Becoming a video editor means you are expected to know certain terms often thrown around in the industry or used by professionals. Whether you’re an aspiring video editor or just freelancing at a video production company as of the moment, you could do well if you familiarize yourself with some of these terms:

1. Aspect Ratio

The aspect ratio means the width and height of the video as it relates to each other. Each dimension is expressed in a ratio form. Oftentimes, depending on where your video or film will be shown, there are specific aspect ratios already used.

Here are several key aspect ratios and what they are commonly used for:

  • 1.33 or 4:3 – Standard Definition Video
  • 1.66: 1– Used By Most European Theatre Showings
  • 1.78.1 or 16:9 – Used for Most U.S. Theatre Showings
  • 2.39: 1 —Current Wide Screen Theatrical Showings
  • 2.75: 1 – Used for Ultra Panavision 70
  • 4.00: 1 – Rare Use of Polyvision

2. Close Up

These refer to shots where the subject is tightly placed on the frame. For instance, if you have a person in the scene, a close up would mean the entire frame is occupied by the face or any other key element in the story or sequence.

3. Crop Factor

A crop factor is a number that runs from 1.3 to 2.0. This number represents the ratio of your camera sensor’s imaging area has compared to that of a full-frame sensor. If you multiply the focal length of your lens with your camera sensor’s crop factor, you will get the focal length for the lens and sensor together.

4. Color Temperature

Measured in Kelvin, the color temperature scale runs from cool to warm. In video editing, this refers to the visible light present in the scene or the shot you’ve taken. Cooler temperatures lean towards a more bluish tint while warmer color temperatures lean towards red or orange.

5. Jump Cut

While most video editors avoid jump cuts because they can look amateurish, when used in a certain way, it can be an effective type of cut that adds to the story instead of takes away from it. A jump cut is an abrupt change between the sequential clips. Oftentimes, they don’t fit together and will prove jarring when your audience watches the clip. Unless you have a specific reason for using the jump cut in the scene, if you’re a beginner, it’s best avoided.

6. Pans

This a horizontal movement using a fixed camera and is opposite to that of a tilt, where the latter is a vertical movement.

7. B-roll

This is a collection of supplementary footage that helps to “fill in” a somewhat inconsistent scene. It can also work by giving viewers more details about an event, a situation or location. It’s used to help the viewers transition from one scene to the next in the most pleasant and informative way possible.

8. Foley

A foley is when you create a sound for a film. Most of the time, certain “natural” sounds like the sound of footsteps, chewing or something as mundane as crumpling paper aren’t captured live during taping. Instead, these are reproduced by a foley artist inside the studio.

9. Three-Point Lighting

This is a form of setting up the lights using 3 main ones. Having a 3-point lighting setup helps get rid of shadows, creates good contrast and a balanced image. These lights are termed as the Fill, the Key, and the Backlights.

10. Shot List

For a videographer, a shot list is a checklist for all the shots you want to include in your production. When you plan your shots ahead, you can become more efficient with your time. It’s also great especially when you’re renting gear and need to return them at a particular date. At the same time, it helps you have a smooth production because you already know what needs to be done and when.