Is there a word meaning "footage shot in advance" in English? I mean, there's a live TV show and before the host starts interviewing his guest, some material from her earlier life and work, or probably some interviews with her family members are shown first.

I'm translating some materials into English and the dictionaries I'm using are rather clueless.

  • And, when it is recorded directly to a digital medium, is there any reason for the word footage? I Europe, do they have a word like meterage? – GEdgar Dec 9 '11 at 14:14

For your use of showing material from an actress's past archival footage is a good fit, since the footage has been made and archived as a record of what the actress has done.

Another possible phrase used to describe footage shot in advance is pre-recorded footage.

While pre-recorded might seem like a tautology, it is in fact indicating that the footage has been recorded for the specific purpose of showing it at a specific later date.

It would be used to indicate footage prepared, for example, for a news broadcast.

  • Many thanks. Pre-recorded is the term I was looking for. – peter.slizik Dec 9 '11 at 11:28

Production companies use the abbreviation VT, as in "Run VT!". VT is short for video-tape, and is used for both digital and video-taped pre-recordings.

From Digital Spy Forums:

A lot of Americans used to call it Ampex after the manufacturer. Interestingly it tends to be VT in most languages as it does not translate easily into Mandarin or Japanese.


We still uses miles and miles of the stuff. The term is still in current use to describe a 'VT package' too - as in "we'll go to the interview after that last VT"...

Another term is library pictures (or library footage), and is often overlaid on pre-recorded footage during news broadcasts.


Not sure if there is a specific term, but you may try:

  • existing footage

  • vintage tapes

  • family recordings

There is a term for readily available footage of frequently used subjects (skyline of New York, airplane landing, etc.): stock footage


I think we can say

footage archive

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