Videography Terms 101 (Terms You Should Know About)

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Common Videography Terms

It is safe to say that videography is amazing, and while it goes hand in hand with photography in most of the cases, it is also important to know that in many cases, people end up being confused about it because of the terminologies that are spanning across these both forms are very different, to the point that it almost starts to feel that both of them are entirely different.

If you have been trying to wrap your head around videography terms, we are going to make things easier for you as we are going to talk about all the relevant terms that you need to know. So, strap on as we have a lot of these to explore.


Common Videography Terms You Should Know In 2023


I know it might look like I am about to overwhelm you with a lot of information but trust me, the purpose of this article is to explain all the terms in the simplest way possible, so you really will not have any issues getting to know them.

103 Common Videography Terms

We are going to tell you what these terms do, and by the time we are done, you will be aware of what each term means.

10-bit 4:2:2:

The first term that you will hear a lot is 10-bit 4:2:2, and while it does sound fancy and very confusing, it is a lot simpler. The term means that for each 4×2 pixel grid, 2 pixels are recorded from the first row, as well as 2 from the second row.

This results in a lot cleaner footage for things like green screening, and the colors around the edges are more refined, as well.

24p or 30p:

When you are shooting a video, you will often see an icon mentioning 24p or 30p. Sometimes even 60p or 120p. What does this mean? Well, this refers to the framerate at which the video is being recorded.

So, 24p would be 24 frames per second, which is a common frame rate for almost all the films that we see. Then we have 30 frames per second, which is not as common but still being used.

Alpha Channel:

The alpha channel is also known as the alpha plane, and it is a color component that is responsible for representing the degree of transparency or paucity of a color. Videographers use it to figure out how the pixel renders when it is blended with another.

Anamorphic:

When you are talking about videography, anamorphic is a technique of shooting a widescreen picture on a standard 35mm lens or film with a non-widescreen aspect ratio.

Apple Box:

Apple boxes are a lot handier than one might think, they are actually tools that most studio owners keep with them on the set, and they are used for propping, leveling, as well as sitting or standing.

Aspect Ratio:

Aspect ratio is known as the proportional relationship between an image’s width and height. It describes an image’s shape and is written as a formula of width to height.

B-Roll:

In modern-day videography, B-roll refers to all the footage that is not the main action or is considered supplement footage. It is mostly used for aesthetic purposes and to make the video look more professional.

Back to One:

Back to one is another common videography term that refers to going back to the start of the footage once again in order to make some changes or have a preview.

Basecamp:

In film or videography, basecamp refers to the largest base as well as the first point of call when you arrive for work. The term varies from region to region, but basecamp is considered to be the one that is used most commonly.

BitRate:

Bitrate is the amount of data that is encoded for a unit of time, and for streaming, it is normally referenced in megabits per second for videos and kilobits per second for audio.

Blocking:

This refers to the early stages of rehearing a scene where the director works with the cast to place everybody on the set and walk through all the actions and dialogues.

Boom:

A boom is considered to be a vertical camera movement that is achieved through a crane or a jib; the shot ends up creating a smooth and vertical camera movement that looks really good.

Bumper:

Bumpers in videography refer to short clips that are known for showing the brand or the company that your video is representing. These can be introduced at the start, middle, or the end.

Call Sheet:

A call sheet refers to a document that is sent out to the cast and crew that outlines where they need to be at on the day of the shoot. It also outlines the daily shooting schedule and other important information.

Check the Gate:

Checking the gate actually refers to making sure that the camera gate or the shutter is free of any debris before the shooting actually starts to avoid any mishaps or wrong shots.

Chromakey:

Chroma key compositing or chroma keying is a visual effect and post-protection technique for compositing two images or video streams together.

Clapper:

A clapperboard is a device used in filmmaking and video production that helps in synchronizing of pictures and sound.

Clean Plate:

A clean plate refers to an empty piece of video or still image of your scene that comes with the same composition, lighting, and movement as the actual scene you want to shoot.

Close-Up:

A close-up shot is a type of camera shot in film or photography that adds emotion to a scene, it normally is a tightly framed shot of the actor’s face.

Codec:

A codec is normally a device or computer program responsible for encoding or decoding a data stream or a signal.

Cold Open:

The cold open is a storytelling technique that writers use to hook the audience into watching the movie or a show further. The sequence at the beginning of an episode that leads into the opening credit is often called cold open.

Color Temperature:

Color temperature simply refers to the measurement of warmth or coolness of light; the temperature of the light will affect all colors in the scene.

Compositing:

Compositing refers to a process through which two or more than two images or videos are combined to make an appearance of a single footage.

Compression:

Video compression refers to the process of reducing the number of bits that are needed to represent a video without hindering the overall visual quality.

Color Grading:

Color grading is a process that involves the adjustment of footage or an image in specific ways to create the desired effect.

Continuity:

Continuity refers to a principle in filmmaking that makes sure that all the details are consistent from shot to shot and from scene to scene.

Contrast Ratio:

The contrast ratio refers to the property of a display system, this is defined as the ratio of the luminance of the brightest shade to the darkest shade that the system can produce.

