Acting & Film Glossary

Industry Terms Defined (Provided courtesy of castingworkbook.com)

  • ACTION! – The command from the director for the scene to begin. It also means that the camera is rolling.
  • A.D. – The Assistant Director.
  • AD LIB – Extemporaneous delivery without relying on a prepared script.
  • ADR – Automated Dialogue Replacement. Dialogue added to a scene in post production. Also called “looping”.
  • AEA – Actors’ Equity Association; also called “Equity”. SAG’s sister union which represents stage actors. See also BAE, CAE and MEAA.
  • AFI – The American Film Institute
  • A.C.C.T. – Association of Canadian Craftspeople
  • ACTRA – Alliance of Canadian Cinema Television and Radio Artist
  • AFTRA – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. Represents radio artists and news broadcasters, and, in earlier times, television performers. In more recent times, however, television performers may be represented by either AFTRA or SAG, depending on the producer’s contract. Discussions about merging the two organizations have been ongoing for several decades; recent Television & Film and Commercial Contracts have been jointly negotiated.
  • AGMA – American Guild of Musical Artists
  • AGVA – American Guild of Variety Artists
  • AMPTP – Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers
  • ART DIRECTOR – Person who conceives and designs the sets.
  • ATA - Association of Talent Agents
  • AUDITION – A tryout for a film, TV or stage role. Usually auditions involving reading from the script, but can also require improvisation.
  • AVAIL – A courtesy situation extended by performer or agent to a producer indicating availability to work a certain job. Avails have no legal or contractual status.

Film Terms Glossary –San Antonio Film Academy

  • Ambient Light: General room light.
  • Ambient noise:General sound in a given are which is peculiar to that space (room tone).
  • Aperture: A variable opening inside a lens that regulates the amount of light reaching the sensor. Also known as an iris.
  • Apple Box: A box built of a strong wood which is capable of supporting weight. These may be of various sizes. Small apple boxes are also called ‘pancakes’ because it is nearly flat.
  • ASA (ISO): The exposure index or speed rating of film or a digital sensor.
  • Associate Producer: This is normally the person who acts as the go between for production company and the various personnel involved in the post production process.
  • BACKGROUND – The Extra performers. On the set, “Background!” is a verbal cue for the Extras to start their action.
  • BACK TO ONE! – The verbal cue for performers to return to the mark where they started the scene.
  • BAE - British Actors Equity
  • BANANA - Instructing the actor to move in to a scene in a slight arc, or curved path, versus a straight line.
  • BEAT - A deliberate and slight pause (short on long) in dialogue or an action. Most normally in dialogue to emphasize emotion or thought.
  • BEAUTY SHOT - On TV soaps, the shot over which the credits are rolled.
  • BEST BOY - The assistant to the Chief Electrician, or Head Gaffer.
  • BIG HEAD CLOSE UP - Face and head fills the screen or lense; from bottom of chin to forehead.
  • BILLING - The order of the names in the title of opening credits of a film or TV show.
  • BIO - Short for “biography”. A resume in narrative form, usually for a printed program or press release.
  • BLOCKING - The actual physical movements by performers in any scene. Also can refer to the movements of the camera.
  • BOOKING - A firm commitment to a performer to do a specific job.
  • BOOM - An overhead microphone, usually on an extended pole. The Boom Operator is the member of the sound department responsible for holding the boom pole, with mic attached, over and sometimes under the actors. Also usually responsible for placing radio mics on actors.
  • BLUE SCREEN - Shooting in a studio against a large blue or green backdrop, which allows a background to be superimposed later on the final image. The actors must imagine the set they are on and be aware of the limitations of their movements. Casting Workbook’s Audition studio in their Vancouver location is a Blue Screen.
  • BREAKAWAY - Specially designed prop or set piece that looks solid but shatters easily.
  • BREAKDOWN - A summary description of a script prepared by or for the casting director often including the names of the director, producer, network or studio, together with audition location and times, storyline and roles available for casting in a production. These are, and have traditionally been, provided only to qualified talent agents. Breakdowns are posted on the Casting Workbook by the Casting Director and go out to as many as 1000 agents in 20 cities. See also Casting Notices.
  • BRIEF - The Australian equivalent to the Breakdown.
  • BROWSER - See Web Browser

