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A-B Rolling 1. Preparation of a film for printing. All odd-numbered shots are put on one reel (A-roll), with black leader replacing the even shots. The even-numbered shots, with black leader replacing the odd shots, make up the B-roll. Both rolls are then printed together onto one film, thus eliminating splices. 2. Electronic A-B rolling means that on one film chain an SOF film is projected, while on the second film chain a silent film is projected. The films can be intermixed (A-B rolled) through the television switcher.
Above-the-Line A budgetary division of production elements. It concerns mainly nontechnical personnel.
AC Alternating Current; electrical energy as supplied by normal wall outlets.
Academy Leader Also called the SMPTE Universal Leader. A piece of film marked with numbers ranging from 8 to 3, each one second apart. It is attached to the head of a film for the purposes of cuing up and aligning the film.
Acetate 1. Cellulose acetate, usually called cell: a transparent plastic sheet used in preparation of graphic material. 2. Film base.
Acoustic Treatment Application of sound-deadening material to the walls of a television (or sound) studio to create an environment for optimal sound pickup (usually by rendering the studio less "live"). Actor or Actress A person who appears on camera in dramatic roles. The actor or actress always portrays someone else.
A.D. Assistant or Associate Director.
Additive Primary Colors Red, blue, and green. Ordinary white light (sunlight) can be separated into the three primary light colors, red, green, and blue. When these three colored lights are combined in various proportions, all other colors can be reproduced.
Address Also called birthmark. A specific spot in a television recording, as specified by the time code.
Ad Lib Speech or action that has not been scripted or specially rehearsed.
AFTRA American Federation of Radio and Television Artists. A broadcasting talent union.
AGC Automatic Gain Control. Regulates the volume of the audio or video automatically, without the use of pots.
Alpha Wrap An indication of how the videotape is wound around the head drum of a helical scan VTR. In this case, the tape is wound completely around the head in an alphalike configuration.
Animation Process of filming a number of slightly different cartoon drawings to create the illusion of movement.
Ann. or Anncr Abbreviation for Announcer.
Aperture Diaphragm opening of a lens; usually measured in f-stops.
Arc To move the camera in a slightly curved dolly or truck.
Aspect Ratio The proportions of the television screen, and therefore of all television pictures: three units high and four units wide.
Assemble Mode The adding of shots on videotape in a consecutive order.
Audio The sound portion of television and its production. Technically, the electronic reproduction of audible sound.
Audio-Follows-Video A switcher that automatically changes the accompanying audio along with the video source.
Audio Track The area of the videotape that is used for recording audio information.
Audition Testing of a talent's abilities; the talent usually performs in front of a television camera, and the performance is judged by station and agency personnel.
Back Focus The distance between zoom lens and camera pickup tube at which the picture is in focus at the extreme wide-angle zoom position. In monochrome cameras, the back focus can be adjusted by moving the pickup tube through the camera focus control.
Background Light Also called set light. Illumination of the set and set pieces such as backdrops.
Back Light Illumination from behind the subject and opposite the camera.
Back-Timing The process of figuring additional clock times by subtracting running times from the clock time at which the program ends. Back-timing helps the director and talent to pace the show properly and finish it at the scheduled time.
Balance 1. Video: relative structural stability of picture elements (objects or events). Balance can be stable (little pictorial tension), neutral (some tension), or unstable (high pictorial tension). Refers to the interrelationship between stability and tension in a picture. 2.
Audio: a proper mixing of various sounds.
Barn Doors Metal flaps in front of lighting instruments that control the spread of the light beam.
Base 1. See Baselight. 2. Film base: the material of which motion picture film is made; the light-sensitive emulsion is then superimposed onto it.
Baselight Even, nondirectional (diffused) level of studio lighting. Customary baselight levels: for standard three-tube Plumbicon color cameras, 200 ft-c (footcandles)-400 ft-c; for image-orthicon monochrome cameras, 75 ft-c-100 ft-c; for portable monochrome vidicon cameras, 100 ft-c-300 ft-c, with 200 ft-c-250 ft-c the norm.
Beeper A series of eight low-frequency audio beeps, exactly one second apart, put at the beginning of each take for videotape cuing.
Below-the-Line A budgetary division of production elements. It concerns technical personnel and facilities.
B.G. Background; an audio term. "Music to B.G." means to fade the music and hold under as a background effect.
Bias Lighting An electronic boosting of low light levels that enter the camera so that the pickup tubes can operate relatively noise-free.
Black Darkest part of the grayscale, with a reflectance of approximately 3 percent; called TV black. "To black" means to fade the television picture to black.
Blast Filter A bulblike attachment (either permanent or detachable) to the front of the microphone that filters out sudden air blasts, such as plosive consonants (p's, f's, k's) delivered directly into the mike. Also called pop filter.
Blocking Carefully worked out movement and actions by the talent, and movement of all mobile television equipment.
Blocking Rehearsal See Dry Run.
Book 1. TV scenery term: a twofold flat. 2. To decrease the angle of an open twofold.
Boom Up or Down Raising or lowering the microphone boom or camera boom.
Brightness Attribute of color that indicates the gray-scale value, whether the color photographs in black-and-white as a light gray or a dark gray. Sometimes called value.
Broad A floodlight with a broadside, panlike reflector.
Burn-in Image retention by the camera pickup tube.
If the camera is focused too long on an object with strong contrast, the picture tube may retain a negative image of the contrasting scene, although another object is being photographed. Occurs especially in I-O (image-orthicon) tubes, or occasionally in vidicons, that have been in use for a relatively long time. Also called sticking.
Bus, or Buss 1. Video: a row of buttons on the switcher. Sometimes called bank. 2. Audio: a common central circuit that receives from several sources or feeds to several separate destinations; a "mix bus" collects the output signals from several mixing controls (pots) and feeds them into one master volume control.
Bust Shot Framing of a person from the upper torso to the top of the head.
Busy Picture The picture, as it appears on the television screen, is too cluttered.
Cameo Lighting Foreground figures are lighted with highly directional light, with the background remaining dark.
Camera The general name for the camera head, which consists of the lens (or lenses), the main camera with the pickup tube or tubes and the internal optical system, electronic accessories, and the viewfinder.
Camera Chain The television camera (head) and associated electronic equipment, consisting of the CCU (the camera control unit), the power supply, the sync generator, and the encoder (for color cameras only). Camera Control Unit Equipment, separate from the camera head, that contains various video controls, including color balance and contrast and brightness. It is operated by the video engineer before camera operation (camera setup) and during camera operation (camera shading). Camera Head The actual television camera, which is at the head of a chain of essential electronic accessories.
In small-format cameras, the camera head may contain all the elements of a camera chain.
Camera Left and Right Directions given from the camera's point of view; opposite of "stage left" and "stage right," which are directions given from the actor's point of view (facing the audience or camera). Camera Light Small spotlight, called inky-dinky, mounted on the front of the camera; used as additional fill light. (Frequently confused with Tally Light.) Camera Rehearsal A full rehearsal with cameras and other pieces of production equipment. Similar to the dress rehearsal in theater.
Cam Head A special camera mounting head that permits extremely smooth tilts and pans.
Canon 35 Deals with the question of allowing television equipment in a courtroom.
Cap 1. Lens cap; a rubber or metal cap placed in front of the lens to protect it from light or dust. 2. Electronic device that eliminates the picture from the camera pickup tube.
Cardioid The heart-shaped (cardioid) pickup pattern of a unidirectional microphone.
Cart See Cartridge.
Cartridge Also called "cart" for short. A video or audiotape recording or playback device that uses tape cartridges. A cartridge is a plastic case containing an endless tape loop that rewinds as it is played back, and cues itself automatically.
Cassette A video or audiotape recording or playback device that uses tape cassettes. A cassette is a plastic case containing two reels, a supply reel and a takeup reel. Many cassettes cue and rewind themselves automatically.
Cathode Ray Tube Also called CRT. The main picture tube of a television receiver, or a computer display tube.
CATV Community Antenna Television; also called cable television. A system in which home receivers get their signal from a coaxial cable connected to a master antenna. The CATV companies charge a monthly fee for this service.
C-Clamp A metal clamp with which lighting instruments are attached to the lighting battens.
CCU See Camera Control Unit.
Cell See Acetate.
Character The person who appears in a play. Usually defined by clarifying and intensifying specific physiological traits (the way the person looks, moves, runs, behaves, dresses) and psychological traits (the way the person thinks, feels, plots, schemes, loves). Character Generator A special effects generator that electronically produces a series of letters and numbers directly on the television screen, or keyed into a background picture.
