamp.
Blowfly or Blowee Derogatory term used by ABC film/video crews to describe TV Journalists
B-Mode Edit An editing method where the footage is assembled in the order it appears on the source reels. Missing scenes are left as black holes to be filled in by a later reel. Requires fewer reel changes and generally results in a faster edit session
Books, the The freelance technician's agencies books.
Boom Fishpole, stick with a microphone attached to the end.
Boom swinger Operator of the microphone boom or fishpole.
Bottle Lens.
Bounce Reflected light.
Bounce board Reflecter board.
Bridging shot a shot (cut) used to cover a break in time, or other break in continuity.
Broadcast Quality An nebulous term used to describe the image quality of miniDV no matter how bad it looks.
Bubble Globe for lighting fixture.
Bug (1) A computer program error.
Bug (2) Something that bites you on a camping trip.
Burn Blemishes or spots on camera tubes caused by pointing the camera at very bright lights or the sun.
Burned in Time Code Time code numbers that are superimposed on the picture.
Bus One complete channel of a video or audio system. Frequently used in switchers and Special Effects Generators.
Buzz Track Recording of ambient sound, atmosphere track.
BWF Broadcast Wave Format - the standard audio file format in the PC digital-audio world, which can be read by any MAC/OS or WINTEL machine. Wave is the basic file format Aaton has chosen for InDaw digitization files.The EBU Broadcast Wave Format (BWF) adds a chunk that contains the sequence description and the date & time of recording.
Byte 8 bits. The combination of 8 bits into 1 byte allows each byte to represent 256 possible values. (see Megabyte, Gigabyte, Terrabyte)
C ('Cee') Stand "Century" stand, for holding small props & lighting effects.
C Mount A standard screw thread for 16mm cameras, also found on video cameras with interchangeable lenses
C.C.D Charge Coupled Device. A solid state electronic silicon chip used as an imager
C.C.U Camera Control Unit.
C.O.H Comfortable Operating Height, precise distance from the ground to cinemalograher's eye without stretching or discomfort.
C.R.I Colour Reversal Intermediate, a single generation laboratory negative duping stock, now no longer available.
C.T.D.M Compressed Time Division Multiplex. A method of processing two video signals into one. Used in the Betacam recorder with playback through viewfinder for checking the tape has recorded properly.
C.T.R Cold Tinnie Run, A mission for liquid (alchoholic) refreshment.
C.U Close Up. Shot framing only a small part of an object.
Capstan The roller in the VTR that governs the speed of the tape transport
Cardioid A heart-shaped microphone response.
CBR Constant Bit Rate. MPEG video compression where the amount of compression does not change.
CCIR 601 The standard for digitizing component video in standard definition.
Cel Transparent plastic sheet used as a base for animation or titles.
Chroma The saturation of colour in a video signal.
Chroma-Key A television device for matting one image over another, where one colour (usually blue or green) in a given scene is electronically replaced by another video input.
Chrominance The color part of a video signal.
Circle of Confusion (1) The zone around the on set monitor that contains the Client, the Account Director and the Art Director
Circle of Confusion (2) it's a calculation you can use to give a lens an acceptable range of focus, or depth of field.
Clapper the sticks that are slapped together in view of the camera for the purpose of synchronizing film sound. These are usually, but not always, attached to the slate and appear at the head or tail of a sync sound take.
Clapper Loader A person who looks after the operation of the clapperboard and loads the camera magazines.
Clapperboard or clapper Slate, hinged board used to identify shot and scene and to mark a sync point on vision with sound.
Claw, pulldown claw A precision metal prong in the gate of a film camera or projector that engages into the film sprocket hole and pulls the film down to the next frame.
Cleanser A cold, refreshing or cleansing ale (or beer - also known as Brown Milk.)
Closed Set See "Hair in the Gate Shot."
Close-up (abbr. CU) a shot taken very close to the subject ( or with the subject of the shot very large in the frame), revealing a detail only. (i.e., the human face, or hands).
Coaxial-Cable A single-grounded one-conductor cable frequently used for video connections. It has an impedance of 75 ohms.
Coding once the workprint and sound stock (mag) have been placed in sync, the rolls are coded with matching yellow edge numbers so they can be matched up later once they have been cut up into pieces.
Colour Bars 1 A visual line-up or test pattern at the head of videotape showing both luminance and chrominance to ensure proper replay of tape.
Colour Bars 2 Pubs that permit patrons of all nationalities.
Colour Burst A very accurately phased burst of high frequency at the beginning of each scanning line. This determines the colour of the signal
Colour Grader or Colouriser. The person who grades or matches the colour and levels of film either for print in the laboratory on in Telecine for videotape.
Colour Temperature The measure of the colour of a light source by relating it to a theoretically perfect black body source of radiant energy, measured in degrees Kelvin (0K.) ie
Component A colour video signal consisting of three wires Y, R-Y and B-Y, providing higher quality than that of a composite signal.
