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.



C-Mount - A screw mount type of lens, commonly used on smaller 16mm cameras, like the Bolex.

Camera Tape - Cloth tape specifically for use on film shoots, much like gaffer’s tape. Camera tape is typically 1 inch wide and white so that it can be used together with a sharpie for labeling magazines with the emulsion type and camera roll number. It is valid to use the terms gaffer’s tape and camera tape interchangeably (they are both really the same type of tape) depending on how the tape is being used. It is designed not to leave a sticky residue behind on the camera.

Changing Bag - A double chambered black bag with a zipper on one end and two elasticized arm holes on the other side, used for loading film into magazines.

Character Generator (CG) - The equipment used in a linear editing suite to create titles or other text on video.

CGI - Computer Generated Imagery. 3D computer graphics and special effects.

Chrominance - Portion of video signal that carries hue and saturation color information. Luminance carries the brightness information.

Chroma Key Filter - ( or CSO - Chroma Separation Overlay ) - A filter that allows for a selected color in a clip to be made transparent. It is generally used to superimpose one clip on another.

Clip - A set of contiguous frames beginning at a designated In point and ending at a designated Out point.

Closeup (CU) - A tightly framed camera shot in which the principal subject is viewed at close range, appearing large and dominant on screen. Pulled back slightly is a "medium closeup" while zoomed in very close is an "extreme closeup (ECU or XCU).

Codec - term used to describe the software process used to Code and Decode a video signal or Compress and Decompress it

Coded - A coded (or Blacked) tape has a video signal, usually black, recorded onto the tape for the full length of the tape. This allows the user to insert edit into the tape. (when inserting control track and time code are not effected)

Component - Video signal that keeps the three component signals separate (red, green and blue).

Composite - Video signal the combines luminance and chrominance in a single signal. Less expensive than component video, but lower picture quality.

Composition - Visual make-up of a video picture, including such variables as balance, framing, field of view and texture all aesthetic considerations. Combined qualities form an image that's pleasing to view.

Compression - The digital representation of media in an efficient storage format. For video, motion-JPEG is often used. Compression may be lossy in that the original picture cannot be reconstructed exactly.

Consolidate - AVID uses this term when you 'consolidate' media to a new drive or destination, that is to copy all relevant media to the new drive / destination

Color Adjust Filter - A the editing software filter that produces a change in the color aspects of a clip by allowing adjustment of individual channels.

Color Palette - Software's tool for choosing a desired color for use with many of the filters and transitions. A color might be chosen to be replaced, to be keyed out, to be changed, etc.

Color Replace Filter - A filter that produces a change in the color of objects or areas within a clip based on their hue values.

Crawl - The gradual movement of text across a clip.

Cross Fade Audio Transition - A transition that causes the end of one audio clip to fade out, while the beginning of the next clip fades in.

Cut - An abrupt transition between two clips. The first frame of the incoming clip immediately follows the last frame of the outgoing clip.

Cutaway - Transitional footage normally inserted between cuts containing the same subject in slightly different screen positions to avoid a 'jump cut'.

Cut Point - The position of a cut relative to an overlying transition.