No, we're not speaking in a foreign language. Here
are some industry terms so you can follow along.
HD - - An acronym that stands for "High Definition". It is also frequently used to abbreviate HDTV. See also: High Definition, HDTV
HDTV - - This term refers to television and video formats that have a higher resolution than standard definition TV. HDTV is often used when talking about the two official "standards" for HDTV broadcasts in the U.S.: one which uses a frame size of 1280 x 720 pixels and the other uses the frame size of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The 1280 x 720 version is known as 720p60 and is broadcast at 60 (59.94) frames per second. The1920 x 1080 version is known as 1080i and is broadcast as an interlaced signal at 30 (29.97) frames per second. Other versions of HD also exist, primarily when it comes to acquiring the footage eventually to be broadcast as HDTV. For example, it is possible for some cameras to acquire 1920 x 1080 footage in progressive mode and at a higher frame rate than 30 frames per second. Doing so at 60 fps for example can be of benefit if the footage will eventually be slowed down from its normal speed. Also, acquiring footage in progressive instead of interlace formats produces better results when that footage is displayed on computer screen.
Headroom - - In a camera shot composition, the space between the top of a person's head and the top of the video frame. In an extreme close up, there will be little or no headroom intentionally. But in a wider framing there might be a certain amount. Too much or too little headroom can sometimes be viewed as improper shot composition.
High Definition - - As opposed to Standard Definition where the frame size is typically 640 x 480, 720 x 480 or 720 x 486, High Definition is a term used to describe the various frame sizes and formats that are larger than standard definition, typically 1280 x 720 or 1920 x 1080. See also: HDTV, HD
Importing - - This refers to the process of bringing those elements such as logos, video clips, audio clips and other elements into the editing software so that it can be assembled into the final video by the editor.
Interlaced video - - For interlaced video sources, a frame of video is comprised of two video fields that alternate from odd to even or even to odd. Imagine of taking two identical combs and putting the teeth together. This is the concept of "interlaced". When displayed, only one of the lines of the "comb" (the "fields") are on the screen at any given time, and they are displayed at slightly different times to form the picture. It happens so fast (30 times per second or more) that the human eye doesn't realize that one-half the image is missing. This formed the basis of broadcast TV in the United States since the very beginning. Some newer forms of video have done away with fields and now show progressive sequences of full frames (not two different fields). In the U.S. one of the two High Definition broadcast formats (1920 x 1080/60i) still uses this approach and features 60 interlaced frames per second.
Intro - - A term used to describe the first portion of a video, short for Introduction. See also: Outro
Jib - - See: Crane
Jump cut - - This is an abrupt, usually undesirable transition between two scenes, which makes the subject (usually a person who is being interviewed) appear to "jump" from one spot in the frame to another. A cutaway or cover shot remedies this situation. See also: cutaway, cover shot or B-roll
Key - - Keying (also sometimes referred to as Chroma key) is simply removing an area of an image or video clip so that something different can "show through". A key "cuts a hole" through the footage. This is often done with the use of a color such as green or blue that contains a lot of Chroma, which the computer software can distinguish from other elements in the scene and thus "remove". See also: Green screen, Blue screen
Key light - - When multiple lights are used, this term refers to the "main" light that provides the majority of the illumination on the subject. When lighting a person, it is often set at an approximately 45 degree angle to the person's face to cast some natural shadows on the face, for a more pleasing and natural look. See also: Back light, Fill light
Lavalier microphone - - Sometimes also referred to a lapel mic because it is often placed on a subjects lapel. It is a small clip-on microphone that attaches to the subjects clothing. Usually omni-directional in nature, meaning it can collect sound from many different directions. Useful for interviews or other situations where the subject is mostly stationery.
Lens flare - - When a light source shines directly into the lens, it can reflect off of the curvature of the glass of the lens, creating a type of glass reflection effect. Often the light source or the camera will be moving, so this flare will change and move over time.
Letterbox - - Movies have always typically been produced in the widescreen format. However, older TVs in use before widescreen were of the 4 x 3 aspect ratio. Letterbox refers to watching the widescreen format material on a 4 x 3 TV in its native widescreen state. This would result in space at the top and bottom of the screen going unused by the image. Typically this space is left black, and is referred to as letterbox.
Loop - - This simply refers to playing the same video or video clip over and over. When playback of the clip reaches the end, the player automatically jumps to the beginning of the clip to repeat the video. Useful for trade shows or lobby TV screens where it is desired to have content automatically play unattended. DVD video discs and Blu-Ray discs can be created with this feature, and some computer playback software can be set to "loop playback" as well.
Lower third - - Typically, a graphic that is placed in the lower third portion of the screen which contains an identifier of some type, and very often is used to display the name and title of a person talking on camera.
Master - - In video, the master is typically the first original high-quality source that is created in the editing process. Back when videos were being created and viewed utilizing tape formats, the master was the final assembled video on a high quality videotape format, and copies were made from that tape. Now that tape is not widely used anymore, the master is usually the final, rendered file, often created using the highest quality method possible (uncompressed, for example). This digital master file can then be encoded and/or transcoded into different formats.
Medium close up (MCU) - - A shot composition that falls between a medium shot and a close up shot. If the subject is a person, it would typically show the person's waist to chest and up. See also: Extreme close up, Close up, Medium shot, Wide shot
Medium shot - - A shot composition that falls between medium close up and wide shot. In a medium shot, if the subject is a person, we would see that person from around the knees to waistline and up. See also: Extreme close up, Close up, Medium close up, Wide shot
Memory card - - Most recent digital video cameras have done away with recording the footage to a tape format, and are now recording the digital files directly to a memory card. They can be the standard memory cards such as Secure Digital (SD) and Compact Flash (CF), or proprietary versions created by Sony (SXS) and Panasonic (P2).
Mic. - - Abbreviation for microphone.
Mixing - - In audio, this is the process of combining various audio sources such as dialog, music, sound effects, etc. in a fashion where the elements are at the correct volume in relation to each other element.
Montage - - Refers to a number of visual items displayed on the screen at the same time, usually in reference to photos or video.
Motion blur - - The natural occurrence of blurriness when an object moves. As the eye tracks the object, the background becomes blurry. With display technology, the natural blurring of objects as they move must sometimes be artificially introduced so as to appear "natural", thus motion blur must be applied via software.
Motion graphics - - Refers to anything graphical in nature on the screen that is not a footage clip, and that is moving, such as text, logos, etc.
Motion tracking - - This is the process of identifying something in the video scene, and using software to track its location as it moves on the screen. By doing so, a different item may be "attached" to this point on the screen. This is done sometimes to blur that portion of the image through the duration of the clip, or to replace one logo on a building with a different one, for example.
MP3 - - This is the widely popular audio file format, especially used for downloading songs from the web. It uses a significant amount of compression to reduce file size. Depending upon the bit rate used, it can have an significant, detrimental effect on audio quality. Thus, the format should not be used during the production phase of a professional audio/video production, but can be used as the last stage of distribution, for radio commercials to the radio stations, for example. See also: AIFF, WAV
MPEG - - MPEG is the acronym for Moving Picture Expert Group, which was formed by industry experts in 1988 to set standards for audio and video compression. They devised a broad base of standards for use in different mediums. MPEG-1 video was designed for use on CD-ROMs. MPEG-2 video was designed to provide higher quality and was adopted for use on DVD-Video discs. High bit rate MPEG-2 is also the basis of some High Definition acquisition and distribution formats. MPEG-4 video was designed for the increasing need to distribute video over the Internet. MP3 is commonly used for audio, especially music files downloaded on the web.