Super-VHS.  A 1/2 in. analog videocassette format using cobalt modified ferric oxide tape.  It has improved picture quality compared with standard VHS.  For consumer and independent use.  S-VHS-C uses a mini-cassette.

SECAM color system

The current standard color system used in France, Eastern Europe (including Russia), most of French-speaking Africa, and several Middle Eastern countries.  The system was developed in France.  It has 625 horizontal lines.  SECAM stands for Séquential Couleur à Mémoire.  See also NTSC color system, PAL color system.


See Successive exposure negative.


See Successive exposure master positive.


See Sine loco.


See Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers.


See Sine nomine.

Safety film base

A film base that is fire-resistant or slow-burning as defined by the standards set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE).  Both acetate and polyester are safety film bases.  See also Acetate film base, Diacetate film base, Polyester film base, Triacetate film base.


See Anamorphic.

Screen tests

Filmed or taped auditions for movies or television programs.

Secondary source

A source of information for cataloging moving image materials when the preferred source does not provide complete or accurate information.  Examples of secondary sources are leader, containers, accompanying material, unpublished documentation, standard and specialized reference tools, and telephone calls.  See also Preferred source.


A portion of a work, which usually has its own title, and may also have its own credits.

Sepia toned

Conversion of a black and white image in silver to sepia (a brownish gray to dark olive brown) by metallic compounds.

Séquential Couleur à Mémoire

See SECAM color system.


1.  Film usage (theatrical serial):  A type of short film that was characterized principally by the episodic development of a story that was presented in installments over a period of time.  The serial engaged audience interest in a hero or heroine whose exploits reached an unresolved crisis at the end of each episode.  Serials remained popular with motion picture audiences until production of them ceased in the early 1950s.

2.  Television usage (television serial):  A group of programs with story line continued from episode to episode, such as soap operas.  See also Television series.


A group of separate works related to one another by the fact that each work bears, in addition to its own title proper, a series title proper applying to the group as a whole.  The individual works may or may not be numbered.  See also Television series.

Series-like phrase

A character string (words, letters, a combination of letters and numbers) not treated as a series.  For example, a trade name such as "a Triangle comedy" would be considered a series-like phrase and would be given in a quoted note.

Set of elements

The group of physical characteristics of which a film or video is comprised and which is recorded in the line of physical description.  Includes video format, running time, projection characteristic, sound characteristic, color characteristic, generation, etc.  See also Element.


A moving image work that is brief in length, usually not more than 30 minutes.  This term includes fiction and nonfiction works that are released theatrically, directly to video, and may be shown on television.  The term does not encompass episodes of television series.  See also Feature, Serial.

Show number

See Episode number.

Sine loco (S.l.)

Without place, i.e., without the name of the country of distribution, release, broadcast.

Sine nomine (S.n.)

Without name, i.e., without the name of the distributor, releaser, broadcaster.

Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers

SMPTE.  A professional organization with members working in the film, television, computer, and digital industries.  SMPTE is based in the U.S. with international branches.  The organization develops and publishes standards, engineering guidelines, and recommended practices for film and video.  Its committees work in conjunction with standards organizations such as the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Sound track

See Track.

Specific material designation

A term indicating the special class of material (usually the class of physical object) to which a work belongs, e.g., film reel, videocassette.  See also General material designation.


Talks delivered by an individual to a group or mass audience.


An organization or individual for which another company or organization makes a moving image work for furtherance of the sponsor’s public relations or similar purposes.  A corporate body or individual which provides major funding is not necessarily a sponsor of a work.

Standard number

The International Standard Number (ISN), e.g., International Standard Book Number (ISBN), International Standard Serial Number (ISSN), or any other internationally agreed upon standard number, that uniquely identifies a work.

Statement of responsibility

A statement that records corporate bodies and persons credited with major participation in the original production of a moving image work.  See also Cast, Credits.


Color is added to the film image using stencils, one cut for each color.  Stencil-coloring, an early process, generally replaced the even earlier hand-coloring.


A sound recording using two separate channels designed to be played back through two speakers.


See Film stock.

Stock footage

Footage that is stored for repeated use in different productions.


A series within a series; that is, a series that always appears in conjunction with another, usually more comprehensive, series of which it forms a section.  Its title may or may not be dependent on the title of the main series.


1.  A title superimposed over action, usually at the bottom of the frame, used to translate foreign language dialogue, or to identify the scene.

2.  Any phrase appearing in conjunction with the title proper, or other titles, indicative of the character, contents etc., of the work or its production.

See also Other title information.

Successive exposure master positive (SEP)

A black and white fine grain copy made from a successive exposure negative.

Successive exposure negative (SEN)

A film that contains two or three color separation negatives recorded on one strip of black and white film by photographing frames sequentially through filters.  The process was limited to animated cartoon and puppet subjects in which the movement from frame to frame could be controlled.  The successive exposure process was generally abandoned with the introduction of three-layer color negative film.


See S-VHS.

Supplied title

A title provided by the cataloger for a work with a probable or questionable title, or with no title at all.  See also Descriptive category, Descriptive phrase.

See also: