Glossary of Film and Electronic Media Terms
L-cut An intentional videotape edit where and audio comes before the associated video or the video comes before its corresponding audio. Also called split edit.
lag A comet-like trail that follows a moving image, primarily associated with vidicon camera tubes at low light levels.
lap dissolve Fading one video or audio source out while simultaneously fading up on (going to) another source. Midway through a lap dissolve both signals will be present in equal proportions.
lapel microphone A personal microphone attached to a lapel.
laser disc The reflective optical videodisc system used to record and play back audio and video.
laser printer A fast, computer printer capable of producing high-resolution images.
lavaliere, lav mic A small, personal microphone clipped to clothing or suspended from a cord around the neck.
layering Adding video effect sequences over existing video effect footage to create more complex effects.
LCD (liquid crystal display) A technology used in flat panel displays to show alphanumeric data.
lead-in The announcer's introduction to an ENG/EFP segment.
leader numbers Visible numbers which appear on countdown leader used to cue up a videotape. Normally, numbers from ten to three flash at one-second intervals. The numbers are generally accompanied by short audio beeps.
leading blacks A term used to describe a technical picture aberration in which the edge preceding a black object appears white.
leading lines In composition the use of either visible or implied lines within a scene to direct the eye to a specific location, generally to the scene's center of interest.
lecture format An approach to doing a production or program segment which features an individual communicating information directly to a camera--in somewhat the same manner as a teacher addresses a class.
LED (light emitting diode) A light-emitting pixel point used in instrument read-outs and some flat television screens.
lens aperture See f-stop.
lens coating See coated lens.
lens extender An optical lens unit to increase the effective focal length of a zoom or fixed focal length lens. Some lens extenders are electrically flipped into position within the lens housing others are manually placed over the front of or behind the lens.
lens flare A bright spot in an image caused by a bright light hitting the elements of a lens.
lens shade Lens hood. A round or rectangular black hood that fits over the end of a camera lens to shield the lens from strong sidelight or inclement weather.
lens speed The f-stop which transmits the maximum amount of light for a specific lens. The smallest f-stop number.
letterbox Term used for one method of adapting a 16X9 aspect ratio to 4X3 which results in a black or patterned bar at the top and bottom of the 4X3 image. Since this technique does not involve altering original images or scenes in any way, it is considered the "most honest" form of conversion.
level The strength or amplitude of an audio or video signal.
libel A legal term relating to a published (or sometimes a broadcast) statement that tends to subject someone to public ridicule or contempt or to injure the person's reputation.
light level The intensity of light measured in foot-candles or lux.
light meter A device that measures the amount of light which is either reflected from or is falling on a subject. See reflected and incident light meters.
light pen A hand-held device allowing the user to write or draw on the screen of a cathode ray tube. Highly sensitive light pens are used to read the surface of the screen and to input information.
lighting board A centralized control system for studio lights. Most lighting boards allow for the dimming of lights and include provisions for controlling each AC outlet in a studio lighting grid.
lighting director An individual responsible for the planning, design and set-up of lights for a production.
lighting grid A criss-cross arrangement of pipes suspended below the studio ceiling used to hold lights.
lighting plot A detailed drawing, generally to scale, showing the placement of each light in relation to talent positions and scenic elements.
lighting ratio The relationship between the key and fill lights. Typically 2:1 for color and 3:1 for black and white television.
lighting tent A white fabric enclosure that totally covers a subject. Lighting tents are illuminated by two or more soft light sources to produce an extremely flat lighting effect which can be useful in photographing bright, shiny objects.
limbo background A background of any color or brightness that has no discernible detail.
limiter Audio circuit that automatically keeps audio levels from exceeding a certain level.
line doubler Circuit that doubles each scan line in a video scource thereby increasing the apparent detail in video pictures. Also line quadrupler.
linear audio track Audio recording made on a track along the edge of a videotape by stationary record/play heads.
line mic A highly directional, hand-held mike, generally mounted within a reinforced foam rubber enclosure and normally used in video field production just out of camera range.
