Glossary of Technical Terms

Film & TV

(Film-making) Important principle when shooting a scene between two characters (or a character and an object) which states that the camera (the viewpoint of the audience) must remain on one side of an imaginary line between the characters. This is to ensure that the audience understands (and can follow) the spatial relationship between the characters. Cutting to a close-up must not break the rule to prevent the audience getting confused. 

(USA) To '86' something means to strike it, remove it, clear it, put it away etc. 
The origin of the term is not clear - it has been in use since the 1920s, and does not relate to flim-making. It could be rhyming slang for 'nix', or could relate to a specific bar in Lower Manhattan where during Prohibition, corrupt police would call the bar manager to send the customers through the exit at 86 Bedford Street, while they'd come through the Pamela Court entrance. 
Wikipedia entry

(Film-making) Named after legendary film production manager Abner Singer, this refers to the penultimate shot for the day. Mr Singer was very clear with his crew that there was one more shot to go after the next one, enabling them to start preparing to clear the set and strike equipment. Although the Abby Singer Shot now usually refers to the end of a shooting day, it can also refer to a given location, especially on a tight TV shooting schedule. 
Abby Singer Shot Meaning & History

A car / van / bus / other vehicle that takes part in a stunt during a film / TV shoot. See also PICTURE CAR.

Stands for Automated Dialogue Replacement. Also known as "looping" this is the post-production process on a film / TV shoot where actors re-record their lines after original filming, either because the original production sound was not up to standard or due to external factors (aircraft noise in a period piece) which weren't noticed at the time of filming.

Photographic lens which captures a wide angle image, and squeezes it horizontally so it fits onto a standard piece of film. A similar lens is used in the cinema to re-stretch the image to fill a wide cinema screen. 

(Film/Photo) The adjustable hole through which light passes between the lens and the photographic film or digital sensor in a camera. A wider aperture lets more light through, a narrow aperture lets less light through. The same function as the IRIS of the eye (known as the pupil). 

Apple Boxes from Udengo A small strong wooden box used as a temporary step or to lift an item (or actor) up to make it visible. Named after the standard-sized fruit packing crate. Used in the motion picture industry.
More about Apple Boxes

(Manufacturer) German/US manufacturer of film lighting and cameras (Arriflex). Founded in 1917. Previously, Arri made a range of lighting desks (including Imagine, Impulse, Mirage, Microlux) which were early versions of desks now produced by ETC. ETC took over the lighting control side of Arri in 1995.
ARRI website

The area on a flim studio property where temporary sets can be built for film or tv projects. Some larger studios (e.g. Universal Studios Hollywood, Warner Bros, Paramount) have permanent backlot sets which are widely used (and re-dressed) for a host of different projects, in addition to space for temporary constructions. 

Term used on film sets for the assistant to the Gaffer (the head electrician). Some larger productions have a Best Boy Electric (who is the first assistant to the Gaffer) and Best Boy Grip (the first assistant to the Key Grip - in charge of lighting and rigging). 

A small role in a play, television production or film.

2000W open-faced flood lamp used in film / TV lighting. So-called because of it's yellow/gold paint finish. See also REDHEAD.

Boom Arm (Doughty Engineering) 1) Vertical scaffolding pole (usually 48mm diameter) on which horizontal boom arms (also known as sidearms or de-rig arms) can be mounted, carrying lanterns. Often used behind wings for side-lighting etc. Booms have a base plate (known as a TANK TRAP) or boom stand at the bottom and are tied off to the grid or fly floor at the top (not always necessary for short booms). Booms can also be fixed to the rear of the proscenium arch (Pros. Boom) or hanging from the ends of lighting bars. Sometimes known in the US as a LIGHT TREE. A light tree mounted upstage of a Tormentor is known as a Torm Tree. A boom used in the wings for dance lighting is sometimes known as a BALLET BOOM (which consists of 3 lanterns on each boom, at shin height, waist height, and head height, known as SHINS, MIDS and HEADS). 
2) An arm mounted on a microphone stand.
3) A long lightweight support for a directional microphone used to capture dialogue in TV/Film production. 
Boom Arms - Doughty Engineering (UK)