Film Terms Glossary –San Antonio Film Academy

  • Baby (Spot)
    A 500-to-1,000w Fresnel light.
  • Baby: Usually a 1K light unit. It is also used to describe any light unit which is smaller than a standard size unit of light (i.e. baby 1K, baby 2K, baby 5K, etc.). For grips, it refers to anything with a 5/8 inch stud (i.e. baby plate).
  • Baby Legs: A short tripod.
  • Bazooka: Similar to a 2K stand, but without support legs.
  • Black Wrap: Black Aluminum foil which is used for wrapping lights, to control light spill, and for making small flags.
  • Blocking: Planning actor, camera and microphone placement and movement in a scene.
  • Blonde: An open face 2K lighting unit. Also known as a Mighty.
  • Bobbinet: Black mesh cloth which is used for grip scrims. It also used for darkening windows.
  • Bottom Chop: A flag or cutter which is used to keep light off of the floor or the lower part of a scene.
  • Backlight: A light which is generally mounted behind a subject to light the subject’s hair and shoulders.
  • Barndoors: Folding doors which are mounted on to the front of a light unit in order to control light spill and direction.
  • Beefy Baby: A heavy duty 2K stand without wheels.
  • Best Boy: The assistant lighting technician or the assistant to the key grip.
  • Box Rental: A fee or allowance paid to a crewmember for providing his/her own equipment for use in a production.
  • Branch Holder: A pipe-like unit with a locking nut which is used to hold branches, wooden poles, or other items.
  • Broad: A rectangular open-faced light which is used for general fill or for cyc illumination.
  • Brute: A brute arc light, usually 225 amps DC powered.
  • Butthead: A producer who thinks he/she knows more about a film technicians job than the tech knows.
  • Ballast A device used to start and operate Discharge Lamps. It may include a Dimmer.
  • Bank Several lights grouped together to create a larger or more powerful source. Tip: use soft lights or heavy Diffusion to avoid Multiple Shadows.
  • Batten A pipe, pole, or wooden strip used to support lights.
  • Blooming The spreading of strong Highlights into surrounding areas of the image.
  • Boom An adjustable arm, usually positioned on top of a stand, that extends a light or microphone over a subject. Also used when moving camera up and down on a hydraulic dolly (i.e. Boom UP or Boom Down)
  • Booster Light The fixture or light source that helps to balance out of balance exterior light.
  • Bounce Card, Bounce Board A white reflecting panel used for Fill or subtle Kicks.
  • Bounce Light A super soft source produced by reflecting lights off white panels or walls.
  • CAEA - Canadian Actors Equity Association
  • CACHE - Your Web browser’s cache, which contains the most recent Web files that you have downloaded and which is physically located on your hard disk.
  • CALLBACK - Any follow-up interview or audition.
  • CALL SHEET - A sheet containing the cast and crew call times for a specific day’s shooting. Scene numbers, the expected day’s total pages, locations, and production needs are also included.
  • CALL TIME - The actual time an actor is due on the set.
  • CAMERA CREW - With the D.P. (Director of Photography) as its chief, this team consists of the camera operator, the first assistant camera operator (focus puller), the second assistant camera operator (film loader and clap stick clapper) and the dolly grip.
  • CAMERA LEFT - Actors or subjects are positioned (or asked to move) to the left side of the camera frame (from the operators view/perspective). Screen direction is the opposite of stage direction. To move camera left, the actor would move to his/her right side. Wheras on stage, an actor would move to his left for stage left.
  • CAMERA OPERATOR - The member of the camera crew who actually looks through the lens during a take. Responsible for panning, tilting and keeping the action within the frame.
  • CAMERA RIGHT - Opposite of camera left. Actor moves to his/her left side.
  • CASTING DIRECTOR - The producer’s representative responsible for choosing performers for consideration by the producer or director.
  • CASTING FACILITY - A studio or space used by one or more casting directors for holding audition taping sessions. Many casting directors have their own casting facility and others rent facilities for their auditions as required.
  • CASTING NOTICE - Similar in format to a Breakdown, the casting notice is not restricted to agents only. They are distributed to actors, agents and the public, much the same as a posting in a newspaper.
  • CATTLE CALL - An audition open to many, many actors at once
  • CATERER - Responsible for breakfast, lunch and dinner on a set. Different from Craft Services.
  • CD-ROM - A compact disk that holds text, music and images. One of the principle new venues for interactive video games as well as for full motion video films. Acting for CD-ROM’s is a new arena for actors.
  • CDS - The Casting Delivery Service run by Casting Workbook in Toronto as a daily 5 point drop-off courier and package delivery augmenting the electronic service.
  • CFTPA - Canadian Film & Television Production Association. A non-profit, trade association representing almost 400 Canadian production companies involved in television, film and interactive media.
  • CHANGES - Outfits worn while performing.
  • CHEAT - The actor’s adjustment of body position away from what might be absolutely “natural” in order to accommodate the camera; can also mean looking in a different place from where the other actor actually is.
  • CHECKING THE GATE! - A verbal command to check the lens on the camera; if the lens is OK the cast & crew will move on to the next scene or shot.
  • CHIEF ELECTRICIAN - Heads the electrician crew; also called the Gaffer
  • CINEMATOGRAPHER - Director of Photography
  • CLOSE-UP (CU) - Camera term for tight shot of shoulders and face. See also Big Head CU.
  • COLD READING - Unrehearsed reading of a scene, usually at an audition.
  • COMMISSION - Percentage of a performer’s earnings paid to agents or managers for services rendered.
  • COMPOSITE - A series of photos on one sheet representing an actor’s different looks.
  • CONFLICT - Status of being paid for services in a commercial for one advertiser, thereby contractually preventing performing services in a commercial for a competitor.
  • COOKIE - A cookie is information that a Web site puts on your hard disk so that it can remember something about you at a later time.
  • COPY - The script for a commercial or voice over.
  • COVERAGE - All camera shots other than the master shot; coverage might include two-shots and close-ups.
  • COVER SHOT - An additional or extra shot of a scene, shot in addition to the master shot. Shot from a different angle, lighting, etc., and used to enhance the master shot, or to better establish a scene, setting, etc.
  • CRAFT SERVICES - On-set beverage and snack table. Different from the Caterer
  • CRANE SHOT - A camera shot raised over or above the set or the action.
  • CRAWL - Usually the end credits in a film or TV shot which “crawl” up the screen.
  • CREDITS - Opening names in a film or TV show; also refers to a one’s performance experience listed on a resume or in a program.
  • CSA - Casting Society of America. Professional society of Theatrical (Film, TV, Stage) Casting Directors.
  • CUE - Hand signal by the Stage Manager
  • CUT! - The verbal cue for the action of the scene to stop. At no time, may an actor call, “cut!”
  • CUTAWAY - A short scene between two shots of the same person, showing something other than that person.