line out monitor A video monitor displaying the final video output intended for broadcast, recording or distribution.
line transformer An electrical device generally used to change or match the impedance of audio sources. Line transformers are also used to electrically isolate sources of audio.
line-level In contrast to a mic-level input, a high-level audio input associated with pre-amplified sources of audio.
linear editing As opposed to random access editing, an editing approach that requires edits to be entered and done in the sequence required for the final edited version. Each segment has to be found, cued and then recorded in sequence, which necessitates the stopping of both tapes as each segment is located and cued.
linear fader As opposed to a rotary fader, a volume control device which is moved along a straight line.
linearity The ability of a video camera or TV set to accurately reproduce a test pattern with geometric accuracy.
lineup A listing of the basic elements in a production in the order in which they will appear.
lip sync Having an on-camera performer mouth words to a prerecorded soundtrack to make it appear as if they are actually singing during a production.
live The process of transmitting a program to viewers while it is taking place.
live copy Copy read by announcer at the time it is aired.
live-on-tape A production that is recorded, but treated as if were being done live. During the production process there is normally no stopping. The approach is designed to lower production costs.
LNB Low Noise Blockconverter. A microwave receiver circuit that lowers the microwave frequencies, allowing them pass easily through a coax wire to a satellite receiver.
location (also, on location) Any out-of-studio setting.
location sketch A rough drawing of a setting for a remote telecast.
location survey Written appraisal of production requirements required for a field production.
lockup time The time required by a tape machine to stabilize after it has been rolled.
log An operational document for broadcast operations, generally issued daily, which includes information such as program source or origin, scheduled program time, program title and other program-related information.
logo Symbol or trademark that represents a company, or organization.
logging a tape The listing of time-code numbers of video and audio segments prior to editing.
logical sequence An editing approach in which segments are assembled in a natural, time-based progression.
logo Identifying symbol, generally associated with a product brand name or trademark.
long lens A telephoto or long focal length lens.
long shot A shot from a great distance.
longitudinal time code In contrast to VITC, a method of recording digital SMPTE/EBU time-code information along the edge of a videotape, generally on an audio track.
looking space In composition the blank space left in front of a subject looking off screen. Also referred to as leading the subject.
looping The process of re-recording dialogue in postproduction to correspond with dialogue that was originally part of a scene. Often sound is looped to improve quality and to eliminate distracting sounds in the original recording.
lossy Picture compression method that discards some data and to some degree degrades picture quality.
loudness The perceived strength or intensity of a sound.
loudness meter A volume units meter which responds to the loudness of sounds as humanly perceived, as opposed to only the milliwatt DB reference used by most VU meters.
loudness monitor See loudness meter.
low band Video recording system that uses relatively low FM carrier frequencies. Often used in non-professional videocassette systems.
low contrast filter An optical camera filter that lowers contrast of subject matter and mutes colors. Often used to bring the brightness ratio of a scene within video range and allow more detail in dense shadow areas.
low-key lighting Lighting characterized by a high key-to-fill ratio which results in predominant shadow areas. Typically used for night scenes in dramatic productions.
low pass filter An electrical filter that passes frequencies below a specified frequency and attenuates those above. Required in digital audio to prevent sampling of signals above one-half the sampling frequency.
low-frequency roll-off An audio circuit associated with microphones and amplifiers which attenuates undesirable low frequencies.
low-power TV / LPTV A classification of TV station designed to serve a small community through the use of a transmitter with very limited power.
LS In scripts an abbreviation for long shot.
lumen Measurement of light quantity. Lumens per square foot equals foot-candles.
luminance channel The black and white circuitry associated with a color video signal. See luminance.
luminance key An electronic key effect controlled by the brightness of one video source.
luminance The black-and-white aspect of a television signal. Also called the Y-signal. When part of a composite color signal, the luminance signal consists of 0.30 red, 0.59 green and 0.11 blue.
lux Unit of light intensity used in metric countries. One foot-candle is equal to about 10.7 lux.
© 1996-2004, R. Whittaker