The background sounds present at the location at which you are shooting.
The villain or adversary, generally in conflict with the Protagonist.
See incandescent light.
A ratio of height to width of a viewable video screen. The aspect Ratio for a standard TV is 3:4. New standards such as HDTV are being introduced that have an Aspect Ratio of 3:5.
The viewers or the intended viewers of your video.
Any and all sound in your video.
Measures the intensity of the sound. Usually quantified in decibels (dB). Meters with all lights lit or 'in the red,' are likely to produce distortion and very loud levels. Meters that are barely moving or have few lights lit, will produce very low volume and hiss when played back. To see an audio meter click here.
Light used on the background or from behind the foreground subject. It's primary function is to separate the subject from the background, thereby creating a sense of depth. Typically used in conjunction with a fill and key lights as part of three point lighting. To see an example of back light click here. For more on lighting see the lighting section.
A video signal that travels over a single cable in an unmodulated form.
A microphone pickup pattern in which sound is picked up by two sides of a microphone.
The appearance of a blank black video screen, often used for transitions from one program to the next, as in 'fade to black.'
BNC (Bayonet Fitting Connector)
Video connector generally used on professional video equipment. Provides a secure twist and lock connection. To see a picture of a BNC connector click here.
A microphone pickup pattern in which sound coming from the rear of the microphone is rejected. Called 'cardioid' because it has a similar shape to a heart. Also called unidirectional because it only picks up sound from one direction (front of mic.)
CG (Character Generator)
A device that reproduces letters, symbols, numbers or other characters on a TV screen.
The color information of a video picture.
A video effect that replaces a (background) color (usually blue or green) with another video source. It is most commonly used for weather reporting. The weatherman stands in front of a blue or green screen, then that color is replaced with a video picture of a weather map. Chroma Key is commonly called the weatherman effect.
A shot that appears close to the subject. Commonly used to show emotion when focused on the subjects face. To see a close-up of your professor click here.
A test signal used when synching and phasing video equipment. It contains vertical strips or bars of various primary and secondary colors. To see a picture of color bars click here.
Measured in degrees Kelvin, color temperature measures the relative amount of reds or blues present in different types of light. Incandescent (indoor) lighting is generally at 3200 deg. K, natural (outdoor) lighting is hotter usually around 5600 deg. K. Additional information can be found in the lighting section.
The ending of a video. Generally, wraps up all questions and ties the story together.
You worked hard creating this video, so be sure to include a copyright notice. Copyrights typically come in the form of a graphic at the end of the video. It denotes ownership, requiring others to gain permission from you before they can legally use it. To see an example click here.
Typically titles that roll at the end of a video. These titles include the names and positions of individuals that contributed in the creation of the video. It is also a way of giving credit to those that contributed.
Something you can never get enough of; gaffer, cameraman, lighting designer, director, audio mixer, any and all behind the scenes help.
Text or graphics that move across screen horizontally.
An audio transition during which one audio source fades in while one source fades out. A cross fade is the audio equivalent of a video dissolve.
A video edit that switches from one shot to another instantly.
A ratio measuring an audio signals strength based on a logarithmic scale.
Produced by bouncing or diffusing light. This allows the light to spread more evenly, reducing hard shadows.
DV (Digital Video)
A videotape format that stores video and audio information digitally (as 1's and 0's) rather than an analog signal. The digital tape format allows copies to be made with out generation loss when coping via digital protocols such as fire-wire.
The individual that is always yelling during production. The director is responsible for translating the storyboard in to video by specifying; camera angles, microphone techniques, lighting, and other production techniques.
A video edit/transition, from one shot to another that happens gradually. The two different shots will appear to melt or dissolve from one to the other. To see an example of a dissolve click here. Also see cross fade.
EDL (Edit Decision List)
A paper representation of all the transitions and time code information for all the various footage that will be incorporated in to the final video. Go to the logging section for additional information. To view a blank EDL click here.
ENG (Electronic News Gathering)
Video production that take place in the field using portable equipment and or a remote truck.
Increasing or decreasing specific audio frequencies to produce particular sonic qualities. Helpful in cutting offending noise such as hum.
A long shot providing an overview, aiding in setting the scene.
EP (Extended Play)
Used to soften shadows and illuminate darker areas. The fill light is usually placed slightly below and to the side of the subject. Typically used in conjunction with a key and back lights as part of three point lighting. For more on lighting see the lighting section.