Cheat To angle the performer or object toward a particular camera; not directly noticeable to the audience.
Chroma Key A color matte; the color blue is generally used for the chroma key area that is to become transparent for the matte.
Chroma Key Drop A well-saturated blue canvas drop that can be pulled down from the lighting grid to the studio floor, or even over part of it, as a background for chroma key matting.
Chrominance Channel The color (chroma) channels within the color camera. A separate chrominance channel is responsible for each primary color signal-that is, one for the red, one for the blue, and one for the green.
Chrominance Signal The color information in a video signal (containing hue and saturation, but not brightness).
Client Person or agency advertising on television.
Climax The high point in the plot, usually expressed as the major conflict-as distinguished from a crisis, which is relatively less intense.
Clip 1. Short piece of film or tape, generally used as a brief program insert. 2. To cut off abruptly the audio portion of a program. 3. To compress the white and/or black picture information, or prevent the video signal from interfering with the sync signals.
Clipper A knob on the switcher that selects the whitest portion of the video source, clipping out the darker shades. The clipper produces high-contrasting blacks and whites for keying or matting.
Clock Time Also called schedule time. The time at which a program starts or ends.
Closed-Circuit Distribution of audio and video signals other than broadcasting. Includes direct video and audio feeds from the camera and the audio board, from the videotape recorder into a monitor, or the RF (radio frequency) distribution via cable.
Closeup Object or any part of it seen at close range and framed tightly. The closeup can be extreme (extreme or big closeup) or rather loose (medium closeup). Closure Short for psychological closure. Mentally filling in spaces of an incomplete picture.
Clothing Regular clothes worn on camera, in contrast to a costume.
Color 1. Atmosphere; "color shots" are intended to acquaint the television audience with the atmosphere of the happening. 2. Color television.
Color Bars A color standard used by the television industry for the alignment of cameras and videotape recordings.
Colorizing The creation of color patterns or color areas through a color generator (without a color camera). Color Temperature Relative reddishness or bluishness of light, as measured in degrees of Kelvin; television lighting instruments have a range of 3,000° K3,400° K, with 3,200° K the norm. Color temperature can be measured with a color-temperature meter.
Comet-Tailing See Image Retention.
Compatible Color--Color signals that can be received as black-and-white pictures on monochrome television sets. Generally used to mean that the color scheme has enough brightness contrast for monochrome reproduction with a good grayscale contrast.
Complexity Editing The juxtaposition of shots that primarily, though not exclusively, help to intensify the screen event.
Composite Signal Complete video signal with the sync pulse.
Condenser Microphone A microphone whose diaphragm consists of a condenser plate that vibrates with the sound pressure against another condenser plate, called the backplate.
Continuity 1. Even, logical succession of events.
2. All material presented between shows. 3. Continuity department, in charge of commercial acceptance and continuity writing.
Continuity Editing The preserving of visual continuity from shot to shot.
Contrast--Contrast between black and white; especially important for colors used on television, which may have strong color distinctions but little brightness contrast. See Contrast Ratio.
Contrast Ratio The difference between the brightest spot and the darkest spot in a scene (often measured
by reflected light in foot-candles), expressed in a ratio, such as 20:1.
Control Room A room adjacent to the studio in which the director, the T.D. (technical director), the audio engineer, and sometimes the lighting technician perform their various production functions.
Control Track The area of the videotape that is used for recording the synchronization information (sync spikes), which is essential for videotape editing.
Cookie See Cucalorus.
Copy All material to be read on the air.
Costume Special clothes worn by an actor or actress to depict a certain character or period; in contrast to clothing, the regular clothes worn by a performer.
Cover Shot Wide-angle shot giving basic orientation of place and action; covers a great area.
Crab Sideways motion of the camera crane dolly base.
Cradle Head Cradle-shaped camera mounting head.
Permits smooth up-and-down tilts and horizontal pans.
Crane 1. Camera dolly that resembles an actual crane in both appearance and operation. The crane can lift the camera from close to the studio floor to over ten feet above it. 2. To move the boom of the camera crane up or down. Also called boom.
Crawl Graphics (usually credit copy) that move slowly up the screen; often mounted on a drum, or crawl. More exactly, an up-and-down movement of credits is called a roll, and a horizontal movement a crawl. Both the roll and the crawl can be produced by the character generator.
Credits List of names of persons who participated in the creation and performance of a telecast; usually at end of program.
Cross-fade 1. Audio: a transition method whereby the preceding sound is faded out and the following sound faded in simultaneously. The sounds overlap temporarily. 2. Video: a transition method whereby the preceding picture is faded to black and the following picture is faded in from black.
CRT See Cathode Ray Tube.
Cucalorus Also called cookie, sometimes kookie.
Shadow pattern projected on a scenic background by means of a special cutout placed in front of a strong spotlight.
Cue Signal to start, pace, or stop any type of production activity or talent action.
Cue Card Also called idiot sheet. A hand-lettered card that contains copy, usually held next to the camera lens by floor personnel.
Cue Track The area of the videotape that is used for such audio information as in-house identification or the SMPTE address code. Can also be used for a second audio track.
Cursor A dot produced on the screen by a special effects generator (usually a character generator), indicating the location of the first word or line.
Cut 1. The instantaneous change from one shot (image) to another. 2. Director's signal to interrupt action (used during rehearsal). Cutaway Shot A shot of an object or event that is peripherally connected with the overall event and that is neutral as to screen direction (usually straight-on shots). Used to intercut between two shots in which the screen direction is reversed.
Cut Bar A button or small metal bar that activates the mix buses alternately. The effect is cutting between the two mix buses.
Cut-in Insert from another program source, such as network cut-in during a local show.
Cyc Cyclorama; a U-shaped continuous piece of canvas for backing of scenery and action.
DC Direct Current.
Dead Equipment not turned on or not functioning, such as a "dead mike" or a "dead camera." Debeaming The gradual reduction of the scanning beam intensity. The picture becomes a high-contrast picture, with the detail in the white and black areas no longer visible, gradually deteriorating into a nondistinct, light-gray screen.
Deck 1. Videotape deck: short form of videotape recorder. 2. Audio recorder deck: usually the recording and playback device without the amplifier. 3. Videotape editing deck: a videotape recorder with editing facilities, used in conjunction with a second videotape recorder that supplies the program material.
Definition Degree of detail in television picture reproduction.
Demographic Data Audience research data that are concerned with such items as age, sex, marital status, and income.
Density 1. The number of events happening within a certain time unit. Visual density can be expressed as a multiple superimposition or key, or successively as a series of quick, montage-like cuts. Audio density may be a chord consisting of many notes, or a rapid series of many notes, or the simultaneous playing of several audio tracks. 2. The degree of complexity in the vertical (depth) development of an event.
Depth of Field The area in which all objects, located at different distances from the camera, appear in focus.
Depth of field is dependent upon focal length of the lens, f-stop, and distance between object and camera.
Depth Staging Arrangement of objects on the television screen so that foreground, middleground, and background are clearly defined.
Diaphragm 1. Adjustable lens-opening mechanism that controls the amount of light passing through a lens. 2. The vibrating element inside a microphone that moves with the air pressure from the sound.
Dichroic Mirror--A mirrorlike color filter that singles out, of the white light, the red light (red dichroic filter)
and the blue light (blue dichroic filter), with the green light left over.
Diffused Light--Light that illuminates a relatively large area with an indistinct light beam. Diffused light, created by floodlights, produces soft shadows.
Dimmer A device that controls the intensity of the light by throttling the electric current flowing to the lamp.
Directional Light--Light that illuminates a relatively small area with a distinct light beam. Directional light, produced by spotlights, creates harsh, clearly defined shadows.
Dish Parabolic reflector for microwave transmission; sometimes called dishpan.
Dissolve A gradual transition from shot to shot, whereby the two images temporarily overlap. Also called lap-dissolve, or lap.
Distortion 1. Optical: near objects look large, far objects look comparatively small; achieved with wide-angle lenses. 2. Electronic: exaggeration of either height or width of the television picture. 3. Audio: unnatural alteration or deterioration of sound.
Dolly 1. Camera support that enables the camera to move in all directions. 2. To move the camera toward (dolly in) or away from (dolly out or back) the object.
