Glossary: Workflow Best Practice Guide

AAFAdvanced Authoring Format enables content creators to easily exchange digital media and metadata across platforms and between applications. Simplifies project management and preserves valuable metadata that was often lost when transferring between applications. The AAF Association goes into further details here.
Aspect ratiosRatio of width to height on screen.
AssemblyFirst cut of footage, to find out what you have, and how scenes might work. Exploratory, rambling – it won’t look anything like a film
Bash mixTemporary mix, usually for early screenings so the film reads well
Clapper/LoaderPerson who loads/dismounts cards in camera, responsible for correct slating
CodecsStands for COmpressor-DECompressor e.g. QT, MPEG, H.264, DNxHD
Colour spaceWhen reproducing colour on another device, colour spaces can show you will be able to retain shadow/highlight detail, colour saturation, and by how much either will be compromised
Continuity or Script SupervisorMaintains the vision of the script, flags potential continuity problems, does script breakdowns, timings (for schedule, shot lists), records each shot, deviations, rewrites, marks up script, provides base for Assembly

All the footage of each day, quality checked, sound synced and coloured, delivered to editorial with the notes and metadata from the set.

DCPDigital Cinema Package – a collection of files which store & convey digital cinema audio, image & data streams
DeliverablesExactly what funders/marketers require to sell/screen your film, set with the producer at the beginning and delivered at the end. See Specifics/Technology >
DITDigital Imaging Technician. See Specifics/Technology >
DOPDirector of Photography
EDLEdit Decision List, used by Picture & Sound Post houses to check the edit
Fine cutA late edit, very close to a Lock, often with bash music & VFX
FormatsThe size and shape of the image to be shot
FPSFrames per second, the speed which you’re shooting and editing. In NZ 23.976, 24 (cinema) or 25fps (TV or web)
HandoverWhen an edited sequence is handed over to a post house for finishing work on picture, sound & visual effects. Each post house company has its own equipment, software and methods, so the specifications for each post house will be different as the sequence is migrating from one platform to completely different platforms
Latch cutInvented by Peter Jackson: when a sequence is handed on to a post house for finishing with the proviso there will be changes coming
LeadersHead countdown leader provides standard start for any sequence & provides sync check via 2 pip & accurate first frame of film. Tail count up leader provides standard end for any sequence, sync check via tail 2 pip & accurate last frame of film. See Post Houses Need Information >
LiDAR scan

At the most basic level, LiDAR is a time-of-flight system that shoots low-power lasers at an environment. Using the reflections, it calculates the distance to objects and points in the environment, and creates an accurate 3D depth map or rendering based on the results.

Locked cutThe Director has called an end to the edit
LUTLook Up Table; converts camera colour space to working (editing) colour space
MetadataImportant when ingesting files as it maintains the link between each frame of video and its matching frames of original file and sound
MD5 ChecksumsData that identifies a file; If data changes within a file, the new sum will not match the original & checksum will pick it up. They are like fingerprints, and tell you if the file is what it says it is (or not)
MXFMaterial Exchange Format – Avid container format for professional digital media defined by SMPTE standards. Transcodes to MXF commonly executed by DIT
OfflineWhere raw footage is transcoded and used in editing, facilitating smaller media volumes and better computer power. At Handover, the original media is assembled according to the offline edit.

Also used to refer to the entire edit process up to Handover to Conform

OnlineFinal picture stage when original media is assembled according to the offline edit, in a suite which can handle the original resolution. Repairs to damage – pixels etc. – can often be made at this stage.
OverprintPrinting media data on QTs for Posthouses, because the QTs no longer carry the necessary metadata

Network Device Interface. Enables video-compatible products to communicate, deliver, and receive high-definition video over a computer network in a high quality, low latency that is frame accurate and suitable for switching in a live production environment.


The art and science of extracting 3D information from photographs. The process involves taking overlapping photographs of an object, structure, or space, and converting them into 2D or 3D digital models.

Pips/PopsSingle frame of tone on the Leaders 2 frame, across all sound tracks so sync can be checked at sequence start and end
Post HousesWhen you’re no longer in the closed loop of film school or TV you will be dealing with external facilities (post houses) to do VFX, online/grade picture finishing, sound design, sound mix theatre, music composer
QCQuality Check
QTQuick Time (.mov)
SDStandard Definition (720 x 576)
HDHigh Definition (1920 x 1080)
Full HDFull High Definition (1920 x 1080)
UHDUltra High Definition is a consumer display & broadcast resolution  (3840 x 2160)
4K4K is professional production & cinema resolution (4096 x 2160)
Raw/OCF mediaWhat’s on the camera card (original camera files), copied to Master Drive by DIT
Raw AcquisitionA codec/type of recording method (which not all cameras do)
SDR & HDRStandard Dynamic Range is the original luminosity range in which we acquire images

High Dynamic Range is used to reproduce a greater dynamic luminosity range than is possible with SDR

SMPTE timecode(Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers) standard for labelling frames, allows for accurate editing, syncing & identification of media. The combination of accurate timecode & unique original file name are the prime building blocks for handling digital media.
Timecode24 hour, time of day, generated by camera & by sound, locked together
TranscodesEnables raw (large) camera files to be edited smoothly on desk/laptop computers. Also known as proxies or offline editorial media
VFXVisual Effects (in Avid or by external VFX artist/house)
WatermarkLight overprint thru image identifying sequence & purpose. If a sequence turns up in a place it shouldn’t be, the watermark identifies who had responsibility for it
XMLPlain text files which include tags to identify all data in the file, can be opened in any text editor, browsed & edited, associated with Premiere

Audio terms explained:

Far-field Audio (Theatrical)Just what the name implies:  you’re sitting far back from the screen, so you get more room sound. You’re dealing with balancing direct and reflected energy so you get a little more room sound
Near-field Audio (Television)You’re close to the speakers so you’re getting more direct energy, less reflected energy, so less room sound
Home AtmosOften referred to as 7.1.4 it is Dolby Atmos mixing technology in its simplest configuration intended for home theatre listening
Theatrical AtmosExpanded & comprehensive version of Dolby Atmos intended for theatrical situations. Encompasses 128 audio channels and metadata

Page last updated on 23 August 2022