Glossary of Terms

The glossary below has been provided for new and existing members to better understand the unique terminology used within the film industry across various departments. The Local 476 office has tried to curate the most commonly used terms, but welcomes members to contact us with any we may have missed so they may be added accordingly.


A term used to inform the crew that they are on the second-to-last shot of the day. It is named after Abby Singer, a famous assistant film director and production manager, and comes before the “Martini”.

The Director or 1st AD will call “Action” to signal the actors to begin acting and/or crew to be begin designated camera movements.

An accident report must be completed by the medic and filed with production if you are or a member of your crew sustains an injury while working on or off production. This paperwork is required by production, especially if medical expense reimbursement or workers compensation are necessary.

Additional Dialogue Recording: Production may need to be re-recorded dialogue after a scene has been filmed for a variety of reasons.

A process used by scenic painters to effect set pieces and structures giving them an older, distressed, lived in or used appearance.

Carried by the Grip Department, Apple boxes are used for propping, raising and leveling set pieces, actors, camera personel and even used to build platforms.

Generally provided by the Special effects Department with use of smoke machines to create a desired lighting effect or mood on set.


A non-speaking performer who gives life and movement to the background of scenes. Also known as a background actor, background player, extra or simply as background.

The core role of a lighting ballast is to help control and regulate the supplied current during different operating phases (and voltages) for certain bulb types.

One of four shutters generally attached to a lighting fixture for the purpose limiting and shaping the light being emitted.

Base Camp is generally near crew parking. It is where you can usually find catering along with the makeup, costume, and cast trailers. Depending on the needs of the location, you might also find shuttles to the set.

A container used for transporting fresh (a.k.a “hot”) and used (“dead”) walkie- talkie batteries.

Both the Grip and Electric Departments have a Best Boy: Best Boy Electric and Best Boy Grip. Also referred to as “seconds”, they work under the direction of the Gaffer and the Key Grip. Best Boy duties generally include the hiring of personnel, rental of equipment, acquisition of parts and truck management.

A roll of thin black metal foil designed to withstand high temperatures used to block/prevent light leaks, extend barn doors, and shape light from practical or studio lighting fixtures.

The process of covering a lighting fixture, window or any other light source for the purpose of eliminating light. “Blacking out” is often used when shooting Day for Night.

Filming more than one episode simultaneously per/block or per/day.

Using the same set-up for more than one scene before turning around and shooting the other side of the scene.

This refers to the process in which actors are given specific placement and/or movements with the action of a scene.

Also referred to as a lavalier microphone or a wire; it as a small discreet microphone that is placed on the body of the actor.

A white styrofoam board used by the grip department to redirect (BOUNCE) light from the keylight onto the subject to create natural or soft lighting styles.

A buyer works under the direction of the Set Decorator and acquires the items required to decorate a film set by purchasing or renting them. Items may include: furniture, lamps, rugs, dishware, household goods, medical equipment, machinery, books, artwork or anything else that is needed to create the environment, look, or mood described in the script.


A document provided to the cast and crew the evening prior to the following filming day. Information regarding, call times, crew parking, shuttle times, catering, set location, number of scenes, key personnel, special equipment, stunts, FX forecast, nearest hospital, and altered meal breaks can all be phone on the call sheet.

The time of day crew is expected to be present and ready to work. There are general crew calls (Listed at the top of the call sheet) and pre-calls (generally 30-60 minutes earlier than general crew call). Be sure to double check your call time on the call sheet or with your Department Head.

The area in which images are being captured and recorded.

Directions based on the orientation of the camera lens. If looking directly at that cameras lens, your right would camera left.

A Payroll Company for many productions –

A Catwalk is a walkable platform above a stage set that provides access to safety equipment, lighting equipment and ceiling components unreachable with ladders or lifts.

A company move is when the work at one location is completed and the entire crew travels to a new location within the same filming day. A filming day may consist of multiple company moves.

The Construction Coordinator is the head of the construction department. Under the direction of the Production Designer and Art Director, the Construction Coordinator ensures that all stage and location sets are constructed properly, safely and on time.

List of Contact information for the entire crew and office staff of any given production.

Continuity means that a sequence of shots maintain consistency of time space and environment.

Responding by using the word “copy” (on or off radio) verifies that you’ve understood the directive or information being given to you by a Superior or fellow crew member.

A secondary or “back-up” set option if needed due to inclimate weather or actor availability.

Coverage refers to the amount and type of shots used to capture a scene. Generally, a filming sequence begins with a master (wide) shot and gradually moves in closer (tighter) on the actors. The film editor selects coverage options in post-production to assemble the final cut.

Craft service or “Crafty” provides food and beverage services to the crew for the duration of a shooting day.

