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Film glossaryT-Z

Glossary of Filmmaking Terms

T-Stop - Used to measure the actual amount of light that is striking the film in a hselect lens; such as a zoom lens. The "t-stop" is in red on the aperture ring. It is not to be confused with "f-stop" (which is a mathematically measurement) and is in white on the aperture ring.
Talent - Informal term for actors and extras.
Take - Different version of the same shot.
Take Up Reel (or) Spool - Empty reel which gathers the film as it passes through the projector. Similarly, an empty spool that does the same task as it passes through the camera.
Technical Advisor - Individual with expertise in a particular field who provides advice for the production.
Telecine - Device for transferring motion picture film to video tape.
Teleplay - Script written to be produced for television whose length is 42-48 long for a standard one hour TV show, often structured in the teaser/4-acts/tag format. A 1/2 hour sitcom has an average page count of 45-50 pp double spaced and usually consist of 2 acts with 4-6 scenes per act.
Telewriter - Writer who either adapts an existing work for production on television, or creates a new teleplay.
Three-Act Structure - Traditional storytelling sequence which includes (1) the set-up, (2) the complication, and (3) the resolution.
Three-Camera Format/Set-Up - Standard video-studio setup which utilizes three different cameras.

Can't find what you're looking for? A greatly expanded version of the glossary is included on the downloadable ebook version of this site.
THX - Subdivision of Lucasfilm, Ltd. that is dedicated to improving picture and sound for the cinema and the home.
Tilt - Rotating the camera either up or down.
Time Base Corrector/TBC - Device to correct timing errors which can cause unstable edits. These errors are caused by the slight mechanical defects inherent in the playback of video tape machines.
Time Code - System of numbering each frame of video with a unique address divided into hours, minutes, seconds and frames.
Time Lapse Photography - Form of animation in which numerous single frames are filmed spaced at a given interval to show a process that would take a very long time to occur.
Timing - Process in which a lab renders the proper exposure and color when creating a print. The brightness of the timing lights (or lamps) can be controlled and have a range from (1) the darkest to (50) the brightest.
Timing Report - Report produced by the lab which lists the timing lights (or printing lights) that was used in processing a print.
Title Design - The manner in which title of a movie is displayed on screen is widely considered an art form.
Track - Single component or channel of a soundtrack.
Tracking Shot - The action of moving a camera along a path parallel to the path of the object being filmed.
Trades - Newspapers that report the daily or weekly entertainment news of the entertainment industry; The Hollywood Reporter, Daily Variety, and Weekly Variety.
Trailer - Advertisement for a movie which contains scenes from the film.
Transportation Co-Ordinator/Manager - Individual responsible for managing drivers and coordinating the transportation of a production's cast, crew, and equipment from the various locations and sets used for filming.
Travelling Matte Shot - Shot in which foreground action is superimposed on a separately filmed background by optical printing or digital compositing.
Treatment - A movie in prose form, anywhere from 15-60pp, which details a blow-by-blow summary of the story (important details of each scene, action, and character) told in present tense and generally with no dialogue.
Trims - Outtakes of only a few frames.
Trucking Shot - A camera move which films the subject from side to side.
Tungsten - Color temperature of artificial light (3200K). Tungsten balanced film is to be used for indoor shooting and if used outdoors (w/o a filter) will give the exposed image a light blue hue.
Type C - SMPTE standard for 1-inch non-segmented helical video recording format.
U-Matic - Trade name for the 3/4 inch video format developed by Sony.
Undercranking - Process of slowing the frame rate of a camera down, so that when the captured pictures are played at the normal frame rate the action appears to be in fast motion. Underexposure - Shooting a scene in which there is not enough light for the film stock's emulsion to handle creating a darker image than desired.
Underscan - Video monitor that can reduce the size of the video image so the four outer frame edges can be viewed in their entirety.
Unit Production Manager - Executive who is responsible to a senior producer for the administration of a particular movie.
Upright - Editing machine (Upright Moviola) which has arms in the back to hold the take up and supply reels.
Vectorscope - An oscilloscope designed to monitor and tweak the color portion of the video signal.
Vertical Interval - Indicates the vertical blanking period between each video field which contains additional scan lines above the active picture area into which non-picture information (captioning, copy protection and other control signals) may be embedded.
Vertical Sync - Synchronizing pulses used to define the end of one television field and the start of the next, occurring at a rate of approximately 59.94 Hz.
Video Toaster - Software/hardware developed by NewTek for the Amiga Computer which produces affordable special effects.
Videographer - Video photographer who specializes in events like weddings.
Visual Effects - Alterations to a film's images during post-production.
V.I.T.C. (Vertical Interval Time Code) - Type of time code is recorded in the vertical blanking interval above the active picture area.
Voice-Over (V.O.) - Indicates that dialog will be heard on a movie's soundtrack, but the speaker will not be shown. The abbreviation is often used as an annotation in a script.
Wardrobe Department - Section of a production's crew concerned with costumes: costume designer, costumer, and costume supervisor.
Waveform Monitor - Oscilloscope designed for monitoring and adjusting luminance and all other parts of the composite video signal.
Whip Pan - Extremely fast pan, incorporating much motion blur.
White Balance - A color camera function which determines how much red, green and blue is required to produce a normal-looking white.
Wide Lens - In 16mm, a lens smaller than 25mm. In 35m, a lens smaller than 50mm.
Widescreen - Movie which has an aspect ratio which is greater than academy ratio when projected.
Wild Sound - Non-sync sound that is recorded when the camera isn't running.
Window Dub - A copy of the original camera tape with time code numbers visually displayed; also called a "burn in."
Wipe - Editing technique in which images from one shot are fully replaced by the images of another, delimited by a definite border that moves across or around the frame.
Work Print - Positive copy of the original negative.
Working Title - Name by which a movie is known while it is being made.
Wrangler - Individual who is responsible for the care and control of entities used on a set that can't be spoken with.
Wrap - To finish shooting, either for the day or the entire production.
Writer's Guild of America (WGA) - Association that representatives the writers in the motion picture, broadcast, cable, interactive and new media industries.
Writing Period - The time during which a writer is to complete his work. During this time the writer's services are generally exclusive to the production that has hired him.
Written by - The credit given when one or several writers have created both the story and the screenplay, and there is no source material. The credit is also given in television if the writer has created both the story and the teleplay.

Xenon - Extremely bright (5400K) daylight-balanced projection lamp.
Zoom - Shot in which the magnification of the objects by the camera's lenses is increased (zoom in) or decreased (zoom out/back).
Zoom Lens - Unlike a fixed-focal lens (which has one setting), this lens has variable settings which allows the focal length to have a range from wide to long.

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