Film Talk

“WHAT Does THAT Mean?!?” Industry terms and abbreviations

1st AD : 1st Assistant Directors and the one who directs Background performers.

Background Performer (Extra) : aka extra or atmosphere, all of the people who fill out the scene and create a realistic atmosphere.

Background Action : Cue to the Extras to begin.

Booking : Job you are booked for.

Call sheets, Prelims and Finals : The information (via email) providing you with everything you need for the next day’s job. Should include a map (parking and set), call times, wardrobe requirements & standard info sheets.

Call Time : The time you are to be at your booking. Call times are always distributed the evening before you are scheduled to work, often late evening.

Camera Ready : Dressed in the required wardrobe with hair and make up done or clean shaven, unless requested otherwise.

Catering : The area where lunch is served. Lunch is generally served six hours after the crew has started.

Crew Call : The time the Crew is expected to be at work.

Crew Park : Where parking is for Crew and sometimes Background, often explained in the finals (with maps)

Continuity : A role where you return multiple times to give a continuous “feel” to a show/film.

Circus : The vehicles and trailers that house wardrobe, changing rooms, bathrooms, hair and make-up.

Craft Service (Crafty) : The area where snacks and beverages are available. Lunch, Dinner and Breakfast as well.

Extras Coordinator or “Wrangler” : The person/s who organizes extras and their paperwork. You will sign in with the Wranglers at your call time. You will also ask them if you have questions or concerns and inform them if you are leaving the holding tent for any reason.

Extras Holding or BG Holding : The area where Extras are asked to meet and wait when not on set, also where you will find the Wranglers.

Feature Extra : A background performer who is often Picture cast and is featured on screen. This is not a acting role but could qualify for an upgrade.

Fitting : You are given clothes to wear and will be required to attend a fitting in advance of filming. Usually between takes approx 2 hours or less.

Miming : Pretending to talk or talking without sound.

Non-Union : Anyone who is not a member of the Union of BC Performers is non-union.

PA : Production Assistant. They do a lot of misc jobs on set, from parking lot management to sweeping the set.

Photo Double : Someone who acts as the actor for filming, only a persons hands or back are shown.

Picture cast : You are chosen by the Casting Director, however this is not a confirmed booking. Casting will confirm several performers, checking their availability and getting updated and “current” photos (face and full body). They will meet with the production where the final choice is made, then that individual/s is booked and the others are released. These are often for featured extra “roles”, where you’re seen or on screen clearly and possibly even referred to by the cast

Prelims or preliminaries : Sometimes you’ll get preliminary call times, these can change later in the evening with Finals.

Principal Roles : A main acting role, speaking part.

Prop Shot : A photo session where the photos are used as props on set.

Rehearsing : Practicing the scene before it is filmed.

Reel or Demo Reel : Clips of you acting or doing a monologue, these are used for principal roles.

SAE, Special Action Extra : When you preform a skill on set as part of the scene, pay scale is increased but not all skills are SAE. Check with your agent to confirm if a role is SAE.

Set : Where filming takes place.

Stand-Ins : The men and women who take the place of the Actors during setup.

Submitted : How your Agent put you forward for jobs.

UBCP : The union for performers employed in film and television productions in British Columbia.

Wardrobe : What you are expected to wear and bring with you to every job unless you’ve had Fitting. You will be sent to wardrobe to confirm your clothes.

Wrap : Work end. You must wait until you are told you are wrapped, remember to sign off on your paperwork.