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Video Shooting Terms

1. mcu - medium close up (to take in 3/4 of a person)

2. els - extreme long shot (also know as the Master or Establishing Shot)
3. ls - long shot (to get the most of a person or place in a scene)
4. ms - medium shot
5. cu - close up shot (takes in head and shoulders)
6. ecu - extreme close-up
7. bust shot - similar to ms, frames the upper part of a person, chest up.
8. knee shot - shows the person from the knees up.
9. two-shot - shows two people or objects in the frame.
10. three-shot - shows three people or objects in the frame.
11. over-the-shoulder shot (O/S) - this shows the camera looking at someone over the shoulder of
another person nearer the camera.
12. cross-shot (X/S) - this is a shot sequence in which the camera looks alternately at one or the other
person, with the camera-near person completely out of the shot.
Structural Terms
1. frame rate also referred to as fps (frames per second),the frame rate is the number of frames
(images)put together to make 1 second of visual movement. The frame rate for video is 29.97fps
(for every 1 second of videotape, the camera takes nearly 30 individual pictures),and the frame
rate for motion picture film (what you see in the theaters)is 24fps.
2. aspect ratio the aspect ration is the length/height relationship of a frame. For standard U.S.
video that relationship is 4:3 (4 units of width for every 3 units of height), or 640x480 pixels
when working on a computer. If you are scanning in photographs, this 640pixels by 480 pixels is
what you should set the image size as in Photoshop.
3. segment - a designated section of a tape
4. genre genre is the style of video examples are documentary, narrative, experimental, comedy,
drama, horror, film noire.
Technical Terms
1. digital video - digital is recorded as a digital code (a series of zeros and ones) that communicate
to the camera what the color of each pixel.
2. firewire firewire is a super fast way to get large amounts of data, such as video, in and out of a
computer. The firewire ports are the ones with a rounded top, on the side (or back) or the
computers. Just like with the photo cameras, a special cable connects from this port to a firewire
port on the side of the camera, allowing you to put your video directly onto the computer to edit.
3. microphone a microphone a.k.a.mic, is what picks up the sound for your video. There is an
onboard mic on the video camera that picks up the sound that is happening around the camera
while it is recording. You can also plug a different, more specialized, mic into the camera (such
as a lavalier microphone that is very small and works well for interviews, or a boom mic which
can be quite large and pick up sounds around a greater distance).
4. tripod a tripod is a three-legged support system (it holds the camera still). A tripod is especially
useful for videotaping interviews, sunsets, sports events, etc. that are long enough that your arms
may get tired from holding up the camera, or where you can only shoot it once and need the
video footage to be steady.

Pre-production Terms
1. document to document is to show an event as it is happening (i.e.not acting). This is the base of
2. interview an interview is where you ask someone about a subject that they may have
knowledge of. Generally, you should write down a list of questions to ask before the interview,
though you may add to or change this list during the interview. Interviews are often used to get a
variety of opinions on a given topic.script a script is the main outline for your video, often
including written dialogue that is used for narratives using actors and actresses. A script may also
be used for preparing a voice-over to add in during editing.
3. storyboard a storyboard is where you draw out what each of your shots will look like i..e.
who will be in them, where they will be, what order they will go in.
4. treatment a treatment is where you write out the purpose of your video, how long it will be,
who your intended audience is, what style you want to make it, etc. It is basically a short
overview (about a page) of what you will be making.
Production & Framing Terms
1. background - Look to see what is behind the person or object. Don't let the background take over
or alter the look of the person or object. Try to include people in every shot.
2. cover footage cover footage, also sometimes referred to as cut-away shots, is any video that
isnt an interview or an acted out shot. An example of this may be if you are doing a video about
graffiti, you go around the city and videotape aerosol art and graffiti on walls, bridges, windows,
3. headroom headroom is the amount of space above a person s head. It is generally preferable to
have the top of a person s head near the top of the frame, since otherwise it often looks like the
person is sitting (or standing) in a big hole.
4. horizontal Line - When filming a person standing in front of a building or object make sure the
horizontal line of any objects is level and not making the person look like they are angled.
5. in-camera editing in-camera editing is where you shoot all of the shots for your video in the
same order as you want them, rather than going back and rearranging them later on. Completion
of a storyboard is a must if you plan to in-camera edit your video, so you know what you want to
6. interview an interview is where you ask someone about a subject that they may have
knowledge of. Generally, you should write down a list of questions to ask before the interview,
though you may add to or change this list during the interview. Interviews are often used to get a
variety of opinions on a given topic.
7. looking space/noseroom looking space, or noseroom, is the room in the frame that is in front of
the subject s face, usually, the person you are videotaping will not be looking directly at the
camera. When they are looking to one side you want to make sure that their nose does not looked
squashed into the side of the frame, so you should frame them a bit off center, leaving room in
front of their face.
8. pan a pan is a right to left or left to right (side to side) camera movement.
9. Rule of Thirds - Place objects within an imaginary 3x3 grid. See examples in Shooting Basics.
10. scenery - the background people, sounds and objects that are included in a scene
11. scene - a sequence of events (shots) with a pre-designed beginning and end.
12. shot a shot is the time on your videotape between when you press record on the camera and
when you stop recording. Think of a shot as a part of a scene with the camera generally in one
13. tilt a tilt is an up to down or down to up camera movement.
14. tracking tracking is when a camera follows or leads a movement (like if you re following
someone walking through a door and into another room, or a squirrel running up a tree, etc.).

15. zoom most people are familiar with what a zoom lens does it makes it look like the camera is
moving closer or farther away from the subject, without the object or person holding the camera
needing to move. You are oving focus from telephoto to wide angle or wide angle to telephoto.
Post-production (Editing) Terms
16. clips clips are the video shots you bring into the editing process.
17. audio the sound you add in during editing (i.e. music, voice-over, effects, etc.).
18. edit - select the footage wanted for a final production where graphics, text, or other special
effects are added
19. effects effects are added in during the editing process such as making video black and white,
making color changes, or ghosting,etc.
20. export - export is when you send data from your computers or camera to another video device.
21. fade - to get from black to light (fade-in) or light to black (fade-out) .
22. graphics - pictures from a computer, editor or other source
23. import importing is when you bring video, sound, or photographs onto the computer, or into
your editing software such as iMovie or Studio7.
24. overlay - adding a graphic and/or text to an image on the tape.
25. timeline the timeline is where you arrange your video clips in the order you want them to be in
your video.
26. titles titles are the written words in your video. These are put in when you re editing it on the
27. transitions transitions are how you go from one shot to the next in editing such as fades,
28. voice-over voice-over is when you record your, or someone else, talking about the subject of
your video during the editing process. This is usually, though not always, something that is not
recorded on your videotape. One way to think of this is when a narrator explains what is going
on in a video.