Video Production and Editing - Glossary of Terms

We've combined some of the most common video production, film production and post production terms in this glossary.
Terms are grouped alphabetically - Please select from the list below.



Academy Aperture
- In 35mm this is the full frame exposed by the camera, with an aspect ratio of 1.33. When the film is projected there is a mask in the projector’s gate to change the aspect ratio to 1.85 or 1.66, cropping the top and bottom of the image. Older films were not shot to be masked and should be projected without a mask. The Academy Aperture is sometimes called the Full Academy Aperture.

Action axis - An imaginary line drawn between two subjects or along a line of motion to maintain continuity of screen direction. Crossing it from one shot to the next creates an error in continuity. It is also referred to as the "180-degree rule."

Action safe area - Approximately 90% of a the video frame, where action will be visible on a standard display.

A.D.R. - Automated Dialogue Recording. This is just Dubbing, done in addition to or as a substitution for Location Sound. The term A.D.R., being something of a mysterious acronym, has a certain appeal, as it obscures the fact that dubbing was involved when it appears in the credits of your film. This might have something to do with the current prevalence of the term.

Alpha channel - Information attached to each pixel that represents how that pixel is to be blended with background.

Analog Media - The term used to refer to the media found on traditional videotape recordings.

Anamorphic - A method of creating a wide screen image with standard film, using a special lens on the camera and projector that compresses the width of the image that is exposed on the film and then expands it when projected.

Animation - Any change of a parameter over time. Generally refers to a change in position of the video frame, moving the video over a background while it plays.

Anti-Aliasing - The process of smoothing the edges of graphics and text to prevent flicker and jagged edges.

Answer Print - This is the first corrected print made from the A&B Rolls, printed with the optical track. It is sometimes called a married print because it is the first time that picture and sound are wed together on the same piece of print stock. If you are not overly optimistic about the results of the timing, you can call this the First Answer Print. When there are further corrections in timing the next print is known as the Second Answer Print, followed by a Third Answer Print and so on.

Aperture - This is the same as the Iris.

Aspect Ratio - Proportional height and width of a video image. The NTSC standard for is 4:3 for convential monitors such as home television sets, and 16:9 for HDTV. In 16mm and 35mm the camera photographs a slightly square image, with an aspect ratio of 1.33 to 1. Aspect Ratios are usually shorted to leave out the “- to 1,” taking for granted that it will always be in relation to 1, an so “1.33 to 1” can just be called “1.33” In 35mm 1.33 is known as the Academy Aperture. In 35mm the image is usually shot with the Academy Aperture and then masked in the projector to produce a wider image: 1.85 in the U.S. and 1.66 in Europe.

Assemble Edit - A method for editing onto a videotape in which a series of clips are placed one after the other to create, or assemble, a program. An assemble edit performs a correctly timed recording on to the end of the last recorded material - it is a full record, that is all tracks, control track, time code. Video and Audio. If you are using a virgin tape ( not blacked ) you will need to assemble edit. An Insert edit can record individual tracks, but can only be performed onto a previously recorded tape ( or blacked ) as then all the timing control signals are already on tape.

Audio Dub - Recording audio over an existing video program without affecting the video images.

AVC - Advanced Video Coding (AVC) is a digital video codec (compression / decompression) standard, which can achieve very high data compression rates.

AVCHD - Audio / video compression for High Definition, is a HD video Recording format

AVI - Audio-Video Interleave, which is a video format for Windows.