A Brief Guide to Video Production Jargon
Like many industries, there is a fair bit of jargon associated with video production. Even the most seasoned producers can sometimes come across phrases they’ve never heard before.
To give you a bit of a head start (and impress your colleagues with your knowledge), here are a few common phrases you might hear during the video production process:
Prod is simply a shortening of ‘production’. We often use it when referring to pre-production (‘pre-prod’) and post-production (‘post-prod’). In case you’re wondering what each of those means, pre-prod is the stage before filming takes place, when we finalise scripts, arrange filming permissions and determine which equipment to use. Post-prod is everything after the shoot, from editing and sound-mixing to promotion.
The rushes are the original video files captured on camera. You might hear camera operators or editors referring to ‘the rushes’ – these are all the pieces of footage which will be passed to the editor, who will choose the best shots to use in the final film.
DIT stands for Digital Imaging Technician, however the term DIT is more commonly used to describe the process of transferring the rushes (see, you’re getting the hang of this!) from the camera to hard drives. The term can also be used as a verb – for example, the runner might take the memory cards to DIT the rushes… Get it?
Speaking of which, the runner is the person who helps out with all aspects of the film shoot. They could be arranging food or teas and coffees, or they could be helping the crew with setting up lights, monitors and other equipment. They need to be versatile, and yes – you probably will see them running around!
ADR – or Automated Dialogue Replacement – is where an actor re-records dialogue in a studio in the post-production process. During the production stage, the actor will be recorded on camera speaking a line of dialogue, however this can sometimes be unusable due to noisy weather or loud traffic, or perhaps the crew just wants to record better quality audio. It’s a handy safety net to have, but not something which should be relied on. During one of our recent shoots for Flock Creative and Down’s Syndrome Scotland, we used ADR to ensure we captured clearer audio for television broadcast:
This is only a handful of video production phrases that you might come across, but this should be enough to get you by. By all means if you are on a shoot with our crew and you hear us using any other bits of jargon, please ask us what that word or phrase means and we’ll happily explain!