Technical Terms
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Technical Terms

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Technical Terms

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Technical Terms

Camcorder: An appliance intended solely for capturing sound and motion pictures (Camera), and stores them on tape, disc, or other media (recorder).

Digital intermediate (DI): Original camera film that is converted into ultra-high-definition video for use in postproduction.

Digital: To record images and sounds as numerical data, either directly in a camera or during the process of importing them to a computer.


Technical Terms

Film: An audiovisual medium that records images on transparent plastic strips by means of photosensitive chemicals.

Grip: Production staff member who practices many of the technical crafts associated with program production.

Live: A program that is recorded and, sometimes, transmitted for display continuously, in real-time


Shoot: To record film or video. Also, "a shoot" is an informal term for the production phase of a film or video project.


Technical Terms

Television: Studio-based, multi-camera video that is often produced and transmitted "live."

Video: An audiovisual medium that records on a magnetic tape or digital storage media by electronic means. Also, single-camera program creation in the manner of film production, rather than studio television.

Visual literacy: The ability to evaluate the content of visual media through an understanding of the way in which it is recorded and presented.


About Video

Chapter 1



Compare the advantages and drawbacks of both film and video media

Recognize the impact of video communication

Understand the nature of the video world

Summarize the tasks and responsibilities involved in each of the three major phases of video production


How Video Developed

Before video, there were only film and television.

Film was used to create most programs.

Television was used to broadcast live programs.

Digital recording improved quality.

Electronic production technology has evolved into video.


Advantages of Film

Relatively portable equipment

Highly refined ability to reproduce quality images

Potential for sophisticated editing

Availability of permanent archival


Drawbacks of Television

Heavy, complex, and immovable equipment

Lower image quality

Limited ability to render shades of gray

Inefficiency of recording for later editing


Improvements to Television

Miniaturized hardware

Development of camcorder

Improved picture sharpness

Improved gray scale range

Development of high-quality color

TV signal can now be electronically copied and edited


Video Versus Film

Film has several advantages over video.

Video has several advantages over film.

The weaknesses of each are becoming less important.

Film and video are growing closer together.


Weaknesses of Video

Video is not as sharp or clear as film

Color looks subtly different from film

Most cameras are not capable of highly selective focus techniques

Long-term storage is expensive

Archival storage has not yet been achieved

Video is less flexible in sound editing


Weaknesses of Film

Film is more expensive to shoot and process

Film is less tolerant of different light levels

Sound recording is more cumbersome

Color balancing is time-consuming and expensive

Titles and effects could not be edited in real time

Editing requires negative cutting


Hybrid Forms

Visual hybrids of film and video are being created

Many productions intended for theaters and broadcast are now shot digitally


The Digital Intermediate (DI)

Film recordings are usually transferred to video before editing

The DI produced has as high of a quality as the original

This eliminates most drawbacks of film postproduction

After postproduction, programs are scanned back onto film


Digital Postproduction


Improvements in Sound Editing

Computerized editing software can handle almost limitless number of audio channels

Multilayer video sound tracks are now the rule


Converging Job Skills

Skills needed for film and television once differed greatly

Today, the two media share many procedures

Many people work with both forms

Film and TV communicate using the same “language”


Types of Video Production



Feature films

TV programs

Personal documentaries

Computer games

Specialized cinematography


Distribution Channels

Broadcast TV

Cable TV

Satellite TV




Jobs in Video

Story creation

Graphic design

Equipment operation

Audio and video engineering



The Nature of Video

Laws in the actual world do not hold true in the video world

Law of space

Law of time

Law of gravity

Special effects are used to fool viewers


Video World

Laws of the video world can fool the viewer

One side of a door is at a location.

The other side is on a set.


The Language of Video Expression

Video communication uses a visual language:

An image is like a word

A shot is like a sentence

A scene is like a paragraph

A sequence is like a chapter

Video has a form of grammar

Video has its own rhetoric

Visual literacy


The Construction of Video Programs

Video communication is like written communication

Organizing and developing a coherent story is important

Effective programs require the following:

Logical organization

Clear presentation

Energetic pacing


Phases of Video Production






Includes everything done before shooting:


Scouting locations

Gathering cast and crew

Planning production requirements

Often longer and more complicated than production



Covers the actual shooting of the material

Several people share the responsibility for the “look” of the program:



Production Designer


Production Assistants

Production management staff


Sound recordists

Key grips



Just as important as production

Involves editing raw material:

Selecting shots to be included

Assembling shots in order

Adding music and sound effects to audio

Creating titles and visual effects



This introductory chapter has provided a very brief overview of video communication and production. The rest of the book and power points are devoted to the details of the world of video. production.


If it can be written, or thought, it can be filmed.

Stanley Kubrick

Perhaps it sounds ridiculous, but the best thing that young filmmakers should do is to get hold of a camera and some film and make a movie of any kind at all.

Stanley Kubrick