A & B Rolls A and B rolls [are] two rolls of negative and positive elements which are used by the filmmaker to hide splices and create fades and dissolves by alternating back and forth between the two rolls. [11. Pg. 13]

Paired production elements that are printed in succession to hide transitions or splices between shots and to produce fades or dissolves. Created by splicing negative or positive film into two rolls. Where one carried the picture, the other has black or blank leader. [5. Pg. 99]

Aerial (shot) An extremely high angle view of a subject usually taken from a crane or a high stationary camera position, but may also refer to a shot taken from an actual airplane or helicopter. [4]

Air The medium for radio and TV broadcasting. A station or program, when broadcast, is on the air or airing. [8]

Answer Print An answer print is the film print that is used as a presentation copy once all the scenes have been checked for quality in the printing and the corrections have been made. [11. Pg. 14]

First positive film copy in which each scene had been corrected for brightness and color. Created to check the quality of the production, printing, or preservation elements. [5. Pg. 99]

Bagger A fire alarm. Usually constructed as one-bagger, two-bagger, three-bagger, etc., the number representing the severity of the fire, as in a four-alarm fire. [2]

Core Hub on which film is wound for storage. [5. Pg. 101]

Cuts Local term used in the WHDH collection to signify outtakes – footage not used in the broadcast news item.

Edited Local term used in the WHDH collection to signify a packaged news story that was ready to air.

ENG Electronic News Gathering. Television news gathering which replaced film couriered back to the newsroom with electronic methods such as video and microwave links to the studio. [10]

Feature A longer article or radio story, usually in greater depth and complexity than a simple news item. Features may grow from a current news event or simply be examining a timeless issue. Features which are not strongly connected to hard news events are often called soft features. In radio, features usually have a mixture of elements, including the reporter’s voice, interviews and other sounds. Longer features may be called documentaries. [10]

Feed The transfer of information from a source to a recipient, whether raw information from reporter to studio or finished reports fed to a transmitter or another station for broadcast. [10]

File Footage or File A completed television news story pre-prepared for a news bulletin and ready for transmission. A package will contain a written introduction for the newsreader, the reporter’s edited report complete with vision and sound and an out-cue for the end. [10]

Folo or Follow up A story which is written to report new or more detailed information on a story which has already been published or broadcast. [10]

Footage length Footage is the length of the film when it is unwound from the reel or core and it is measured in feet. [11. Pg. 9]

Measurement of film length in feet or frames. [5. Pg. 102]

Freeze Frame or F.F. Optical printing effect whereby a single frame is repeated to give the illusion that all action has stopped. [7]

Handout film Local term used in WHDH Collection and WCVB Collection Assignment Sheets. Appears to refer to footage supplied by an outside company, such as Rockwell International space station.

Head Beginning of film roll. [5. Pg. 103]

HFR Local term used in WCVB Collection Assignment Sheets. Possibly relates to the length of the item.

Hold or Holdover Local term used in WCVB Collection Assignment Sheets. The term suggests the item was filmed on one day and held back from broadcast until a later date.

Int. or Interview A formal, usually structured conversation between a journalist and a source to get information for a story. [10]

Live Being broadcast as it happens [10]

Magnetic Track Magnetic tracks or ‘mag’ tracks are very thin strips of what looks like magnetic audiotape applied to the film. The magnetic track is read by a playback head in the projector during viewing. Magnetic tracks can also be found as a reel of what appears to be blank copper-colored film. The audio track can be detected when the reel is played on piece of equipment capable of playing sound film. [11. Pg. 14]

Soundtrack in which the sound information is carried by magnetic oxide. Magnetic sound track can be affixed to a print as a stripe along the film edge or exist as a separate element (full-coat mag). [5. Pg. 104]

Master The sound and picture elements that are sufficient for printing new film copied with reuse of the original source. [5. Pg. 104]

MOS Silent filming. Traditionally explained as Motion Omit Sound. [4]

The term MOS is used on a slate when a scene is filmed without sync sound (or any sound). [6]

Negative The negative is the film in its original form which is a negative image. [11. Pg. 13]

Film carrying the reverse image of the subject. The negative is exposed in the camera or created from a positive in the laboratory. [5. Pg. 105]

n.c. News Conference. Also called press conference... When reporters are gathered together to question someone in the news, usually taking it in turns to ask questions. Such gatherings are usually organized by an individual or company to deal with all the media in one session or to promote a new product or service. [10]

Optical Track The optical track appears along the edge of the film as a wavy white line or a gray stripe that varies in shade. The sound track is exposed onto the film during printing. The optical track is read as light passes through it, thus the name ‘optical.’ [11. Pg. 14]

Photographically printed sound record carried on the film print or produced as a separate element. [5. Pg. 105]

Outs Outtakes are pieces of film that did not make it into the final edited version. [11. Pg. 14]

Footage not used in a completed film [5. Pg. 105]

Package or Pkg A completed television news story pre-prepared for a news bulletin and ready for transmission. A package will contain a written introduction for the newsreader, the reporter’s edited report complete with vision and sound and an out-cue for the end. [10]

Pix Or Pics Local term used in WHDH Collection and WCVB Collection Sheets. Relates to footage filmed for news stories.