Component Video A video signal in which the Luminance and Chrominance signals are kept separate. This requires a higher bandwidth, but yields a higher quality picture.
Composite Sync The complete sync containing both horizontal and vertical sync signals.
Composite Video The luminance and chrominance signals are combined in an encoder to create the common PAL, NTSC or SECAM video signals.
Compositing Layering multiple pictures on top of each other. A cutout or matte holds back the background and allows the foreground picture to appear to be in the original picture.
Compression The process of reducing the size of digital information, usually by throwing out redundant information. Too much compression can seriously damage image quality.
Compression Ratio The ratio of the amount of data in the original video compared to the amount of data in the compressed video. The higher the ratio the greater the compression.
Conforming the cutting of the OCN to match the final cut of a film.
Contact print a print made in a contact printer where the original element and duplicate element actually are pressed together at the point of expose (no lens involved). Workprints and "dirty dupes" are made this way.
Continuity of motion the flow of action from one shot to the next as it is placed on the screen at the cut point. Placing the significant action at the end of a shot in the same area of the screen where the significant action will begin in the next shot.
Contrast Ratio The range of brightness between the lightest and darkest objects in a given scene.
Control Track A signal recorded on video tape, similar in principle to the sprocket holes on film, to allow the tape to play back at a precise speed in any VTR.
Cookie Cucoloris, a flag with cut-outs, to throw patterns through a light path.
Cross-cut the intercutting of shots from two or more scenes so the fragments of each scene will be presented to the viewers attention alternately. - see parallel action
Crosstalk Unwanted breakthrough of signal from an adjacent channel.
CRT Cathode Ray Tube is the tech name for a picture tube or the scanning tube in a flying spot telecine.
Cucoloris See Cookie.
Cut in editing, a single unbroken strip of film
Cut (1) Stop shooting.
Cut (2) An instant switch from one TV or film shot to another.
Cut (3) Old expression for TV executive expression for loosing staff - see "Downsizing"
Cutout (see under matte/chroma key)
Cynch Marks Horizontal scratches on film usually caused by poor winding.
D.A.F Done, Arranged, Fixed.
D.B.O Dead Black Out.
D.C Direct Current.
D.C.C Dynamic Contrast Control. A circuit on CCD cameras for obtaining detail in an overexposed scene.
D.C.M Don't Come Monday, subtle way of being told your services are no longer required
D.F.I Different or dumb F... Idea. Term used by 1st Assistant to indicate the Director has changed his mind again.
D.O.P Director of Photography.
D1 It doesn't exist, so don't worry about it - apparently D4 means something really bad in Japanese.
D5 Digital video tape format using CCIR 601, 4:2:2 video and uses the same cassette as D3.
D5HD HDTV recording format similar to above but with 4:1 compression. Now regarded as the world standard for HDTV programme interchange.
D6 Toshiba / Philips HDTV uncompssed digital component videotape
D7 DVCPRO Digital component video tape - in 25mbit or 50mbit 4:1:1 or 4:2:2 on 6mm tape
D9 JVC Digital S Digital component video tape - on 1/2" tape
DCT Discrete Cosine Transform. A widely used method of video compression. Also an Ampex CCIR 601 digital VTR using DCT to compress the video before recording it to tape.
DDR Digital Disk Recorder. A digital video recording device based on high speed computer disk drives. Commonly used as a means to get video into and out from computers.
Decibel A logarithmic unit which expresses ratios of powers, voltages and currents. The scale is.logarithmic. It is commonly used for signal-to-noise ratios and for the evaluation of sound volume.
Dedolight Clever little 12 volt, fresnel light named after its German inventor.
Depth of Field The range of distances within which a subject is in acceptably sharp focus at any given aperture and focal length. See circle of confusion.
Digitach Electronic box for controlling film camera speeds.
Digital (1) A form in which everything is defined by a series of ones and zeros.
Digital (2) A popularly overused word that if used often enough makes the user appear up with the latest technical trends
Digital Betacam Digital video tape format using the CCIR 601 standard to record 4:2:2 component video in compressed form on 1/2" tape.
Digital Betacam SX Digital component videotape in highly compressed MPEG form (10:1) on 1/2" tape.
Digitizing The act of taking analog video and converting it to digital form. In 8 bit digital video there are 256 possible steps between maximum white and minimum black.
Director The boss on a shoot, answerable only to the Producer.
Dissolve An optical transition where one scene fades out over another scene fading in.
Dissolve a gradual merging of the end of one shot and beginning of another produced by the superimposition of a fade-out onto a fade-in of equal length.
Dolby Brand name for a noise reduction system for film sound and audio.
Dolly A device with wheels used for moving the camera during a shot.
