Glossary of Film and Electronic Media Terms

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rack focus Shifting camera focus from one part of a scene to another, thereby forcing a shift in audience attention.

radio frequency RF Electromagnetic radiation within a certain frequency range. Radio and television transmitters both utilize RF energy to broadcast their signals.

RAID Redundant Array of Inexpensive Drives. A system of teaming together numerous computer hard drives, generally for storage in non-linear editing systems.

rails Tracks for camera mounts laid on the ground (resembling small railroad tracks) which allow for smooth follow shots for cameras.

rainbow filter Special effect optical filter that creates multicolor streaks of light around spectral highlights and lights.

RAM (random access memory) A computer's basic working memory which holds information only as long as the computer is turned on.

ramping Related to the tendency of zoom lenses to have reduced light transmission capabilities as the lens is zoomed in and the mechanical compensation measures built into the lens which automatically open up the iris as the lens is zoomed in and close it down as the lens is zoomed out.

random access editing Non-linear editing. The ability of an editing playback system to find and cue successive, non-sequential segments in an editing session before they are needed, making it possible for a sequence of edits to be previewed and assembled in real time in any order.

random interlace Scanning associated with industrial (non-broadcast) sync. Video scanning method in which the horizontal and vertical scan controls run independently of each other and have a somewhat random relationship.

range extender An optical attachment to a lens (or an internal device) that increases focal length.

rate card  A listing of charges for services, typically listing the cost of broadcast commercials.

raster The illuminated part of a CRT (TV) display--normally in a 4X3 or 16X9 ratio.

rating Percentage of television households with their sets tuned to a specific station compared to the total number of homes in the area with television sets.

raw footage  Original, unedited videotape footage.

reaction shot A cut to performer's face that registers a response. Generally a close-up of someone reacting to the central dialogue or action.

read throughs The somewhat informal sessions attended by the director and actors in which scripts are initially reviewed and rehearsed to decide on dramatic and production emphasis.

realistic set A production setting which appears (from the camera's viewpoint) to be authentic.

rear projection; RP Screen used for video effects onto which images are projected from the rear. When actors are photographed form the front, it appears as if they are part of the projected scene.

receiver A radio or TV set. An electronic device for detecting RF transmissions and demodulating them so they can be seen and/or heard.

record head The electromagnetic device that places an audio or video signal onto a recording medium (such as videotape) for later playback.

record VTR The video recorder that produces the final edited master by recording the edits from one or more source machines.

reel-to-reel In contrast to a cartridge or cassette tape format, a tape format that depends on two separate reels: a supply reel and a take-up reel.

re-establishing shot A wide shot intended to re-orient an audience to the basic elements of a scene and their relative positions.

reference black The darkest portion of the video picture, generally with a reflectance value of 3 percent.

reference white The whitest portion of the video picture, generally with a reflectance value of 60 percent or above.

reflected light meter A photoelectric device that measures the amount of light reflected from a subject. In determining exposure, reflected light meters assume an average 18 percent reflectance.

reflector board A silver or bright white surface used to reflect light onto a subject. Generally used outside to soften and fill in the light from the sun.

registration Adjusting the chroma channels in a tube-type TV camera so that the video from the three primary colors perfectly overlaps (registers).

rehearsal hall Any area in which a dry rehearsal takes place.

relational editing In relational editing scenes that by themselves seem not to be related take on an interrelated significance when spliced together.

relay lens An internal optical device used in some cameras that transports (relays) the image from the lens over an extended path before it reaches the camera's target.

release print; release tape The final film or videotape intended for distribution or broadcast.

remote Any multiple-camera telecast from outside the studio.

remote survey An evaluation of a field location by key production and engineering personnel so production needs can be ascertained.

remote truck A vehicle containing basic field production gear.

render  Computer process of performing the calculations to create detail in a three-dimensional computer-generated scene or special effect.

replica set A production setting which is a copy of, and is designed to look exactly like, a well-known site.

representational-supportive set A production setting, such as a news or weather set, designed solely to support the function of the production.

resolution The ability of the camera system to distinguish and reproduce fine detail.

resolution chart A test pattern used to set up and check a camera which shows camera sharpness and the condition of the camera system.

resolving power The ability of a lens to optically reproduce fine detail.

reveal To dolly or zoom back a camera to show additional material.

reverb; reverberation . Subtle echo effect accompanying a sound.

reverberation unit A mechanical or an electronic device that creates controlled sound reverberation or echo. Used for special effects and in postproduction sweetening to balance location presence between different sources of audio.

reverse video Polarity reversal. Negative image. Changing from dark characters on a light background to light characters on a light background, for example.

reverse-angle shot Used in dialogue scenes where a shot of someone speaking is followed by a shot of a person who is listening. Normally taken from over the shoulder at an angle of about 140 degrees.

RF carrier wave Radio frequency energy which carries a video and/or audio signal in broadcasting.

RF interference An unwanted radio frequency signal that interferes with an audio or video signal.

RF mics Wireless mic. Radio frequency mic. A combination microphone and miniature broadcast transmitter which eliminates the need for mic cables.

RF modulator An electronic circuit that converts the audio and video into a single radio frequency TV signal. When part of a videotape machine the resulting signal can be viewed on a standard TV set, generally on either channel 3 or 4.

RF; radio frequency A specific portion of the electromagnetic spectrum used by carrier waves in broadcasting.

RGB encoder Device that converts composite video into RGB video.

RGB monitor A type of color monitor with separate inputs for red, green and blue. Normally associated with high-resolution display systems. See also RGB video.

RGB (red, green and blue) The primary colors of light used to create a color TV image.

RGB video A video (generally computer) viewing system that uses discrete red, green and blue signals in separate wires.

ribbon mike A type of microphone that makes use of a metal ribbon suspended in a magnetic field. When sound waves strike the ribbon, the resulting vibratory movement of the ribbon creates a minute voltage.

ride focus See follow focus.

ride gain To manually keep the audio or video levels within acceptable limits.

rim lighting Placing a lamp behind a subject, often with little or no front light, to give a glowing edge or outline of light around the subject.

ringing A common filter artifact in video that appears as ghost-like images with sharp edges.

riser A small platform used as a setpiece.

robotic camera Any one of several types of remotely-controlled, automated camera positioning systems. Most allow for camera pans, tilts, dollies and trucks.

roll A lack of vertical synchronization which causes a complete TV picture to appear to rotate upward or downward.

roll-off Preset attenuation in electronic equipment of a predetermined range of lower frequencies. Used by microphone manufacturers to reduce the proximity effect.

room tone The ambient sound present in a room recorded during original taping and used during editing to add needed intervals of "silence" between edits. It is important in maintaining the audio atmosphere existing at a location.

rotary fader As opposed to a linear fader, a volume control regulated by rotation.

rough cut The initial edit intended to provide a general idea of production. A kind of rough draft of the final edit.

roundy-round See reverse angle shot.

routing switcher An device used to select and direct various sources to specific pieces of audio or video equipment.

royalty fees Copyright fees paid to artists for the use of their work.

RS-232  A standard serial communications protocol and connection used by computers and some video equipment.

rule of thirds A composition guideline that suggests putting the center of interest at the crosspoints of two vertical and two horizontal lines that divide the frame into three equal segments.

rumble filter  Audio filter that eliminates low frequencies associated with such things as wind, hum, and other types of low frequency noise.

runaway production A production done outside of California or outside the United States, generally with the intent of saving money.

runout signal A few seconds of black at the end of a videotape recording intended to keep the screen in black and the sync stable while other programming is switched up.


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