Acronyms and Glossary



    The second-last shot of the day.

    Accident Report

    If you have an accident or sustained personal injury while working on production, an accident report must be completed by production. Sometimes additional reports may be required depending on the union or guild involved or if the Workers' Compensation needs to get involved. Check out Local 849's current Accident Report.


    Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists - The Union that represents motion picture actors in Canada. Check out their website at

    ACTRA Report

    A report that is filled in by Assistant Directors, usually the 4th AD (TAD), with the start and finish times of the actors. A timesheet for actors.


    Additional Dialogue Recording - Production may need dialogue to be re-recorded for a variety of reasons. ADR is done in a studio by the Actor and a Re-recording Mixer during post-production.


    Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative - "The Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative (AFCOOP) is a non-profit, community organization dedicated to supporting the production and presentation of independent films and moving image based work in a collaborative, learning environment." For more information on AFCOOP and their many programs, like Film 5, check out their website at


    Atlantic International Film Festival - now known as FIN - Atlantic International Film Festival. Check out their website at


    Another term for wild sound. Could also be used for smoke and fog effects.


    Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers - a trade association that negotiates 58 industry-wide collective bargaining agreements on behalf of hundreds of motion picture and television producers. Check out their website at

    Apple Box

    A wooden box belonging to the Grip team but used by all crew as an all-purpose object. The usual size (full size) is 9 x 12 x 18 inches, but they also come in half sizes (half apple), quarter sizes (quarter apple), and smaller (a pancake). For more information and visuals, you can check out the Wikipedia Page


    A term used by the production design team to refer to pre-existing buildings on a location that will be included in the set on that location.

    Atmosphere (ATMO)

    Refers to 3 separate things on a film set:

    ATMO (atmosphere) refers to the smoke and fog effects created by the Special Effects department.

    Atmosphere is another term for ambient wild sound, also know as ambience.

    Sometimes atmosphere is used to describe background actors.



    Set elements and details that are not in the foreground and middle-ground of the frame.

    Background Performer

    A performer who gives life to the background of scenes. Also known as a background actor, background player, or simply as background.


    An electronic device that sends high voltage to lighting equipment. An example would be the Kino Flo 4Bank ballast:

    Barn Door

    A shutter that is fixed to a light to control the amount of light shining out from the source. For a visual, here is a wikipedia page on barn doors:

    Base Camp

    The off-set area with trailers where production prepares the actors for set. This includes the actor's trailers, the AD trailer, Costume's trailer, Hair and Makeup trailers, and most likely a Transport trailer.


    A theatrical term for a base, also known as a bar or pipe, from which lighting equipment and scenery are hung.

    Battery Box

    A container to hold fresh (hot) and used (old or dead) batteries for walkies. It is looked after by the AD department and is usually kept by the Craft table. Sometimes it looks like a small cooler.

    Black Wrap

    A thin sheet of black metal foil that can be wrapped around a light to block or partially block illumination.

    Block Shooting

    The camera is positioned and several scenes are shot together from the one camera position. The camera is then moved and those same scenes are all shot from the new camera angle.

    Block shooting also refers to shooting several scenes from one side, and then "turning around" and shooting several scenes from the other side. This can save time with lighting and set decorating by not having to re-light or re-dec angles scene after scene.


    The Director and the Actors plan their movements for the scene while the rest of the crew observes and plans for the scene within their own departments.


    The shooting schedule when it is laid out as a calendar.

    Body Mic

    Another term for a lavalier microphone; a small microphone that is placed on the body of the Actor. Colloquially a body mic is known as a wire.


    A microphone on a long pole held above the Actor’s head, commonly considered the best way to record dialogue. Boom might refer to the boom pole, or the boom mic.

    Here is a wikipedia article with information on boom mics, poles, and the boom operators that operate them!

    Bounce Board

    A white styrofoam board used by grips to reflect direct light.


    Changes made to a new article (costumes, props, set decoration, or the sets themselves) to make it appear aged; also known as aging or distressing.

    Burning A Location

    When production damages a location (anything from property damage to noise late at night) and the owners decide to never allow a film crew to return. Burnt!


