P&A – Prints And Advertising, the major costs of film distribution.

P&S – See point and shoot below.

PAL – 1. Programmable Array Logic. An IC containing a large number of logic gates whose interconnections are programmable for specific applications. 2. Phase Alternate Line. Also called phase alternating line. The analog television broadcast standard and video standard for encoding analog color and monochrome (black and white) video and audio television signals, in use in most of Europe (save France, which uses SECAM). Consists of 625 horizontal lines at a field rate of 50 fields per second; two fields equals one complete frame. Out of 625 scan lines, only 576 of these lines are used for picture; the rest are used for sync or extra information such as VITC and closed captioning. The standard, fixed in the early 1960s, took into account the weaknesses related to NTSC’s ability to maintain color fidelity. It improved color stability and increased line resolution, but decreased image refresh frequency. Basically, the standard specifies line count, image refresh frequency, synchronization, modulation schemes, and composite signal encoding; in the color television system, the e’v component of burst is inverted in phase from one line to the next in order to minimize hue errors that may occur in color transmission. 3. PAL-B (also called PAL-I) is a European color tv system featuring 625 lines per frame, 50 fields per second, and a 4.43361875 MHz subcarrier. It is used mainly in Europe, China, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, The Middle East, and parts of Africa. Pal-M is a Brazilian color tv system with phase alternation by line, but using 525 lines per frame, 60 fields per second, and a 3.57671149 MHz subcarrier.  See also Ntsc And Secam.

PANS – Pretty Amazing New Services. Usually used jokingly for fancy telephony services, including so-called “smartphones”.

PCB – Printed Circuit Board. An insulating board onto which a circuit has been printed or etched.

PCI – Peripheral Component Interface. a high-speed interconnect system that runs at processor speed. PCI is designed so that all processors, co-processors and support chips can be linked together.  PCI bus mastering provides perfect audio sync and sustained throughput levels over three megabits per second.

PCM –  Pulse Code Modulation, a standard method of digital audio recording, encoding analog audio signals in digital form. PCM is uncompressed audio and found on many blu-ray disc movies. It is frequently used because it not only provides the best possible sound quality, but also does not require royalty payments to be made for its use. Soundtracks recorded with Dolby and DTS Surround require royalty payments, an extra expense to the studio. The drawback is PCM requires much more disc space than compressed formats such as Dolby TrueHD, which uses lossless compression to achieve similar quality while using less space. Found on CDs and DVD audio discs. Produced by audio digitizers. A common means of converting analog sounds into digital, by converting audio into binary numbers to represent it digitally, then back to audio. The waveform is measured at evenly spaced intervals and the amplitude of the waveform noted for each measurement. See lossless compression, lossy compression.  See also Jae Kamel’s Frantic Dictionary.

PCX – a digital image format that has been around for a while, and has a number of variations. Created by Zsoft for PC Paintbrush, it is similar to the bmp filetype, so that most image-editing software supports it. It is mainly used on windows-based computers, but its simplicity makes it compatible with Mac and Linux platforms as well. It has moderate lossless file compression capabilities.

PDF – Portable Document Format. A document file type that results in pictures that are viewable with adobe acrobat, Mac or PC-user. It is often used in forms creation and for documents that require their layout, fonts and images to appear unchanged from the original.

PDP – see Plasma Display Panel.

PG – Parental Guidance suggested. A certificate issued by the MPAA indicating that a film’s content is suitable for viewing by children, but recommends parental guidance. See also PG-13.

PG-13 – a certificate introduced by the MPAA on July 1, 1984 to indicate that a movie’s content is rated as slightly stronger than a PG certificate. See also R.

PIP – Picture-In-Picture, P-In-P, Pix In Pix. A special effects procedure in which two video images are combined, scaling or cropping one image so that it is less than full screen size and then placing the smaller image within the frame of the larger image. an image from a second video source is inset on a screen’s main picture, the big and small pictures usually being interchangeable.

PNG – Portable Network Graphic format. It is characterized by its ability to compress image files without a big quality reduction. PNG was developed to replace GIF and JPEG formats on the internet, but it doesn’t appear to have caught on to any great extent. Pronounced “pee-en-gee”.

p.o.v. – also P.O.V., pov, POV. Point Of View. A subjective shot from the actor’s point of view. The 1946 film, “The Lady In The Lake,” holds the dubious distinction of being the only feature film in which every shot is a point of view shot. The hero is seen only once in a mirror.

PPI – Pixels Per Inch, a measure of an image’s resolution. Can also be referred to as spatial resolution.

PPQ – Pulses Per Quarter-Note; the usual measure of a sequencer’s clock resolution.

PROM – Programmable Read Only Memory. A ROM that can be prograrmmed by the equipment manufacturer (rather than the PROM manufacturer).

PSD – Photoshop Document. An image file type created in adobe photoshop. It is uncompressed and contains data on editing that is done to the image. A PSD file is essentially photoshop’s version of a TIFF file. It lets you save a picture you are working on with its layers, channels and other image-editing data intact. PSD files must be converted to another image file type before use.

PSF imaging – Progressive-Segmented Frame imaging. Whole frames are captured at the same instant. Each frame represents a single moment in time. After the frame is captured, it is “segmented” or separated into two halves. One-half consists of odd lines and the other half consists of even lines.

px – abbreviation for pixels.

PZM – Pressure Zone Microphone. A small, sensitive condenser mike, usually attached to a 5-inch-square metal backing plate, which mike senses air pressure changes in tiny gap between mike element and plate. See condenser.

paintbox – digital graphics generator manufactured by Quantel.

painting with light – occurs when the photographer incrementally lights an otherwise darkened scene using a handheld flashlight or other small light source while the shutter remains open during a time exposure. The light is added to the scene in the manner of an artist using a paintbrush of light.

palladium print – palladium is a silvery-white metal that appears black in powder form. A palladium print is a photographic monochrome print that is made using palladium. Like platinum prints, they are very stable and have a high degree of permanence. Palladium prints are generally warmer and more sepia-like than platinum prints. Palladium & platinum prints, using both metals, have also been produced.

pan – 1. camera move in which the camera appears to move horizontally or vertically usually following the action of the shot. 2. the action of rotating a camera about its vertical axis.  3. horizontal camera pivot, right to left or left to right, from a stationary position. Follows a subject, redirects viewer’s attention from one subject to another, shows relationships between subjects, and scans subjects too large to fit into one shot. See also tilt.

pan and scan – also panned and scanned. As the aspect ratio of movies are rarely the same as the aspect ratio of a television screen, when showing movies on tv it is necessary to make sacrifices. “Pan and scan” refers to the technique of chopping off strips from one or both sides of the picture when displaying it, that is, the process used to convert widescreen images to 4:3 aspect ratio used by analog televisions by selectively cropping the image. The areas chopped off are typically changed on  a shot-by-shot basis, depending on scene composition. After the height of the film frame is maximized, the telecine operator pans back and forth selecting the best part of the film frame for each scene.The main advantage of this technique is that it allows detail to be seen, the disadvantage is that shot composition is sometimes destroyed. Contrast with letterboxing.

pan-and-zoom  – a technique for creating moving video from high resolution still images by varying the magnification at which the image is displayed, or changing the area of the image which fills the screen.

Panaflex – motion picture camera made by Panavision. See Panavision.