A piece of equipment used to move a camera into positions unreachable by a human operator. Cranes are often used to achieve high-angle large sweeping shots to create a suspenseful and dramatic action.

A production office list of all crew and their contact information.

A designated parking area for the crew. This information is generally displayed on the call sheet and includes a map.

The Director or 1st AD will call “Cut!” to stop the action of the cast and movement of the camera due to some type of interference, unintended mishap or completion of the take.


Dailies are the unedited footage for a movie or TV show that is collected at the end of each day. The footage is viewed by directors, producers, DP’s and other department heads.

The daily production report is an account of what occurred during the filming day regarding the amount of scenes shot, time taken, equipment used, crew transported, and provides an overall budget cost for the day.

Filming “Day for Night” means to film a scene set at night during the daytime.

Individual employment contract that all crew members must sign with production. A typical deal memo package includes policies, procedures, and other pertinent information related to the production, production company, and/or studio involved.

The Directors Guild of America

Diffusion is placed in the beam path of a light source. Acting as a filter, diffusion modifies the intensity, coverage or quality of the light source by spreading, shaping or softening it’s beam. There are many different types of diffusion densities and materials.

A small grab-and-go bag or container used to transport tools or parts.

A camera Dolly is a wheeled device used to create smooth camera movements both horizontally and laterally. In addition to multiple steer functions dollies also have a hydraulic jib arm that raises and lowers the camera on a vertical axis.

The Director of Photography is the head of the Department and responsible for the visual look of a Film or TV show. Working in concert with the Director, they make crucial decisions regarding camera movement, placement, coverage, lighting, lens filter selections, and atmospherics to best capture of each frame.


Payroll company

Used to classify non-reusable items purchased by departments necessary for production. Examples include tape, batteries, diffusion, cleaning supplies etc.

The direction in which an actor is looking. Crew members must try not to position themselves in the actor’s eyeline because it may be distracting.


A system consisting of an anchorage point, connectors, a body belt or harness and lanyard to arrest (stop) an employee in a fall from an elevated working level.

A term used to warn crew that a charge has been lit and that an explosive detonation is imminent.

The 1st Assistant Director is a liaison between the director and crew. the 1st AD runshe set by coordinating with members of the AD department and Department heads to ensure that he filming schedule remains on time.

Square or rectangular frames with mounting pins attached. Covered with solid cloth material or diffusion, flags are used to shape or diffuse lighting sources.

A flat is a lightweight wooden frame covered with scenic canvas or thin plywood. Flats are used to provide a lightweight and easy way to move and reconfigure set walls and ceilings.

Different from an hourly rate, a daily rate is often referred to as a “flat rate” because it does not change depending on how many hours are worked.

A title used to classify a supervisor working under the direction of the department head in the construction, paint, and special effects department.

French hours is a term used when there is no break for lunch during a filming day. Although food is provided, crew members work continuously and generally rotate with one another to eat.


A Gaffer is the chief lighting technician and Department Head for the electric crew. The Gaffer is responsible for managing the lighting plan, personnel, and additional resources required to implement the desired lighting set-up.

A title used to classify a supervisor under the direction of the department head in the set dressing, construction, grip or electric departments.

A transparent material made of heat resistant plastics that is placed in front of of a lighting fixture to color or correct the light. Gels can be found in various colors.

Grace is a period of 12 minutes granted to production by the crew to complete a camera setup without incurring a meal penalty at the beginning of the designated meal break. If the work exceeds 12 minutes, meal penalty will take effect retroactively at the start of the meal break.


A term used for a shot taken with the camera being supported only by the operator’s hands and shoulder without the assistance of any camera support equipment.

A safety harness is a form of protective equipment designed to safeguard the user from injury or death from falling. The core item of a fall arrest system, the harness is usually fabricated from rope, braided wire cable, synthetic webbing and lanyard which attaches to an anchorage point or safety line.

Used to identify a prop, set, picture car or location belonging to a lead character. Hero items are often featured regularly and close-up.

A specialized trailer that travels with basecamp that may include a combination of bathroom facilities, AD offices, or Cast accommodations.

“Hot Set” refers to a film set that is being actively used. Hot sets are labeled to prevent anyone from moving or rearranging items around the set in order to maintain continuity during filming.


International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees is the supreme governing body for entertainment worker locals throughout the United States and Canada.

Internet Movie Database is an online database of information related to films and television series that includes cast, production crew, personal biographies, credits, reviews, and ratings.


A title given to Department Heads in the Grip, Rigging Grip, Hair and Makeup Departments.

A term used to identify or refer to unwanted light bouncing off of buildings, vehicles or other objects.

A personal supply of tools, equipment, and expendables specific to each department.


Lamp is a term used to to describe a studio lighting instrument. A household lamp would be referred to as a practical.

