Nov 2022

We often get asked by clients to explain words and phrases that are used every day in video production, so we thought it would be useful to explain what some of the words and phrases mean.

These are just some of the ones we’ve been asked about recently…

Establishing shot

This is the first shot in a scene that creates the overview of the setting and establishes the context for the scene. Often it is a wide, long and/or aerial shot.


This is the supplementary or alternative footage to be intercut with the main shots (e.g., b-roll is often interspersed with an interview to demonstrate the point a person is discussing/explaining). B-roll is also used to cover cuts in the edit.

Shot list

This list details all the essential shots required for a video, plus any other shots that are on the wish list (i.e., would be nice to have, but not essential). To be created before principal filming.

Closed and open captions

Captions are text that show what a person is saying in a video, so you can understand them without sound. Closed captions can be turned off by the viewer, whereas open captions are always in view and cannot be turned off (also known as ‘burnt in’).


Whereas subtitles are designed to translate the text for viewers who speak a different language or require a description on screen.


This is the stage of video production that takes place after any principal filming. It is the cutting and treatment of raw footage, editing of that footage, adding music, voiceovers and sound effects and any motion graphics.


This is the area of our video editing software (in our case Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects) where we arrange all the video clips, audio, effects and transitions.

Depth of field

This is, put simply, how much of your image is in focus. In more technical terms, it’s the distance in an image where objects appear in focus.

Aspect ratio

This is the ratio of an image’s/video’s width to its height and is expressed with two numbers, e.g., 16:9 (the way you view TV) or 9:16 (the way you view Instagram reels) or 1:1 (Instagram or Facebook posts). This is important to consider at the beginning of a project.

These are just a few of the terms we’ve been asked to clarify over the last few months and there are obviously plenty more! What other words or phrases have you heard used in video production that you would like explained? Whatever the question, we’re here and happy to help make video production easier to understand for our clients.