Double Headset A telephone headset (earphones)
that carries program sound in one earphone and the P.L. information in the other. Also called split-intercom.
Double Re-entry A complex switcher through which an effect can be fed back into the mix bus section, or the mix output into the effects section, for further effects manipulation.
Double-System The simultaneous recording of pictures and sound on two separate recording devices: the pictures on film, and the sound on audiotape recorder, synchronized with the film camera.
Dress 1. What people wear on camera. 2. Dress rehearsal: final camera rehearsal. 3. Set dressing: set properties.
Drop Large, painted piece of canvas used for scenery backing.
Dropout Loss of part of the video signal, which shows up on the screen as white glitches. Caused by uneven videotape iron-oxide coating (bad tape quality or overuse) or dirt.
Dropout Compensator An electronic device that detects dropout (partial loss of the video signal) and substitutes the missing information with the information from the preceding scanning line. Usually part of the more sophisticated videotape recorders.
Dry Run A rehearsal without equipment during which the basic actions of the talent are worked out.
Also called blocking rehearsal.
Dual Redundancy The use of two identical microphones for the pickup of a sound source, whereby only one of them is turned on at any given time. A safety device that permits switching over to the second microphone in case the active one becomes defective.
Dub The duplication of an electronic recording. Dubs can be made from tape to tape, or from record to tape.
The dub is always one generation down (away) from the recording used for the dubbing, and is therefore of lower quality.
Dubbing Down The dubbing (transfer) of picture and sound information from a larger videotape format to a smaller one.
Dubbing Up The dubbing (transfer) of picture and sound information from a smaller videotape format to a larger one.
Dynamic Microphone--Microphone whose sound-pickup device consists of a diaphragm attached to a movable coil. As the diaphragm vibrates with the air pressure from the sound, the coil moves within a magnetic field, generating an electric current. The dynamic mike is sensitive but rugged, and therefore widely used in television operations.
Ecological Data Audience research data that are concerned with where the members of the audience live, such as city, suburb, country, and so forth.
ECU Extreme Close-Up. Same as XCU. Edge Key A keyed (electronically cut-in) title whose letters have distinctive edges, such as dark outlines or a drop shadow.
Editing The selection and assembly of shots within the picturization concept.
Effects Bus Rows of buttons that can generate a number of electronic effects, such as keys, wipes, and mattes.
Effect-to-Cause Approach A production approach, or a system, that starts with the definition of viewer experience and works backwards to the production elements the medium requires in order to produce the defined viewer experience (medium requirements). EIAJ Abbreviation for Electronic Industries Association of Japan. Established the EIAJ Type No. 1 Standard for %-inch helical scan videotape recorders. In general, the standard assures that any monochrome tape recorded on one such recorder can be played back on any other monochrome or color recorder, and any color tape can be played back on any other color VTR, provided that they meet the EIAJ Type 1 Standard.
Electron Gun Produces the electron (scanning) beam.
Electronic A-B Rolling 1. The editing of a master tape from two playback machines, one containing the A-roll and the other the B-roll. By routing the A and B playback machines through a switcher, a variety of transition effects can be achieved for the final master tape. 2. The projection of an SOF film on one film chain (A-roll), with the silent film projected from the other island (B-roll). The films can be mixed through the switcher.
Electronic Editing The joining of two shots on videotape without cutting the tape.
Electronic Film Transfer Kinescoping of a program from videotape to film by filming the images that appear on a very sharp television monitor.
Ellipsoidal Spotlight--Spotlight producing a very defined beam, which can be shaped further by metal shutters.
Emulsion Light-sensitive layer put on the motion picture film base.
Equalization 1. Video: controlling the video signal by emphasizing certain frequencies and eliminating others. 2. Audio: controlling the audio signal by emphasizing certain frequencies and eliminating others. Equalization can be accomplished through an equalizer manually or automatically.
Essential Area The section of the television picture, centered within the scanning area, that is seen by the home viewer, regardless of masking of the set or slight misalignment of the receiver. Sometimes called critical area.
Establishing Shot Orientation shot, usually a long shot.
E.T. Electrical Transcriptions; a somewhat outdated designation for large phonograph records.
External Key A key signal that shapes the cut-in figure (into the background image). It is generated by a camera exclusively used for keying and fed into an external key input.
External Optical System The zoom lens, or the various lenses on a lens turret.
Fact Sheet Also called rundown sheet. Lists the items to be shown on camera and the key ideas that should be expressed verbally by the performer. Serves often as a guide to show format.
Fade 1. Video: the gradual appearance of a picture from black (fade-in) or disappearance to black (fadeout). 2. Audio: the gradual decrease of sound volume.
Fader A sound-volume control that works by means of a button sliding vertically or horizontally along a specific scale. Similar to pot.
Fader Bars Two levers on the switcher that can produce dissolves, fades, and wipes of different speeds, and superimpositions.
Fairness Doctrine Deals with the right of responsible spokesmen to reply to certain issues previously broadcast.
Falloff The "speed" (degree) with which a light picture portion turns into its shadow areas. Fast falloff means that the light areas turn abruptly into shadow areas. Slow falloff indicates a very gradual change from light to dark, or little contrast between light and shadow areas.
Fast Lens A lens that permits a relatively great amount of light to pass through (low f-stop number). Can be used in low lighting conditions.
Feed Signal transmission from one program source to another, such as a network feed or a remote feed.
Feedback 1. Video: wild streaks and flashes on the monitor screen caused by re-entry of a video signal into the switcher and subsequent over amplification. 2. Audio: piercing squeal from the loudspeaker, caused by the accidental re-entry of the loudspeaker sound into the microphone and subsequent over amplification of sound. 3. Communication: Reaction of the receiver of a communication back to the communication source.
Field One-half a complete scanning cycle, two fields being necessary for one television picture frame. There are 60 fields per second, or 30 frames per second.
Field of View The extent of a scene that is visible through a particular lens; its vista.
Fill Additional program material in case a show runs short.
Fill Light Additional light, usually opposite the key light, to illuminate shadow areas and thereby reduce falloff. Usually accomplished by floodlights.
Film Base The shiny side of the film.
Film Chain Also called film island, or telecine. Consists of one or two film projectors, a slide projector, a multiplexer, and a television film, or telecine, camera.
Film Clip Short piece of film used as a brief program insert.
Film Emulsion The dull size of the film.
Film Loop Piece of film with its ends spliced together; this loop runs through the projector continuously and can be used for special effects or for dubbing.
Film Splicer The piece of equipment with which two lengths of film can be joined.
Fishpole A suspension device for a microphone; the microphone is attached to a pole and held over the scene for brief periods.
Flare Dark, or colored, flashes caused by signal overload through extreme light reflections off polished objects or very bright lights.
Flat 1. A piece of standing scenery used as background or to simulate the walls of a room. 2. Even, not contrasting; usually refers to lighting; flat lighting is highly diffused lighting with soft shadows.
Floodlight Lighting instrument that produces diffused light.
Floor Plan 1. A plan of the studio floor, showing the walls, the main doors, and the location of the control room, with the lighting grid or batten pattern superimposed over the floor area. 2. A diagram of scenery and properties in relation to the studio floor area.
Fluorescent Light Cold light produced by large, gas-filled glass tubes.
FM Microphone A wireless microphone that contains not only the sound pickup and generating elements but also a tiny FM transmitter.
Focal Length The distance from the optical center of the lens to the front surface of the camera pickup tube with the lens set at infinity. Focal lengths are measured in millimeters or inches. Short-focal-length lenses have a wide angle of view (wide vista); long-focal-length (telephoto) lenses have a narrow angle of view (closeup). In a variable-focal-length lens (zoom lens) the focal length can be changed continuously from wide angle to narrow angle or vice versa. A fixed-focal-length lens has a single designated focal length only.
Focus A picture is in focus when it appears sharp and clear on the screen (technically, the point where the light rays refracted by the lens converge). Follow Focus Controlling the focus of the lens so that the image of an object is continuously kept sharp and clear, regardless of whether camera and/or object move.
Footage Length or portion of a film; sometimes used qualitatively: good footage, bad footage.
Foot-Candle The measure of light intensity, or unit of illumination. The amount of light produced by a single candle on a portion of a sphere one foot away; one foot-candle per square foot is called one lumen.
(Foot-candles times the surface area in square feet = lumens.) Format Type of television script indicating the major programming steps; generally contains a fully scripted show opening and closing.
