The Film Industry

Set Rules & Terms

Studio Workers

The technicians, craftsmen and studio personnel – the small army of workers behind the scenes – during the filming of MGM’s ‘The Next Voice You Hear’, (in USA). (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

I have gone undercover for you guys to get an insider’s perspective on the language on set. Not as an actress, but as a member of the crew behind the camera.

American Sets are different than German and Austrian sets. First of all because of the different terms you use in English and German.

Here are some ground rules and terms that are useful when being on set:

“Do you have PC?” means “Do you have Petty Cash”, which is the money you get from the production in advance to pay possible purchases for the shoot during production.

A walkie talkie is also called a “radio”.

If you need to talk to your co-workers or need an info that will lead to a longer answer tell the person to switch to channel 2 to not piss of all the other people listening to channel 1. Channel 1 is the production team, Channel 2 any kind of infos, Channel 3 Transportation (shuttles, etc.)

Usually at a production you have the following trucks with their different names:

  • MoHo: Motor Home, where the production coordinator is sitting and doing all the paperwork.
  • Production Truck: Stuff like tables, chairs, director’s chairs, tents, sand bags, coolers, ice and water bottles and sodas and of course the walkies are usually in here. That’s also the job of the PAs to unload and wrap. Setting up and wrapping Video Village (where the clients and director are sitting and watching the scene from the monitor) is just one of the joyous tasks a PA has to do.
  • Electrics Truck: as a PA, don’t even think of helping them. In America everything follows certain rules. While you might have helped out the electrician guy on a German or Austrian set, here there are plenty more to do the job and the production’s insurance probably won’t cover you falling off a ladder or being electrocuted by an Arri. So don’t…
  • Grip Truck: While the Electrics Truck carries the lights and everything that is electric the grip truck contains the stands, tripods and flags you need for setting up the lights.
  • Wardrobe Truck: carries the wardrobe for the actors
  • Crafty: This is your best friend. There is a buffet of delicious healthy and not-so-healthy food all day.
  • Catering: This is another truck with food. Mostly for breakfast and lunch. These guys are really cooking food, while the crafty truck is merely preparing and setting up snacks. Sometimes PAs have to help set up lunch tables and tents.

“Copy that” – If you have a walkie you might get directed to doing some work through the walkie. To answer you have understood everything you will say – “Copy that” (Don’t forget to push on the button before talking in the walkie 🙂

“Where is your 20?” is an odd saying and means where are you right now.

“10-1” is “I am just letting you know I am going to the restroom.” 10 – means restroom, -1 means peeing, 2-means you want to dump something bigger and -3 is diarhea.

“It’s a wrap everybody.” is a saying that is announced after everything has been shot at that day. Don’t ever shout it out loud if your not the 1st AD on set and you don’t mean it. You will get into a lot of trouble!

 

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Categories: The Film Industry