    Call Sheet

    A document that outlines a daily plan of work to be accomplished. It includes a crew list, call times, locations, scene strips, cast members that will be performing that day or are in for fittings. Basically a bible for that shoot day.

    Here's a link to an example call sheet:

    Call Time

    The time of day at which the crew must be ready to work. There is a general crew call, but many workers have a pre-call, so it's best to double check your call time on the call sheet.

    Camera Reports

    Made out by the 3rd AC. There is one report for each roll of film, to record all the details of what is on that camera roll for film processing. When working in a digital format, the camera report is done by the 2nd AC or the Camera Trainee and details what is on each card. That report is then sent to the DMT so they can know what is on each card or camera roll.

    Camera Right, Camera Left

    Directions given by the Camera Operator to technicians for moving items on the floor. These directions are given from the camera’s point of view.

    Cast & Crew

    A large payroll company for creative industries.


    Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety - "CCOHS has an established history of collaborating with many Canadian and international partners. Projects with leading workplace health and safety organizations in Canada have expanded the quality and quantity of resources and programs available to workers and employers across the country."


    Centre for Art Tapes - "Founded in 1979 The Centre for Art Tapes is a not for profit artist-run, charitable, organization that facilitates and supports artists at all levels working with electronic media including video, audio, and new media"


    Canadian Film Centre - "The CFC is home to a range of intensive, hands-on programs in film, television, screen acting, music, and digital/immersive media that empower, shape and advance opportunities for Canadian creators and entrepreneurs working in screen-based industries"

    Cheque Requisition

    A form signed if you wish production to make out a cheque directly to a supplier of goods or services to production.


    Cultural Human Resources Council - "The Cultural Human Resources Council (CHRC) brings together cultural workers and employers to address training, career development and other human resource issues"


    Canadian Labour Congress - "The Canadian Labour Congress, or CLC is a national trade union centre, the central labour body in Canada to which most Canadian labour unions are affiliated"


    Canadian Media Producers Association - "The Canadian Media Producers Association is Canada’s trade association for independent producers. They represent hundreds of companies engaged in the development, production and distribution of English-language content for TV, feature film and digital media channels"

    Contact List

    A general list of service providers used by the production office.


    It is the principle of making sure that all details in a film or TV show are consistent from shot to shot and from scene to scene. A Script Supervisor is responsible for the continuity of the film, but each department must also look after their own continuity. Hair, make up, props, set decoration, and costumes are departments that are constantly reviewing continuity as it pertains to their own department. Good continuity maintains the flow of the story and the look of the picture.


    A term used when acknowledging a message over a walkie.

    Cover Set

    A set ready to shoot in case production calls for it.


    However many different shots it will take to "cover" a scene, making it editable.


    Equipment to raise the camera and the camera operator up high.

    Crew List

    A production office list of all crew and their contact information.

    Crew Park

    The designated parking area for the crew. This should be listed on the call sheet and the map.


    The term called out when crossing in front of the camera. Avoid crossing when someone is looking through the camera.



    Labour or equipment hired for one day only. Dailies is also a term for rushes; developed film of the previous day’s shoot returned for viewing.

    Deal Memo

    Individual employment contract that all crew members must sign with production. A typical deal memo package includes policies, procedures, and other pertinent information related to the production, production company, and/or studio involved. Though these packages are often lengthy, it is recommended to fully read through them to understand your contract.


    The Directors Guild of Canada - The Guild that represents directors, documentary directors, assistant directors, production managers & coordinators and office staff, location managers, sound and picture editors, production designers and art directors, accountants, and all their assistants. DGC - Atlantic is our local branch.

    Ditty Bag

    A bag or container used to hold tools on set, usually belonging to the camera department.


    Heavy, wheeled carriage that moves, raises and lowers the camera; occasionally referred to as the “buggy”. There are different kinds of dollies, but the one most often used on union sets are from the brand Chapman-Leonard -

    DPR (Daily Production Report)

    The report of exactly what happened each day in terms of scenes shot, time taken, equipment used, people traveled, etc. It gives a cost for the day. The DPR is usually completed by the 4th AD (TAD).

    DTR (Daily Time Report)

    Daily Time Report - Each technician makes out a DTR of their hours, being sure to include when they took lunch and if they incurred any meal penalty. In some departments, the Second keeps all the DTRs. At the end of the day, the DTRs are either given to the AD department physically or digitally.


