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Ian Stark July 27th, 2011 02:17 AM

Meaning of 'chiron'
 
I've just been sent a shooting script for a corporate video for an American client. I'm shooting b-roll and interviews in London. The script contains a term I have never heard before: chiron. It seems to be used where I would use the term lower third.

I have been doing this for a living for a good few years now but it's the first time I've ever seen this expression!

Can anyone confirm the meaning?

Thanks.

Ian Stark July 27th, 2011 02:20 AM

Re: Meaning of 'chiron'
 
I may have answered my own question. I think it's supposed to be Chyron, a caption generator.

Chyron - Products

Chris Medico July 27th, 2011 05:47 AM

Re: Meaning of 'chiron'
 
Yep, you got it.

Seth Bloombaum July 27th, 2011 01:26 PM

Re: Meaning of 'chiron'
 
Yes, back in ancient history, Chyron was the leading supplier of on-screen text equipment to TV stations.

"Chyron" became a generic term for any on-screen text.

Shaun Roemich July 27th, 2011 01:47 PM

Re: Meaning of 'chiron'
 
Also referred to simply as "Font".

As in:
Technical Director: "And.... lose Font."

Jon Fairhurst July 27th, 2011 01:57 PM

Re: Meaning of 'chiron'
 
The same thing happened with the term, "Dubner." When I started at Grass Valley Group in January 1987, we had recently purchased the company, which made character generators and other graphics boxes.

I think the problem was that "Character Generator", at seven syllables, was too long. So users called it the Chyron, the Dubner, or whatever the product name was. From a proper noun, the word became a general noun, then a verb, and probably an adjective and adverb too.

Add a Dubner. Dubner it! Be quiet; I'm Dubnering! I'll ship it after it's been Dubnered. :)

Shaun Roemich July 27th, 2011 02:13 PM

Re: Meaning of 'chiron'
 
Also see: "CG" (pronounced "See-Gee")

Jon Fairhurst July 27th, 2011 03:47 PM

Re: Meaning of 'chiron'
 
I think "CG" came into vogue a bit later as "computer generated", though "CG" text was used on switcher button labels. Verbally, it was "the Dubner" at the post houses I visited. That might have varied by region though.

Also, verbally in the field, we were "Grass", though nobody within the company called ourselves that. It was always "Grass Valley Group" or "GVG".

Ian Stark July 27th, 2011 04:27 PM

Re: Meaning of 'chiron'
 
I was familiar with Capgen (no prizes) as a text generator, but Chyron was new to me both as a brand and as a script direction. Note it's spelt 'chiron' in the script I have.

Interesting stuff (ish!).

Thanks for all the replies.

Shaun Roemich July 27th, 2011 05:14 PM

Re: Meaning of 'chiron'
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst (Post 1670598)
I think "CG" came into vogue a bit later as "computer generated", though "CG" text was used on switcher button labels. Verbally, it was "the Dubner" at the post houses I visited. That might have varied by region though.

Heard CG in a number of CONTROL ROOMS talking about Character Generator... never hear Dubner though... You might be right with the "regional" thing though... mind you, I've only been at this since '98...

Interesting discussion, agreed.

Ian Stark July 27th, 2011 05:25 PM

Re: Meaning of 'chiron'
 
I was first aware of Capgen in the early 80s when my stepfather was one of the old school graphics guys at one of the UK regional TV companies (Anglia). For the Saturday afternoon sports results they used Letraset until the Capgen arrived, then he had to be reskilled. He always says it took the heart out of his graphics work, though, and was never a fan!

Jay Massengill August 2nd, 2011 08:45 AM

Re: Meaning of 'chiron'
 
Ah, the 80's... We had a Chyron VP-2 in the tiny video production group in college. I think it was generally referred to in the industry as the "VP- Too Slow", which could be a problem when the director was shouting "Change Chyron! Change Chyron!".

Even though it was only a character generator, I used to do really crude graphics on it by distorting and spacing the characters to make rudimentary drawings. It was fascinating that you could make it transition from page to page by pressing a momentary switch wired to contacts in the back of the box... (We were easily amused in those days.)

The first character generator I bought for work was based on a very early personal computer from a company called MindSet. JVC was marketing their machines in the mid 80's for CG and very simple animation.
I remember the excited call I got from my vendor telling that the memory cartridges I had ordered had been upgraded from 8Kb to 32Kb at no extra charge! Which was good because they were about $200 each!
They looked like game cartridges and plugged into slots in the front of the machine, each one held about 30 pages of text. A "page" of text could be as small as a single line or even single character, each page being some individual item to add to the live production or editing pass one screen at a time. Fading and keying was accomplished with an external box with a big slider that the video signals passed through.
Oddly though the operating software actually used an animated graphical user interface years and years before we had Windows on any PC's at work.

Richard Alvarez August 2nd, 2011 09:42 AM

Re: Meaning of 'chiron'
 
"You crazy kids..." **scratch** **spit*** "Why when I started back in the seventies...."

If the text wasn't in the FILM CHAIN as a slide - "Slide up" was the TD's call. "Super OVER" was the switching command. Then we put the white text on a MENU BOARD in the studio, shot it with a camera and it was luma-keyed over.

But yeah, the character generator when it came in was called that. "Character generator" or "See Gee" Chyron was also used as a name/verb. Never saw or heard dubner, but that might be a regional thing. I was working in television in Houston in the early - mid seventies.

Ian Stark August 2nd, 2011 02:38 PM

Re: Meaning of 'chiron'
 
Richard, I expected at least a 'dagnabbit' in there!

All very interesting. Thanks to everyone for chiming in. My client has sent the updated script today and it's still misspelt 'chiron'.

Sean Walsh August 2nd, 2011 03:39 PM

Re: Meaning of 'chiron'
 
Just to add my 2 cents worth....

I've come across the following:

Super, Cap, CG, Aston, Riley ...they all mean the same thing.

And I came across a 'new' term (for me) last year - 'Shot-lock'.

It's a term used in Autocue's Q-Series electronic newsroom system for live news - a shot-lock is a mark on a script which indicates where a caption should be used.

As a side-bar, at the university where I teach the first home assignment given to first year TV students is to research a list of '50 words used in TV News' - and it's very interesting how many (or few) they get right.

If anyone fancies having a go I'll happily post or send them the list.(You'll have to find the answers yourself!)

Every industry has it's own jargon - and in the UK I've found the BBC and commercial broadcasters have their own individual terms for the same thing (It's a shovel, no it's a spade, no it's a digging implement!).

While I personally might be relatively fluent in 'TV News speak' - I guess I'd be lost if working on a film set or other environment.

And Ian - Letraset? When I started at the BBC when we needed, for example, an animated map showing a motorway route not only were Letraset letters applied but a hole was cut in the cardboard map and then an 'animated' cardboard line was pulled live during the broadcast to show the route.

How things have changed! I guess it's a bit like the difference between the first flight by the Wright Brothers and the F-22 Raptor.


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