Wednesday, December 31, 2014

C: 2009 Glossary draft

This site is a work in progress, and will be a part of an expanded web site under the home address of www:// Any additions, corrections, ideas, guest material are greatly appreciated. Please also review the material located along the right hand column, then contact me at No funds are collected or directly solicited by this site. Google Ads are used to expand Google search and tools reach. Web assistance and a web master are also being sought. Thank you in advance. -Art Lynch



CAA - Creative Artists Agency, one of the larger talent and talent management agencies in the country.

CALLBACK - Any follow-up interview or audition.

CALL SHEET - A sheet containing the cast and crew call times for a specific day's shooting. Scene numbers, the expected day's total pages, locations, and production needs are also included. Usually equipment and location details are also listed. The call sheet serves as a method of assuring that the basic details of each shoot are met in advance and proper preparation are made. It is often important to collect call sheets and reference them in preparation and research for future work.

CALL TIME - The actual time an actor is due on the set. Also known as “call”, this usually includes details on where to be, when to be there and to whom to report.

CAMERA CAR - The camera car is used in filming moving shots, usually of actors while they are in vehicles. A camera is mounted to a car or truck to film other moving objects or vehicles.

CAMERA CREW - With the D.P. (Director of Photography) as its chief, this team consists of the camera operator, the first assistant camera operator (focus puller), the second assistant camera operator (film loader and clap stick clapper) and the dolly grip.

CAMERA OPERATOR - The member of the camera crew who actually looks through the lens during a take. Responsible for panning and tilting and keeping the action within the frame.

CAMERA REHEARSAL - A rehearsal in television to determine what cameras to position where and when, and plan ahead what shots to capture for the final product.

CAMERA RIGHT - A direction used to refer to or tall actors to move to the right of the camera, from the perspective of the camera and camera operator. This is the opposite of stage right. Camera left is to move or refer to the left direction from the viewpoint of the camera.
Camera right is also referred to as right frame. Camera left is left frame. Stage right is camera left and stage left is camera right. Stage directions are given from the perspective of the actor, while camera references are given from the perspective of the camera/viewer.

CAPITALIZATION BUDGET - in theater this is the budget to determine the amount of money that will be needed up to the opening day of the show, including all aspects of production and marketing.

CASTING AGENT- There is no such thing. In the words of acting coach Scott Rogers "Casting Agent: to the best of my knowledge, there is not now nor has there ever been, any legitimate job in the entertainment industry known as a “casting agent” (although I have heard it used in many scams and by many neophytes trying to sound knowledgeable). When people use this term, their ignorance is showing as they’re probably referring to a casting director or possibly an agent. On rare occasions you may find an agent who has an exclusive deal with an advertising agency to cast a commercial, too. If you do, you can call them a Casting Agent, if you really want to..."

CASTING DIRECTOR - The producer's representative responsible for choosing performers for consideration by the producer or director. The job of a casting director is to weed through the forest of potential talent to portray a role and find the handful that come closest to meeting the vision of the producer or director. In some cases casting directors also negotiate with named actors or working actors who are offered the role without an audition, find alternatives should negotiations fall through and help keep the talent part of the ledger within budget and under control. Casting directors do not work for actors. They are management.

CASTING SOCIETY OF AMERICA - CSA is a voluntary association of professional casting directors, formed to assist in bringing positive ad uniform standards and practices to and industry soiled by the ‘casting couch’ image. To place CSA after their name on their business cards members must qualify to join through sponsorship by existing members and actual major casting credits. Since participation is voluntary, there is no guarantee that even members abide by their own guidelines, however membership is a first test in determining how legitimate and professional a casting director is. As a disclaimer, be aware that many working casting directors who are legitimate choose not to become members of CSA. The CSA web site also contains information concerning the industry for actors and those interested in careers in acting, casting or production.

CASTNET - One of the two most reputable and used Internet casting submission services. This subscription-based service allows actors, agents, managers and other individuals to submit talent for specific roles or general consideration directly over the Internet. Unlike The Link, actors may submit their own work (The Link requires photos and support materials be submitted by a union franchised agent). The service also provides scripts, interviews, on-line chats and other services to assist actors and other talent in learning more about the field and networking. For extra fees additional photos, résumé’s, audio, video and even personalized web pages may be linked to the service, which also allows casting directors and others to search for talent from their end. This is a well-financed service, used by an increasing number of younger casting directors in every entertainment field. The caution is that since the Breakdown Services are close to monopoly in status and that service is attached to Castnet’s competitor, The Link, there is a significant portion of the industry that cannot be reached through Castnet. How serious is the company’s investment in the industry? They occupy much of the first floor of the office building in which AFTRA and Equity have their west coast offices, and where SAG’s national offices are located. The office is also close to the offices of Billboard, Hollywood Reporter and Variety.

