December 22nd, 2017

Video Production Lingo

If you’ve never worked on a professional video production project from concept to final edit, your first time may come with some anticipation and nerves. Not to worry, many of our clients come to us with similar concerns, and we understand that most people are not familiar with the ins and outs of video production.


We’re always more than happy to answer any questions that our clients may have during the process, but here’s a quick lesson on common video production lingo that may help you feel a bit more in the loop.



One of the questions we’re asked the most is, “What is B-roll?” B-roll is secondary, alternative, or supplemental footage filmed with the purpose of intercutting with the main shot in the editing process. It’s a very important component to most video. The main shot used to be referred to as A-roll, but that terminology has fallen out of use.


Here’s an example of B-roll: In an interview, the video may transition away from the speaker’s face to footage of the interviewee doing other tasks while the voice-over from the main shot continues to play in the background.


Take this video for example. This parent speaks about their child’s education and school while we see footage that supports what they are saying, rather than actual footage of them speaking.


B-roll is great for illustrating strong points, but it also works well to cover up any cuts or pauses in the voice-over. If you’ve never worked with video before, we understand why you may underestimate the importance of B-roll. But please trust us, if you give B-roll the love and attention it deserves, your final video will look so much better than it would have without!


Call Sheet

When you partner with Frozen Fire to create your video, you will likely receive a call sheet a few days before we film. A call sheet holds the logistical information you need for the shoot day. It includes addresses, your point of contact, names of the crew and cast, and the schedule. Think of it as your handy rundown of the day!



The storyboard is huge when it comes to shoots that has several moving parts. A storyboard is a rough outline of what your video will look like. Storyboards usually include a series of photos to represent what will be happening on screen, a description of each shot, the talent, and any additional information the videographer may need to know.


We always stress the importance of an approved storyboard because it helps to promote a problem-free shoot, and prevents last minute surprises or hiccups in creation of the final product.


However, videos without scripts or an actual pre-planned story do not require a storyboard. For example, a basic interview video will require B-roll, but no storyboard, as it is shot more in real time, gathering sound bites from the questions we’ve prepared beforehand.


Location Scout

This term may be a little more straightforward, but can be overlooked if it isn’t given the time it deserves. A location scout occurs when someone from the crew (ideally a videographer) visits the space where we will be filming prior to the day of the shoot. This allows the production team to prepare ahead of time how to properly light the space, estimate how long the set-up process will take, and what challenges we may face the day of filming. Although these tasks can be handled the day of, the more we know beforehand, the smoother production will go.



Most videos benefit from supporting graphics. Here are the most commonly used graphics:

  • Lower Third: This graphic is commonly used in videos that feature interviews. A lower third identifies the speaker with a band at the bottom of the frame, typically listing their name and title. If you’ve watched a documentary, you’ve seen a lower third.
  • Logo Animation: Frozen Fire can animate your company logo for you. The animated logo tends to serve as an introduction to the video in the form of a title screen, and can also function as an outro screen.


Basic Light Kit

When talking through the production equipment your unique video will require, a Frozen Fire team member is likely to mention a basic light kit. This refers to the three-point light setup that a wide number of productions require. This includes a key light, a fill light, and a back light.

  • Key light: The main source of light that will illuminate the subject.
  • Fill light: This light illuminates the subject, but from a different angle. It serves to balance out the lighting so that it isn’t so direct.
  • Back light: This separates your subject from the background by shining onto the subject from behind.


And that completes your crash course on industry jargon! Are you feeling Hollywood-ready? Frozen Fire takes pride in partnering with companies and individuals with every level of experience creating videos. If this means you have a few extra questions about the vocabulary we use (or anything else), we’re always available and ready to help.



Want to know more about video pricing. Check out our article here.

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