What does an editor mean when they say...?

When working on a video project a lot of confusing terms and words can get thrown around that you may not be familiar with.  It is important to understand these terms so that you can clearly communicate the changes you want making to your video.


Lets start off with a simple one.  A shot at it's most basic form is a single clip of video, the process of editing is taking all of the shots you have filmed and organising them in a specific order to make a film.  

The term could be used in various ways such as 'delete the shot of the dog at 1:03' or 'can you make the first shot a few seconds longer'.


A sequence is a group of shots the have been edited together that are either all in the same location or all include the same subject.

An example would be 'Can you remove the sequence talking about X' or 'The sequence on X needs to be shorter and to the point'.


Video is basically a series of photographs played back at speed.  The most common speed in the UK is 25 fps (frames per second).  This means you are seeing 25 frames or photographs every second which you eyes and brain interprets as a moving image.

You may use this term by saying 'The shot at 2:35 needs to be a few frames longer'.

On a side note, slow motion video is achieved by filming a subject at a high frame rate such as 250 frames per second.  When it is then played back 25 frames per second the movement is slowed down to roughly 10x slower than its original speed.


Quite simply a cut is the transition between two shots.  It can also be used to mean different versions of a film, for example, you may have heard of a directors cut but when talking to an editor it generally means the former.

This term would mainly be in the context of 'I think this shot cuts too early'.


Timecode is an easy way of communicating the time of the video where you want the changes making.  Timecode is broken down into Hours:Minutes:Seconds:Frames.  So for example 01:33:20:14 would be 1 hour, 33 minutes, 20 seconds and 14 frames.

I include a timecode counter on the bottom of all the non-final edits of my videos to make it easier for you to communicate where you would like changes making.

Rough Cut

A rough cut is the first edit of a video that will most likely be missing things such as graphics, text, titles, music, colour grading etc.  A rough cut is used to trim the content of the video before any more work in undertaken.

Offline Editing

Editing can be broken down into two stages offline and online, these are reflected in the two different line items on your invoice.  Offline editing is the stage where you assemble and move shots around to build your narrative.

Online Editing

Online editing on the other hand is the stage where you apply the finishing touches to your video.  These include mixing the audio, adding motion graphics and titles as well as creating the finished video file.

Colour Grading

Colour grading is the process of first of all making all of the shots match up in the sense of colour as well as giving your video a specific style.  

For example, you may have a shot that was filmed under fluoresent lights giving it a green hue, this can easily be corrected with colour grading.

Another example would be if you want your video to have a comforting feeling you could remove a bit of blue and add a bit of red to make the video feel a bit warmer.

And Many More...

These are just a few of the terms but they are the ones that are more commonly used and the ones you will be hearing from me when we work together.  

Have you heard terms that I haven't mentioned in this post?  Get in touch to let me know and I may explain them in a future blog post.

David Proud
Video Producer