Glossary of Terms

It’s good to know what you’re talking about. It’s good to know what the other guy is talking about. The arts, entertainment & media industries have their own lingo. So keep this glossary of terms handy.


“A” Negative – The printed takes of film after it has been processed at the laboratory.

Abby Singer – The second-to-last shot of a scene, setup, or shooting day. Named for a crew member who would alert his crew of the second-to-last shot of a setup, scene, or the day.

Above-the-line – Signifying individuals who guide, influence, and add to the creative direction and process of a film or television program, and/or their related expenditures. Includes but is not limited to the screenwriter, producer, director and actors. Compare to below-the-line.

Action – A director’s command for actors to being their performance; also, any movement happening in a scene as it is being filmed.

ADR – Automated Dialogue Replacement; used to signify that a scene has been shot with the intention of adding dialogue and other audio during post-production.

Aerial shot – A scene containing footage shot from above by a camera mounted on a airplane, helicopter, or drone.

Air – A can of compressed air.

AKS – an abbreviation used to refer to any miscellaneous collection of tools or equipment. Stands for “all kinds of stuff” or “all kinds of s***”.

Ambient sound track – Also known as, room tone. The recording of natural background and atmospheric sounds that are inherent to a scene or location; a director and his/her crew will record the ambient noise of a location. That track will be used by the post-production audio and video editors to achieve a consistent sound in the background of the location for a scene. When the 1st A.D calls for quiet in order to record room tone, it is imperative that everyone on the set remains absolutely silent for what usually ends up being about 60 seconds.

Angle – The specific location at which the movie camera or video camera is placed relative to the subject or scene being shot. There are a variety of angles, including normal angle (eye level), low angle, high or down angle, wide angle, medium angle, and close angle (or close-up).

Answer print – The first print from the film laboratory combining film footage and sound track to check for quality.

A-Page or A-Scene – A page or scene that has been added to a script, usually in the midst of principal photography. E.g., Add 43A after page 43 to the script.

Apple or Apple Box – A solid wooden box that comes in standardized sizes, from largest to smallest: full, half, quarter, pancake. Typically used to elevate a person or an object, or even to steady a camera tripod on uneven ground.

Arc light – A high intensity set lamp which is often used to simulate daylight when shooting a scene in a low light location or at night.

Arc out – A director’s instruction to an actor to walk in a curved line rather than in a straight line. Also known as banana walk.

Assistant director – Also known as an AD. The person who functions as the first assistant to the director. S/he composes the production board and devises the shooting schedule for the entire production, expedites each day’s agenda, maintains the smooth working conditions of the set. Answers to the production manager. See also Second Assistant Director.

Assistant film editor – Also known as the cutter. Assembles all the processed film, splices the cut pieces of film and assembles them on reels for viewing.

Associate producer – An assistant to the producer, including handling a number of administrative operations.

Atmosphere – Any subtle aspect or extras who are staged and photographed to portray normal conditions or details in a scene. Also known as aura.

Audio – Any element of sound in film, television, or other media.


“B” Negative – Any film takes that have not yet been printed. See “A” Negative.

Babies – a short or small tripod; also baby sticks, baby legs.

Backdrop – A large painting or photograph used as an artificial background during the filming of a scene.

Barn doors – Hinged flaps that are affixed to camera lights and which may be adjusted to regulate the amount of light that falls onto a set or an object.

Barney – A special, heavily padded cover for a camera, used to reduce the camera noise so that it will not be picked up by the sound recording equipment on set. Also blimp.

Beat – An intentional slight pause in the flow of a dialogue or action.

Below-the-line – Signifying any crew personnel who are not above-the-line in a film or television production, and any attendant costs related to them. Includes, but is not limited to, hair & make-up, wardrobe, assistant directors, grips, gaffers, camera operators, directors of photography, unit production managers, location managers, and composers, among others. Compare to above-the-line.

Best boy – The first assistant to the gaffer (in the electrical department) or to the key grip(in the grip department).

Bit player – An actor or performer who performs a small part in a film or television show, with or without dialogue as called for by the director.

Boom camera – A camera that has been affixed to a mount apparatus that can be smoothly raised or lowered for shots of continuous action.

Boom mike – A microphone that has been affixed to a sound boom, a long pole which brings the microphone closer to the sound source.

Boom operator – The person who handles the boom mic and who is responsible for its placement of all microphones being used to record audio on the set.

Bridge shot – Any extraneous footage that, when edited in, connects two pieces of cut film.

Brute – A very large camera light.


C47 – A clothespin

Cable operator – The person who is responsible for connecting cables to the sound equipment on a film or television set.

Cameo – A short appearance in a film, television program, or video, usually performed by a well-known actor.