    EP Canada

    Entertainment Partners Canada - a large payroll company for creative industries.


    Where the actors are looking during the scene. Crew must not position themselves in the actor’s eyeline because it can be distracting to the actor.


    Fall Arrest Regulations

    The rules for working safely at heights. Here's a link to CCOHS's info on Fall Protection -

    Film Stock

    The broad term for different types of film. Film stock comes in various sizes and types, specific to different formats, exposures, and cameras.


    Film Prince Edward Island - Prince Edward Island’s film-focused cultural hub offering space, equipment and resources to local and visiting filmmakers and productions.

    FIN : Atlantic International Film Festival

    Atlantic Canada’s largest Film Festival.


    Final adjustments made by all departments before camera rolls. Most often Hair, Make-Up, and Costumes are called in for finals and asked if they are "good for finals" by the ADs.

    Fire In The Hole

    A call used before a weapon or explosive is activated.

    Fire Watch

    Personnel, most likely someone from the Locations department, assigned to watch the equipment and set when the crew is at lunch, and during off times.


    Called out when a big light is about to be switched on. Synonymous with "sparking".


    Black fabric stretched across various sized frames used by the Grips to create shadows.

    For more information and a photo, check out the wikipedia article:

    Flash or Flashing

    The call given just before shooting a flash photo on set.


    A scenic element manufactured by the Set Construction Department. A flat usually resembles a piece of wall.

    For more information and a photo, here's the wikipedia article:

    Flat Rate

    Some crew members work at a daily rate rather than an hourly rate. A daily rate is called a "flat" rate because it does not change depending on how many hours are worked.


    What the camera sees--the edges of the shot. A camera operator will call "frame" once they are ready for the director or AD to call action. This means that their frame is set. Make sure you are not in the frame during the shot!



    The opening in the analog cinema camera's body through which the image is exposed to light and photographed. Hence the terms, “Clean Gate”, “Hair in the Gate”, or "Check the Gate". The term "Check the Gate" is still used today with digital cinema cameras to make sure the last take was rolled on and recorded to the memory card. When "Check the Gate" is called, the 1st AC will play a couple of second of playback to make sure the take was captured.


    A plastic film sheet of polycarbonate clipped in front of a light to change the colour of the light. Gels come in many colours.


    In order to complete a shot, the production may request the shooting crew work into their scheduled meal break. If agreed, this is called Grace. When Grace is used a meal penalty is not charged and the meal time is moved forward. The details of Grace, and how many times it can be used during a week or block, are defined in the Collective Agreement for each show. Grace can last for a maximum of 12 minutes.



    To be worn and hooked up by all technicians working at heights.


    May refer to a costume or prop belonging to various characters, or other key story elements, i.e.: a “hero” car. "Hero" can be used to differentiate between different versions of a prop or costume, with the "hero" prop or costume being the real deal, or the higher quality version that will be featured.


    Dark place on the set for the boom operator to place a microphone or An empty space in frame needing set dressing.

    Home Zone

    An area within which the producer is not required to pay travel time. The Home Zone is detailed in the Standard Agreement under Article 19.1.

    Access the Standard Agreement here:

    Hot Set

    A dressed set that must not be touched. This is because the scenes to be filmed there have not yet been completed and need to be maintained for continuity. As a good practice, do not move or touch any decoration or props on a set without asking a Set Dec or Props crew member, or being explicitly told to!



    International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, its Territories, and Canada - A Union that represents professional entertainment industry workers.


    The Internet Movie Database - a database to search movies, television show, performers, and crew members.


    Small safety vests that can be worn under costumes and inflate when they hit the water.



    A term that describes a brace for a piece of scenery, usually on a flat.

    Joy Cable

    A 3 pin electrical cable used specifically in the film industry.



    The head of each department team. In some departments like Hair and Make Up, "key" might refer to the 1st Assistant.


    A personal supply of tools and/or equipment, specific to each department.



    A lighting fixture.

    Lamp Operator

    Another name for a member of the Lighting/Electric Department.

    Last Person Through

    Also called "Last Man Through". The lunch period is deemed to begin when the last crew member "through" has received their lunch. This is especially observed during a half-hour lunch.

