Film Industry Jargon – Part 1

In the film industry (like a lot of industry’s) we have jargon, some of it makes sense some of it is just odd and random, slowly over time I want to share some of it with you! Here are the first few! 20130225-194944.jpg
New girl call sheet.

Call sheet: The paper we get everyday to tell us the details of the following day. Including:
•What scenes are being shot.
•Where we are working.
•Where to park.
•What time cast and crew are supposed to arrive.
•What special items are needed for the scenes.
•Names of all crew members.
• How many background actors are working.
• The schedule for the following two days.
• The weather (yes seriously, very helpful when getting ready for a day work outside)
• the nearest hospital.
• Important phone numbers.

Those silks up in the sky were put up by my father and his grip crew for the show Bones. I stepped out of where I was working on the Fox lot and saw them working.

50×50 silk: Used to diffuse and soften sunlight over a large area. As you can see they used more than one to cover the area necessary. (They come in other sizes as well.

Also pictured above is a backlot….

Backlot: The part of the studio that is facaded to look like a city street. (If you’ve ever been on a studio tour you’ve seen this)

There’s also:

Best-boy: this is the second in command in both the grip and electric departments, ie: Best Boy Grip (this is often my fathers job) or Best boy Electric.

Ten-one: Means going to the restroom. When I go to step off set for this I tell them “I’m ten-one” and they know I’m running to the restroom but I will be right back.

The last one i’ll share today is, video village.

Video Village: This is the area where the director, script supervisor (me), writers, and producers sit to watch what is being filmed.

That’s all for now! If you have any questions or comments please feel free to comment below!

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4 responses

  1. I actually have a book (The “bible” for the background extras, “Back To One” that has a glossary in it! I love that you are sharing the jargon!! I do have a question. Why do we always applaud when they say “checking the gate”. I know it’s checking the lens and it usually coincides with the last shot for the scene. But it doesn’t make sense, does it? Thanks!

    • Checking the gate is a term from when everything was shot on film. In film cameras there was a “gate” that the film passed through when the was rolling. After every set up (before the camera is moved) the 1st Assistant Camera person should shine their flashlight in to check to make sure there wasn’t a hair, dust, dirt, lint, or film particles on it. If there was we would have to reshoot it. Since a “hair” on the gate or a bad gate meant that most likely the image of that was burned into your film.

      Now days as we mostly shoot digital the 1st AC checks to make sure it recorded properly but watching the last few seconds of the take. But it’s no fun to say “check the chip” so everyone still says “check the gate”

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