Dolly shot a shot taken while the camera is in motion on a dolly.
Dope Sheet Cameraman's instruction sheet.
Double System General expression for sound being recorded separately to vision.
Dropout A defect of tape or signal that causes momentary interruption to audio or video.
Dubb A copy from a master.
Dubb Chart A sequential list of sounds, durations and their sources used in sound mixing.
Dubbing Mixer A sound engineer / artist who mixes the soundtracks together.
Dupe negative a negative element printed from a positive print (an inter-positive). Release prints are printed from a dupe negative.
DVD Digital Video Disk. A compact disc format for puting video on a 5" CD using MPEG-2 compression, with 5.1 surround sound digital audio.
DVE Digital Video Effects. A device that can manipulate the video image to create effects such as spinning,page turns, picture resizing etc. Commonly used in live broadcast applications
E.B.U European Broadcast Union, a working group of TV stations.
E.E Electronics to Electronics. When the video input of a VCR is connected to the output.
E.F.P Electronic Field Production. The use of small. high quality recording equipment for purposes other than news gathering.
E.N.G Electronic News Gathering.
Earth Station A dish for reception of satellite communication.
Edge Numbers Eye readable numbers printed on the edge of negative film 16&35 foot which allows frames to be easily identified in an edit list.
EDL Edit Decision List. A list of edit decisions made during and edit session and usually saved to floppy disk. Allows an edit to be redone or modified at a later time without having to start all over again.
Encoding Electronic circuitry which combines three colour signals into one composite video signal.
Erase Head The head on a recorder (either static or rotating) which erases a previous signal on a tape during recording.
Ergs & Ohms Highly technical expression for things electric.
Establishing shot a shot used near the beginning of a scene to establish the inter-relationship of details to be shown subsequently in closer shots.
Eurovision The EBU TV network which links all of its members.
F. Stop Number which indicates the relative aperture of a lens at different iris settings. The higher the f-number, the smaller the iris setting.
F.A.C.T.S. Federation of Australian Commercial Television Stations
F.C.C Federal Communications Commission, the regulatory body of American telecommunications.
F.F.C Film Finance Corporation. Government film funding body.
Fade-in (1) (n.) a shot which begins in total darkness and gradually lightens to full brightness.
Fade-in (2) (v.) To gradually bring sound from inaudibility to required volume.
Fade-out the opposite of a fade-in..
Fang (1) Eat. (Let's have a Fang...).
Fang (2) Drive quickly to somewhere (Fang over to...).
Field One half of a video frame - containing either allthe odd or even scanning lines of the picture.
Field Half of a complete TV picture. Two fields when interlaced combine to make one frame.
Fill (light) A light, not as strong as the key light, that 'fills' in the shadows created by the key light.
FireWire A digital I/O for miniDV into a computer for editing
Fishpole Microphone boom pole, a long stick with a microphone attached.
Flag Opaque, black piece of wood or metal used to stop stray light hitting the lens or to modify lighting. Also known as a French Flag when hanging off the camera. Flexfill
Flyback The period during scanning when the electron beam returns rapidly to the beginning of the next line.
Flying Erase Head An erase head which is incorporated in the rotating drum of a recorder. Essential for perfect electronic editing.
Focal Length The distance between the optical centre of a lens and the surface of the CCD tube or film emulsion when the lens is set at infinity.
Focus Puller Person in charge of keeping the picture in focus.
Fog (1) Smoke used for effect & to lower contrast.
Fog (2) Filter to simulate fog.
Fog (3) Looking at a film before it's processed.
Foley Creating sound effects in post production. Named after Mr. Foley.
Foley Boy US name for the union person on a movie set that moves the greenery, and plants or foliage.
Foofer Valve A highly technical description of an electrical part that is unkown (ie: It has blown a Foofer Valve).
Foot Candles Light measurement. The illumination from one candle power falling on one square foot of pure white surface at a distance of one foot.
Force process See Push (processing)
Frame One complete video image. There are 25 frames in one second of PAL video, 30 frames in a second of NTSC
Frame (1) A single static picture on a film or tape.
Frame (2) The border around a picture that sets a 'frame.'
Frame Rate The frequency at which frames appear.
Free Run (F. Run) When the timecode generator is running continuously. Usually for time-of-day code.
Freelance Unemployed. Your best mate at industry parties.
French Flag Rectangular black metal sheet for protecting lens from stray light.
Frequency The number of times an electrical signal vibrates per second expressed in Hertz (Hz.)
Fresnel (lens) A lens that acts similarly to a piano/convex lens, but is thinner and lighter due to steps on the convex side
Fresnel (light) A luminaire embodying a lamp and a fresnel lens with or without reflector, which has a soft beam edge. The field and beam angles can be varied by changing the spacing between the lamp and the lens.
Front Porch Period of time in the video signal which precedes the line sync pulse.
