Glossary of Film and Electronic Media Terms
T1 line A high-speed internet connection available from the phone companies.
tail slate A slate used at the end of a scene. (See slate.)
t-stop As opposed to relying on a simple mathematical ratio, an iris setting that designates the actual amount of light going through a lens. T-stops are more accurate than f-stops, which do not take into consideration light losses within the lens.
take A single shot. In single-camera production a specific shot often requires several takes before it meets the approval of the director
talent Individuals who perform in front of a camera.
talent release Model release. A form signed by a person appearing in a videotape which grants legal permission to a production agency to broadcast the segment under specified terms.
talking head Slang for the typical (and not too exciting) head-and-shoulders shot of actors seen on talk shows and newscasts.
tally light The red light on a video camera that indicates the camera is on the air or that videotape is recording.
tape format Any of several tape widths and recording methods, such as Digital Betacam, S-VHS, or D-5, used in video recording systems.
tapeless workstation An audio or video editing console or workstation which typically uses computer disks as a recording medium.
target The light-sensitive front surface of a television camera imaging device. It coincides with the focal plane of the lens.
target audience The intended audience for a production.
TBC (time base corrector) An electronic device that stabilizes the scanning and timing pulses in video. Commonly used to bring technical attributes of the video from small field cameras and recorders up to broadcast quality.
tearing A video scanning aberration where the edges of an object appear rough and jagged. Often associated with chromakey problems.
tease a short, initial, often provocative segment of a production intended to grab and hold attention.
technical continuity problem Any one of several types of unintentional changes in video or audio quality. Examples are unintended changes in color balance or changes in audio levels during the course of consecutive shots.
technical director; TD The individual who operates the control room switcher and is in charge of various technical aspects of a production.
telecine An area of a production facility with equipment for converting film and slides to video.
teleconferencing Videoconferencing. Closed-circuit television productions which link two or more locations and are designed to facilitate discussions and interaction between professionals.
telecourse Course taught by television.
telephoto lens A lens that seemingly brings subject matter closer to the camera. A prime lens with a focal length of more than twice the camera's normal focal length.
teleplay A script for a dramatic video production.
TelePrompTer Originally, a brand name for a camera prompter. A device used by on-air talent that rolls an image of a script across a screen near the camera lens.
television production The process of creating television programming.
tempo mapping Using a computer screen representation of a musical segment, complete with discernible music measures, to create electronic music and effects for a production.
temporal resolution The smallest elements of time that can be perceived in a system. The higher the temporal resolution the clearer the system will reproducing moving objects.
termination The resistance or load that marks the end of coaxial video conductors usually 75 ohms. A lack of termination generally causes video level problems.
test pattern Any number of standardized electronic patterns or camera charts intended to evaluate specific video qualities such as linearity and resolution.
terrestrial interference Electrical noise from earth-based RF that interferes with satellite reception.
test pattern Chart used for measuring camera resolution and performance.
test tone A zero-decibel tone used as a reference standard.
thematic editing See montage editing.
three-dimensional (3-D) animation Building a 3-D computer model of an object on a video screen and thereafter being able to rotate the object in several directions.
three-chip camera A video camera that uses three CCDs, one devoted to each of the primary colors.
threefold set A free-standing, three-section set, hinged in three places.
three-shot A video picture containing three individuals.
Three-two pulldown A technique for converting the 24-picture-per-second motion picture standard into a 30-frame-per-second TV system. Although more than one technique is used, typically, one film is scanned three times by the TV system and following picture is scanned twice.
throw focus Rack focus. Pull focus. Shifting the lens focus from one subject to another within a scene.
TIFF (tagged-image file format) A data format standard associated with one type of computer graphics.
tighten up To zoom in or dolly in on a subject.
tilt A camera move from the pan head involving moving the lens up and down along the camera's vertical y-axis
timber Sound characteristics, including overtones, which differentiate musical instruments.
time code SMPTE/EBU time code. A series of eight numbers identifying the hours, minutes, seconds and frames related to a specific video frame on a tape.
time-base The timing component of a video signal, particularly the horizontal and vertical sync pulses.
time base corrector / TBC Electronic device that corrects the minute timing errors generally associated with VCRs and small video cameras.
time code (SMPTE/EBU time code) A digital electronic signal recorded on a video or audio tape that provides a precise time-based numbering system together with other information. Also called address track. The name designates a standard agreed upon by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers and the European Broadcast Union.
time-code generator An device which supplies an electronic SMPTE/EBU time-code signal to recording equipment.
time compressor Electronic signal processing system allowing a recorded videotape to be replayed somewhat faster or slower than normal without noticeable effects.