Film Terms Glossary –San Antonio Film Academy

  • C-47: Ordinary wooden clothespins which are used to secure gels to barndoors. They are also known as a #1 wood clamp.
  • California Scrim Set: A scrim set with two doubles.
  • Call Sheet: A sheet which refers to all of the scenes to be filmed and all of the personnel and equipment required for shooting on that day.
  • Camera Angle: The view point chosen from which to photograph a subject.
  • Camera Blocking: The process of changing position of the camera, lens size, and focus during a particular scene
  • Camera Wedges: Small wooden wedges, usually 4 inches long by 1/2 wide at the thickest end.
  • Canted Frame: Often described as a ‘Dutch Angle’ or ‘Dutching’. This is a device or process whereby the camera is angled so that the horizontal frame line is not parallel to the horizon.
  • CC Filters: Color compensating filters made in precise density values of the primary and secondary colors.
  • Celo: A type of cookie which is made from wire mesh coated with plastic.
  • Century Stand (C-Stand): A multipurpose grip stand.
  • Combo Stand: A heavy duty 2K stand without wheels. It is called a combo because it can be used for both reflectors and lights.
  • Cookie: A perforated material which is used to break up light or create a shadow pattern. Think of it as a cookie cutter which can cast shapes.
  • Coverage: A number of more detailed shots which are intended to be intercut with a master shot or scene.
  • Cover Set: A location which is kept as a backup plan to serve as an alternate shooting site in case the chosen shooting site is unusable or unavailable.
  • CP Filters: Color printing filters made in precise density values for the colors; yellow, cyan, and magenta.
  • Cribbing: Short pieces of lumber which are used for various grip purposes.
  • Cup Blocks: Wooden blocks with a dish or indention in the center which are used to keep the wheels of light stands from moving.
  • Cutaway: A single shot inserted into a sequence of shots that momentarily interrupts the flow of action, usually introducing an important detail or clue.
  • Cyc Lights (generally some type of soft bank lights or Kinos): Row lights for evenly illuminating a cyclorama or other background.
  • DAILIES - Screening of footage before it is edited.
  • DAY PLAYER (DAY PERFORMER) - A principal performer hired on a daily basis, rather than on a longer – term contract.
  • DAYTIME DRAMA - Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.
  • DEMO TAPE - An actor’s audio or video tape that agents use for audition purposes. These are now going digital and are being uploaded to the Casting Workbook saving duplication and shipping costs for agents and their actors.
  • DGA - Directors Guild of America.
  • DGC - Directors Guild of Canada
  • DIALECT - A distinctly regional or linguistic speech pattern.
  • DIALOGUE - The scripted words exchanged by performers.
  • DIGITIZING - The process of converting something into a form for use in a computer
  • DIRECTOR - The coordinator of all artistic and technical aspects of any production.
  • DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY (D.P. or D.O.P) - Supervises all decisions regarding lighting, camera lenses, color and filters, camera angle set-ups, camera crew and film processing.
  • DOLLY - A piece of equipment that the camera sits on to allow mobility of the camera.
  • DOLLY GRIP - The crew member who moves the dolly.
  • DOUBLE - A performer who appears in place of another performer, i.e., as in a stunt.
  • D.P. - Director of Photography or Cinematographer.
  • DRESS THE SET - Add such items to the set as curtains, furniture, props, etc.
  • DRIVE-ON PASS - In Los Angeles, a pass to drive onto and park on a studio lot.
  • DUPE - A duplicate copy of a film or tape; also, a “dub”
  • 8×10 – Commonly used size of a performer’s photos, usually in black and white.
  • 18-TO-PLAY-YOUNGER – A performer legally 18 years old, who can convincingly be cast as a younger age.