Camera first assistant – Also known as a focus puller or First AC. Focuses the camera lenses during the shoot and installs the magazine of film in the camera.

Camera left – A positioning at the left side of the frame or movement toward the left side of the frame. As direction to the actor in front of and facing the camera, the actor is to move to his/her right. Compare to camera right.

Camera operator – The person who physically operates the camera under the supervision of the director of photography.

Camera right – A positioning at the right side of the frame or movement toward the right side of the frame. As direction to the actor in front of and facing the camera, the actor is to move to his/her left. Compare to camera left.

Camera run out – A phrase indicating that the magazine of film attached to the camera has gone empty before the shot in progress was finished.

Camera second assistant – Also known as the Second AC. The person responsible for loading the raw film into the magazine and functions as the slate operator. Also keeps a record of all the camera shots and takes, checks prints of slate and take numbers with the continuity supervisor.

Catwalk – A wooden walkway that hangs above a set to allow crew personnel to access, handle, and hang lighting and other equipment. Also known as a scaffold.

Chammy – An eyepiece chamois that is used to cover the eye-cup of the viewfinder; typically made from cloth or animal skin.

Choker – A tight framing that shows an actor from the neck to the top of the head.

Clapboard – The rectangular blackboard that is photographed or filmed at the beginning of every take and which serves to identify the shot numbers of film and sound for post-production purposes. Also known as a clapper or slate.

Close shot – A medium framing that shows an actor from approximately mid-torso to the top of the head.

Close-up – A medium-tight framing that shows an actor from the shoulders to the top of the head.

Cold read – A type of audition in which the actors are given the audition material a few minutes before the audition.

Cookie – A piece of plywood, plastic, or other material that has cutout patterns of varying shapes and sizes, used to cast shadows onto surfaces on a set when placed in front of a light source. Also known as a Cukaloris.

Copy – Common phrase on a walkie talkie, used to show that a message was heard AND understood.

Costume designer – The person on a film or television project who is responsible for creating, fitting, and maintaining the garments worn by the actors and/or performers.

Cover shot – An additional shot recorded in case a previous take is unusable due to issues with continuity, equipment, or other potential problems.

Cowboy shot – A shot that frames an actor from mid-thigh to the top of the head. So-called for its frequent use in Western films, in which the actor’s holster and gun needed to be included in the shot.

Crab dolly – A small camera-carrying vehicle built with special wheels that are designed to allow the vehicle to move smoothly in any direction.

Crafty – The craft services area and/or person who manages the craft services area.

Crane shot – A scene filmed from an angle high above. Typically, the camera is mounted on a large vehicle known as a crane, which uses hydraulic joints that permit the smooth raising and lowering of the camera during filming.

Credits – The list of names acknowledging the people and companies involved in the production of a film, television program, or video. In union projects, the order and size of the credits are determined by union rules. Also known as end titles.

Cross – When an actor moves from one place to another in a scene, typically from left to right or right to left.

Cross angle – A framing that holds two or more subjects, with the camera focused on the profiles at either camera left or camera right.

Cross cutting – A method of editing wherein two or more separate and distinct scenes are assembled in such a way as to show that the different actions at each scene are actually taking place at the same time.

Crossing – A phrase used to inform the camera operator when you are about to walk in front of the lens.

Cue cards – Large cardboard sheets from which actors or hosts read written dialogue and/or directions. Often used in live performances.

Cut – 1) In film editing terms, the change from one shot to another, or the deletion of a portion of footage; 2) In production, the order a director gives to stop the action of a performance and the operation of concurrent camera and sound equipment; 3) In a script, the deletion of any dialogue or action from the screenplay.

Cutaway – A visual shot that is edited into a scene within the flow of that scene’s immediate action, typically for the purposes of drawing attention to a subject or object or even for covering up a mismatch in continuity when necessary to save the take.

Cutting room – The room where film or video editing happens. Common usage: “That scene ended up on the cutting room floor.”


Dailies – Footage from a previous day’s shoot, intended to be viewed by the director, producers, and any other similar personnel. See also rushes.

Day Player – A crew or cast member who is hired for only one day or a limited number of days.

Day-for-Night – The process and lighting procedures for shooting an exterior nighttime scene during the day, using special filters attached to the camera lens to create darkness.

Depth of field – The distance between the camera lens in use and the subjects being filmed when the foreground and background are both in focus.

Dialogue – Any words or intentional sounds spoken by an actor during filming.

Dialogue coach – Also known as a dialect coach. A person who works with an actor or performer on their speaking roles, including developing authentic accents as called for by the script or director.

