Terms for TV and Film Production
Terms in this set (51)
Above the Line
Generally the portion of a film's budget that covers the costs associated with major creative talent: the stars, the director, the producer(s) and the writer(s). (See also Below the Line)
The crew member responsible for the design, look and feel of a film's set. Includes props, furniture, sets, etc. Reports to the production designer.
Assistant Director (A.D.)
Carries out the director's instructions and runs the set. The first A.D. is responsible for preparing the production schedule and script breakdown, making sure shooting stays on schedule and on budget. The second A.D. is responsible for distributing information and cast notifications, keeping track of hours worked by cast and crew, management of extras, signing actors in and out and preparing call sheets. The second A.D. is also in charge of the production assistants.
Below the Line
The portion of a production budget allotted to crew and expenses that are not classified as major creative talent.
Chief assistant to either the gaffer or key grip. Responsible for the daily running of the lighting or grip department.
The physical movements and actions of actors in a given scene.
Blue (or Green) Screen
A blue or green backdrop to which computer generated images will be added to complete the background.
Overhead microphone, held on a long pole over the actors' heads.
The schedule (generally issued daily) that gives each member of each department the times and places to report to set.
The crew member, reporting directly to the director of photography, who physically handles and operates the camera.
Computer Generated Imagery; refers to the inclusion of computerized graphics in otherwise live-action films to enhance special effects.
The art of selecting devices, angles, recording media, lenses, framing and arrangement of lighting to capture moving images (see DP).
A small black or white board with a hinged stick on top that displays identifying information for each shot in the movie. Assists with organizing shots during editing process; the clap of the stick allows easier synchronization of sound and video within each shot.
Also known as the construction manager, this person supervises and manages the physical construction of sets and reports to the art director and production designer.
The rough shots viewed immediately after shooting each day by the director, along with the cinematographer or editor. Used to help ensure proper coverage and the quality of the shots gathered.
The person in charge of the overall cinematic vision of the film and the performance of the actors.
Director of Photography (D.P.)
In charge of the camera department and responsible for the overall look of the film from a cinematography perspective. Sets composition for each shot, selects camera, film stock, lenses, lighting and color scheme.
Prepares and operates the camera dolly, or a wheeled camera platform that moves on rails.
A person who temporarily takes the lead actor's place for a stunt or to stand in for the actor in a shot when they are not available or unwilling to be shot (such as in a nude scene). Shots are done in a way to avoid seeing the double's face.
The process of arranging and selecting the shots (or parts of shots) that will be used in the final film and collating them into the order determined by the script.
In charge of all wiring, lighting and power for the shoot.
Party not involved in technical aspects of a production but who has played a crucial creative or financial role in its development.
The people who appear in nonspecific, nonspeaking roles (part of a crowd or background) for the purpose of lending a more realistic atmosphere to a shot.
A section of a studio's set constructed of wood that simulates a wall. One side is decorated; the other is structural only.
The process of adding noises or sound effects to a film in post-production in synchronization with the action on the screen.
Head of the electrical department, responsible for designing and implementing the lighting scheme for a production.
Greenlit or Greenlight
A commitment from a financing entity that allows a project to move from development to preproduction.
Works with both the electrical and camera departments. Trained lighting and rigging technicians who put in lighting set-ups, move set pieces and equipment around and rig camera mounts. Handle lighting equipment needed to diffuse and shape light at the direction of the D.P. The "key grip" is head of the department.
Assistant to the set decorator, supervising the sets crew.
See production manager/unit production manager.
Scouts and manages all filming locations. Negotiates contracts with property owners of shooting locations on behalf of the production company. Secures shooting permits and coordinates schedules with local officials. Makes sure there is proper parking for cast and crew at the locations and that locations are left in good condition after filming is completed.
Searches and photographs locations during preproduction based on the needs of the script. Prepares photo presentations for the director, producer or production designer. Sometimes becomes the location manager once shooting begins or works under him or her.
The person who brings the entire project together and oversees all aspects of production. In the early stages, the producer may choose a script, hire a director, help in casting and find a place to shoot the project. Once cameras are rolling, the producer makes sure the project comes in on time and on budget. May also become involved in the editing and postproduction phases, as well as marketing and distribution.
Production Assistant (P.A.)
Assigned to a department or production office to assist with general tasks.
Serves under the production manager/unit production manager (U.P.M.). Sets up and organizes the production office; coordinates travel and lodging for the crew; handles all paperwork related to insurance, daily progress reports and other matters; coordinates communication with the set and delivery of props, costumes, etc.; wraps out the production office and closes all outstanding accounts at the end of shooting.
Works with the director to achieve the overall look of the film from an artistic design perspective. Supervises set construction, scenery, costumes and any other item that will appear in front of the camera.
Production Manager/Unit Production Manager
In charge of the production office, this person makes business deals with local vendors and hotels, hires and fires crew, approves schedules and call sheets and keeps track of the budget.
Workers responsible for setting up lighting and scaffolding on film sets.
The writer of the original or adapted script from which the production is shooting.
Monitors the script during shooting, making sure there are no continuity errors and that the film can later be cut together in postproduction. Keeps track of all the details of each day's shooting, including number of scenes shot and takes of each scene, what happened in the scene and any changes in the script that may impact future shooting days. Provides detailed reports to the production team and the editors.
Works with the production designer on set design and decoration and oversees the dressing of the set.
A large soundproof area in a studio used to house elaborate sets. Allows greater control over climate, lighting and sound.
Also FX, SFX, SPFX. The techniques used to create illusions (such as space travel, animatronics, etc.) or to safely perform or give the appearance of performing normally dangerous acts (explosions, gunshots, etc.).
A person who is physically similar to an actor and takes their place during preparation and blocking of a scene. Differing from the double in that they do not appear on camera.
A special harness-based system that allows a cameraman to perform steady, dolly-like shots with a handheld camera, allowing for much greater freedom of movement.
A group of illustrations that summarize the various shots required and provide a general overview of a proposed film.
Term used to refer to all actors on a set.
A summation of a script, longer than a synopsis, with character descriptions, scene-by-scene descriptions and sometimes limited samples of dialog.
Mostly executed in postproduction, visual effects involves coordinating live action footage with CGI or other footage (animation, models) to produce a visual that would otherwise be too costly, impossible or dangerous to film.
First rehearsal on the set, used to figure out lighting, sound, camera positions and some rudimentary blocking.
The term used to signify the end of shooting (either for a day or the entire production).