1) Diffuse light that has been reflected from the stage, walls, cyclorama etc.
2) 'Bounce' is sometimes used for a flat (non-curved) cyclorama. Strictly, a bounce is a white or light blue cloth onto which light is bounced to backlight another cloth. A bounce doesn't need to be seamless, whereas a cyclorama should be.
3) Film/TV: A large piece of white material / board which is used to bounce and diffuse light towards actors on a film/tv set. 
4) Describes the fast in/out movement of 'bouncing' flown house tabs, traditionally used during curtain calls. This can also apply to the fast blackout/lights up cues that happen at curtain calls. When taking curtain calls, the Stage Manager would instruct the head flyman 'On the Bounce Please' for all calls prior to the final call, which was always 'Hand over Hand', i.e. slowly.
5) This facility was available on many multitrack tape machines. Describes the mixing down of multiple sounds from different tracks onto one track, hence freeing up the other tracks to be re-used. It allowed many sounds to be recorded onto one tape. The term now refers to the digital equivalent - taking multiple audio tracks and mixing them together at their set levels onto a single (pair of) tracks. 

(FIlm-making) Also known as BOUNCE BOARD. A large piece of white (or silver) solid material (often wood, cardboard or polystyrene) which is used to reflect a light source onto actors. Commercial reflectors are also available which have the same function (available in white, silver, grey, gold colours).

1) (especially TV and Film) Jargon for a replacement lamp.
2) The glass part of a lamp, also known as the ENVELOPE.
See also GLOBE, LAMP.

C Clamp (ETC) US equivalent of the UK Hook Clamp. Requires a spanner/wrench to tighten. Known as a PARROT CLAMP in the US film business.

Calumet 2.6m C-Stand Also known as a Grip Stand. The C Stand is a 3 legged heavy duty stand used for holding lighting accessories on a film set. C Stands are not typically used for luminaires - instead they hold reflectors and flags to cut off and reflect light. However, they can be used to support smaller (e.g. LED) light sources. While normal C Stands can't be folded, they do nest and can be stored ready to use in the corner of a studio or stage. 
The C stands for Century Lighting, who made a range of film & theatre lighting equipment (later becoming Century Strand and then Strand Lighting). 

An appearance in a small role in a play, television programme or film by a well-known performer. Celebrities sometimes take cameo roles in projects for their friends, or as a mark of respect to the creative team.

Television equivalent of the Technical Rehearsal, where actors rehearse their scenes for the camera / lighting teams to make changes and to ensure the camera operators can cover everything as required. 

Way of defining the left / right of a scene / stage from the point of view of a video camera pointing at the stage from the auditorium, or just the left / right of a scene as seen by the camera facing it. 

Acronym for Computer Generated Imagery. Any images or special effects sequence in a film / video / multimedia presentation which is created in computer software such as After Effects, or any motion graphics or special effects compositing software. 

Clapperboard This is a board with a hinged wooden top section which is painted with a chevron pattern, and has space to write in a TAKE number and a SHOT number. The board is held in front of the camera at the beginning of a take (when the camera starts rolling before the director calls ACTION), and the top section is brought down so the chevron patterns meet, and produce a CLAP sound. This is used to synchronise the picture and sound for that take (as the two are recorded separately) and enables the editor to identify the shot and take number (the CLAPPER BOY or GIRL also speaks the shot and take number before the clap).

The use of colour filters to compensate for the different colour temperatures of different light sources. Important in lighting for TV and film.

A measure of the 'warmth' or 'coolness' of light sources and colours. Measured in degrees Kelvin. A higher colour temperature light source will appear whiter (colder). The human brain automatically compensates for different colour temperatures - a film or video camera cannot, and thus what we see as white may appear to have a blue or green tint when no colour correction is used for video. Most video cameras have a 'White Balance' control to make colour temperature adjustments, to ensure white looks white on camera.
Daylight is approximately 5600°K, Tungsten Halogen is approx. 3200°K and standard incandescent lamps are 2800°K. Many discharge light sources are in use in modern theatrical productions using discharge followspots or moving lights - colour correction filters are used to balance the colour temperatures.

Film / TV production term referring to the minimum number of shots required to capture the required action in a particular scene. 

Lighting Industry Forum code which identifies the (original) recommended usage of different lamp types. CP coded lamps are for Film, Television and Photographic studio use and have a colour temperature of 3200°K. See also A1, T, P2, K.

(Film Industry) The part of the film production unit which provides meals, snacks and drinks to the crew and cast. Sometimes there are two Craft service companies, one for the lead actors & crew, and one for extras (on a large shoot). 
Some large events also use craft service companies, but they're usually called 'catering' rather than 'craft'.

Colour Temperature Orange - a colour filter to correct a cold discharge or LED light source to be more warm, or on a film set to convert a cold daylight source to match other tungsten (warm) light sources.
See also CTB.