Directions based on the orientation of the lighting fixture. If looking directly at the front of the fixture, you right would be lamp left.

Working under the direction of the Gaffer Lamp Operators are responsible for the placing, focusing, and operation of all lighting sources on set.

Last looks is generally called by the AD department. It informs the hair and makeup department that the camera is about to roll and all necessary touch ups or adjustments to the cast need to be made.

This term refers to the final crew member completing the lunch line which then allows the 30 minute meal period to commence.

A small microphone used in to film and television with a small clip for attaching to collars, ties, or other clothing. This microphone is concealable and used to capture actor dialogue.

A lens flare is a response to a bright, non-image forming light like the sun, a full moon, or artificial lighting which appears on the photo in the form of a haze or a starburst.

Some job categories require you to have a copy of licenses and/or other certifications on file at the Union office before you can go out on a job.

Called out just before a weapon is going to be discharged on set.

A location is a place where some or all of a film and television series are filmed in addition to sets constructed on a studio, backlot, or sound stage.

Called out by the AD Department to inform the crew to secure the set and stop any civilian vehicle or pedestrian traffic from entering the shot if filming on a live street.

An itemized report provided to production denoting all lost or damaged equipment.


The main unit, A.K.A “first unit” consists of the main actors, director, dp, and crew responsible for all principal photography of a production.

When “Martini” is called, this notifies the crew it is on the final shot setup of the day.

Meal penalties are increased hourly compensations for crew when a production does not break for a meal at the designated meal period.

Memorandum of Agreement is a specific Document for any member who works outside of Local No. 476 jurisdiction as a “distant hire”. This agreement must be executed by production in order for a members benefits to be sent to Local 476 on their behalf.

Movie of the Week.


Filming “Night for Day” means to film a scene set during the day at night.


A one liner schedule is an abridged version of the shooting schedule. Also known as a “one-liner,” scenes are listed and arranged in shooting order and broken up by shooting days.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration –


A tow along bathroom facility generally parked near a location set for on-set (company) crew access.

Stands for Production Assistant. An entry level position for the AD Department.

The “page count” is the total number of script pages to be filmed in the working day. The script is divided into eighths of a page as a way of measuring individual scene length.

A daily stipend or allowance to cover certain expenses incurred while working outside the production center (Distant Hires). Contractual obligation may vary based on production company agreement.

Petty cash is usually only issued to department heads and seconds. It is a cash float used to cover costs of the job such as crew lunches and expendables. Although most productions now issue P-Cards (Credit Card) opposed to cash, some departments (Set Dressing / Props) still require a petty cash float to operate efficiently.

Generally a small shot to correct a faulty or unsatisfactory portion of an overall take without re-shooting the set-up in its entirety.

A vehicle that appears on camera.

Signals to the crew that rehearsal has been completed and cameras will roll on the next action.

Short for “post production”, it is when principal photography has been completed and the editing process takes place.

A light source that is seen within the frame of a shot. Some examples include, lamps, chandeliers, candles, TVs, computers, flash lights, and car headlights.

A pre-call is a designated arrival time usually 30-60 minutes before the General Crew Call. Most pre-calls require special approval by production.

Prep or pre-production consists of various department preparations, scheduling, budgeting, tech scouting, rigging stages and building sets before principal photography begins.

When the bulk of the filming takes place between pre and post production.

For T.V. & Film: The “production zone” is defined as the area within circle which has a radius of 30 miles measured from the Employer’s production office.

For Commercials: The radius at 30 miles measured is from State & Madison.

A “prop”, or property, is any moveable object that an actor interacts with and can be seen on camera. Some examples include: weapons, food, beverages, cellphones, canes, tools, candles, lanterns and even watches.

Any live fire-related effect you see in film is considered a pyrotechnic. Some examples include the use of stoves, fire places, candles, fireworks, building fires and explosions.


Called out by the AD Department, generally to indicate filming will soon start or to allow for conversation between key crew members.


A practice or trial running of the of movement and dialogue of a scene.

Called immediately before “Action” signaling to the crew that cameras have begun filming and the action will begin momentarily. Additionally it signals the crew to refrain from making any noise.


Used to temporarily close off a live street, divert vehicular or pedestrian traffic, or identify areas that require caution.

Made of reflective “High Viz” material to ensure visibility when working on or around live streets. Most productions now require safety vests to be worn when at any outdoor location.

Provided by the Grip department in most cases, it is a heavy bag with a handle used to prevent lighting and lighting support gear from falling over. It may also be used when weather conditions require weighted support of equipment and structures of any kind.

A type of elevated work platform.

A small, fine wire, screen placed in front of a light source to reduce its intensity or harshness.

