The Complete A-Z Guide of Corporate Video

Video

a-z icons on multicolour background

Contents

19 min read

When it comes to corporate video, there are A LOT of terms that get thrown around.

And let’s be honest, if you don’t work in video then this might seem like a whole load of gibberish.

Have you got your bokeh right?

Have you considered three point lighting?

Have you set your camera’s shutter speed to 60?

If you have no idea what any of these things mean, then I wouldn’t be surprised. It shouldn’t be expected of you to know these terms, unless of course, it is your job.

If you’re starting a video project for the first time then it might seem overwhelming. It can cause a huge communication gap if people use words you’re not familiar with and more importantly, it can make you feel silly.

That’s why we’ve put together your complete A-Z guide of corporate video, so that next time, you can confidently engage in the conversation without scratching your head.

A

Animation

Animated videos are videos created with original designs, drawings, illustrations or computer-generated effects that have been made to move in an eye-catching way using any number of artistic styles.

Aspect ratio

The ratio of the width to the height of an image. Traditional square-looking TV programs use an aspect ratio of 4:3. Other common standards include 1.85:1 and 16:9.

Audio

Audio refers to any sort of sound in video production including music, dialogue, sound effects, ambient noise, and/or background noise and soundtracks.

Adobe CC

This is a software package for creating media.

Aerial filming

Filming from the sky using drones or helicopters, to get dramatic high, low and sweeping angles.

Aperture

The effective diameter of the lens that controls the amount of light reaching the photoconductive or photo emitting image pickup sensor.

B

Bokeh

Bokeh is defined as “the effect of a soft out-of-focus background that you get when shooting a subject, using a fast lens, at the widest aperture, such as f/2.8 or wider.” Simply put, bokeh is the pleasing or aesthetic quality of out-of-focus blur in a photograph.

B-roll

B-roll is supplemental footage that provides supporting details and greater flexibility when editing video. Common examples include the footage used to cut away from an interview or news report to help tell the story.

Bandwidth

The range of signal frequencies that a piece of audio or video equipment can encode or decode; the difference between the limiting frequencies of a continuous frequency band. Video uses a higher frequency than audio, thus requiring a wider bandwidth.

C

Colour saturation

The degree to which a colour is free of white light.

Captions

Could refer to exact subtitles for the hard of hearing, or supporting text for platforms where videos are autoplay mute, like Facebook.

Corporate video

A corporate video is produced by a business or organisation to communicate a specific message. The aim is to attract and engage a relevant audience by using video as a communication tool.

Cut

An abrupt transition from one sequence to another. The name derives from when analog film reels had to be physically cut up and re-joined to get rid of unwanted footage.

Cutaway

A shot inserted into a continuous sequence, often showing something which is not central to the main action of that sequence.

Colour correction

The stage of post-production in which an editor adjusts the colour balance of footage to set the mood or produce an output with a consistent tone.

Close up

This involves the subject’s face filling the frame of the video, with a little bit of space around them. A close up is a great way to show your subjects emotions and reactions, especially in non-dialogue scenes.

Copyright

​​A video is subject to copyright from the moment of creation (the moment it was recorded). The owner at the point of creation is called the ‘first owner of copyright’. Copyright can be sold, given away or otherwise transferred, just like any other asset; copyright ownership of a work can change over time.

Clip on microphone

This is the most traditional mic and is often used in TV, news, and interviews. It is a great way to remotely record audio, as the mic is not attached to the camera. There are many benefits of using these devices including being easy to attach, suitable for remote locations, and producing high quality audio.

Condenser microphone

Also known as ‘shot gun’ microphones, you definitely would have seen these on TV! They are the giant fluffy microphones you see being put in front of peoples faces as they are being interviewed. Inside this fluffy dome is a condenser mic which is quite long and good at capturing audio that is directly in front of them. This type of mic is also great at ignoring noise in the surrounding area, producing audio which is much clearer and crisper.

D

Demonstration video

A product demo is a video which shows how your product works by seeing it in action. They are a great way to communicate the value of your product to potential customers by demonstrating what it can actually do. This is much more engaging than just reading a list of key features and specifications.

Distribution

This refers to the way in which video content is hosted on specific channels. Making calculated decisions about which channels to use will help your business align the right type of videos with appropriate target audiences.

