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A-Z of

Videography

There are so many things to know about video production! So I thought why not make an A-Z of videography to tell you all about different aspects of the creation process. Enjoy!

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A

Animation

A Technique of photographing successive drawings or positions or puppets or models to create an illusion of movement when the film is shown in sequence.

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Animation comes in all forms! For example:

  • Traditional 2D Animation - Is used to make flat 2D animations and is commonly used within cartoons, promotional videos, explainer videos and well all sorts! A lot of the time it is now digitised making it easier to create.

  • 3D animation – This is making more realistic animations and is often used for full length movies and interactive adverts but isnt always the best option to choose.

  • Stop-motion animation – this originated over a century ago and is one of the oldest forms of animation by using still imagines of items and moving them to create a sequence which then forms to the illusion of movement.

  • Rotoscope animation – This involves taking live-action footage and tracing over it with a rotoscope tool and its often used in situations where it’s necessary for the character to interact realistically with the environment. This is typically cheaper than the standard 3D animation.

  • Motion Capture – is a modern form of 3D animation that allows creators to create ultra-realistic animations based on live-action scenes. This is frequently used by gaming developers and utilized within high end film productions.

  • Typography animation – this is the practise of creating animated text. This animation type is now being widely used across many parts of both advertising, marketing and film. 

  • Claymation – This is a version of stop motion where you build the characters traditionally out of ‘clay’ or now widely used is plasticine and creates a very different style. It’s most commonly known being used by Aardman for their characters like Morph and Wallace and Gromit.

That’s enough types of animation for you to think about!

There are plenty more styles you can explore and utilise in marketing, how-to-videos, introduction video and so on.

 

So, can I do any of this??

Yes actually. I love animation and I love to implement it in my projects!

The ones I have mastered so far is Stop-motion, Claymation and Typography.

 
B-Roll of desserts food comeptition

B-Roll is used in 99% of all videos at least I’m pretty sure anyway! It’s there to provide context and extra visual interest to tell a story within a video. You can also make video(s) that are purely B-Roll and include some overlays to inform audiences of products and services.

 

It’s one of the most important parts of video creation in my opinion!

It gives you that opportunity to be more creative.

 

You can implement B-Roll in so many different ways and it really does make the film or video more compelling to viewers. You can:

 

  • Set the tone for the film or video

  • Break up Monotony

  • Establish Characters or scenes

  • Mask Gaps or Errors

  • Provide flexibility in the editing process

 

So where would you have seen this?

Interview shots

A-Roll and B-Roll can be easily distinguished in an interview-style shoot.

The standard type news reporting is a great example.

When the interview starts you see the person talking about the subject which is the A-Roll footage. Then at certain points you will see a cut and additional footage appears but corresponds with the audio. This is the B-Roll footage.

 

Narrative shoots

In a narrative video the A-Roll is commonly people describing a story or topic, or, in a voice-over narrative, the A-Roll usually follows the subject being discussed. While the A-Roll may be sufficient to tell the story it may not be good enough to keep an audience engaged, so the purpose of B-Roll is to build a clearer picture about the A-Roll topic giving more close up examples.

 

Live Television or Recordings

In a live stream studio you would typically have an A-Camera that holds a wide shot of the studio and the B-Camera captures more specific shots that highlight the points.

 

So B-Roll is extremely helpful when needing to engage your audience and ‘fill in the gaps’ to make the viewers experience much better!

B
B-Roll

This is the secondary footage shot outside the primary (A-Roll) footage. Can be used to establish setting, create tension, or be spliced together with main footage. 

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Camera's

A device used for recording visual images in the form of photographs, film, or video.

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Now, obviously, you need at least one camera to record videos. As a videographer I need to make sure my kit is up for the job. I need to be able to face all kinds of tasks, so my camera needs to be versatile and fit the specifications I need.

 

There are a lot of different camera creators and some of them include:

 

They have all worked for years producing their cameras for different parts of the media industry and not all specialise in videos so watch out if your thinking of purchasing one.

However, cameras don’t have to be expensive to get started with your content or video creation process. There are so many ways you can make your own videos before you or your business is ready for a professional to ramp it up.

 

You have a camera that you probably use for video calls and the likes of zoom has a recording setting which you could make short videos to inform your audience about you and your business or why not utilise your phone and go for a walk and talk about something topical in your industry.