G & B in the B.G "A bit Green and Boring in the Back Ground" (Production Designer term).
Gaffer Person or crew in charge of the lights.
Gaffer Tape A sticky tough material tape used universally for fixing everything, including medical applications such as in-grown toenails.
Gain The degree of amplification of an electrical signal.
Gate "Check the gate." The aperture and mechanism that holds the film in a camera or projector during exposure or projection. The check is to see that it is clear of foreign bodies such as hairs.
Gate's Clear The camera gate has no hair.
Gel Gelatin. Commonly used for filters in light and colour correction.
Generation The fidelity of any recording is described in times or number of duplications from the original, eg: first, second or third generation, etc.
Genlock The locking or enslaving of one or more cameras to the sync of the master camera or SPG.
Get More Men The jobs too big. Gaffer term.
Gigabyte 1 Billion bytes.
GMT-S Optional device on set - ultra-small, standalone 1ppm timecode generator designed to add frame accurate timecode capability to digital audio recorders, timecode slates, inserters and other less accurate timecode devices
Gobo A flag usually opaque that can be made with diffusing material. An opaque diffusing cookie. See Cucaloris.
Gofer A general term for a person on set who's job it is to do (almost) anything that's asked. "To go for."
Grade (colour) The colourimity of a scene and the correction of this.
Grip Person responsible for camera support & tracking.
Ground station A receiver and / or transmitter that can recieve and/or transmit TV signals to a satellite.
Guard Bands The gaps between video tracks on a tape which prevent "crosstalk."
H.H (Harold Holt) Hand held.
H.M.I An acronym for Hg (Mercury), M (Medium Arc) and I (Iodides).
Hair in the Gate When the camera aperture or gate is obstructed by a foreign object (such as hair). Checks usually done at the end of each take.
Hair in the Gate Shot Scene involving nudity and/or sexual activity, real or simulated, often on a "closed set."
HDTV High Definition Television. A TV format capable of displaying on a wider screen (16x9 as opposed to the conventional 4x3) and at higher resolution.
Helical Scan Method of video recording in which a rotating drum records a long diagonal series of tracks across the videotape.
Hertz(Hz) The frequency per second of any electrical signal. Kilohertz (kHz) is one thousand Hertz, Megahertz (MHz) is one million Hertz. (Also a Rent-a-Car Company).
Hi Hat A bowl for fitting tripod head for low shot.
Horizontal Resolution The number of vertical lines that can be observed by camera or receiver in a horizontal direction on a test chart.
Horizontal Sync The sync pulses that control the line-by-line scanning of the target.
I.B.A. (1) Independant Broadcasting Authority, the regulatory body of commercial British TV and radio.
I.B.A. (2) Israeli Broadcasting Authority.
I.S.B.R.M. Standards International 'She'll Be Right Mate' Standards.
Incandescent (lamp) Light produced by a conventional tungsten filament lamp
InDaw Computer-based audio sync station which digitizes field DAT and 1/4" tapes to hard drive, JAZ and/or CD-ROM to perform instant, on-the-fly audio sync transfers in telecine
Inkie 100 watt fixture also known as a dinkie.
Insert The replacement of part of one video image by another.
Insert Edit Electronic editing when either/or Video signals are edited to an existing tape using existing CTL signals.
Interlace A process in which the picture is split into two fields by sending all the odd numbered lines to field one and all the even numbered lines to field two. This was necessary in the early days of TV when there was not enough bandwidth to send a complete frame fast enough to create a non-flickering image.
Inter-positive print (IP) a fine grain print made from the conformed original negative which retains the orange cast of the OCN. The IP is used to produce subsequent dupe negatives.
Iris The diaphragm in the lens which controls the intensity of light reaching the CCD tube or film emulsion.
ISDN Integrated Services Digital Network. Allows computers to communicate over existing phone lines using a digital telephone network at much higher speeds than are possible with an analog modem.
It's Just the Monitor Excuse used by crew when the client doesn't like what he's seeing.
Jeckelhead a country TV expression for a person of inferior intelligence.
Journo a drunk, a failed novelist.
Journo (1) a reporter
JPEG Joint Photographic Experts Group. A standard for compressing pictures.
Jump cut A cut which breaks the continuity of time by jumping forward from one part of an action to another.
Junket Pump Extension eyepiece.
Kelvin Degrees The unit of measurement of colour temperatu re 0K.
Key (light) The main lightsource on a set providing the moulding and basis for the scene illumination.
Keying The matteing of one video image over another.
Keykode A barcode on the edge of motion picture film thats the machine readable version of the film's edgecode which can be read and inserted into video and an edit list. (flexfile Aatonbase file) This info is for generating a negative cut list from a video off-line EDL.
KeyKode an extension of the latent edge numbers whereby each frame is given a number. These numbers are recorded as a barcode on the negative and can be read by a special reader in the lab or transfer house.