POS Local term used in the WGBH Ten O’Clock News Collection to signify “person on the street” – short interviews with the public to garner local opinions on topics of the day. Can also be known as Vox Pops, see The News manual.

Print films A print is a copy of the film made from the negative. [11. Pg. 13]

Reax. Or Reactions Local term used in WCVB Collection Assignment Sheets to signify people’s reactions or opinions about a news story.

R.E. or Real Estate Local term used in WHDH Collection and WCVB Collection Assignment Sheets to signify location footage relating to a news story, such as Harvard Yard.

Reel Metal or plastic hub with extended sides between which film is wound for projection. [5. Pg. 106]

Reversal film Camera reversal means that the same film that runs through the camera comes back from the lab as a positive image. This is similar to a slide in photography. There is no matching negative for the original film which makes it the only copy in existence. It cannot be reconstructed if damaged or destroyed. To identify reversal film and distinguish it from a print, look at the edge of the film. A black edge indicated reversal film while a clear edge means that it is probably a print and was produced from a negative. [11. Pg. 13]

SIL Silent. Silent film. Film made without a sound track. [5. Pg. 107]

Sketches Local term used in WHDH Collection and WCVB Collection Sheets. Related to artists’ rendition of people, used mainly during court proceedings.

SOF Sound on film. Optical or Magnetic track running lengthwise on film adjacent to the edges of the image frames and inside the perforations. [3]

Sound tracks Sound films have a sound track on the film which is used by he projector to ‘read’ the sound as the film plays. Sound tracks found on films are either optical or magnetic. [11. Pg. 14]

SOT Sound on tape. Sound and video recorded on the same machine, as distinguished from sync-sound recording with separate video and sound tape recorders. [8]

Spray job Local term used in WCVB Collection Assignment Sheets. Spray means to get some quick footage of an event with the resulting film used to create a short v/o item read by the news presenter [12]

Stand up or Stupper A reporter’s appearance in a TV news story. Usually a head and shoulders shot which features the reporter talking into the camera at the scene of the news event, often used as a transition, or at the beginning or ending. [10]

Stock Stock footage shot or other footage which is germane to a given visual presentation but which was not generated for that specific film or television presentation. [4 Library shot]

Studio Local term used in WCVB Collection Assignment Sheets to signify a news item broadcast from the news studio.

Sync Synchronization. The maintenance of one operation in step with another. Abbreviated as 'sync’.

A picture record and a sound record are said to be 'in sync’ when they are placed relative to each other on a release print so that when they are projected the action will coincide precisely with the accompanying sound. When these conditions are not met they are said to be 'out of sync’.

In video it usually refers to the synchronization pulses necessary to coordinate the operation of several interconnected video components. When the components are properly synchronized, they are said to be 'in sync’. [9]

Tail End of film roll. [5. Pg. 108]

Track A part of a reporter’s narration from outside the studio, with each track numbered to precede each section of the interview or activity, so that track 1 is the introduction, track 2 is between the first and second bites, and track 3 precedes the third bite. [8]

Trim(s) Portions of a scene left over after the selected section has been used in final cutting. [4]

Outtakes of only a few frames. [7]

Voice over A television technique in which a reporter or narrator speaks while vision is being shown on screen. [10]

VTR Videotape Recorder. An electro-mechanical device designed to record and playback video and audio signals on magnetic tape wound on open reels. [1]

Wild sound Audio elements that are not recorded synchronously with the picture. [4 Wild Track]

Non-sync sound that is recorded when the camera isn't running. [7]

Work Print A work print is made quickly, often without any kind of correction for light or color. It is used to assemble the rough cut of a film so that the original film material is preserved while the film is edited. [11. Pg. 14]

Wrap or Wrap up A cover; a summary; completion; a show-business term to indicate completion of a scene; also called insert, package, takeout, wrap-around, or wrapper. The wrap-up signal to end a program quickly is one hand rotating in a circular motion. Also, a news report that combines the voice of the announcer, the voice of the newsmaker, and background sound. [8]

Wx Local term used in WCVB Collection Assignment Sheets to signify the weather


1. ACVL – Association of Cinema and Video Laboratories

3. Film Forever

5. The Film Preservation Guide, National Film Preservation Foundation

6. FilmSound

9. National Film and Sound Archive Australia

12. Definition supplied by ex-WCVB staffer.