Glossary of Film and Electronic Media Terms
f-stop Lens aperture. The number attained by dividing the focal length of a lens by its aperture. Indicates the amount of light passing through the lens and, subsequently, exposure.
F/X Special audio or video effects.
fade in Increasing an audio or video from no signal to maximum signal. Often follows a fade out to indicate major divisions within a production.
fade out Decreasing an audio or video from maximum signal to zero. Often indicates the end of a segment.
fader A volume control or potentiometer used to control the amplitude of an electrical signal.
fader bars A pair of levers on the switcher that allow for gradual changes video levels. They can be used to produce superimpositions, dissolves, fades, keys, or wipes at different speeds.
false light Distorting the truth of a situation through such things as wrongful association, or unduly emphasizing negative attributes.
fantasy set Television setting which is abstract or bears only limited resemblance to a realistic setting.
fast lens A lens that transmits a great amount of light. Can be used in low lighting conditions.
FAX sheet Facilities request form. A form listing all technical facilities needed for a production.
FCC (Federal Communications Commission) The primary federal governing body over broadcast television. Sets technical standards for audio and video quality.
feed Signal transmission from a specific source. Examples would be a network feed and a remote feed.
feedback Sound regeneration caused by a microphone picking up the output from its own speakers. Commonly results in a ringing sound or a high-pitched squeal.
feeders Microwave trucks that relay ENG or EFP signals from the field back to the station.
fiber optics Optical fiber. A flexible, hair-like, glass or plastic conduit for light waves. The light waves can be modulated by a television signal and sent great distances without experiencing many of the disadvantages of other point-to-point links.
field One-half of a complete television picture or frame. One complete vertical scan of a video image. See field frequency.
field frequency The number of fields per second. NTSC field frequency is 60-per second PAL frequency is 50 per second.
figure-eight response See bidirectional.
file A categorical collection of information stored on the computer disk.
file extension Computer name suffix. Last part of a computer file name that comes after the dot; typically .exe, jpg, bmp, etc.
fill light A soft light used to partially fill in the shadows caused by the key light. Typically, one-half the intensity of the key light.
fill pattern Solid color or design provided used to fill in, or give texture and pattern to, elements of a chart or a drawing.
film chain A cluster of film and slide projectors directed into a single TV camera by a multiplexer. Film projector system camera, cables, monitor, controls and power supply. Used to transfer films and slides to video.
film-style video production Single camera video production. Video shot out of sequence with one camera and then assembled into a complete show in postproduction. Typically, multiple takes are made of each scene. This contrasts with switch-feed video productions where multiple cameras are used and the production is edited on a video switcher as it is shot. filter A plastic or glass material placed over or behind a camera lens to alter the light in some way. Primarily used to change color temperature. Also, a device that allows certain parts of an electronic signal to pass while stopping others.
filter A transparent glass or gelatin lens attachment designed to modify color or in some way or to modify the image. Electronic filters are used in non-linear editing systems to modify the video in numerous ways.
filter frame Holder used on the front of a light or a camera which holds colored gels, filters, diffusers, etc.
filter wheel A holder containing multiple filters that can be rotated into place behind the camera lens.
final cut / fine cut An editor's last version of an edited piece.
Firewire IEEE P1394 Connecton standard for transmitting compressed video and computer data from one device to another.
first generation Either the first print from a film original or a magnetic tape original. (There is occasional disagreement on whether the original or the first copy constitutes the first generation.)
fish eyes lens An extreme wide-angle lens.
fishpole A hand-held microphone suspension pole or device.
fixed focal length lens A prime lens. A lens of a set focal length. Sometimes preferred in film and HDTV work.
fixed focus lens Lens which cannot change focus from near to far.
flag An opaque piece of material placed in front of a light used to block a portion of the beam.
flare Light reflections from shiny objects, or a bright spot or streak caused by internal lens reflections.
flash EPROMs A non-volitle computer memory chip that can retain information after power is shut off.
flat A piece of standing scenery.
flat lighting Soft, even lighting that produces minimal shadows and minimizes the depth or dimension in subject matter.
flat response The ability of a microphone or piece of audio gear to reproduce sound equally well over the entire frequency range.
flip stand Device holding camera cards that can be flipped so rapidly that the change is not apparent.
floor manager Person in charge of the studio during production.
floor plan A pre-production drawing, generally to scale, that indicates all set pieces, walls, and often lights and camera positions.
florescent light filter Color correction filters that attempt to give natural color renditions under fluorescent lighting.
fluid head The pan head of choice for EFP cameras because its internal parts move through a heavy liquid, making very smooth pans and tilts possible.
flutter Undesirable, rapid change in frequency of an audio or video signal due to variations in tape or disc speed.
flyaway units A portable satellite up-link commonly used in electronic newsgathering.
flying erase head A moving video erase head, mounted just ahead of the video record head in a video recorder that erases previously recorded video. As opposed to stationary erase heads, they make possible stable insert edits.
