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.