 

So, one thing I will say is having a camera isn’t always the first step but can be important. Most of the time it’s how you use a camera and how imaginative you can be with camera angles rather than the quality of the camera.

 
Snowdrop will a deep depth of field

So, the strength of the depth of field in an image is based upon the aperture or F point of the camera settings as well as the distance of the foreground and background subjects.

The larger the aperture (or lower the F point) means a larger depth of field. It will affect the perceived distance between the foreground and background objects.

 

However, you can’t always achieve the same depth of field on different lenses as they have different abilities so when you are buying a lens make sure you look into what It is able to do and it fits your specifications.

 

I have different lenses that achieve different things. Which means that I choose how I want an image to look for my clients. Through the depth of field I can control what the viewer sees which means I can use it to either cause questions or put a certain subject into focus.

D
Depth of Field

This is a visual effect that is noticed by a blurred background. It separates the foreground from the background in a video image and is altered based on the aperture of a lens.

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Editing

The post-production process of putting all the pieces together from the filming and creating the final product.

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A videographer’s job isn’t just the filming and then it’s all done; there’s a whole post-production process and that’s where most of the work is. When calculating time frames I tend to say 1 hour on set can be 3 hours in edit.

 

Why?

 

Well, there are all kinds of things that happen during the edit such as:

 

All of these will take a different amount of time dependant on the brief of the video, but it is commonly the longest part of the production process because of all these elements. So, if you are thinking of getting a video done don’t expect it to be with you by the next day because it can take days or even weeks. If you are thinking of being a videographer, make sure you leave enough time for your edit especially if you are learning a new editing skill.

 

Here are some editing software you could look at if you want to look at the skill:

 

 

These all have different advantages and disadvantages as well as limitations on different computers, so make sure you shop around before purchasing. Most do have free trials so try them out too.

 
Camera

No this is not a person’s focus but the focus on the camera which links very closely to depth of field. The focus of an image is extremely important when creating a video because it can divert the audience’s attention to certain detail. Making sure the focus is right is just as important as framing an image. If you haven’t framed it right then the audience’s perception may be different to another angle.

 

Making sure you have focused right is so important because it’s the worst thing getting into edit and the focus be off. So here are a few things you can do to make sure your image is in focus:

  • Automatic focus can be a great tool for photography but isn’t always efficient for videos. If you are using autofocus, make sure your cameras specifications are good with autofocus.

  • Know your focal points, so make sure you actually know what you want to focus on.

  • Focus first, recompose then check focus again.

  • Make sure you use live view to help with manual focusing.

  • If you're manually focusing an image you can use a focus puller to make things easier

  • Use the focus assist which shows (commonly blue) lines on your screen to tell you what is in and out of focus.

 

Just make sure before you start your shoot you know what the aim of the video is to then ensure that the focus is correct and plan your shots. If you know what you need to achieve it will then the rest will come together a lot easier.

F
Focus

Focusing is the moving of the lens elements until the sharpest possible image is achieved. Depending on the distance of the subject from the camera, the focusing elements have to be set a certain distance from the camera's sensor to form a clear image. 

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Gimbal

A gimbal is a device used to mount a camera on. The gimbal will smooth out any bumps normally visible when shooting handheld.

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I love my Gimbal! And he has a name Gary! Yes, Gary the gimbal.

 

Gimbals are a great bit of kit especially if you haven’t mastered handheld yet. I use mine on nearly every single shoot because it helps speed up filming, as well as, creating complex camera movements with less planning.

 

You can get smooth walking shots with a gimbal without the stress of needing a steady cam and if you have a good high end camera they will also have inbuilt stabilisation so you can get super smooth shots.

 

But don’t just think that gimbals are used for walk throughs you can get so many different types of shots with them.

 

Just get creative. Think about angles and the lenses that you are using and really make it count!

 

Here are some different types of DSLR gimbals you could take a look at:

 

Each gimbal has different specifications, so, you would need to research what would be best suited for your current set up or if you even need one. There’s near enough no point in having one if you have a studio setup, but if you travel out to clients then you may need it to work around their working practises.

 
Mac Desktop

Hard drives are very important in video creation. Hard drives help to run software faster, but are also very important for back-ups. If you don’t backup your footage and your computer crashes that could be game over for your project.

