This article was created to get the people involved in the process of film making speaking one language, so once you are on the set you know what everyone is talking about.
L I G H T I N G
- Gaffer – The head lighting man or woman.
- Best Boy – The Gaffers number two – A lighting technician.
- Spark – An elex (lighting) technician.
- Blonde – light not a girl.
- Redhead – Another light.
- Charlie bar – Small rectangle board, which is used to block lighting from hitting the actor/actress. Principally a Charlie bar was used (in the old days) to concentrate light on the breasts of the leading lady.
- Scrim – thin gauze covering a light to cut down the glare.
- Gel – Coloured film that covers a light, creating colour in the background.
C A M E R A
- D.O.P – Direct of Photography or lighting cameraman. The man / woman who creates the shot and the lighting.
- Operator – The man / woman who watches through the eye piece.
- Focus Puller – The man / woman who checks the focus on every shot.
- Clapper Loader – The man / woman who loads the film and claps the board
- Clapperboard – The slate that marks each ‘take’ by number and synchronizes sound & vision.
- Checking the gate – Happens after every take to check the film c/o the Focus Puller.
- Hair in the gate – A sliver of celluloid has lodged in the aperture of the camera.
- Grip – The man who pushes the dolly and lays the track.
- Dolly – The trolley carrying the camera that the grip pushes.
- Jib – A small arm that attaches to the dolly, allowing the camera to move sideways.
- Track – The tracks that the dolly rolls along.
- Rolling, Turning or Speed – Film is running in the camera.
O N S E T
- A Take – Recording a scene or part of a scene for posterity.
- Checks – Make-up and hair checks before each ‘take’.
- Turning – Film is running in the camera.
- 1st positions – Where the action will start from.
- Action – Start to immortalize your work.
- Banana – Move in a curve to allow the camera to see behind you (in the shape of a banana).
- Red light and Bell – Studio term meaning prepare to shoot. One bell means ‘shooting’ – two bells means we’ve ‘cut’. The red light means don’t enter the sound stage.
- Save the Red – Two bells, means that they have stopped filming. Relax and talk.
- Hold the Red – Means going for another ‘take’.
- From the top – Start again from the top of the scene.
- Cut – Stop filming and ‘check the gate’ – The gate is only checked after filming the ‘take’ the director wants to print.
- Hitting your mark – The focus of the camera is very important, the mark is a focus point. Hitting your mark means that you will be in focus.
- Crossing the line – A bad thing. Characters talking to each other need to be looking at each other. There is a pretend line across which the camera cannot cross. If the line is crossed characters will look like they are talking to themselves i.e. looking the same way – right to right or left to left.
- Eye Line – When two or more people speak to each other, their eye line (to each other) governs the line that the camera is going to have to take. It also sometimes means ‘get out of my eye line’ which means don’t watch me doing this. Note – never watch actors act unless it is a requirement of the scene. Avert your eyes or go away.
- DFI – Old BBC term meaning ‘different f***ing instruction’ i.e. take it away or change of plan.
- Wipe – Cross close to the camera left to right or right to left.
- Cross – Like wipe but further away from the camera.
- Continuity – Repeating the action exactly the same for the camera and the editor (later)
- Leading eye – The eye that is closest to the camera. Very important for focus in a close up.
- Prop – The things that actors and background carry on a set. Please return to the prop man.
- Pick up – Cutting into a scene to pick up only a small part of it. Continuity becomes very important.
- Moving around – Means the camera is going to be facing in the other direction, revealing all that has so far not been seen.
- Turning Around – Means the camera is going to be facing in the other direction, revealing all that has so far not been seen.
S O U N D
- Wild Track – The sound engineer is recording either lines for the dub or atmosphere.
- Atmosphere – Sound are recording the sound of silence for the dub.
- Dub – What happens during the sound editing of the film.
- Sound speed – The sound recordist is running up ready to record the sound. Links back to the old days of tape recording rather than present digital recording.
- Click track – A sound term used when counting dubbed music onto a scene. A click track can be used on set or during the sound dub.
O N L O C A T I O N
- Call time – The time you are expected at the unit base. Don’t’ ever be late.
- Checking-in – Once at the unit base, check-in with the 2nd AD or 3rd AD to let them know you have arrived.
- Honey wagon – The name given to the portable loos on location.
- Signing off – A background term for checking that your chit is correctly filled in. Do not sign off before checking the details.
- Wrap – Wind, reel & print (camera term) and go home – your day’s work is finished.
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