We hope this section clarifies some key terms. 

The filmmaking process


The process of taking initial ideas and turning them into a snappy and coherent script


Preparation for the shoot. Creating a schedule, sourcing and organising all the people, equipment and locations needed for the shoot.


Recording all the material outlined in the script.


Editing the picture and sound, adding effects and sounds. Changing the moving images into the correct format - DVD, data files, or onto tape. Creating any necessary graphics and packaging the video.


Making sure the finished video is viewed by your target audience.


High definition

There are many types of High Definition out there. It is very confusing, even broadcasters who claim to broadcast in High Definition are not broadcasting in true High Def. Even if your TV is High Definition ready, the chances are, for the most part you are watching in Standard Definition. 

As a broad guide Standard definition is 576 pixels tall, and High Definition is 1080 pixels tall. There are some cameras and phones that shoot somewhere between the two but still sell themselves as High Definition. At Large Scale we shoot 1080i as standard and then down-convert this to standard definition as necessary

As a note broadcast standards are slightly different from the above - just trying to avoid a lot of tekkie email!!

Location permissions

Unfortunately we can't film wherever we like, even apparently public spaces! So we will need to secure the permissions of the owners or the council to shoot. 


Anyone appearing in the film needs to sign a release to the effect that they are happy for us to use their image on our film. If they are professionals it might cost to reach this agreement!

Clothing Logos

We will need to take care not to feature logos of well known clothing brands in the film. These companies can get touchy, and we don't want to give them a free advert!



The process of transferring to images from the camera to the edit suite

Picture edit

The process of editing the images so they tell smooth and coherent story.

Rough cut 

The first draft of an edit. Sifting through all the material and putting the best bits on a timeline to see how it looks. It is a useful point clients to gauge how their project is looking and whether it is communicating their message. It is good to iron out problems at this stage as it takes a long time to produce a fine cut. Rough means rough - there will be errors, omissions and mistakes at this point, this is a normal part of the process.

Fine cut 

The number of edit drafts after the rough cut. Once we have listened to our clients, we incorporate their suggestions into the successive fine cuts, leading to the finished video.


Once the fine cut has been signed off by a client we optimise the colour of all the images and make sure everything matches. It is at this point that we will add any colour effects or treatments to the video. 


This is essentially the sound edit. Sound effects and music, if not already present are added at this stage. The dialogue is optimised for clarity and loudness, and all the sound elements are balanced so the viewer can clearly hear the most important elements. The overall level of the sound is adjusted so it is not distorted when you listen to it on computers, TV's or in cinemas. 

"Copyright Free"

With reference to music. No music is truly copyright free - see copyright assigned

Copyright Assigned

With reference to music. This is where a composer assigns the copyright to a filmmaker for a fee. This fee is usually included in the purchase price for the music from specialist suppliers. An off the shelf CD or paid download does NOT assign copyright to the owner - this music can't be used on film or video without obtaining the composing and performing rights to do so. This can be expensive! At Large Scale we have a catalogue of Copyright Assigned music to use on you productions and is usually included in our edit price. 

Special Effects 

Any effects, motion graphics or still images that are added in post-production. We have been doing a lot of green screen work at the moment. Shooting people in front of a green screen and then digitally cutting them out an putting in a new background.  

Motion graphics

Specially created graphics that move. Think of the beginning of news programmes or the stings between programmes.


A way of encoding still images for use on computers. Unless you are a professional media worker this is probably the format you use to take photos and send pictures to friends. As a format it ok but not brilliant, and there are sometimes 'blocky' areas in the photo. 


Tiff is a way of encoding still images for computers. Tiff's have an Alpha Channel, which means you can have transparent sections in or around  the image.

Alpha Channel

Alpha Channels allow images to have transparency. So, for example, this means you can cut an image out an put it over another image or coloured background without it being bound in a square box. A circle can be a circle, without having a rectangular boundary around it. This can be very useful when adding logos to films, the logo doesn't have to appear in a white or black box. but can stand alone. 


Mastering to tape

Transferring the images as they are edited on the edit system on to tape 


The finished video on the best quality format. Ok probably not THE best but one that is the best for format of footage that was originally shot.


Delivery format


DV stands for digital video, which is standard definition video, and there are a couple of flavours. The most common is Mini DV and many of you may have had Mini DV cameras in the past. New cameras are moving more to being tapeless, however a tape can still be a very useful way of archiving your production. Even if you can't view or work with Mini DV, we often offer you a master on Mini DV tape so if you need any of the material again, for a showreel, for example, you can give the tape to any editor who can capture the video from the tape onto their edit system. Video in the MIni DV format is very greedy in terms of memory it uses and is not used to stream video on the web. 


Those silver discs. DVD is a very useful format to screen video material at home and work. However DVD is not as good quality as Digital Video, so the material has to be compressed to put it on a DVD disc. To do this the material has to be transcoded (changed from one format to another), and this can take a long time

Data Files

With reference to video this is rather a catch all term. Video Data files can be transferred from computer to computer like any normal file, when you open them they happen to play video rather than being text or a spreadsheet. There are lots of types of data files, Youtube uses data files to show video, and if you have an mp3 player or a smart phone they use data files to play video. Unfortunately they are not the same types of data files - which can be a pain!
Below is a list of common data files, which are distinguished by their dot something suffix on your computer, eg my

.mov  - quicktime files most commonly used on Mac's
.avi - movie files most commonly found on PC's. These days mac's and pc's will usually play both of these formats. Usually!
.wmv - Microsoft's video format for Windows Media Player  - which won't play on mac's.
.flv - flash video files. Will play on Mac or Pc, if you have the right software! Flash Video is often used to stream on the web, Youtube uses a version of Flash to stream from their site. All the videos on this site are Flash Videos.
H264 - A special type of quicktime file for using video on iPhones and iPods
There are many more types of video data file, these are just the basics! Each of this file types has its uses and it depends on your audience and target platform which one we select.



Transferring the footage from the timeline (DV) and compressing it so it will fit on a DVD (mpeg2). It can take hours for even short programmes. 

DVD authoring

This is the process of creating the graphics (backgrounds, animation, footage and buttons) and then creating and inter-linking all the menus, graphics, buttons and chapters so you have a fully working menu system on a DVD.

DVD duplication

Once a DVD has been authored and checked, then multiple copies can be made from that master.

DVD graphics

Creating the image and text that is to appear on the DVD label, and creating the images and texts that will appear on the outside cover of the DVD. In the trade the outside cover is called a Slip Cover. There is an. option to include a small booklet in each DVD, again the images and text will have to be designed before it is printed

Slip cover 

Trade name for the cover graphics for a DVD - because it slips into place.

terms and conditions

Changes Schedule

We do want clients to receive the film they desire. However, a creative object has no real end point and you could make changes ad infinitum. This is fine, but it takes time. To make this process finite we have a Changes Schedule in our terms and conditions, that allows for a certain number of changes to be made before we will need to negotiate an additional contract and additional payment. Each project will have a bespoke Changes Schedule. 

Screen Ratios

The Screen Ration describes the shape of the rectangle of the programme we are making, and is usually expressed as a mathematical function, so:
4:3 or 4 by 3 is the shape of an old school television. Old films, and television programmes are shot in this ratio. The Wire was shot in 4:3
16:9 or 16 by 9 is the shape of modern widescreen televisions. All the BBC output is now in 16:9.

The ratio depends on your purpose and the platform you are screening on. As a standard we shoot 16:9 high definition. 

If you have any further terms you don't understand Contact Us and we will add to this glossary.