Director – The person responsible for controlling a film’s artistic and dramatic aspects, and for visualizing the script while guiding the technical crew and actors in the fulfillment of that vision.

Director of photography – a version of a motion picture that is edited according to the director’s wishes and that usually includes scenes cut from the version created for general distribution; in preparing a film for release, the director’s cut is preceded by the assembly and rough editor’s cut and usually followed by the final cut meant for the public film release. Directors’ cuts of film are not generally released to the public, because on most films the director does not have a final cut privilege. Also known as the DP.

Director’s cut – Also known as the DP, cinematographer, or cameraman. The chief camera person who also provides input to the director regarding the artistic aspects of lighting and camera placement to achieve the director’s creative goals.

Dirt – A sand bag.

Dissolve – During editing, the transition from one scene to another in which the first scene fades out at the same time the second scene fades in to take its place.

Ditty Bag – A toolbag used to store the essentials for a camera assistant and which is often carried around with the camera or lenses.

Dolly – A platform with wheels on which a camera on a tripod rests or is fastened down so that the shot may smoothly move forward and/or backward – sometimes along a track and other times not, depending on what the terrain and/or what the shot calls for. When the director calls for a dolly back, the camera and dolly are moved backwards, often away from the subject or object, making the image appear smaller on the screen. Conversely, when the director calls for a dolly in, the camera and dolly move forwards, often towards the subject or object, making the image appear larger on the screen.

Dolly grip – A person who pushes the wheeled dolly on which a camera is mounted pursuant to the direction called for by the director of the shoot.

Dolly tracks – Tracks or rails that are laid down to accommodate the smooth motion of special wheels that can be attached to the bottom of a dolly during a shot.

Double – 1) A person who substitutes for a principal actor, often in stunt sequences or dangerous situations; 2) A duplicate of a props or wardrobe article.

Downstage – The area closest to the primary shooting camera shooting a scene. When a director calls for an actor to move downstage or for a prop or set piece to be moved downstage, s/he is calling for it to come closer to the foreground of the shoot.

Dubbing – Recording or re-recording the dialogue and sound tracks into synch with film footage.

Dumb Side – Looking in the same direction as the lens, or the right side of the camera.

Dutch – To tilt the camera diagonally at a canted angle.


Elephant door – Large soundproof sliding doors that are found on a soundstage. Also known as stage door or studio doors Initially called that because such doors needed to be large enough to allow live elephants to enter the soundstage.

ELR – The abbreviation for Electronic Line Replacement. See ADR and Dubbing.

End marker – Also known as end slate and tail slate. Marking the clapboard at the end of a take; usually done when the slate was forgotten at the beginning of the take or there as a mistake in the beginning slate. An end slate is held upside-down when marked to distinguish it from a normal slate.

Enters – When an actor (or an object) comes into a framed shot from off-camera. Also known as an entrance.

Establishing shot – A shot that provides the context for a scene by showing the relationship between its important figures, objects, and location. It is generally a long- or extreme-long shot, often with a wide angle, at the beginning of a scene that indicates where and when the remainder of the scene is taking place.

EVF – Electronic View Finder.

Executive producer – Also known as the EP. The person who enables the making of a commercial entertainment product. The EP may be concerned with management accounting and/or with associated legal issues, including intellectual property rights and royalties. An EP generally contributes to the film’s budget and may or may not work on set.

Exterior – Designation for a scene that takes place outside.

Extra – Also known as a background actor. A performer in a film or television show who appears in a silent (nonspeaking or non-singing) capacity, usually in the background.

Extreme close-up – A tightly framed shot that shows only a portion of a face, body, or object.

Extreme long shot – A widely framed shot that causes an actor or object to appear in the distant background of the frame.

Eyes on – said when a person or object is spotted. Can be a question, “Does anyone have eyes on the camera bag?” or a statement, “I’ve got eyes on Rick.” Often used on walkie talkies.


Fade in – 1) In editing, the effect by which a clear image emerges gradually from a black screen; 2) In screenwriting, a term used to indicate the start of a screenplay, also used sometimes for a new scene.

Fade out – 1) In editing, the reverse of a fade in, in that the image on the screen disappears into a black screen; 2) In screenwriting, a term used to indicate the end of a screenplay, also used sometimes for the end of a scene.

Fast motion – Film action that appears to move faster than normal on the screen, an effect accomplished by filming the action at a speed that is less than normal in the camera and then projecting it at normal speed.

Favor – A term in screenwriting or direction indicating that a specific character or object is to be given a position of prominence in a framed shot.

Film editor – In post-production, the person who edits and crafts the content into proper sequence and dramatic continuity.

Final cut – The final edited version of a film, approved by both the director and producers.