An instruction to camera and sound recordists to stop filming / recording, also informing actors and other crew that they can stop performing and relax (or reset for another take). 

(Film-making) Call by the Assistant Director on a film set that the full rehearsal is complete. This is followed by a break for last-minute adjustments before the actual shoot takes place. 

1) Diffusion is used on film sets to soften the harsh light either from the sun or from high-power film set lighting. It consists of a translucent fire-retardant cloth mounted in a frame, which can be attached to a crane or onto a C Stand. 
2) See FROST.

(Film) Digital Imaging Technician. Head of the team that works with the cinematographer / director of photography to use the best workflow, camera settings, signal path etc to ensure the best image quality and integrity on a film set. 

1) A small wheeled platform used to move heavy items. (E.g. a piano dolly).
2) (Film-making) A wheeled camera trolley running on tracks used to enable a pre-planned fluid horizontal camera movement. A shot filmed in such a way is known as a Dolly Shot.

(Film-making) Director of Photography. Also known as the Cinematographer. Responsible for the capturing of visuals for the film, working with the Director and translating their requirements into suitable equipment / technology to capture the images, along with their own artistic input. DOPs such as Roger Deakins bring their own visual style to a project, whilst capturing the images the Director has created. 

The analogue process of copying a sound or video from one source to another for backup purposes, or for mass distribution.

(Film-Making) A camera shot where the horizon is tilted so it is not parallel with the bottom of the frame. Designed to unsettle the audience or to indicate that something is not right. Originated in German Expressionist cinema, the name is believed to derive from 'Deutsch' (German for German). 
Also known as German Angle, Dutch Shot, Dutch Tilt, Oblique Angle. 

2) Exciter Lamp - the lamp in a film projector that shines through the optical soundtrack and enables it to be read by a light sensor.

A member of the cast with no speaking role who provides background interest in a crowd scene.
Term originally derived from the film industry.

In Film & TV production, it's important that actors can concentrate on their performance - cameras capture much more detail than can be seen by an audience in theatre. If a crew member is in the actors' eye line, and is looking at the actor, the actor can be distracted, and possibly taken out of the moment (especially if the crew member is grinning or laughing). 
Many high profile actors have had crew members removed from the set for being in their eye line. If you are on set, do not stare at the actors while they are working, unless you're far enough away, or they're facing in a different direction. 

A false frontage for a piece of stage scenery, typically depicting a building. 
Term used in the film industry for a backlot street setting which is just front walls supported by a scaffolding framework to hold them up. 

(especially TV and Film lighting) Light which fills the shadows that key light creates.

1) Apple video editing software (originally developed by Macromedia). 
2) The final (finished) edit of a film / TV programme, which the director / producer has approved. 

Named after Jack Foley, a sound technician at Universal Studios Hollywood, Foley is the art of creating and recording sounds that mimic actor or prop moves on a movie screen. During the filming on set, only dialogue is recorded. The detailed recording and building up of layered soundtracks takes place in post-production. A Foley Artist is skilled in the creation of sounds such as footsteps, fight sounds, clothes rustling etc.
The recording of Foley sounds takes place on a Foley Stage, where there are hundreds of different props and many different floor surfaces (e.g. pebbled beach, wooden floor, carpet, vinyl) so that footsteps match the on-screen environment exactly.
It's important to note that many foley sounds are created with a huge range of items which do not match what's actually on screen. Various combinations of vegetables being smashed together are very suitable for fight scenes - do not consider using meat (it's a waste). Phone directories  Horses clopping on the street are definitely best done with hollowed-out coconut halves. Snapping sticks of celery works well for broken bones. Bamboo sticks being quickly moved through the air past the microphone can produce a whoosh of a projectile being thrown (or an arrow) and leather gloves work well as flapping wings. Cellophane or certain types of candy wrapper can be used as crackling fire. 

An non-SI unit of illuminance (or light) used in film, TV and architectural lighting industries. The unit is defined as the amount of illumination the inside surface of a 1-foot radius sphere would be receiving if there were a uniform point source of one candela in the exact center of the sphere. Alternatively, it can be defined as the illuminance on a 1-square foot surface of which there is a uniformly distributed flux of one lumen. This can be thought of as the amount of light that actually falls on a given surface. The foot-candle is equal to one lumen per square foot.
The SI derived unit of illuminance is the lux. One footcandle is equal to approximately 10.764 lux, although in the lighting industry, typically this is approximated as 1 footcandle being equal to 10 lux.
In the lighting industry, footcandles are a common unit of measurement used to calculate adequate lighting levels of workspaces in buildings or outdoor spaces. Footcandles are also commonly used in the museum and gallery fields, where lighting levels must be carefully controlled to conserve light-sensitive objects such as prints, photographs, and paintings, the colors of which fade when exposed to bright light for a lengthy period.

