Glossary: Editing Terms

Bridging shot – a shot (cut) used to cover a break in time, or other break in continuity.

Close-up – (abbr. CU) a shot taken very close to the subject ( or with the subject of the shot very large in the frame), revealing a detail only. (i.e., the human face, or hands).

Continuity of motion – the flow of action from one shot to the next as it is placed on the screen at the cut point. Placing the significant action at the end of a shot in the same area of the screen where the significant action will begin in the next shot.

Cross-cut – the intercutting of shots from two or more scenes so the fragments of each scene will be presented to the viewers attention alternately. – see parallel action

Cut – in editing, a single unbroken strip of film

Dissolve – a gradual merging of the end of one shot and beginning of another produced by the superimposition of a fade-out onto a fade-in of equal length.

Dolly shot – a shot taken while the camera is in motion on a dolly.

Establishing shot – a shot used near the beginning of a scene to establish the inter-relationship of details to be shown subsequently in closer shots.

Extreme Close-up – (abbr. ECU) a shot taken very close to the subject (closer than would be necessary for a close-up), revealing extreme detail. (i.e., part of the human face)

Fade-in – 1.(n.) a shot which begins in total darkness and gradually lightens to full brightness. 2. (v.) To gradually bring sound from inaudibility to required volume.

Fade-out – the opposite of a fade-in.

Jump cut – A cut which breaks the continuity of time by jumping forward from one part of an action to another.

Long shot (abbr. LS) – a shot taken from a considerable distance. Often the LS serves as an establishing shot. (i.e., a human figure taken so it is shorter than the height of the screen)

Master shot – a shot which covers an entire piece of dramatic action (usually a long shot, or wide shot).

Medium close-up (abbr. MCU) – a shot between a MS and a CU. (i.e., a human figure taken from the chest up)

Medium shot (abbr. MS) – a shot between a LS and a MCU (i.e.,. a human figure taken from the waist up)

Montage – 1) the juxtaposition of seemingly unrelated shots or scenes which, when combined, achieve meaning (as in, shot A and shot B together give rise to an third idea, which is then supported by shot C, and so on), or 2) a series of related shots which lead the viewer to a desired conclusion (as in, shot A leads to shot B leads to shot C… leads to shot X; shot X being the outcome of the sequence).

Offline Editing – 1) Refers to non-linear editing, or 2) refers to the process of editing before the stage of a finished product.

Online Editing – 1) Refers to linear editing, or 2) refers to the process of mastering or conforming you’re using linear editing to create your final movie at best quality.  Going from original tapes on which you shot and recreating your finished cut movie (that you probably made offline before), shot by shot, recreating effects, titles, etc.  With the new technology the editing computers give the option of conforming your project at high resolution through digitizing with a very good quality, almost identical to what you would get with an online system.  So even if you are working on a non-linear system, it would still be referred to as the fact of online your project.

Pan – to rotate the camera left to right or right to left.

Parallel action – a device of narrative construction in which the development of two pieces of action are presented simultaneously.

Relational editing – editing of shots to suggest association of ideas between them.

Rendering – the process by which the video editing software and hardware convert the raw video, effects, transitions and filters into a new continuous video file.  Often, depending on memory of computer, this may be one of the final steps of the editing process.

Rough cut – first assembly of a film which the editor prepares from selected takes, in script order, leaving the finer points of timing and editing to a later stage.

Scene – action that occurs in one location at one time.

Shot – a recording of a single take.

Synchronize (sync) – to place sound and picture in their proper relationship.

Take – a recording of a single shot.

Tilt – to rotate the camera up or down in shooting.

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