Does the language used in the film industry leave you scratching your head?

As a video production company, the team at Ark Media tries to talk your language. Within the film industry though there are some technical references and language that we can’t get away from.

We have created a list of words and phrases that we commonly get asked:

Video terms used in the Film industry

2D Two dimensional, this refers more to animation the images are sitting flat on the screen.
3D Three dimensional. Again, this refers more to animation, the images that are on the screen have more depth to them.
360 Degree Three-hundred-and-sixty-degree video – this is a type of video that can be viewed from all angles and also a VR headset!
4K Ultra-high-definition resolution. Each image on the screen is made up of little tiny squares called pixels, 4K means there are 4,000 horizontal pixels and 2,000 vertical pixels.
A-Roll The footage of the main subject of the film or shot with a primary camera in multi-camera setups.
Aerial Filming Footage that is taken from the sky using drones or helicopters.
Amends Changes that are made to your video.
Animation A video made from designs and drawings rather than real life and real people.
Audio levels This refers to the volume of sound on a video.
Audio mix This means that all the audio levels are balanced so that it isn’t really loud one second and really quiet the next. This is something that is done during the editing stages of a project.
Autocue A device used to project a script up onto a screen in front of the camera, so the subject can read it whilst still looking into the lens.
After Effects Software that is used for animation and visual effects.
Assembly Edit The very first version of a video once it’s been shot and is uploaded to a computer. It is simply putting the shots into the right order.
Assets Anything that is in a video – from photos to video to audio files and music.
B-Cam A second camera that is used in addition to the main camera, gives the editor more choice of shots.
B-Roll Footage that is captured in addition to the main event, for example, an interview of how an event went, b-roll could be footage of the event itself.
Call Sheet This is a document that is sent to all involved in filming, actors, camera crew and host. It is a document that has all the details of the day in, from locations to phone numbers, timings of the day to any additional notes the camera crew may need.
Camera operator The person behind the camera capturing the footage.
CTA Call to action. Instructions for the audience to follow, such as “get in touch”, “call today” or “visit our website”.
Cutaways Footage that is used over the top of another piece of footage, to ‘cut-away’ from the previous shot, usually used in interviews or highlights videos.
Delivery When the client receives the final file from the production company.
Depth of Field The visual effect that separates the foreground from the background, the background may be blurred out.
Edit When all the shots are compiled together, and the story of the video is made.
Editor The person responsible for editing all the shots captured together, adding in music and logos.
Export Once everything has been edited it needs to be exported in order to be used.
Frame Rate The number of frames in one second, a high frame rate can be used making a video look sleek, a low frame rate can be used to create slow-motion effect.
Gimbal A device that the camera is mounted to, this is used to make handheld footage look a lot smoother.
Grade Colour grading is used so that all shots are matching in colour. Outside shots are going to be completely different in colour compared to inside.
Graphic Something visual that will appear in the video, for example, you may have statistics on the screen when someone is talking.
Green Screen A green sheet set up as a background with multiple lights, in order to be able to change the background of the footage during the edit.
GV General views. A set of cutaways usually captured at events for use as b-roll, such as arrivals, guests chatting, shots of the location exterior, etc.
Handheld When the camera is taken off the tripod or gimbal and used by the camera operator in their own hands. The shots won’t be still like on a tripod.
IV Interview.
Lens The part of a camera that allows light to pass through it in order to capture your video. They come in various different sizes and can be attached and de-attached in order to get closer shots or wider shots.
Lower Thirds This refers to anything in the bottom third of the video, this could be a name tag or logo.
Motion Graphics The same as graphics, but they move. So statistics that could fly across the scene whilst someone is talking in the video.
Mood Board An arrangement of images, materials, pieces of text used to set the style of the video.
Post-Production This is where any footage that has been shot it edited together in order to create a story.
Pre-Production Any work that takes place prior actually capturing footage, mood boards, storyboards, scripts and shot lists.
Premiere Software used to edit videos.
Pick Up Shot Re-filming a selection of shots that need to be recaptured to ensure there is enough material for the video.
Production This is when filming is taking place with a camera crew, or the animation is being created.
Proxies This is where lower resolutions are created of the original files in order to make editing easier and quicker. A smaller resolution means a smaller file size, meaning it is quicker to load.
PTC Piece to camera. A video where the subject looks directly at the camera lens and talks to it, to imitate talking directly to the viewer.
Recce A visit to a film location in pre-production to determine how suitable it is and to identify risks for a risk assessment.
Render Similar to exporting except this time it’s when motion graphics are exported.
Rough Cut The first version of the unfinished video. Often includes a sample of a voice over or music. Feedback is given here to make sure we are all on the same page.
Rushes The raw, unedited video files come straight from the camera.
Shot List A list of the different footage you would like to be shot and included in the video.
Showreel A short video that showcases you at your best!
Storyboard Images that are usually drawn to help imagine what the final video will look like.
Subtitles On-screen words that match what the person is saying. Perfect for use on social media posts as not many watch videos on social with sound on.
Timeline The place where all the footage is placed whilst editing.
Titles On-screen text or moving images that complement the video or sound.
Voiceover or VO Someone speaking over a video works well with explainer videos.