Film Terms Glossary –San Antonio Film Academy

  • Deal Memo: A form which lists the pertinent details of salary, guaranteed conditions, and other essentials of a work agreement negotiated between a member of the cast or crew and a production company.
  • Deep Focus: A style of cinematography that uses various wide angle lenses and small apertures by keeping objects in the extreme background and foreground focused at the same time.
  • Depth of Field: The amount of space within lens view which will keep acceptable focus at given settings (i.e. camera speed, film speed, lens aperture).
  • Deuce: A 2K fresnel (pronounced Fre-nel) lighting unit.
  • Dingle: Branches which are placed in front of a light as a cookie would to cut the light and provide a shadow pattern.
  • Dolly Shot: Any shot made from a moving dolly. These may also be called tracking or traveling shots.
  • Dots: Small nets and flags used to control light.
  • Duvetyne: A heavy black cloth, treated with fire proofing material, which is used for blacking out windows, making teasers, hiding cables, and hundreds of other uses.
  • E. I. C. - Entertainment Industry Coalition
  • ELECTRICIAN - In film, crew members who place lighting instruments, focus, gel and maneuver the lights.
  • EMPLOYER OF RECORD (EOR) - The company responsible for employment taxes, unemployment benefits and workers compensation coverage.
  • ENCODING - Converting a digital file, usually audio or video, into a specific format. Ie: MP3, AVI, MOV etc.
  • EQUITY - Actors Equity Association (see AEA, BAE , CAEA and MEAA) Union representing stage actors.
  • EQUITY WAIVER - In Los Angeles, 99-seat (or less) theatres which were otherwise professional, over which Equity waived contract provisions under certain circumstances. Now officially called “Showcase code”, the term “Equity waiver” is still used informally.
  • EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Person responsible for funding the production
  • EXT. (Exterior) - A scene shot outside.
  • EXTRA - Background performer, used only in non-principal roles.

Film Terms Glossary –San Antonio Film Academy

  • Ear (also known as a “Sider”): To put a flag up on the side of a lighting unit to block light.
  • Edison Plug: An ordinary household plug with two flat blades and a ground pin.
  • FICA - Social Security taxes (Federal Insurance Corporation of America).
  • FIELD REP. - Union staff member who ensures contractual compliance on sets
  • FIRST A.D. - First Assistant Director; person responsible for the running of the set. Gives instructions to crew and talent, including calling for “first team,” “quiet,” “rehearsal,” and “take five.”
  • FIRST ASS’T. CAMERA OP. - First Assistant Camera Operator is responsible for focusing the camera lens during the shooting of a scene; also known as the Focus Puller.
  • FIRST TEAM - The production term for the principal actors in a scene.
  • 4-A’s – Associated Actors and Artistes of America; umbrella organization for SAG, AFTRA, Equity and other performers’ Unions.
  • FORCED CALL - A call to work less than 12 hours after dismissal on the previous day. See TURNAROUND.
  • FOREGROUND CROSS - Action in a scene in which an Extra Performer passes between the camera and the principal actors; sometimes called a “wipe”.
  • FX (Effects) - Special Effects.

Film Terms Glossary –San Antonio Film Academy

  • FAY: A 650 watt PAR light with daylight balance dichroic fliter.
  • Feather: Moving a ‘flag’ closer to or further away from a light source that it is in front of will feather (soften/harden) the shadow on the surface upon which the light falls.
  • Filter: A material having the ability to absorb certain wavelengths of light and transmit others.
  • Fingers: Small flags used to control light.
  • Focus Pull: The refocusing of a lens during a shot to keep a moving subject in focus or to change the person or object of attention
  • Foley: Creating sound effects by watching picture and mimicking the action
  • Frame Rate:The frequency at which film or video frames run (i.e. 24 fps; 29.97 Hz in NTSC; 25 Hz in PAL European format).
  • Fresnel: A stepped convex lens. It is most commonly used to describe tungsten-incandescent lamps.
  • GAFFER - The Chief Electrician.
  • GOLDEN TIME - Contractually called 16 Hour Rule Violation for Extra Performers, is overtime, after the 16th hour, paid in units of one full day per hour.
  • GRIPS - Members of the film crew who are responsible for moving set pieces, lighting equipment, dolly track and other physical movement of equipment.

