Glossary Of Film Making Terms - T



Tachometer – A gauge on a camera measuring the film speed when the camera is running.


Tail – The end of a shot or a roll is called the tail.


Tail Slate – Sometimes it is necessary to mark a shot at the end rather than at the beginning. When this is done it is called a tail slate. It is customary to call “Tail Slate!” just before clapping the slate, so that the person syncing the film does not get confused. To easily distinguish a tail slate, the slate is held upside down when marking the shot.


Take – Multiple versions of the same shot are called takes.


Take Up Reel – An empty reel, used on a projector to gather up the film after it has passed through the movement.


Take Up Spool – An empty spool in a camera used to gather up the film after it has passed through the movement.


The Taking Lens – On a turret, the lens that is actually in front of the gate, producing an image on the film.


Tape Splice – A method of joining two pieces of film so they can be projected as one continuous piece. Tape splices are used in the editing stage. To cut the negative Cement Splices are used.


Telecine – A machine for transferring film to video.


Telephoto – Used as an equivalent to Long Lens, but for those who wish to be overly exact, a telephoto lens is a long lens that is physically shorter than its focal length.


3,200K – 3,200K is the color temperature of Tungsten.


Tie-In Kit – A device for bypassing the fuse box and electrical wiring of a location by tapping power directly from the mains.


Tight Wind – A handy attachment sometimes found on an editing bench on the right rewind, used to wind film onto a core and giving it a very smooth edge. It can be quicker than opening and tightening split reels if you are just rewinding an entire roll.


Tight Wind Hub – A tight wind is useless without it. This is the hub that holds a core on the spindle of a rewind.


Tilt – A vertical camera move on an axis, up or down. Not to be used interchangeably with pan. It is not really correct to say “pan up” or “pan down,” when you really mean tilt.


Time Lapse – Time lapse is when single frame shooting is used to dramatically speed up the action over the course of a long period of time. Typically it is a process where a single frame is shot after a consistent pause. It could be one frame every ten seconds, or one frame every hour, and such.


Timed Print – Unlike a One Light Print, this is a print where the timer has gone through and timed every shot.


Timer – The person at the lab who goes through your film, shot by shot and selects the printing lights.


Timing – The lab’s process of selecting printing lights to for the proper redition of exposure and color when making a print. The term is a little consuing, as it has nothing at all to do with “time” as in “running time” or such.


Timing Lights or Printing Lights – These are the lamps of the contact printer at the lab. Their brightness can be controlled, which is measured in a scale of 1 to 50, 1 being the darkest and 50 the brightest. In color there are three lights used together: Red – Green – Blue. When working with negative it is worth remembering that the values are reversed: the brighter the light, the darker the print will be.

Timing Report – A list of the timing lights and corresponding footages the lab used in making your print. The timing report can be very helpful for analyzing the footage and judging the possibilities of further corrections. Any serious problems with the footage (out of focus, scratches, edge fog, etc.) are usually also noted on the timing report.

Tone – 1.: A 1,000 Hz sine wave used at the beginning of a tape to provide consistent volume when transferring sound. 2.: Room Tone.

Tracking Shot – A tracking shot is one where the camera is placed on a dolly and is moved while filmming. Also known as a dolly shot.

Trims – Trims are outtakes of a few frames, usually a foot or less. To keep them from getting lost they are usually stored separately from longer outtakes, either in their own vault box or in a trim book.

Trim Bin or Editing Bin or Bin – A trim bin is a bin on wheels lined with a fabric bag and topped off with a frame with a row pins on which to hang film while editing. Oddly enough, a trim bin is not used for trims, which are small, but for selects and outtakes. Not to be confused with a waste basket!

Tripod Head – The part of the tripod with the pan and tilt mechanism to which the camera is attached.

T-Stop – Similar to an F-Stop, some lenses, particularly zoom lenses, will have f-stops on one side of the aperture ring and t-stops on the other. To differentiate the two, the t-stops will be red and the f-stops white. T-stops are used in place of f-stops for setting exposure. Lenses with a lot of glass elements will often lose a little bit of light. The t-stops are calibrated to the actual amount of light that is hitting the film, rather than arrived at mathematically, as is the case with f-stops. However, the f-stops are still relevant, because while the t-stop should be used to set the exposure, the resulting f-stop will indicate how much Depth of Field you have.

Tungsten – The color temperature of artificial light which is 3,200K on the color temperature scale. Quartz Lights use a tungsten filament, which burns at 3,200K, and gives us this term. Color film for indoor shooting is balanced for tungsten light, otherwise the image would appear orange in hue. If tungsten balanced film is used out-of-doors without a correction filter the image will have a washed-out blue hue.

Turret – A rotating lens mount allowing for the mounting of three or sometimes four lenses on a camera, allowing for the quick change from one lens to another. Only one is in use at any given time, and this is known as the taking lens.

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