Glossary of Film and Electronic Media Terms

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gaffer grip A clamp used to attach small lighting instruments to scenery, furniture, doors, and other set pieces.

gaffer The chief electrician responsible for lighting.

gain Audio or video amplification. The strength of an audio or video signal.

gain control A volume-controlling device manipulated by either a sliding fader or a rotating knob.

gamma correction A CCU control which can alter the progression of the black-to-white tonal range. Often used to open up shadow areas in a low-key picture or to hold picture detail in bright video areas.

gamma The contrast ratio between the input and output of the camera. The contrast gradient.

gated mics Mics commonly used in teleconferencing and designed to pick up a predominant sound source (generally, a speaker) while minimizing the input (and ambient noise) from all other mics.

GB (gigabyte) A computer term for one billion units of data. More accurately, 1,073,741,824 bytes.

gear head A camera pan head in which gears are used to achieve smooth, controlled pans and tilts. Primarily used in motion picture and single-camera HDTV work.

gel gelatin A piece of optically pure colored, translucent material used over a light source or to filter the light coming into a camera lens.

generated graphics Graphic material that is generated and/or manipulated by a computer.

generation Referring to the number of times a tape is copied. A copy of a copy is a second generation tape a copy of that copy becomes the third generation, etc. (See also first generation.)

genlock A device or procedure used to synchronize multiple video sources.

geometric distortion The warping or alteration of the true proportions of an image--often just in specific areas.

geosynchronous satellite A satellite that orbits at the same speed as the earth and, therefore, stays in the same place in the sky.

ghosting The momentarily overlapping or superimposition of video images generally associated with standards conversion.

GHz; Gigahertz One billion cycles per second.

GIF Graphics Interchange Format. Along with the jpg format, a widely-used method of compressing photo and illustration data for Internet use.  The CyberCollege/InernetCampus graphic at the beginning of this page is in the gif format.  

gigabyte; Gb One billion bytes of digital data.

giraffe A medium-sized microphone boom that extends about 15 feet and is mounted on a rolling tripod base.

glitch Any brief electrical disturbance in a picture.

gobo In video a scenic piece through which the camera shoots and which will become a part of the scene's foreground. For example, by shooting thorough a gobo of a keyhole-shaped piece of black cardboard, the impression is given that the camera is peering through a keyhole.

graduated filter Lens filter that changes its effect from one part of the image to another.

graininess Video noise. An image corrupted by minute, moving particles.

graphic equalizer A series of adjustable frequency filters designed to

graphics tablet Flat computer interface allowing an electronic pen to act like a mouse to control on-screen activities. Unlike a mouse, the electronic pen is pressure sensitive allowing you to vary the amplitude of feedback.

graphics All two-dimensional visuals prepared for a television camera, such as title cards, charts, and graphs.

gray card A medium gray card that reflects 17.5 percent of the light falling on it. Used as a standard for medium or average reflectance.

gray scale compression A distortion of successive shades of gray when subject matter is reproduced by video. Typically the brightness values at the darker end of the scale are pushed together so that they merge. This results in most tones, especially skin tones, appearing much darker than they should be.

gray scale A card or test chart containing a range of gray patches from white to black used in setting up gamma or the gray scale response of cameras.

grid A criss-cross arrangement of pipes near the ceiling of a studio used primarily to hang lights.

grip An on-location person who helps carry and set-up equipment.

ground row Row of lights at the bottom of a cyc (generally hidden from cameras) which provide even illumination across the front surface of the cyc.

guardband Safety area separating two different segments of a broadcast signal.

GUI  Graphical User Interface. Often pronounced Goo-ey. Software that presents computer files, programs and menus, etc. as on-screen pictures or icons which can be activated with a mouse.

gyro head A tripod mount containing a gyroscope mechanism designed to minimize camera movement.

gyrozoom Gyro stabilized zoom lens used to smooth out or eliminate unwanted camera movement.

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