Sunday, July 21, 2013

so you wanna be in show business...

I found this little treasure in the back of my jewelry case today.  This Screen Children's Guild pin was issued to me as a child and I have kept it safe and sound in this little lambskin pouch for decades now. They don't issue pins anymore when you join SAG/AFTRA these days... which I find kind of sad... what keepsakes do we treasure these days?

I also found this list of show biz terms. I grew up hearing these words and they were a part of my education.  It doesn't hurt to know the lingo if you are in the Drama Department in school or pursuing a career in Hollywood. If you are not in show business or have no desire to be, how many of these terms do you know?  Just curious...

Above the line: Industry term for movies and TV budgets. The line refers to money budgeted for creative talent, such as   actors, writers, directors, and producers.
Action: The cue that is shouted when the camera starts rolling
A.D.: Assistant Director
Ad Lib: made up dialogue that is not scripted; a form of improvisation
AFTRA : American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. National labor union representing performers, journalists       and other artists working in entertainment and news.
AMPAS:  Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Art Director: Person who creates and designs sets
ADG: Art Directors Guild
Avail: a courtesy situation extended by an agent to a producer indicating that a performer is available to work a certain job. Avails have no legal or contractual status
Background Talent: Also known as extras or atmosphere
Best Boy: In films, the assistant to the electrician
BFCA:  Broadcast Film Critics Association.
Biopic:  A Variety coinage meaning biographical film
Billing: The order of the names in the titles or opening credits of a film or television show
Bio: (or biography) A resume in narrative form usually for a printed program or press release
Blocking: The physical movements used by actors in a scene
Blurb: TV commercial;
Booking: A firm commitment to a performer to do a specific job
Boom: An overhead microphone, often used on-set, usually mounted on an extended pole
Breakdown: A detailed listing and description of roles available for casting in a production
Buyout: An offer of full payment in lieu of residuals, when the contract permits
Callback: A follow-up audition
Call sheet: Production term for daily listing of shooting schedule, scenes and cast involved
Call time: The time you are due on a set
Camera Ready: Hair, makeup and wardrobe ready to begin shooting
CAS: Cinema Audio Society.
CDG: Costume Designers Guild.
Cattle call: often known as an “open call”, a large open audition
Cliffhanger: a melodramatic adventure or suspense film or TV show; usually a serial with a to-be-continued ending;
Close-up (CU): Camera term for a tight shot of the shoulders and face
Cold reading: An unrehearsed reading of a scene, usually at auditions
Commissions: Percentage of a performer’s earnings paid to an agent’s managers for their services
Composite: A one-sheet of photos representing an actor’s different “looks”
Conflict: Status of being paid for services in a commercial for one advertiser, thereby contractually preventing performing services in a commercial for a competitor
Copy: The script for a commercial or voice-over
Craft services: On-set catering
Crix: critics
Cut: Filming stops
Dailies: Screening of footage before it is edited
Day-player: A performer hired on a day-to-day basis, rather than under a long term contract
DGA: Directors Guild of America, the union of film and TV directors, assistant directors and unit production managers
Downgrade: Reduction of a performer’s on-camera role from principal to extra
D.P.: Director of Photography of Cinematographer
dramedy — A TV show that could be labeled both a comedy and a drama, usually an hour long. 
Dress the set: To add items/props to the set
Drive-on pass: A pass to drive on and park at a studio
Emancipated minor: A minor under 18 who has been given the status of a legal adult by a judge
Emcee: master of ceremonies;
Employer of Record (EOR): The company responsible for employment taxes and unemployment benefits
Executive Producer: The person responsible for funding a production
EXT. (Exterior): A scene shot outside
Feature: motion picture over an hour in length;
Field rep: SAG staff member who ensures contractual compliance on a set
flop (also floppola): failure at the box office
Forced call: A call to work less than 12 hours after dismissal of the previous day
FX (Effects): Special Effects
Gaffer: A crew member who places lighting instruments
GED: General Equivalency Diploma
Gofer: An errand runner
Golden time: Overtime after the 16th hour
Greenlight: the go-ahead for a film to be made
Grip: A crew member who moves set pieces or props
Hiatus: Time when a TV series is in between production
Hold: A contractual obligation for a performer to be available for work