However, a decent hard drive can be hard to come by, and you can’t just get a small one either you need one that can hold the amount of footage you take especially if you are recording in 4k or 6k as that can result in huge file sizes.

 

Here are some great makes of hard drives to look into :

 

When looking into buying a hard drive make sure you read the reviews as one of the most important things is to check is the noise levels especially if you record your own videos where you edit you don’t want that background noise.

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Hard-Drive

Hard disk drive: A hard drive used for storage, either built into a camera or a portable desktop drive used on shoots.

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Iris

The Iris in the camera works similarly to the human eye. It can open and close dependant on the lighting conditions therefore controlling the light.
Now the Iris and the aperture are quite different. The aperture is adjusted in accordance with the depth of field, but the aperture also can be used to adjust light settings. 

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So the difference:

  • Iris: The Iris is the adjustable opening that can restrict the amount of light that enters the camera. It’s the shutters and springs that open and close.

  • Aperture: The Aperture is the hole in the opening of the iris. A wide aperture (low F-Stop) lets more light in, while a narrow aperture (high F-Stop) restricts it.

You can also adjust the light through using ISO as well but don’t rely on this to brighten up your images as it can result in grainy images you need to make sure you have the correct lighting whilst shooting.

 

Now there’s different types of irises and they all work slightly differently so pick the one that’s best for your shoot:

Fixed Iris:

  • On a fixed iris, the opening that lets the light in the camera cannot be adjusted.

  • This type can be great for indoor filming as the lighting tends to stay consistent.

Manual Iris:

  • With a manual iris you can adjust the opening yourself to adapt the amount of light being let in or out. However, this adjustment is typically done during installation when you have easier access to the camera.

  • This type is typically used the same way as fixed iris as it's difficult to change during shoot.

Auto Iris

  • Auto Irises are motorised, allowing them to automatically adjust.

  • Auto irises are used in more advanced technology which results in a more expensive camera, however, they are great when recording in outdoor locations.

P-Iris

  • P stands for precise. This is because the iris uses both the ability to automatically adjust like an auto iris with controls on the camera to create improved video quality and depth of field.

 

That's a lot to take in and there’s many elements to a camera but my best advice is to just play around with your settings to get the best results.

 
Camera Lens

A J-Cut is very commonly used within the film industry to help the audience follow a scene better. However, it is a great technique when creating marketing videos! Why? Because the audio from the next clips starts to play during the previous clip, which intrigues the audience to continue watching.

 

However, there is a reverse to this which is an L-Cut; which is the audio from the current clip continues whilst new clip(s) play. This is a voiceover artist's best friend! It can allow a story to be told and seen all at once and is also a great way of introducing B-Roll to a video.

 

So what cuts should you use?

Well in all honesty you will want a combination of the two. Especially when you have a dialogue heavy scene, so instead of cutting back and forth each time someone speaks (otherwise known as ‘ping-pong’ cutting) you can break it up by using L-Cuts to show a reaction of a person listening and then bring a new voice into the mix.

 

Here are a couple ideas on how to use these types of cuts:

  • Use it to jump ahead on your next Tik Tok video

  • Try an L-Cut with a voiceover on a day-in-the-life Instagram reel

  • Present a radio / speaker as a music source in a shot and use a J-Cut to keep the music in the next scene

  • In your social ads draw viewers into your video by teasing them with exciting sounds from the upcoming clip.

 

Realistically, these cuts are super basic but also super effective so why not play around with your visuals and sound in your next edit?

J
J-Cut

This is a technique used in editing. J-Cuts involve the audio from the second shot starting before the first shot cuts.

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Kelvin

The name of the scale used to measure colour temperature.

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Now the Kelvin scale is used during both production and post-production to assist with colour temperature / white balance and getting the image looking right.

 

Colour temperature and white balance work together and if you notice your white balance is off it is more than likely because the colour temperature hasn’t been accounted for correctly. It is only the colour temperature that is measured in Kelvin (K) and every light source will have a different colour temperature i.e. a candle is different to sunlight.

 

Your camera will have settings for white balance, and many have auto white balance which can work fantastically, but, you still need to stay sharp and watch out for the skin tones as if you are moving from location to location the colour temperature will most likely be different. If you have a multi camera setup then I would recommend that you hard set the white balance otherwise the auto settings may adjust differently dependant on their positioning. 