Depth of field

The in-focus range of a lens or optical system around an item of interest. It is measured from the distance behind an object of interest, to the distance in front of the object of interest, when the viewing lens is specifically focused on the object of interest. Depth of field depends on subject-to-camera distance, focal length of the lens, and f-stop.

Drone shots

Drone shots are used to grab gripping aerial footage using remote controlled flying machines. They can get you amazing footage at a relatively low cost. Want to know more? Then check out our best examples of drone footage.

E

Extreme close up

The clue is in the name! This involves an extremely close shot of a subject or object to show a greater level of detail. The close up can be intense and is used to emphasise key messaging.

Explainer video

An explainer video is a short form video used for marketing and sales purposes. Its aim is to highlight a business’s product or service in a compelling and efficient way. They are often placed on a company’s homepage, landing page, or relevant product page to explain how something works.

Event video

An event video involves capturing social and special events by a videographer. This covers a wide range of applications including conferences, exhibitions, networking, and live performances. This is a great way to promote your event and reach new audiences online as part of a wider marketing campaign.

Editing

This is the process of manipulating and rearranging video shots to create a new work. Editing is usually considered to be one part of the post production process — other post-production tasks include adding titles, correcting colour, and mixing sound.

Establishing shot

This is a shot that gives context to a sequence by showing where it will take place. Used commonly as an opening in older films.

Extreme long shot

This type of shot is taken from a distance and is used to establish a scene. It provides a sense of place, context, and environment. For example, if you were explaining where someone lives you could use this type of shot to capture an aerial view of the city.

F

Full shot

This is generally a full body shot of a subject (or a group of people) from head to toe. This gives viewers a good perspective of who is going to be interacting in the scene. If you have started with an extreme long shot of the city, then transitioned to a long shot of the building, this shot could feature the actual location where the scene is happening. However there is no rule to this. You could start with a full shot then transition to an extreme long shot – there is no right answer for when to use a frame.

Framing

Framing represents the visual elements within a video, especially the placement of the subject in relation to other objects. By understanding framing, you can choose how to shoot a particular scene to ensure you’re expressing the right message. It allows you to emphasise emotions, thoughts, and ideas, by composing visual elements in the right way.

F-stop

F-stop is a term used to describe the size of the aperture opening. The lower the F-stop number, the bigger the aperture. If the aperture is low, more light is able to reach the image sensor. F-stop settings are normally displayed with a forward slash. Common f-stops are: f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, and f/22. A low f-stop number (large aperture) results in a shallow depth of field and a high f-stop (smaller aperture) gives a deep depth of field.

Frame rate

This is a number that expresses how many still images are combined to make a single second of footage. Feature films traditionally use a frame rate of 24 frames per second (fps). For slow-motion shots, the raw footage is often shot at a high frame rate that is reduced during post-production.

Focal point

The point at which a lens or mirror will focus parallel incident radiation.

Focal length

The distance from the focal point to the principal point of the lens. The focal length is usually measured in millimeters of the lens. Focal length is an indication of the lens capability to capture a wide angle of view or a narrow view of objects that are far away.

G

Gamma

A numerical value, or the degree of contrast in a video picture, which is the exponent of that power law which is used to approximate the curve of output magnitude versus input magnitude over the region of interest. Since picture monitors have a nonlinear relationship between the input voltage and brightness, the signal must be correspondingly pre distorted. Gamma correction is always done at the source (camera).

Grading

Grading is essentially altering the look of an image to enhance the appearance of the video image.

GDPR

The GDPR aims to give end users more control over their personal data, specifically with who collects their information and what they allow them to do with it.

Gimbel

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

H

HD

This means High Definition and is standard for all modern cameras. If you shoot in 4K – this is nearly 4 times the resolution of high definition which future-proofs your content.

Handheld

Handheld is when the camera operator is using the camera in his own hands, instead of on a tripod or a gimbal.

Hue

This corresponds to colours such as red, blue, etc. A colour wheel contains basic pigments. Most commonly, video hue is influenced by a camera’s white balance or scene lighting. Video colour processors, such as the video equaliser, are the main tools used to adjust and correct hue problems.

