Editor's Dictionary: A helpful glossary of film editing related
Leader - An Academy Leader is a standard picture
leader that is placed at the beginning of a reel of film.
The leader gives the film projectionist a start mark to cue
up into the projector before screening. This start
mark can also correspond to a sound leader so that sound and
picture can be synced for projection or viewing on a flatbed.
An Academy Leader has a numbered countdown, with the start
mark (hole punch and/or X) being the number 12, and counting
down to 0, which is the first frame of picture action on the
Media Composer - Avid Media Composer is a
digital editing system for full-featured offline, film, and
online editors requiring top quality and maximum choice of
effects. It delivers dual-stream compressed and uncompressed
601 images, real-time 3D Effects, plus real-time 9-stream
hardware multicamera capability. For more information on Avid
products, visit www.avid.com
- A clapper is the slate which has two sticks that are clapped
together within the camera's view at the beginning of each
take for the purpose of synchronizing picture and sound in
the editing room. Clappers that come at the end of the take
before camera and sound cut are called tail sticks.
/ Coding Machine - Once the picture workprint
and magnetic sound print are placed in sync using camera slates
and sound clappers, the "sunk" rolls are coded using a coding
machine that stamps matching colored edge numbers on the edge
of the prints so that sound and picture can be easily kept
in sync after the film is cut.
- Conforming is done either in the editing room when digital
cut lists are produced from an offline digital editing system
such as an Avid, or by the negative cutter when the film is
"locked" or completely cut. Conforming is the process of cutting
the editor's film workprint to match the editor's offline
digital cut, and is usually done using either code numbers
made by a coding machine or by using key numbers.
- A cutaway is the interruption of a continuously-filmed action
by inserting a shot of something else. It is usually followed
by a cutback to the first shot.
(also known as Rushes) - Dailies are film
prints made immediately after a day's shooting that are usually
viewed the following day by directors, editors, cinematographers
and other crew members. Viewing dailies the day after they
are shot can be helpful in case a director is not happy with
an actor's performance, if there is a camera issue such as
soft focus or negative scratches, and also crucial to the
editor to be able to see what the "coverage" is for each scene.
If needed, an editor can suggest additional or "pickup" shots
to be filmed that will help with telling the story.
- A dissolve is a gradual transition from one image to another,
where both images can be seen overlapping each other.
Shot - An establishing shot is a short shot
or group of shots at the beginning of a scene indicating where
the remainder of the scene takes place. For example, an exterior
shot of an office building, followed by an interior shot of
two co-workers talking, implies that the conversation is taking
place inside that building. Many times, if a film is filmed
inside of a sound stage, a crew will go out and shoot an establishing
shot, or sometimes stock film houses will provide stock shots
of buildings and locations.
- A fade in is a shot which begins in total darkness and gradually
lightens to full brightness. Sound and music can also fade
Fade-out - the
opposite of a fade-in.
- Keying is an informal term for compositing two full frame
images together, by discriminating the visual information
into values of color and light.
Shot - A master shot (also called an establishing
shot or long shot) is a filmic recording of an entire scene,
start to finish, from an angle that keeps all of the main
actors in view. Usually, the "master shot" is the first shot
recorded during the shooting of a scene. The master shot is
ordinarily supplemented with other shots recorded fom different
angle - groupings of two or three of the actors at crucial
moments, close-ups of individuals, insert shots of various
props, and so on.
(Point of View) Shot - A POV shot is a shot
that is filmed from the character's point of view, or what
that character is looking at, from their view. POV shots can
be from the view of an animal, a character, a robot, and so
cut (also known as a First Assembly) - A rough
cut is a first assembly or first cut / first pass of a film
which the editor builds from selected takes, in script order.
Sometimes rough cuts will have "holes" or gaps where visual
effects shots or scenes that have yet to be filmed will eventually
go in the story order. Most editors will insert a visual title
or banner in these holes that says "Scene Missing".
- A Slate is the board upon which important information about
a shot is displayed. The slate is filmed by the camera either
at the head or tail of a shot to provide crucial information
to the film lab and to the editor, such as scene and take
numbers, name of the show, name of director and director of
photography, sound roll and camera roll numbers, and sound
timecode if the slate is digital. If the shot is slated at
the tail of a shot, the slate will be held upside-down, and
is called "tail sticks".
pop (also known as a 2-pop) - A sync pop is
a single frame of sound tone placed on the soundtrack that
corresponds with the visual picture "2" frame on the SMPTE
or Academy leader.