Frame 1. The smallest picture unit in film, a single picture. 2. A complete scanning cycle (consisting of two fields) of the electron beam, which occurs every 1/30 second. It represents the smallest complete television picture unit.
Freeze Frame Arrested motion, which is perceived as a still shot.
Fresnel Spotlight One of the most common spotlights, named after the inventor of its lens, has steplike concentric rings.
Friction Head Camera mounting head that counterbalances the camera weight by a strong spring. Good for relatively light cameras only.
Front Focus The proper relationship of the front elements of the zoom lens to ensure focus during the entire zoom range. Front focus is set at the extreme closeup position with the zoom focus control. Color cameras have a front-focus adjustment only because the pickup tubes cannot be moved.
Front-Timing The process of figuring out clock times by adding given running times to the clock time at which the program starts.
f-Stop The calibration on the lens indicating the aperture, or diaphragm opening (and therefore the amount of light transmitted through the lens). The larger the f-stop number, the smaller the aperture; the smaller the f-stop number, the larger the aperture or diaphragm opening.
Full Track An audiotape recorder, or recording, that uses the full width of the tape for recording an audio signal.
Fully Scripted Used to describe a show for which the dialogue is completely written out, as well as detailed video and audio instructions.
Gaffer Grip A strong clamp used to attach small lighting instruments to pieces of scenery, furniture, doors, and other set pieces. Sometimes called gator clip.
Gain Level of signal amplification for video and audio signal. "Riding gain" is used in audio, meaning to keep the sound volume at a proper level.
Gator Clip Same as Gaffer Grip.
Gel Short form for gelatine, a colored material that acts as color filter for lighting instruments. A red gel in front of a spotlight will color its beam red. Since gels are sensitive to moisture and extreme heat, plastic gels, such as cinemoid, are generally used in television lighting.
Generating Element The major part of a microphone. It converts sound waves into electrical energy.
Generation The number of dubs away from the master tape. A first-generation dub is struck directly from the master tape, a second-generation tape is a dub of the first-generation dub (two steps away from the master tape), and so forth. The greater the number of generations, the greater the quality loss.
Genlock 1. Locking the synchronizing generators from two different origination sources, such as remote and studio. Allows switching from source to source without picture rolling. 2. Locking the house sync with the sync signal from another source (such as a videotape). The videotape can then be intermixed with live studio cameras, for example.
Ghost Undesirable double image on screen; caused by signal reflection in poor reception areas.
Giraffe A medium-sized microphone boom that can be operated by one person.
Gobo 1. A scenic foreground piece through which the camera can shoot, thus integrating the decorative fore-ground with the background action. 2. In film, a gobo is an opaque shield that is used for partial blocking of a light.
Graphic Mass Any picture element that is perceived as occupying an area within the frame and as relatively heavy or light.
Graphics All two-dimensional visuals prepared for the television screen, such as title cards, charts, and graphs.
Grayscale A scale indicating intermediate steps from TV black to TV white. Maximum range: 10 grayscale steps; good: seven steps; poor: five steps.
Half-Track An audiotape recorder, or recording, that uses half the width of the tape for an audio signal on the first pass, and the other half on the reverse pass.
Halo Dark or colored flare around a very bright light source or a highly reflecting object. Same as flare.
Hand Props Objects, called properties, that are handled by the performer.
Hard Copy A computer printout showing in typewritten form all editing decisions of the completed helical scan workprint or the quadruplex master tape.
(Soft-copy information appears only on the computer screen.) Head 1. Video head: a small electromagnet that puts electric signals on the videotape or reads (induces) the signals off the tape. Video heads are usually in motion.
2. Audio head: a small electromagnet that puts electric signals on the audiotape (recording head) or reads (induces) them off the tape (playback head) or erases the signal from the tape (erase head). Headroom The space left between the top of the head and the upper screen edge.
Helical Scan, or Helical VTR A videotape recording of one- and two-head videotape recorders, whereby the video signal is put on the tape in a slanted, diagonal way (contrary to transverse scanning, which goes across the tape). Since the tape wraps around the head drum in a spiral-like configuration, it is called "helical" (from helix, spiral). Also called slant-track.
High-Band Refers to the frequency of the video information. High-band videotape recorders operate on a high-frequency range (10 megacycles), which provides operationally higher quality pictures with less video noise and better resolution than low-band recordings. Most high-quality color machines are high-band.
High Key High-intensity overall illumination. Background is generally light.
High-Z High impedance.
Holy Factor Additional illumination to fill in shadow "holes"; especially important in color lighting.
Horizontal Development The way the story moves forward from one event to another; similar to plot.
Horizontal Sweep The horizontal scanning.
Hot 1. A current or signal-carrying wire. 2. Instruments that are turned on, such as a hot camera or a hot microphone.
Hot Spot Undesirable concentration of light in one spot; especially noticeable in the middle of a rear screen projection.
House Number The in-house system of identification; each piece of recorded program must be identified by a certain code number. This is called the house number, since the numbers differ from station to station (house to house). Hue The color itself, such as red, green, or blue.
IBEW International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Union for studio and master control engineers; may include floor personnel.
Iconoscope Old model camera pickup tube; no longer in use.
I.D. Station identification.
Idiot Sheet Prompting device for talent. The cue sheets are held close to the camera lens by a member of the floor crew.
Image-Orthicon, or I-O A specific type of pickup tube used in some monochrome cameras.
Image Retention A cometlike smear that seems to follow a moving object. Especially noticeable when vidicon tubes are used under low light level conditions.
Also called smear, lag, follow-image, comet-tailing.
Impedance A type of resistance to the signal flow.
Important especially in matching high- or low-impedance microphones with high- or low-impedance recorders. Also, a high-impedance mike works properly only with a relatively short cable (a longer cable has too much resistance), while a low-impedance mike can take up to several hundred feet of cable. Impedance is also expressed in high-Z or low-Z. Incandescent Light The light produced by the hot filament of ordinary glass-globe lightbulbs. (In contrast to fluorescent or quartz light.) Incident Light--Light that strikes the object directly from its source. Incident light reading is the measure of light (in foot-candles) from the object to the light source. The foot-candle meter is pointed directly into the light source.
Input Overload Distortion--A distortion caused by a microphone when subjected to an exceptionally high-volume incoming sound. Condenser microphones are especially prone to this kind of distortion.
Insert Mode--The inserting of shots in an already existing recording, without affecting the shots on either side.
Instantaneous Editing Same as Switching.
Instant Replay The recording of short event sections (such as key plays in sports) and immediate playback, sometimes in slow motion. Usually done with a video disc-recording device.
Intercom Abbreviation for intercommunication system. The system uses telephone headsets to facilitate voice communication among all production and engineering personnel involved in the production of a show.
Internal Key--A key signal that shapes the cut-in figure (into the background image). It is generated by any one of the cameras fed into the mix bus.
Internal Optical System--The dichroic mirrors, reflecting mirrors, relay lenses, and color filters inside the color camera.
Interruptible Feedback Also called the I.F.B. system.
Same as Program Interrupt.
In-the-Can Finished television recording, either on film or videotape; the show is now "preserved" and can be rebroadcast at any time.
I-O--Image Orthicon camera pickup tube.
ips An abbreviation for inches-per-second, indicating tape speed.
his Same as lens diaphragm. Adjustable lens-opening mechanism.
Isolated Camera A camera used for instant replay action only. It is not used for the general pickup of the event.
Jack 1. Stage brace to hold up flat. 2. A socket or phone-plug receptacle (female). Jump Cut Cutting between shots that are identical in subject yet slightly different in screen location.
Through the cut, the subject seems to jump from one screen location to another for no apparent reason.
Key 1. An electronic effect. Keying means the cutting in of an image (usually lettering) into a background image. 2. Key light: principal source of illumination. 3.
Lighting: high or low-key lighting.
Key-in To switch to a sound source via an on-off (or channel) key.
Kicker--Kicker light, usually directional light coming from the side and back of the object.
Kill To eliminate certain parts of the action or to turn off certain equipment. For example, kill the mike (turn off the microphone). Kine Short for Kinescope Recording.
Kinescope Recording Television program filmed directly off a kinescope (television picture) tube.
Knee Shot Framing of a person from the knees up.
Lag, or Comet-Tailing Same as Image Retention.
Lavaliere An extremely small microphone that can be clipped onto the reverse of a jacket, a tie, a blouse, or other piece of clothing. A larger variety is suspended from a neckcord and worn in front of the chest. Also called neck or chest mike.