Panavision –  leading manufacturer of motion picture cameras, lenses and associated equipment, headquartered in California. Panavision motion picture equipment is available only on a rental basis through Panavision and their agents worldwide.  Operating solely on a rental basis allows Panavision to offer the most advanced equipment available while providing the highest level of reliability, as they are able to continuously monitor and maintain the equipment themselves. The rental model also saves the studios money since they only have to pay for the cameras when they are using them, and different numbers of cameras are needed depending on the project. By renting the studio can allocate resources exactly as they are needed. As a
condition of the rental agreement, motion pictures and television shows recorded with Panavision equipment must say so in the credits, such as “filmed in Panavision”.

Panavision 35 – a 35 mm process using 35mm negative film and photographed through a Panavision anamorphic lens with a compression of 2x. Contact 35 mm prints are compatible with anamorphic systems such as Cinemascope.

Panavision Genesis – digital high-definition motion picture produced by Panavision. It is a panavision-enhanced version of a Sony high-definition camera. Mel Gibson’s apocolypto was recorded with Panavision Genesis equipment.

panchromatic (pan) film – black-and-white film that is sensitive to all colors in tones of about the same relative brightness as the human sees in the original scene. Film sensitive to all visible wavelengths.

panning – technique that involves taking a picture while moving the camera at a relatively slow shutter speed.It is almost always used when tracking a moving object, such as a race car, as it travels across the film plane or sensor plane. When properly carried out, the object is in focus or at least rendered relatively sharply while its surroundings are blurred. The objective is to show motion. Panning blurs the surroundings but keeps your moving subject sharp.

panorama – 1. an extended, wide view or pictorial representation of a landscape or other scene. 2. a camera mode that produces a proportionately wider or taller than normal image, depending on the camera’s orientation.

panoramic camera – camera with a lens that rotates to scan a scene, all the while projecting the image onto an abnormally wide film frame. The broad sweep of the rotating lens records the scene without distortion, and is very useful for photographing expansive landscape scenes and large groups of people.

panoramic format – a long, narrow image format for panoramic photographs (panoramas). Note that a panorama, although typically also landscape format (longer horizontally) may also be portrait format (longer vertically).

paparazzo – paparazzi plural. A photographer who shoots candid, surreptitious or surprise shots, but not posed pictures, of celebrities and their families, often for publication in tabloids and magazines about the famous. The name derives from a photographer character in Federico Fellini’s film, La Dolce Vita, and is attributed to a hotel keeper in Catanzaro, Italy, named Coriolano Paparazzo, whom Fellini met. Many paparazzi are obnoxiously aggressive in their pursuit of movie stars and other celebrities, seeking to take pictures that show them in unflattering, embarrassing situations. Originally known as a   street photographer.

paper edit – a list of edits made entirely on paper by viewing window dub copies of the original camera tapes.

paper safe – light-tight container in which unexposed photographic paper is stored and easily accessed, for use in a darkroom.

parabola – a parabolic dish used to reflect sound waves, concentrating them on a microphone, allowing sound to be picked up from greater distances than with even a normal unidirectional or shotgun microphone.

parallax – 1. the difference between what is seen through the viewfinder and what the camera records on film or its digital image sensor, caused by the viewfinder being separate from the camera lens.  The twin-lens reflex camera shares the viewfinder camera’s problem of parallax error because the lens you look through is not the lens that takes the picture.  2. the difference in view caused by looking at a scene from two slightly different locations. This refers to the separation of the left and right images on the projection device or display screen. Positive parallax puts an object behind the screen (on-screen objects in the left eye image are to the left of the same objects in the right eye image). Negative parallax puts an object in front of the screen (on-screen objects in the left eye image are to the right of the same objects in the right eye image). Zero or neutral parallax puts an object on the screen (on-screen objects in the left eye image are overlaid on the same objects in the right eye image). The only difference between stereo cameras should be parallax or angle between the axes of the lenses as in camera convergence; anything else can disturb the stereo viewing. This requires close attention, so that the cameras are set-up the same and with the same filters. Color differences, skewing, vertical misalignment, differential weave and hop, lens flares, poor VFX fixes, scratches and dirt can all cause problems.  Fast cuts between shots with strong positive and strong negative parallax can be unsettling in some circumstances. This is because the eyes and brain are being asked to jump uncomfortably quickly between positions and then make sense of the result. This can be mitigated by the use of handing off, dynamically changing the convergence of an outgoing shot in relation to an incoming shot. Another method of dealing with this is trying wherever possible to cut between shots that are somewhat close in parallax. Vertical parallax is a vertical offset between stereo images and is very uncomfortable to watch, so it is necessary to remove during post production.  Note the term parallax is sometimes used interchangeably with congruence or disparity.

parallax error – also known as   parallax effect. The viewfinder camera’s main disadvantage, making it almost useless for careful composition of close-up subjects. The scene viewed by the photographer through the camera  s viewing frame is different from the scene the lens will capture because the viewing frame is offset from the lens.

parallax mapping – also photonic mapping, offset mapping or virtual displacement mapping. It is an enhancement of the bump mapping or normal mapping techniques applied to textures in 3D rendering applications such as video games. To the end user, this means that textures will have more apparent depth and realism with less of an influence on the speed of the game. It works with a height-map.

parallel data – transmission of data bits in groups along a collection of wires called a bus. Analogous to the rows of a marching band passing a review point. A typical parallel bus may accommodate transmission of one 8-, 16-, or 32-, or 64-bit byte at a time.

parallel digital – a digital video interface which uses twisted pair wiring and 25-pin ‘D’ connectors to convey the bits of digital video signal in parallel.

parallel interface – 1. linking several hardware components that have multiple data lines transporting information simultaneously.  2. A connection between two pieces of hardware in which several data lines carry information at the same time. compare with serial interface.

parallel light rays – light rays that proceed equally distant from each other through their whole course.

parallel video mixer – video mixing architecture where two identical sets of multipliers are used to create a multilevel effect.

parallel video processing – a mixing architecture where the outputs of several video multipliers are summed to create a composite effect.

parameter – 1. controls a particular aspect of a device’s operation. 2. a user-adjustable quantity that governs some aspect of a device’s performance. normally, the settings for all of the parameters that make up a synthesizer patch can be changed by the user and stored in memory, but the parameters themselves are defined by the operating system and cannot be altered.

parameters metadata – this could be signal coding, storage type, streaming parameters, etc.

paraphonic – a type of polyphonic synthesizer with multiple oscillators (one or more per voice), but only one filter, amp, or envelope generator board for all the oscillators. a true polyphonic synth will have independent oscillator, filter, amp and envelope generator boards for each voice.

parity – a method of verifying the accuracy of transmitted or recorded data. It is one of the simplest error detection techniques and can detect a single-bit failure.  An extra bit appended to an array of data as an accuracy check during transmission. Parity may be even or add. For odd parity, if the number of 1’s in the array is even, a 1 is added in the parity bit to make the total odd. For even parity, if the number of 1’s in the array is odd, a 1 is added in the parity bit to make the total even. The receiving computer checks the parity bit and indicates a data error if the number of ones does not add up to the proper even or odd total.

partial – one of the sine-wave components (the fundamental, an overtone, or a tone at some other frequency) of a complex tone.  See overtone.

partial metering – a name used by canon to describe one of its exposure metering modes. Partial metering is similar to spot metering, except that the measuring area (the “spot”) is larger than that of most spot meters. It is considered to be particularly useful when photographing black-lit subjects.

patch – to connect together, as the inputs and outputs of various modules, generally with patch cords.   2. The configuration of  and settings that results from the process of patching, and, by extension, the sound that such a configuration creates. Often used to denote a single tone color or the contents of a memory location that contains parameter settings for such a tone color, even on an instrument that requires no physical patching.2. synthesizer-generated tone that is saved in a PC’s RAM.