 

A great thing to think about is the difference of indoor and outdoor lighting and making sure if you are crossing between the two that you are prepared to change your settings (or even save some settings on your camera ready) P.S. colour temperature in natural lighting also changes throughout the day, so be aware.

 
Studio Set Up

Lighting is an important part of video production. You have to expose your image correctly to fit the mood and aim of your video. Now I could talk about lighting for days! There are so many different technique and styles…

 

However here is a list techniques that you could look further into:

  • Natural Lighting

    • Replicates real life.

  • Key Lighting

    • Illuminates the subject or actor – brightest light in the frame.

  • Low Key Lighting

    • Emphasises dark tones & Shadows – Creates ominous & suspenseful mood.

  • Fill lighting

    • Cancels out shadows created by the key light – can highlight things behind an object for a rack focus.

  • Back lighting

    • Used to separate a subject from the background.

  • Practical lighting

    • Good for wide shots and long takes – helps gives depth of field in a scene.

  • Hard lighting

    • Dramatic effect – creates shadows, silhouettes & highlights.

  • Soft Lighting

    • For tender emotional scenes – it portrays characters favourably.

  • Bounce lighting

    • Creates a larger area of evenly spread light.

  • Chiaroscuro / side lighting

    • Provides drama and mood  - can help contrast.

  • Motivated lighting

    • Intimate natural light source ie sunlight, moonlight or lamps.

  • Ambient lighting

    • Helps provide overall light but can also alter controlled light is not handled correctly.

 

Find out more in-depth information on these techniques here: https://nofilmschool.com/film-lighting-techniques-and-examples

L
Lighting

Film lighting refers to the direction, quality, source or colour of light. These different elements work together to guide our attention, create texture or visual impact, and create an atmosphere. 

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Montage

The video editing terminology used to describe a sequence of shots in which they are assembled such that they are in juxtaposition of each other and communicate the mood, theme or idea of the video. Generally a montage is bridged with cross-fades and will include music that the film is set to for added emotion.

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The term montage is a widely used term across the arts and in each art it has its own use. Within video production a montage can be used in a multitude of ways and within different editing techniques.

 

What is a montage used for?

It can completely depend on the style of video or film you are trying to achieve on how you would utilise a montage but here are some great things you can look at.

 

Speed up time

It can be great to present the passing of time and reducing a sequence of events into a few seconds. A great example of this is the tear-jerking sequence in Pixar’s film UP when elaborating an entire lifetime between the couple in the film.

 

Making people Laugh

Comedies use montages really well to either build up to a funny scene or using for the actual punchline. This is perfectly demonstrated in the film Step-Brothers to show off the newfound bond between Dale and Brennan.

 

Developing Characters / Backstories

Both in marketing and film, montages can be utilised to evoke a subject’s history and use specific occurrences to highlight who or what it is about.

 

These are just a few ways you can use a montage, but experiment with it.

Here is a great website that highlights all about montages and how to plan them within a film which can also be adapted into marketing as well.

https://www.studiobinder.com/blog/what-is-a-montage-definition/

 
Sunglasses

An ND filter is most camera operator’s best friend. For lower production cameras these are filters that you manually attach to the lens yourself, however, in higher end cameras they have ND filters built in for ease of use.

 

A lot of the time people are confused on when, where and how to use them and there is such a large variety of ND filters you can get.

 

I like to explain an ND filter as ‘sunglasses’ for my camera. It filters out certain amounts of light dependant on the strength of the filter however standard ND’s don’t change the colour of the light being captured. (you can get colour filtered ND’s too)

 

What do ND filters do?

 

  • Can assist the aperture and allow for a shallow depth of field in a brightly lit environment.

  • Slows your shutter speed down – and helps to make moving objects become blurred.

 

What on earth do the numbers mean tho?

Realistically it is the strength or darkness of the filter. It would be handy if they directly translated to how many ‘stops of light’ they will darken the image, however, it doesn’t quite match up this way.

 

I’m no specialist on ND filters (currently), however, here is a great website that goes into some amazing detail especially for photographers:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/photography/hands-on-review/a-guide-to-neutral-density-filters

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ND-Filter

ND-filter or Neutral density filter 
A filter that attenuates light evenly over the visible light spectrum. It reduces the light entering a lens, thus forcing the iris to open to its maximum. 