Lens Optical lens, essential for projecting an optical (light) image of the scene onto the front surface of the camera pickup tube or tubes; lenses come in various fixed focal lengths or in a variable focal length (zoom lenses), and with various maximum apertures (lens openings). Lens Format A somewhat loose term for the grouping of lenses that have focal lengths appropriate to a particular size of film or camera pickup tube. There is a lens format for 35mm film, another for 16mm film; one for 3-inch I-O pickup tubes, another for 1-inch Plumbicons.
Lens Prism A prism that, when attached to the camera lens, will produce special effects, such as the tilting of the horizon line, or the creation of multiple images.
Lens Speed Refers to the maximum aperture of a lens. Fast lenses have a large maximum lens opening (low f-stop number) letting a relatively large amount of light to pass; slow lenses have a relatively small maximum lens opening (higher f-stop number) letting less light to pass. Under low lighting conditions, fast lenses are better than slow lenses.
Lens Turret Round plate in front of a camera holding up to five lenses, each of which can be rotated into "shooting position." Level 1. Audio: sound volume. 2. Video: signal strength (amplitude) measured in volts.
Libel Written defamation.
Light Angle The vertical angle of the suspended lighting instrument. A 45-degree angle is considered normal.
Lighting Triangle Same as Photographic Principle: the triangular arrangement of key, back, and fill lights.
Light Level Light intensity measured in foot-candles.
Light Plot A plan that shows the lighting instruments used. A plan, similar to a floor plan, that shows the type, size (wattage), and location of the lighting instruments relative to the scene to be illuminated and the general direction of their beams.
Light Ratio The relative intensities of key, back, and fill. A 1:1 ratio between key and back lights means that both light sources burn with equal intensities. A 1:1/2 ratio between key and fill lights means that the fill light burns with half the intensity of the key light. Because light ratios depend on many other production variables, they cannot be fixed. A key:back:fill ratio of 1:1:1/2 is often used for normal triangle lighting.
Limbo Any set area used for shooting small commercial displays, card easels, and the like, having a plain, light background.
Line Monitor Also called master monitor. The monitor that shows only the line-out pictures, the pictures that go on the air, or on videotape.
Lip Sync Synchronization of sound and lip movement.
Live 1. Direct transmission of a program at the time of origin. 2. Indicates that a camera or microphone is in active use.
Log The major operational document. Issued daily, the log carries such information as program source or origin, scheduled program time, program duration, video and audio information, code identification (house number, for example), the title of the program, the program type, and additional special information.
Logo--A visual symbol that identifies a specific organization, such as a television station or network.
Long Shot--Object seen from far away or framed very loosely. The extreme long shot shows the object from a great distance.
Loop See Film Loop.
Low-Band Refers to the frequency of the video information. Low-band recorders operate in a relatively low-frequency range, which suffices for monochrome pictures but introduces excessive video noise in color.
Low Key Low-intensity overall, yet selective illumination. Background is generally dark.
Lumen--The basic quantity of light produced by one candle on one square foot.
Luminance Channel A signal that is matrixed (combined) from the chrominance channels and provides the black-and-white signal. The luminance channel gives the color picture the necessary brightness contrast (with the chrominance channel supplying the hue and the saturation) and allows a color camera to produce a signal that is receivable on a black-and-white television set.
Macro Lens A lens that can be focused at very close distances from the object. Used for closeups of small objects.
Magnetic Sound Film--Sound tape that looks like 35mm or 16mm double-perforated film. (16mm magnetic sound film also comes in single perforations.) Not to be confused with sound film that has a magnetic rather than an optical track.
Magnetic Sound Track Also called mag track or recording stripe. Consists of a narrow magnetic tape that runs down one side of the film. It operates exactly like a normal audiotape. Sometimes a second stripe runs along the opposite side of the film in order to achieve the same thickness for both film edges.
Mag Track See Magnetic Sound Track.
Makeup 1. Facial makeup: used to enhance, correct, and change facial features. 2. Film makeup: combining several films on one big reel.
Master Control Nerve center for all telecasts. Controls the program input, storage, and retrieval for on-the-air telecasts. Also oversees technical quality of all program material.
Master Monitor Same as Line Monitor. Shows only the line-out pictures, the pictures that go on the air or on videotape.
Matte The keying of two scenes; the electronic laying in of a background image behind a foreground scene, such as the picture of a town meeting behind the newscaster reporting on this meeting.
Matte Key Keyed (electronically cut-in) title whose letters are filled with shades of gray or a specific color.
M.C. 1. Master of Ceremonies. Performer who usually introduces people and acts of a variety show.
2. Master Control.
Medium Shot Object seen from a medium distance.
Covers any framing between long shot and closeup.
Microphone Also called mike or mic. A small, portable assembly for the pickup and conversion of sound into electrical energy.
Microwave Relay A transmission method involving the use of several microwave units from the remote location to the transmitter.
Mix Bus Rows of buttons that permit the "mixing" of video sources, as in a dissolve and super. Major buses for on-the-air switching.
Mixing 1. Audio: the combining of two or more sounds in specific proportions (volume variations) as determined by the event (show) context. 2. Video: the combining of various shots via the switcher.
mm Millimeter, a one-thousandth of a meter. 25.4 mm = 1 inch.
Modeling Light Same as Key Light. Principal source of illumination.
Moiré Effect Color vibrations that occur when narrow, contrasting stripes of a design interfere with the scanning lines of the television system.
Monitor 1. Audio: speaker that carries the program sound independent of the line-out. 2. Video: high-quality television receiver used in the television studio and control rooms. Cannot receive broadcast signals.
Monitor/Receiver A television receiver that can reproduce direct video and audio feeds (from the VTR, for example) as well as signals that are broadcast on a channel.
Monochrome Literally "one color." In television, it means black-and-white, in contrast to color.
Montage The juxtaposition of two (often seemingly unrelated) shots in order to generate a third, overall idea, which may not be contained in either of the two.
Multiple-Microphone Interference The canceling out of certain sound frequencies when two identical microphones in close proximity are used for the same sound source and amplifier.
Multiplexer A system of mirrors or prisms that directs images from several projection sources (film, slides) into one stationary television film, or telecine, camera.
Multiplexing 1. A method of transmitting the video and audio signal on the same carrier wave. 2. The transmitting of two separate audio signals on the same carrier wave for stereo broadcasts. 3. The transmitting of separate color signals on the same channel without mixing.
NABET National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians. Union for studio and master control engineers; may include floor personnel.
Neutral Density Filter A filter that reduces the amount of the incoming light without distorting the color of the scene.
Noise 1. Audio: unwanted sounds that interfere with the intentional sounds; or unwanted sound signals.
2. Video: electronic interference that shows up as "snow." See Video Noise.
Normal Lens A lens with a focal length that will approximate the spatial relationships of normal vision when used with a particular film or pickup tube format.
Nose Room The space left in front of a person looking toward the edge of the screen.
Objective Time Also called clock time. The time we measure by the clock.
Off-Camera Performance or action that is not seen on camera, such as narration over film or a videotape recording.
Off-Line Helical scan editing system for producing computer-assisted videotape workprints. The work-print information is then fed into the on-line system for (automated) production of the release master tape.
Omega Wrap An indication of how the videotape is wound around the head drum of a helical scan VTR. In this case, the tape is wound halfway around the head drum, in an omega-like configuration.
Omnidirectional A type of pickup pattern in which the microphone can pick up sounds equally well from all (omni) directions.
On-Line A computer-assisted master editing system, using quadruplex videotape recorders for high-band release master tapes.
On-the-Nose 1. On time. 2. Correct action.
Open Set A set constructed of noncontinuous scenery, with large open spaces between the main groupings.
Optical Sound Track Variations of black and white patterns, photographed on the film and converted into electrical impulses by an exciter lamp and a photoelectric cell. There are two kinds of optical tracks: variable area and variable density.
Oscilloscope Electronic measuring device showing certain electronic patterns on a small screen.
Over-the-Shoulder Shot Camera looks over a person's shoulder (shoulder and back of head included in shot) at another person.
P.A. Public address loudspeaker system. Same as Studio Talkback.
Pace Perceived duration of the show or show segment. Part of subjective time.
Pan Horizontal turning of the camera.
Pancake A makeup base, or foundation makeup, usually water-soluble and applied with a small sponge.
Pan Stick A foundation makeup with a grease base.
Used to cover up a beard shadow or prominent skin blemish.