patch bay – also patch panel. A control panel where all the video and audio lines used in a studio are brought together and terminated in connectors allowing any combination of lines to be wired together as desired by patching in short lengths of cable.

patch cord – term occasionally used for connection cables. the term is rarely used now, largely replaced with interconnect. See interconnect.

patch map – a map with which any incoming midi program change message can be assigned to call up any of an instrument’s patches (sounds). See map, MIDI mapper.

patch panel – a manual method of routing signals using a panel of receptacles for sources and destinations and wire jumpers to interconnect them.

path – in digital picture manipulators, the values of the field rate information produced by ‘inbetweening’ two key frames. Visually, the path corresponds to the motion route that the image on the screen takes to move from one key frame to the next. May also include size changes, picture rotation, etc.

peak – the highest level of signal strength, determined by the height of the signal’s waveform. The point of highest amplitude of a waveform or voltage.

peak density – wavelength of maximum absorption.

peak-to-peak – the amplitude (voltage) difference between the most positive and the most negative excursions (peaks) of an electrical signal.

peaking – an adjustment method that allows compensation for high frequency loss in cables.

pedding – vertical camera movement, rising or lowering, with camera levelness maintained. Approaching closer to either floor or ceiling, the up/down equivalent of dollying.

pedestal – a camera support generally restricted to studio use having a single elevator column mounted on a tricycle base.

pedestal level – a black level which is the absolute black level of a video signal. Normally, a video signal refers to the setup level (about 0% to 5% of video amplitude above the blanking level) as the black level.

pen – to write, especially a script.

pencil  – of light, a collection of converging or diverging light rays.

pentaprism – five-sided prism in SLR cameras that renders a correctly-oriented view of the focusing screen.

percentage quantization – a method of quantization in which notes recorded into a sequencer with uneven rhythms are not shifted all the way to their theoretically perfect timings but instead are shifted part of the way, with the amount of shift being dependent on the user-selected percentage (quantization strength). See quantization.

perforations – holes punched on the sides of 35 mm film, throughout the length of a motion picture film, with regular spacing so that they line up with sprockets on the camera’s film take-up mechanism. These holes engage the teeth of various sprockets and pins by which the film is advanced and positioned as it travels through cameras, processing machines, and projectors.

perforation damage – on inspection the perforations through a magnifying glass you will find damage progressing from cracked, chipped or elongated holes to torn holes.

perspective – technique of depicting volumes and spacial relationships (a scene in three-dimensions) on a flat surface (an image having two dimensions). See also my Image Glossary for more on perspective.

perspective correction – a particular way to do texture mapping; it is extremely important for creating a realistic image. It takes into account the effect of the z value in a scene while mapping texels onto the surface of polygons. As a 3D object moves away from the viewer, the length and height of the object become compressed, making it appear shorter. without perspective correction, objects will appear to shift and ‘tear’ in an unrealistic way. true perspective correction is that the rate of change per pixel of texture is proportional to the depth. Since it requires a division per pixel, perspective correction is very computing intensive.

petabyte – a digital storage capacity equivalent to one-quadrillion bytes.

phantom power – an extra power source for condenser microphones. The word phantom is used to indicate that this power source does not affect dynamic mics which do not need extra power. In other words, dynamic mics will not notice the phantom power, while condenser mics will make use of it if they are not battery powered.  2.  a direct current (DC) power source available in various voltages.

phase – also chroma phase, hue, tint.  The relative timing of a signal in relation to another signal. If the time for one cycle of a signal is represented as 360 along a time axis, the phase position for the second signal is called phase angle expressed in degrees. The subcarrier phase of TV colors can be adjusted, and this changes the hue of the colors themselves.

phase coherence – 1. the relationship and timing of sounds that come from different drivers (subwoofers, woofers, midranges, tweeters) mounted in different locations.  2. The state in which two signals maintain a fixed phase relationship with each other or with a third signal that can serve as a reference for each.

phase inversion – the output of a circuit produces a wave of the same shape and frequency but 180 degrees out of phase with the input.

phase lock – the phase of a signal follows exactly the phase of a reference signal.

phase locked loop – a circuit containing an oscillator whose output phase or frequency locks onto and tracks the phase or frequency of a reference input signal. To produce the locked condition, the circuit detects any phase difference between the two signals and generates a correction voltage that is applied to the oscillator to adjust its phase or frequency.

phasing – adjusting the delay of a video signal to match a reference video signal. This includes horizontal and subcarrier timing.

phoenix – a molded, plastic, captive crew connector which requires that you strip and slide a wire directly into a hole on the connector (compression termination).

phone plug – sturdy male connector compatible with audio accessories, particularly for insertion of microphone and headphone cables. Not to be confused with phono plug. Also an audio connector used as a speaker connector. Common types are 1/4 inch and 1/8 inch.

Phong shading – 3D. a sophisticated smooth shading method, originated by Phong Bui-Tuong. The Phong shading algorithm is best  known for its ability to render precise, realistic specula highlights. During rendering, Phong shading achieves excellent realism by calculating the amount of light on the object at tiny points across the entire surface instead of at the vertices of the polygons. Each pixel representing the image is given its own color based on the lighting model applied at that point. Phong shading requires much more computation for the hardware than Gouraud shading.

phono cartridge – audio component mounted on a turntable’s tonearm, which generates an electrical signal from a phonograph record. See cantilever, moving coil, moving magnet, phono preamp, riaa equalization, stylus.

phono input – input on a preamp, integrated amplifier or receiver that is specially configured to be used with a turntable. The phono input is designed to be used with the very low output of a phono cartridge and applies RIAA equalization to the signal before amplification. See RIAA equalization.

phono plug – also called “rCA” or “RCA phono”, a popular cable connector for home audio as well as video components. Standard connection for direct audio/video inputs and outputs. Not to be confused with phone plug. The european name for an RCA connector. See RCA jacks.

phono preamp – electrical circuit found in receivers and integrated amplifiers with a phono input, and also in standalone phono preamps. A phono preamp applies the RIAA equalization curve and increase the very low millivolt signal of the phono cartridge into a volt or more for use with other components. Many home theater receivers do not have a phono input so a phono preamp is necessary if a turntable is to be used. See RIAA equalization.

phosphor – the substance which glows when struck by an electron beam, providing the image in a CRT. The higher the quality of the phosphor, the brighter and more vivid the image.

photic – of or pertaining to light.

photics – the science of light.

photobomb – a photograph containing a person whom the photographer did not want in it.

photochemical preservation – preservation of a film by photographic means. Printing a new copy on new film stock and then developing and fixing the image as done using traditional photographic processes.

photofinishing – the act of developing films, printing photographs, etc., including prints made from digital image files.

photoflash lamp – flash bulb.

photoflood lamp – an incandescent light source using a tungsten filament bulb set in a reflector.

photogenic – being an attractive subject for photography, or looking good in a photograph.

photogrammetry – process of making surveys and maps using photographs.

photograph – also photo, exposure, pic. 1. a picture of a person or scene in the form of a print or transparent slide; recorded by a camera on light-sensitive material.  2. also photograph, snap, shoot.  To record on photographic film; “I photographed the scene of the accident”; “She snapped a picture of the President”.  3. to undergo being photographed in a certain way; “Children photograph well”.

photographer – someone who takes photographs, especially as a profession. It could be said that a good photographer is a combination of an artist, craftsman and scientist, since knowledge and skills from all three professions play a part in good photography.