Ark Advent Calendar – Get yours!

We’re celebrating the first 12 days of December.  From the 1st to the 12th December you will receive a short video from a member of the Ark team (and their elves) which includes video advice, offers or inspiration.   Sign up here to get yours:


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Can you compete with the big retailer’s big budget Christmas ads?  We think so!

The pitter-patter of Santa and his reindeer on the roof is just around the corner.  And if you’re anything like us you will be eagerly anticipating the Christmas ads that the big retail brands will be soon releasing (that and the copious amount of liquor chocolates and turkey curry you will no doubt consume too – or is that just us?).     Recently, we have been working with our clients to plan, film and edit their Christmas video campaigns.  Don’t worry… there is still time for you to get in touch if you have something timely you want to get out.    But our Christmas campaign work got us thinking about a few key questions in relation to video marketing and Christmas:


Does video enable businesses of any size to compete with the likes of John Lewis?

Yes!   Aside from the fact that advertising on TV (and the cinema) is not as expensive as you might think, don’t forget that digital channels also enable you to get your videos seen in a really cost-effective and targeted way. Facebook ads, You Tube, remarketing and not to mention simply using your CRM to send customers a festive message (did we mention emails with the word video in the title get increased open rates? Well we have now!).   As the second-largest search engine in the world You Tube gives brands an immense opportunity to communicate with an audience of over 1.9bn people who are logged in every month. Plus, the amount of time people spend watching You Tube videos is up 6% year on year.


Screenshot 2019-10-14 at 13.36.29


According to Forbes, 90% of customers say video helps them with their buying decision, and 64% of customers say that seeing a video makes them more likely to buy, the proof is in the (Christmas) pudding, video consumption has been linked to increase sales and with Christmas being the busiest time of year, video is a great way to get consumers, well….consuming!


The future of video marketing is how accessible it will become, advertising on TV is becoming much more affordable. Video helps to humanise your brand, allowing your customers or clients to connect more with the brand. Cinema is also about to enter a new dimension, so why not be one step ahead of competitors and differentiate yourself from them.


You may be interested in our new advertiser packages which combine video and media buying. Contact us for more info.


How can brands and businesses use video during the holidays?

In a nutshell, there are numerous ways to use video for a Christmas campaign whatever your budget:

  • Advertising via TV and cinema to promote your brand in a targeted way – either by interest, region or in some cases inside leg measurement (well, almost!)
  • Spreading the message of good cheer to your social media fans (and those that aren’t yet engaged with you). Perhaps a clever/funny/emotive message delivered within a video.
  • Using your You Tube channel to get across your key Christmas messages. And ensuring your fans are engaged and view times increase.
  • Using your CRM to email videos to customers and prospects wishing them a merry Christmas (this could be instead of Christmas cards in your bid to be more environmentally friendly!)
  • Re-marketing to people who haven’t yet engaged (a video is much more likely to increase engagement and sales)

Screenshot 2019-10-14 at 13.47.51


I’m B2B – Christmas video campaigns don’t really apply to me – do they?

