Community
Glossary of Production Terms

Production Glossary

This is an ever-growing list of popular terms and acronyms used in audio, video, and lighting production.

INDEX: # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


#

1/4"-20

A standard screw/bolt size with a 1/4" major diameter and 20 threads per inch used for mounting small to medium-sized cameras and production equipment.

Formally called 1/4"-20 UNC (Unified National Coarse Thread).

Also referred to as Quarter-Twenty.

1.5G-SDI

See SMPTE 292

10-1

An unofficial ten-code meaning: a short bathroom break (#1).

Also referred to as 10-100.

10-100

See 10-1.

10-2

An unofficial ten-code meaning: a long bathroom break (#2).

10-20

An official ten-code meaning: location.

Example: "What is your 20?" ("What is your location?")

Also referred to as 20.

10-200

See 10-2.

10-4

An official ten-code meaning: message received and understood.

Also referred to as Affirmative, Copy or Roger.

120 V / 120V

See 120 Volts.

120 Volts

The nominal (average or target) voltage provided by main AC electricity in countries where 120 volt power supplies are used.

You can find a list of countries and their voltages here.

12G-SDI

See SMPTE 2082.

20

See 10-20.

240 V / 240V

See 240 Volts.

240 Volts

The nominal (average or target) voltage provided by main AC electricity in countries where 240 volt power supplies are used.

You can find a list of countries and their voltages here.

24G-SDI

See SMPTE 2083.

3G-SDI

See SMPTE 424.

6G-SDI

See SMPTE 2081.


A

Affirmative

See 10-4.

American Shot

Translated from the phrase Plan Américain, it is a camera shot size that shows a subject, or multiple subjects, from just above the knees and up.

This shot size was made popular in early American cinema by allowing multiple subjects to be framed together within a single shot, allowing more of a scene/setting to be revealed around a subject, or allowing a cowboy's face to be seen along with their gun holster (where we get the term Cowboy Shot).

Also referred to as a Cowboy Shot or Plan Américain.


B

B4 Mount

A locking lens mount, standardized in 1992, used on 2/3" broadcast cameras and lenses. The standard BTA S-1005B defines the physical mount and its optical and electrical properties.

Blonde

A 2,000 watt open face flood light with a reflector, often found in a yellow housing.

Blue Hour

The period of twilight (in the morning or evening, around the nautical stage) when the Sun is at a significant depth below the horizon and residual, indirect sunlight takes on a predominantly blue shade.

In the morning, it is the period immediately before Golden Hour. In the evening, it is the period immediately after Golden Hour.


C

C-47

A spring-type wooden clothespin used to attach gels, diffusion, black foil, and other types of expendable materials to light fixtures or modifiers.

C-74

A C-47 that has been reversed to form spring-type wooden tweezers, used to grab and remove hot scrims from light fixtures.

See Cucoloris.

CP-47

A wooden clothes peg (without a spring) used to attach gels, diffusion, black foil, and other types of expendable materials to light fixtures or modifiers.

Similar to a C-47.

Copy

See 10-4.

Cowboy Shot

See American Shot.

Cucoloris

A device for casting shadows or silhouettes to produce patterned illumination, often made from plywood, poster board, foam core, or wire mesh materials.

Also referred to as a Cookaloris, Cookie, Coo-Koo, Cucalorus, Cuculoris, Kook, Kookaloris.

Similar to a C-47.


D

DA

See Digital-to-Analog or Distribution Amplifier.

DAC

See Digital-to-Analog Converter.

Digital-to-Analog (DA)

The process of converting digital signals to analog signals.

Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC)

A system that converts a digital signal into an analog signal.

Distribution Amplifier (DA)

A device that accepts a single input signal and repeats the same signal to multiple isolated outputs, usually with amplification circuitry between input and outputs.


E

Establishing Shot

The first camera shot in a scene that shows the setting and environment for the action. Often accomplished using Extreme Long Shots or Long Shots.

Extreme Long Shot (ELS or XLS)

A camera shot size that shows a subject from a distance within their environment. Often used as an Establishing Shot.

Also referred to as an Extreme Wide Shot (EWS or XWS).

Extreme Wide Shot (EWS or XWS)

See Extreme Long Shot.


F

F-number

The ratio of the focal length of a lens to the diameter of the entrance pupil. A dimensionless number that is a numerical representation or measurement of lens speed.

Practically speaking it represents the size of the lens aperture, and therefore, how much light is allowed through the lens. The higher the f-number, the smaller the lens' aperture and the less light is allowed through.

Commonly indicated using a lower-case hooked f with the format f/N, where N is the f-number (e.g. f/2.8).

F-ratio

See F-number.

F-stop

See F-number.


G

Gaffer

The head electrician on a set or production, responsible for the execution (and sometimes the design) of the lighting plan.

Golden Hour

The period of daytime immediately surrounding sunrise or sunset, during which daylight is redder and softer than when the Sun is higher in the sky. This light is usually more pleasant looking when shooting photos or video outside.

In the morning, it is the period immediately after Blue Hour. In the evening, it is the period immediately before Blue Hour.


