Film Slang
Edit Room
Quiet on the Set!

This person is usually involved with a production for the longest amount of time and is responsible for both the creative and financial parts of making a film.



The "muscle" on a set responsible for moving everything into place. Their leader is know as the "key."

GRIP - a name derived from the old days of theater where specific stagehands were responsible for moving scenery.


The sound of a room or set recorded at the end of filming before everyone leaves, used to fill in the gaps when editing dialogue or for background noise in "silent" shots.



A key detail listed on the production schedule sent out prior to a shoot to let people know when to arrive on set.

CALL TIME -- the sheet that it's listed on is called a "Call Sheet" and also includes relevant phone numbers and the planned order of filming for the day.


This person is responsible for the lighting and "look" of a film even if they're not the ones actually operating the camera.

D.o.P. aka the Director of Photography. On small sets this person operates the camera as well, but on large sets an "operator" will run the camera while the DoP (and director and producer) watch the shot on a monitor and make adjustments often in a tent known as a "Video Village."


The most important part of a film set, because without it everyone gets grumpy.

CRAFTY aka "Craft Services" aka the food, drinks, and snacks always available on set.


Portions of a documentary that use actors in costumes instead of "real life" interviews and footage.

RECRE - short for "recreations"


Wooden boxes of varying heights used as a step, a chair, a camera mount or anything else a film crew can think of.



This person is usually listed first in the end credits of a TV show or movie because they are responsible for making sure everything is scheduled and in place as well as doing all the paperwork.

A.P. aka the "Associate Producer" and the first person anyone with an issue wants to talk to (because the producer and the director or often too busy).


A sound effect of a man screaming that is used in movies and TV shows as an inside joke. It's named for a 1950s Western movie where a man named Wilhelm is shot with an arrow.


(play video if there's time)


Footage of a person or place filmed after the main action is finished. It's used in editing as a cutaway shot or to add atmosphere to a scene.



A warning shouted when turning on a bright light so people don't look directly at it and get blinded.

STRIKING! Safety is very important on film sets, whenever something is moved you also shout "FLYING IN!" or if you're carrying something sharp you yell "POINTS!"


This person is responsible for 50% of the movie that you see but is usually the quietest person on the set.

Soundie - aka the Audio Engineer, this is the person with headphones (called "cans") and the long pole (boom) with a fuzzy microphone on the end.

In the UK this job is known as a "Spark"

GAFFER - the person in charge of running the electricity, hooking up the lights, and adjusting them based on feedback


A short interview usually done right after a dramatic event in order to get a person's immediate reaction. Often used in reality television.

OTF - short for "On The Fly." Not the same as "Nat Sound" or a "Sound Up" which are audio and dialogue recorded by chance during other filming.


A short period of time each day when the sunlight is considered to be the most beautiful.

MAGIC HOUR - it's also the name of my production company!


This person is responsible for the unique look and atmosphere of a scene  as well as helping the people on screen (actors and interview subjects) give the best performance.

DIRECTOR - while the producer may run the whole production, the director is the one who is "in charge" on the film set itself.


The metal wings mounted to a bright light to block and direct the beam.

Barn Doors


Footage or photographs of a person, place, or event that actually happened -- can be 100+ years old or taken yesterday.



The end of a day of production or the very end of a multi-day production

WRAP - the end of the day is known as the "wrap time." People don't often say "that's a wrap" unless they're trying to be corny (or it was a REALLY long day.)