If it’s your first time on a set fresh out of film school or your first foray into acting as an extra, here’s a few terms you may not have come across before as you get accustomed to the wild and wonderful world of on-set production.
Back to One – Usually said by the assistant director after a cut if a retake is required. This especially applies to background actors and extras instructing them to return to their mark at the beginning of the scene and begin the action again.
Walla/Rhubarb – A sound effect that imitates the murmur of background actors in a crowd scene. To keep the scene and audio as authentic as possible the director may request extras to create ambient crowd noise. In earlier days just the word ‘walla’ was used to record the sound (rhubarb in the UK), however walla actors now utilize real words and conversations to mimic speech patterns and languages.
AD – the term used to refer to the Assistant Director
Sticks – Tripods
Blocking – A rehearsal of the scene with the actors when the camera isn’t rolling. The movements have to be choreographed in relation to the camera with the actors, crew, equipment, vehicles and camera moving in perfect sync.
Crossing – A term used to inform a camera operator that you are walking in front of the lens so that they don’t include you in their shot frame.
Hot Set – A closed set that is currently in use for filming or is left unattended and needs to be left as is. Crew must exercise extreme caution near to or inside a hot set to ensure no items are moved or touched unless instructed.
Dead Cat – a fuzzy noise reduction cover (that looks like a dead animal) placed over the boom mic – especially in outdoor shoots – to reduce wind noise.
Striking – A warning to the crew when a light is turned on while on the set. It sounds a warning to everyone not to look directly into the light when it’s switched on.
10-200 – A bathroom break.