Aperture (Lens)

The orifice (usually an adjustable iris) which determines the amount of light which can pass through a lens.


Opaque metal shields (2 or 4) mounted in matching pairs on light fittings and used to control the shape of the light from the lamp and its area of influence.


A fitted, padded, cinema camera cover which reduces the mechanical noise of the camera.


Background. The fading of one sound under another as a background effect.


Refers to the light or lights used to outline a subject by illuminating (from behind) the back, top and sides of the subject.  It is separation light because it “separates” a subject visually fro the background.

Back Projection

Projecting a still or moving image onto a screen behind the action to provide a background.  Frequently used in television News Reporting.


A wooden rail or steel pipe used primarily for hanging lights and/or scenery.


The selection and arrangement of Camera shots, movement of actors and equipment. The plan for the dramatic action, prepared by the television director for a studio production sequence.


A telescopic pole which allows a microphone to be positioned.  Used as a verb, the word refers to the action of using Microphone or camera boom.


Light reflected off a wall, ceiling or reflection card.


A very powerful type of arc light: or a bank of closely arranged individually light sources similar to the light banks used to light sporting arenas, which gives a very intense light over a wide area.

Camera Angle

A general terms for the line a camera makes with the subject it is shooting

Eg.       Level angle: Films from the subject’s eye level

            High Angle: any shot in which the camera is tilted downward to             view the subject.

            Low Angle: any shot in which the camera is tilted upward to            view the subject.

            Reverse Angle: A shot is 18 degrees from the camera position            for the preceding shot.


A slating board with a hinge top and carrying a matching design on board and top. The board carries the scene and “take” data.  It produces a matching audible and visible signal which enables images and sound to be synchronized during editing.  Also known as a “clapper”, “clapper board” or “slate”.


Moving into a more favorable position for the camera.


The quality of a common thread which makes a film or TV production a unified whole.  Continuity must include plot, theme, photographic quality, setting, wardrobe, makeup and sound.

Cover Shot

A camera shot where the field of view is sufficiently wide to show all the action on the scene – usually a long shot or wide shot which can be used in an emergency.


  1. Shooting: the direction to finish a shot by stopping the camera (film) or to switch immediately to another shot (television).
  2. Editing: The point at which shots are spliced together.

Day-for-Night Photography

The technique of shooting in daylight so that the finished film seems to have been shot at night.  It requires attention to detail (no sky scenes), the use of filters and under exposure.



The simultaneous fading out of one scene and the fading in of another.  There is an overlap of images for most of the sequence.

Dolly Shot


A shot taken from a camera moving on a wheeled platform.



A defect or video tape or video signal which causes momentary interruption to the Audio or Video repay or recording.

Dry Run


A rehearsal without cameras.



The process or recording a sound, a second time-transferring it from one recording to another.  The term also refers to mixing or re recording of dialogue, music and effects tracks to make a composite sound track.

Eye Line


The line along which a person is looking, this refers to the framing of shots.



A thin piece of glass, filter gel, or plastic mounted in a holder, either in front of or behind a lens.  The filter can be tones to change the quality of light.

Floor Plan


A plan of a film and television studio showing entrances, exits, power points, camera and other technical facilities and the positioning of scenery or props.



The reproduction of selected sound sources over studio loud speakers as an aid to performers (eg. Foldback of disc or tape sound effects or music for post production miming).

Follow focus


Achieved by the focus puller or assistant camera operator, changing focus while shooting to keep a moving subject in sharp focus.



The shot as seen through the viewfinder limited by the finder mask.

Freeze Frame


Motion is stopped by optically printing multiple exposures of a single frame of film.

Gaffer Tape


A type of strong wide fabric adhesive tape used on film and television sets for securing cables and fittings.



The part of a camera or projector, behind the lens through which the film passes so that each frame is filmed or projected.



The main light source, illuminating the subject.

Lip Sync


Sound and image recorded – or playing – simultaneously.

Exit frame


Something out of scene, to the left or right of camera.



Continue with uncompleted scene from point where it went wrong.

Low Key


Refers to a generally low level of illumination with some parts of subjects better illuminated than the general scene.