KeyLink a computer-based telecine device which reads Keycode and AatonCode off the film during transfer, burns these codes as windows and/or VITC on the video images, stores all events related to the transfer in a database, and automatically syncs the AatonCoded images to theirtime-correlated sounds.
Kicker A lamp used to simulate the visible known key source but not providing the actual key modelling light.
Kinescope A film of a videotape.
L.N.G Longitudinal Tracks in which audio, timecode and control track signals are recorded.
Lab roll rolls of OCN compiled by the lab for printing which may consist of several camera rolls.
Lag Image retention on a camera CCD tube when shooting at low levels of illumination.
Latent edge numbers numbers that are printed onto the edge of the negative by the manufacturer. These numbers print through onto the workprint and are used by the negative matchers (conformers) to match the OCN to the final cut of the picture.
Legal effects the lengths for fades and dissolves which can be executed by most printers (16, 24, 32, 48, 64 and 96 frames).
LEMAC Camel backwards.
Letterbox Placing a wide screen image on a conventional TV by placing black bands at the top and bottom of the screen.
Library shot a shot used in a film, but not originally taken for that film.
Line Frequency The number of horizontal lines scanned in one second 15.625 kHz in UK and Europe, 15.75kHz in USA.
Long Shot The entire scene in which the action of a particular sequence takes place in which the subject appears distant from the camera.
Long shot (abbr. LS) a shot taken from a considerable distance. Often the LS serves as an establishing shot. (i.e., a human figure taken so it is shorter than the height of the screen)
Low-Con print a print that is made on a print stock which has been flashed evenly white light prior to the image being exposed on it. This yields a lower contrast print (brings up the black levels) which in turn yields a more attractive video transfer.
LTC Linear Time Code. Time code recorded on a linear analog track on a video tape.
Luminance The black and white, or brightness, part of a component video signal.
Lux One lumen per square metre (1 foot candle equals 10.76 lux.)
M.O.E Massive Operator Error.
M.S.T.O. or M.S.O Machine Smarter Than Operator.
Macro Lens A close-up lens capable of very high magnification.
Mag stock magnetic sound recording stock which has edge perforations that match those perfs. on the picture stock, thereby allowing it to be pulled along with the picture at the same speed and relative position.
Married print a positive print which carries both picture and sound on it. (sometimes called a composite print).
Master Basing A popular tape editors term or habit.
Master shot a shot which covers an entire piece of dramatic action (usually a long shot, or wide shot).
Matte (1) A cut out placed in a mattebox to create an effect or to protect lens from stray light.
Matte (2) A black & white high contrast image that suppresses or cuts a hole in the background picture to allow the picture the matte was made from to seamlessly fit in the hole.
Mattebox A device on the front of the camera to contain filters or other special effects devices, protects the lens from flare, and also contains mattes.
Meat Deroggatory term for actors.
Medium close-up (abbr. MCU) a shot between a MS and a CU. (i.e., a human figure taken from the chest up)
Medium Shot Shot taken at normal viewing distance usually from the waist to just over the top of the head.
Medium shot (abbr. MS) a shot between a LS and a MCU (i.e.,. a human figure taken from the waist up)
Megabyte 1 million bytes.
Mistracking Incorrect tape-to-head contact or tape-path contact causing picture distortion as bursts of noise on replay.
Mixer A device for combining several audio or video inputs.
Modulation The process of adding video and audio signals to a pre-determined carrier frequency.
Monapod A single legged camera support for hand held cameras
Monkey Cam A form of wobblecam - a US developed method by Dave Letterman Show where they strap a small camera on a monkey and let him loose into the audience, lighting grid, or anywhere else he wants to go.
Montage (1) the juxtaposition of seemingly unrelated shots or scenes which, when combined, achieve meaning (as in, shot A and shot B together give rise to an third idea, which is then supported by shot C, and so on),
Montage (2) a series of related shots which lead the viewer to a desired conclusion (as in, shot A leads to shot B leads to shot C... leads to shot X; shot X being the outcome of the sequence).
MPEG Moving Picture Experts Group. A standard for compressing moving pictures. MPEG 1 uses a data rate of 1.2 Mbps (Mega Bits per Second), the speed of CD-ROM. MPEG 2 supports much higher quality with a data rate (also called bit rate) of from 2 to 10 Mpbs. MPEG 2 is the format most favored for video on demand and DVD.
Mute (shot) Shot taken without sound, picture only.
Mute print a positive print which carries the picture only (silent print).
N.B.C National Broadcasting Company, a major U.S.A. TV network.
N.B.G Abbreviation for No Bloody Good.
N.D. Filter Neutral Density Filter. A filter which reduces the brightness of a scene without affecting its colour balance.
N.H.K Nippon Hoso Kyokai, Japan's largest public broadcaster.
