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.



PAL - Phase Alternating Line.

PAL Signal - The most common composite video signal used in Europe. It has a frame rate of 25 fps. ( 625 lines at 50Hz )

Pan - When used in reference to video, it is the sweeping movement of a camera across a scene or the appearance of such movement generated as an effect.

Pan Setting - When used in reference to audio, the setting that determines how audio output is divided between left and right speakers.

Patch Matrix - Allows the user to direct the flow of the source signal, video / audio / time code etc, to the destination input.

Pedestal - A balanced device to move camera in vertical plane, often on wheels.

Pigeon - This is a heavy round disc with a lighting stud, used to position a light on the floor, much lower than a stand will go. Basically, it is a Hi Hat for lights.

Picture View - A display mode on edit systems showing small thumbnails of the clips stored in the bins in the Project window.

PIP - Abbreviation for Picture in a Picture, a video effect which places several complete images on the screen at the same time.

Pixel - A single picture element. The smallest element in a graphic image. Pixels are combined with other pixels to make up a graphic image. Picture quality increases as the number of pixels increase in a measured area of an image.

Point - A standard measurement unit for type sizes. One point equals approximately 1/72 of an inch.

point-of-view shot (POV) - Shot perspective whereby the video camera assumes a subject's view and thus viewers see what the subject sees.

Prime Lens - A prime lens is one with a single focal length, wide, normal or telephoto, as opposed to a zoom lens which has a variable focal length. They often come in a set of different focal lengths. Prime lenses tend to be sharper, faster and will often focus closer than zoom lenses.

Primary source clip - A source clip that has media attached to it. The original source clip from which secondary source clips and reference clips are created.

Preroll - Preroll is extra time at the beginning of a sound take to accommodate the slow lock-up time of some post production time code devices.

Program - A sequence of reference clips arranged in a meaningful order. The final result of production with a video program.

Project - Organizational unit containing the media units that when incorporated and edited will constitute a program.

Project Preset - Options that define the parameters for the production of a program, such as audio sampling rate that are established before beginning production.

Pull Down - A transfer of sound slowed down from film speed, 24 film frames per second, to video speed, 29.97 video frames per second, which is the equivalent of 23.98 film frames per second. This must be done to line it up with a video transfer of picture when transferring sync sound to video.

Pull Up - This term can be a little confusing since it has three meanings that both apply to sound. (1) The process of offsetting the sound 26 frames ahead of picture when making a print. (2) Pull Ups, as a noun, are transfers of the first 26 frames of sound from a reel that are spliced onto the outgoing sound of the previous reel so that sound is not lost when the film is printed with the sound pulled up, since 26 frames of sound are cut off when reels are joined. (3) A transfer of the sound from a video, sped up from video speed, 29.97 video frames per second, which is the equivalent of 23.98 film frames per second, to film speed, 24 film frames per second. This must be done when the optical track is made after having mixed in video.

PZR filter - A filter that enables the rotation of clip frames around any of three axes, the positioning of a frame in any of three dimensions and the control of the point of view through perspective adjustments.