Film Terms Glossary –San Antonio Film Academy

  • Gaffer: The chief lighting technician for a production who is in charge of the electrical department.
  • Gobo: A grip head or “C” stand head used as a clamping device for holding other equipment.
  • Grifflon (Griff): A durable material made of three ply high density rubber. The material is attached within a frame and used as either a soft reflector of sunlight or cut or soften direct sun. It generally comes in three sizes: 6′ X 6′, 12′ x 12′, and 20′ x 20′.
  • Grip Tape: This is Duct tape style tape, also known as gaffer’s tape or cloth tape.
  • HAND MODEL - A performer whose hands are used to double for others.
  • HERO (BOY, GIRL, MAN, WOMAN) - Unassumed Lead in a commercial where the lead isn’t prominent, but most important.
  • HIATUS - Time during which a TV series is not in production
  • HOLDING - The designated area to which the Extra Performers report and stay while waiting to go on set.
  • HONEY WAGON - A towed vehicle containing one or more dressing rooms, as well as crew bathrooms.

Film Terms Glossary –San Antonio Film Academy

  • Highkey: An overall brightly lit scene with realtively few shadows.
  • HMI: An enclosed, AC mercury arc lamp.
  • IATSE - International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees; the union which represents most off – camera crew members.
  • INDUSTRIAL - Non-broadcast film or video, usually of an educational nature
  • INSERTS - Shots, usually close -ups of hands or close business, inserted into previously shot footage.
  • INT. (Interior) - A scene shot indoors.
  • “IN” TIME - The actual call time or start time; also, return time from a break.

Film Terms Glossary –San Antonio Film Academy

  • Inkie: A small (250 watt) fresnel type light.
  • Intercutting: An editing method whereby related shots are inserted into a series of other shots for the purpose of contrast or for some other effect.

Film Terms Glossary –San Antonio Film Academy

  • Japanese Lantern: A paper-covered wire frame globe into which a socket and bulb may be placed.
  • Jib Arm: A mechanical arm which is supported on a dolly, tripod, or other device, which is counterweighted to hold a camera for an increased range of motion.
  • Juicer (called a Spark in Europe): An electrician.
  • Junior: A 2K fresnel light unit. It may also mean any 1 1/8 inch spud or mounting pin or any 1 1/8 inch female receiver

Film Terms Glossary –San Antonio Film Academy

  • Key Grip (Can be split into two positions of Dolly Grip for camera dept. and Key for lighting): The chief grip who works directly with the gaffer in creating shadow effects for set lighting and who supervises camera cranes, dollies and other platforms or supporting structures according to the requirements of the director of photography.
  • Key Light:The main light on a subject.
  • Kick: An object with a shine or reflection on it from another object.
  • Kiss: A light that gently brushes a subject.
  • LINE PRODUCER - The producer responsible for keeping the director on time and budget; generally the most visible producer actually on the set.
  • LONG SHOT (LS) - A camera shot which captures the performer’s full body.
  • LOOPING - An in-studio technique used to fix dialogue already performed during principal photography by matching voice to picture.

Film Terms Glossary –San Antonio Film Academy

  • Lamp: A reference to the bulb inside a lighting unit, but may sometimes be used to refer to the entire lighting unit.
  • Latitude: The range between overexposure and underexposure in which a shot will still produce usable images.
  • Lavalier Mic: A small microphone that can be easily hidden on a piece of clothing so as not to be seen by the camera.
  • Lowkey: A high contrast lighting style with lost of shadows and large areas of darkness.
  • MARK - The exact position(s) given to an actor on a set to insure that he/she is in the proper light and camera angle; generally marked on the ground with tape or chalk.
  • MARKER! - A verbal cue that the take has been identified on camera both verbally and with the slate board.
  • MASTER SHOT - A camera shot that includes the principal actors and relevant background activity; generally used as a reference shot to record the scene from beginning to end before shooting close-ups, over-the-shoulders, etc.
  • MATCHING ACTIONS - The requirement that the actor match the same physical movements in a scene from take to take in order to preserve the visual continuity.
  • MEAA - Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (Australia)
  • MEAL PENALTY - A fee paid by the producer for the failure to provide meals or meal breaks as specified by the contract.
  • MIXER - Chief of the sound crew; responsible for the quality of the sound recording on a shoot.
  • MODEM - A device that converts digital signals from a computer or other digital device, into a form that can be transmitted across copper wires. It also re-converts them when received from another device.
  • MOS (Mit Out Sound/Motion Only Shot) - Any shot without dialogue or sound recording. Also sometimes called S.O.C. , silent on-camera.
  • M.O.W. - Movie of the week

Film Terms Glossary –San Antonio Film Academy

  • Mater: A small adjustable clamp with a baby stud which can be interchanged with a variety of accessories.
  • Maxi-Brute: A 9 light unit with (9) 1000 watt PAR 64 lights.
  • Mickey (also known as a Redhead ): An open faced 1K lighting unit.
  • N.A.B.E.T - National Association of Broadcasting Employees & Technicians.
  • ND MEAL (NON DEDUCTABLE MEAL) - A 15 minute meal break provided to actors by the production company to bring actors in sync with crew break time. It must be completed within 2 hours of performers call time.
  • NETWORK - In the most generic sense, a group of computers connected to each other allowing communication and a sharing of information. Also may refer to a Television Network such as Fox, ABC etc…
  • NIGHT PREMIUM - A surcharge for certain work performed after 8 p.m.