N.L.E. Non Linear Editor - ie Avid Lightworks
N.T.S.C. (1) National Television Standards Committee of the Federal Communications Commission. The colour TV system. in the U.S.A., Japan and other countries. Consists of 525 horizontal lines at a field rate of 60 fields per second. (Two fields equals one complete Frame). Only 487 of these lines are used for picture. The rest are used for sync or extra information such as VITC and Closed Captioning.
N.T.S.C. (2) Never Twice the Same Colour, what US TV looks like to a PAL viewer
Nagra legendary 1/4" Tape analogue audio recorder.
Namatjira "Every Frame a Namatjira". Australianised version of "Every Frame a Rembrandt." An expression used by the D.O.P. to describe the poignancy of the moment captured on celluloid or oxide. (Mr A. Namatjira being one of Australia's greatest painters.)
Nancy Light Work Light
Negative Opposite image to positive, whites are black, blacks are white.
Negative film Filmstock when processed as a negative records the reverse to the positive scene photographed.
Ni-Cad Nickel Cadmium, type of rechargeable battery.
Noah's Ark Shark. This term used only on underwater shoots.
Noise Video tape grain.
O.B Outside Broadcast.
Off-Line Editor A low resolution, usually computer and disk based edit system in which the creative editing decisions can be made at lower cost and often with greater flexibility than in an expensive fully equipped on-line bay..
OMF Format - Avid's Open Media Framework database format for audio
One for Kodak Another extra take for the sake of it after you've just done your best one.
On-Line Editor An editing system where the actual video master is created. An on-line bay usually consists of an editing computer, video switcher, audio mixer, 1 or more channels of DVE, character generator, and several video tape machines.
Optical any device carried out by the optical department of a lab using an optical printer. (i.e.,. dissolves, wipes, double exposure effects).
Optical printer used in printing the image from one piece of film onto another by means of a lens.
Optical Sound A photographic sound track, not magnetic, printed down the edge of the film, either as a variable area or variable density track.
Opticals General term for effects on film from fades, freeze frames, dissolves, superimpositions, split screens, wipes, double exposures, title sequences, squeezing and stretching.
Original camera negative (OCN) the negative film originally passed through the camera.
OriginC+ masterclock, timecode comparator and independent 1ppm timecode generator; used for initialization and monitoring of timecode equipment during a production.
Oscilloscope An electronic test device used to view voltage waveforms using a cathode ray tube.
Oxide The magnetic particles that record sound and vision on conventional tape. Now being replaced by metal and metal-evaporated formulations.
P.A.L. (1) Phase Alternating Line, the TV system of Australia, Britain, New Zealand, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore and other countries. Consists of 625 horizontal lines at a field rate of 50 fields per second. (Two fields equals one complete Frame). Only 576 of these lines are used for picture. The rest are used for sync or extra information such as VITC and Closed Captioning.
P.A.L. (2) Perfection At Last.
P.B Play Back.
P.I.R.O Instruction to remove an object immediately from the set, ie "PIRO that chair" Standing for "Piss It Right Off."
P.O.V Point of View shot.
Painters, Patchers & Thatchers Final checks for make up, wardrobe & hair.
PALplus A widescreen (16x9) television standard in use in Europe that is compatible with existing 4x3 TV sets. Non-16x9 TVs show the picture in a letterboxed form.
Pan Shot taken by a camera pivoting from a fixed position.
Pan to rotate the camera about on its vertical axis.
Pancake (1) Type of flat makeup.
Pancake (2) Flat but wide box.
Parallel action a device of narrative construction in which the development of two pieces of action are presented simultaneously.
Park the Tiger See Protein Surge.
Parrot on a stick Red Head
Picture Search The rapid scanning in vision only of a recorded tape.
PillarBox Is the term used for when you insert a full frame 4x3 image into a 16x9 image - you have a black band on the right and left side of frame.
Pitch (film stock) the spacing between perforations.
Pitch (perforation) The distance between two successive perforations on a film.
Pixel Short for Picture Element. The basic unit from which a video or computer picture is made. Essentially a dot with a given color and brightness value.
Plastic Cam Derogatory term for video camera.
Poignant Term used by D.O.P. to best describe the indescribable. Also see Namatjira.
Poly Short for Polystyrene foam - sheets are used for bouncing light.
Portapak A portable, cheap and simple videotape recorder.
PPM Parts-per-million - refers to the accuracy of the electronic crystal inside each timecode capable device on set. The lower the number, the more accurate over time the device. The more accurate the device, the less timecode drift will occur over time.
Pre Roll The process of running two tapes in sync in preparation for an electronic edit.
Prince of Darkness D.O.P. who uses excessive amount of lights.
Producer He or she that is to be obeyed.
Protein Surge Throw up. Also known as "Park the Tiger."
