A Beginner's Guide to Video Production Terms

A Beginner’s Guide to Video Production Terms


A lot of terms come up when producing videos for various clients. These terms are commonly understood by those who work in the industry. But, such terms can be confusing for clients engaging the services of video production firms.

To help you out, here are some of the most common terms you might encounter in this process.

  • A-roll

    An A-roll is the primary interview footage of the client, actor or anyone presenting the video content in behalf of your company. One can say that it is one of the most important elements of video production. In most cases, the A-roll is where most of the content will be coming from, edited accordingly to convey your company’s message.

  • B-roll

    The B-roll is the accompanying footage for the A-roll. Its video content supplements the primary footage. The B-roll may feature your products, your warehouse, your team and more. A couple of scenes from the B-roll will be edited together with the content from the A-roll to create the entire story.

  • C47

    It may sound like a technical term but it actually is just a regular item with an essential purpose. A C47 is a type of clothespin that is used to attach or keep a diffusion or gel in place. A diffusion and a gel are video production terms that will also be discussed later on in this article.

  • Continuity Error

    Have you ever seen a video where in one scene, the glass was broken but on the succeeding scene, it wasn’t? It doesn’t make sense, right? That is a continuity error where actions from across shots do not match. There is no continuity, at all.

    This usually happens when the two scenes have been shot separately, not in a continuous motion, and only pieced together through editing. A video editor or production company will need to be vigilant in identifying continuity errors as it can affect the message to be conveyed to the viewers.

  • Cut

    A cut is the transition from one shot or to another. The transition must be smooth so the editor has to make use of every editing technique available to do so.

  • Dead Cat

    The term “dead cat” should not be taken literally. It just looks like a dead cat as it is a big furry sock that videographers put on top of the microphones, especially when shooting outdoors.

    Microphones pick up different sounds, including the wind. If you want to send your message to your audience clearly, you do not want the gush of wind to muffle your words, right? The dead cat will help minimize the the wind blowing onto the microphone, resulting to better audio for your video.

  • Dissolve

    A dissolve is a gradual scene transition where the end of one shot and the start of the next shot overlap. This can be used when presenting one scene that is different to the current one. For instance, you can use this when your video content includes providing step 1 and step 2 of a certain process.

  • Editing

    Editing is the process of revising images, sound or text. Since we are talking about video production, editing refers to the revision and enhancement of shots and putting them all together to create one, continuous motion.

    This process is essential for any company who wish to utilize videos in sending out a message. Various editing software programs are available for video editors to use.

  • Fade

    If a change in the date, time or location is to be presented in the video, a fade is typically used as an indication of such change. In terms of visuals, this may involve either a gradual whitening or darkening of the shot, depending on the videographer’s style of presenting the content. Furthermore, the audio may also change or fade in and out.

  • Film

    Nowadays, a film is already a term for an actual film you see on cinemas. That is why it is incorrect to refer to the material produced by a video production company as a film, especially when it is in reference to marketing the client’s products or services. Video is the right term.

  • Gels and Diffusions

    Lights can play a huge role in the look and feel of the entire video. This is where gels and diffusions come into the scene.

    A gel is used to change the color of the lights. It is just a colored sheet with hues available in blue, red, green and more. Colors are often associated with emotions so gels can be used to convey emotions along with the message.

    At times, lights can be too bright for the video. A diffusion will help minimize their brightness. A diffusion is a semi-transparent sheet attached to the front of the lights.

  • Glass

    A glass is another term referring to the lens of the camera used to shoot the video.

  • Montage

    A montage is a series of shots placed side by side with one another to convey an idea or present a story. A company may utilize a montage to present various products or services that they offer and are related to one another.

  • Roll

    This is different from the A-roll or B-roll. A roll refers to the texts that moves up or down the screen. In most cases, a roll is utilized to present credits for the video, including the videographer, the client, the editing team and more.

  • Shoot

    Shoot refers to the process of taking and recording the video.

  • Sticks

    Sticks refer to a tripod used to stabilize an equipment such as a camera or light.

  • Sound Bite

    A sound bite refers to an important scene or key phrase from the main video content. Also referred to as clip, a sound bite usually gives the most important message to the audience.

  • Videographer

    The videographer is the person literally holding the camera.

Let your videos tell your audience your story! Contact Proweaver to make video content that will resonate to your target market.

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About the Author

I am Louise Savoie Digital Marketer at Proweaver, a web development company specializing in Custom Web Design which helps sole proprietors and small companies increase their sales and grow their business. I am responsible in Content Marketing and Social Media Marketing. You can find us on Twitter: @proweaver

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