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O
Overlay

Refers to titles, graphics or layers put on top of a video.

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You can go absolutely crazy with overlays in edit! They are literally anything you put over the top of your shot sequence during editing.

 

Commonly, in videography overlays are for titles and subtitles. But also, can be used to display items and photos that you may not have been able to capture during your shoot.

 

A lot of video editing software have a titles section that you can adapt and use on your videos, but, I also use After effects to create small animations that I can add on to my videos and if you are an adobe user you can cross use their software an import your own designed titles for your videos.

 

The industry is always adapting and changing so don’t be scared to stand out and try new things. Different overlays will attract different audiences so make sure that you do you research on your consumer to ensure that they engage with your videos.

 

Overlays are also really useful in product shoots with high B-Roll use as they can assist in narrative or even make the product come to life.

 
Production Crew

Pre-Production doesn’t just start at the script it is the whole process of research, ideas and mind mapping to make sure your script will be relevant to your audience. And then it will help in determining the budget  and what will fit into the script.

 

Pre-Production is very different in Marketing than Film and TV as many times you don’t need all of the steps but it can be handy to note down a few things you will need to think about before even starting your shoot:

 

  • Clarifying the aim of the video

  • Come up with a sequence

  • Lock in the script

  • Finalizing a budget

  • Hire key department heads

  • Break down the script

  • Storyboard and shot list

  • Scout and secure locations

  • Cast actors and crew

  • Plan: props, costume and set design

  • Get permits and relevant insurance

  • Schedule shoot days

  • Perform a tech scout

  • Arrange equipment rentals

 

This isn’t everything that happens during pre-production, however, the more you plan during your pre-production then the better the results will come out during production and post-production.

P
Pre-Production

Before filming, pre-production is the process of developing the concept, writing a treatment and or script, storyboarding and generally planning the production of the video.

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Q
Quick release

A piece of apparatus that makes mounting and removing a camera from a tripod faster and easier.

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Nearly every single videographer uses a quick release plate and may not even know it! Many camera operators will have their camera in a rig that is then attached to the tripod plate. This allows us to adapt from still shots to handheld with ease.

 

There are many different brands of film kit makers, but I can ensure you they will all have some kind of quick release system in place because it just makes sense.

 

However, there are plenty of different designs of plates that you can use and that can only be determined on what your setup is.

 

So to make sure I don’t get this wrong take a look at this website that explains all about quick release systems:

 

https://www.discoverdigitalphotography.com/2013/why-use-a-quick-release-system-when-using-your-camera-on-a-tripod/ 

 
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Resolution is very important when recording a video as there are certain stages where you can adjust the resolution.

 

In camera – before you shoot you can choose how you want to record 4K – 1080p – 720p.

Your timeline in edit – you can choose what resolution your timeline is when you get into edit.

The in render – when you go to export your video file you can choose to downsize the resolution to suit certain devices.

 

Why can you change it at some many stages?

 

Well a lot of video creators will film in a higher resolution but end up rendering in a lower resolution and this is to allow for extra adaptations in edit.

If you film in a higher resolution you can then crop an image without losing image quality and therefore creating more dynamic shots.

 

Also, you may be producing a project that will be used in multimedia platforms. For example, a television advert may have been created in 6K but they also want to put it on their socials, however, social media tends to require a lower resolution like 1080p so the editor will render the video multiple times dependant on the requirements of the client.

Just remember the higher the resolution the better the image comes out. 

R
Resolution

The term used to describe the total amount of pixels either horizontal or vertical that are contained in a video. Most of the time, video resolutions are described as the total amount of pixels that appear vertically such as 720p or 1080p.

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S
Sound Effects

SXF / Sound Effects / Foley
Sound added into the video during the edit to support the visuals. 

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Sound is often 'overlooked' (no pun intended) but it is vital! 

It is a vital part of the video production process. 

A Foley is the sound that has been recorded after the shoot to sound like the image on the screen. I must admit my foley skills are not 100% up to scratch but if you do it right then creating an audio bed can make a huge difference for a video. 