A measurement of the luminance (brightness) of an image on a projection screen, used in the motion picture industry. The unit is also used in military applications for the brightness of illuminated display panels. 
The unit is defined as 0.3183 candela per square foot (or 3.426 candela per square metre, a unit sometimes known as nit). 
The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) recommended a screen luminance of 16 foot-lamberts for a commercial movie theater / cinema, when measured 'open gate' (with no film in an analogue projector). This equates to 55 candela per square metre (55 nits). 
What Are Foot-Lamberts at

Frames per second. The UK standard is 24 fps for film, and 25 fps for television. In the USA, the TV standard is 30 fps.

1) A technique for allowing a character to 'step out' of a scene and reveal something to the audience, while the rest of the action freezes. The name comes from a film technique where the images is frozen in time.
2) A single frozen image in a film which replaces the usual progression of movement, usually to emphasise a dramatic moment, sometimes accompanied by a fade to blackout.

Film/Video term. A card or metal panel fitted to an adjustable arm used to stop unwanted light from directly entering the lens of a camera.

Initialism of Fade to Black - a gradual reduction in lighting levels towards blackout.
Originally a shorthand in TV/film scriptwriting, where it refers to a fadeout in camera rather than a lighting effect.  

Ubiquitous sticky cloth tape. Most common widths are .5 inch for marking out areas and 2 inch (usually black) for everything else. Used for temporarily securing almost anything. Should not be used on coiled cables or equipment. Originally known as Gaffer's Tape, from the Gaffer (Master Electrician) on a film set. Also known as Duct Tape.
See also PVC Tape.

A bridge-like structure at high level inside a building designed to carry equipment (e.g. lighting equipment, cameras etc). Sometimes equipped with a walkway for access. 

1) (especially TV and Film) Jargon for a replacement lamp.
2) The glass part of a lamp.
3) The Globe Theatre in London.
See also BUBBLE, LAMP.

Gobos through Haze (Oliver at the Northcott Theatre, UK; Lighting Design by Jon Primrose, Set & costume design by Becky Hawkins) ( A thin metal plate etched to produce a design which can then be projected by a profile spotlight. There are hundreds of gobo designs available - common examples are breakup (foliage), windows and scenic (neon signs, city scapes etc.). The image can be used soft focus to add texture, rather than a defined image. A number of composite gobos in different coloured lanterns can, with careful focusing, produce a coloured image (e.g. a stained glass window). Greater detail can be achieved using a glass gobo, which consists of a thin layer of aluminium etched onto glass.

Origin of the term 'gobo'
There are a few possible origins for the word GOBO but nothing definitive yet.
Although it's tempting to believe it's an acronym or abbreviation for 'Graphical Optical BlackOut' or 'Goes Before Objective lens' this is not true, as the term is also used in connection with sound recording (a microphone gobo blocks sound from adjacent sources) and also in the film industry, where it's a piece of equipment to block light from the lens or an area. .
It could be short for Go-Between, as the gobo goes between the lamp and the lens.
Material from 1967 uses the word 'MASK', and no mention is made of 'GOBO', so we can assume the word wasn't in widespread use then for stage lighting. In the US TV/Film industry, a Gobo is a piece of material used to mask or block light, placed in front of a lantern (also known as a SHADOW MASK) and a Cookie (short for Cucaloris(from the Greek kukaloris: the breaking up of light)) is the same as a UK Gobo. PATTERN and TEMPLATE can also refer to a gobo in some areas.
In the film industry, the word gobo can be used as a verb (e.g. 'We need to gobo off that light so the camera doesn't see it').
Gobos are available in a wide range of sizes, for use in different profile lanterns and other projectors (e.g. moving lights). 
A size - 100mm outside diameter / 75mm image diameter
B size - 86mm / 64.5mm
D size - 53mm outside diameter
M size - 66mm / 48mm
E size - 37.5mm / 28mm
Moving lights use a range of different gobo sizes, so check the manufacturers website. 
Lighting Effects

Refers to a Gramophone, originally the only way of playing back sound effects from vinyl or shellac record discs. A Grams cue, then, is a cue to play back recorded sound. Some TV productions (particularly shows that are shot "as live" or broadcast live) list GRAMS OPERATOR in the credits. The term is rarely used in theatre nowadays.