I

Investor relations video

An investor relations video is a type of video used to communicate corporate achievements, boost attendance rates, and engage shareholders and stakeholders. It’s important corporations provide stakeholders with information that is transparent, honest, and up-to-date so they can review business activities and value.

ISO

What does ISO stand for? Well, ISO is a camera setting in the digital cameras that changes how sensitive the sensor is to light. The higher the ISO, the more sensitive the sensor is to light, allowing you to shoot video in low light conditions. Low ISOs are used to shoot video in daylight and bright light conditions and provide more detail in the image.

Importing

Importing refers to the process of transferring videos from your camera onto your computer or into a piece of editing software.

Image sensor

Image sensor is what your digital camera uses to convert an optical image into an electric signal that your camera interprets to produce the image you see. Common types of sensors are APS-C, micro four thirds, and full-frame.

J

J cut

A J-cut is a type of cut in which the sound of the next scene precedes the picture. The name comes from the shape these clips make in the timeline of an editing program.

Jump cut

Jump cut is an abrupt transition, typically in a sequential clip that makes the subject appear to jump from one spot to the other, without continuity.

K

Unfortunately we’ve drawn a blank here. Can you think of any video terms that start with K? If so, drop it in the comments below.

L

Livestream

This is a video that is not recorded, but broadcast directly to the viewing platform.

Live action video

The simple definition of live-action video means it involves real people or animals, as opposed to animation or computer-generated effects.

Location tour

A video tour is a full motion video of a location. Unlike the virtual tour’s static wrap-around feel, a video tour is a linear walk-through of a location such as an office.

Long shot

Whilst this is still used to establish a scene, it is a little more focussed than an extreme long shot. You could feature a subject in the frame, but there will be a lot of space around them. In this instance, instead of showing an aerial view of the entire city, you would focus on the building where the person lives.

Lens

The lens is the part that delivers the light to the sensor. The lens can have different apertures and focal lengths. These influence how the final image will look.

M

Montage

Montage is a technique of film editing that combines a series of short shots or clips into one sequence, often set to music.

Medium shot

This one is fairly simple and involves framing your subject from the waist upwards. You can use this for a variety of reasons including showing a conversation between two people. This type of shot provides enough context for the audience to understand the subject.

Motion

A generalised use class aspect that specifies the level of motion you anticipate in a scene of interest.

N

Neutral density filter

Neutral density filter is a piece of glass that fits over the front end of a lens to reduce the amount of light entering the camera.

O

On board microphone

This type of microphone sits on top of the camera. It is usually bought separate to the camera to improve the quality of audio compared to the mic built into the camera. On board microphones are best used in enclosed spaces where there is very little echo. However, it is still best to have clip on mics just incase these don’t perform the way you need them to.

Onboarding videos

This is when businesses use explainer and walkthrough videos to educate their customers, employees, or users about the value and the core functions of a product.

P

Pre-production

Preproduction comes early in the filmmaking process, after development and before production. It involves finalising the script, hiring the actors and crew, finding locations, determining what equipment you’ll need, and figuring out the budget.

Post production

Post-production is the third and final stage of video creation. It’s a detailed process that involves many different services, skill sets and types of professional software, all working together to create a final version of your video or film.

Product launch video

A product launch video is used by companies to launch or market their product. The tone and style of video can be as per your customer base such as promo, teaser, explanation, features, and more.

Q

Quality

This one might seem obvious but quality refers to how good/ bad your overall video is. (I’m clutching at straws here but couldn’t find anything for Q!).

R

Resolution

Resolution is a measure of the number of pixels a video contains both horizontally and vertically. Some common resolutions are 640×480 (SD) 1280×720 (HD), 1920×1080 (HD). Sometimes these are referred to just by their vertical dimension such as 480p, 720p or 1080p.

Rendering

This is the process of applying edits to footage to create video and audio render files. These are normally made by video editing software so that you can preview your project in real-time.

Rule of thirds

The rule of thirds is a widely used compositional technique that involves dividing an image into a grid of nine squares, with important objects placed at the points where grid lines meet.

S

Slow motion

Slow motion is the action of slowing down pre-recorded footage to a different speed.

Shutterspeed

Shutter speed is the amount of time that each individual frame is exposed for when shooting video on a DSLR. For example, if you set your camera’s shutter speed to 60, each frame is being exposed for 1/60th of a second.