Holding fee: Set payment by an advertiser to retain the right to use a performer’s services, images or likeness on an         exclusive basis
hold over: When a director decides to use an actor for an extra day not originally scheduled
Industrial: Non-broadcast, often educational films
INT. (Interior): A scene shot indoors
in the can: Industry term: Phrase meaning the director has the take he wants
In time: The actual call time or start time; also refers to return time from a break
Jingle: Short phrase of music usually with lyrics used in commercials
laugh track: Industry term: Audience laughter that is recorded to be played back when a TV show is aired
Looping: An in-studio technique matching voice to picture (Also known as ADR)
Meal Penalty: A set fee paid by the producer for failure to provide meals as set by the contract
Monologue: A solo performance by an actor
Moppet: child, especially child actor
MPSE: Motion Picture Sound Editors.
Out time: The actual time after which you have changed out of wardrobe and are released
Overtime (OT): Work extending beyond the contractual workday
P.A.: Production Assistant
Pan: A camera shot which sweeps from side to side
Pick-up: an added take because of a problem with a shot
Pilot: The first show introducing the characters and situations for a potential series
pitch:  anything from a one-line description to a two- to three-page treatment of an idea, and as such, is not yet a script, 
Popping: A vocal term used to describe the sudden release of blocked air into a microphone causing a popping sound
POV shot: A point of view shot; camera angle from the perspective of one actor
Principal: A performer with lines or special business which advances the storyline
Producer: (or Line Producer): The person responsible for the day-to-day decision making on a production
Production: This involves building sets, designing costumes, measuring and fitting actors for costumes, and rehearsals.
Re-write: Changes in the scripts; often made using color-coded pages
Scale: Minimum payment for services under Union contracts
Scale+ 10: Minimum payment + 10% to cover agent’s commission
scribbler, scribe: writer
scripter: screenwriter
Script Supervisor: The crew member assigned to record all changes or actions as the production proceeds
Sides: Pages or scenes from a script used for auditions
Sight-and-sound: Parent’s right’s under Union contracts to be within the sight of the child performer at all times
Signatory: An employer who has agreed to produce under the terms of a union contract
sitcom:  shorthand for situation comedy TV series
Slate: A small chalkboard and clapper device, used to mark and identify shots for editing; also the verbal identification by a performer in a taped audition (i.e. “Slate your name.”)
Spec script: a script shopped or sold on the open market, as opposed to one commissioned by a studio or production   company
Spesh: a television special
Stage Manager: The person who oversees the technical aspects of an in-studio production
Station 12: At SAG, the office responsible for clearing SAG members to work
Studio Teacher: Set teacher or tutor, hired to provide education to working with young performers; also responsible for     enforcing Child Labor Law
Stunt Coordinator: The persons in charge of designing and supervising the performance of stunts and hazardous         activities
Submission: An agent’s suggestion to a casting director for a role in a certain production
Taft-Hartley: A federal statute which allows 30 days after first employment before being required to join a Union
Take: The clapboard indication of a shot “taken” or printed
Take 5: The announcement of a periodic five minute breaks
Telefilm (also telepic, telepix) — feature-length motion picture made for TV
Turnaround: no longer active; a project put into “turnaround” has been abandoned by one studio and may be shopped to another.
Vid: video
VOD: video on demand
Voiceover — offscreen narration
Waivers: Board-approved permission for deviation from the terms of a contract
Walk-on: A very brief role
Wardrobe: The clothing a performer wears on camera
Work Permit: A legal document required to allow a child to work, issued by various state or local agencies
Wrap: finishing a production 


Mark said...

Hi Angela, thanks for the list of terminology. Since I was a kid, I remember commenting "what on earth is a 'best boy'? We cackled, as teenage boys, at what we saw as an unfortunate 'occupation'! I never bothered to Google it, but now I'm suitably enlightened. Thank you : ) Also, my dad just passed away and I discovered a number of pins and awards his grandfather received as a young man (early 20th century). We just do pins or badges etc anymore - at least, not of the same quality. I check your blog from time to time, I sense you might be Facebooking more these days? Please keep blogging!

Jo Murray said...

Thanks for that...I've often wondered what some of these terms meant.

Anonymous said...

thanks, I got in touch with my creative side for a few minutes.