The use of a solid bright colour behind a performer during a film/tv shoot, so that the colour can be replaced by a separately shot scene before being broadcast or shown. Green or Blue screens are most often used. Green is slightly better for modern digital cameras. The screen must be evenly lit with as few shadows as possible. 

(US) Member of stage crew responsible for moving items of scenery during the show. Usually wears black. A group of grips is a GRIP CREW. This term is borrowed from the film/tv industry, where a grip handles and sets up camera equipment and lighting.

A Hollywood is a double-sided timber flat with a much wider edge than normal. Hollywood flats are mainly used in the film/tv business. The thicker edge gives the flat extra stability, can be easily clamped to adjacent flats, and looks more like a real wall on camera. Also known as a TV Flat or a Studio Flat. 
Flats - Types and Methods

(Film Industry) A scene or sequence has finished being filmed. (e.g. "Thanks everybody - that scene is in the can now"). Refers to a roll of film being taken out of a movie camera and put into a metal film can to be taken for processing.

The ingénue is a stock character in literature, film, and a role type in the theatre; generally a girl or a young woman who is endearingly innocent and wholesome. Ingénue may also refer to a new young female actor or one typecast in such roles.

IFB is monitoring and cueing system used in live events, television, filmmaking, video production, and radio broadcast for one-way communication from the director or assistant director to on-air talent or a remote location. It is also known as Interrupt for Broadcast. The foldback normally contains a feed of production audio, which can then be interrupted by the director microphone to give specific information or instructions.

The most significant role in a play or film that is performed by a young actor.

Kensington Gore street sign ( 2006) A brand of fake blood used on stage and in movies, named after a London street. It was manufactured by a retired British pharmacist, John Tynegate, during the 1960s and 1970s, in the village of Abbotsbury, Dorset. Many varieties of blood, having various degrees of viscosity, shades and textures were available. Since Tynegate's death, the name "Kensington Gore" has become a generic term for stage blood. Kensington Gore was used in the film The Shining. Director Stanley Kubrick had several thousand gallons of it gushing out of an opening elevator during the elevator door scene.

(Esp. TV & Film lighting) The dominant light source/direction in a naturalistic lighting state. In a sunny drawing room, the key light would be through the window, for a naturalistic exterior scene the direction of the key light could change as the sun progressed across the sky. See FILL LIGHT.

A function available on data projectors which allows the selective stretching of the horizontal component of the projected image so that it appears to be rectangular when projected from an angle above or below the projection surface. More advanced (expensive) projectors can also keystone the vertical component of the image, and some recent projectors can automatically detect the projection surface and can automatically keystone the image to fit.
Before data projectors, special lenses were available for slide or film projectors to apply the keystone effect.
The term comes from the wedge-shape of the stone placed at the top of an arch to spread the load of the wall above equally down both sides of the arch.

A light bulb is used in domestic situations (i.e. in the home). In the industry, we only use LAMPS. As the saying goes, 'Bulbs is what you put in the ground'.
Example usage: 'The lamp in the DSC fresnel has blown'. In the TV/Film world, a lamp is called a BUBBLE or GLOBE.

A film or tv shoot away from a flim studio building. 

(Film-making) The last shot of the day, signalling that once this shot is completed, the next shot will be 'out of a glass' (i.e. in the bar after the shoot has wrapped for the day). 

(Film-Making) A wide shot taking in all of the action in a scene, for the full duration of the scene. Close-ups (or other shot types) can be cut into the master shot to focus on particular moments. Getting a good master shot is an important step in ensuring you have all of the coverage you need. 

A technique from the film special effects and video game industry which enables a video artist or choreographer to 'capture' the movements of an actor or dancer digitally so that those movements can be reproduced by a virtual actor or dancer that's been computer-generated. 
See also Performance Capture.
DanceTech Motion Capture page

Film - (Shortened to MOCO) System enabling repeatable pre-programmed camera moves so that complex visual effects sequences can be shot accurately. Multiple 'passes' are made of the same scene with identical camera movements but different lighting / different performers depending on the effect required. The Motion Control rig ensures the camera movement is identical in terms of speed and location every time. 