Final cut privilege – A contractual term that give the right (usually to a director) to decide how a film is ultimately released for public viewing.

First team – The principal performers in a scene as compared to the stand-ins who were in the set during the lighting process.

Flashback – A scene (or scenes) in a script or film that relate to an occurrence in the past, usually intercut between scenes that are set in the present time.

Flash pan – Camera movement that occurs very quickly from one image to another, usually blurring the former and the movement until it focuses on the latter.

Flopped film – 1) A piece of film that is reversed in the editing process; 2) a film that has performed poorly in the theatrical box office, also known as a bomb.

Flying in – A phrase said when a person or object is on the way to set, often used on walkie talkies.

Focal length – The distance between the optical center of a camera lens and the subject or object being focused on and/or filmed.

Focus – The point at which a lens produces the maximum clarity of an image or subject.

Foley – The technique of creating, recording, and augmenting sound effect to synchronize with the action in a film during post-production; named after sound effect editor Jack Foley.

Follow focus – The adjustment of lens sizes, made in accordance to the changes in distances as a subject or object – or the camera – moves within a shot. This adjustment is handled by the Camera First Assistant (1st AC); the term is also used for the mechanism that is used to make this adjustment.

Foreground – 1) The area closest to the camera lens; 2) Any area or activity that is in front of the subject or object being filmed. See also downstage.

Frame – 1) n. The bounded area of a visual image, as in photography or film, 2) v. To position the camera and adjust the lens in order to achieve the desired dimensions of the subject, object, or area being filmed.

Frames per second – A measurement of motion picture film by which it is determined how many frames pass through the camera per second, and also by which the same film is played back onto the screen. Also known as the fps or the frame rate. A standard frame rate is 24 frames per second, which in a 35 millimeter camera, exposes 16 frames per foot, or 1.5 feet of film per second, or 90 feet of film per minute.

Freeze frame – To hold an image on a single frame of film continuously for a desired amount of time, giving the impression of suddenly stopped action on the screen.

From the top – An expressed direction to start a scene or performance over from its starting point.

F-Stops – i.e., focal stops. In a camera lens, the measurement of the aperture setting. The f-stop setting determines how much light is allowed to enter the lens and pass through to the film (analog) or CCD or CMOS sensor (digital). It also determines how much in front of and behind the subject is in focus.

Full shot – A long shot that frames the actor from the head to toe.

Full three shot – A full shot that holds three actors, all of them from head to toe. Also known as F3/SH.

Full two shot – A full shot that holds two actors, both of them from head to toe. Also known as F2/SH.

Furnie Blanket – A furniture blanket or a sound blanket.


Gaff – Gaffer’s electrical tape, or to apply gaffer’s tape.

Gaffer – The key electrician on a film or television shoot; responsible for knowing the location of power sources on sound stages and on location and for supervising all the handling and placement of lighting equipment and their power cords.

Gary Coleman – a small C-stand.

Generator operator – The person responsible for handling the portable electrical generators on a set or location. See also jenny.

Go for [name] – a common phrase on walkie talkies, signifying a call or response for somebody specific on the radio. E.g., Q: Rick, are you available? A: Go for Rick.

Gobo – Pieces of black wood or opaque fabric that come in various shapes and sizes and that can be mounted on a stand for the purpose of preventing rays of light from hitting the camera lens. Compare to a cookie.

Greensperson – The crew member responsible for furnishing and maintaining all natural or artificial plant life that is part of a set. At times, however, artificial plant life is handled by the property master.

Grip – Led by the key grip. A stagehand and master carpenter on a film or television shoot; responsible for building and maintaining sets in working order, installing and handling movable walls and backdrops, and constructing dolly tracks and camera mounts pursuant to the directions of the director and director of photography.

Group shot – A shot that holds four or more actors in frame; can be a long, medium, or close shot.


Hard Tape – A metal tape measure.

Hair stylist – Also known as a hairdresser. The person responsible for grooming and positioning the hair of an actor or performer during the filming of a film project or taping of a television program. This includes styling the person’s own hair as called for in the script or providing and affixing wigs as needed.

Head-on shot – A shot in which the action of the actor (or moving object) advances directly toward the camera.

High angle – Signifying that the camera is shooting from a height, focusing downward on the desired scene.

High hat – A very low tripod on which a camera is mounted for shooting scenes from below eye level.

HMI – An abbreviation for a halogen medium iodide, which is a high-intensity, lightweight lamp whose rays give simulate the brightness and tones of daylight.

Hold that one – An instruction by a director to the continuity supervisor to not circle a particular take number for printing to film, but to mark it as a hold until instructed otherwise.

Honey wagon – A specific type of trailer equipped with washroom facilities, often used when a production is being shot at an outdoor location.