OK, so you probably don’t need to advertise in the cinema or on the telly but we bet our Christmas wish list that you have oodles of contacts on your CRM system that would love to hear from you with a video (rather than a card getting lost in the pile).   Not to mention the opportunities with LinkedIn for helping your brand move clients along your marketing funnel!


We’ve got many B2B clients who benefit from video campaigns during the holidays.  LinkedIn, in particular, provides a fantastic platform for getting across a message with a festive flavour but still remaining professional and on-brand.


Don’t forget your workforce.

And don’t forget your internal comms.  If you’re a large organisation or one with a disparate workforce you can use video to spread a message of festive good cheer.  Get them feeling thanked and good about the brand.  Let them know about a Christmas bonus via video or just generally utilise the holidays to thank them for their efforts throughout the year.


Have you ever considered using video as part of your Christmas campaign? In the past, you may have sent Christmas cards, but with our lives now being so fast-paced, do we really have time to write/print out hundreds of Christmas cards? Why not be different from the competition whilst considering the environment and increasing your engagement rates at the same time?


Christmas isn’t too far away.  Ark Media can still help with your festive video campaign.  Get in touch now and we will get you a quote within 24 hours and if you don’t have your own ideas we can help with those too.

Screenshot 2019-10-14 at 13.48.30

Our new feature film: Stalked

Back in August, our feature film, Stalked premiered in cinemas in Leicester Square. A few of our team members that worked on creating the film attended the event.

The action-packed thriller focuses on a young female, Rebecca, being haunted by an invisible force. She is joined by others who are being kept hostage by the same force, trying to escape the warehouse seems like an impossible task.


Watch the Stalked trailer here:

You can now buy Stalked HERE!



Photos from the day itself and some behind the scenes


The poster for feature film Stalked, produced by, video production company Ark Media
Stalked poster.
Birmingham based video production company editor and director of photography team members, ready to watch their work in cinema.
The film’s editor Joe, and Director of Photography Graham, ready to watch their work on the big screen










Behind the scenes of feature film Stalked, produced by video production company Ark Media.
Behind the scenes of the film.


Script writer, Director of photography and boom operator, from video production company Ark Media.
Behind the scenes in the warehouse where a lot of the action takes place.
Birmingham based video production company attend premiere of feature film Stalked in Leicester Square.
Stalked on the big screen!

Considering advertising at the Cinema? Good idea!

From VHS to DVD and blu-ray to digital streaming on Netflix, all these new technologies haven’t stopped people from visiting the cinema. In fact, 177 million people visited UK cinemas in 2018, an increase of nearly 7 million from 2017. But how can this help brands and businesses?

As marketers, we are constantly trying to find a way to cut through the ‘noise’ and get our message across to our target market. Cinema can provide us with a fantastic opportunity to get across our message to a receptive audience. In fact, cinema ads show the highest engagement score and lowest ad avoidance score – no blockers at the cinema (unless you count sticking your head in the popcorn bucket!).

Emily Moya Addis


Picture the scene

Picture the scene…. you are feeling relaxed as you enter the cinema, you settle back in the dark to enjoy the film. The sound is loud, the screen is big. It captures you. Plus, the ads and trailers are right up your street (it’s almost as if the media buyer knew you would be interested in this!). You aren’t using your phone (it’s actually switched off!), you aren’t talking to your mates, you are watching the screen and listening to the audio. Your eyes are glued to the screen and you are taking in and retaining more because you are so focussed.  In fact, you won’t need to watch an ad more than once – you will remember the one that was in your face there and then.

The above is fantastic news for marketers and is why we’ve developed our new media packages which include film production and media planning and buying.


Emily Moya Addis


What cinema does that other media doesn’t.