photographer’s light – sunlight is usually warmer and more complimentary to skin tones an hour or less before the sun goes down and around fifteen minutes after the sun has set. This quality of light is sometimes referred to as photographer’s light. The angle of the light at this time, which is known as the “golden hour,” can provide depth to portraits and landscape photography.

photographic – of or pertaining to photography.

photography – the process or art of producing images of objects on a photosensitive surface such as a film or an electronic sensor by the chemical action of light. The word “photography” derives from the Greek and means, literally, light writing.

photomicrograph – a photograph taken through a microscope.

photomontage – another name for a composite photograph, which is made by combining pictures from different sources into a single image.

photon mapping – 3D animation. A global illumination algorithm based on ray tracing used to realistically simulate the interaction of light with different objects. Specifically, it is capable of simulating the refraction of light through a transparent substance, such as glass or water, diffuse inter-reflections between illuminated objects, and some of the effects caused by particulate matter such as smoke, or water vapor. It was developed by Henrik Wann Jensen.

photosite – a tiny, light-sensitive electrode on the sensor of a digital camera that records one pixel of an image.

photo slave – also called a slave unit. A light-sensitive triggering device that is built in or attached to an electronic flash unit, causing the flash to fire simultaneously with another flash unit.

physical modeling synthesis – a type of sound synthesis performed by computer models of instruments.This technique emulates the impulse patterns of real-world instruments using a software model. These models are sets of complex equations that describe the physical properties of an instrument (such as the shape of the bell and the density of the material)and the way a musician interacts with it (blow, pluck, or hit, for example).

pickup – 1. a video camera’s image sensing element, either CCD (Charge Coupled Device) or MOS (Metal Oxide Semiconductor); converts light to electrical energy. See CCD.  2. a microphone’s sound receiver.

pickup pattern – defines a microphone’s response to sounds arriving from various directions or angles. See bidirectional, omnidirectional, unidirectional.

pickup tube – a light-sensitive electron tube which is scanned by an electron beam to convert an image focused on the face of the tube into an electronic signal.

pickups – also picked up. Movies made by one studio that have been acquired by another; alternately, any footage shot after production wraps. See also ‘additional photography’.

pict – an image file type used mainly to transfer images between programs on a Mac computer, but it is also supported by several PC applications. Pict has been largely replaced by PDF.

pictorialism – a lighting method that violates natural angles for artistic effect.

picture car – a vehicle shown in a movie.

picture card – a removable device for storing images taken by a digital camera, more often referred to as a “memory card.”

pilot tone – a precursor of SMPTE time code, is typically encountered when working with open reel audio used in film or video production. The tone is a 50 or 60 Hz signal sent from a motion picture camera and recorded on one track of the tape; during production, it was used for synchronizing tape playback to picture by matching the camera speed. Crosstalk is reduced by recording the tone 180 degrees out of phase with respect to the program so that it will cancel out during playback. Numerous sync tone systems have been developed over time. More detail on these can be found in Ebu-Tech 3086. The Pilot Tone System; The Perfectone System; The Neopilot System; The Ranger System; The Telefunken System; The Synchrotone System; The Leevers-Rich System; The BBC System; The Fairchild System.  Transferring any tape with sync tone requires an appropriate playback head, most likely a head with center-track timecode. If the tape is played back on a two-track head, for instance, the tone will not cancel out.

pin – a mechanism that engages with a perforation to secure the film at the time of exposure, or to advance the film to the next exposure.

pincushion distortion – a type of optical lens distortion that occurs when the edges of a photograph bend inward, found primarily in telephoto lenses.  It is most easily noticeable when straight lines in a scene are distorted towards the center of a picture of the scene, when lines bow in towards the subject.

pinhole camera – a camera that uses a very small hole, as if made by a pin instead of a lens, for light to enter and form an image on the film or other light-sensitive medium. See pinhole camera.

pink noise    a sound that has equal energy (constant power) in each 1/3-octave band.

pipeline – a schedule of movie projects in production.

pit – a misnomer for the moulded bumps (as viewed by the laser of a CD player), on a replicated compact disc. A ‘pit’ will be read as a number of zeroes dependent upon its length, as will a ‘land’, and the change in profile from a ‘pit’ to a ‘land’ will be read as a one.  See ‘land’.

pitch – 1. that property of sound which is determined by the frequency of the sound waves. 2. distance from the center of one perforation on a film to the next. 3. distance from one thread of a screw to the next.  4. distance from one curve of a spiral to the next. 5. generally synonymous with the fundamental frequency of a note, but in music, often also taken to imply a perceived measurement that can be affected by overtones above the fundamental.

pitch-bend – a shift in a note’s pitch, usually in small increments, caused by the movement of a pitch-bend wheel or lever; also, the MIDI data used to create such a shift.   2.  an unremitting controller that can be applied to synthesized tones typically with a joystick. See bend.

pitch-shift – to change the pitch of a sound without changing its duration, as opposed to pitch-transpose, which changes both. Some people use the two terms interchangeably.

pixel – 1. acronym for picture element. The smallest element of a graphics display or the smallest element of a
rendered image.   A digital image is made up of tiny squares of color arranged in a fixed grid, the number of which per inch determines the image’s quality.  Pixel is the smallest unit in a digital image. Each pixel is assigned a specific color value. Think of a pixel as a single small tile in a large mosaic. 2. the digital representation of the smallest area of a television capable of being delineated by the bit stream. The smaller and closer together the pixels, the higher the picture resolution. 3. the smallest distinguishable and resolvable area in a video image; a single point on the screen. In digital video, a single sample of the picture.  4. one unit of light on your computer screen. That unit can have any color range. We use pixels as a measurement to determine how big an image on the computer or the internet is. Actually, everything you see on your computer screen is build up with pixels. The abbreviation for pixels is px.

pixel shader – a real-time shader application. a graphics processing function that calculates effects on a per-pixel basis. Pixel shaders are used to compute properties which, most of the time, are recognized as pixel colors.

pixelation or pixelization – 1. occurs when the pixels in an image are noticeably visible. The effect can be seen when a small image file is grossly enlarged beyond the number of pixels needed for a sharp image.  2. Visual square digital break up that appears on the monitor when playing back a video from a digital medium such as a Minidv or a Digibeta resulting from some sort of corruption of the video. Also, a variant of stop-motion animation where actors are the objects being filmed.

pixels per second – the units used to describe the fill rate of a display controller. It is usually measured in millions of pixels per second (megapixels/sec).

planar-magnetic – flat-panel loudspeaker using a diaphragm driven by a magnetic field. The driver element is magnetic, rather than electrostatically charged as in an electrostatic speaker. Planar-magnetic speakers are known for outstanding transparency, detail, and stereo imaging. See maggies, magnepan.

plane – a plane is a flat surface. When used as in “film plane,” it refers to the flat surface of film, as opposed to the edge or end of film. It can also refer to the part of a camera where the frame of a film to be exposed is located.

plasma display panel – a direct view display made up of an array of cells, known as pixels, which are composed of three subpixels, corresponding to the colors red, green, and blue.  Gas in the plasma state is used to react with phosphors in each subpixel to produce colored light (red, green, or blue) from a phosphor in each subpixel.

plasma television – flat-panel television that uses electrically-stimulated gas sealed in glass panels. The electrically-stimulated gas turns into plasma, which excites phosphors in the front panel to create the image. Since CRT televisions also use phosphors, plasma sets often mimic their color and contrast. This makes plasma TVs especially appealing to those who like the image characteristics of a classic tube TV. Contrary to the urban legend, plasma televisions do not need to have their gas recharged due to leakage over time.

