If you are new to the film industry, you might find yourself overwhelmed with the extent of film set jargon that is used on a typical work day. You will quickly get used to all of these film production terms, but in case it helps I wrote a list of basic film terminology below.
I also created a PDF list of that you can download below. Feel free to print this out or use it in your classroom.
Alphabetical list of the most frequently used film set jargon
Apple Box – Wooden boxes (Grip Department)
A.D.R – Automatic Dialogue Replacement (aka Dubbing). The process of rerecording dialogue in a studio after filming has been completed
Blocking – Rehearsing the scene, working out the actors movements on location without the camera rolling
Blonde – Nickname for a 2K open face light
Call sheet – A list of the days work schedule and what time everyone is needed on set. More info here
Crafty – Craft service, food and catering on a film set
Dailies – Recent footage ready to be watched, often looked at by the Director and Producer at the end of each shooting day (also called Rushes)
End Board – When a scene is boarded at the end of a shot and not the start - the board is also held upside down
Green – When you are green you are new to a job
Gate – The 1st AD will shout ‘Check the Gate’ the gate is the part of the camera that sits between the lens and the film. You check the gate to make sure there is no hair or dust on the film. This is also done when shooting digital.
Juicer – A Juicer is an electrician. Also called a Spark
Legs – The tripod legs, also called ‘Sticks’
Last Looks – Phrase used by the 1st AD, last chance to check actors, set equipment before filming begins
Magic Hour – The magic hour is the hour before sunset when natural light is at it’s best and the sky is golden
M.O.S – Code for filming mute ‘Mute On Sound’
Pick Ups – Shots that crew where unable to film on the scheduled shooting day. Usually small shots and cutaways
Red Head – Nickname for a 800 Watt open Face Light
Sides – Script pages of today’s scenes to be shot, in shooting order, usually printed onto A5 paper
Talent – Nickname for all actors
Video Village – The place where the monitor goes on set
Calling The Role
On Most Film sets the Director does not shout action. ‘Action’ is called by the 1st AD and they do so by shouting out a series of calls that goes as follows –
“Last Looks” (Last chance to check the actors, set, camera)
“Turn Over” (Press Record)
“Speed” (Camera replies that they are recording)
“Speed” (Sound replies that they are recording)
“Scene One, Take One” (2nd AC Claps the Board)
“Action!” The 1st AD shouts Action
You might like my 1st AD complete guide - Read Here
Types of shots used in film
Film terminology for the different types of shots in film. Below are the most frequently used shot types, you might see these letters written on call sheets, shot lists, scripts to show what type of shot is being used. As a Script Supervisor I would frequently use abbreviated letters like this instead of the full shot name.
EST – Establishing shot
WS – Wide shot
MS – Medium shot
CU – Close up
ECU – Extreme close up
POV – Point of View
This is the most common film terminology. Let me know if there are any more words or slang that should be included in this list.