Film Industry Jargon – Part 2


Yesterday morning I was “rush called” into work on teen wolf. A good friend of mine does the show and poor thing she was feeling very sick. So I went in and covered for her yesterday and today.

Rush Call: Is when we are called in at the last minute, sometime actors/actresses are rush called when we suddenly need to shot a different scene that day than planned (this is semi unusual), or as happened yesterday someone is just way to sick to go in and someone is called in suddenly.

Today’s “jargon” post is more about what departments do what, and who is responsible for the items you see on screen. There’s also an interesting item below that!

Prop / Prop Department: Anything an actor/actress holds or touches. This includes a crazy amount of things. They also cover rings, watches, backpacks, and occasionally purses.

Set dressing: The furniture and decor on a set. Though as stated above if the actor/actress is picking up the set dressing it becomes a prop temporarily.

Wardrobe Department: The wardrobe department dresses the actors/actresses. From crazy costumes to suits, to nude underwear for shower scenes. They also cover earrings, purses (most of the time), and things like that as they effect the style of the character.

On yesterday’s post my awesome friend Cindy asked what “Checking the Gate” meant so I wanted to share that today as well!

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 (or 1st AC) person whould 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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