Friday, August 7, 2009

Vocabulary: Brought to You by the Letter P

Any production or industry terms that begin with the letter P that you feel should be added, or corrections, expansions or examples of any of the term listed below, please send to Thank you in advance.

P.A. - Production Assistant. The grunt workers and apprentices of the industry, PA’s assist the producers, director, assistant directors and crew as needed. They work in all aspects of the industry, from the office to locations, studios to assisting location mangers. The PA also refers to the “Performers Alliance”, a political group within the Screen Actors Guild in the 1990’s.

PAL- Phase Alternation by Line. A common composite color transmission system used in most of Europe, Africa and elsewhere. Competes with NTSC, the North American Video Standard.

PAN - A camera shot which sweeps from side-to-side.

PARTNERSHIP - Two or more people agree to combine resources into a business. Limited Partnerships limit the scope of the business agreement and the responsibilities of those involved.

PAYMASTER - An independent talent payment service acting as the employer of record. This title may also apply to the individual with whom the responsibility of an accurate and on time payroll is placed.

PENSION & HEALTH PAYMENT - An additional amount of money paid by the employer to cover employee benefits under union contract

PER DIEM - Fee paid by producer on location shoots to compensate performer for expenditures for meals not provided by the producer.

PERFORMANCE CAPTURE – The use of an actor to create the actions or to act our movements and scenes which are then digitized and used as the basis of a “computer generated” character or object. Also known as “Movement Capture” or “Motion Capture”. Actors are championing the term “performance capture” because it implies an actor’s creative control over character through movement and performance. Producers go for the more technical “motion capture” because it implies that the real art and creation is not in the movements caught on the computer, but in the work done by technicians on characters who never existed in the “real world.”

PRE-PRODUCTION - The phase of filmmaking before shooting begins; includes writing, scouting locations, budgeting, and casting, hiring crews, ordering equipment and creating a shooting schedule.

PERSONAL MANAGER - A manager who assists artist or projects by suggesting or mandating specifics in image, training and marketing. Managers also may secure employment for artist, except where prohibited by state law. A William Morris Agency talent agent described personal managers as ‘human day-timers’ who ‘keep on top of their artists’ schedules, images and practices’.

PHOTO DOUBLE - An actor cast to perform on camera in place of another.

PICK UP - Starting a scene from a place other than the beginning.

PICTURE'S UP! - Warning that the sequence of cues to shoot a scene is about to begin.

PILOT- a film or video project designed to sell a television series for further production. PILOT SEASON, while in readily year round, traditionally held auditions in the fall and later winter and shot or lensed the actual programs in the early Spring for display at programming conventions or “shopping around” to the networks.

PINKS - usually the color paper used for the first set of revisions of a shooting script.

PITCH - Sometimes called ‘pitching ideas’ or ‘concept pitch’, in television and film the pitch involves telling the highpoint of the story line and focusing on its selling points to find financing or distribution for a project. Part of the marketing process, the pitch usually involves those who have the original idea and whatever creative team is assembled early on.

PIXEL - A single element of digital projection, or the tiniest point of a TV, scanner or print image.

PLAYERS GUIDE - A directory of talent similar to the Academy Players Directory, only specializing in east coast talent based out of or near New York City. This publication is a partnership between the Spotlight (a directory of United Kingdom Talent) and the Breakdown Services.

POLLSTAR - A trade magazine used to promote and provide tour information for the live and recording artist industries. The magazine provides tour schedules, concert grosses and additional information about major artist, performers and groups.

POST-PRODUCTION - The phase of filmmaking that begins after the film has been shot. Includes scoring, sound and picture editing, titling, dubbing, and releasing.

POV SHOT - Point-of-View shot; camera angle from the perspective of one actor.

POWER OF ATTORNEY- a legal document allowing someone to act as a manager, agent, attorney or decision maker for another person. This is most often used to allow manager, agents or attorneys to handle funds directly and to sign agreements for talent.

PRESS AGENT- The person or company hired to promote an artists career, specific product or business. Press Agents are also utilized to provide damage control or protect an artist right to privacy.

PRESS JUNKET- the media interview and photo opportunity events arranged by Press Agents to promote and artist, project or company. Usually these involve travel to multiple markets or meetings in locations attractive for press participation.

PRESS KITS- a marketing tool assembled for presentation to members of the media for purposes of promotion of an artist, project or company. In the recording industry such kits usually contain at least two black and white glossy photos, a color ‘album cover’ glossy photo, a biography, select reviews, a sample (CD, video, CD-ROM, DVD, or demo tape) and other pertinent content. DVD’s and DVD-ROMs are rapidly becoming the currency of choice for press kit promotion, containing audio, video, print and other resources easily accessible by the media on their computers.

PRINCIPAL - A performer with lines.

"PRINT!" - A call from the director at the end of a take that that particular take is good enough be printed.

PROCESS STAGE - the soundstage where special effects are filmed against a blue or green screen. In the pre-computer age a process stage would be where projections occurred behind the action to show moving backgrounds or special sequences without endangering the actors.

PRODUCER – The person who assembles all of the business and creative elements of a production, sometimes the primary source of funds or the individual who assembles the funds needed to produce a play, film, television, or music project. The Line Producer is the person responsible for the day-to-day decision-making on a production. As creative or decision-making powers are enhanced writers or other talent may grow into the title producer, either by merit or contractual negotiation. Beware the title ‘producer’ as in today’s marketplace the use of the title has become epidemic in scale including many who have minimal contribution to the project.

PRODUCTION COMPANY - The company actually making the film or television show.

PRODUCTION DESIGNER – Responsible for designing everything you see on film that does not move (meaning the actors).

PROJECT- The product to be marketed, bought and sold is most often described as the project.

PROMOTIONAL AND TOUR SUPPORT - Funds negotiated from the motion picture, television, recording or distribution company to assist in paying for promotional tours, events or tools.

PROPS - Any objects used by actors in a scene.

PSA - Public Service Announcement.

PUBLICITY – Unpaid advertising.

PUBLICIST – Responsible for publicizing actors, directors, writers and film or theater projects on a per project or long-term basis (see Press Agent).

PUNCH-UP - Taking a script and working on improving it or to make it more marketable is referred to as punching-up a script.

Any production or industry terms that begin with the letter P that you feel should be added, or corrections, expansions or examples of any of the term listed below, please send to Thank you in advance.

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