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.



Safety - An additional take, done after a successful one, as a backup.

Scratch Mix - A mix with little correction of the sound, that is usually done before the final mix in order to screen the film with all the sounds in place, to determine if there are any changes to be made. Typically this is not done on lower budget productions, as the added cost would be self-defeating.

Scene - In the language of moving images, a sequence of related shots usually constituting action in one particular location. [See shot]
Scroll - Moving text from the bottom to top and continuing off the visual boundaries.

Scrub - To play through an audio or video clip interactively (under manual control) to evaluate it or locate a specific event. EditDV provides a display for observation of the audio waveform as it is scrubbed.

Secondary Source Clip or Sub Clip - A source clip created from a primary source clip, a subclip. It contains no media, it only refers to the primary clip.

Second Sticks - If the clapper on the slate was not visible when the shot was being marked the camera person might call out “second sticks!” to tell the person with the slate to mark it a second time.

Selects - Sometimes it is useful to separate out all the shots you are going to use before beginning to edit. These are known as selects.

Shot - Intentional, isolated camera views, which collectively comprise a particular scene.

Shooting Ratio - The ratio of how much film shot compared to running time of the finished film. For instance a 5 minute film for which you shot 30 minutes of footage would have a shooting ratio of 6 to 1.

Shuttle - To move smoothly, forward or backward, through video or audio media at a constant rate.

Sky View - A graphic overview of the program in the time line. Visually relates the current view of the time line to the complete program.

Slug – Another name for filler.

SMPTE - Abbreviation for the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers.

SMPTE Leader – another term for Academy Leader.

SMPTE timecode - The timecode used by the SMPTE to identify frames in a videotape. Each frame has a unique address in an hours:minutes:seconds:frames format.

Source Clip - A clip that refers directly to the original physical media.

Sparks - The name given to electricians.

Spider – Another term for spreader, attached to bottom of tripod.

Spikes - Spikes are a term that comes from theater. They are little pieces of tape placed around the legs of furniture, or the tripod legs, before they are moved, making it easy to return things to their original position.

Splice - The physical act of cutting a medium, such as film or audio tape, to add new tape to it or take out portions of it.

Spline - A setting in graphics and edit systems that produces movement between key frame settings along curved lines; creating a smooth, flowing motion.

Split Edit (L-cut or J-cut) - Adjusting synchronized audio or video clips so that one starts slightly before or after the other.

Step - To move forward or backward one frame at a time.

Stereo - Audio split on two physical tracks, one on the right and one on the left.

Sticks - Camera tripod or the tripod legs OR The clapper on the slate.

Sync - The degree to which sound and picture are lined up, in-sync being lined up exactly, and out-of-sync not so exactly. It can be applied to any specific sound and picture relationship, not just voices and not just sync-sound, but any type of specific effect too.

Syncing - The actual lining up of sound and picture before editing a sync sound film. This also involves cutting the excess sound between takes, and adding filler, so that the picture and sound are now in sync for beginning to end.

Sync Sound - Sync sound is sound recorded while shooting picture. Usually it involves footage of people speaking, and is thus sometimes called lip sync. It must be recorded with either crystal or cable sync to line up and not drift out of sync.