    Lavalier or Lavs

    Another term for a wireless microphone, detailed in the entry Body Mic.


    "A camera lens is an optical lens or assembly of lenses used in conjunction with a camera body and mechanism to make images of objects either on photographic film or on other media capable of storing an image chemically or electronically".  The size of the lens determines the size and depth of the shot.


    Some job categories require you to have a copy of licenses and/or other certifications on file at the Union office before you can go out on a job. Examples include: Drivers’ License, Standard First Aid, Food Handlers Course, Hair License, Makeup Course, WHMIS, Firearms Acquisition Certificate, and Fall Arrest.

    Live Fire

    Called out just before a weapon is to be discharged on set. In Nova Scotia, live ammunition is never used on set.


    A set that is not in a studio. When on location, be sure to be respectful to all surrounding people or businesses. Don't burn the location!

    Lock It Up

    "Lock it Up" is a cue to everyone to stay still and silent, "holding" their work, preparing for a take. The studio light goes on, or the street is “locked up”, and the crew settle into their places. When a set is locked, do not open or close any doors, move any equipment, or make any sounds. When a street is "locked up", traffic control will stop traffic to make sure a car's noise or passing through frame does not ruin the take.

    Loss & Damage Report (L&D)

    A Loss and Damage Report is a daily report detailing any lost or damaged equipment to be given to production.



    A light-proof case carrying the film stock which attaches to the camera.

    Main Unit

    The principle shooting unit.


    Once the actors have gone through blocking and have planned their moves, their positions are marked, with tape or a hard mark, so that they always stand in the same place. Each actor has a different colour for their marks so they can find them easily. The shot can then be framed and the focus puller will be able to keep them in focus.

    Meal Penalty

    A monetary penalty paid by the company for infringement on a meal period. This is outlined in the Standard Agreement.


    A shot without sound. The acronym stands for "Minus Optical Strip", which on analog film, would contain the sound.


    Movie of the Week - a type of feature that is made for television.


    NBFC (N.B. Film Co-op)

    New Brunswick Filmmakers’ Cooperative - a non-profit, charitable organization that provides broad-ranging support (workshops/training, creative support and mentoring, grant writing assistance, equipment, human resources, socials, informal writer/director/actor labs). It also presents diverse, quality films and videos through its annual provincial Film Festival, The Silver Wave Film Festival.

    NFB (National Film Board)

    National Film Board - The National Film Board of Canada is Canada's public film and digital media producer and distributor. An agency of the Government of Canada, the NFB produces and distributes documentary films, animation, web documentaries, and alternative dramas.


    Newfoundland Independent Filmmakers Cooperative - NIFCO is a film cooperative that provides television and film producers with the full range of post production services while also supporting local filmmakers through programs and services.


    Newfoundland and Labrador Film Development Corporation - The Newfoundland and Labrador Film Development Corporation is the province’s film commission. Its mandate is to grow local screen industries through its equity, development, and tax credit programs.

    NSI (National Screen Institute)

    National Screen Institute - "Since 1986, the National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI) has supported creators from across Canada to tell unforgettable stories through industry-informed training and mentoring in film, television and digital media. A visionary network of donors, private and public organizations, board members and staff fuel the National Screen Institute, which is the only national training institute in Western Canada for writers, directors, and producers. Many of Canada’s top creators got their first break at NSI."



    Occupational Health and Safety - Your health and safety in the workplace is protected by Nova Scotia's Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations. We are a key part of Nova Scotia's Workplace Safety and Insurance System. Our staff promote, coordinate, administer, and enforce occupational health and safety.

    One Liner

    A shooting schedule that is sent out to cast and crew members with a "one line" description per scene, detailing the projected shooting schedule for the next block or foreseeable future.



    Production Assistant - An entry level position for the AD team or any other department. A PA's job varies greatly by day, department, and show.

    Page Count

    The "page count" for the day refers to the number of pages of the script we are shooting that day. The script is divided into eighths of a page as a way of measuring individual scene length. You can see how many pages are in a scene on the call sheet, along with the total "page count" for the day.

    PAL (Possession and Acquisition License)

    Sometimes called a FAC, or now named PAL (Possession and Acquisition License), a PAL is a license to carry a weapon. All Gun Wranglers on production must have this license.