Hot Points – a phrase yelled when carrying something with the potential to hit somebody like dolly track or a C-stand. Usually said when the risk of collision is greater, such as when going through a narrow hallway, doorway or around a corner.

Hubba-hubba – The murmuring sounds emanating from a crowd in a scene, as prompted by the First Assistant Director (1st AD).


IATSE – Abbreviation for the trade union known as the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees, which represents all personnel working in film and television production.

Insert – 1) A distinct and separate close-up shot that focuses the viewer’s attention on a specific object within the context of a larger scene; 2) a shot used as a cutaway during the editing process.

Insert car – A car, truck, or improvised vehicle in which the camera and select personnel ride when filming a scene that depicts a traveling vehicle.

Interior – Designation for a scene that takes place indoors.


Jam – To sync, usually timecode.

Jenny – Also spelled genny. A portable electrical generator for use on a film or television set.

Juicer – An electrician who specifically connects electrical currents to lamps and equipment; see also grip.


Key grip – On a given set, the person who supervises all grip (lighting and rigging) crews. Reports to the director of photography (DP) and coordinates with the electric & camera departments alongside the DP to control lighting and camera movement and setup.

Key light – On a given set, the principal source of light, around which additional, auxiliary lamps are affixed to create the desired lighting for the area to be in frame.

Kuleshov effect – The juxtaposition of two seemingly unrelated images to make a new meaning.


Last Looks – a phrase to call in hair/make-up to give a final touch-up to actors before a scene is filmed

Last Man – a phrase that refers to the last person to get their food at lunch; usually used because lunch should not officially start until the last man has gone through

Left-to-right – A camera direction that indicates movement from the left side of the screen to the right side.

Level – The degree or amount of audio transmitted to the recording panel in use.

Live feed – A video performance that is projected live onto a television screen that is in a scene being filmed with a motion picture camera.

Long shot – A shot of an actor or an object that is a relatively long distance from the camera filming the scene.

Loop – A device for running a length of film during a lip-syncing recording.

Looping – See dubbing.

Loose shot – A shot in which the frame holds the actor and/or object with ample space at both sides of the image or images. Compare to a tight shot.


Magic Hour – the times right before sunrise and after sunset in which the sky is somewhat dark but still illuminated. In spite of its name, it often lasts only 20 minutes.

Makeup artist – The person responsible for attending to the cosmetic needs of the actors and performers during the filming of a film project or taping of a television program, including special effect makeup.

Martini – the last shot of the day; see also Abby Singer.

Master shot – A shot that frames the continuous performance of a scene, including all actors, objects, dialogue, and camera moves.

Match cut – The editing technique of cutting film when two different characters or objects are in movement, achieving the semblance of continuous action between two joined pieces of film that have been shot separately and creating a metaphorical link between the two characters or objects.

Medium close-up – A shot in which the frame holds the actor’s form from his/her waist to the top of the head, filling the frame at either side. See also medium close shot.

Medium close shot – Similar to a medium close-up, except there is space on both sides of the actor, instead of just one side.

Medium long shot – A shot in which the frame holds the actor or actors from the ankles or calves to the top of the head, as well as activity that is occurring in front of and behind the principal action.

Medium shot – A shot in which the frame holds the actor’s figure from his/her thighs up to the top of the head, with ample space on all sides of him/her. See also loose shot.

Mirror shot – A shot of the reflection of an actor or object in a mirror or some other reflective surface.

Mise-en-scène – In a film shot, the arrangement of everything that appears in the framing, including actors, lighting, décor, props, costume.

Mismatch – An error in continuity caused by action that was not performed or filmed consistently in two consecutive shots within the same scene.

Mock-up – 1) A replica made of an object or a structure featured in a scene, often used when the script calls for its destruction; 2) A replica made of a section of an automobile, airplane, theater, or the like, for the purpose of shooting close-up angles for the dialogue or reactions of the characters occupying the seats.

Montage – A series of distinct film shots that use cuts and/or dissolves to indicate the passage of time or a succession of separate events.

M.O.S. – To shoot without any sound being recorded; refers to Minus Optical Strip or Minus Optical Sound. See also ADR.

Moving shot – A shot that utilizes a moving camera to portray that the actors or objects being filmed are moving as well.

Music editor – In post-production, the person responsible for fitting the music to the completed film or television program.

Musical director – The person responsible for composing or selecting the music for scoring the completed film and for supervising the staging of musical productions.


Night-for-day – The process and lighting procedures for shooting an exterior daytime scene during the night in order to stay on or get back on the shooting schedule, using special lights that simulate daylight.