CATTLE CALL – A casting session similar to a modeling “look see”, where large numbers of actors are called to the set or a casting location at a single time, were casting professionals select or weed out groups until they eventually find what they are looking for. As a rule union actors must be paid if they are at a cattle call for more than an hour. However this contract only kicks in if there is an actual project being cast. If the cattle call is for general talent files or recruitment, actors may face long lines or waits. An alternative definition that is also used is the the actual time you are due on the set, however most actors identify with the first definition while the second may be referred to as “call time.” The most interesting “cattle call” story come from Billie Crystal, who tells of the time on the set of “City Slickers” when the director took one look at the calf selected to “play” Norman, and decided it was too ugly. The calf was of the same breed as the herd, but that did not matter. One by one calves of every breed they could find were paraded to the directors trailer until one was “cast” as Norman, the cow Crystal helps bring into the world and later adopts as a pet.

CATERER - Responsible for breakfast, lunch and dinner on a set. Different from Craft Services, which provides food and drink on the actual set available all crew working hours.

CATV - Community Antenna Television, also known as cable television. Transmission over cable television networks or local use fall under different contracts than broadcast networks or local stations, and traditionally pay talent at a negotiated lower rate. As of this writing courts have determined that transmission over satellite and over the air on the  “side band” or “multi-plex” signals using high definition television falls under the cable contracts and compensation, despite being “broadcast”.

CD - Compact Disc. A 4.5 inch plastic disc containing digital audio recording, and sometimes additional data, played back optically on a laser equip disc player.

CD-G - Compact Disc with Graphics. In addition to audio, this format captures and allows the end user to view graphics such as text or still images. Also known as “enhanced CD.” Sometimes used in storyboarding, this technology is not uses as often as CD-RW or other computer based formats.

CD-R- CD Recordable - A home or small studio recordable CD, used for demonstration audiotapes in the voice over and music industries. Also used to copy music, voice and other audio files for achieve or future playback.

CD-RW - A format where CD’s can be recorded on more than once. This format is also used for transfer of CD computer data and programs. DVD-RW is used for video.

CD-ROM - Compact Disc Read Only Memory. A compact disk that holds text, music and images. One of the principal new venues for interactive video games as well as for full motion video films. Acting for CD-ROM's is a new arena for actors. SAG 's Interactive Media Contract covers salaries and working conditions for this new medium.

CG - Computer Graphic or Computer Generated image. This refers to the words or images added either during recording or on “post” editing. The most common use of CG’s is in commercial or news programming and in rolling ‘credits”. CG space refers to leaving room on the visual image to superimpose graphics at a later date or in “post”.

CHALKS - Chalks are another name for ‘marks’ or anything used to remind the actor where to stand at a specific time in the sequence of a scene. Chalk, tape or objects are used during rehearsal. They may or may not be in place while the cameras are rolling.

CHANGES - Outfits worn while performing. The number of times a performer must change wardrobe for different shots and/or character portrayals.

CHARACTER DESCRIPTION - a description of the character usually found at the beginning of the script or just before the characters first appearance. Character descriptions are guidelines subject to the creative interpretation of talent and of the director.

CHARISMA - An exceptional quality or magnetic power an individual has that allows them to stand out in a crown or draw followers to that person’s cause, talent or career; a characteristic that often leads to stardom on stage and screen.

CHEAT - The actor's adjustment of body position away from what might be absolutely "natural" in order to accommodate the camera; can also mean looking in a different place from where the other actor actually is. Also used to “open up” the performance so that the camera or audience may best read the emotions or intentions of the scene or shot. In its historic and simplest definition, “cheating” refers to the tendency for action upstage to grab attention from downstage action, and a series of techniques used to compensate and direct the audience where the direction feels their attention should be.

CHECK AUTHORIZATION FORM - The CHF is a standard form used by production offices for actors whose contracts require, or who choose, to have the check sent to their agent, who then deducts the commission or fees and issues the actors an agency check. This is not required, but is a common accounting practice with working actors.

CHECKING THE GATE! - A verbal command to check the lens on the camera; if the lens is  “OK” the cast & crew will move on to the next scene or shot.

CHIEF ELECTRICIAN - Heads the electrician crew; also called the Gaffer.

CINEMATOGRAPHER - Director of Photography (DP) or in larger productions the DP’s boss. The cinematographer is hired to add their vision or to execute the creative vision of the producer and director onto film or video tape (where the same job is often referred to as videographer, shooter or shootist). All camera operators and camera crew are responsible to the DP. Cinematography is an art form that simply means images with film, as opposed to photography, which means capturing images with photographs.

CLAP BOARDS- Clap Boards are most commonly known as “slates” because at one time they were made of blackboard slate. These boards are used to mark significant scene information for the camera, to allow for the director and editor to find specific takes or camera “rolls”. The most common information includes the production name, production number, date, scene number and letter; take number and letter and the director’s name. Additional information can be added. Today clapboards are mostly digital, including a synchronized digital time code read out with the camera and any audio recording device. The clapboard itself is on top of the slate and makes a ‘clapping” sound at the start of each camera toll. The clapping of the board provides an audio and visual marker for both sound synchronization and film or video editing. In motion picture work the audio is usually recorded on a separate device from the camera, often called a Naugra  (after the manufacturer of audio equipment most popular within the traditional film industry). DAT equipment and digital sound stripping on film and video are replacing Naugra style multi-track tape in most production.

