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Flashcards in Video Editing Terminology Deck (95)
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30 degree rule

A cousin to the 180 degree rule, this rule decries that when recording coverage for a scene from differing camera angles within the film set, the camera
should be moved around the 180 degree arc at least 30 degrees from one shot to the next to create enough variation on the angle-on-action so that the two different shots will edit together and appear different enough in their framing.



The aspect ratio for standard definition television. Four units wide by three units tall — more square in its visual presentation than high definition's 16:9 aspect ratio .


180 degree line

The imaginary line established by the sight lines of talent within a shot that determines where the 180 degree arc of safe shooting is set up for the camera coverage of that scene. The camera should not be moved to the opposite side of this action line because it will cause a reversal in the established screen direction.
See also 180 Degree Rule, Axis of Action, and Sight Line.


180 degree rule

In filmmaking, an imaginary 180 degree arc, or half circle, is established on one side of the shooting set once the camera first records an angle on the action in that space. All subsequent shots must be made from within that same semi-circle. Since screen direction, left and right, for the entire scene is established, the camera may not photograph the subject from the other side of the circle without causing a reversal in the screen direction.



The aspect ratio for high definition video. Sixteen units wide by nine units tall — a widescreen display is generated.


Act (noun)

In long form programming (feature films, episodic television, etc.) the “ story ” is broken down into several major sections known as acts. In fictional narrative
filmmaking, a story will traditionally have three acts loosely termed the set-up, the confrontation, and the resolution



What the director calls out to signify that the acting for the shot being recorded should begin.


Action line

The imaginary line established by talent’s sight line used to dictate from where on the film set the camera may be placed for coverage shooting.


ADR (automatic dialogue replacement)

A process where actors record lines of dialogue in a recording studio. Used to replace poor quality or all together missing production audio. An editor may then use these clean recordings for the actual edit.


Ambience (sound)

The general background sounds of any location where a scene for a film is shot. Examples: school cafeteria, football game arena, subway car.


Angle on action

The angle from which a camera views the action on the film set.


Angle of incidence

The angle from which incident light falls upon a film set. A single lighting fixture directly overhead will have a 90 degree (from horizon) angle of incidence.


Angle of view

The field of view encompassed by the light gathering power of a film lens. A wide angle lens has a wide angle of view. A telephoto lens has a narrower angle of view on the world.



In motion picture equipment terms, the aperture refers to the iris or flexible opening of the camera lens that controls how much or how little light is used to expose
the image inside the camera. A wide aperture or iris setting lets in a larger amount of light. A smaller aperture lets in less light. On many camera lenses, the aperture can also be fully “ stopped down ” or closed all the way for total darkness on the image.


Artificial light

Any light generated by a man-made device such as a film light, a desk lamp, or a neon sign.


Aspect ratio

The numerical relationship between the dimensions of width and height for any given visual recording medium. In the example 16:9, the first number, 16, represents
the units of measure across the width of a high-definition video frame. The second number, 9, represents the same units of measure for the height of the same frame.


Assemble edit

The phase during the post-production process where an editor first assembles the raw footage into a basic story structure.


Assistant editor

A support position within a post-production environment. The duties and responsibilities of an AE change with the complexity of the program edited, the budget, and the facility in which the edit is completed. General tasks include capturing and organizing footage within an editing project, attending to the chief editor’s needs,
authoring proof copies for review and approval, etc.


Atmosphere (sound)

The general background sounds of any location where a scene for a film is shot. Examples: school cafeteria, football game arena, subway car.



Any particulates suspended in the air around a film set or location, such as fog or mist or dust, which will cumulatively obscure the distant background.



The direction in which a character faces within the film space. The attention of a character may be drawn by another character, an inanimate object, or anything
that draws his or her attention. An imaginary line connects the eyes of the character and the object of their attention and, most often, the audience will trace this line to also see what the character sees. See also Sight Lines.


Audio mix

The process of blending together the many different audio tracks used in an edited program such that their levels (volumes) work appropriately together. Spoken
dialogue, voice-over narration, music, sound effects, etc., are all blended so they sound good with one another under the picture track.


Axial edit

Cutting two shots together that view the subject from the exact same angle on action but only change the magnification of the subject. See also Cut-In and


Axis of action

The invisible line established by talent sight lines that helps establish what side of the action the camera can record coverage for that scene. The camera should not be moved to the opposite side of this action line because it will cause a reversal in the established screen direction. See 180 Degree Rule, Sight Line, and
Imaginary Line.



The zone within a filmed frame that shows the deep space farther away from camera. Most often the background is out of focus, but serves to generate the
ambience of the location.


Back light

A light used on a film set placed behind the talent but pointed at their backside. It generally serves to help separate the body from the background by providing
a rim or halo of light around the edges of the body, head, and hair.


Back timing

Laying in audio from a known and desired end point with an uncertain start point in your program.



A moment in time. A pause of no precise timing but appropriate for the needs of the edited piece. When strung together, several beats can account for the editor’s gut instinct in proper timing of shots, titles, transition effects, and so on.


Binocular vision (human visual system)

Having two eyes located at the front of the head. The slight distance between the two eyes causes the human to see nearby objects from two distinct vantage points. The brain then combines the two distinct images into
one picture where the overlapping elements take on a three-dimensional aspect.



The movement of talent within the film space and the corresponding movement, if any, of the camera to follow the actions of the moving talent.