Friday, August 28, 2009

Some Movie Set Terms

Well, as mentioned, the producers don't want us to leak any juicy stories from the set, so I'll take this moment to educate those people not familiar with movie set terms. We did some heavy days with tons of extras recently and had some people ask some questions after listening to us talk on the set. There are a lot more than what follows, but it's a start. Feel free to add more.

On The Day- When we actually roll camera and yell action. Usage-- "You'll take a bite of the brownie on the day."

Setup- A camera position. When the camera moves, it's a new setup.

PA- Production Assistant (a jack of all trades on the set).

Bogies- People that inadvertently make it into the shot.

Lock Down- The area that will be seen by camera as well as the paths in and around that area that have to be controlled by PA's so that no "bogies" enter while filming.

Speed- When sound or camera is running and up to speed.

Department Heads- These are the guys that lead each department, like camera, art, AD (set operations), wardrobe, makeup.

Keys- These are the right hand people for each division inside of each department. For instance, under camera, is Grip and Electric. The Key Grip and the Gaffer are the Keys. In the AD department, the 2nd AD is the Key (the 1st is a Department Head).

Smotheridge- After a master is shot, coverage of each actor is usually shot. Usage: "We got the master, let's move in to smotheridge."

Sticks (1) - Tripod for the camera.
Sticks (2) - Dolly track

Last Looks- This is called by the 1st AD right before shooting (especially close ups) and means that hair, makeup and wardrobe can rush in to make adjustments on the actors.

Turning Around- After shooting one person's coverage, you "turn around" to shoot the other persons.

Grace- You have to ask crew for grace, up to fifteen minutes, cannot change a setup.
Flying In- Need something fast. IE: run. Usage: "I need wardrobe to fly in the actor's hat."

MOS - without sound. Everyone has a story, like the German director who couldn't say "without sound" clearly, that it came out "mit out sound" so MOS became the abbreviation. You decide if it's true. But it is the standard on the set, that MOS means without sound. The camera runs alone. Slate does not need to be "clapped."

Second Sticks- When slating a shot, if camera failed to frame it properly or missed the "clap", they might need to re-clap immediately. The AC will yell "second sticks" so that it's recorded for sound.

Dead Cat- The furry thing on the end of the sound boom, used for really windy situations, to help eliminate wind noise on the microphone.

Martini- The last setup of the night.

Abbey Singer- The next to last setup. The director used to say "last shot" then ask for another. Now he has a movie set term named for him.

New Deal- Moving on to a new setup.

Flag On The Play- Oops, we started to move to a New Deal, but forgot something and need to go back. Flag on the play is called and we reset for what we just did.

Back to One - "One" is usually a position for actors, the first one in the shot. When shooting, they might be asked to go back to "one."

Marks- Symbols, chalk, tape, little sandbags, a leaf, twig or other such mark to show an actor where to stand.

C47's- Closepins

Tag- Secretly placing a C47 on some unsuspecting person. You might even write some message on the C47.

Blocking- The movement in the scene. For instance, you might have actor blocking. Or camera blocking if the camera moves.

EPK- Electronic Press Kit. These are usually interviews of the stars and key players used to send to media and news organizations so that they can play them in the newscast when doing a story on the movie.

I'm out of time for now.

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