WAV – microsoft wave format, the primary audio format in windows, normally contains uncompressed PCM audio at various depths and sampling rates, but can also use more advanced codecs (such as mp3).  It is capable of storing multiple mono or stereo channels.

WLAN – Wireless Local Area Network; a network that shares information by radio frequency (RF).

WMA – Windows Media Audio. Both a container and an audio format. The container is actually ASF, the audio codec is microsoft’s attempt at high compression audio. Supposedly twice as efficient as mp3.

WMV – microsoft developed a set of video codec technologies called Windows Media Video. WMV is part of the windows media framework.

wah pedal – guitar effects device where a bandpass filter is varied in frequency by means of a pedal control.

walk-on – a minor role, usually without speaking lines.

walla – rhubarb. Background conversation.  Historically, when a script called for “crowd unrest” or “murmuring”, the extras would mumble the word “rhubarb”, as this produced the required effect.

warm colors – reds, oranges and yellows. Some color experts say that black and brown also have warm characteristics.  Symbolically, warm colors are said to represent change, such as those changes that occur when summer turns into autumn, or the destructive effect of flames. Warm colors seem to appear larger than cool colors. Red, for example, visually overpowers blue even when both appear in the same size. Warm colors in an image appear closer and cool colors appear to recede.

warmth – subjective term used to describe sound where the bass and low mid frequencies have depth and where the high frequencies are smooth sounding rather than being aggressive or fatiguing. See also warm sounding tube equipment.

washing – the rinsing of film or photographic papers with water to remove chemicals from them.

washing agent – a solution that reduces washing time by more quickly removing processing chemicals.

watchdog – software or hardware that determines what should be sent out in case of failure. For example, if dropped frames are detected, the watchdog will react and output certain images instead. The watchdog output can be configured for example, to a color bar image, a black frame or the last played out image.

watermark – a mark in a digital image that indicates the identity of the copyright holder, thereby protecting the image from unlawful use.

watt – 1. a measure of electrical power; the power expended when 1 ampere of direct current flows through a resistance of 1 ohm. The unit of electric power required to do work at the rate of 1 joule per second, calculated by multiplying volts times amperes. 2. a unit of measurement that equals about 1/746 horsepower or enough electrical energy to perform 1 joule per second. (a joule describes the energy of 1 newton displace 1 meter in the direction of the applied force. a newton is the amount needed to accelerate 1 kilogram 1 meter per second.) 3. One volt multiplied by one amp.

waveband – portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Examples of different wavebands include the infrared, visual, radio wavebands. See spectrum.

waveform – 1. a signal, either sampled (digitally recorded) or periodic, being generated by an oscillator.  2. the graphic representation of this signal, as on a computer screen; or the graphical display of a sound pressure wave over time. Each waveform has its own unique harmonic content.  3.  a graphic representation of the way in which a sound wave or electrical wave varies with time; visual representation of an audio signal. 4. the shape of an electromagnetic wave. a graphical representation of voltage or current in relation to time. See oscillator.

waveform monitor – 1. a specialized oscilloscope designed to display the video waveform with great stability and high resolution. Essential in determining and setting correct levels for the luminance (monochrome) and sync portions of the composite video signal and useful in evaluating critical timing relationships.  2. specialized oscilloscope testing device providing a graphic display of a video signal’s strength; plus, like a sophisticated light meter, aids in precise setting of picture’s maximum brightness level for optimum contrast.  3. A specialized oscilloscope that displays analog video signals at a horizontal and/or vertical rate. It is used for evaluating television signals.

waveguide – a system of material designed to direct confined electromagnetic waves in a direction determined by its physical boundaries.

wavelength – 1.  property of a wave that gives the length between two peaks of the wave.  2. The distance from peak to peak in a light wave that determines the color of the light.   3. The distance between two corresponding points of two consecutive cycles measured in meters.  4. A unit of measurement, from one crest to the next, in the spectrum, stated as nanometer (one billionth of a meter). See spectrum.

waveshape – see waveform.

wavetable synthesis – a common method for generating sound electronically on a synthesizer or PC. Output is produced using a table of sound samples–actual recorded sounds–that are digitized and played back as needed. By continuously rereading samples and looping them together at different pitches, highly complex tones can be generated from a minimum of stored data without overtaxing the processor.

wavetable lookup – the process of reading the numbers in a wavetable (not necessarily in linear order from beginning to end), interpreting a wavetable’s digits and sending them to a voice channel. Creating electronic sound via a synthesizer or computer.

weave – periodic sideways movement of the image as a result of mechanical faults in camera, printer or projector.

webcast – a one-way flow of information dispersed to a large audience online. The audience does not usually contribute to the content of the webcast, which might include an audio stream, presentation slides, video clips, or live speakers.

