Listed below are a number of common terms that you may encounter while using this website or in your dealings with the Film Unit. If you have a query related to a term not covered below please contact the Account Management Team.


8mm Video

A cassette format mainly used by amateur camcorder users.



Adobe Audition

A digital audio editor from Adobe, allowing for real-time editing and multi-track support.


Adobe Premier Pro

A video editing software application, allows the editor to apply a range of effects to the video and edit in real time.


ADR recordings

Automated Dialog Replacement – the process of re-recording and then dubbing the lines by the actor who originally spoke them.



Beta SP

Betacam cassette format, launched in 1986 with a higher resolution than the original.



A family of professional videotape products developed by Sony in 1982.



Broadcasting is the transmission of audio or video signals to an audience.



CSO screen

Colour separation overlay screen – used as the backdrop when another image is placed on top of it, also known as green screen or blue screen.



A retractable curtain hung around a studio.




Digital Betacam was launched in 1993, is has been a popular cassette format for broadcast use.



This is a term that covers all aspects of sound post-production, including laying down the tracklay as a Premix, Spots or Foley, music, dialogue or Voice Over.


Dubbing mix

Mixing down of the individual sound tracks into a final mix version for broadcast or delivery.



A tape format used for recording digital video, created by Sony for professional uses. DVCam tape gives accurate audio reproduction and frame accurate insert tape edit.



A format of tape created by Panasonic specifically for recording digital video for broadcasting work.




Flash is a multimedia platform, developed and distributed by Adobe Systems since December 2005, it was previously owned by Macromedia. Flash is a popular way of adding animation to web pages and can be used to create interactive CDs, DVDs and presentations.


Foley recordings

The Foley artist is the person who creates many of the sound effects that are recorded and then dubbed onto a film eg, the sound of horses’ hooves galloping using coconut shells.



Hard lights

Hard light casts a sharp, clearly defined shadow, hard light will accentuate the textures and details in an object.



HDV is a high-definition video recording format which uses MPEG2 compression to fit high-definition content onto DV or MiniDV tapes.


High Definition (HD)

An HD display has greater resolution than standard television systems, resulting in a much clearer picture. HD content has a range of resolutions and is broadcast digitally.




An ISDN line allows for the transmission of digital signals without them being converted into analogue, this leads to better quality for the end-user.



Location filming

A term used to describe the filming on a real site (as opposed to a studio environment).




A form of audio post-production, mastering is the art of preparing audio material to a certain standard of quality and then transferring it to a storage device (such as a CD), which then becomes the ‘master’.


Mini DV

A physically small tape format used for recording digital video.


Mixing (audio)

The technique of balancing the volume, frequency and dynamic content of a variety of sound sources.



Short for Moving Picture Experts Group, and pronounced m-peg, the term refers to a family of video compression file formats developed by the group.


Multi-format area

The multi-format area is a room in the Media Centre where we can convert audio and video into a range of formats.



The term multimedia is used in contrast to traditional ‘media’. Multimedia can involve a combination of text, audio, video, animations and interactivity eg, on interactive CD-ROMs.




A podcast is a digital media file or collection of files that is distributed over the internet. The files can then be played back on a computer or personal player (eg, an iPod). The method by which podcasts are distributed is often called podcasting.



The general term for all stages of production that occur after the actual recording of audio or video eg, video editing, writing a soundtrack, mastering the audio.



Pre-production is the process of preparing all the elements involved in a production.




QuickTime is a format developed by Apple Inc. capable of handling various formats of video and audio, video and interactive panoramic images.




Recording is the process of capturing a performance and transferring it to a storage format.



Soft lights

Soft light refers to light that tends to 'wrap' around an object, casting shadows with soft edges.


Standard Definition (SD)

An SD display has 704 pixels across each of 480 scanning lines (704 x 480) and that results in a 4:3 aspect ratio screen shape, the image shape in which virtually all TV programmes were shown until the introduction of high-definition television.



Media that is received by the end-user at the same time, or just after, it is delivered is usually referred to as ‘streaming’. The ‘stream’ is the method of delivery rather than the content itself.



An improved version of the VHS cassette, with a 60% improvement in colour detail, introduced in 1987.




This is where you build the 'sound picture' for your film. Using rushes sound as well as atmosphere tracks from external sources, a dubbing editor will lay numerous tracks that enhance the sound of your film. This can be anything from general traffic noise to every sound necessary where there is no location sound available.




A format of video cassette, VHS stands for 'Video Home System'. It was launched in 1976 and became the standard for consumer recording and viewing. VHSC is a reduced size format, commonly used in camcorders.



Short for video podcast, a term used for the online delivery of video content that can be played back on a personal player (eg, an iPod).




A widescreen image is a video image with the 16:9 aspect. This leads to the 'letterbox' format – allowing a wider display onscreen.


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