Craft Service:

Craft service of crafty is a film production position that is mainly tasked with providing snacks and drinks to all crew members of a film set.

Crew Call:

In film or videography, crew call refers to the time the cast and crew of any film or production need to be on the set and ready to work.

Crop Factor:

The crop factor refers to the ratio of the camera sensor’s size to a 35mm film. It is used to calculate the effective focal lengths and compare lenses between various camera systems.

Crop in/Digital zoom:

Cropping in or digital zoom refers to a technique in which a film is cropped in or digitally zoomed after the shot is taken, this is to ensure that the aspect ratio is coming out right and the framing is perfect.

Crossing the Z:

Also known as crossing the line or the 180-degree rule is when successive camera angles are shot that manages to cross an axis between two actors.

Cut-in:

A cut-in shot is when we cut to form a shot into a closer element of the same shot to make sure that there is more emphasis.

Cutaway:

A cutaway shot is a supplementary shot that manages to cut away from the main action so it can indicate to something else in that space.

Dailies/Rushes:

In the film, this is referred to as unedited raw visual and sound footage from the shooting that took place that day. They are handled by the digital imaging technician.

Depth of Field:

Depth of field or DOF is the distance between the nearest and the farthest objects that are acceptably sharp focus in an image or a footage.

Dynamic Range:

Dynamic range refers to the range of which a camera can successfully manage to capture the lightest and darkest areas of an image without losing any detail.

Exposure:

Exposure is the amount of light that manages to hit the camera sensor; exposure controls the graduation of brightness that you see on the screen.

False Color:

False color is a feature that can read the exposure levels in any given shot. It is mainly known for displaying the images in different colors.

Foley:

Foley refers to the art of adding recorded sounds to video recording so the overall sensory experience can be improved.

Frame Rate:

Frame rate is called the measurement of how fast a number of frames appear within a second, and they are measured as frames per second.

Gaffer’s Tape:

Gaffer’s tape is a tape that was created for photographers and filmmakers, it manages to show excellent resistance to wear and tear, does not interfere with the shot, and can be used for various situations.

H.264/H.265:

These are both standards for video compressions that are used in video recording and distributing without really ruining the quality.

High Definition Media Interface (HDMI):

High-Definition Media Interface or HDMI is a proprietary audio/video interface for transmitting uncompressed video data and compressed or uncompressed digital audio from a source.

Hot Set:

A hot set refers to a film set in which the furniture and props have been positioned for a shoot that is imminent and can take place at any moment.

Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG):

The hybrid log-gamma is a technique that can actually combine SDR and HDR images into a single video signal that can be played on any display without losing quality.

J-Cut:

J-cut refers to an editing technique that is used for scene transitions or within a scene in which the audio of the next scene or shot precedes the image change.

Jump Cut:

A jump cut is a cut in film editing in which a single continuous sequential shot of a subject is broken into two parts, with a piece of footage being taken out in order to show the effect of jumping forward in time.

Ken Burns Effect:

The Ken Burns effect is a type of panning and zooming effect in film and video production from still imagery. This was made famous by Ken Burns to show movement in still images.

L-Cut:

L-cut is a common film editing technique in which the audio from the preceding scene carries over to the image that you see in the next scene.

LUT:

LUT stands for look-up table, this is a tool that allows filmmakers, editors, and colorists to save a specific color grade as a template so they can use it later.

Letterbox:

Letterbox refers to the black bars that you find at the top and bottom of the movie or the video after shrinking the whole image so it can fit the smaller screen.

Log Gamma:

A log profile refers to a shooting profile or a gamma curve that is found in various cameras that allow a wide dynamic and tonal range,

Lower Third:

A lower third is a test or graphic overlay that is placed in the lower region of the screen.

Luma:

In videography, luma is the brightness in an image, it is normally paired with chrominance. Luma represents the achromatic image.

MOS:

MOS means Mit Out Sound, it is used to denote a picture taken for which no sound was shot or recorded.

Magic Hour:

It is considered to be the period just before the sunrise or just after the sunset when the sun is not completely visible.

Martini Shot:

Martini shot or window show is a Hollywood term for the final shot setup of the day.

Master/Mastering:

This is the process of preparing all the aspects of film and audio before it gets distributed on the media.

Matte:

Mattes are used in photography and videography and are responsible for combining two or more than two image elements into a single and final image.

Medium Shot:

Also known as the waist or mid-shot, it is referred to as a shot that shows the subject from the waist up.

Memory Bank:

Memory bank is an archive of all sorts of footage and images that are taken and stored in case they are needed on a different occasion.

Montage:

Montage refers to a film editing technique in which a series of short shots are sequenced to condense space-time.

Non-Linear Editing (NLE):

The non-linear editing process enables the editor to make changes to a video or audio project without regard to the timeline itself.

OTS:

Over The Shoulder shot is a shot in which the camera is placed just behind an off-screen actor, so their shoulder is in the frame when you capture the shot.