Philips MSD250/2 Lamp Metal-Halide discharge lamp, generally used in 150, 250, 400, 575 and 1,200 watt ratings. Found in film/tv lighting, and in some intelligent / moving lights.

A portable audio reel-to-reel tape recorder, manufactured by Kudelski in Switzerland. The analogue Nagra was the industry standard for radio & TV reporters and for film location sound. The company now manufacture digital recorders to the same rugged build quality.
Nagra website

(ND) Lighting filter which reduces the brightness/intensity of a light source without changing its colour value. Used extensively in TV/film for reducing the intensity of discharge lamps or natural light sources (e.g. windows). Rarely used in theatre as dimmers fulfil a similar function (although as incandescent lamps are dimmed, the colour temperature gets warmer).

Compact light fitting designed to mount just above (or just beside) a film/stills camera lens for two reasons: firstly to create a characteristic glint in the eye of the subject of the photograph/film (it's known as the Eye Light), secondly to flatten out any lines/wrinkles in the face of the subject. The Obie Light is named after the actor Merle Oberon (known to friends as 'Obie'). It was first used by her husband, cinematographer Lucien Ballard, in the 1940s to make lines and shadows disappear from her face which were due to scarring following a car accident.
The Obie Light is normally heavily diffused.
Also known as a CATCH LIGHT
Mole Richardson Obie Light in the Backstage Heritage Collection archive


1) A control on a mixing desk which allows the operator to position the channel's output in the final stereo image (L - R).
2) A horizontal (side-side) movement of a camera or a moving light. Short for Panorama. See also TILT.

PAR64 lamp lenses ( Short for Parabolic Aluminised Reflector lamp. A lamp containing a filament, reflector and lens in one sealed unit. Used in PARCANs to produce a high intensity narrow beam of light. Par lamps are available in many different sizes and powers. Par sizes available include 16, 36, 38, 56 and 64. (The number refers to the diameter of the lens, in eighths of an inch, so a PAR64 lamp is 8 inches across).
The most common for theatre use are Par 64s rated at 1000W (1kW), although other wattages are available.
When the lamp was first introduced, in the 1960s, it was only available from the USA in 110V versions. In the UK, Parcans were always used in pairs, via a series splitter. 110V Par lamps are still sometimes used in large UK venues or for touring due to the increased light output. Because the current is greater, the lower voltage lamps have smaller thicker filaments which give a more focussed beam than the thinner 240V filaments.
In the film business, PAR lamps are known as 'bird's eyes' after the alleged inventor Clarence Birdseye.

Technique used in special-effects films to transfer the facial performance of an actor on a motion capture stage onto a digitally-created avatar (creature / character). A head-worn mini-camera captures a static image of the actors' face regardless of their head movements, and their key-features (eyes, mouth) are recorded and transferred direct to the digital avatar. 
The technique was pioneered on James Cameron's Avatar and has been used on a range of projects since. 
See also MOTION CAPTURE which concentrates only on body movements, and the facial expressions are animated afterwards. 

A car / van / bus / other vehicle that appears in front of the camera during a film / TV shoot. Many picture cars have become famous (e.g. K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider, the DeLorean from Back to the Future). See also ACTION VEHICLE.

(TV) A single episode of a newly written TV series, produced to see if there is any interest from a TV network in buying the concept and investing in a full series. 

Abbreviation for Programme-Making and Special Events. Licence required in the UK to use radio mics, walkie talkes etc of certain types for TV/Film/Events production.
UK Ofcom Page

A mechanical means whereby pan (horizontal rotation), tilt (up and down) and focus of a lantern may be adjusted by a pole from floor level. Commonly used in TV & Film studios where fast resetting of positions is necessary.

(Film-making) A Point-Of-View shot, with the camera in the same place as one of the actors' faces, so other actors are looking into the camera. The camera acts as the eyes of one of the characters. 

Term for realistic sounding audio which is synthesised in real time on demand by software. This could be triggered by physical actions on a set or by movement sensors or infrared camera feeds, or at random. Seen as a possible future for sound design for theatre & film, and to increase the variety of audio present in gaming applications.

(Film/TV) A sequence featuring a projection of a pre-recorded scene as its' background. Commonly used for car driving sequences (where the car and actors are on a soundstage, and the background of the road and other cars is projected on a screen behind the car). This technique enables high-quality audio to be recorded, and the actors to concentrate on their performance, and is far cheaper than taking a film crew out on the road. 