Night-for-night – The process and lighting procedures for shooting an exterior nighttime scene during the night, or interior shots that require actual darkness through a window or door.

No print – A direction by a director to the continuity supervisor, camera assistant, and sound mixer to mark that the last recorded take should not be printed at the laboratory.


Objective – Used primarily for actors or directors, this is what the character wants, or what the character’s goal is.

Off-camera – Denoted in scripts as O.C. and referring to a sound or dialogue that occurs outside of the view of the camera. Often used interchangeably with off-screen (O.S.), even though there are subtle differences.

Off-mike – Audio sound that is out of the range of the microphone being used for recording.

Off-screen – A term denoted in screenplays as O.S. and referring to a sound or dialogue that occurs within the limits of the scene but out of the range of the camera’s view. Often used interchangeably with off-camera (O.C.), even though there are some subtle differences.

On a bell – The time period after a single bell sounds to warn that all stirring on a sound stage or in a shooting area must cease for the duration of the filming of a take, at which time a double bell will signal that activity may resume.

On camera – Any actor or object that is in front of the camera that is doing the filming.

Out of frame – Any actor, object, or set part that is not within the frame captured by the camera lens.

Out of sync – Denotes that the running speed of the camera and the audio track do not match.

Out take – A piece of film footage that was deleted in the course of editing.

Overcrank – To run a camera at a speed at more than the standard speed of 24 frames per second (fps). When such footage is later projected at 24 fps, the motion on the screen is seen in slow motion.

Overlap – 1) The portion of action that is carried over from the end of one shot to the beginning of another shot for editing continuity; 2) when an off-camera voice or audio intrudes on the dialogue or audio of the on-camera actor or object.

Over the shoulder – A frame in which there are at least two subjects, one with his/her back to the camera and only his/her shoulder in the frame. Typically, the focus in on the other subject(s).


Pan – 1) To horizontally move the camera on its axis, either panning left (from right to left) or panning right (from left to right); 2) To give a negative review to a film, television program, or some other media.

Pancake – the smallest size of apple box; see apple

Pickup – 1) When an incomplete shot is printed and the continuation of that scene begins at the point where the previous shot ended; 2) When a portion of scene is re-shot to correct a flaw or mistake.

Picture’s Up – A phrase that is called to alert all on set that cameras are almost set to start rolling.

Playback – The prerecorded singing and/or music played during the filming of musical productions. Typically, the actor or performer lip syncs to the words of the prerecorded music.

Portcap – The cover for the lens hole on a camera.

POV – An abbreviation for point of view. Denotes which character’s viewpoint is being indicated in a script or recorded in a film or television program.

Producer – Also known as a line producer. The person who functions under the executive producer or is the person assigned by the studio to administer and oversee the production and its budget.

Production designer – A person who is the key member of the art department for a film or television project and who is responsible for developing and consulting with the producer and director on the overall artistic concept for the production; also oversees the personnel for the art department.

Production illustrator – The person in the art department who is responsible for creating storyboards and illustrations that depict the actions and movements written in the script.

Production manager – The person in charge in charge of all business affairs concerning preparation, pre-production, production, and post-production operations of the film company, including overseeing the budget and hiring the crew.

Production schedule – A detailed plan for how a production budget will be spent over a given timescale, for every phase of a film project, typically prepared and overseen by the production manager.

Property master – Also known as a prop master. The person who chooses, provides, and takes care of all the special articles called for in a given script. Often is helped by an assistant property master.


QRP – a quick release plate mounting a camera to a tripod or other implement


Radio Check – used on walkie talkies, signifying a call to make sure there is open and clear radio communication; if so, it warrants a response such as “good check” by the other crew member; also walkie check

Rake shot – A shot in which the frame holds actors and/or objects positioned in profile and in a row, with the camera angle from either screen right or screen left and the focus is past the actor or object closest to the camera.

Raw stock – Any film stock that has not been exposed.

Retake – A take that has been re-shot for any reason after the initial take had been processed at the laboratory.

Rig – To install or prepare equipment for use in shooting a film set.

Right-to-left – A camera direction that indicates movement from the right side of the screen to the left side.

Roll film – Instruction given to activate the camera. An instruction that is separate from the instruction to activate the audio recorder see roll sound.

Roll sound – Instruction given to activate the audio recorder. An instruction that is separate from the instruction to activate the camera; see roll film.

Room tone – See ambient sound track.

Rough cut – The first edit of a film or television program, in which the footage and sound track are placed in property order and continuity but without precise timing or refinements.

Rushes – See dailies.


Sand – A sand bag, see also dirt.

Scene – A portion of a script that describes the activity and dialogue within a single time period in a given location, typically designated by a scene number.

Scenery – The décor of a film set.