H


I

IEEE

See Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

A professional association for electronic engineering and electrical engineering (and associated disciplines). Formed in 1963 from the unification of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers and the Institute of Radio Engineers. In addition to publishing journals and hosting conferences, the IEEE also publishes tutorials and standards that are produced by its standardization committees.


J

Jacket

The outer covering of a cable, providing moisture, mechanical, flame, UV, and chemical protection for the shielding and conductors within.


K


L

Lean

When a Lean-In is followed by a Lean-Out.

Lean-In

A sequence of camera shots, often in a scene of dialogue, that starts with wider shots and ends with close-ups.

Lean-Out

A sequence of camera shots, often in a scene with dialogue, that starts with close-ups and ends with wider shots.

Lens

A transmissive optical device that focuses or disperses a light beam by means of refraction.

Lens Element

A single piece of transparent material found within a lens.


M

Magic Hour

See Golden Hour.


N


O

Off-Camera

Anything that occurs outside the view of the camera but still within the context of the camera shot.

Examples include the noise of unseen traffic outside or the voice of an interviewer not seen on camera.


P

Plan Américain Shot

See American Shot.


Q


R

Rack Unit (RU or U)

A unit of measure defined as 1.75 inches in height. Most frequently used as a measurement of the overall height of 19-inch and 23-inch rack frames, as well as the height of equipment that mounts in these frames.

The height of a rack frame or equipment is expressed as multiples of rack units. For example, a 2 unit (2RU or 2U) device will measure 3.5 inches tall. A full rack typically measures 42 units (42RU or 42U) tall.

RU

See Rack Unit.


S

SMPTE

Abbreviation for Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers.

SMPTE 2081 (ST-2081)

A standard published by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) that defines a bit-serial data structure and the coaxial cable interface specifications for 6 Gb/s (nominal) Signal/Data Serial Interface to carry up to 4096x2160 active pixel formats mapped into the 6 Gb/s payload.

Common video formats defined by this standard include formats up to 4096x2160 at 30 frames per second or up to 2048x1080 at 120 frames per second.

Also referred to as 6G-SDI.

SMPTE 2082 (ST-2082)

A standard published by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) that defines a bit-serial data structure and the coaxial cable interface specifications for 12 Gb/s (nominal) Signal/Data Serial Interface to carry up to 4096x2160 active pixel formats mapped into the 12 Gb/s payload.

Common video formats defined by this standard include formats up to 4096x2160 at 60 frames per second or up to 2048x1080 at 120 frames per second.

Also referred to as 12G-SDI.

SMPTE 2083 (ST-2083)

A standard currently in development by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) that defines a bit-serial data structure and the coaxial cable interface specifications for 24 Gb/s (nominal) Signal/Data Serial Interface to carry up to 8192x4320 active pixel formats mapped into the 24 Gb/s payload.

Common video formats defined by this standard include 4096x2160 or 3840x2160 at up to 60 frames per second, or 2048x1080 or 1920x1080 at up to 120 frames per second.

Also referred to as 12G-SDI.

SMPTE 292 (ST-292)

A standard published by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) that defines a bit-serial data structure and the coaxial cable interface specifications for 1.5 Gb/s (nominal) Signal/Data Serial Interface to carry up to 2048×1080 active pixel formats mapped into the 1.5 Gb/s payload.

Two bitrates are defined; 1.485 Gbit/s and 1.485/1.001 Gbit/s. The 1.485/1.001 Gbit/s bitrate is provided to support frame rates of 59.94 Hz, 29.97 Hz, and 23.98 Hz, in order to be upwards compatible with existing NTSC systems. The 1.485 Gbit/s bitrate supports other frame rates in widespread use, including 60 Hz, 50 Hz, 30 Hz, 25 Hz, and 24 Hz.

Common video formats defined by this standard include 1280x720 at 59.94 or 50 fps (720p) and 1920x1080 at 59.94 or 50 fields per second (1080i).

Also referred to as HD-SDI or 1.5G-SDI.

SMPTE 424 (ST-424)

A standard published by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) that defines a bit-serial data structure and the coaxial cable interface specifications for 3 Gb/s (nominal) Signal/Data Serial Interface to carry up to 2048×1080 active pixel formats mapped into the 3 Gb/s payload.

Two bitrates are defined; 2.970 Gbit/s and 2.970/1.001 Gbit/s. The 2.970/1.001 Gbit/s bitrate is provided to support frame rates of 59.94 Hz, 29.97 Hz, and 23.98 Hz, in order to be upwards compatible with existing NTSC systems. The 2.970 Gbit/s bitrate supports other frame rates in widespread use, including 60 Hz, 50 Hz, 30 Hz, 25 Hz, and 24 Hz.

Common video formats defined by this standard include 1920x1080 at 59.94 frames per second (1080p).

Also referred to as 3G-SDI.

Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE)

A global professional association of engineers, technologists, and executives working in the media and entertainment industry. As an internationally recognized standards organization, SMPTE has published more than 800 technical standards for broadcast, filmmaking, digital cinema, audio recording, information technology (IT), and medical imaging.

Standard

A document that states basic specifications, dimensions, or criteria that are necessary for effective interchange and/or interconnection within a specific system.


T


U

U

See Rack Unit.


V


W


X


Y


Z