An additional crew on a film or television production beyond First Unit. Typically reporting to an alternate location, second units film additional shots, sequences, or re-shoots separate from the “main” or “first” unit.

The 2nd Assistant Director generates call sheets, coordinates with the production office, manages the movements of the cast, directs extras, and supports the needs of the 1st AD.

Provided by production, a set medic is a licensed EMT or paramedic who is standing by in the event of an emergency or injury that occurs on set.

Used to define a day in which filming occurs.

Set-up defines all of components of an individual shot including shot size, direction, camera placement/movement, lighting placement, actor blocking, etc.

A shooting schedule gives an overview of what needs to be filmed on each individual shooting day to ensure the work is completed. It can include time projections, scene order, locations, travel times, lunch breaks, props, special equipment needed, lighting/camera notes, and anything else required to complete the day’s work.

A member of the 476 crew appointed by the Business Manager to ensure all terms of the agreement are being adhered to, the working rules are being abided by, and to notify the office of and action or practices that could jeopardize the reputation of the Union or the welfare of the Membership.

A shot is the image that is captured from the moment the camera begins rolling until the moment it stops.

Pages of the script that are being filmed during the current day of production.

Another type of lighting diffusion used by the grip department. Silks can soften and cut the intensity of light or create a larger light source that throws softer edged shadows.

A device used to assist in the synchronization of picture and sound. By making an audible clapping noise, it notifies he post production team when the camera has started and stopped recording. Common information found written on the slate includes: Production Title, Roll, Reel, Setup, and Scene Number.

A device used primarily in the FX department producing “smoke” or “fog” to create the desired lighting atmosphere, effect, or mood.

A microphone mounted to an extendable pole and operated by a Boom operator. Considered to be one of the best ways to capture dialogue, it allows a high intensity microphone to located directly above the actors and remain outside of the camera frame.

A term used by the sound department indicating that their equipment has begun capturing audio and filming can begin.

A reduced unit that breaks away from the Main Unit to capture inserts, pick-up shots or unfinished scenes from a previous shooting day.

A Stand-In takes the place of a principal actor for rehearsals, camera blocking, and lighting setups.

A camera stabilizing system used to capture tracking shots without undesired movements or wobbles. It isolates the camera operators movement, making the shot look smooth and controlled.

Cardboard sheeting used to protect surfaces such as walls, flooring, countertops, and stairways of a location being filmed.

Streaming Video On Demand is a type of film or TV series that will go immediately to a subscription based streaming or video on demand service provider.

A term used to identify the general crew members in the Set Dressing Department.


A take is a single shot of a particular set-up. For instance, The Director or DP may want to film multiple takes of a single set-up.

Member of the Transportation Department and Teamsters Union.

Used to keep record of crew member call and wrap times, meal breaks, and Non Deductible Breakfasts (NDB) submitted to Production.

Track is short for “Dolly Track”, a system made of aluminum or steel rails that guide the camera dolly along a desired plain. The system consists of portable pieces varying in lengths that can be assembled and leveled in minutes and capable of spanning a hundred feet or more if needed.

Refers to The Transportation Department. Transpo is responsible for the movement and maintenance of all basecamp trailers, cast/crew shuttles, working trucks, and picture cars.

Turnaround refers to the amount of off-time required between the end of a production day (wrap) and the next day’s call time. Local No. 476 turnaround is 10 hours.

Turning around is when all coverage from one viewpoint or side of the scene has been completed and camera positions must change to capture the other side. Equipment and personnel who previously were out of frame, may become in frame. When “Turning Around” is called, it indicates to the crew to make any adjustments necessary to clear the frame.


Also know as a Unit Production Manager, the UPM is the primary administrator on a film set. They monitor, control and facilitate logistical decisions revolving around scheduling and budget.


A screen or multiple screens that transmit the current frame being filmed to various members of the crew; most notably, the Director, 1st AD, Director of Photography, Gaffer, Key Grip, Script supervisor and producers.

The monitors in which the Director views footage that is currently being filmed. It received the name “Village” because often times additional crew accumulate around the monitors such as AD’s, Script Supervisor, Hair & Make-up, Studio Teachers, ect.


A walkie is a two-way long -range communication device with multiple channels. These individual channels allow departments to communicate independently and with the addtion of a surveillance headset (in ear), crews are able to communicate more efficiently and quietly on set.

A piece of wood having one thick end and tapering to a thin edge used by Grips to level the dolly track, dance floor, lighting stands, or hold doors open.

A WILD WALL refers to a wall or portion of a wall on a film or television set that can be quickly and silently removed for camera access and placement.

A term used for placing wireless mics on the actors.

The term used to signal to the crew that the current day of filming or the entire Film or Television Season has concluded. Generally phrased, “Thats a wrap!”