CLEAN ENTRANCE- a clean entrance or exit means moving in a natural fashion completely in or out of the frame of the shot before breaking character or changing the way you walk. It is one of many marks of professional talent.

CLOSE-UP (CU) - Camera term for tight shot of shoulders and face A close u (CU) is usually head an shoulders, or inclusive of not much more then the actor’s face, or whatever item is specified in the script. Extreme Close Up (ECU).

COLD READING - Unrehearsed reading of a scene, usually at an audition.

COMMERCIAL - A video or film used to advertise a product or service, generally with a “call for action” which request or requires the consumer to buy, do, support or believe something. Lengths vary, but the most common durations are one minute, 30 seconds, 15 seconds and 10 second. In union production each version is considered a separate commercial. Compensation may vary by market or length of time used on the “air”. Contact SAG or AFTRA with any questions or for details.

COMMERCIAL COMPOSITE - A commercial composites is an expanded version of a “headshot” containing more than one image. Usually two sided, the commercial composite usually features four to six images of an actor in different characters. It is important that real emotions be present, instead of simply changing clothing and props. Composites go in and out of popularity in the commercial production industry. A rule of thumb is that the primary shot should be “friendly”.

COMMISSION - Percentage of a performer's earnings paid to agents or managers for services rendered.

COMPOSITE - A series of photos on one sheet representing an actor's different looks.

CONFLICT - Status of being paid for services in a commercial for one advertiser, thereby contractually preventing performing ser ices in a commercial for a competitor.

CONTINUITY – Being able to match scenes, keeping action, props and all aspects of the physical identical for the purposes of editing or matching shots. Continuity also refers to the keeping of detailed notes and records for use by the director and the film editor. The work of the continuity crew is vital to the final editing and production process.  Continuity is also the British term for the Script Supervisor.

CONTROL ROOM - the room where all technical is run in theater or television, including decisions on lighting, camera movement, deciding what is goes on tape or film and in the case of live broadcast, what goes over the air.

COPY - The script for a commercial or voice over. The actual words in a commercial script or any body of print advertising.

CORPORATION - A form of business structure that offers protection for individuals involved and their personal assets from most liabilities and lawsuits. Creates a new entity capable of doing business in its own name. Owners are free from most personal liability for the obligations of the business. Artist as individuals are often encouraged to form personal corporations or limited corporations to protect their own interests and assets.

CO-STAR - On screen credit below the star or series regulars. When a performer has a major roll, their agent negotiates the “billing” or positions the performer places in the credits (in fact not all actors under the Theatrical Film and Television Contract are guaranteed on screen credit, so it is vital an agent negotiate proper screen credit). Regardless of on-screen credits, “co-star” can be used in professional resumes and credits for major roles performed.

COST PLUS - An approach to business that allows the actual production costs to be paid for by the studio, distribution company or record label. This approach allows the entity paying the costs considerable creative control and a larger interest in any potential profits.

COVERAGE - multiple cameras shooting the same scene or additional shots taken of a scene to cover all possible editing uses. For example close up reaction shots may be needed, long shot establishing shots, two shots, close up of action with props, point of view shots or static shots to be used as inserts. All camera shots other than the master shot; coverage might include two-shots and close-ups.

CRAFT SERVICES - On-set beverage and snack table. Different from the Caterer, as while it sometimes may provide breakfast food or sandwiches, craft services is primarily to provide snacks, access to energy foods and beverages for the cast and crew during filming (all work hours for the crew). Catering provides three full, in most cases, hot meals a day and must meet union contract requirements.

CRANE SHOT - A camera shot raised over or above the set or the action.

CRAWL - Usually the end credits in a film or TV shot which "crawl" up the screen.

CREDITS - Opening names in a film or TV show; also refers to a one's performance experience listed on a resume or in a program

CREW - anyone who works behind the scenes on a production. Crew includes, but is not limited to, camera operators, lighting technicians, make-up and wardrobe, sound technicians, drivers and production assistants.

CROSS - Movement or blocking from one point to another. Often done for emphasis or to balance the stage or camera frame.

CUE - Hand signal by the Stage Manager. A cue can also be a spoken word of physical movement which indicates when a performer is to say a line or taken an action.

CUT - The verbal cue for the action of the scene to stop. At no time, may an actor call, "cut!" This is usually the sole responsibility of the director or of someone delegated the authority by the director.

CUTAWAY - A short scene between two shots of the same person, showing something other than that person. Cutaway may also refer to a set specifically designed with a portion of a structure or vehicle missing to allow for the unobstructed filming of the scene.


This site is a work in progress, and will be a part of an expanded web site under the home address of www:// Any additions, corrections, ideas, guest material are greatly appreciated. Please also review the material located along the right hand column, then contact me at No funds are collected or directly solicited by this site. Google Ads are used to expand Google search and tools reach. Web assistance and a web master are also being sought. Thank you in advance. -Art Lynch

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