If you’ve ever spent time on a film set, then you know that they can be worlds of their very own – complete with their own language.
Common Film Set Terms
Here’s an at-a-glance guide to some of the most common film set terms out there, so you can be ready for your next on-set experience.
Tells the actors and everyone on set that the cameras are rolling and it’s time to be quiet on set.
Usually called out by the assistant director, “back-to-one” is a command given to the actors and crew to return to their starting positions for another take.
Basecamp is the area where the production team sets up headquarters during a shoot, often located close to the set. It’s where you’ll find all of the trailers for costume, makeup, and cast, as well as catering.
Blocking is the process of planning and rehearsing the movement and positions of actors and equipment within a scene.
A document that lists the schedule and location for the day’s shoot, as well as the cast and crew members needed for each scene.
A tool used to synchronize sound and image during filming. This iconic film set tool has a hinged stick with a clapperboard at the end that is used to mark the start of each take.
The consistency of details between different shots in a scene or between scenes, such as actor positions, props, and costumes. It can also refer to the consistency of emotional/dramatic logic, ideas, and other aspects of the plot.
A document that records details of the scene, such as shot number, camera settings, and lighting.
A wide shot is used to establish the location of a scene or sequence.
The use of fake or non-specific text on props or signage to avoid drawing attention away from the main focus of the scene is usually used for branded products appearing in a scene.
A set that is currently being used for filming.
Abbreviation for an over-the-shoulder shot, a camera angle that shows one character from the perspective of another character.
A crew member is responsible for running errands and performing various tasks on set.
A document that outlines the shots needed for a particular scene, along with any relevant notes.
The process of filming a scene from the opposite side of the set, usually to capture reaction shots or to avoid camera shadows.
An area on set where the director and other members of the production team can watch a video playback of the footage being filmed.
A fast camera movement from one point to another is used to create a sense of speed or excitement.
Learn Everything About Professional Film & Video Lighting
This guide to basic filming words and terms is a good start, but a well-rounded, professional education can be your key to actually landing the career you want.
The Film & Video Production program at the Beonair Network of Media Schools (with campuses located in Miami, Chicago, Colorado, and Ohio) combines classroom and in-studio learning experiences, equipping students with an in-depth understanding of industry techniques and creative possibilities alike. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to prepare yourself to thrive in the exciting – and competitive – world of film and TV.