No, we're not speaking in a foreign language. Here
are some industry terms so you can follow along.
Safe area - - The area of these television sets where you can safely assume that the action in the scene will be visible. Safe area margins allow you to know that what you put within the margins will be seen by the viewer and will keep them from bleeding off the screen. Note that safe area margins do NOT apply to computer displays, only television sets.
Saturation - - Term used to describe how much color is contained in the video image. Increasing the saturation causes colors to look more "brilliant". Decreasing saturation causes them to look muted. Decreasing saturation all the way results in a black and white image.
Scale - - To reduce or enlarge an image or video to a smaller or larger image size. Images can be scaled up or down on only one dimension (horizontal or vertical), or both dimensions independently, or both dimensions at the same proportion (in order to keep the image from looking "squished" or altered from the original aspect ratio. Scaling can introduce the loss of quality if scaling is performed to make the image larger than the original, inherent resolution.
Scene - - A single video image where the subject and its surroundings stays the same for the most part. Shooting a piece of dialog in a room between two actors at a certain time of day would be a scene. Shooting a piece of dialog outside on the front porch would be a different scene, and so on. The scene may be shot by one camera or multiple cameras at the same time.
Scrub - - This is the action the editor performs by using a mouse to move a cursor across the timeline in the video editing software, and thus view the point in time in the footage wherever the cursor happens to be on the timeline. This allows the editor to get a look at what is going on, and the main benefit of scrubbing is that he/she can move through the footage at either faster or slower speeds than the normal playback speed. See also: Timeline
SD - - An acronym for "Standard-Definition". Before the advent of High Definition video, TVs and the video displayed on them were of the 4 x 3 aspect ratio. In standard definition, the video frame is 4 units wide by 3 units high. Pixel resolutions were typically 640 x 480, 720 x 480 and 720 x 486. See also: HDTV, High definition, Frame
Segue - - In audio, this refers to moving from one piece of music or other sound source seamlessly into another, without interruption or pausing. Also sometimes used to describe the transition from one video scene to another, also performed in a fluid, or uninterrupted fashion.
Set-up - - Another term for scene, where things are arranged at a particular location, in a particular way for a particular shot.
Shoot - - As a verb: to aim the camera at a subject and record and image. As a noun: the particular event where video or photo cameras are used to record an image. The terms shot and shoot originate from the early days of cameras. Since they were "aimed" or "pointed" at a subject, much like a gun, people began to refer to the resulting image as a "shot" and the act of aiming the camera as "shoot".
Shot - - The term for an individual recording by the camera of a video image. See also: Shoot
Shot list - - A complete log and listing of all the shots needed for a particular production. It should contain the pertinent details of each shot, i.e. who, what, where, when.
Slate - - This a rectangular board and clapstick can provide two functions: the audio from "clapping" the sticks together can be used to synchronize sound and multiple cameras during editing, and the visual identifiers written on the slate can give information such as date, scene, take number, and other information.
Slider - - A device that is made of a track and a unit that slides along the track. The camera is mounted to the device and uses the track to allow for smooth camera moves. These moves can be side-to-side, front-to-back or even diagonally. The slider unit is sometimes mounted on top of a tripod, but can also be used on the ground or tabletop.
Slow motion - - Many times referred to as Slo Mo, the video clip's playback speed is slowed to a different speed. If the clip contains action, the action appears to be moving more slowly. This can add drama to the scene.
Split-screen - - A display that is divided and two clips, or portions of clips are shown side by side.
Standard definition - - Standard definition video is the video format that existed before high definition formats came along. It is typically a frame size of 640 x 480 pixels, 720 x 480 pixels, or 720 x 486 pixels and at 30 frames per second. The aspect ratio is 4x3. See also: Aspect ratio
Steadicam - - This is a device that stabilizes the camera to remove abrupt, shaky camera moves. It is made of an arm, vest and mounting area for the camera. Simple versions rely on the physics of the arm to remove camera shake, and more elaborate ones include powered gyros to assist in smoothing the movement.
Still frame - - See: Freeze frame
Stop motion - - This animation technique can make stationery objects appear as if they were moving. The objects are physically moved and altered in very small increments and each time a photo is taken. The photos are then put together in sequence. Wallace and Gromit is an example of this technique.
