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.
Importing files is the process of uploading individual video files into your editing software in order to cut them up and splice them together on your timeline.
When you have assembled a finished timeline in your editing software and you want to share your video with the world, you will export it.
Exporting is the process of then taking your timeline and exporting it back into a single video file, which will usually be used as the master file that the sound mix and color correction is then added onto.
When all is finished, one last file is exported as the final video file.
A J-Cut is not referring to a jump cut - in actuality, they are two different terms completely. Also sometimes referred to as pre-lapse, a J-Cut is a type of cut where the audio comes before the video.
This could be mid-scene, where two actors are talking and we hear one’s dialogue before we see them, or in the case of pre-lapse audio, between scenes, where we hear dialogue from a new scene before we enter that scene.
The reason this is called a J-Cut is that it creates a J-shape on the editor’s timeline when applied.
A jump cut is a transition that makes the subject appear to jump in time or space. It is usually a sudden cut, oftentimes cut between two points of action from the same continuous take.
Because of the suddenness of a jump cut, they often take the audience out of the scene or at least make the viewer aware of the presence of a camera (as opposed to watching a continuous scene that is edited to eliminate the presence of editing / cutting all together).
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.
Stop motion is a type of animation where you create the illusion of movement through taking a series of still images and then cutting them together.
While that definition technically encompasses all of video and film, stop motion is different in that the subject being recorded can’t actually move on its own - or can’t move in the same way on its own.
Stop motion is best used to animate inanimate objects to make them appear to move. The animation style known as claymation, where clay figures come to life, is created via the stop motion process.
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.