webinar – an online interactive meeting or seminar. The audience is typically smaller than a webcast and contributes to the discussion via polling, q&a, or other collaborative means.

wedge – a monitor speaker, in the shape of a wedge, designed to sit on the floor and be directed toward the performer.

western – oater, oat opera,  A movie set in the “wild west” of the late 19th-century United States.

wet – consisting entirely of processed sound. The output of an effects device is 100% wet when only the output of the processor itself is being heard, with none of the dry (unprocessed) signal. Compare with dry.

wetgate print – a print created using a chemical process that coats the negative to help restore imperfections in the image.

wet-gate printer – printer in which the film passes through fluid-filled pads just before exposure. released fluid temporarily fills certain type of film scratches with a solution that has the same refractive index as the film base, thereby eliminating scratch refraction.

wetting agent – a chemical solution that lowers surface tension and causes film to dry faster and more evenly, thereby reducing the risk of water spots on the film.

wheel – a controller, normally mounted at the left side of the keyboard and played with the left hand, that is used for pitch-bending or modulation.

whip pan – whip-pan or swish pan. An extremely fast pan, a rapid camera movement from left to right or right to left, appearing as an image blur or motion blur. The term refers to the “whipping” action that the camera operator uses to move the camera. Two such pans in the same direction — one moving from, the other moving to a stationary shot — edited together can effectively convey passage of time.

white balance – 1. A digital camera analyzes a scene using its white balance mode to determine areas that should be recorded as pure white. The camera adjusts the overall scene’s color balance so that the areas meant to be reproduced as white in the picture will be white, thereby also adjusting all the other colors in the scene using the same color shift values, so that all color is accurately represented. A digital photographer can usually set the white balance to suit the color temperature of the light falling on the subject. Some cameras can automatically set white balance. white balance adjusts for the light falling on a scene so that its colors are properly rendered.  2.  A color camera function which determines how much red, green and blue is required to produce a normal-looking white. Shots made with improper white balance will have an abnormal color tint. 3.  Used to set the balance for the ambient light in the scene based on the information.

white balance adjustment – in the light of a particular color temperature, to adjust the white levels of the r, g, and b channels of a color video camera so that any white object shot in that light is reproduced as a truly white image. See also color temperature. Note that in video, the names ‘red’ and ‘blue’ are conventions, not the names of the actual colors, since magenta and cyan are used instead.

white book – see compact disc standards.

white noise – a random signal with an energy distribution that produces the same amount of noise power per Hz; a sound that has the same energy level at all frequencies.

white shading – when shooting a white object, the upper and lower portions of the screen may appear magenta or green while the central portion appears white, depending on the performance of the camera lens. This is called white shading.

wide-angle lens – a lens with an angle of view that is wider than that of a normal lens, or that of the human eye. A wide-angle lens has a focal length shorter than the focal length of a normal lens. The focal length of a wide-angle lens is less than the diagonal of the film format or the digital sensor.  The 24mm lens is a wide-angle lens.

wide-angle – camera lens with short focal length and broad horizontal field of view. opposite of telephoto, supports viewer perspective and tends to reinforce perception of depth.

widescreen – a movie which has an aspect ratio which is greater than Academy Ratio when projected. Widescreen  a general term for film presentation in which the picture shown has an aspect ratio greater than 4:3.  Widescreen material is presented on DVDs in either anamorphic or letterboxed format. At times widescreen material is also cropped into 4:3 format using pan-and-zoom.

wideshot – a framing term, meaning a camera shot which shows the whole of the subject.

wild – picture or sound shot without synchronous relationship to the other.

wild sound – wild track, wild sound, mos, mit out sound. 1. Scenes that are filmed without the sound being recorded at the same  time. Dialog or sound effects may be dubbed in later. 2. Asynchronous audio recorded independent of picture – rain on roof, 5 o’clock whistle – often captured with separate audio recorder. Sound recorded after the visuals and edited into the master to enhance realism. 3. Another name for ambient audio, i.e. the background sound of a film scene. More info ambient audio.

Wilhelm scream – originally recorded as a sound effect for the film Distant Drums in 1951 and named after the character who yelped it out, this distinctive scream was archived in the Warner Brothers Sound Effects Library, and was subsequently used in countless films, first simply as a generic stock scream, and later because sound supervisors and directors used it in their films (including Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Toy Story and Pirates Of The Caribbean) as a sort of touchstone or homage to earlier films. Though no specific documentation lists the identity of the screamer, sound designer Ben Burtt’s research of Warner Brother’s recording logs indicates that singer & actor Sheb Wooley is likely the source, as he was one of the bit actors contracted to record sound effects for Distant Drums, and had been known to specialize in yells, laughs, and screams.

wind screen – a thin soft foam cover for microphones which reduces the noise made by wind striking the microphone, and rapid mic movement.