Pan:

Panning is when the camera is moved horizontally, either left or right, while it is fixated on a certain point, which results in a sweeping shot.

Pick-up Shot:

In filmmaking, a pick-up is a small, minor shot that is filmed or recorded after the fact to augment the footage that is already shot.

Picture Lock:

Picture lock is a technique that is used to keep the audio in sync with the video, and this is the first thing that is done by the video editor.

Picture Profiles:

Picture profiles is a menu for adjusting and changing the parameters that can determine an image’s characteristics.

Press Kit:

Press kit refers to an image booklet of the film which contains all the information about the project. It plays a very important role in prometon.

Proxies:

As you would expect, proxies are duplicate files that come from the source footage of a project. These are low-resolution footage that editors often use in the timeline.

RAW Video:

RAW footage or RAW video refers to the footage that is entirely unprocessed. It is a great way to ensure that the footage is properly processed when it goes into post.

Rack Focus:

The rack focus is a filmmaking technique that changes the focus of the lens during a continuous shot.

Reshoots:

As the name suggests, reshoots basically mean shooting the scene again with either minor or major changes.

Resolution:

Resolution simply refers to just how much information and detail there is in an image. An image with a higher resolution will be clearer.

Rolling:

Rolling basically means that the shooting process is about to begin, and everyone has to be quiet on the set to ensure nothing else goes wrong.

Rotoscoping:

Rotoscoping is an old process that is used to create animation using live-action footage.

Saturation:

Saturation refers to the colors in film or photos that are richer and brighter as compared to the other colors.

Shot List:

A shot list is a document that has the exact information about what will occur and what will be used for a particular shot or a scene of the film.

Shutter Angle:

Shutter angle, which is measured in degrees, refers to the portion of the cycle that allows the light to pass through.

Sizzle Reel:

Sizzle reels are basically short promotional videos that are also known as demo reels, highlight reels, showreels, and pitch tapes.

Slug:

A slug or slug line is a line that is within the screenplay, and it is written in an all-uppercase letter so it can draw attention.

Sound effects (SFX):

SFX represents special effects in filmmaking and is used for visual and audio tricks.

Sticks:

Sticks is just another word for tripods on a filmset, if someone is asking you to grab a stick, it means they want the tripod.

Sting:

Sting or video strings are a great way to emphasize your brand or particular message at the end of the video.

Storyboard:

A storyboard is a graphical representation of how your video is going to unfold shot by shot.

Sync (Synchronization):

Sync or synchronization is a process where the audio tracks are synched with the video to ensure that everything is following in a cohesion.

T-Stop:

Whereas photographic cameras and lenses are measured in f stops, the cinema lenses are measured in T stops. The T stop refers to how much light makes its way to the sensor.

Take:

In filmmaking, a take means each filmed version of a particular shot or setup. So, the first one would be take one, and the second one will be a take two.

Telecine:

Telecine refers to the conversion process of motion picture film into video. It helps in the viewing of motion pictures in all the standard video devices.

The Fourth Wall:

In Hollywood or filmmaking, the fourth wall is where the camera stands. Most of the time, the actors in a scene do not acknowledge the camera or the audience.

The Rule of Thirds:

This refers to the process of dividing an image into thirds. Using the two horizontal and two vertical lines.

Three-point lighting:

This is a traditional method for illuminating a subject in a scene with the light sources coming from three different positions. You get key, fill, and backlight.

Tilt:

This is a technique in which the camera stays in a fixed position but rotates up and down in a vertical plane.

Timecode:

This is a system that measures time, dividing it into frames and sometimes subframes. This helps editors in figuring out where they can go ahead and add the timecodes.

Turning Around:

Turning around refers to a drastic change of camera setup where they start to shoot in the opposite direction.

Voiceover:

This is a process in which a voice is recorded so it can be recorded for off-screen use.

Walla:

The walla group refers to a group of actors that are brought together in the post-production so they can add sound effects that imitate the murmur of the crowd in the background.

Waveform:

In filmmaking or photography, a waveform monitor is used to evaluate the brightness of your image regardless of the cover. The scale of waveform ranges from 0 to 100.

Wide Shot:

A wide shot is also called a long shot, and it is a shot that follows the subject within their surrounding environment.

Wild Sound:

All the elements that are recorded in a motion picture where the audio elements are not recorded in sync with the picture.

Wipe:

This is a transition technique that is used in post-production editing in which one shot manages to replace the other shot by moving or wiping from either of the sides.

Wrap:

Wrap is a term that has been around for the longest time, and it basically is a term that Is used to refer that filming has ended.

Zebra:

Zebra pattern is a camera feature that overlays a number of stripes into the image that is responsible for indicating the exposure levels.


Wrap-Up:

We are all aware of just how difficult filmmaking and videography can be; there are a lot of terms that you will have to deal with, and things can get confusing for a lot of people, to be honest.

The purpose of this whole article is to ensure that anyone who is looking to be certain that there are no issues in the whole process and understanding, then this article is for you.

Simply put, this article is here to help you understand all the videography terms are, both popular and not so popular ones.

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