Whilst digital advertising gives us fantastic targeting capabilities marketers are still left with the hurdles of engagement, ad blockers and ad recall.

With TV and radio advertising, the audience can often be distracted – multi-screening whilst watching the TV, driving whilst listening to the radio and generally not giving their full attention to whatever it is they are watching or listening to.

Cinema gives you a captive audience, the brand image is often boosted by being associated with the movies on the full screen. In addition, cinema advertising can be really targeted – the type of film, the location of the cinema, the ads being positioned close to the point of purchases, are all things that advertisers should consider. Not to mention the fact that on-screen copy can use full sight, sound and movement to increase ad recall.

But how does this relate to a video production company we here you ask?  Well….  We are increasingly seeing our clients consider cinema as a viable option for their ad spend.

We believe that cinema is about to enter another dimension. Reassigning itself as a more than credible place to get your message out to a receptive audience who will remember you. Wouldn’t it be great if your brand or business was on board with that and was one step ahead of everyone else?

Contact us to learn more about our media packages which include video production, media planning and media buying for brands who want to advertise at the cinema.


Our EcoPledge – what we are doing to help make a bigger difference to the environment.

When our local chamber of commerce invited members to make an Eco Pledge we put our thinking caps on for ideas as to how we could better improve our environmental impact  


Alkaline Batteries and Radio Microphones  

Here at Ark Media, we have film crews out every day capturing footage to help create videos for our clients. A lot of the time we use radio microphones for sound quality which clip on to clothing. As great as the radio microphones are at capturing quality sound over other types of microphones, they require the use of batteries and with a basket in the office slowly starting to fill up with used batteries, we were starting to wonder what we could do with them. With waste management and the environment being so high on the agenda, throwing them away just didn’t seem right.  

 Alkaline batteries, when taken to landfills, release harmful metals into the soil, causing contamination to water and soils. Additionally, incineration of batteries can add to air pollution.   The team knew they didn’t want their batteries to go to landfills and over time had built quite a collection in the office.    

 With our local chamber, Sutton Coldfield Chamber of Commerce, who recently launched their Eco Pledge, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to start recycling our used batteries and give back to the environment.  

Our Eco Pledge  

 Therefore, we decided to pledge that all of our used batteries are recycled.  Making this one small change to our business, to help towards a bigger difference.   

Phil Arkinstall, Managing Director at Ark Media says

We knew this was our opportunity as a team to commit to recycling the batteries from the office and those that we use in the future. Unfortunately rechargeable batteries are not always an option given their durability and the fact that we often film over long periods of time.    Just this small change will help us to make a bigger difference, but also, making this small change has made us more aware of what else we can recycle as a business”. 

Benefits of Explainer Videos For Internal Communications

explainer videos for your internal communications

There’s no doubt amongst internal communication professionals that video is a fantastic way to communicate messages.  Whether you have a remote workforce, offices scattered across the globe or a staff team in one country video can really help to improve your internal communications.  But how can explainer videos benefit your internal communications?

Video production company, Ark Media explains:

Firstly let’s look at what an explainer video is. Well,  putting it simply it’s something that explains what something is.  It’s not promoting something, not a full on training video but a short video explaining why, how or what your employees need to know about whatever ‘thing’ you are needing to communicate.  How can explainer videos benefit your internal communications efforts?

  1. Video Distribution

The beauty of video is in the versatility of distribution.  As with all videos for internal communications purposes you can use an explainer video across multiple touch points with your staff.  Here are a few examples of how you can distribute but your video production company should be able to advise you:

  • Embedded within staff emails
  • Hosted on your intranet site
  • Sent within a staff what’s app group
  • Used at presentations, meetings and other in-house events
  • Viewed across any device including phones, tablets, phablets & desktops
  1. Communicate a message in seconds

Messages can get lost in paragraphs of copy.  The saying goes that a picture speaks a thousand words well a video communicates way more than a thousand.  In fact Forrester Research estimates one minute of online video equates to approximately 1.8 million written words!