Scripty – The script supervisor.

Score – The composed music that accompanies a film or television program.

Screen credit – See credits.

Screen test – A type of filmed audition for determining the suitability of an actor or actress for performing on film or in a particular role.

Screening – The showing of a film.

Scrim – 1) A piece of special translucent material placed between a camera and the subjects or objects being filmed in order to diffuse the light and decrease the sharpness of the image; 2) a piece of gauze cloth that appears opaque until lit from behind, used as a screen or backdrop.

Script – Any written material intended for dramatization. Also screenplay.

Second Sticks – A call made by or to the 2nd assistant camera (AC) to inform that the clap of the slate sticks was not properly captured the first time and is needed again.

Second unit – A crew tasked with filming shots or sequences separate from the main crew, or first unit. A second unit will often shoot simultaneously with the first unit, although other footage, allowing the filming stage of production to be completed faster.

Set – The specific location or site where filming takes place.

Set decorator – A member of the art department who handles the obtaining and arrangement of furnishings for a film or television project’s sets.

Set designer – Also known as the art director. The person in the art department who is responsible for designing or recreating sets that are depicted in the script. Answers to the production designer; also works with the production illustrator in the creation of storyboards.

Sequence – A portion of a script that depicts a number of continuous and interrelated scenes or shots.

Shammy – An eyepiece chamois; see chamois.

Sharps – Focus, used as a noun.

Shoot – The entire process of filming a script.

Shooting schedule – A detailed plan of each day’s shooting for a film production, normally created and managed by the assistant director, who reports to the production manager managing the production schedule. Both schedules represent a timeline stating where and when production resources will be needed.

Shooting script – The finalized script, after all revisions have been made and the various pages put into acceptable format and order to start shooting the film.

Short ends – The raw stock that remains unused at the tail end of magazines of film and which are usually too short for use in filming another take.

Shot – A series of images that have been recorded by a film or video camera.

Shot list – A written schedule of shots that are intended to be recorded during a specific period of time, typically determined by the director.

Sides – A half-sized script that contains only the scenes being shot that day.

Single – A shot in which the frame holds only one actor or object.

Slate – See clapboard.

Smart Side – The left side of the camera (from the camera point of view); see also dumb side.

Stand-in – A person who substitutes for an actor while the lights and camera are adjusted or during hazardous action such as during a stunt.

Soft focus – A camera focus used so that the image is intentionally not sharply defined on the screen.

Soft Tape – A cloth tape measure; see also Hard Tape.

Softie – The first AC (assistant camera) or focus puller.

Sound effects – Also known as SFX. 1) Audio sounds that are indicated in the script but are added after the film or video is shot; 2) audio components in a film that are made to imitate real sounds; see foley.

Sound effects editor – In post-production, the person responsible for incorporating all the necessary sound effects into the completed film.

Sound mixer – Operates the sound panel, balancing and controlling the recording the recording of all audio.

Sound stage – A soundproof studio in which the shooting of film/video and sound takes place.

Sound track – The portion of motion picture film that is reserved for audio sound components, usually a single band down the side of the film stock.

Sparks – An electrician; see juicer.

Special effects – Also known as SPFX. An illusion created for movies and television by props, camerawork, computer graphics, etc., typically created by special effects personnel or by computers. Often invented, constructed, maintained, and operated by the special effects personnel.

Speed – A term used by the camera operator or sound mixer to announce that the speed of recording is synchronized and ready for the performer’s or object’s action.

Splice – An editing term signifying the joining together of two pieces of cut film.

Stand By – Commonly used on walkie talkies, used to let another person know that one is too busy to respond at the moment.

Steadicam – The trade name for a brand of camera stabilizer mount for motion picture cameras that mechanically isolates it from the operator’s movements.

Still photographer – A camera operator who shoots still photographs of the sets and actors for use in the makeup, wardrobe, and property departments, for publicity purposes, for continuity purposes, and for visually documenting the shoot for any other reason.

Stinger – An electrical extension cord.

Stock shot – A pieces of film obtained from film library of previously filmed footage.

Storyboard – A visual and pictorial layout of scenes or shots for a film or video project, rendered by an artist in hand-drawings or by computer, to help the director visualize the intended shots for the project, including motion and special effects.

Straight cut – An editing term to signify when two shots are joined directly to each other without any optical effect or transition between them.

Stunt person – A person who performs hazardous or acrobatic actions and feats that cannot be executed by, or would endanger, the principal actor.

Subjective pan – A camera movement in which the camera moves slowly across a scene in order to create the sense that actual eyes are scanning the scene. The technique is used to give a sense of suspense, shock, surprise, or danger.