plasma tweeter – tweeter that uses ionized plasma created from helium gas to create sound. Plasma tweeters were capable of some of the finest sound quality ever produced, but the high cost, requirement of a helium tank, and the hazardous ozone created by the ionization process kept them from ever becoming popular.

platinum print – A platinum print is a photographic monochrome print that is made using the semi-precious metal, platinum.  Monochrome printing (mainly black and white) is commonly done using silver-based materials, such as are found in most ordinary photographic printing papers, to make paper photo-sensitive. They have an inherent impermanence. The prints won’t last a long, long time. In the late 1800s, the platinotype process resulted in a more permanent print. Platinum is highly stable and won’t tarnish in air. Instead of the image resting inside a binder on the surface of the paper, the image of a platinum print is actually absorbed into the paper’s fibers. A platinum print takes on the texture of the paper. It is softer in appearance, appears to have more depth, has rich blacks and a highly-delicate tonal range. Platinum prints, in other words, are beautiful prints, with soft details, great tonal rendition and deep blacks; and, they are among the most permanent photographic images, capable of lasting perhaps thousands of years. They are ideal for fine art photography and the preservation and display of great photographs.

platinotype – 1.  the process of photographic printing on papers coated with platinum-based materials.  2. a print made by such a process.

platter – rotating part of a turntable that holds the record.

playback – videotaped material viewed and heard as recorded, facilitated by camcorder or VCR.

playback controls – a set of buttons that allow you to play back the tape in the camcorder. These controls are much like the ones on a VCR. They usually include the basic functions of play, stop, rew(ind), f(ast )f(orward) and pause.

playback equipment – equipment used to listen to and/or view the recorded signal of audio and video. For older formats, the equipment may be obsolete and professional services may be needed to provide maintenance and repair.

playback VCR – playback source of raw video footage (master or workprint) in basic player/recorder editing setup. See recording VCR.

play list – a prepared list of video sequences that can be fed to players, such as a digital disk recorder, and should be played out in the order of the list; a sequence of media clips which you can set to playback in a particular order.

play-out – the playing out of video or audio material from a video system.

player – 1. the software that recognizes formats, decodes the compression algorithm and displays your media content on your computer or mobile device; a program that displays multimedia content, typically animated images, video and audio.  Not all players can properly interpret all formats or codecs. 2. In the context of podcasting or video casting, a container that loads the movie and plays it on the web. Usually, video networks have their own player with their own requirements about how big a movie should be and in what format. Most players are created with flash because the flash plugin is installed on 98% of the computers connected to internet. Thus the problem of the past, when you had to install all sorts of native applications, is finally over. Anyway, you can place movies on a web page without a player and directly play the movie itself either with embedded code (safest method) or just with a link (unreliable in many cases) to the path and name of the movie.

plug-and-play – the ability for an operating system to recognize and install necessary drivers for a device without input from the user. To be truly ‘plug and play’, the device should begin working without restarting your PC.

plug-and-watch TV viewing – technology embedded in some products (tV tuners) that provide consumers with the ability to capture, view, record and playback TV on a PC without any installation.

plug-in – also plugin. 1. A software program that acts as an extension to a larger program, adding new features; additions to software that can be installed afterwards and provide special effects or features for the respective software.  2. When referring to a digital image-editing computer application, a plug-in is a software addition to the application that enhances its capabilities, typically to create visual effects or to increase the range and/or types of the application’s image-processing filters.

podcast(ing) – blog posts in the form of video or audio. As with regular blog sites, you can subscribe to the podcasts via RSS (which is short for Real Simple Syndication, Rich Site Summary, or RDF Site Summary). (RSS is a commonly used protocol for syndication and sharing of content, originally developed to facilitate the syndication of news articles, now widely used to share the contents of blogs. Mashups are often made using RSS feeds.) Instead of viewing posts in a news reader or as a bookmark in your browser, you view or listen to video or audio in your media player.

Point and Shoot camera – also referred to as P&S, consumer cameras and compact cameras (the more-accurate name). P&S cameras are simple, automatic cameras, generally associated with amateur photographers, that permit the taking of a picture by simply aiming it at a subject and pressing the shutter release button. Pictures taken by P&S cameras are referred to as snapshots.

Point Of View – also POV. A camera angle in which the camera views what would be visible from a particular object’s position. The abbreviation is often used in a slug line.

point-source – a sound system that has a central location for the loudspeaker(s), mounted high above, intended to cover a large area; typical of a performance venue or a large house of worship.

point-to-point – conferencing where two sites are directly linked.

polar pattern – or pickup pattern; the shape of the area that a microphone will be most sensitive to sound.

polarizing filter – A polarizing filter (“polarizer” or “polarizing screen”) is an adjustable filter, with an inner ring that screws onto the lens and an outer ring that can be rotated. Turning the outer ring reduces or increases the filter’s effectiveness. The polarizer absorbs glare, reducing or eliminating reflections and darkening blue skies. It works by transmitting light that travels in one plane while absorbing light that travels in other planes.

pole – 1. a portion of a filter circuit. the more poles a filter has, the more abrupt its cutoff slope will be. Each pole causes a slope of 6 dB per octave; typical filter configurations are two-pole (12 dB/octave) and four-pole (24 dB/octave). 2. part of a filter track.

poly mode – a MIDI reception mode in which a module responds to note messages on only one channel, and plays as many of these notes at a time (polyphonically) as it can.

poly pressure – polyphonic pressure. also called key pressure. A type of midi channel message in which each key senses and transmits pressure data independently. Compare with channel pressure.

polyester – a name for polyethylene terephthalate developed by E.I. Dupont De Nemours & Co. (Inc.). A film base material exhibiting superior strength and tear characteristics, commonly used for making positive raw stock films. Cronar is the trademark name used by Dupont; Estar Base is the trademark name used by the Eastman Kodak Company.

polyester film – also referred to by Kodak’s brand Name Estar, polyester film stocks were introduced in the 1950s and are used today for creating preservation elements. Polyester film stock is durable and is not susceptible to vinegar syndrome.

polyester magnetic tape base – a chemically stable substrate (base) for audio and video magnetic tape. Polyester bases are durable and not susceptible to vinegar syndrome; sticky shed may still occur, but this will depend on the binder composition. Became the norm for manufacturing by the 1970s.

polyphonic – “many-sounds”.  A synthesizer that can play two or more notes or sounds at the same time is said to be polyphonic. This allows for chords to be played and producing multiple notes simultaneously.  All synthesizers place a limit on how many voices of polyphony are available. General MIDI-compliant synthesizers are required to provide 24 voices of polyphony. Compare with multitimbral.

polyphony – the number of voices (notes) a MIDI device can produce simultaneously.

pop – microphone distortion caused by speaking certain consonants (especially ‘p’) into a microphone placed too close to the mouth.

port – 1. to translate a program written for one computer so that it can be run on a different model.  2. an electrical connector of some specialized type, e.g., SCSI port, MIDI port, or serial port.

ported speaker – speaker incorporating a strategically placed, tuned opening (port) in the cabinet. Ported speakers harness acoustical energy generated by the back of the speaker drivers and the speaker cabinet and use it to enhance bass response and improve speaker sensitivity. See acoustic suspension, sensitivity, tuned opening.

portamento – an adjustable performance effect that glides or bends the pitch from one note to the next.  See Glide.

