Film Abbreviations Arghhh!

Film Abbreviations Arghhh!

For most of you this is a very very Very boring blog!

It is about understanding the lingo when reading scripts and other parts of the tech sav stuff for the aspiring film maker, actor or other aspiring creative crew members on set.

Ever wonder what DP or Ext, and loc means? Well this listing covers some of the abbreviated language that is a good mind bending start to your introduction into understanding and deciphering what the heck you are reading when you start your studies.

The following samples have been supplied compliments of the ‘IEC’ – Online Encyclopedia Of Cinematographers  and I will only present you with ‘A-D’ otherwise this blog will take you until next year to read.

In the meantime, here is something else to entertain the rest of you:

‘The Cinematographer’, a documentary dir (uncred) by Jerry Hopper in 1950


2u – 2nd unit

2uc/3uc – 2nd/3rd unit camera/photography

2ud – 2nd unit director

35bu – blown-up to 35mm

70bu – blown-up to 70mm

a – artist [singer/group]

a.o. – and others

add – additional

addph – additional photography

adv – advisor

altern – alternative

anim – animation/animated

aph – aerial photography

art dir – art director

as – Agascope

assoc – associate

av – ArriVision

b&w – black & white

BetaSP – Betacam Superior Performance

c – color

c.asst – camera assistant

c.op – camera operator

cam – camera

CGIComputer-Generated Imagery is the application of the field of computer graphics or, more specifically, 3D computer graphics to special effects in films, television programs, commercials, simulators and simulation generally, and printed media

cin – cinematography/cinematographer

co-ord – coordinator

collab – collaborator/collaborating

comm – film commissioned by…

comp – compilation

cons – consultant/consulting

cph – co-director of photography

cr – Cinerama

cred – credited

cs – CinemaScope

d/dir – director

dec – decorator

des – designer

DigiBeta – Digital Betacam, aka DigiBeta or D-Beta, was introduced by Sony in 1993 as a replacement for the analog Betacam SP format. Digital Betacam was superior in performance to DVCAM and DVCPRO, while being cheaper than D1. Digital Betacam attracted a fair amount of professional support but didn’t go as far as to become an industry standard like it’s predecessor

DITDigital Imaging Technician; works in collaboration with the cinematographer on workflow, systematization, signal integrity – responsible for the safe storage and archiving of data – and image manipulation, to achieve the highest image quality and creative goals of cinematography in the digital realm

doc – documentary

doph/DoPh/DP – director of photography/cinematographer

dram – dramatized

ds – DyaliScope

dv – shot on digital video; DV [dv – Digital Video] is a video standard launched in 1996. It was created by a consortium of companies and given the official name IEC 61834. The DV standard has spawned a few variations, including DVCAM [Sony] and DVCPRO [Panasonic]. Consumers know DV in it’s smaller format MiniDV [mdv]. The high-definition version is HDV, which uses the same style tapes but uses MPEG-2 for compression

DVcam – digital video system/camera

DVCPRO – DVCPRO is a format developed by Panasonic. It is a variation of the DV format, aimed at the professional market [in particular for ENG work]. DVCPRO is also known as DVCPRO Standard or DVCPRO25, to differentiate it from other variations. DVCPRO HD is an enhanced version of DVCPRO and DVCPRO50. DVCPRO HD increases the data rate to 100MBps, which is why it is sometimes called DVCPRO100. Despite the ‘HD’ tag, DVCPRO HD is not true high-definition in the current sense. Signals can be upscaled on playback for better compatibility with high-definition equipment.

For the full list, go here:

The Cinematographer’s abbreviation list



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