time-lapse photography Significantly slowing down the frame rate of motion photography so that events which may take minutes, hours, or even days, can be shown and observed within seconds.
time-motion study Similar to time-lapse photography except that the condensation of time is designed to allow researchers to analyze (generally human) actions over a period of time in an effort to minimize wasted or inefficient movement.
timeline A visual line stretching across a computer screen representing intervals of time on which video clips can be placed during non-linear editing.
timeliness A measures of newsworthiness relating to how recent or new the developments in a story are.
titling The process of creating the opening and closing credits of a production. Sometimes refers to process of creating subtitles for dialogue.
titillation component A measures of newsworthiness relating to the sexual or sensual components of a story.
toe In television the bottom portion of a gray-scale gamma curve representing the reference black and the darker portions of the gray scale.
tonal compression Commonly, a darkening of skin tones associated with either underexposure, or exceeding the optimum contrast ratio of a video system. The inability of a video system to differentiate between different gray scale reflectance values.
tonal merges An undesirable visual blending of different objects in such a way that they cannot be clearly distinguished.
tone generator Electronic circuit which can create an even, standardized reference tone for test and setup purposes.
tongue To move a camera boom to the left or right.
touch-screen system Computer function selection approach where you can use a finger to touch options on a computer screen to initiate actions.
trace capability The ability of some editing systems to retain and display the original time-code references on footage after the codes have been changed during later stages of editing. This capacity can be important in going back to original footage and locating needed segments.
track The path of a reordered signal on a videotape or disc.
trackball A computer input device which acts like a mouse. By rotating the ball you can move an on-screen cursor.
tracking An adjustment to the playback heads of a videotape machine to make them match the phase of recording heads. Sometimes the adjustment is necessary because the tape was recorded on another machine. Tracking problems cause video breakup and aberrations at the top or bottom of the picture.
tracking shot A dolly shot that follows a moving subject or moves with respect to a stationary subject.
trade libel A false or grossly misleading statement which damages a business or product.
trades Publications intended to serve the special interests of specific segments of the television and film community.
transmission standard The broadcast standard used for transmitting signals to the home.
transmitter In television, an electronic device that modulates the audio and video signals onto a carrier wave for broadcast.
transponder A combination transmitter and receiver. Commonly used in satellite transmission and reception.
traveling shot A moving camera shot.
treatment A written outline of a dramatic production, generally covering, among other things, an outline of the story, actors and locations. (See module on Production Outlines and Treatments for a complete discussion.)
treble Sounds representing the higher audio frequencies, generally from about 4,000 Hz up.
triad Three-color phosphor dots or stripes on the faceplate of a tri-color CRT.
triangular lighting Formula lighting. Three-point lighting. The commonly-used triangular arrangement of key, back, and fill lights for lighting a subject.
triax A coax-type video cable with three conductors.
trim control A control on an editor which makes it possible to add or delete a specified number of frames to an edit point.
triple re-entry A video switcher system in which the results of one mix-effects bank can be directed through another, and then the results of that can, in turn, be directed through a third mix-effects bank, thus combining three layers of video effects.
tripod head See pan head.
tripod Three-legged camera mount. Sometimes wheels are attached to facilitate camera movement.
tri-standard A TV or VCR which can work with an NTSC, PAL, or SECAM TV signal.
truck A left or right movement of the camera along with its mount.
true color A graphics system that can display millions of colors.
truth A legal defense against libel or slander. If the truth of a statement can be proven, it cannot be considered slanderous or libelous.
tungsten-halogen light Quartz light. The most-used type of studio and on-location light. They get their name from the tungsten element that is encased within a quartz filled with halogen gas.
turnkey A system or installation that is complete and ready to run without need of further additions or modifications.
TV black The blackest part of a TV picture generally 3 percent reflectance.
TV receiver TV set. Video display device which has the capability of tuning in video channels, demodulating them and reproducing audio and video.
TV white The whitest part of a TV picture generally 60 percent or more reflectance.
tweeter A small speaker designed to reproduce high audio frequencies.
tweak To accurately align electronic equipment.
twisted pair A standard telephone wire.
two-shot A picture showing two individuals.
two-way barn doors Flaps attached by hinges to two sides of a spotlight, intended to mask off and shape the beam.
twofold set A free-standing, two-section set, hinged at the mid-point.
type-B videotape machine An approach to 1-inch videotape recording used in Europe. It uses multiple rotating heads and records each complete video picture in segments.
type-C videotape machine An approach to 1-inch videotape recording used in NTSC counties. A complete television picture is recorded with each helical scan of the tape heads.
© 1996-2004, R. Whittaker