I love to visually see and hear what's going on and without sound effects you may not get the whole story; the sound effects can enhance a viewer's reaction to a scene. Horror movies would be absolutely useless without sound effects creating a mood and affecting the audience.

So when you are planning your video have a think about how you can tell the story with the audio! 

 
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This is one part of the video production process that people tend to 100% completely forget about… when you are making a video you should always prepare a thumbnail that grabs peoples attention. You can use thumbnails on nearly every platform that allows you to post videos. And it can actually determine a viewers decision if they watch your video or not, especially on YouTube.

 

You can then use the thumbnail as a different bit of content to promote the video further or give an extra bit of content to your social media channels.

 

If you are thinking of getting a video made always make sure to ask if your content creator will be supplying a thumbnail with the video or will you have to create it yourself.

 

It could be the difference on whether your video performs well or not.

Here's a video about Thumbnails if you fancy it: https://youtu.be/8OJRYpI9aD8 

T
Thumbnail

An image used to show what the video is about before it has started playing.

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Work Desk

U
Upload

The transfer of data from one computer to another, typically one that is larger or remote from the user or functioning as a server.

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You would think this is a very simple part to the creation process but actually it can be the most time consuming.

Uploads occur throughout the production process. After shoot (or even during) you will need to upload the files to a computer or hard drive ready for edit as well as then backing them up to ensure no loss in files.

 

Then once the edit is done you have to think about the time it will take to upload to an online drive to share to the client.

And finally the upload to the platform where the content will be viewed by the consumers.

 

Every content creator should factor in the upload process especially when dealing with large files. And the speed could then be affected by your computers specifications as well as your Wi-Fi strength too.

 
Professional Microphone with Pop Filter

There are sooooo many different elements of voice over so I have used my trusted friend Martin Whiskin's website to elaborate a bit further!

What is voiceover?

Take a deep breath before reading this out loud - a spoken piece of broadcast quality audio, recorded either in a home or professional studio for a wide variety of applications such as commercials, promos, video games, e-learning and apps which can be set to visuals, music and sound effects or left as a standalone piece. 

 

What does a voice over artist do?

A voice over artist breathes life into a script using different tones, styles, inflections, projection, emphasis, pausing, emotions, characters and back story (to name a few) in order to connect with the audience on a believable, human and emotional level.  

 

Why is voiceover important?

Voiceover injects emotion. Voiceover connects. Voiceover adds context. Voiceover creates memories. Voiceover embodies brands. Voiceover becomes recognisable. Voiceover aids accessibility. And more cool sounding stuff.

 

When should I use voiceover?

Use voiceover when you want to create lasting first impressions on your audience. Use it when you want to stand out. Use it when you want to make an impact. Use it when your video isn't really resonating how you thought it would. Use it to impress your nan. Use it to improve pretty much any production. Use it to make your brand human. 

 

Isn't voice over just talking into a microphone? 

In a word, no. Voice over artists have spent years practicing, honing their craft and expanding their range. Using a professional voiceover means not only a broadcast quality recording, but excellent interpretation of the script - ensuring the message is delivered in a style and tone that resonates with the audience.

 

Well there are some things that he talks about but why not head to his website and find out some more: https://www.martinwhiskin.co.uk/faqs-for-voiceover-clients

V
Voiceover

The use of audio that comes from a narrator that is not visible on the screen, a voiceover is heard as the background images and full video play.

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Window

W
window shot

The last shot of the day.

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Yes, this is the last what of the day and not a shot through the window!

It highlights the end of the day but not necessarily the end of a shoot that is more commonly known as ‘It’s a wrap!’ 

 

There’s not much else to say about this terminology and in all honesty, it only really occurs on film sets.

 
Cone Shape Lamps

Xenon is a chemical element with the symbol Xe and atomic number 54. It is a colourless, dense, odorless noble gas found in Earth's atmosphere in trace amounts. Xenon is used in flash lamps and arc lamps.

This isn’t exactly a widely used term but its apart of the structure when it comes to lighting and the base / creation of natural light.

 

I have no knowledge of it in all honesty. Just didn’t have another word for X to do with videos…

X
xenon

A bright lamp that projects daylight.

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Alex-Durham-10.jpg

Y
You!

Videos need you! and for small businesses perform better if you and your team are in them!

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I think you can tell I didn’t have a word for Y either but this is a great marketing tip!