Film production is often seen as a bit of a mysterious art form. It is an interesting time as a huge amount of people are walking around with a 4K camera in the form of a phone in their pocket and video is huge with the rise of Instagram, Snapchat and Vine. However there is a massive amount of professional film production that the general public no absolutely nothing about. We often hear people talk about film sets in this way, remarking on the big lights etc but unsure exactly what they are for.
More to the point, however, is having worked in the industry for many years we are very familiar with all the jargon and to some people it often sounds like we are talking a foreign language or in completely technical spiel. The point of this series of blogs is to help clients, friends and anyone who is interested learn a little more about the technical phrases and elements that go into film sets. Next time we, or you are talking to the producer of your project and they mention they will hire an AD you can say “ah great, I was wondering who was going to be keeping track of the schedule on the day”.
Titles of corse often come on at the start of the film or video however this term can apply to more than just that. Titles is more a category than a specific element and refers to any text that appears on the screen during the video. Sub-titles, lower thirds, sub-hoardings for sections of the video, bullet points that appear on screen to summarise etc. are all classed as titles. Titles are great for summarising and highlighting certain points made in the video, in technical or scientific videos it is also excellent at simplifying or simply spelling words and concepts. It is very important to think abut and design titles to fit with the piece, we will be writing a blog post on this in the near future.
Lower thirds are a type of title that we have all seen on documentary and corporate pieces for a long time. They appear at the bottom right or left of the screen, slightly inset, with the name of whoever is talking on camera at that point. While not the only way they are certainly the most popular way of introducing someone or reaffirming who they are. Lower thirds will often also have a persons title or some information that shows their authority on the subject in question. Lower thirds are sometimes just simple text and other times there will be boxes to draw attention to and separate the text from the background. It is important to design the lower thirds so that the colours and font fits with the rest of the video and also so that it is aesthetically pleasing for the viewer.
We have heard different people in different parts of the industry use the word graphics in different ways so this is a fairly loose definition. Basically graphics are any computer generated additions to the image that aren’t designed to look like they were captured with the image (i.e. a CGI dinosaur is not a graphic, however the title ‘Jurassic Park’ is). Graphics can be anything from typography to a logo to highlighting a certain aspect of the frame by drawing over it.
You guessed it! Motion graphics are simply graphics that move. Essentially a form of animation, good motion graphics uses the moment itself to help convey its message (i.e. the word fast maybe animated on with streaks behind it as though it is moving very fast). There are many videos that are completely made up from motion graphics, often called Motion Graphics Videos which are heavily designed animations featuring totally computer generated images similar to animations.
Below is an example of the motion graphics style.