Storyboard - - A series of rough drawings that describe a video or sequence, shot by shot. They provide a visual plan for what you need to shoot and how you need to shoot it, and can aid in the editing of the program by showing in rough form what the final video should/could reflect.
Streaming media - - Audio or video clips that can play directly over the Internet, without needing to be downloaded first onto a computer. Typically these files are created at lower data rates to ensure they can be smoothly played for most users.
Super - - Short for superimpose. This is a graphic such as a logo or text element that is displayed on top of a video or other element in the background.
Sweeten - - Referring to audio, the use of audio effects to enhance the sound.
Sync, synchronize or synchronization - - These terms can be used to refer to a few different things during the production process. A video with a person talking on camera needs to have the audio maintain lip-sync with the video. On multiple camera shoots, the goal might be to synchronize all the cameras at a particular point in time so that when cutting from one to the other the action matches. Pictures, or clips might be synchronized (lined up with) certain audio cues while editing (a drum beat, for example).
Take - - An attempt to capture a scene with all elements the way they are intended.
Talking head - - A clip where the camera uses a tight focus on person. The resulting shot shows mainly the head and shoulders of the subject.
Tilt - - A type of camera move where the camera is moved in a vertical path, down or up. Often the camera is mounted on a tripod when making tilting movements.
Timecode - - A numbering system where a number is assigned to each frame of video, denoted in hours/minutes/seconds/frames. Timecode is a part of the metadata of a digital clip and can be used to synchronize different cameras in editing when each camera has been fed the same timecode signal. Another useful way to utilize timecode is a timecode burn. See also: Timecode burn
Timecode burn - - Superimposing the timecode over the video image so that the numbers can be used as a reference. Useful for providing footage to someone who can then look at it and take notes on "favorite" or "keeper" takes. The notes can then be provided to the editor who can locate the desired clip based on the corresponding timecode numbers.
Timelapse - - This technique involves showing a lengthy time-period in a very short time, such as an entire afternoon of clouds in the sky passing by in a matter of a few seconds. It can be achieved by capturing just one frame every so often (such as every minute or 5 minutes for example) and then playing them back, or it can be achieved by recording the scene in real time and then speeding up the footage by extraordinary amounts in the editing program.
Timeline - - Most editing software programs feature a graphical representation of the program. This is usually called the timeline, and contains the video from the beginning on the left to the end on the right. The timeline can show very short increments of time such as a few seconds, or very long such as 20 minutes (as well as varying lengths in between) depending on the editor's preference at the moment. The timeline shows various elements being put together such as video, audio, transitions and effects. It usually contains multiple tracks of video/audio, and these tracks are compiled into the final video by the choices the editor makes during editing.
Title - - Any text item or graphic that contains words/characters that add information to the video. There are different types of titles, such as a full-screen title, lower third, crawl, roll, etc. See also: Lower third, crawl, roll, super
Track - - An individual "layer" of video or audio clips in the a video editing timeline that are combined with other tracks to form the final video.
Tracking (or dolly) shot - - A dolly or slider typically uses a track as a method for moving the dolly or slider in a smooth fashion. When the camera is mounted on these devices it is then moved, and the resulting shot is sometimes referred to as a tracking shot. A tracking shot can be from left to right/right to left or front to back/back to front.
Transcode - - This usually refers to converting from one digital video compression format to another. It differs from encoding for the web, in that transcoding usually refers to higher quality, professional video formats. The goal is to perform this intelligently with minimal loss of quality.
Transition - - The moment at which a clip or other element changes from one item to the next is called a transition. For video, the simplest transition is a cut, where the last frame of a clip is immediately followed by the first frame of the next clip. For transitions that are not as abrupt, dissolves and wipes can be used. Motion may also act as the transition, as well as blurs and even elements like flashing lights or lens flares. Audio elements can also have transitions, like a cross-fade from one sound source to the next over a short period of time
Trim - - Seldom are audio and video clips used in their original, full length. Trimming involves shortening the clip to the exact desired piece to be used by cutting back the material at the beginning and end. In the days of film, it was physical cut, but nowadays it is done in software, and trimming the clip doesn't actually affect the original clip. It just tells the software what portion of the original clip is to be included. This is known as Non-destructive editing, because the original, un-cut clip is always available.
Two shot - - A shot composition showing two people side-by-side.