Pull (processing) Underdeveloping film to decrease the films effective speed, ASA.
Pup 500 watt lamp.
Push (processing) Overdeveloping film to increase the films effective speed, or ASA.
R.A.I Radiotelevisone Italiana Italian public service TV.
R.F Radio Frequency.
R.F. Adaptor A modulator for converting video and audio signals into radio frequency for replay on a conventional receiver.
R.Run Record Run. When the timecode generator is running only during record.
R.S. (2) Rat shit.
R.S. (3) Unbelievably bad or broken.
R.S.(1) Really stuffed.
Raster The pattern formed by the scanning spot of an TV system.
Redhead 800 watt, open faced Q.I. light.
Reflex (viewfinder) The cameras viewfinder allows the operator to view a scene through the actual taking lens while filming.
Registration Pin A pin that holds the film steady and still in exactly the same position in the camera gate during each exposure.
Relational editing editing of shots to suggest association of ideas between them.
Resolution Something film has lots of - the ability to distinguish definition.
Resolution Independent A term to describe equipment that can work in more than resolution. Most equipment can do video resolution some can do film resolution, but not both. Resolution independent equipment can work in both.
RET Return. A switch on the lens that allows a return video signal to be displayed in the viewfinder.
Reversal Filmstock that after reversal processing delivers a positive image similar to the scene photographed.
RGB Red, Green, Blue. The primary colors of light. Computers and some analog component devices use separate red, green, and blue color channels to keep the full bandwidth and therefore the highest quality picture.
Rock & Roll The ability of a projector and sound follower/s to operate in sync in forward or reverse, usually for the purpose of sound mixing.
Rough cut first assembly of a film which the editor prepares from selected takes, in script order, leaving the finer points of timing and editing to a later stage.
Rushes prints made immediately after a day's shooting so they can be viewed the following day. (a.k.a. dailies)
Rushes (dailies) The unedited or selected go takes of the film or videotape.
R-Y/B-Y Red minus luminance/Blue minus luminance. See Component.
S.B.D Silent But Deadly. Unmentioned bad smell on set.
S.B.S Special Broadcasting Service, Australia's ethnic broadcasting network.
S.E.G Special Effects Generator. Unit in video production to mix, switch or process video signals.
S.N.A.F.U Situation Normal All F... Up.
S.O.N.Y Abbreviation for Soon, Only Not Yet
S.P.G Sync Pulse Generator. An electronic device which generates reference sync pulses or colour black.
S/N Serial Number.
Sampling Frequency The number of sample measurements taken from an analog signal in a given period of time. These samples are then converted into numerical values stored in bytes to create the digital signal.
Saturation The intensity of colour in an image.
Scene action that occurs in one location at one time.
ScriptLink PC based software programme for laptops, designed to correlate script and slate related information (film title, scene, take,camera roll, sound roll, camera ID, good/no good take, and two comment fields) locked to to AatonCode.
SECAM (1) Sequentiel Couleur a Memoire. The French colour TV system used in France, Russia and other countries.
SECAM (2) Something Essentially Contrary to the American Method.
Sequence a series of shots or scenes which has a beginning, middle and end (like a chapter in a book).
Shakes-spear! Camera assistants lingo for "gates clear"
Shot a recording of a single take.
Signal to Noise (S/N) Signal to Noise Ratio. The ratio between the video or audio signal and noise or interference. The higher the S/N ratio the better the quality.
Single System Sound recorded either optically or rnagnetically on the one strip of film, simultaneously with the picture.
Skew Tape Tension. Incorrect skew results in distortion at the top of the picture.
Slate a board upon which key information about a shot is displayed (i.e.,. scene and take numbers, title of the show, whether it is day or night, sync or MOS...). This board is held in view of the camera either at the head or tail of a shot to identify it to the lab and to the editor. If it appears at the tail of a shot, it will be held upside
Smidge A smidge - to move a little bit. More than a bee's dick.
SMPTE Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers
SMPTE leader a leader placed at the head of release prints containing information for the projectionist and featuring numbers which are black on a medium density background. These numbers count down from 8 to 2 at 24 frame intervals ending at the first frame of the "2" followed by 47 frames of black.
SMPTE Timecode Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers industry standard format for video timecode containing synchronizing data, hour, minute, second, frame data and 8 groups of users bits.
Sound stripe Stripe of magnetic oxide coating along the edges of a film where magnetic sound can be or is recorded.
Soup (1) Processing baths.
Soup (2) Force Processing. Ie To soup one stop.
Spanish Archer Elbo, remove from the set
Splicer Device for joining film or tape.
Split (1) See video split.
Split (2) A split is where focus is set at a mid point between two objects, using depth of focus both will be sharp.
Spot meter A reflected light exposure meter with an extremely narrow field of view that allows light readings to be taken from a distance.
