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From A to Z: glossary for stringers

Here’re some common terms that we use in video production.

A
A-roll
— the primary footage for non-narrative or interview based film, and usually refers to talking heads or footage that directly relates to the moment.
Ace — an on-call reporter.
Aerial filming — filming from the sky using drones or helicopters, to get dramatic high, low and sweeping angles.

B
Backgrounder — A story used to provide history and context to a current news story.
B-Roll — is the secondary footage shot outside of the primary (or A-roll) footage. It is often spliced together with the main footage to bolster the story, create dramatic tension, or further illustrate a point.
Boom microphone — a long, highly directional microphones. They are normally attached to boom poles to capture dialogue in a scene. They also can be mounted directly on cameras to capture long distance sound.

С
Citizen Journalism
— reporting which takes place outside of what is usually considered mainstream media, predominantly carried out by members of the public without formal training. Can include the work of bloggers and social media platforms.
Close shot (Close up) — is a shot composition where the frame is filled almost entirely with the subject’s face.
Closed-Ended Question — a direct question intended to elicit a yes-or-no answer as opposed to an open-ended question intended to encourage a lengthy answer.
Copyright — the exclusive right to the publication, production, or sale of the rights to a literary, dramatic, musical, or artistic work, or to the use of a commercial print or label, granted by law for a specified period of time to an author, composer, artist, distributor, etc.
Cutaway — A shot of something other than the main action of an action sequence. In an interview, the cutaway is usually a shot of the reporter listening as the source talks. Necessary to maintain continuity and avoid jump cuts.

D
Deadline
— the latest time or date by which the task should be completed.

E
Editing
— is the process of manipulating video by rearranging different shots and scenes in order to create a whole new output.

F
Feature
— A non-breaking news story on people, trends, or issues. A feature story isn’t necessarily related to a current event.
Freelancer — someone that works alone, usually on a contract-to-contract basis.
Fixer — a person who assists foreign journalists in volatile countries, they often provide interpretation, personal connections, and transportation as a service.

G
Grip
— a general assistant in a stage, broadcast, or film production. Originally, the person had to have a firm grip to carry or push equipment

H
H.264
— Also known as MPEG-4 AVC (Advanced Video Coding) it is now one of the most commonly used recording formats for high definition video. It offers significantly greater compression than previous formats.
Handheld — Handheld is when the camera operator is using the camera in his own hands, instead of on a tripod or a gimbal.
Hot Roll — When a crew in the field doesn’t have enough time to feed back footage to the newsroom, so they must roll it live from the truck during the broadcast.
Human Interest — A news story focusing on a personality or individual’s story with wide appeal to a general audience.

I
In-point
— the beginning, or first frame, of a video edit.
Intercutting — a rapid series of shots, generally of the same scene, taken from different angles. A shot, called an intercut, of part of the scene may be inserted between two shots of the entire scene.
Interview — a formal, usually structured conversation between a journalist/stringer and a source to get information for a story. *Usually, during the interview filming the interviewer (aka stringer) stands behind the camera.

J
Jump cut
— a transition in a film or TV program that breaks continuous time by skipping forward from one part of an action to another, obviously separated from the first by a space of time. Also, a transition in which an object moves (jumps) from one place to another.

K
Key points
— important facts or pieces of information which must be included in a news story. Some will go in the intro, others into the body of the story.
Kill fee — a reduced fee paid to a freelance journalist for a story that is not used.

L
Lavalier mic (Lav Mic)
, also known as a lapel mic, clip mic, collar mic, neck mic or personal mic — a small microphone that is hung around the neck or clipped to the clothing of the user.
Leading Questions — questions intended to steer an interviewee in a particular direction.
Live — put on the air in real time, not pre-recorded or pre-produced.

M
Martini media
— media that is available “any time, any place, any where”.
Mid-Shot — a camera framing, half-way between a wide-shot and a close-up. A mid-shot of a person will show them from about the waist or chest up.
Monopod — similar to a tripod, but with only one ‘foot.’ It provides support but also mobility, and is handy in situations where bringing a tripod would be too cumbersome.

N
NIB (News In Brief
) — a quick summary of a story.
Natural sound (or nat sound) — Animal noises, weather conditions, and other actual sounds recorded for broadcast or other use, as contrasted with artificial sound or sound effects.

O
Open-Ended Question
— a question phrased in a way that encourages a source to give a lengthy, in-depth answer — as opposed to a closed-ended question designed to elicit a yes/no answer.
Overlay — an overlay in a video can refer to any graphics, titles, or other layers above the video.

P
Panning
— swivelling a still or video camera horizontally from a fixed position.
POV (Point Of View) shot — a shooting technique that shows the perspective of a scene literally from a character or object’s position in the setting.
Producer/Editor — plans and supervises newscast. Can also work with reporters in the field planning and gathering information for stories.

R
Render
— similar to export. When a motion graphics project is exported, the file is known as a render. Some editing software requires a ‘render’ (without export) for smooth playback. You’ll hear us referring to renders and rendering a lot.
Raw Video — unedited footage, just as it was shot.
Rough cut — the first version of the unfinished video. Often includes a sample voiceover and music, placeholder graphics, and indicative of the direction of travel. Should resemble the agreed approach.

S
Stringer
— a part-time or freelance correspondent for the news media.
Showreel — a short video to showcase a person’s or agencies work.
Standup — a reporter speaking to camera, not covered by video.
Steadicam — a balanced camera rig that lets the Camera Operator capture smooth tracking shots without any of the shake and wobble that comes with handheld filming.
Stream/Live Stream — a video that is not recorded, but broadcast directly to the viewing platform.
Storyboard — a series of still images to help you imagine what the film will look like.
Subtitles — on-screen text of what a person in a video is saying, usually for hearing-impaired audiences or translations.
Sync (Synchronization) refers to the sound lining up properly with the image.

T
Tripod
— a three-legged stand for supporting a camera or other apparatus.
Tilting — a cinematographic technique in which the camera stays in a fixed position but rotates up/down in a vertical plane.
Timelapse — a technique where each frame in a video is captured at a much slower rate than normal. When played back at normal speed, time appears to go by faster. This can also be achieved by fast forwarding or increasing the speed of your video in an editing program.

U
UGC (User Generated Content)
— the term used to describe any form of content such as video, blogs, digital images, audio files, and other forms of media that was created by consumers or end-users of an online system or service and is publically available to others consumers and end-users.

V
Video Journalist or VJ
— a reporter who shoots his or her own video and may even edit it. Also referred to as a “Multimedia Journalist.”
VO or Voiceover — “voiceover” followed by “sound on tape.” A news script, usually read live, that includes video, track, and at least one sound bite.

W
Watermark
— a semi-transparent graphic, usually the station’s logo, placed in one corner of the broadcast feed.
Wide shot — a video or film recording made with the camera positioned to observe the most action in the performance.

Z
Zoom
— To enlarge or reduce, on a continuously variable basis, the size of a televised image primarily by varying lens focal length.
Know a term that we should add, don’t hesitate to leave the comment below.

Sources:

The Ultimate List Of Broadcast Journalism Terms, New York Film Academy;
The Ultimate Glossary Of Video Production Terms, Nemorin Film & Video;
Glossary of common video terms, Vimeo

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