Film Terms Glossary –San Antonio Film Academy

  • Neutral Density (ND): Colorless filters that reduce the amount of light in controlled degrees.
  • OFF-CAMERA (OC or OS) - Dialogue delivered without being on screen.
  • OPERATING SYSTEM - The group of programs that allows users to interact with a computer. Primarily Microsoft Windows, Mac OS or Linux.
  • OUT OF FRAME - An actor outside the camera range.
  • “OUT” TIME - The actual time when you are released after you have changed out of wardrobe and make- up.
  • OVER-THE-SHOULDER - A shot over the shoulder of one actor, focusing entirely on the face and upper torso of the other actor in a scene; generally shot in pairs so both actors expressions can later be edited together.
  • OVERDUBBING - In studio singing or voice work, the process of laying one soundtrack over another.
  • OVERTIME (OT) - Work extending beyond the contractual work day.

Film Terms Glossary –San Antonio Film Academy

  • Obie: An eyelight mounted on the camera. Commonly used when shooting documentaries or reality TV.
  • P.A. - Production Assistant.
  • PAN - A camera shot which sweeps from side-to-side.
  • PAYMASTER - An independent talent payment service acting as the employer of record.
  • PENSION & HEALTH PAYMENT - An additional amount of money paid by the employer to cover employee benefits under union contract
  • PER DIEM - Fee paid by producer on location shoots to compensate performer for expenditures for meals not provided by the producer.
  • PERIPHERAL - Any device that is optionally attached to a computer. Mouse, keyboard, scanner, printer etc.
  • PHOTO DOUBLE - An actor cast to perform on camera in place of another.
  • PICK UP - Starting a scene from a place other than the beginning.
  • PICTURE’S UP! - Warning that the sequence of cues to shoot a scene is about to begin.
  • PLATFORM - See OPERATING SYSTEM.
  • POV SHOT - Point-of-View shot; camera angle from the perspective of one actor.
  • POST-PRODUCTION - The phase of filmmaking that begins after the film has been shot. Includes scoring, sound and picture editing, titling, dubbing, and releasing.
  • PRE-PRODUCTION - The phase of filmmaking before shooting begins; includes writing, scouting locations, budgeting, casting, hiring crews, ordering equipment and creating a shooting schedule.
  • PRINCIPAL - A performer with lines.
  • “PRINT!” - A call from the director at the end of a take that that particular take is good enough be printed.
  • PRODUCER - Often called the Line Producer; the person responsible for the day-to-day decision making on a production.
  • PRODUCTION COMPANY - The company actually making the film or television show.
  • PROFILE - Often in auditions, the CD will call for profile. The actor stands facing camera in normal posture, picture taken or filmed, then to each side showing the actors profile from front, right and left side.
  • PROPS - Any objects used by actors in a scene.
  • PSA - Public Service Announcement.

Film Terms Glossary –San Antonio Film Academy

  • Pan: A horizontal movement of a camera on a fixed axis.
  • PARS (Parabolic reflector lamps) : PAR64– 1000 W 500 W 250 W (ACL) PAR56– 500 W 300 W 200 W PAR38 –150 W 100 W 75 W (used a lot in stage and theater lighting)
  • Parallels: Temporary Scaffolding, used as a platform for the camera, lighting, or other rigging.
  • Pick-up Shot:Reshooting a portion of a scene, the rest of which was acceptably filmed in a previous take.
  • Plate: A background for any type of process shot. Used for green screen or special effects laden shots.
  • Practical: Any light that appears in the scene.
  • Process Shot: A shot that will be composited from two other shots. The background part of this process is called a ‘plate’.
  • QUOTE - In the Pilot TV process, many established or up and coming actors come in with quotes, which were previous quoted pay rates for previous projects.

