Essential Video Production Terms

Author: VCE Productions. | | Categories: Drone Videography , Video Production , Video Production Company


Every industry has its own language and terms. These words and phrases can be confusing to anyone who is not part of a specific industry’s daily operations, and the video production business is no exception.

To help you understand the terms, acronyms, and phrases regularly used when liaising with video production professionals, VCE Productions has created this handy reference guide. Here you’ll find valuable information allowing you to comprehend and communicate your video production needs effectively.

B-roll: It’s what we call shots to fill in the gaps in your video. If we interview someone, we can keep their face on screen the whole time, but often, that becomes a little boring. So we like to fill in the video with an exciting b-roll. For instance, if the subject talks about growing up on a farm, we would cut to some shots we captured at a farm. Perhaps it was a dairy farm, we would then show images of cows. Changing up the shots keeps the video exciting and moving. 

Magic Hour (or Golden Hour): It is typically the time at the end of the day when the sun is low in the sky and provides a soft, golden look. It’s an excellent time for filming as shadows will be much smoother and the subject more pleasing to the eye. 

Establishing Shot: It often refers to an exterior shot of a building or set to provide context for the story. Perhaps your story revolves around an urban setting, you might consider a shot of a city skyline. A more rural setting might need a quick look at the field. Either way, you give clues to your audience as to where the action or story is taking place. 

Aerial Shot (or Drone Shot): These are video shots or photos captured by a drone or UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) up in the sky. They provide a dynamic perspective that would be very challenging to get otherwise. 

Post-Production: It’s often shorthanded as “post,” and is simply the finishing touches that get added once filming has taken place. It includes video editing, and is when the color grade is applied, and the sound effects/ mix gets put together.

Color Correction: It’s the process of enhancing or improving the video image in post-production using tools such as saturation, color, sharpening, contrast, and exposure. 

C-stand: A general-purpose stand used on film sets to hold lights, flags, reflectors, and scrims.

VO: Is the short form for a voice-over, and it means to implement a voice to narrate the action in a video or film scene. 

Director of Photography: Is also known as the DP and is the film crew member in charge of handling the camera, deciding on the shots, and filming the action. Larger projects have crew members who work directly under the DP and help with the camera set up, batteries, lenses, and focus. But, it’s the director of photography that works closely with the director to capture the shots that best tell the story. 

Dead Cat: It’s a silly name, and it pretty much looks exactly like it sounds. It is a fuzzy cover that goes over a microphone to reduce or deaden the sound of wind or other outdoor audio distortion. 

We hope these terms made you more familiar with the film industry. If you’re looking for a video production professional, reach out to the experts at VCE Productions in Nashville, TN. With many years of experience, we will help you with your video production needs.

We specialize in aerial videography, photography, voice-overs, and podcast production. We also offer studio rentals to our clients.

We serve clients across Chattanooga, Huntsville, Knoxville, Brentwood, Franklin, Columbia, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Hendersonville, Juliet, Lebanon, Clarksville, Dickson, Memphis, Jackson, Bowling Green, Hopkinsville, Cookeville, and the surrounding areas. You can view our full list of services here or  get in touch with us here.