A well-produced explainer video by a quality video production company can easily communicate a complicated message in an easily digestible format with the right tone of voice in a matter of seconds and hence why many internal communications professionals are increasingly using video.

For those who prefer to watch videos silently sub titles will help and for those who really do prefer reading then a script of the explainer video is easily supplied.  Forrester Research also revealed that

90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text. This indicates visual education aids like video can improve learning styles and increase the rate at which we retain information”.


  1. Personalisation 

Whilst you can easily personalise written copy and emails, did you know you can also personalise videos?   With a personalised explainer video, you can really make the viewer feel like you are talking to them on a 1-2-1 basis, engaging them even more.   Personalisation in both external and internal communications has been around for a while but personalisation in video is new and certainly personalised internal communications videos are very new and thus a great way of engaging your employees.

Such videos can be personalised in a myriad of ways. Here are just a few examples:

  • Voice over which includes their name to ensure their attention is gained from the start
  • Animated character based on their gender
  • Visually with their name, job title, department and such like displayed in motion graphics as part of the video.

If your video production company doesn’t offer personalised videos you can order your own personalised video here to see an example.

  1. Live-Action, Animation & Motion Graphics

Sometimes staff just don’t want to be front of the camera and that’s fine we don’t all have an inner Hollywood star waiting to get out and for this reason, live-action video doesn’t always work for every organisation.  That’s where motion graphics and animation videos can really help.  If you have something complicated to explain an animation may actually be a preferred way of communicating your message.  A good video production company would suggest utilising characters to bring your message to life and really drive home a point.   Alternatively, you may like to use mixed media with reportage style live-action shots and motion graphics included to bring the story to life.   As an award-winning video production company, we have a really clear briefing process that we work to with every client to ensure our videos are hitting the mark and really engaging with who they are supposed to.

  1. Measuring success

The clients we work with tell us that they value the ability to be able to measure the results from explainer videos.  You can set targets from the outset based on how many people and who you want the video to be seen by, you can measure engagement rates.  And obviously you can also track employee participation to really ensure that your videos are cutting through. It is important to set the objectives for your video at the start of a project with your video production company to ensure that your company is really benefiting from the use of explainer videos for internal communications.


Get In Touch With A Video Production Company Today

If you feel intimidated by the notion of creating an explainer video, there’s no need to be – they just represent another excellent way to get your content out to your target audience.

As with all types of video content, it’s vital that you thoroughly understand your target audience and core messaging before creating an explainer video or animation. This is exactly why you need the support of a professional video production agency like Ark Media, with years of experience in producing the highest quality explainer videos for internal communications. Get in touch today with our friendly team and see how we can support your business.

Who won our competition at the Greater Birmingham Chamber Business Expo?

We are pleased to announce that the insurance people, Madoc and Rhodes, were the winners of our competition at the Greater Birmingham Chamber Business Expo. They won a professionally filmed and produced video.


Watch the Madoc & Rhodes video below:

Who are Madoc & Rhodes?

Madoc and Rhodes are not just your average insurance brokers.  They have been operating throughout the Midlands for over 50 years and offer all types of insurances from motor and home through to business.   They pride themselves on the fact they offer a personalised service to clients and not just an online faceless service.  Unlike many other insurance brokers Madoc and Rhodes have a shop front as well as telephone and online portals. They welcome thousands of customers into their office on an annual basis proving that not everyone wants to buy online and many people still like a broker where they can really build a rapport and get a truly personal service.

This was Madoc and Rhodes’ first foray into video marketing.  They plan to use their new video on their website,  within new client quotes, at seminar presentations and across their social channels.

Here’s what Paul McGrory, star of the video and MD at Madoc and Rhodes thought about working with Ark Media:

“The team at Ark were great and managed the process 100%  they made myself and the staff team feel at ease. We are looking forward to using the video to help raise the profile of Madoc and Rhodes across the Midlands even further. Thank you Team Ark!”

Ark Media ranked in the Top 50 Corporate Video Production Companies in the UK – Again!