Film Terms Glossary –San Antonio Film Academy

  • Quartz: Tungsten-Halogen lights or lighting units.
  • RESIDUAL - The fee paid to a performers for rebroadcast of a commercial, film or TV program
  • RESUME - List of credits, usually attached to an 8×10 or composite.
  • REWRITE - Changes in the script, often using color-coded pages to indicate most current version.
  • RIGHT-TO-WORK-STATES - Those states which do not honor certain union provisions.
  • ROLLING! - The verbal cue for the camera film and audio tape to start rolling.
  • ROLL OVER - The term “Roll Over” or “Turn Over” is the verbal cue given by the Director for the camera operator and audio tape to start rolling.
  • ROOM TONE - A sound recording (sometimes made upon completion of a scene) to record existing noise at the location. Also called “wild track”.

Film Terms Glossary –San Antonio Film Academy

  • Rim: A hard backlight, is generally on the same level as the subject, that casts more light than the key light.
  • Riser: (1) A cylindrical metal device placed betwen the dolly head and the camera base to raise the camera. (2) A pre-built platform used to raise the set, camera, or lights.
  • Room Tone: The “noise” of a room, set or location where dialog is recorded during Production. Used by film and dialog editors as a “bed” to form a continuous tone through a particular scene. This is often confused with ambience, which might be sound effects and/or reverberation added when the dialog is mixed.
  • SAG - Screen Actors Guild.
  • SCALE - Minimum payment for services under union contracts.
  • SCENES - The Australian equivalent to Sides. See Sides below
  • SCRIPT - The written form of a screenplay, teleplay, radio or stage play.
  • SCRIPT SUPERVISOR - The crew member assigned to record all changes or actions as the production proceeds.
  • SDI - State Disability Insurance.
  • SECOND ASSISTANT DIRECTOR - Often two or three on a set, they handle checking in the talent, insuring proper paperwork is filed, distribute script revisions. Actors check in with the 2nd A.D. upon arrival on the set.
  • SECOND TEAM! - The verbal cue for the stand – ins to come to the set and be ready to stand in.
  • SEGUE - In film or tape editing, a transition from one shot to another.
  • SET - The immediate location where the scene is being filmed.
  • SET-UP - Each time the camera changes position.
  • SFX - Sound effects.
  • SIDES - Pages or scenes from a script, used in auditions or ( if on a film set ) those scenes being shot that day. In Australia, Sides are called Scenes.
  • SIGNATORY - An employer who has agreed to produce under the terms of a union contract.
  • SLATE - A small chalkboard and clapper device, often electronic, used to mark and identify shots on film for editing; also the process of verbal identification by a performer in a taped audition (e.g., “Slate your name!”).
  • SPEED! - A verbal cue that the audio tape is up to speed for recording.
  • SPEC - Speculative. Used most often to describe a speculative piece being pitched to others, ie Spec Short (film), Spec Commercial (lot’s of spec commercials are done by student filmakers).
  • SPIKING THE LENS - Looking directing into the lens during a scene; since it destroys the illusion of realism, actors should never spike the lens unless specifically directed to do so for specific effect.
  • STAGE RIGHT - To the performer’s right side, to the audience’s left side. Likewise, STAGE LEFT is to the performer’s left, the audience’s right. Stage directions are for actors, not audiences, therefore they are always given from the actor’s point of view to the audience.
  • STANDARD UNION CONTRACT - The standard format/contract approved by the Unions and offered to performers prior to the job.
  • STANDARDS & PRACTICES - The network TV censorship departments.
  • STAND-INS - Extra Performers used as substitutes for featured players, for the purpose of setting lights and rehearsing camera moves; also known as the second team.
  • “STICKS” - Slate or clapboard.
  • STUDIO - A building, recording room or sound stage which accommodates film or TV production.
  • STUNT COORDINATOR - The person in charge of designing and supervising the performance of stunts and hazardous activities.
  • STUNT DOUBLE - A stunt person who performs stunts for a principal.
  • STUNTPERSON - A specially trained performer who actually performs stunts.
  • SUBMISSION - An agent’s suggestion to a casting director for a role in a certain production.
  • SW - A notation on a call sheet that an actor is starting on that day and working on that day.
  • SWF - A notation on a call sheet that an actor is starting, working, and finished on that day.
  • SWEETENING - In singing/recording, the process of adding additional voices to previously recorded work.
  • SYNDICATION - Selling TV programs to individual stations rather than to networks.

