Good morning, class. I hope you've all come back from the weekend refreshed and ready to learn because for today's lesson, we're going to launch straight into film vocabulary. You may think you understand language well enough to enter into this profession, but let me assure you, the language of film is very specialized. So before I send you all out into the field, I thought it'd be useful for you to know some of the basic terms of the business. Everyone settle down and let's begin.
Because one syllable extra is just too much, we film folk decided to abbreviate the words “motor home” to make life easier on ourselves. The mo-ho is typically a small RV-style vehicle that is parked on the set of a shoot for the purposes of office work. As it is oftentimes the only air-conditioned spot on set, it is also a safe haven for sweaty crew members.
Ten-one (or two…):
If you don’t feel entirely comfortable announcing your bodily functions to the world, this saying could come in handy. Excusing yourself to the restroom has never sounded more official.
Switch to two (three, four, etc.):
Typically, all walkies are set to channel one, as indicated by one of the top dials, so that every person on set stays in the loop. However, since subjecting the entire crew to lengthy or personal discussions is considered bad etiquette, sometimes a channel change is necessary. Just don't forget to switch back to channel one again.
This term may be the most important. This term is short for Craft Services aka food. Of course, Krafty carries other supplies like medicine and paper towels and trash bags, but let’s be honest about what’s important here. It’s the food.
Even with a set full of the most talented people in the business, a shoot can only get so far without equipment. This is why having a P.A. on firewatch guarding the expensive toys from theft or damage is of the utmost importance, particularly on outdoor sets.
The Fueld office has shelves upon shelves of these carefully organized historical records. Wrap books contain every bit of information that contributed to the planning and execution of a shoot, from storyboards to purchase orders to talent contracts. You never know what scrap of information will come in handy in the future, so treat these books with care.
Lock it up:
When you are in charge of locking up part of a set, you are to make sure that nothing, including humans, cars, bicycles, skateboards, razor scooters, small animals, and prehistoric creatures from alternate dimensions is to pass through the shot. You will meet some resistance from ornery pedestrians, but stay strong. Do it for the shot.
This is just a fun and alliterative way of saying pre-production, which encompasses everything that has to occur before a shoot. This means storyboarding, budgeting, wardrobe fitting, etc. This is a time when things get particularly crazy and crowded in our office, but it’s also a time of great buzz and excitement about the upcoming shoot.
Sometimes referred to as simply P.C., petty cash is one of the most important things to have both on set and in the office. This is a supply of cash that the production will have handy to give to P.A.s in particular so that they can run important errands. On set, you can be signed out big chunks of change to use throughout the shoot, but yes, you do have to give back the change once you wrap…
All work and no food makes for a very unhappy crew. For this reason, making sure that everyone eats and regains the necessary energy is an important job. This is why last man exists. This person stays at the back of the line, making sure that every member of the crew grabs food before the end of lunch is called. Have no fear, though. last man definitely gets a chance at the food.
At the end of a long day of shooting, everyone is in a rush to get home and pass out face-first on a comfy bed (even if only for a few hours). So once wrap is called for the day, the parking lot becomes a sea of tail lights headed into the distance. Now, this time may not always come when it says it will on the schedule and you definitely shouldn’t rush your tasks at the end of the day, but you can look forward to blasting the A.C. and jamming some tunes as a reward for a hard day's work.
Well, that's it for now. I expect you all to start incorporating these terms into your everyday work jargon. I could even use this information on a pop quiz on set in the future, so stay on your toes. Oh, and if any of you make it big someday, I expect some recognition in your acceptance speeches. Class dismissed.
Thanks to Marisa our Intern for sharing her thoughts for us on the Fueld Films Blog.