Spun Material clipped in front of a lamp to diffuse light.
Stripes and noise TD talk for Bars and Tone
Strobing or "Picket Fencing." A disturbing jumping effect in an image, usually caused by panning or moving the camera too quickly.
Sub Carrier The frequency on which colour information is modulated in a colour TV system: 4.43 MHz in UK/Europe, 3.58 MHz in USA/Japan.
Suit The term for TV or Advertising Executive.
Switcher A device for cutting from one video input to another.
Sync Synchronisation. The maintenance of one operation in step with another, the vertical and horizontal pulses that co-ordinate the TV scanning system.
Sync pop a single frame tone placed on the sound track so as to correspond with the "2" frame on the SMPTE leader.
Synchroniser A device used for keeping separate rolls of film, filmsound or videotape and audiotape in sync with each other.
Synchronize (sync) to place sound and picture in their proper relationship.
T. Stop T = Transmission. the effective 'f' stop of a lens taking into consideration the light lost in its path through the lens to the film plane. The 'T' stop always will open the aperture wider than its corresponding 'f' stop.
T.B.C Time Base Corrector. A device that corrects mechanical and electrical errors from a VTR.
T.C Time Code. An 80 bit digital signal used to identify each frame of the videotape.
T.D Technical Director. The person who looks after the technical quality of the video image during recording, usually uses the CCU.
Tad A considerable amount more than A Bee's Dick.
Tail Slate Or End Slate. A device used by location crew to annoy Film Editors.
Take a recording of a single shot.
Talkback An intercom system between cameras and the director.
Tally Light The light on a camera which indicates that it is in use at a given moment.
Tap Video split or video viewfinder on film carnera.
Tearing A distortion caused when horizontal sync is lost or distorted.
Technical tap Preliminary technical fault finding using index finger.
Techo See Wire Bender.
Telecine The system or machine for transferring film to videotape. (Often referred to as Telecine Chain).
Telecinegog The place where film worshipers go to transfer their film to videotape.
Terrabyte 1 trillion bytes.
That way! Camera right DP direction.
This way! Camera left DP direction.
Tilt to turn or rotate the camera up or down in shooting..
Time Code A time reference recorded on tape to identify each frame.
Timing the process of adjusting the color balance for the printing of each scene once the negative has been conformed. (also called grading)
Tongue Travel sideways from a central axis point on a camera crane.
Treatment An outline of how the subject or storyline of a film is to be presented.
Tungsten Halogen Lamp Or Quartz Iodine lamp in which the evaporating filament burning in halogen gas is redeposited on the filament itself rather than on the quartz walls surrounding it. This creates a longer operating life with less discolouration and maintains better colour temp.
Tweek Minute adjustment.
U.H.F Ultra High Frequency. (300 to 3000 MHz). Also used to refer to coaxial cable connectors.
U-Bit Users Bit. A portion of the timecode signal which allows the user to program alpha-numeric information.
Ultimatte A trade name for a television matting process especially suitable for film work.
V.H.F Very High Frequency. Commonly referred to as 30 to 300MHz.
V.H.S Video Home System. The 1/2 inch cassette format developed by JVC.
V.U. Meter Volume Unit Meter - a guage for measuring audio levels.
Vapourware Software or hardware that is talked about, but may never actually appear.
VBR Variable Bit Rate. MPEG video compression where the amount of compression can be varied to allow for minimum degradation of the image in scenes that are harder to compress.
VCR Video Cassette Recorder.
Vectorscope An oscilloscope that only displays the chroma information of the video signal.
Vertical Sync The sync pulse which controls the field-by-field scanning of the target area.
Videotape A strip of polyester coated with magnetic oxide.
VITC Vertical Interval Time Code. Timecode stored in the vertical interval of the video signal. It the advantage over LTC of being readable by a VTR in still or jog. V.T.R: Video Tape Recorder.
W.I.F.T Women In Film & Television.
Warm Props Actors: 1st AD term.
Waveform Monitor An oscilloscope designed to show the TV Waveforms.
Wet Gate A device used on a film printer to emerse the negative and print stock in fluid to reduce or hide scratches on the subsequent print.
Whoopy Cushion Flexfill Collapsible Circular Reflector.
Wipe The term in special effects when one image replaces another on the screen with a hard-edged boundary between the two.
Wire Bender Or Wire Twanger. An Electronics Technician (Techo).
Wobble Cam Fashionable shakey cinematography.
Wrap It's a Wrap, or to Wrap: The call at the end of a shoot to pack everything up, the moment the crew longs for, the moment the crew all ring their agents.
X.Y. Zoom Horizontal and vertical panning featuree of a digiscan telecine chain.
Y The symbol for the luminous portion of a colour video signal. See Component.
Zed A quick kip between shots
Zoom Lens A lens of variable focal length and therefore variable angle of view.

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