portfolio – a collection of selected photographs intended to illustrate a photographer’s style and range of photography, or in the case of a model’s portfolio, a collection of photographs and/or tearsheets that demonstrate his or her modeling abilities and history.

portrait – a picture of a person or persons that captures their likeness, especially their face. See portrait photography.

portrait format – a rectangular image that has its vertical sides longer than its horizontal sides, as opposed to a “landscape format,” which has longer horizontal sides.

pose – the position assumed by a subject in relation to the camera, including the angling and placement of head, hands, feet, etc.

posing – positioning of a subject in relation to the camera. Posing is generally controlled by the photographer, and sometimes by a skilled model.

positive – opposite of a negative; an image, such as print or a slide, with the same tonal values and colors as the original scene.

positive film – motion picture film designed and used primarily for the making of master positives or release prints.

positive image   a photographic replica in which the values of light and shade of the original photographed subject are represented in their natural order.  The light objects of the original subject are represented by low densities and the dark objects are represented by high densities.

positive or print – motion picture positives or prints are the equivalent of a still photo print. When shining light through the film the image will appear as it would in real life if projected onto a movie screen. a positive or print is usually made from a negative.

positive print – an original light image captured on film. see also negative print.

post gap – the area immediately following a CD-ROM track, and either precedes an audio track or lead out.

post house   abbreviation for post production house. mostly a company specialized in the business of cutting, color grading, finishing or conforming a clip, movie or film.

post production – also ‘post’.   1. all production work performed after the raw video footage and audio elements have been captured in the initial recording. Editing, titles, special effects or various electronic visual effects, background music, voiceover, sound effects, image enhancement, and audio mixing are done during post production. Post production results in a completed production.  2. The work done on a film once photography has been completed, such as editing, developing and printing, looping, etc.

Post-Production Co-Ordinator – a person who works many facets of the post-production process, including ensuring the smooth operation of the editorial department, coordinating the production and delivery of final delivery elements, scheduling and coordinating ADR sessions, managing the administration of the department including post-production accounting and final delivery paperwork, organizing final post-production related documents, and coordinating the final wrap and proper storage of final video and audio masters and offline editorial materials.

post production processing – post production means working on your video or audio after you downloaded it onto your computer. It usually involves video- or audio- editing software. Adding a caption to your video, adding sound, combining several video files into one, are regarded as post processing. In fact, anything you do after the video is placed on your computer can be seen as post production. For instance, you can add an intro to the video in post production, or remove the static noise in the audio during post production.

Post-Production Supervisor – also Production Supervisor. A person overseeing the entire post-production of a project. they report directly to the producer and/or the studio in charge of the feature. Working side by side with the Director and Editor, the supervisor has the responsibility of finishing the film on time and on budget while satisfying the wants of the Director. Post-Production Supervisors have authority over post-production co-ordinators. Typical duties include controlling all activities with vendors such as optical houses, sound facilities, inserts, ADR, reshooting, CGI, score, delivery requirements to domestic and international distributors, legal clearances, preview screenings, color timing, video mastering and budgeting the movie through the completion and delivery.

poster image – an image to show on a video wen it is not playing. In other words, a poster image is literally a poster image of your video. It is, together with a descriptive title, the reason why visitors decide to view your video or not. therefore, your poster image in important. on many video channels you cannot select your own image, but if you can, best create a really good looking image.

posterization – occurs when a gradual or smooth tonal transition in an image appears or is made to appear as an abrupt change from one tone to another. Digitally, it can be achieved by limiting the number of colors in an image so that the change from one tone to another is sudden, rather than continuous and gradual. Posterization can be noticed, for example, in an image that has a relatively large area of color that appears banded where the tonal changes should instead appear to be gradual. Posterization is  an electronic special effect transforming a normal video image into a collage of flattened single-colored areas, without graduations of color and brightness. See DVE.

pot – potentiometer. 1. A device (commonly attached to a knob or slider) used to adjust some aspect of the signal being passed through it, or to send out a control signal corresponding to its position. 2. A resistor that has a variable contact so that a portion of the potential applied between its ends may be selected. Modifies the signal being transmitted.

power at clipping – measurement of the maximum power produced by an amplifier before clipping occurs. This is often different from the rated power of an amplifier (for better or worse.) The measurement is found in test of audio amplifiers published online and in magazines.

power envelope  – NAD’s name for its amplifiers and receivers with high dynamic power capabilities. See dynamic power.

power line conditioner – component that protects from power surges, stabilizes voltage and -cleans- ac power before sending it to components. the value and necessity of these components is held in doubt by many, who believe ac current from the wall is adequate and all that is needed is a good surge protector. (the author holds this belief, as well.) see voltage stabilizer.

preamplifier – 1. an amplifier that raises the gain of a low-level signal so that it may be further processed without appreciable degradation in the signal-to-noise ratio.  2. component that switches between components, changes volume and balance, then sends the signal to the amplifier.  Most preamplifiers incorporate tone controls and a tape loop. Some incorporate surround sound processing and video switching.  See tape loop, tone controls.

preferences – special setting to adjust the user interface, determine technical playback parameters, make changes to your  internet connection, etc.

prefocus – the act of focusing a lens before taking a picture. Cameras equipped with autofocus can usually be prefocused by halfway depressing the shutter release button, which will also generally activate the exposure meter to take a reading.

pre-gap – more accurately known as pre-gap 1 or pre-gap 2.   Pre-gap is the area before a CD-ROM track.

premiere – also bow, debut. The first official public screening of a movie, marking the opening. The affair is often a gala event attended by the filmmakers, stars, and other celebrities.

pre-production – also preproduction.  Pre-arrangements made before the start of filming. This can include script editing, set construction, location scouting, and casting.  The vital phase of production in which the script, budget, locations, actors and props are planned.  See also production.

‘prequel’ – a movie that presents the characters and/or events chronologically before the setting of a previously filmed movie. See also series, serial, contrast with sequel.

pre-render   a term describing the process of graphics, image or video material that is being rendered, but not in real-time. usually the material has been rendered before on other equipment, mostly with the equivalent hardware.

pre-roll – 1. slight backing-up function of camcorders and vcrs when preparing for tape recording; ensures smooth, uninterrupted transitions between scenes. 2. usually for on-air applications, starting tape playback earlier than necessary to ensure full operating speed and stabilization.  3.  a specific amount of time allowed for tape machines to run prior to an edit in order to get them up to speed and synchronized for the edit. In preparation for the edit, tapes are cued to a point ahead of the edit point to provide a proper pre-roll. the amount of pre-roll required varies with each type of VTR.

presentation switcher (master control switch) – another term for “master control switcher” used in Europe and some other countries outside the us. There are minor differences applicable to the specific area of use.