1) Slides are used to project still archive images or textures. Libraries of slides contain images for every occasion. Kodak Carousel projectors are the industry standard, and some types can be linked to a controller to perform complex dissolves and fades from one projector to another. More powerful projectors are available using very intense discharge sources and large format glass slides to produce a massive image.
2) Lighting effects : Moving cloud / rain / fire effects can be achieved using a powerful lantern known as an effects projector with a motorised glass disc painted with the required effect. An objective lens is required in front of the disc to focus the image. See Effects.
3) Gobos : See GOBO.
4) Film : 35mm film projection is common in many theatres as a device for keeping the building open to the public when productions are in preparation. 16mm film projection is used in smaller venues. Film projection can, of course, also be integrated into a performance.
5) Data: Data or Video projection is now being used to bring video and computer images to the large screen. Data projectors are considerably cheaper and more versatile than other methods, and the quality is improving all of the time. Images can be front projected or back/rear projected depending on the amount of space and the effect required. For example, if actors are required to walk in front of the screen and not have the image appearing on them, back projection is the only answer.
6) Front Projection: The projector(s) are in front of the projection surface or screen, between the screen and the audience. This results in a bright image, but means that actors standing directly in front of the screen may cast a shadow on the screen (and have projection on their faces). 
7) Rear Projection / Back Projection: The projector is behind the projection surface. This means the projection image will be reversed from the point of view of the audience (all data projectors have a setting to flip or mirror the image). A standard white cloth or sheet can be used, but the image will be dimmer than it would be from the front, and (most importantly) the projector lens will be visible as a bright hot spot in the projection. To avoid this, a custom-made back projection screen should be used. Companies such as Rosco sell back projection (BP) material (a translucent plastic) which results in a very bright and clear image, and which prevents the visibility of a projection hot spot. The BP material can be stapled to a frame to form a screen of the exact size needed for the event. 

1) (Film-making) To change the focal distance setting on a camera so that an object either comes into sharp focus, or is defocussed sometimes so that something else a different distance away, comes into sharp focus. Where necessary, this activity is carried out by a Focus Puller. 
2) (Acting) To behave in such a way that the audiences' attention is pulled away from another performer. 

(Manufacturer) Range of TV/Film lanterns marketed by Strand Lighting.
Quartzcolor products at Strand Lighting archive

Realism in theatre describes a decision by the creative team to present the audience with an accurate depiction of the real world, rather than a stylized interpretation. Examples are Kitchen sink realism, an English cultural movement in the 1950s and 1960s that concentrated on contemporary social realism, or Poetic realism, a film movement in France in the 1930s that used heightened aestheticism. In the visual arts the term denotes any approach that depicts what the eye can see, such as in American realism, a turn of the 20th century idea in arts, Classical Realism, an artistic movement in late 20th Century that valued beauty and artistic skill.

800W open-faced adjustable flood lamp used in film / TV lighting. So-called because of it's red paint finish. See also BLONDE.

(Film) The background sound in a particular filming location, which should be recorded to enable the sound editors to blend dialogue recordings together.
Room tone should be avoided with some audio recordings which are to be integrated with other existing recordings, or are to be treated to sound as though they're outdoors or in a different environment. Sound Studios are designed to have a 'dead' acoustic so only the voice is recorded, not the environment. 

An animation or visual effects technique where a frame of existing film footage is projected onto a device which allows it to be traced. The resulting drawing can then be rephotographed or incorporated into the film in some other way. The process is very labour-intensive as many hundreds of frames of film are needed for even relatively short sequences. 
Wikipedia entry

In Film produciton, Rushes were the filmed shots completed on a particular day which were developed and 'rushed' from the lab so that the director and crew could check back the work they'd done. Also known as DAILIES. 
Nowadays, as digital production has completely replaced the old ways, rushes can be reviewed instantly on set, and sequences can be reshot as necessary. Although some directors still use film stock to capture performances, the material can still be reviewed using digital methods instantly (although rushes are still important to check the physical quality of the filmed material)

(Film) The script of a film or TV production, written for the screen.  
A TV script is sometimes known as a Teleplay. 
50 Best Screenplays To Read and Download

A range of terms are used to describe how a particular filmed image looks. This terminology is also sometimes used for followspot size descriptions. 

Extreme Wide Shot (ELS / EWS)
Wide Shot (WS) / Long Shot (LS)
Full Shot (FS) - Full body is seen (from top of head to feet).
Medium Long Shot (MLS) / Medium Wide Shot (MWS)
Medium Shot (MS)
Medium Close Up (MCU)
Close Up (CU)
Extreme Close Up (ECU)

See the link below for visuals showing the types of shots. 
Careers In Film -Types of Shots

Film-making term for a closely-related group of shots which are all part of the same idea. There could, for example, be a number of shots of the same action from different distances / directions, which are edited together. 