Subtitles – The words that are printed and superimposed on the lower part of a screen, and often used when a translation of a foreign language in the audio dialogue is needed.

Superimposure – The film process of placing one image on top of another without obliterating the first image so that both images can be seen at the same time.

Swish pan – See flash pan.

Sync – Short for synchronization and referring to whether the visual and audio elements are matched to one another, particularly in moments of an actor’s dialogue.


Tag – A short scene that marks the end of a film, tying up any loose ends of the story.

Tail slate – See end marker.

Take – A filmed version of a particular shot or set-up. There can be multiple takes for any given shot or set-up.

Talent – The performers on a shoot, usually an actor or actress.

Tap – the monitor or viewing system connected to the camera

Teaser – A brief, enticing scene or a series of intriguing shots regarding a film or television program, designed to capture the audience’s attention.

Teleplay – A script that has been written for a television production.

Tight shot – A shot in which the frame holds an actor or object that fills the space to both the left and right sides of the screen.

Tilting – The vertical movement of the camera head on its axis as it pans upward and downward, which is different than the vertical movement of the boom camera.

Tracking shot – A shot made when the camera is mounted on a dolly and moved along tracks to follow actors as they walk or run. Also known as a trucking shot. The camera can precede the actors, follow, or move alongside.

Trades – Printed or online periodicals related specifically to the entertainment industry.

Traveling shot – A shot in which the camera is filming a traveling vehicle, either from another vehicle or attached to the vehicle itself.

Treatment – A written description of a story, typically the step between outline and the first draft of a screenplay for a motion picture, television program, or radio play. It is generally longer and more detailed than the outline, and it may include details of directorial style that an outline omits. Treatments often read like a short story, but are told in the present tense and describe events as they happen.

Tripod – An adjustable stand on which a camera is affixed. Can be of varying heights and possible movement.

T-Stops – similar to f-stops, t-stops are the measurements of light coming into the lens while compensating for the amount of light lost within the lens.

Turnaround time – The time allowed after a day of shooting so that the cast and crew can get sufficient rest before shooting resumes.

Two shot – A shot in which the frame holds two subject, whether as a full shot, medium shot, or close shot.


Undercrank – To run a camera at a speed less than the standard speed of 24 frames per second (fps). When such footage is later projected at 24 fps, the motion on the screen is seen in fast motion.

Unit manager – The person who is responsible for the efficient operation of a film shoot while on location; answers to the production manager.

Upstage – The area farthest from the primary shooting camera shooting a scene. When a director calls for an actor to move upstage or for a prop or set piece to be moved upstage, s/he is calling for it to move farther away from the camera.


Video – The visual components in film, television, and new media.

Video village – the area in which viewing monitors are placed for the director and other production personnel.

Viewfinder – A device on a camera showing the field of view of the lens, used in framing and focusing the picture for a set-up.

Voiceover – A piece of narration in a movie or broadcast, not accompanied by an image of the speaker.

Voice slate – The announcement of slate and take numbers by speaking them into the recording panel when it is difficult or impossible to simultaneously photograph the corresponding slate.


Walla-walla – See hubba-hubba.

Whip pan – See flash pan.

Wide angle – A camera angle in which the frame holds a large area.

Wild line – Also a wild track. A phrase or word that needs to be repeated and recorded to audio only, in order to insert into the video later, often because the original audio take was not good enough.

Wipe – A specific type of transition from one scene to another in which the image on the screen is wiped off as it reveals another image behind it.

Wrangler – Technically, a person who handles horses that are used on a film or television shoot; however, the term is often used for a handler of any other kind of animal. E.g., a cat wrangler or dog wrangler.

Wrap – The finish of a shoot’s sequence or day or the entire shoot. In the early days of cinema, the cameraman would say after filming: Wind, Reel, And Print, abbreviated as WRAP.


Yawner – A boring film.


Zip pan – See flash pan.

Zoom in – To increase rapidly the magnification of the image of a distant object by means of a zoom lens.

Zoom out – To decrease rapidly the magnification of the image of a distant object by means of a zoom lens.


1 & 2 – Usually used as short-hand by the director of photography (DP) to mean the first mark and the second mark of a camera move; also used for designating talents’ starting and second positions. E.g., That wasn’t a good take; everybody go back to 1.

10-1 – Common phrase on a walkie talkie, signifying that a person has gone or is about to go to the bathroom for a “number 1”.

10-2 – Common phrase on a walkie talking, signifying that a person has gone or is about to go to the bathroom for a “number 2”.

10-4 – Common phrase on a walkie talkie, signifying that the previous message was understood. See also copy.

20 – Common phrase on a walkie talkie, signifying location; as in, What’s your 20?