Presenter – also Presents. A Presenter is person (often famous or well respected) who introduces a movie or show on screen or via voice-over. Some films include a credit “presented by”, or “presents”, which indicates the person is an Executive Producer as opposed to someone who appears in the film.

preservation copy – a high quality duplicate of the original record. If the original record deteriorates beyond use the preservation copy should be able to take its place. A preservation copy should last for years or decades – at least long enough to plan for making subsequent copies once these become outdated. See additional description and NARA’s internal specifications from the U.S. National Archives And Records Administration.

preset – 1. to select a video source in preparation for taking it to air.  2.  A source selected on the preset bus or the action of selecting a source on the preset bus. 3. a factory-programmed patch that cannot be altered by the user.  4. any patch. Note  that some manufacturers make distinctions between presets, programs, and/or patches, each of which may contain a different set of parameters.

presets – a digital camera’s settings that have already been programmed, based on specific color temperatures, to achieve proper or close-to-proper white balance under specific lighting conditions. Typically, these might include settings for shooting under daylight with options for overcast or cloudy lighting, sunrise and sunset, bright sun or shade, fluorescent and tungsten lighting.

preset bus – in video and audio switchers, a row of crosspoint push-buttons used to select the video or audio input that will be placed on-air during the next background transition. also called preset background bus.

press connectors – speaker wire connectors on an amplifier or receiver. Press connectors are spring loaded and usually can only accept wire of 16 gauge or smaller. See binding posts.

pressure plate – a smooth plate found on the inside of the camera back that is forced towards the front of the camera by springs, causing it to hold the film evenly in place for exposure.

pressure sensitive – when using a graphics tablet (a computer input device on which a user hand-draws images or writes text with a special stylus, just as you would draw using a pencil and paper), you can achieve different effects by increasing or decreasing stylus pressure.

pressure sensitivity – when an instrument reacts to pressure imposed on the keyboard once the first key has been depressed. See also after-touch, channel pressure, poly pressure.

preview button – many cameras are equipped with a depth of field preview button that, when pressed and held in, stops the lens down to the preselected aperture, allowing you to see how much foreground or background are in focus.

Previsualization Artist – a designer who uses low resolution proxy models, quick OpenGL hardware renderings, and other 3D FX systems to completely conceptualize a sequence that requires either visual fx or character animation with the goal of producing usable data that will help streamline the production process.

primary color – one of the colors, blue, red, or yellow, that can be mixed to form almost any color.

primary color correction – completed first and sets the overall color balance and look of the image. It ensures that all scenes have a consistent color tone, with no sudden shifts in hue or brightness.

primary optic – the lens that focuses the image onto the screen.

prime lens – a fixed focal length (FFL) lens, as opposed to a zoom lens, which has a variable focal length (VFL). a prime lens generally has better optical quality and a larger maximum aperture.

Primestar – defunct satellite television service, started by cable companies in 1991and operating on a cable lease or subscription model. Primestar allowed cable companies to offer service to rural areas where they did not have cable lines.  It was sold to DirecTV in 1999 and service discontinued. When it was in use, Primestar had very high satisfaction ratings from  its customers.

Principal Photography – also Principal Filming, Principal, Shoot. The filming of major or significant components of a movie which involve lead actors.

print – 1. a projectable version of a movie, usually consisting of one or more reels. When referring to a particular take on a continuity report, “print” indicates that the take should be developed.  2. a photograph printed on paper, generally a positive image made from a negative or from a digital image file.  Also refers to a photograph of a model that appears in print – in a newspaper or magazine, for example. See also hold.

print film – film designed to carry positive images and sound tracks for projection.

print solarization – see “solarization” in this glossary.

printer lights – on an additive printer, incremental steps to increase or decrease the amount of light exposure to the film at the printing stage.

printer points – an increment of light intensity change when printing.

printing frame  – a darkroom device used to hold paper and negatives (in a negative carrier) in contact with each other, and keeps them flat to make a sharp contact print.

printing frame –  hold negatives against photographic paper for contact printing.

printing-in – also known as ‘burning in’. In a darkroom, providing extra exposure to an area of the print to make it darker, while blocking light from the rest of the print.

printing tape – a perforated strip of tape which provides information concerning the necessary changes of the printing light levels.

prism –  A three-dimensional figure whose bases or ends have the same size and shape and are parallel to one another, and each of whose sides is a rectangle. A transparent solid of this form, typically of glass and usually with triangular ends, used for separating white light passed through it into a spectrum, or for reflecting light beams. And, ground-glass objects such as those used as components of crystal chandeliers. Also, used metaphorically to refer to a medium that misrepresents whatever is seen through it.  When a ray of white light is analyzed, as by a prism, into parts each of a definite wave-length, the parts show the colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet, which form a continuous spectrum, each color shading gradually into the next.  These colors have been termed primary or simple, though in fact they do not excite simple color-sensations. See light and spectrum. See also ‘color’ in m y Image Glossary.

proc amp – processing amplifier.  video image processor that boosts video signal’s luminance, chroma, and sync components to correct such problems as low light, weak color, or wrong tint.

process metadata – this how the essence media is assembled; how the media is composited or edited. this data may be used to automatically assemble a new essence media.

processing – producing an image (either negative or positive) from exposed film or photographic paper by developing, fixing and washing it.

producer – the administrative head of the film, usually responsible for budget, staff, legal contracts,distribution,  scheduling, etc.  The chief of staff of a movie production in all matters save the creative efforts of the director, who is head of the line. A producer is responsible for raising funding, hiring key personnel, and arranging for distributors. See also Associate Producer, Co-Producer, Executive Producer, Line Producer, Producer’s Guild Of America.

product code – see film code.

production –  also ‘in production’, ‘production date’.   1. the actual filming and creation of the raw elements as required by the script.  2. creation of recorded image information with associated audio elements to achieve the thematic and artistic content desired for distribution.  3.  the general term used to describe the process involved in making all the original material that is the basis for the finished motion picture.  Loosely, the completed film. 4.  In the movie industry, this term refers to the phase of movie making during which principal photography occurs. Popularly, however, “production” means the entire movie project. See also pre-production and post-production.

Production Accountant – also Accountant. The person responsible for managing finances during the production.

Production Assistant – also Set Production Assistant, Pa, Gopher, Personal Assistant, Assistant To, Assistant To Producer.  A person responsible for various odd jobs, which could include such disparate tasks as running errands, stopping traffic, acting as couriers, fetching items from craft service, etc. Tasks and levels of responsibility can vary greatly, depending on the film, the needs of the rest of the team, and the skills of the individuals PA themselves. Production Assistants are often attached to individual actors or filmmakers.

Production Buyer – a person who purchases supplies, equipment, and property necessary for a production.

production code – please see Hays production code.

Production Company – a general term for a company that is associated with the making of a movie.

Production Coordinator – the person responsible for overseeing practical matters such as ordering equipment, getting near-location accommodations for the cast and crew, etc.

Production Designer – also Production Design. An artist responsible for designing the overall visual appearance of a movie.

Production Illustrator – also Storyboard Artist, Illustrator. A person responsible for drawing the storyboards and anything else that needs to be drawn during the production of the movie.

Production Manager – also PM. Reporting to the film’s producer, this person supervises the budget, hires the crew, approves purchase orders & time cards, and generally makes sure all departments are doing their respective jobs within the parameters  of the budget.

production report – a daily report of actual progress versus the production schedule. Includes dope sheets, continuity reports, and call sheets, as well as extensive notes regarding on-set happenings, activities of the cast and crew, and explanations of unexpected events. See also lined script.

production rolls – a generic term used for various types of production elements before they are cut and assembled into reels.

production schedule – a detailed plan of the timing of activities associated with the making of a movie, of particular  interest to production managers. See also production report.

Production Secretary – Secretary to the Production Manager.

Production Sound Mixer – the head of the sound department on the set. They are responsible for the process of recording all sync dialog and sync sound effects in a scene. the production sound mixer has a number of duties, such as selection and operation of the microphones, and recording equipment used on the set, directing the Boom Operator, combining the sound of multiple microphones used to capture dialog and effects on a set, recording sound ambiance and room tone for all scenes, and wild track that will aid the editor and sound mixer in matching the different sound takes in a scene for smooth sound transitions.

production sound   audio recording during principle photography on-location.

