Common Video Terms You Need to Know


Have you decided to create a video for your business? I hope you have! Before you start filming or hire a professional, like myself, you need to have an understanding of the most common video terms used in the production process. This knowledge will help you understand all phases of the process, any tutorials you look up or information you’re given. Keep reading for a list of video terms from New Blue FX.

Common Video Terms

Aspect Ratio – This is the relation of your video’s height in comparison to its width such as 4:3 and 16:9.

Bit Rate – This is the amount of data used per second measured in kilobits per second (kbps).

Compositing – Used in the editing process, this video term combines multiple images together with your video editing software.

Compression – As it sounds, compression compresses the data in a video file to make uploading and downloading processes faster; it gives you more room for storage.

Crop Factor – As New Blue FX states, “Crop factor is a number (typically from 1.3-2.0) that represents the ratio of a sensor’s imaging area to that of a full frame sensor.”

Cut-in – Also known as an insert shot, “cut-in” is a type of shot which shows the object that your subject is in; it is helpful as b-roll.

Frame Rate – The rate that your shutter opens and closes or that your sensor captures video in a one-second period.

J-Cut – This video term is not short for jump cut (see below for its definition). This cut is used when editing footage so the audio from the next shot comes before the video.

Jump Cut – This is an abrupt and jarring change between clips such as the subject moving from one spot to another.

L-Cut – Opposite of a j-cut, this cut has the video’s image change from one shot to another with the audio continuing into the next clip instead of starting before.

Shot list – It is a list of all the shots that you, or the person shooting the video, wants to include as part of the production. You should have this list created before you start filming so you have an idea of the direction and needs of your shoot.

Storyboard – This video term refers to a board with illustrations of all the scenes in your production so you can visualize what the final product will look like.  

A-Roll – This footage is the interview portion of a video, with the subject on screen.

B-Roll – B roll is all the supporting footage that overlays the A-Roll, such as employees working or the office setting. For example, when used in the video, you may still hear the subject speaking from the A-Roll but the video shows the footage you recorded of employees working.

Lower Third - Graphic that shows up in the lower third of the screen with the name of the person onscreen along with their title.

Watermark or Bug - Logo graphic in a corner of the screen used for branding and copyright protection.

Render time - The time it takes to calculate all the layers, graphics and color to produce a final video output.

Export time - the time it takes to compress and convert the project into a file to upload.

Keep these video terms close at hand while you go through the video creation process. Armed with this knowledge, you’re now ready to create a visual masterpiece. Need help? Contact me today!