Film Terms Glossary –San Antonio Film Academy

  • Scrim: A metal ‘window screen’ that can be placed in front of a lighting unit to decrease the lighting intensity.
  • Second Unit: A photographic team that shoots scenes which do not involve the principal cast, such as stunts, car chases, or establishing shots.
  • Senior: A 5K fresnel lighting unit.
  • Senior Stand: A braced junior stand sufficiently rugged for large lights such as a 5K, 10K
  • Set Up: Each discrete position of the camera, excluding those in which a dolly or crane is used to move the camera during filming.
  • Shiny Boards: A grip reflector used for re-aiming sunlight to provide a key or fill light.
  • Showcard: A white artists’ cardboard which is used as a reflector or for making other special rigs. It is easily cut and formed.
  • Siamese: A splitter that divides a power line into two parts.
  • Silk: A lighting diffusion or reflective material.
  • Spill: Light that is escaping from the sides of a lighting unit, or any light that is falling where it is not wanted.
  • Spot: On a lensed light, the smallest beam spread.
  • TAFT-HARTLEY - A federal statute which allows 30 days after first employment before being required to join a Union.
  • TAKE - The clapboard indication of a shot “taken” or printed.
  • “TAKE 5″ - The announcement of periodic five minute breaks.
  • T.A.M.A.C. - Talent Agents and Managers’ Association of Canada
  • TELEPROMPTER - The brand name of a device which enables a broadcaster to read a script while looking into the camera lens.
  • THEATRICAL - TV shows or feature film work, as opposed to commercials.
  • THREE BELLS! - An audible warning for QUIET because a scene is about to be filmed.
  • TIGHT SHOT (Go in Tight) - Framing of a shot with little or no space around the central figure(s) of feature(s); usually a close-up.
  • TILT - The up and down movement of a camera.
  • TIME-AND-A-HALF - Overtime payment of 1 1/2 times the hourly rate.
  • TMA - Talent Managers Association (Los Angeles based)
  • TRACKING SHOT - A shot taken while the camera is moving, either on a dolly or a mounted on a moving vehicle.
  • TRADES – Short for “trade papers” - The newspapers and periodicals such as the Hollywood Reporter and Variety that specifically feature information on the entertainment industry.
  • TREATMENT - Longer version of a Synopsis of a story for a film. More detailed outline of the plot, characters, high points of a film.
  • TURNAROUND - (a) The number of hours between dismissal one day and call time the next day. (b) To shoot a scene from another direction.
  • TWO-SHOT - A camera framing two persons.

Film Terms Glossary –San Antonio Film Academy

  • Trombone: A tubular, extending device which is generally used for suspending lights from set walls.
  • Turtle: A flat, on the floor mount, for large lights with a junior receiver.
  • UNDERSTUDY - A performer hired to do a role only if the featured player is unable to perform; used primarily in live theatre.
  • U.B.C.P. - Union of B.C. Performers
  • U.D.A. - Union des Artistes
  • UPGRADE - The promotion of an extra performer in a scene to the category of principal performer.
  • UPM – Unit Production Manager - Oversees the crews and is handles the scheduling and all the technical responsibilities of the production.
  • UP STAGE - (a) The area located at the back of the stage. Down Stage is the area in front of the performer. (b) To draw attention to oneself at the expense of a fellow performer.
  • V.O. - Voice over. An off-camera voice coming either from an actor not in the frame, or from a secondary source such as a speakerphone or answering machine.
  • VOUCHER - Time slip with all pertinent information needed for getting paid properly.
  • W - A notation on the call sheet indicating that an actor is working that day.
  • WAIVERS - Union-approved permission for deviation from the terms of a contract.
  • WALKAWAY - A meal break in which all cast and crew are on their own to get lunch.
  • WARDROBE - The clothing a performer wears on camera.
  • WARDROBE ALLOWANCE - A maintenance fee paid to on-camera talent for the use (and dry cleaning) of talent’s own clothing.
  • WARDROBE FITTING - A session held prior to production to prepare a performer’s costumes.
  • WEATHER PERMIT CALL - Due to weather conditions, the production company has the option to release an actor four hours after the call time (if the camera has not started to roll) with a reduced rate of pay for the day.
  • WEB BROWSER - A browser is an application program that provides a way to look at and interact with all the information on the World Wide Web. Commonly: Internet Explorer (IE), Netscape, Opera, Lynx, Mozilla
  • WGA - Writers Guild of America
  • WGC - Writers Guild of Canada
  • W/N - Will Notify. A notation on a call sheet that tells the actor that he/she will probably work that day but the specific time has not yet been decided.
  • WRAP - The completion of a day’s filming or of the entire production.
  • WRAP PARTY - The end of the production party.

Film Terms Glossary –San Antonio Film Academy

  • Walla: Background ambience or noises added to create the illusion of sound taking place outside of the main action in a picture.
  • Wedges: Wood wedges cut from 2×4 lumber which is used for leveling and stabilizing.
  • Western Dolly: A dolly with four large soft tires, which is used as a camera dolly on smooth floors or on plywood. It is also used to transport other equipment.
  • Wild Track: Audio elements that are not recorded in synch with the picture.

Film Terms Glossary –San Antonio Film Academy

  • XLR: One of several varieties of sound connectors having three or more conductors plus an outer shell which shields the connectors and locks the connectors into place
  • ZOOM - A camera technique with a special lens to adjust the depth of a shot, accomplished without moving the camera.