Why Video? and other useful stuff...

We live in an age where live or recorded images are a natural part of our everyday living. It is how many of us assimilate information either through stand alone recordings or clips placed in social media. Using television to communicate your message is a vital way to inform others.

key questions to ask before you start…

  • How long will the process be?
  • What sort of budget do I need? - will it be exceeded?
  • What is the purpose of the video?
  • Who am I aiming it at?
  • What can of production do I want? - documentary- animation-acted etc
  • Will I need music in the production?
  • Who will provide the script?
  • Can the finished production be shown on different platforms? - website,mobiles, tablets,Facebook,Vimeo
  • Why am I making it? - information - training - brand awareness - profile

video production glossary of terms

After Effects

A digital computer programme that allows the operator to manipulate images and create sequences to complement the live action of the programme.

Aspect Ratio

This is the ratio between the width and height of the image. Standard definition uses a 4:3 ratio and HD formats use a16:9 format


Often overlooked in a video production but just as vital to get sound recorded correctly as it plays such a major part in the final production.


An operator driven piece of equipment that allows the presenter to read the script whilst at the same time looking down the lens of the camera as mirrors in the auto-cue hide the script from the camera lens.

Balanced Audio

This is an audio method that reduces interference, any noise picked up along the transmission path is cancelled out. The preferred method for video recordings.


Needs to be carefully thought through before any work starts as this drives the whole production.


These are your best friends on a shoot and as long as they are regularly supplied with coffee and food they will got the extra mile to ensure your production is superb.

Digital Single Lens Reflex Camera (DSLR)

This style of camera, traditionally was for taking still pictures but since 2007 they have been able to shoot video and the current DSLR cameras are well specced for shooting images up to 4K. These cameras are increasingly being used by television production companies for several reasons.

  • The quality of their lenses and images in low light are very high.
  • They have large sensors that give high quality images
  • They are usually small and lightweight-perfect on location.
  • Used with prime lenses, these cameras give excellent results.

Dark Room

Often needed by the editor who has been working against a deadline to ensure the client gets his finished programme on time, and has achieved it by working through the night.


This is the person in a production team who takes responsibility for the overall shoot, looks after the client and crew and ensures that the production is on time, within budget and is delivering what the client has requested.


The assembling of a programme by combining the sequences shot electronically.


The person who is responsible for assembling often non-sequential shots into a final programme which has also been colour coded and audio balanced. This is done in conjunction with the director.


This is Apple’s Final Cut Pro non linear edit suite.

Focus Track

Essentially a miniature railway line with a camera sitting on a board called a dolly on top of the track that allows the operator to get a smooth moving shot. Often used for music productions.


An editing term that allows the insertion of material to replace existing footage.


Images added at post production stage to help emphasise specifics in the production.


This stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group.An international group functioning under ISO and IEC developing images for continuous-tone still colour.


The common term used by a TV production crew for all the items that are required to make a production. You will be surprised how much it takes to make a simple programme.


A first generation recording. Normally the final completed edit.


A production using several cameras recording a live mixed sequence onto a digital storage drive.


Imagine an 18’ fibre pole with a high definition camera head at one end and and a highly skilled operator at the other end with remote control of the camera head. All of the Polecam sitting on a tripod allowing high and moving shots. A very versatile item of equipment that adds significantly to almost any production.

Pre Production

This is the time in a programmes life where all the planning takes place so that costs are kept to the bare minimum and time and effort are maximised for the good of the final programme.


After all the planning and preparation,when the script has been written and locations chosen this is the time when cameras roll and the action is recorded.

Post Production

The final phase in the life of a programme.It is this phase that editing decisions are made, colour correction and audio dubs are carried out.


A Portable Production Unit. A compact unit allowing the employment of several cameras to record images live in locations that an Outside Broadcast truck can not go.

Prime Lenses

A lens whose focal length is fixed as opposed to a zoom lens. Normally the optics are very high quality.


Useful to have prior to shooting if detailed information needs to be conveyed by those in front of the camera.


Prepared by an artist during pre-production to show all involved what the cast and cameras are doing at any stage of the production. Shown in a comic strip style.

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