This video glossary covers the terminology and defines the meaning of common video terms related to cameras, codecs, lighting, film set lingo, post-production workflows, and everything else you ever wanted to know about film and video production.
In video editing, a fade is a transition from one image to another. You can fade to black, fade to white, or even dissolve to another scene. Usually fades are referred to as either fading in from black or fading out to black, and are one of the more common transitions, though they are used best sparingly. And never use a fade in the middle of the same scene - that is just weird looking!
Focal length refers to the distance from an object in focus in relation to how lenses capture distance, which is why we refer to the focal length of lenses to determine how wide or long they are. For instance, a lens with a longer focal length can make objects that are farther away seem closer up, while lenses with shorter focal lengths can make objects that are closer seem fuller in the frame, which is why a lens with a shorter focal length is referred to as a wide-angle lens.
The term foley refers to the art of creating original sound effects for a film or video project. Sound designers will either use sound libraries to mix together previously recorded sound effects into a video, or they will create the sounds on a foley stage. People who specialize in creating foley sounds are typically referred to as foley artists.
A Follow Focus is a control mechanism that allows you to easily make changes on the focus ring of your camera lens.
Framerate refers to how many frames per second your camera can record. The more frames per second a camera capture, the more frames you have to play with when you edit. So for example, if you were trying to film a scene in slow motion, you would shoot with a higher framerate. Then, when you want to slow down the footage, you play it back at a lower framerate, like the standard framerate of 24 frames per second, and the same scene will play out slower.
You know cameras have lenses, but did you know lights can have lenses too? That’s what a fresnel is - it’s a lens that goes in front of lights, usually tungsten lights, that can focus light to be wider or more narrow depending on your need. You can operate a fresnel to create a wider spread of light or to hone it in and focus the light to a single point, like a spotlight.
Grant Harvey is a freelance writer, screenwriter, and filmmaker based out of Los Angeles. When he’s not working on his own feature-length screenplays and television pilots, Grant uses his passion and experience in film and videography to help others learn the tools, strategies, and equipment needed to create high-quality videos as a filmmaker of any skill level.
About the author:
Jan Sørup is a videographer and photographer from Denmark. He’s the owner of filmdaft.com and of the Danish company Apertura, which produces video content for big companies in Denmark and Scandinavia. Jan has a background in music, has drawn webcomics, and is a former lecturer at the University of Copenhagen.