Pantograph Expandable hanging device for lighting instruments.
Patchboard Also called patchbay. A device whereby audio, video, or light cables can be routed to specific audio, video, or light controls.
Patching Interconnecting audio, video, or light cables into a common circuit for each.
Pattern Projector An ellipsoidal spotlight with a cookie (cucalorus) insert, which projects the cookie's pattern as shadow.
Pedestal 1. Heavy camera dolly that permits a raising and lowering of the camera while on the air. 2. To move the camera up and down via studio pedestal. 3. The black level of a television picture. Can be adjusted against a standard on the oscilloscope.
Percipient The television viewer in the act of perceiving television audio and video stimuli (a television program). It implies more than mere watching of a program; it requires a certain degree of involvement.
Performer A person who appears on camera in non-dramatic shows. The performer plays himself or herself, and does not assume someone else's character.
Periaktos A triangular piece of scenery that can be turned on a swivel base.
Perspective 1. All lines converging in one point.
2. Sound perspective: far sound must go with far picture, close sound with close picture.
Photographic Principle The triangular arrangement of key, back, and fill lights, with the back light opposite the camera and directly behind the object, and the key and fill lights opposite each other to the front and side of the object. Also called triangle lighting.
Pickup 1. Sound reception by a microphone. 2. Origination of picture and sound by television cameras and microphones.
Pickup Pattern The territory around the microphone within which the microphone can "hear well," that is, has optimal sound pickup.
Pickup Tube, or Camera Tube The main camera tube that converts light energy into electrical energy, the video signal.
Picturization The control and structuring of a shot sequence.
Pin To sharpen (focus) the light beam of a spotlight, either by pulling the light-bulb reflector unit away from the lens or by moving the lens away from the light bulb. The opposite of spread.
P.L. Abbreviation for Private Line, or Phone Line.
same as Intercom.
Playback The playing back on a monitor or television receiver of videotape-recorded material through a videotape recorder (in the playback mode). Plot How the story develops from one event to the next.
Plumbicon A registered trademark of N. V. Philips for a vidicon-type pickup tube. Used almost exclusively in good- to high-quality color cameras. Because the Plumbicon has a lead-oxide-coated photoconductive (light-sensitive) front surface, variations of it are sometimes called lead-oxide tubes.
Polarity Reversal The reversal of the grayscale; the white areas in the picture become black and the black areas white, as the film negative is to the print.
Polar Pattern The two-dimensional representation of a microphone pickup pattern.
Pop Filter Same as Blast Filter.
Portapak Formerly a trade name of the Sony Corporation for a highly portable camera and videotape unit, which could be easily carried and operated by one person. It now refers to all such equipment, regardless of manufacturer or model.
Ports 1. Slots in the microphone that help to achieve a specific pickup pattern and frequency response.
2. Holes in a multiplexer for various video sources.
Post-Dubbing The adding of a sound track to an already recorded (and usually fully edited) picture portion.
Postproduction Any production activity that occurs after (post) the production. Usually refers either to editing of film or videotape or to post-scoring and mixing sound for later addition to the picture portion.
Postproduction Editing The assembly of recorded material after the actual production.
Pot--Abbreviation for potentiometer, a sound-volume control.
Pot-in To fade in a sound source gradually with a pot or fader.
Pre-empt Telecasting time made available for a special event, regardless of the regular scheduled program.
Preset Board A program device into which several lighting setups (scenes) can be stored, and from which they can be retrieved, when needed.
Preview--Bus Rows of buttons that can direct an input to the preview monitor, at the same time another video source is on the air.
Preview Monitor 1. A monitor that shows the director the picture he intends to use as the next shot. 2. Any monitor that shows a video source, except for the line (master) and off-the-air monitors.
Primary Movement Object or subject movement in front of the camera.
Prism Block A compact internal optical system that combines the dichroic (color-separating) elements (filters) and light-diverting elements (prisms) all in one small block-like unit.
Process Message The interaction between the percipient and the audiovisual stimuli of the television program.
Process--Shot Photographing foreground objects against a background projection.
Producer Creator and organizer of television shows; usually in charge of all financial matters.
Program Bus The bus on a switcher whose inputs are directly switched to the line-out.
Program Interrupt Also called the P.I. system. A system that feeds program sound to a tiny earphone worn by the performer. It can be interrupted with P.I. information at any time.
Program Monitor Speaker, or Program Speaker A loudspeaker in the control room or studio that carries the program sound. Its volume can be controlled without affecting the actual line-out program feed.
Program Storage--The physical storage of recorded program material (film or videotape). Props Properties: furniture and other objects used for set decorations and by actors or performers.
Pylon Triangular set piece, similar to a pillar.
Quad Abbreviation for quadruplex videotape recorders.
Quadruplex A scanning system of videotape recorders that uses four rotating heads for recording and playing back of video information. All quadruplex, or quad, recorders use 2-inch-wide videotape.
Quarter-Track An audiotape recorder, or recording, that uses one-fourth of the width of the tape for recording an audio signal. Generally used by stereo recorders. The first and third tracks are taken up by the first pass of the tape through the recording heads; the second and fourth tracks by the second pass, when the tape has been "reversed" (that is, the full takeup reel becomes the supply reel for the second recording). Quartz Light A high-intensity light whose lamp consists of a quartz or silica housing (instead of the customary glass) and a tungsten-halogen filament. Produces a very bright light of stable color temperature.
Quick-Study Actor or performer who can accurately memorize complicated lines and blocking within a very short time; especially important for television talent.
Racking 1. Rotating the lens turret in order to change lenses. 2. Moving the camera tube closer to or farther away from the stationary lens by means of the focus knob on the camera.
Rack-through Focus Moving the focus control on a camera from one extreme position to the other.
Radio Frequency Usually called RF; broadcast frequency, which is divided into various channels. In an RF distribution, the video and audio signals are superimposed on the radio frequency carrier wave.
Range Extender An optical attachment to the zoom lens that will extend its narrow-angle focal length.
Rear Screen Translucent screen onto which images are projected from the rear and photographed from the front.
Reel 1. Spool for tape or film. 2. Film on spool.
Reel-to-Reel A tape recorder that transports the tape past the heads from one reel, the supply reel, to the other reel, the takeup reel. Used in contrast to cassettes or cartridge recorders.
Reflected Light--Light that is bounced off the illuminated object. Reflected-light reading is done with a light meter (most of them are calibrated for reflected light) that is held close to the illuminated object from the direction of the camera.
Registration--Adjusting the scanning of the three color tubes so that their images overlap (register) perfectly.
Relay Lens--Part of the internal optical system of a camera that helps to transport (relay) the separated colored light into a pickup tube.
Remote A television production done outside the studio.
Remote Survey An inspection of the remote location by key production and engineering persons so that they can plan for the setup and use of production equipment.
Remote Truck The vehicle that carries the program control equipment, such as CCU's, switcher, monitors, audio control console, and intercom systems. The director and the T.D. work out of the remote truck.
Resolution The fine picture detail as reproduced on the video monitor. A high-resolution picture is desirable.
Return Narrow flat lashed to a wider flat at approximately a 90-degree angle.
Reverberation Audio echo; adding echo to sound via an acoustical echo chamber or electronic sound delay; generally used to liven sounds recorded in an acoustically dull studio.
RF Abbreviation for Radio Frequency, necessary for all broadcast signals, as well as some closed-circuit distribution.
Ribbon Microphone A microphone whose sound pickup device consists of a ribbon that vibrates with the sound pressures within a magnetic field. Also called velocity mike. Rather sensitive to shock.
Riser 1. Small platform. 2. The vertical frame that supports the horizontal top of the platform.
Roll 1. Graphics (usually credit copy) that move slowly up the screen; often called crawl. 2. Command to roll tape or film.
Roll-through Keeping the film (or tape) rolling while temporarily cutting back to another video source (usually a live camera).
R.P. Rear screen projection; also abbreviated as B.P. (back projection). Rundown Sheet Same as Fact Sheet.
Running Time The duration of a show or show segment. Also called program length.
Runout Signal The recording of a few seconds of black at the end of each videotape recording in order to keep the screen in black for the video changeover.
Saturation Attribute of color that indicates strength, as measured by a deep red, or a washed-out pink.
Sometimes called chroma.
Scanning The movement of the electron beam from left to right and from top to bottom on the television screen.
Scanning Area Picture area that is scanned by the camera pickup tube; more generally, the picture area actually reproduced by the camera and relayed to the studio monitors.
