Home l People l Credits l Rates l Facilities l Location l Glossary l What's New l Wit & Wisdom l Tangram West l History l Game


Simon Rose's 
Editing Glossary.

S is for:

  B   C   D   E          I    K   L     N   O     Q  R     T   U   V       Y   Z

Safe Title Area Area within frame that is deemed to have enough border around it that even the cheapest domestic tv won't mask out titles etc.

Safe title is 80% of screen measured from centre, and safe action is 90%.

Scene As in the theatre; a segment of story, usually in one location.
Scrubbing The process of searching for a precise bit of sound by 'scrubbing' magnetic tape over a sound head; now artificially imitated on computers.
Segue I used to think this was a pseudo-intellectual term for a gradual transition. But now, after extensive research (in the Blue Posts), I have a much more elegant definition;  "A transition that utilises common elements on both sides" (Thanks Richard).

e.g. small boy on carpet playing with toy bricks. Segue to C.U. brick. Pull back to reveal it is a real brick, on a building site, where his father is working...

Sequence If you think of shots as words, sequences are paragraphs. They can be one scene or more, but convey one main idea.
Shot The bit between the director saying "turnover" and "cut".
Slate See clapper board.
Slow motion Some degree of slow motion can be done in post-production. But the slower you go, the jerkier the result will be. For real slow motion, you need to run the camera fast, and for extreme slow motion there are special high-speed cameras.
Sound prep Work done in dubbing theatre prior to mixing (laying sound fx, atmospheres etc). To some extent this has replaced the track-laying that used to be performed by editors, assistants or dubbing editors.
Split edit/ Overlap edit Cut where picture precedes or lags behind sound.
Split screen Effect where the screen is divided into areas each containing different or repeated images.

Difficult to think of a really good film that has used this technique* . With the possible exception of 'Woodstock'. But here they used split screen because they didn't want the 16mm footage to look too grainy on cinema screens, and they could reduce grain by keeping images smaller in frame.

(*Maybe because of Illusion of depth and Suspension of disbelief)

Steenbeck One of the most widely used flatbed, film viewing and editing machines.
Sting/ Stab/ Shock cut Sudden unexpected, picture, sound  or music.
Stock shot Similar to archive, but usually not related to an historic event, but just a useful shot; 

e.g.  Moon, plane flies left (West!), plane flies right (East!) etc.

Suspension of Disbelief


The unspoken pact between audience and makers of films, plays, TV, whereby the audience is willing to ignore the obvious artificiality of everything they are watching in return for being entertained.

e.g. In real life a train journey from London to Manchester takes a few hours (if you're lucky). On film it might take a few seconds; the audience is grateful for this, as long as they don't think anything important has happened along the way.

Sometimes, Suspension of Disbelief is deliberately destroyed by the film maker (apparently this is called a 'Brechtian Device'; thanks Laurence). In a strange way it is possible to make something seem truer, by saying 'Yes there is a camera here, and a boom and a film crew, but what you are watching still actually happened'.