    For more information:


    Film Producers Association of Newfoundland & Labrador - The Film Producers Association of Newfoundland [PANL] works to ensure the continued success of independent film and video production in Newfoundland and Labrador.

    Website hasn't been updated since 2016.

    Per Diem

    A daily meal allowance paid to the employee when required.

    Petty Cash

    Money received from production for production expenses either as a cheque or in cash, or as a company issued credit card. Keep it separate from your own money or cards.

    ALWAYS sign a receipt when you receive Petty Cash.

    ALWAYS get a receipt whenever you spend Petty Cash.

    ALWAYS keep a detailed record of how Petty Cash was spent.


    Filling out your "petty cash" is a common task for many departments. If you need a petty cash form, ask the production office or your department head.

    Pick Up Shot

    If the Director is happy with part of a take and does not want to run the whole action again he/she will call for a pick up shot to run only the part of the action still needed. The 2nd AC will write PU on the slate next to the take number.

    Picture Vehicle

    A vehicle that appears on camera and is used by the Picture Vehicles coordinator.


    Production Manager - Production Managers organize the business, finance and employment issues in film and television productions. As a Production Manager, you would be in charge of how the production budget is spent and making sure that everything runs smoothly during filming.


    A short term for post production.

    Pounce Wheel

    A tracing wheel used to aid reproduction of drawings.


    A functioning set element or, in the lighting department, a term used for a light bulb.

    Practical Lamp

    A term used for a light bulb in the lighting department.

    Pre Call

    An earlier call time approved by the PM prior to the Main Unit call. A pre call might also include a breakfast call. This is detailed in the Standard Agreement.


    Work performed in pre-production. Prep days are paid days before the film goes to camera.

    Principle Photography

    Work performed on the Main Unit.


    Time when the Actors are getting dressed or are in makeup and hair, usually at base camp.

    Production Zone

    Additional zone that may be given when shooting away from the Home Zone. All is detailed in the Standard Agreement.


    Anything carried or handled by an actor, or has the potential to be carried or handled by an actor.



      Regie (or Unit)

      A French word that could refer to many things: control room, management, stage management, lighting and sound controls.


      A brief written account of personal, educational, and professional qualifications and experience.

      For resume tips, look at our resume guide.

      Rolling (or Roll Camera)

      Term called by the First AD to tell the camera team to start recording.


      Copies of shots completed the previous day, returned to set for the Director and others to view. Can also be called dailies.


      Safety Cones (or Traffic Cones or Pylons)

      Used to mark out areas for safety. Usually used by the locations department.

      Safety Vests

      Reflective clothing to be worn by all crew directing traffic or very close to traffic.

      Sand Bag

      Heavy black bag used to secure equipment. Used by many departments, but usually grips and locations people.

      Scissor Lift

      Common term for a type of elevated work platform.


      A small, fine wire, screen placed in front of a light to reduce it.

      Script Day (or Story Day)

      The story is divided up into the number of days it takes place over. The script day, or story day, is the day inside the story world. This is not to be confused with Shoot Day. Story day for each scene will be detailed on the call sheet.

      Second Unit

      A shooting unit distinct from the Main Unit, usually filming concurrently. 

      Set Up

      Preparation for a shot.

      Shoot Day

      Each day of the shoot is numbered. If the shoot lasts 45 days, there are 45 shoot days.

      Shooting Schedule

      Plan created by the 1st and 2nd AD for the shooting of a film.

      Shop Steward

      A Union member of the crew, elected by the crew to represent them to production.


      The Director decides how to “cover” a scene. Each new camera angle or lens size is called a “shot”. Traditionally, scenes are covered with a wide shot that establishes place, then tighter shots, such as mediums and close-ups, that take the viewer closer and cover the scene.


      Pocket-sized copies of the scenes to be shot that day with a copy of the Call Sheet attached.


      A diffusion material used to diffuse light. Usually on a frame and placed in front of a light on a C stand.

      Slate (or Board)

      The marker (colloquially known as a clapper) that is shot on film before a take in order to identify that shot for the editor. The slate is clacked shut to ensure synchronization of sound and picture. A timecode slate, or a smart slate, also has the timecode displayed, and a "dummy" slate does not.