Schedule Time See Clock Time.
Scoop A scooplike television floodlight.
Scrim A spun-glass material that is put in front of a scoop as an additional light diffuser.
Secondary Motion Movement of the camera (dolly, truck, arc, and zoom, although the camera does not move during a zoom). Section 315 Section of the Communications Act that affords candidates for public office equal opportunity to appear on television.
SEG See Special Effects Generator.
Segue An audio transition method whereby the preceding sound is faded out and the following sound faded in immediately after.
Selective Focus Emphasizing an object in a shallow depth of field through focus, while keeping its foreground and background out of focus.
Semiscripted Used to describe a show for which the dialogue is indicated but not completely written out.
Separate Mesh A screen in a vidicon or Plumbicon tube that helps to cut down comet-tailing.
Servo Controls Zoom and focus controls that activate motor-driven mechanisms.
Set Arrangement of scenery and properties to indicate the locale and/or mood of a show.
Set Light See Background Light.
Set Module Pieces of scenery of standard dimensions that allow a great variety of interchange and configuration.
Shading Adjusting picture contrast; controlling color and black-and-white levels.
Shot Box--Box containing various controls for presetting zoom speed and field of view; usually mounted on the camera panning bar.
Shotgun Microphone A highly directional microphone with a shotgun-like barrel for picking up sounds over a great distance. Also called machine-gun microphone.
Shot Sheet Lists every shot a particular camera has to get. Is attached to the camera as an aid to the camera operator for remembering a shot sequence.
Show Format Lists the order of the various show segments according to appearance.
Show Rhythm Indicates how well the parts of the show relate to each other sequentially, how well the show flows.
S.I. Station Identification (sometimes sponsor identification). Signal-to-Noise Ratio The relation of the strength of the desired video (picture) signal to the accompanying electronic interference, the noise. A high signal-to-noise ratio is desirable (strong video signal and weak noise). Signature A specific video and/or audio symbol characteristic of one particular show.
Silent Film--Film without a sound track, or film run silent.
Single-System The simultaneous recording of pictures and sound on the same film.
Slander Oral defamation.
Slant-Track Same as Helical Scan.
Slate A little blackboard, or whiteboard, upon which essential production information is written, such as title of the show, date, scene and take numbers. It is recorded at the beginning of each videotaped take.
Slave 1. A videotape recorder that records a program copy off the master recorder. 2. The videotape recorder that supplies the various program segments to be assembled on the master VTR. Slow Lens A lens that permits a relatively small amount of light to pass through (high f-stop number). Can be used only in well-lighted areas.
Slow Motion A scene in which the objects appear to be moving more slowly than normal. In film, slow motion is achieved through high-speed photography (exposing many frames that differ only minutely from one another) and normal (24 frames per second, for example) playback. In television, slow motion is achieved by multiple scanning of each television frame.
Small Format Refers to the small size of the camera pickup tube (usually 24
-inch) or, more frequently, to the narrow width of the videotape: 1/4-inch, 1/2-inch, 3/4-inch, and even 1-inch (although 1-inch is often regarded as large-format tape). Small-format equipment (cameras and videotape recorders) is actually very small in size and highly portable.
SMPTE Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers.
SMPTE Universal Leader See Academy Leader.
Snow Electronic picture interference; looks like snow on the television screen.
SOF Sound on film.
Softlight A television floodlight that produces extremely diffused light. It has a panlike reflector and a light-diffusing material over its opening.
SOT Sound on tape. The videotape is played back with pictures and sound.
Sound Effects Special sounds-such as wind, thunder, car traffic, jet airplanes recorded in advance for multiple use in a variety of productions.
Space Staging Arrangement of scenery to indicate foreground, middleground, and background, with room for movement of talent and camera.
Special Effects Generator, or SEG An electronic image generator that produces a variety of special effects wipe patterns, such as circle wipes, diamond wipes, and key and matte effects.
Speed Up A cue to the talent to speed up whatever he or she is doing.
Splice The spot where two shots are actually joined, or the act of joining two shots. Generally used only when the material (such as film or audiotape) is physically cut and glued (spliced) together again.
Spotlight A light instrument that produces directional, relatively undiffused light.
Spotter A person who helps the director or the announcer to identify significant parts of an event, such as prominent players in a football game, or the nature of a play formation.
Spread To enlarge (diffuse) the light beam of a spotlight by pushing the light-bulb reflector unit toward the lens, or the lens closer to the light bulb. Also called flood. The opposite of pin.
Sprockets Small, evenly spaced perforations in the film. Single sprockets: holes are in only one side of the film; double sprockets: holes are on both sides of the film.
Stability The degree to which a camera (or camera chain) maintains its initial electronic setup.
Stand-by 1. A button on a videotape recorder that activates the rotation of the video heads or head drum independently of the actual tape motion. In the standby position, the video heads can come up to speed before the videotape is actually started. 2. A warning cue for any kind of action in television production.
Star Filter A filter-like lens attachment that changes high-intensity light sources into star-like light images.
Station Break Interruption of a show to give station identification (usually on the half-hour or hour). Sticking See Burn-in.
Stock Shot A shot of a common occurrence-clouds, storm, traffic, crowds-that can be repeated in a variety of contexts since its qualities are typical. There are stock-shot libraries from which any number of such shots can be obtained.
Stop-Motion A slow-motion effect in which one frame jumps to the next, showing the object in a different position.
Storyboard A series of sketches of the key visualization points of an event, accompanied by corresponding audio information.
Stretch A cue to the talent to slow down whatever he or she is doing.
Strike To remove certain objects; to remove scenery and equipment from the studio floor after the show.
Stripe Filter--Extremely narrow, vertical stripes of red, green, and blue filters that, repeating themselves many times, are attached to the front surface of the camera pickup tube. They divide the incoming white light into the three light primaries without the aid of dichroic mirrors.
Strip Light Several low-wattage lightbulbs arranged in a strip; used for even lighting of the cyclorama.
Studio Monitor A monitor located in the studio (television set carrying the video of the line monitor) showing the program in progress.
Studio Talkback--A public address loudspeaker system from the control room to the studio. Also called S.A. (studio address) or P.A. (public address) system.
Subjective Time The duration we feel. Also called psychological time.
Subtractive Primary Colors Magenta (bluish red), cyan (greenish blue), and yellow. When mixed, they act as filters, subtracting certain colors.
Super--Short for superimposition, the simultaneous showing of two full pictures on the same screen.
Super Card A studio card with white lettering on a black background, used for superimposition of a title, or for keying of a title over a background scene. For chroma keying, the white letters are on a chroma-key blue background.
Supply Reel--Reel that holds film or tape, either of which it feeds to the takeup reel.
Sustaining Program A program that is not commercially supported.
Sweep 1. Curved piece of scenery, similar to a large pillar cut in half. 2. Electronic scanning.
Sweep Reversal Electronic scanning reversal; results in a mirror image (horizontal sweep reversal) or in an upside-down image (vertical sweep reversal). Switcher 1. Engineer or production person who is doing the video switching (usually the T.D., the technical director). 2. A panel with rows of buttons that permits the selection of a specific video input and the change from one video source to another through a variety of transition devices, or the simultaneous presentation of two or more video sources.
Switching A change from one video source to another during a show, or show segment, with the aid of a switcher.
Sync Electronic pulses that synchronize the scanning in the origination source (live cameras, videotape) and the reproduction source (monitor or television receiver). Sync Generator Part of the camera chain; produces electronic synchronization pulses.
Sync Roll Vertical rolling of a picture caused by switching from remote to studio, thereby momentarily losing synchronization; also noticeable on a bad videotape splice.
System The interrelationship of various elements and processes.
Systems Design A plan that shows the interrelation of two or more systems. In television production, it shows the interrelation of all major production elements, as well as the flow (direction) of the production processes.
Take 1. Signal for a cut from one video source to another. 2. Any one of similar repeated shots taken during filming. Sometimes take is used synonymously with shot. A "good take" is the successful completion of a shot, a show segment, or the videotaping of the whole show. A "bad take" means an unsuccessful recording; another "take" is required.
Takeup Reel--Reel that takes up film or tape from the supply reel. Must be the same size as the supply reel in order to maintain proper tension.
Taking Lens Also called on-the-air lens. Refers to the lens on turret cameras that is actually relaying the scene to the camera pickup tube.
Talent Collective name for all performers and actors who appear regularly on television.
