Editing Terms

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Importing: Taking all of your sources (Video clips, audio clips, picture files etc.) and getting them into the video editing software project. Most editing software does not copy the files to the project file, it merely links them together in the file directory.

Exporting: Taking the finished piece from the timeline/sequence, rendering it and then encoding it to a finished file.




Video clips: The video source files that you're using to cut together.

Footage: Derived from having feet of film, this is almost synonymous with 'video clips'.




Rough cut: A simple assembly of the clips available to get an idea of what the finished piece will be like. It doesn't need to be perfectly neat, it is only a 'draft' copy. It can be accompanied with placeholders, such as music that gives a feel but you're not allowed to broadcast, this must be changed before the final piece.




A-Roll: This is a rough cut that usually has soundbites, voice overs and sometimes music, but not covered by video yet. Helps timing and feel before editor invests time into b-roll.

B-Roll/cutaway: The alternate footage used to cut from the main shots (verb) adding these shots to your timeline.




J and L cuts: In a J-cut, the sound of the next scene precedes the picture, and in an L-cut, the picture changes but the audio continues.




2-pop/2-beep: In a countdown the 2-pop is when the first frame of the "two" is displayed simultaneously with 1 frame of 1K tone. Then the countdown goes to black for the remaining 1 sec and 29 frames (in NTSC non-drop frame) before the program material starts.




Letterboxing: Decreasing the number of used vertical pixel lines by adding black borders above and below the actual footage, thus creating a wider effective aspect ratio.




Submaster/Generics: A final version of your spot of your with graphics/text/legals removed. often submitted with the along master for spots going out for broadcast. Will be used if the spot is ever going to be reused in the future/rebroadcast in a new market with updated legals/offers.




Handles: When sending an when rendering out a project to send to the next stage in the workflow, specifies the ammount of extra frames attached to a clip on either side of the actual footage used in the timeline (this allows for wiggle room if someone decides a shot needs to be extended a few frames and will save you from having to send new footage back to color). Standard length for handles in my experience unless otherwise specified is 48 frames for video (going to finishing or color) and 72 when going to audio mix.




Offline: Editing workflow in which the footage is ingested and transcoded down to a smaller proxy size. This small footage is then used to cut until picture lock.

Online: After picture is locked, the original full size footage is reconnected to the timeline and is used for the mastering process.

This process helps constrain file sizes and allows for faster working in the editing stage. It also appears to be becoming less common as computers become more capable of cutting with full size media.




Finishing: The stage at which all assets of a piece are brought together. Colored Online footage, gfx, and audio mix are all integrated and any final tweaks to the cut, gfx color, or audio are made. Your output from this stage will be your masters/submasters.




Pipeline: A word to throw into discussions about workflow to make everything sound really complicated and intimidating.




SOT - Sound on Tape: A term used for journalism or news-based scripts to indicate a cut away from an interview, usually lasting 5-20 seconds, usually accompanied by some kind of voice over (SOTVO).

VO - Voice Over: Announcer/anchor voice covered by video.

NATVO: Natural sound on tape, followed by a VO.

Natural Sound: Sound that is captured on the scene. Could be the ambient sound of being in a forest, to an explosion, to cars on the road.

MOS: Without sound.




Pull-up: Tightening the interview dialogue, pulling out the "um's", and in general make it sound more natural and coherent.




Cut to clock: Making sure your show hits all the timing marks for the intended network, ie, acts are as long as they are supposed to be, graphics hit in windows when they are allowed to hit, black breaks are the determined length, etc.




Snap-ins: Content provided at the end of a show reel (ie, tape) for international versions of said show to hit their clock. Provided with a timecode insert point on original edit for reversion editors to drop them in.




WOO list: This may be Discovery specific, but it stands for Windows of Opportunity. This list is provided by the network once they have your final timings, and specifies blocks of time where your show must have no graphics in order to allow the network's crazy graphics space to advertise other shows. The WOO list is a slate added to the preroll slates, and it's often the job of the online conform editor to make sure that video space is clear. NB, the network will deliver pixel specs that need to be clear for the WOO list, but even though you obey them, they often bleed over, so unless it's a required subtitle, have nothing on the screen :P




Clean covers: At the end of your show (on tape or timeline, if you're exporting a digital file), you provide clean versions of bits of video covered by graphics.




Frankenbite/Frankenbiting/Franken-Grab/Jenna Jamesoning: The act of cutting up dialogue or interviews to make the person say something they never said. We do this a lot in reality.




Zazz/Sizzle/Pop: Usually added to a rough cut. Often at the suggestion of a producer/client, who has no idea how to go about adding it. The worse the footage, the more likely the editor will hear these terms. Also see, Making Shit Shine.




Hairy Armpit/Blue Boating: An intentionally inserted bad shot, to give the producer something to change, so they don't ask to change the good stuff.




Rendering: The time in which the software will composite the source files into a single file so that it can be played back at the correct framerate. In this time, you should relax, go on Reddit, YouTube and Vimeo.




Pillarboxing/Wings: Filling either side of footage with a narrower display aspect ratio than the presentation aspect ratio.

Letterboxing: Reverse of pillarboxing; filling top and bottom of footage.




BITC - Burned in time code: When the timecode of the edit/master is embedded as a view-able element in the media. usually for screening/review purposed. This is also known as timecode "in a window".




Videoscopes: A set of diagnostic meters that visually relay colour and chroma information to the editor.




Fish Fryer/Degausser: A magnetization device for bulk wiping tape media. Degaussing also applies to removing unwanted magnetic fields in a CRT to decrease distortion.




3:2 pulldown: A method of displaying 24fps media at 30fps (29.97) by repeating fields in a 3:2 pattern.




Action safe: A region of the screen where things are sure to be visible on older CRT televisions.

Title safe: Similar to action safe, but slightly smaller and applies to titling.




Stem: A separate audio output for a specific group of tracks - such as dialog only, or music only.




M+E: A music and effects only audio track commonly used for international delivery where a foreign language dialog track will be added.




Mickey Rooney: Adding a little creep. "Let's Mickey Rooney this shot to add some tension."




Ingest: Digitizing video off tape into an editing suite like Avid or FCP.




Transcode: Converting a digital file to another digital file format. This usually involves audio and video compression.




Standards conversion: Converting between standards like PAL, NTSC, 1080p 25, 1080i 59.94, and 1080p 23.98.




Inverse Telecine: A way to remove 3:2 pulldown in order to return a 29.97 video to its original 23.98 or 24 fps format.




Frame banging: Finding two frames, which when alternated between rapidly look really funny. This is trademarked by me.




Radio edit/Stringout: In reality/doc/corporate video, to assemble a script with just the a-roll/interviews to see if it's working before roughing it out with b-roll, music, etc.




Jump Cut: A cut in which two sequential shots of the same subject are taken from camera positions that vary only slightly.

Match Cut: A cut in which action matched from one camera angle to the next.

Smash Cut: A technique where one scene abruptly cuts to another without transition, usually meant to startle the audience.




Countdown Leader: The leader with descending numbers at the beginning of films. Also called an Academy Leader and SMPTE Universal Leader.




Aspect Ratio: The film/video frame's width-to-height relationship (e.g.: 16:9 or 4:3).




Stolen from Reddit