winding – designation of the relationship of perforation and emulsion position for film as it leaves a spool of core.

window – 1. video containing information or allowing information entry, keyed into the video monitor output for viewing on the monitor CRT.  2.  A video test signal consisting of a pulse and bar. when viewed on a monitor, the window signal produces a large white square in the center of the picture.

window dub – 1. a copy of a videotape with time code numbers keyed into the picture, or copies of videotape with “burnt-in” time-code display. Hours, minutes, seconds and frames appear on the recorded image. Other windows can be added, usually on a videotape showing time code, keykode or audio time code numbers. 2. A copy of the original camera tape with time code numbers visually displayed, made in the VHS format can be viewed, logged and edited on paper with a home VCR to save editing expenses.

windows direct sound – interface between applications (such as audacity) and the soundcard driver. It is one of the “audio hosts” selectable in device toolbar. Direct sound was released in 1995 as a replacement for the older MME and has an option to bypass the kernel mixer and so reduce latency.

windows WASAPI – the most recent windows interface between applications and the soundcard driver. It is one of the “audio hosts” selectable in device toolbar. WASAPI was first officially released in 2007 in Windows Vista.

wipe – 1. optical transition effect in which one image is replaced by another at a boundary edge moving in a selected pattern across the frame, and an editing technique in which images from one shot are fully replaced by the images of another, delimited by a definite border that moves across or around the frame.  2. the transition between television picture sources in which each picture source is displayed on only a portion of the screen, that portion being determined by an electronically generated pattern which can be sized and positioned using a special effects generator. 3. a shaped transition between video sources that takes the shape of a geometric pattern.  A margin or border moves across the screen, wiping out the image of one scene and replacing it with an image of the next scene. In simplest form, simulates a window shade being drawn. more sophisticated variations include colorized wipes, quivering wipes, triangle wipes, and Venetian blind wipes.

wire – a single conductive element intended to carry a voltage or electronic signal.

wireless microphone – consisting of radio transmitter and receiver, utilizes low-power radio signal for cable-free operation.

woofer  – a speaker (driver or loudspeaker) that reproduces only frequencies below a certain range, sometimes about 800 Hz,  typically 200 Hz.

word – a single number (sample word) that represents the amplitude of a sampled sound at a particular moment in time.  In 8-bit recording, a sample word contains one byte; in 16-bit recording, each word is a two-byte number.

word clock – sometimes conjoined to ‘wordclock’, or abbreviated to ‘wclk’, sometimes called a sample clock. The precise and accurate timing of digital audio samples is critical to the correct operation of interconnected digital audio equipment, to avoid data errors.  The ‘metronome’ that governs sample timing is called the word clock, a clock signal (not the actual device) used to synchronize other devices, such as digital audio tape machines and players. Word clock does more than merely beat time; it also identifies the start and end of each digital word or sample, and which samples belong to the left or right channels. Digital interfaces such as the AES-EBU, S/PDIF, and ADAT, embody clock signals within the data stream, but it is often necessary to convey a discrete word clock between equipment as a square wave signal running at the sampling rate. Other formats use a wordclock as well. Various audio-over-ethernet protocols use broadcast packets for the wordclock; on a network the wordclock is controlled by a master clock. Dedicated word clock inputs and outputs on digital equipment generally use BNC connectors (the kind of terminals commonly used for video). See BNC connector.

working title – the name by which a movie is known while it is being made. This is sometimes different from the title with which it is released.

workprint – 1. any picture or sound track print, usually a positive, intended for use in the editing process. A series of trail cuttings leads to the finished version of a film. The purpose is to preserve the original intact (and undamaged) until the cutting points have been established.  2. Copy of a master videotape used for edit planning and rough cut without excessively wearing or otherwise jeopardizing safekeeping of original material. Also called working master.

workstation — 1. a synthesizer or sampler in which several of the tasks usually associated with electronic music production, such as sequencing, effects processing, rhythm programming, and data storage on disk, can all be performed by components found within a single physical device.  2. a high-end, specialized computer system intended for use by engineers or imaging professionals.

wow – wavering of audio reproduction due to speed fluctuations.

wow and flutter – sound distortions consisting of a slow rise and fall of pitch, caused by speed variations in audio/video playback system.

Wrangler – Animal Handler, Vehicle Wrangler. A person who is responsible for the care and control of entities used on a set that can’t be spoken with. This person is typically a professional, certainly with expertise in handling the item, often with expertise in handling the item on a movie set.

wrap – windup, wind, wind roll and print. To finish shooting, either for the day or the entire production. The end of shooting.

write – to save data to a digital storage medium, such as a hard drive.

writer – a general term for someone who creates a written work, be it a novel, script, screenplay, or teleplay.

writing – the act of copying data such as photographic images, onto a cd or dvd, also known as “burning.”