Talkback See Studio Talkback.
Tally Light Red light on camera and inside the camera viewfinder, indicating when the camera is on the air.
Tape Plastic ribbon, approximately 1/1000-inch thick, varying in width from 1 1/4 inch to 2 inches and coated with iron oxide (dull side). It is used to record magnetic impulses from video or audio sources.
Tape Cartridge See Cartridge.
Target Light-sensitive front surface of the camera pickup tube, which is scanned by an electron beam.
T.D. Technical Director; in charge of technical studio crew. Usually does the switching during a telecast.
Telecine 1. Same as Film Chain, or film island. 2. The place from which the film islands operate. The word comes from television and cinematography. Occasionally, the telecine is used for film storage and some minor film-editing jobs.
Telephoto Lens Same as long-focal-length lens.
Gives a closeup view of an event relatively far away from the camera.
Teleprompter A mechanical prompting device that projects the moving copy over the lens, so that it can be read by the talent without losing eye contact with the viewer.
Tertiary Motion Movement created by a sequence of shots.
Test Pattern Special graphic design of converging lines and alignment marks that aids camera picture alignment and registration.
Theme What the story is all about; its essential idea.
Threefold Three flats hinged together.
Tight Shot Same as Closeup.
Tilt To point the camera up and down.
Time Base Corrector An electronic accessory to a videotape recorder that helps to make playbacks or transfers electronically stable. A time base corrector helps to maintain picture quality even in dubbing-up operations.
Time Base Stability A stable scanning process. Can be maintained with a time base corrector.
Time Code Also called the SMPTE Time Code or address code. An electronic signal recorded on the cue track of the videotape through a time code generator, providing a time "address" (birthmark) for each frame in hours, minutes, seconds, and frame numbers of elapsed tape.
Time Cues--Cues to the talent in regard to the time remaining in the show. Usually consist of a 3-minute cue, a 2-minute cue, a 1-minute cue, a 30-second cue, and a 15-second cue.
Title Any graphic material shown on camera; more specifically, studio title card or slide.
Title Drum Large drum on which title sheets can be fastened for credit supers and keys; same as Crawl.
Tongue To move the boom with the camera from left to right or from right to left.
Tracking 1. The angle at which the videotape passes the video heads. Refers commonly to the electronic adjustment of the video heads so that in the playback phase they match the recording phase of the tape. Prevents picture breakup and misalignment, especially in tapes that have been recorded on a machine other than the one used for playback. 2. Another name for truck (lateral camera movement). Transverse Scanning The direction of the video signal scanning in quadruplex recorders. Transverse scanning puts the signal across (transverse) the videotape rather than in a helical (diagonal) or a lengthwise pattern.
Traveler A large curtain, similar to a theater curtain, which opens horizontally from the middle or from one side.
Triangle Lighting See Photographic Principle.
Tripod A three-legged camera mount, usually connected with a dolly for easy maneuverability.
Truck To move the camera laterally by means of mobile camera mount.
Tungsten-Halogen--The kind of lamp filament used in quartz lights. The tungsten is the filament itself; the halogen is a gas-like substance surrounding the filament.
Turret Lens A lens that is mounted on the turret of a camera. Usually in contrast to a zoom lens.
Twofold Two flats hinged together. Also called a book.
Two-Shot Framing of two people.
UHF Ultra-High Frequency, television transmission channels above channel 13 (channels 14-83). Unidirectional A type of pickup pattern in which the microphone can pick up sounds better from one direction (uni), the front, than from the sides or back.
Unit Set Standardized, interchangeable scenery.
Variable Area Track An optical sound track on film.
It modulates the light of the exciter lamp through various shapes of translucent areas so that, when received by the photoelectric cell, the light variations produce identical variations in the electric current (audio signal).
Variable Density Track--An optical sound track on film. It modulates the light of the exciter lamp from clear film to various shades of gray so that, when received by the photoelectric cell, the light variations produce identical variations in the electric current (audio signal). Variable-Focal-Length Lens Zoom lens.
Vector Line A dominant direction established between two people facing each other or through a prominent movement in a specific direction.
Vectorscope An electronic display device, similar to the oscilloscope, through which the colors from a camera or videotape can be quantitatively defined.
Vertical Development The way a situation takes on complexity and depth.
Vertical Interval Switcher A switcher that produces extremely clean cuts, since it changes video sources during the vertical retrace of the scanning beam (when the beam jumps back to the top of the screen after it has traced the scanning lines from top to bottom). Vertical Key Light Position The relative distance of the key light from the studio floor, specifically with respect to whether it is above or below the eye level of the performer. Not to be confused with high- and low-key lighting, which refers to the relative brightness and contrast of the overall scene.
Vertical Sweep The vertical scanning.
VHF Very High Frequency, television transmission channels 2 through 13.
Video 1. Picture portion of a telecast. 2. Non-broadcast production activities and the use of small-format equipment for a variety of purposes. Usually the equipment includes a portable camera, a microphone, a videotape recorder or video cassette recorder, and a monitor.
Video Cartridge--A plastic container with a single reel from which the videotape is fed into a special recorder for recording and playback of short program segments.
Video Cassette--A plastic container in which a videotape moves from supply to takeup reel, recording and playing back short program segments through a video cassette recorder. Similar in construction and function to the audio cassette recorder.
Video Disc A phonograph record-like disc that can store video (picture) information of short event segments. Used for instant playbacks, slow motion, and freeze frames.
Video Disc Recorder A recording device whereby the video signals are recorded on and played back from a disc, which looks like a phonograph record.
Video Engineer Controls the camera pictures before they are sent on the air (or videotape recorded); also called shader.
Video Feedback The picture on the television set is photographed by a television camera and fed back into the same monitor, producing multiple images.
Video Leader Visual (and auditory) material that precedes any color videotape recording. The SMPTE prescribes for the standard video-portion blank tape for threading; 10 sec. of color bars; 15 sec. of slate information; 8 sec. of numbers or black; 2 sec. of black ahead of the program information.
Video Noise A spurious electronic signal that interferes with the desired video signal. Generated unavoidably within the system, it shows up as "snow," white (or colored) spots in the picture.
Video Signal Electrical impulses (voltage) generated by the camera pickup tube or the VTR. The amplified video signal provides the necessary information for generating a picture.
Videotape A plastic, iron-oxide-coated tape of various widths (from 1/4-inch to 2-inch) for recording of video and audio signals, as well as additional technical code information.
Videotape Recorder Also called VTR. Electronic recording device that records and stores on videotape video and audio signals for later playback or postproduction editing.
Videotape Room The place where all large videotape recorders are kept. Often serves also as videotape storage and editing room.
Video Track The area of the videotape that is used for recording the video information.
Vidicon A type of pickup tube, used extensively in small, portable, monochrome cameras as well as in color cameras.
Viewfinder Generally meaning electronic viewfinder (in contrast to the optical viewfinder in a film or still camera); a small television set that displays the picture as generated by the camera.
Volume The relative intensity of the sound, its relative loudness.
VTR Video Tape Recorder or recording.
VU Meter A volume-unit meter; measures volume units, the relative loudness of amplified sound.
Walk-through An orientation session with the production crew (technical walk-through) and talent (talent walk-through), by actually walking through the set and explaining the key actions to both parties.
Walk-through Camera Rehearsal A combination of walk-through and camera rehearsal in order to save time. Usually conducted by the director from the studio floor, with all technical production positions manned and operational.
Warm-up 1. Keeping the cameras turned on for a time until all the electrons have properly stabilized.
2. Getting the studio audience in the proper spirit for the show.
Waveform Monitor Same as Oscilloscope.
Wind Screen Similar to or same as Pop Filter. A rubberlike material that is put over the front end of the microphone to cut down undesirable wind noises in outdoor use.
Wind Up A cue to the talent to finish up whatever he or she is doing.
Wipe Electronic effect where one picture seems to push the other off the screen. (In film, an optical wipe can be accomplished in the special effects printer.) XCU Extreme Closeup. Same as ECU. Z-Axis The imaginary line that extends in the direction the lens points from the camera to the horizon.
Z-axis motion is the movement toward or away from the camera.
Zoom Lens Variable-focal-length lens. It can change from a wide shot to a closeup, or the reverse, in one continuous move.
Zoom Ratio The zoom range, from the widest angle position to the narrowest angle position, expressed in a ratio, such as 10:1 (wide angle 17mm to a narrow angle 170mm).