On-Set Terms and Protocol

Apr 9, 2019 | Crew, On Set, Production | 0 comments

John-Clay Burnett

COO, Motion University


– Do not volunteer to assist with technical things.
– Each department has been trained to do their job. Let them do it, unless they specifically request for your assistance.
– If you have a suggestion for the Director, take it to the Second AD who will take it to the AD who will give it to the Director.
– Never, ever give feedback to the actors, either positive or negative.
– The director is the sole person on set who gets to do this.

“Action”– The signal to the actors to begin acting out the scene.
AD– Assistant Director
Apple Box– A wooden box used to add additional height to anything you can think of.

“Back to One”– Go back to your first position because the scene will be repeated.
Base Camp – A place apart from the set where everyone is headquartered. It usually includes the makeup, wardrobe, craft services, and catering.
Boom– A shotgun microphone on the end of a pole.
C-47– A clothes pin.
Call Sheet– A sheet released at the end of each day containing the schedule and call times for the next day.
Call Time– The time you’re supposed to report to work. It’s located on your call sheet.
Craft Services– The people who provide the snacks and drinks on set.
“Crossing”– Called when walking in front of the camera.
“Cut”– The signal for the actors to stop acting the scene.
Dailies– Clips of the day’s footage.
Establishing Shot– A shot that establishes a certain location or area.
Extras– People that appear in a scene besides the main cast members.
Gaff tape– A special kind of tape similar to duct tape, but made out of cloth instead of plastic, and which lacks the gummy residue of duct tape.
“Hot points”– Pointy objects that are in motion, such as the points on the end of a light stand when it’s being carried to set.
“Intentional” – Called when turning off a light so no one thinks the bulb went out.
– to turn off.
Lock up– to guard the set from physical and audio intrusions.
Martini shot– The last shot of the day.
“Moving On”– That shot is finished and everyone can set up for the next.

PA – Production Assistant
“Picture’s up”– They will begin filming momentarily. Be prepared for the AD to call “Action.”
Principles– The main actors.
“Quiet on the set”– Means be absolutely silent if you’re anywhere close to the set.
Sandbag– Literally a bag filled with sand that’s used to weigh things down.
SFX– Abbreviation for Sound Effects
Shotgun– A type of long microphone, roughly shaped like the barrel of a shotgun.
Side– A portion of script that contains the scenes for the day or for a single character. Sides are handed out to all actors when they arrive on set each morning.
“Speed”– The sound recorder or camera is recording. Can also use “Rolling.”
Sticks– A tripod.
Stingers– Extension cords.
“Striking, guard your eyes”– A light is being turned on, don’t look at it!
VFX– Abbreviation for Visual Effects
Wrap– The end, often heard in the phrase, “That’s a wrap.”

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