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When I first got started in the television industry I felt overwhelmed with the number of terms to memorize. I received this book, and it’s full yet most of these aren’t relevant in video. So which terms do I need to know?

We’re going to start by defining the different stages of production. There is Pre-Production, Production, and Post Production.

Pre-Production includes everything you must take care of before you start filming. This will include your scripts, or anything else you need to source so you can film. This can also include getting your videographer. Pick me!!! 

Production is the act of actually filming your video.

Post Production is everything that must be taken care of to create the finished product. This includes editing, colour correcting, graphics, anything that you want to add to your video is done in post.

Now that we know the stages of production we’re going to dive a little deeper to the terms that you need to know in each of the stages.

Development is basically coming up with the idea for your video, this happens before your script, where you can decide where you want to go with the video, the kind of story that you want to tell, and the locations and people that you might need to tell your story effectively. Once you’ve developed your story you are ready for your script.

An A/V Script is great for corporate videos. What it does is it breaks down your audio and your visual, so your audio is anything that anyone says and your visual is the footage that go on top of it.

 A shooting schedule helps you to determine where you are going to be, what you are going to be shooting, the types of people you will be interviewing, the types of activities that you are going to need. It’s going to tell you exactly where and when and what you are capturing that day.

A Call Sheet basically runs you through everything you need to know what is happening that day. What location you will be shooting on, what scenes you will be shooting, and which people are involved.

Call Time is the time that you have to be ready to start shooting.

 An Establishing Shot is important because it give the viewer reference to where the video is being filmed. For example if you have a conference at Canada Place you want an Establishing Shot of Canada Place to let viewers know where the conference took place.

Ambient Noise, or also know as Room Tone is the sound each room makes, an in order for the editor to have what they need they need at least a 60 second clip of what the room itself sounds like. So for this, they will ask everyone to pause or quiet down for 60 seconds so that they can record the sound that is later used in post.

Wrap is what everyone wants to hear. It means we are done filming! That’s a wrap!

Aspect ration is the dimension of the video, it’s the width times the height. Aspect ratios have evolved over the years they started as a 4 by 3 which is just a little wide square and that was traditional television. Then we moved to 16 by 9 so wider and bigger feel for movies. Now we are more likely to see video that is vertical or square because it has more real estate on our phone.

Talking Head is just a talking head. For a talking head usually the head and the upper shoulders are the only thing that is visible to the camera.

A Jump Cut is created by adding clips together where the camera doesn’t move much. So you don’t see much movement and it is a similar shot. Jump cuts can be very obvious and typically you can cover that up with B-roll.

So what’s A-roll and B-roll? A-roll is the audio or talking head you have on your timeline and B-roll is the visual or the footage that goes on top to compliment that audio.

Colour Correction isn’t really noticeable when it is done correctly, but it is very noticeable when it is done wrong. Depending on your light source the colours could look different. So what colour correction does is it smoothes out the differences between the shots so that it looks more consistent.

A Lower Third is a graphic typically placed on the lower third of the video, try not to put it up to the chin. It tells you who is talking and a little description about them.

A Slug is basically adding your logo to a video. It can be added in any of the corners and it’s usually not full opacity so that it blends into the background and isn’t too shocking. You can ask for a slug throughout your video.

An End card is typically added to the end of your video and is a call to action of what you want the viewer to do after they watch the video. 


I’ve prepared a Video Terminology Cheat Sheet for you so you can quickly download it and view the terms anywhere. To download your free Video Terminology Cheat Sheet click here for the link.