      One sentence description of a scene written on a call sheet.

      Smoke Machine

      Equipment used by the special effects department that creates smoke and fog; also called atmosphere or ambience.


      See FIRING. 


      A term used by Sound Mixer to indicate they are recording. When sound was recorded on tape, reel to reel, the tape would have to get up to speed.

      Splinter Unit

      A shooting unit that breaks off from the Main Unit. Sometimes called a "skeleton crew".


      An ACTRA member whos job is to stand in for the actors during technical set up. Often they have a similar complexion and height to the actor they are standing in for.


      The area near set where departments stage their equipment.


      Mobile camera support system mounted on a tension sprung arm for versatility of smooth camera movement.

      Stepping Up, Stepping Down

      To be called out whenever you have to enter or exit the Hair or Make-up trailers. This is so that the Hair or Make Up people can prepare for the vibrations and movement you will make while entering.


      Streaming Video On Demand - A type of film or series that will go straight to streaming or video on demand.

      Sweetening The Frame

      Term used by set dressers to see what more could be added in a frame that will add to the look of the shot.



      The aperture setting that is comparable to the F-Stop on a stills camera.


      Each time a shot is run it is called a “take” and is numbered accordingly. The director may have to run a shot several times until everything involved works successfully.

      Tech Park

      The designated parking area for the on-set technical trucks.

      Time Sheet

      Each technician must complete a timesheet at the end of every week of work. This is called the Weekly Time Sheet. Sometimes one member of the department will complete the Weekly Time Sheets for everyone in the department.


      Another term for “Finals”, specifically referencing costumes, hair, and makeup.


      The rails that the dolly and/or crane with camera travel upon.

      Turn Over

      An alternative call some 1st ADs use instead of "roll camera". Also a term used to tell the focus puller to start recording on the camera.


      The required rest period between the end of one work day and the start of the next work day. Rules surrounding turnaround are detailed in the standard agreement.

      Turning Around (or Reverse)

      Term used when the camera has shot in one direction and is now going to shoot in the opposite direction.


      Unit Manager

      The person responsible for coordinating the many physical needs on set.


      Video Monitor

      The monitors that take BNC inputs from a camera's transmitter to display a shot. If on a two camera shoot, both feeds should be displayed. There are monitors for the Director, DOP, Script Supervisor, Producers monitors, and even monitors for departments like Hair, Make Up, Costumes, Props, and Set Dec. With new technologies, some shows have apps so that anyone with a smart phone or iPad can access the video feed.



      A radio worn and used by most crew members, that allows for quiet communication around the set. There are different channels for different departments, but when in doubt, stay on channel 1.


      A small piece of angled wood used by Grips to level the dolly track, or anything else.


      Writers Guild of Canada - "The Writers Guild of Canada represents more than 2,500 professional English-language screenwriters in Canada, creators of entertainment watched around the world. The WGC celebrates and promotes  its members, from hosting the annual WGC Screenwriting Awards and publishing Canadian Screenwriter magazine, to administering contracts and advising producers on how to engage professional screenwriters. The WGC is the voice for Canadian screenwriters"

      Whaler (or Strong Back)

      An L-shaped piece of wood that joins flats together.


      Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System - All crew members must take the WHMIS course to understand the safe handling of hazardous materials.

      Wild Sound

      Specific sounds recorded on location. The sound team can get wild sounds of different props, background noise, crackling fires, the chopping of vegetables, etc. They can also record wild lines, which are recordings of lines in a scene. Wild sounds and wild lines can be helpful to the Sound Editor in post-production.

      Wild Wall

      A wall of a set which has been built so that it can easily be removed for the camera.

      Window Shot

      The last shot of the day.

      Wiring The Actors

      Another term for placing wireless mics on the actors.


      The end of the work day.




          Zoom Boom

          A common term for a type of elevated work platform.

        IATSE Local 849

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        Phone: 902-425-2739
        Toll-Free: 1-877-425-2741



        1-617 Windmill Road, 2nd Floor
        Dartmouth, Nova Scotia B3B 1B6

        Hours of Operation
        Monday-Friday - 9:00am-5:00pm AT
        Saturday-Sunday - Closed