The director's assistant during production. Acting as the go between for director and talent. The floor manager carries out the instruction of the director providing cues for the talent.
Erase heads that are not fixed, but rather rotate (fly) on the same drum as the video heads. This places the erase heads and video heads in close proximity to one another. This increased proximity allows for glitch free edits on cameras or VCRs. Flying erase heads provide a clean transition from pause to record creating instantaneous cut.
See videotape format.
A complete picture or snapshot of video appearing as a still image. Frames occur approximately 30 times per second. When successive frames are played back at this rate the still images are not seen as still images, but rather blend together creating the illusion of motion.
The set up and placement of subject matter with in a video picture. Factors such as talk space, headroom, and how tight or lose the shot is are all parts of framing. The rule of thirds, provides general guidelines for framing. To see an example of framing click here.
Crew member responsible for placement and rigging of lighting instruments and other video equipment.
Degradation that occurs on a dubbed video tape when making analog copies. Each successive generation (copy of a copy) will produce less quality. Higher quality video tape formats incur less generation loss than cheaper formats. Using videotape formats such as DV it is possible to make digital to digital copies which don't incur any generation loss (the copy looks as good as the original).
Synching two or more video sources together allowing the sources to be mixed and edited.
Images such as titles, sketches, or pictures either hand drawn or created on computer, used in video program.
Space between the subject's head and the top of the viewable picture.
Hi8 (High-band 8mm)
HDTV (High-Definition Television)
A television standard providing greater resolution producing sharper images. HDTV also differs from the conventional TV standard in that it has an aspect ratio of 3: 5, providing a wider viewing area.
See lighting section.
An option some cameras provide as a way to correct minor camera shaking that occurs from handheld camera work.
Light produced from man made sources such as florescent, or filament based lights. They emit cooler color temperatures than natural light (outdoor light). The lower color temperature causes a greater amounts of red to be present in incandescent light.
The opening in the lens that regulates the amount of light entering the camera.
A video edit from one shot to another that seems jarring or unnatural. Edits between footage containing similar angles, composition, and subject matter can produce a jump cut. A jump cut can give the feeling of missing or deleted frames. To see an example of a jump cut click here.
A unit of measure used to determine the color temperature of different light sources.
The principal or primarily light used in illuminating the main subject or scene. The key light is generally placed slightly above the subject to mimic natural light. Typically used in conjunction with a fill and back light as part of three point lighting. For more on lighting see the lighting section.
A tiny microphone clipped to a tie or shirt of an individual. To see a picture of a lavalier click here.
See the lighting section.
A process of recording different segments on to a master tape from beginning to ending in a linear fashion. An edit controller is used to control the VTRs and place edit points. The process is similar to using a typewriter, in that it is difficult to add an extra paragraph (footage)in the middle of the document (video). Computer based non-linear editing is becoming the more popular method of editing.
An actual setting other than the studio where shooting takes place, also called a remote.
LP (Long Play)
Used to show multiple subjects, to establish a scenes setting or location. Also see establishing shot. At the track Professor Monkey will occasionally bet on a long shot.
See Audio Meter.
Combining two or more audio sources. To see a picture of a mixer click here.
A self described video hack, that through years of hard work and patience has become a video professional. The Monkey is indigenous to the North End in Boston. His favorite food, Smart Food Popcorn.
Video equipment that displays baseband video.
Natural light (outdoor light)
Light produced by the sun or other natural sources. Produces a higher color temperature then incandescent light (artificial/indoor light). The higher color temperature causes a greater amount blues to be present in natural light.
NiCad Batteries (Nickel Cadmium)
Battery used by most consumer video equipment. Susceptible to memory effect.
Any unwanted video audio such as snow, hiss, or buzz, that generally results from equipment malfunctions, poor production practices, or other environmental factors.
A computer based process in which footage is digital recorded (also called digitized) onto hard drives. Once on the hard drives the footage can be assembled in a nonlinear fashion. The process provides flexibility similar to that of creating a document in a word processor, allowing such functions as cut, copy, paste, drop. To see a picture of a nonlinear system click here.
NTSC (National Television Standards Committee)
Provides video standards used in the United States. NTSC video conforms to 525 lines and 30 frames per second.
A microphone pickup pattern in which the microphone is equally sensitive to sounds from any direction.
Moving the camera angle on the horizontal axis left or right. It is similar to looking left and right when you turn your head.
48 volts of DC power used to power certain microphones, direct boxes, and other audio equipment.