FM (frequency modulation) As opposed to AM (amplitude modulation) the form of RF modulation used for television sound transmission. Also used in satellite video transmission and for videotape recording.
focal length The distance from the optical center of the lens to the focal plane when a lens is focused at infinity.
focal plane The point behind and perpendicular to a camera lens where a sharp image will appear. This is the target point of a camera CCD where the image is formed.
fog filter An optical filter that fits over a camera lens and creates the illusion of fog.
foldback speaker PA-type speaker intended to be heard only by talent. Often used in music concerts so performers can hear accompaniment from surrounding instruments.
follow focus Shifting camera focus to accommodate subject movement.
follow shot A moving camera shot which keeps a moving subject within the frame.
follow spot A large, high-powered, stand-mounted spotlight. Typically operated by hand and used to follow a action on a stage.
following source The use of lights in a lighting design that are consistent with the apparent sources of light within the room or setting. If a table lamp in a scene is visible and supposedly turned on, subjects near the lamp should be keyed so that the lamp appears to be supplying their illumination.
font Particular set of letters and symbols of one size and typeface.
foot-candle The measure of light intensity used in non-metric countries. The number of lumens per square foot. One foot-candle is equal to 10.76391 lux.
footprint The ground reception area covered by a satellite. Technically, the ground area that is able to receive a satellite signal of a predetermined strength.
format In videotape, the size of the tape, the way it is spooled or housed and the way in which the video and audio information is recorded on the tape. Betacam, M"-2", S-VHS and Hi8 are popular tape formats.
foundation A make-up base over which additional make-up is applied.
four-way barn doors Flaps attached by hinges to the four sides of a spotlight, intended to mask off and shape the beam.
frame A complete TV picture of (in NTSC) 525 horizontal lines. In the NTSC system frames are composed of two scanned fields of 262.5 lines each.
frame accurate Edit or editing device that is accurate to one video frame.
frame animation Animation procedure in which images are drawn, frame-by-frame and then recorded one-by-one on frames of film or video.
frame grabber A computer expansion board that has the ability to digitize and store a single video frame.
frame rate The speed at which the video frames are scanned 30 per second in NTSC video.
frame store See electronic device that electronically captures and stores complete video pictures.
framestore synchronizer Device which can hold a complete video frame in electronic memory. Commonly used to synchronize signals from two or more video sources.
franchise Contract between cable company and a community specifying a specific level of service in return for a contract for a specific period of time.
freeze frame A still image captured from action on a videotape or film.
frequency The number of times a sound or signal vibrates each second expressed in cycles per second or hertz.
frequency interleaving The process by which color and brightness signals are combined into one NTSC signal.
frequency modulated / FM A video and/or audio signal that changes in frequency to reflect changes in the original signal. The product is superimposed on a high frequency carrier for transmission.
frequency response The sound range from high to low (in Hz) which a piece of equipment can effectively reproduce.
frequency Sound wave repetition rate in Hz or cycles per second. In electronics, the number of times a signal changes from positive to negative (or vice versa) per second.
Fresnel spotlight A spotlights with steplike concentric rings commonly used as a key light. Named after the inventor of its lens.
friction head Camera mounting head that locks its movement through the action of adjustable friction between moving parts. Sometimes counterbalanced by a strong spring.
front-screen projection As opposed to rear screen projection, an image projected on the camera side of a light-reflecting screen.
full focus lens An auto-focus lens which can continually (and often automatically) focus from infinity to the macro (extreme close-up) mode.
full value visual Television visual which contains a full range of tones from black to white.
full-motion video Video sequences that consist of enough images (generally, 30 frames per second) to result in smooth motion.
full-track An audio tape recorder, or recording, that uses the full width of the tape for making recordings.
fully scripted show A script for a production in which all dialogue is fully written out.
fuzzy logic Computer-based circuitry that is able to use successive approximation to arrive at a result when no clear-cut answer is otherwise attainable.
FX Special effects.
© 1996-2004, R. Whittaker