A Glossary Of Essential Video Production Terms

Author: Henry Schneider |

Blog by Open Window Productions

Every industry has its own language and terms. These words and phrases can be confusing to anyone who is not part of the daily operations of a specific industry, and the video production business is no exception.

To help you understand the terms, acronyms, and phrases regularly used in the video production industry, Open Window Productions has created this handy reference guide. Here you’ll find valuable information allowing you to comprehend and communicate your video production needs effectively.

1. Aerial
A video taken from an aircraft looks amazing and works really well as an establishing shot. With the advent of drones, aerial shots have become more feasible than in the past. There are still many rules and regulations that must be followed. Always make sure you are working with a fully legal aerial video team.

2. B-Roll
This is the video that supports the main narrative. In documentary-style content, B-roll is basically anything that is not a person on-camera talking. The term originates from traditional film editing in which the B-roll would literally be spliced over the A-roll film.

3. Establishing Shot
This is a wide shot that establishes a scene or location. It may be the outside of a building, an aerial shot of a city, or any wide shot that introduces the audience to a new location or scene.

4. Frame Rate
This is the number of images shown per second. Film in the US (NTSC standard) is typically shown at 24 frames per second (FPS), while TV/Video is often at 29.97 FPS. A slow-motion video is filmed at a higher frame rate than it is played back in. For example, a video shot at 60 FPS but played back at 24 FPS would be 2.5 slower than real-time.

5. Grip/Gaffer
These are the crew positions responsible for the electrical and lighting aspects of the production.

6. Gimbal (3-axis)
This is a tool used to stabilize a camera for hand-held shots. With a gimbal, the camera seems to almost float through the air as the operator maneuvers with it.

7. Aspect Ratio
This is the width to height ratio of a video. Today, most videos are typically 16:9. In HD, this means 1920 pixels by 1080 pixels. A true 4K is 1.9:1, with 4096 pixels by 2160. Anamorphic widescreen is 2:35:1.

8. Bokeh
This term refers to the way a lens blurs out of focus objects and is most often used to describe the way lights look when they are out of focus.

9. DoP
This stands for Director of Photography, or cinematographer. This is the individual responsible for filming the film/video.

10. Dana Dolly (slider)
This is a platform track on wheels that the camera mounts to, allowing for smooth movements.

11 Mastering
This is the final audio process that creates a consistent audio level and quality throughout the project after the music, dialogue, and sound effects are mixed together.

12. Pre-Production
This refers to the processes to prepare for production. It may include scriptwriting, storyboarding, location scouting, team meetings, casting, collecting props, and more.

13. Post-Production
This refers to everything that happens after the shoot (production). It includes video editing, motion graphics/animation, audio mixing, and mastering.

14. Magic Hour
The twilight hours at the beginning and end of the day which offer a naturally “golden” lighting ambiance.

15. Medium/Two-Shot
A waist-up shot of one or two people; between a close-up and wide.

If you’re looking for a full-service video production company in Minneapolis, MN, reach out to Open Window Productions. We deliver quality video production packages or custom video solutions and ensure that they meet the expectations of our clients. 

Our services include social media marketing videos, testimonial video production, corporate video production, photography, event and fundraising videos, video editing and motion graphics, product video, and drone photography or video. 

We serve clients across Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Brainerd, St. Cloud, Red Wing, Duluth, Bemidji, Rochester, Faribault MN, Eau Claire WI, Fargo ND, Madison WI, Cedar Rapids IA, Des Moines IA, and Sioux Falls SD.

To learn more about how we can help you, please click here. If you have any questions about our services, please get in touch with us here