Phone (1/8" or 1/4")
Used to connect audio inputs or outputs of audio gear such as microphones, headphone. To see a picture of a phone connector click here.
Use to connect the inputs or outputs of either audio or video devices such as a CD player or camcorder. Used mainly in consumer level gear. To see a picture of a phono connector click here.
Pixel (Picture Element)
The smallest part of a video picture. The greater the number of pixels the greater the resolution and picture sharpness will be.
Sounds in speech such as "b, p" that generate a lot of wind noise when spoken, causing a pop sound if the microphone is to close. A windscreen can help avoid and minimize plosives.
Proc Amp (Processing Amplifier)
A piece of video equipment used to control certain parts of the video signal, such as chroma, luminance, and sync.
Smaller items on the set or used by the talent such as books, watches, silverware.
The hero or good guy generally in conflict with the antagonist.
PZM (Pressure Zone Microphone)
Amount of video information on a screen measured in lines and pixels. The more lines and pixel information the sharper the video image will appear.
Rule of Thirds
A guideline for composing or framing shots. The rule suggests that by dividing the screen in thirds vertically and horizontally, and framing the main parts of the subject along those lines will create a sense of depth. To see an example of the Rule of Thirds click here.
Searching for or evaluating a site before actual production begins.
The script is a paper version or outline of your video. It contains dialog characters, plot, and can be broken down into parts called, scenes or acts. To see an example of a script click here. To print a blank script for future use click here.
Taking the video and slowing it by a specific amount. Many consumer VCRs have this feature however it will usually cause tracking lines to be seen upon playback. "The Knife" by professor Monkey, uses slow motion in several shots near the end. Click here to see.
SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers)
An organization that creates many of the standards for video and audio such as time code.
Audio prerecorded or created live to provide a sense of realism and believability to the video.
See floor manager.
SP (Standard Play)
A storyboard provides sketches of frames or scenes, with accompanying information regarding dialog, setting, and or transitions. The strength of the storyboard lies in it ability to give a visual representation or overview of what the scene should look like (usually through cartoon or stick figure diagrams). To see an example of a storyboard click here. To print out a blank storyboard click here.
A videotape format similar but superior to VHS and VHS- C in that it contains more picture information, and increased resolution. S-VHS requires a special cable that carries chroma and luminance information on separate wires.
The process of adding sound effects, narration, music, equalization and other audio adjustments to the video program. Sweetening takes occurs during post-production. For more information go to the sweetening section.
A generous term referring to actors or the 'in-front of camera' personnel.
The process of writing on paper the contents of a video tape and the corresponding time code or control track numbers. Additional information can be found in the tape logging section. A blank tape log can be viewed and printed out here.
Basic lighting approach incorporating three lights; key, back, and fill. Proper use of this technique will result in even and natural illumination providing a sense of depth between the subject and the background.
Moving the camera angle on the vertical axis up or down. It is similar to looking up or down when you tilt your head.
TBC (Time Base Corrector)
An electronic device that corrects timing inconsistencies allowing un-syncable video sources such as (non-gen lockable or wild) cameras, and VTRs to synch up with other video equipment typically used in a TV studio.
Graphics usually in the form of names.
The entire camera moves. Often used when following a subject.
U-matic (three quarter inch tape)
An industrial level videotape format, used primarily by cable access studios.
VHS (Video Home System)
Half-inch videotape consumer level format used with VCRs.
VHS-C (VHS Compact)
VCR (Video Cassette Recorder)
Narration generally added during post-production. A person speaking dialog that aids in storytelling and or helps to explains the video portion of the program.
VTR (Video Tape Recorder)
Used to record video. It is the professional equivalent to the VCR.
A camera adjustment which compensates for different light and color temperatures to provide accurate color information during recording. White balance is set automatically by some cameras or manually by aiming at white object and then white balancing. To an see example of video that was not properly white balanced click here.
See long shot.
A soft foam material used to cover a microphone to cut down on wind noise and plosives.
A video transition from one video source to another where the original source appears to be pushed (wiped) off and replaced by the new video source. To see an example of a wipe click here.
Operates by transmitting low power radio waves from the microphone to the microphone receiver. Allows for increased movement as the microphone does not require a cable to be attached.
3 pin cannon style connector generally used in connecting microphones carrying a balanced audio signal. To see one click here.
A function some lenses provide. The appearance of getting closer to the subject (zoom in), or further away from the subject (zoom out), when in actual distance between lens and subject is unchanged.