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.
L-Cuts are the reverse of J-Cuts. Instead of the audio coming before the video from one take to another, in the case of an L-Cut, the audio from one take is carried over to the video from another take.
This could be due to a character’s line lingering as we change scenes, or due to the editor’s choice to cut away from a character before they finish talking.
Once again, the name is derived from the shape this type of cut creates on an editor’s timeline.
Latitude is a term that related to your camera’s dynamic range. When editing the exposure of your image digitally, the amount of latitude the image has relates to how much room you have to tweak it. What it’s really referring to is how much dynamic range was present in the camera when you captured the image - or how much detail there is for you to change. So for example, an image captured with a higher dynamic range camera will have greater latitude when editing it later.
One note: the higher the ISO, the more your camera will pick up the grain on your image referred to as noise, and lose image quality, making your footage look grainy and, in the case of daytime shooting, very washed out. That’s why you want to keep to a lower ISO number known as the native ISO which is what your camera developer has deemed as the best ISO for your camera.
Lavalier mics, also abbreviated as lav mics, are single direction mics that are attached to an actor’s body in order to pick up their dialogue. They are usually clipped on their clothing or taped directly to their body, and are attached to a battery pack on the back, which also has a receiver in them so the sound mixer can hear and mix the lav mic channels.
LED lights, short for Light Emitting Diode lights, are tiny electronic devices (semiconductors) that emit lights as electricity passes through them.
LED lights have grown in popularity as they are highly efficient sources of light, requiring less power and producing less heat than traditional tungsten or HMI light sources. They also change color depending on the amount of energy used, with white light requiring the most energy (and multiple semiconductors per LED) to produce.
Low key lighting is essentially the opposite of high key lighting, where the goal is to create harsher light that creates more contrast and more shadows. In contrast to high key lighting which uses multiple lights to reduce shadows, low key lighting uses a single source of light to create more shadows, creating a more dramatic look.
For more on low key lighting, have a look at our great article How To Use Low-Key Lighting For Dramatic Effect.
Referring to the rule of thirds here, the lower third refers to the bottom third of your frame, usually in the context of adding a subtitle or ticker-tape style heading used by broadcast news organizations. This would be the title below an interview that labels the person’s name along with a brief headling about whatever it is they are talking about.
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 owns filmdaft.com and 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.