Master Control or Control Room


The control centre of a Television operation through which all television inputs are routed.



An electronic device for selecting or combining audio or video signals.



The arrangement of a series of shots in quick succession to convey a general impression.

Out Takes


Scenes of the original footage, not used in the final version of the film.



Refers to moving the camera horizontally about a pivotal point, usually on tripod or pedestal mounting.

Shot or Take


One take from start of camera to stop of camera.



A series of drawing or still photographs with accompanying shot descriptions and/or dialogue, depicting the key scenes in the development of a film and television script.  Generally, for a commercial, the entire sequence of shot is presented to the client on a storyboard for approval before the production is shot.



A literary description of a film or television production before script development.

Vision Mixer


A control panel enabling picture sources to be selected individually by switches or faders.  The term is also used to describe the specialist operator of the apparatus.



A rehearsal on the set, during which the director explains actions for both actors and crew.

Wild Sound


Sound recorded independently of the images with which it is used.

Walk into frame


Enter scene from an off camera position.




Establishing Shot (EST)

A shot, usually a wide shot or long shot used to orient the audience to the action, location or time.

Extreme Long Shot (ELS)

Depicts a cast scenic area from great distance.

Medium Shot (MS)

Covers the Actors full figure but does not show the entire setting as in the establishing shot.

Medium Close-Up (MCU)

Actors are filmed from just above the knees or just below the waist to just above the head.

Over-the-shoulder Close-up (OTS)

Frames actor midway between the waist and shoulders to just above the head.

Close-Up (CU)

A close up on actor as viewed over the shoulder of another actor.

Extreme Close-Up (ECU)

Used to frame and magnify tiny objects or to show a portion of an object such as the muzzle of a gun, eyes, lips, fingers etc.


Point of View.  A camera shot which shows what the actor would see from his/her point of view.

Reaction Shot

A shot showing a subject’s reaction to the event of the main scene.

Two Shot

A camera composition that contains two subjects filling the frame area.

Three Shot

A composition that contains three subjects filling the frame area.




In film or television production, the person in control of the actual production and editing operations.  This person controls everything that takes place in a studio or location to create the final program.

First Assistant

His job is to relieve the director of as many material worries as possible, to keep tabs on cast and crew, round up extras, give them their position and moves, and call line players and principals to the set.  He/she calls for “quiet” when the director is ready to rehearse and shoot and gives the actors their rehearsal at the end of the day. The first assistant’s job is handling production matters rather than the creative aspects of film making.

Floor Manager

A person who is the director’s link with the studio floor and conveys production instructions from the director to the actors and staff on the floor.


The chief electrician on a film or television production crew.


The creator or originator of a film or television production, who usually takes charge of all the “above-the-line” elements such as writing, art, music, casting and other financial considerations.


A slang term who refers to an assistant who is asked to “go for” specific items, such as scripts, tape, coffee etc.


The production unit handyman available for odd jobs of shifting, adjusting and repairing the set.

Technical Director

The engineer on a production in charge of switching, camera operation, lighting and audio mixing.



Work Print

A rough print of a film with edge numbers made from the original footage and used for editing.


The first process of film editing.  It involves cutting all slated sequences from the work print and identifying them ready for assembly.

Fine Cut

The stage of film editing just before final cut, when the work print should contain all the artistic considerations which will be in the finished film.

Answer Print

The final complete print of a film in release form, carrying both image and sound.

Release Print

A composite print with image and sound ready for public distribution.

Cross Cutting

A style of editing which involves intercutting back and forth between two or more simultaneous events.


A listing of the names of contributors to a program.


The “work prints” of the footage shot each day during a film shoot.

Matching Cut

A cut shot which contains an element from the previous scene. Eg. Shot A shows a subject rising from a chair, shot B begins on the rise at the point where shot A finished.

Out Takes

Scenes of the original footage not used in the final version of a film.

Post Recording

Sound recording made for a film after the film has been shot, usually dubbed to final cut.

Stock Footage

Scenes of locations or events held in a library for use as inserts or backgrounds in film or television production.


The technique of using an off screen voice to provide dialogue or narration over the images.

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