Production Supervisor – an Assistant to the Producer, in charge of the routine administrative duties.

program – 1. to create a synthesizer patch.  2.  a patch. See patch, preset.

program AE – when selected, the camcorder’s auto exposure can be set to perform specific program functions. Program settings include portrait, sports, high-speed action, twilight, spotlight, sand & snow and low light.

program change – a midi message that causes a synthesizer or other device to switch to a new program (also called preset, patch) contained in its memory.

program exposure – a camera mode that automatically determines aperture and shutter speed for proper exposure.

program mode   fully-automatic exposure mode, with the camera selecting both shutter speed and aperture. It gets its name, program mode, from the programmed values in the camera’s circuitry, corresponding to a set exposure setting for each exposure value.  Program mode first appeared in the canon AE-1 program 35mm camera of 1981.  See exposure value.

program shift  – a feature of cameras with program mode, program shift allows the photographer to change the exposure settings without changing the exposure, such as from 1/125th and f-8 to 1/250th and f-5.6.

programmable – equipped with software that enables the user to create new sounds or other assignments by altering parameter settings and storing the new settings in memory.  An individual control parameter is said to be programmable if its setting can be stored separately with each individual patch.

progressive scan – video signal drawn in one pass from top to bottom, unlike an interlaced signal which is drawn in two half-frame passes. Progressive scan is considered superior to interlaced scan. see interlaced scan.

progressive scanning – 1. scans all the lines in order, starting at the top of the screen and moving toward the bottom. Progressive scan devices include some televisions, most computer monitors, film projection, smart phones, and even the LCD on your DSLR camera. Broadcast television with a frame size of 1280 x 720 uses progressive scanning. Although both interlaced and progressive formats are available for 1920 x 1080 HD video, no interlacing exists for the 1280 x 720 HD format. 2. a display mode for electronic imaging in which all of the scanned lines are presented successively and each field has the same number of lines as a frame. It is also known as sequential scanning. It requires 2x the bandwidth of interlaced scanning. 3. Traces the image scan lines sequentially, such as an analog computer monitor.

project file – the file created when you save the results of adding various clips to the workspace. the extension varies with the program being used, for example a Premiere file will be saved as a .ppj file, while a Videostudio 6 file will be saved with a .vsp extension.

projected frame – also known as “viewfinder” or simply “finder”.   A viewing device on a camera used by the photographer to see the field of view taken in by the camera  s lens and the portion of the view that will be recorded on film or the image sensor.

projection – presenting a film by optical means and transmitting light for either visual or aural review, or both.

projection speed – rate at which the film moves through the projector; 24 fps is the standard for all sound films.

Projectionist – a studio or cinema employee that operates a projector.

projector – a device for displaying a reel of a movie on a screen, either for a screening or a back projection.

prompter – also ‘prompt’. A person who supplies actors with the correct lines from the script if they forget.

proof – a sample image intended to be used for the purpose of selecting a final image. Proof prints are often stamped with the word “proof” on the face of the image to identify them as proofs and sometimes to prevent their being used in place of a final image. Digital image files may also be considered as proofs when they contain a watermark to prevent them from being used as a final picture.

prop – anything an actor touches or uses on the set; e.g. phones, guns, cutlery, etc.  Movie animals and all food styling (food seen or eaten on set or screen) also fall in this category. See also Property Assistant and Set Dresser.

props – short for “properties,” objects used either in decorating a set (set props) or by talent (hand props).

Property Assistant – Also Prop Assistant.  Responsible for the placement and maintenance of props on a set.

Property Master – Also Prop Master, Props, Property, Assistant Property Master. The person responsible for buying, acquiring, or manufacturing any props needed for a production. The Property Master is responsible for all aspects of prop use on the set and, in conjunction with the script supervisor, for maintaining set continuity. Contrast with Set Dresser.

prosthetic appliances – also prosthetic makeup, prosthetics.  Makeup that requires gluing additions (prosthetic appliances) made of a material such as latex or gelatin to an actors skin. May be applied by someone other than the designer. See also squib.

prosumer – Initially, prosumer was a marketing term used for a camera that was intended to appeal to either an amateur (consumer) or a professional photographer; i.e., a professional consumer. Now, it has come to mean a camera with features that will appeal to photographers who have advanced beyond beginner or amateur, but are not professionals. Sometimes called a pro-am camera. One type of prosumer camera is the ZLR or Zoom Reflex Camera.

protective leader – film attached to the beginning and the end of the film reel.

protection master – also referred to as i/p or master positive; or protective master.  1. a high quality copy of the master tape. Inexpensive insurance in the event that the master is lost or damaged.  2. a master positive from which a dupe negative can be made if the original is damaged.

protocol – a set of syntax rules defining the exchange of data.

proxy – material rendered in a lower quality, normally unsuitable for broadcast. Mainly used for preview or offline-editing purposes.

psuedoscopic – If a stereoscopic signal is reversed (e.g. each eye is being fed the opposite eye signal or if there is a one frame offset between each eyes) a strange “punched in” effect appears. This is also referred to as inverted stereo or reversed stereo.

Publicity Assistant – Assistant to the Publicity Director.

Publicity Department – also Advertising. The section of a production’s crew responsible for promoting a movie. Individual positions within in this department include unit publicist, publicity assistant, and stills photographer.

Publicity Director – also Publicity Executive. Person employed by a studio to conceive and oversee the publicity campaign that opens a movie.  In many cases, this person never even appears on the set, especially if the movie is a pickup and didn’t have a releasing studio at the time it was produced. In other cases, this person is frequently on the set and directly supervises the efforts of the unit publicist.

Pulfrich effect – horizontal motion that can be interpreted as binocular depth. A stereo effect which is produced when 2D images moving laterally on a single plane are viewed at slightly different times by each eye.

pull-down – a technique that eliminates redundant frames when converting film material at 24 fps to ntsc 30 fps.

pull-down claw – the metallic finger, which advances the film one frame between exposure cycles.

pull process – using a reduced development time to compensate for overexposure, either intentional for effect or accidental.

pulling film – purposefully overexposing and under-developing film to reduce its effective film speed. The opposite of “push processing. The purposeful overexposure is sometimes called “downrating”.

pulling tension – maximum amount of tension that can be applied to a cable or conductor before it is damaged.

pulse distribution amplifier – a device used to replicate an input timing signal, typically providing 6 outputs, each of which is identical to the input signal. May also perform cable equalization or pulse regeneration.

pulse level – the voltage amplitude of a pulse.

puppeteer – someone who operates puppets; these may be either physically controlled (e.g., worn), cable operated, or radio controlled. This may also refer to remote-controlled portions of a costume.

pure tone – see fundamental frequency.

purple fringing – purple ghosts or halos seen in the outline of subjects in digital camera images. Purple fringing is common in many inexpensive cameras and budget-priced digital SLR lenses.  It is caused by challenging lighting conditions as well as less-than-perfect optics, image sensors, and image processors. see chromatic aberration, image processor.

pushing film – purposefully exposing film to less light than its ISO indicates, sometimes called “uprating”.  To obtain images that are properly exposed from film that has been pushed requires over-development of the film. See also push processing.

push process – using an extended development time to compensate for underexposure, either intentional for effect or accidental.

push processing – increasing development time of a film to force an increase in its effective speed, generally done to normalize results when the film has been underexposed. Also known as “forced development”.  Push processing is a means of increasing the exposure index of film.

push-pull – see radial tracking.

pyrotechnician – a member of the crew with expertise in fire or explosions.