(Actor audition term) When auditioning on-camera, or when recording a piece of footage, an actor may be asked to Slate their name and their agent's name, or to Slate the scene being recorded. This term is from the film industry when a piece of slate with chalk writing on it to indicate the actor being shot was filmed for a few frames before the actor, to enable later identification.

A Smoke Machine or Fogger is an electrically powered unit which produces clouds of white non-toxic fog (available in different flavours/smells) by the vaporisation of mineral oil. It is specially designed for theatre & film use.
A Haze machine, Hazer or Diffusion Fogger is used to produce an atmospheric haze, rather than clouds of smoke, and is used by many lighting designers to reveal airborne light beams.
The first smoke machines came onto the market in the late 1970s.
It's essential to know whether your venue uses SMOKE DETECTORS on the fire alarm system. See that entry for more information.
Fog / Smoke / Haze On Stage

(Film-making) Slang for a Tripod, used to support a camera. 

A performer who is not part of the main cast, who appears on stage only to perform a particular physical sequence (or stunt) in place of the lead actor. The term originates in film production, however, stunt performers are used in some demanding shows such as Spider-Man Turn off the Dark. 
See also DOUBLE. 

(Film Industry) A supporting artist is sometimes known as an 'Extra' - someone employed to fill out the background of a shot to bring the scene to life. For a crowd scene, the bulk of the supporting artists are employed without needing to see their faces, but performers who are closer to the camera, or who have to interact with more high-profile performers, are cast more carefully. 

A brief summary of the plot of a play, film, opera etc.

1) (Cinema) An early motion picture with sound. 

1) Up and down (vertical) movement of a lantern, camera or moving light. The lantern is held in the wanted position by using a tilt knob, often on the right hand side of the lantern.The Tilt Knob needs to be undone to enable the lantern to be tilted up or down. The lantern should always be held in position when undoing the tilt knob, to prevent it dropping. See also PAN.
2) Feature on pinball machines which detects excessive movement of the case. Only related to theatre in connection with the musical 'Tommy'.

1) Wheeled platform on which a scene or part of a scene is built to facilitate scene changing. (e.g. "This scene happens on the balcony truck"). Also known as WAGON.
2) (TV/film - verb) To move a wheeled camera sideways.
3) (Theatre - verb) To move a wheeled platform onto or off stage. (e.g. 'Let's truck the cottage scene in a the end of the second verse')

Film-making term for a camera shot which features two people in the frame. They do not have to be next to each other or facing each other, and there can be others in the distant background, but there should be only two main subjects of the composition. 

Term from the film industry for a base where the material being shot can be previewed and reviewed on monitor screens. Often now used for the base of the AV / projection department.
Sometimes called the less-alliterative VIDEO WORLD, where it usually applies to the AV / projection department of a live event. 

A short impressionistic scene that focuses on one moment or gives an acute impression of a character, idea, setting, or object. This type of scene is more common in recent postmodern theatre, where less emphasis is placed on adhering to the conventions of theatrical structure and story development. Vignettes have been particularly influenced by contemporary notions of a scene as shown in film, video and television scripting.

(Film Lighting) Array of Fay lights (14 x 14) used on a crane or cherry-picker to provide a high intensity long-throw light source for night shoots. Invented by cinematographer David Watkin, and named Wendy at his suggestion. 

(Film-making) A piece of scenery (e.g. a wall in a room) which can be removed to allow performers or equipment to pass through it, either during scene changes or as part of a sequence. In film production, sets have to be flexible to allow crew members and large cameras to film in areas formerly occupied by scenery, especially if it's a small room set. 
Some theatrical productions use the same techniques to enable illusions or sudden appearances / disappearances, or to enable crew to do scene changes in seemingly closed locations. 

1) Rigging term: To wrap a beam or truss with a sling, or the short sling used for so doing, e.g. a 'truss wrap' is used to wrap a truss.
2) In film and television production, the end of a day's work or session, OR the end of the project for either an individual performer, or everyone. For example 'That's a wrap for John Brown! Thanks for your work John'. Often followed by a Wrap Party. This event should be attended by as many people involved in the project / show, so should not happen while the crew are clearing up / getting out. 
Submitted by Chris Higgs