TV Post terminology


Sorry this will be another Blender free post, but you can’t have all the VSE gold straight up. Where would be the challenge in that?

20140207_123725I work in TV post production, it has a lot of acronyms. Some may cross over into regular video post production. Lets take a look at the ones I use working at Australia’s National Broadcaster.


  1. ENG – Electronic News Gathering. What the camera crew and journalist do. Not to be confused with EFP or Electronic Film Production (used by those clever commercial directors)
  2. RVO or RLVO – Reader Voice Over/Reader Live Voice Over. This what you call a small news story that is played while the show’s host talks over it. It does not feature a journalist’s voice at all. Although sometimes an interview will happen in the middle (often called a GRAB).
  3. PTC – Piece To Camera. When the journalist appears on camera, in a story. Mostly they will do a pointless walk towards camera. These are used for 2 purposes, 1/ fill a part of the story that is impossible to illustrate with b-roll or overlay images. 2/ demonstrate that their employer spent a lot of money to get the journalist on location.

    A V.J. (Video Journalist) that does everything by themselves including the PTC
  4. VO – Voice Over. The voice of the narrator in a story, in my case the journalist I work with. This portions of a story are often used to abridge the ramblings of talent in a story to make them more concise

    We don’t really use these mics
  5. Reporterless Piece – When the journalist or producer does not appear or read VO in the story at all. The interviews must be more comprehensive and concise to cover story structure. This story is all told through the talent. And needs a lot more…
  6. Overlay or B-Roll – Additional footage or video that is used to cover Grabs, hopefully it bears some relationship to the topic being covered. Sometimes this is very tenuous.
  7. Cutaway – A shot of something in the scene, other than the continuity elements of the current scene. So you might get a shot looking out of a window or a shot of a clock, in addition to shooting a scene of the talent making a cup of tea/coffee. Useful in editing when abridging the drink scene.
  8. CU – Close Up. A tight shot of the subject, which could be someones’s face or their hands etc.
  9. MCU – Medium Close Up. A loose close up shot that doesn’t feel so intrusive. It is the most used interview shot and is framed from the chest up..
  10. MS – Mid Shot. Shot of talent from the waist up
  11. MLS – Medium Long Shot. Shot of talent from knees up, often used as 2 shot of journalist and talent
  12. LS – Long Shot. Shot from feet to head of talent. Often the talent is walking in this shot so we call it a…
  13. Talky – Overlay of the talent walking in a long shot. This is used as a way of introducing the talent, before we hear their interview. Can be substituted for a Book Off Shelf shot or a Walking Into Room shot. Leads us into…
  14. Grab – A small piece of the longer interview of the talent. Often just 10 seconds long. If you are interviews for TV be brief with a deliberate end.
  15. Split Mono – 2 audio tracks recorded with seperate source microphones. Most often in TV news they are the journalist radio mic or soundo’ (Sound operator) boom mic, and the ENG camera’s top mic (built in mic).
  16. NATSOT – NATural Sound On Tape. I know that no one records on tape anymore. This is the sound we record that occurs in front of the camera without people (ike the producer and talent) chatting in the background. It is used for…
  17. UpSOT – Raised (up) Sound On Tape. This is an instruction for the editor to increase the NATural sound to either introduce a new location or to make a dramatic point. Like punctuation for VO.
  18. Radio Cut – A editor’s story string out of sound elements, Voice Over and Grabs. This can show you approximately how long the final story will run and whether there are any glaring structural issues. Its easier to fix the later when there’s no overlay added.
  19. Recut – Aaaaaarrrrgggghhhh! Never write final on the…
  20. Clapper – The Ident (identity) graphic that appears at the first frame, it indicates item name, date, source, producer, editor, duration, format. It should not go to air, as that is the function of the …
  21. Super or Lower Third – The graphic that goes at the bottom of the frame which identifies the talent during a grab. These can be animated or not but should remain on screen long enough to be easily read.


Hmm, at least I’ve made some lower third supers in Blender!


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