Storyboard

A storyboard is a plan containing illustrations, sketches, or drawings of each shot in a film project. Think of it as a graphic roadmap detailing every scene in your story.

Stock footage

Stock footage, also known as B-roll, is pre-recorded footage that can be used in a range of projects. It is essentially the equivalent of stock photography – but for use in video.

Script

A video script is the written document containing directives for the actors and instructions for filming—including sound effects, graphics, visual, and audio information.

Shot

A shot is a series of frames that runs for an uninterrupted period of time. Film shots are an essential aspect of a movie where angles, transitions, and cuts are used to further express emotion, ideas, and movement.

Social media videos

This involves creating videos for specific social media outlets such as YouTube or Instagram, and creating directly on that platform.

Saturation

This is the degree to which a colour is diluted with white light or is pure. The vividness of a colour, described by such terms as bright, deep, pastel, or pale. Saturation is directly related to the amplitude of the chrominance signal.

T

Three point lighting

Three-point lighting is a common type of lighting setup that lights a subject from three different sources in order to control shadows and balance contrast. The three lights are typically called back, key, and fill lights.

Thumbnail

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

Transitions

A transition is a technique used in the post-production process of film editing and video editing by which scenes or shots are combined.

Timelapse

A timelapse is basically a sped-up shot. Timelapses are usually made by compressing real-world time so that seconds, minutes, or hours are each represented by single frames.

Temperature

Temperature, or colour temperature, is measured in Kelvin and refers to how warm the colours of an image are. Warmer images appear to have a red tint, and cooler images have a blue tint.

Testimonial video

A testimonial video captures a customer or client praising a company. It is used to highlight their positive experience of using their products or services to influence other people to invest. In most cases, the customer will talk about how the company helped them to solve a particular problem and the reasons why they would recommend them to other people.

Tripod

This is a three-legged camera stand that helps shoot a still video.

U

Upshot

An upshot is another word for a close shot and involves tightly framing an actor’s face, making their reaction the main focus.

Upscale

This involves taking an existing video and improving its quality.

V

Video hosting

Video hosting involves uploading your video content in order to distribute it online. There are numerous video hosting services such as YouTube, Vimeo, and Wistia.

Video frame

A single frame (still image) taken from the video. Traditionally one second of footage is made of 25 frames. Incredibly, researchers have developed a camera that can shoot at 4.4 trillion frames per second. That’s fast.

Voiceover

A spoken narration and commentary to accompany the video. Recorded in a sound studio. We use a range of artists, male and female.

Vimeo

Vimeo is an American video hosting, sharing, and services platform provider.

W

White balance

White balance determines how different colours appear in a given image. Typically, colour is balanced to give white or grey objects the appearance of neutrality under a certain lighting condition.

X

Sorry to disappoint you but there doesn’t seem to be anything for X!

Y

YouTube

YouTube is a video sharing service where users can watch, like, share, comment and upload their own videos.

Z

Zoom lens

A Zoom lens is a lens with a ring that allows for zooming in and out between a range of focal lengths within the single lens.

Zoom shot

A zoom shot makes the subject larger or smaller within the frame simply by shifting the lens elements inside to change focal lengths. This magnifies the view of the subject while the camera itself remains stationary.
an open book of corporate video terms

The A-Z of Corporate Video

So there you have it.

Your complete A-Z guide to corporate video. I hope this post has helped answer some of your questions and given you the information you need when discussing corporate video in the future. Regardless of which sector you work in whether it’s IT or video services is key.

However, it’s difficult to engage in something that you know nothing about!

If you’re partnering with a video production company then they should explain everything to you and make sure you feel included.

It’s not about being patronising, it’s about making sure you grasp the process so that you can offer your own ideas. An agency should never assume you know specific industry terms, as that’s their job, not yours. Remember, you’re paying them for a reason.

At Canny we’ve worked across a whole range of sectors, creating amazing video for our clients. Whether you work in the marketing department or you’re a standalone marketer, our team is on hand to explain everything to you. We value your input and encourage you to share your own thoughts and ideas.

If Canny sounds like an agency you would like to partner with then what are you waiting for? Get in touch!