We are celebrating being ranked as one of the Top 50 corporate video production companies in the UK for the second year in a row!  Thank you to all our clients for helping us to achieve this.


What is the Top 50 Report and what does it involve?

The Top 50 Report is published by the media industry’s Televisual magazine and as well as the rankings also includes commentary on the state of the corporate video production landscape.

The report highlights several key areas that businesses looking to produce videos are facing.  Organisations are understanding that bolder more creative videos are essential to stand out as more and more businesses are producing video content.   The report goes on to say that brands are wanting authentic content that can be re-purposed across different platforms, thus ensuring budgets are maximised and that content can be utilised to engage audiences in different places.  4k is also something that clients increasingly expect as well as assistance with the strategic planning of a video campaign rather than simply the production.

Phil Arkinstall, Managing Director at Ark Media says

“I am thrilled that Ark have been ranked within the Top 50, this is a testament to the work that the whole team are producing.  Businesses are becoming increasingly video savvy. We have clients who use video for both external and internal communications as it resonates and engages audiences much more than any other medium.   The past 12 months have seen us invest in some significant new kit including the ability to film in 360 as well as provide personalised videos, which means we can produce really innovative and engaging films. It’s great to be acknowledged by a publication such as Televisual”.


The report goes on to say that collaborative working between digital, PR and marketing agencies is essential.

Phil continues

We have developed strong working relationships with a number of digital and marketing agencies, they know that utilising the skills, equipment and experience of specialist camera operators, producers and video campaign planners will increase production values and ultimately get their clients a better result”. 

The Top 50 ranking follows an extremely successful year for Ark Media including a number of Award wins such as the Global Video Trend Awards, Vega Digital Awards, Muse Award and an RTS nomination.

How to film good videos with your phone

At Ark we are obviously big advocates of video marketing in all its various forms.  Whilst we help our clients with the more glossy films with high production values  we also believe there is space for vlogs and other promotional films that you can record on your iPhone and use as part of your video marketing strategies.

Video is how people are consuming content.  Providing your videos are on brand then there is no reason why you can’t consider bringing a home made option into your video mix.

We’ve put together our top tips for filming from your phone or your iPad:

  1. Record in landscape not portrait (unless you want the black strips down the side when you upload to social channels)

  2. You need a decent phone with a decent camera. Even the older smart phones don’t have a great quality camera. If this is something you are serious about. Upgrade.

  3. Don’t film with the light behind you. It will cause too many shadows and you wont be able to see the subjects face properly.  If you are filming outdoors, an overcast day is better than a really sunny day.   Sunny days cause lots of shadows.  If you have to film when it’s sunny keep the sun to the side, not behind or in front of the subject.

  4. Sound – there is often lots of background noise, even if its just a general hum of activity. You can buy microphones to clip to your lapel for better quality sound. There are loads on the market and many are under £50

  5. Think about your message – what message do you want to get across to your audience? Do you have a call to action?  Who is it you are talking to?

  6. Practice – Get used to talking to the camera. Pretend you are recording live even though you’re not.  If you manage to get through a first take it often becomes easier than stopping halfway through and starting from scratch.   The more video you do – the easier it gets.

  7. Put your phone in air plane mode so that you aren’t disturbed by incoming calls

  8. Check you have sufficient battery power

  9. Hold the phone still and if you are moving the phone to look at different things hold it in place for at least 5 seconds rather than whizzing the camera around and making your viewer feel sick! You could consider a stand or a stabiliser to help with this.  E.g The Arkon Tripod Holder or the Osmo Mobile Device.  Others are available!

  1. Frame your subject – think of the your screen with a grid over it. You are aiming to have your subjects eyes (even if this is you) 2/3rds of the way up the screen.   If they are talking to someone off camera in interview style you need to leave enough space in the shot for the area they are talking to.

  2. Recycle your videos – think about all the different places and ways you can use the same piece of content.  Your video could go on your social channels, your website, your newsletter and when you have a few could you edit into a mashup or a greatest hits post, for example, and use them again across your various platforms.