Film Slang 101: the Terms You Should Know when Working on Set

Do you speak jive? Film jive that is.

One of the first things you'll notice while working on a film set is that everyone there speaks a language that you may not be familiar with. They use slang for just about everything, from tripods to bathroom breaks, and learning what these terms are is vital to communicating on set. Cinematographer Morgan Cooper shares a handful of popular slang terms in the video below to get you started: 

Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaOyWiwML-8

Here are the terms Cooper uses in the video:

  • "C-47": clothespin
  • "Sticks": tripod
  • "Apple": apple box
  • "Furnie": furniture blanket
  • "10-1" and "10-2": bathroom break

If those five have whetted your appetite to learn more, Evan Luzi shares a bunch of others over at The Black and Blue. And if that's not enough, go work on a film set, because just like with other languages, immersion is probably the fastest way to learn how to speak film slang.     

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2 Comments

My favorite in-joke term with one of my local cabals of filmmakers is "Mel Gibson"

Mel Gibson was a dirtbag, ergo, a sand bag.

Also a Silk Salad. Silk, lettuce (green scrim), tomato (double red).

July 31, 2016 at 1:04AM

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Max Sjoberg
AC / Gaffer / Aerial Cinematographer
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We had a local film saying "Trent" it basically covers anything to do with prep, organisation, research, having the location organised beforehand. Knowing who you spoke to and letting all know everything. Example being "If the Trent's not right, everything that follows won't be either." "The Trent has to be right." "You have to have a good Trent on your film" It was named after a production manager who was the best organised person you could meet. Everything was alays smooth when he was onboard, no surprises or let downs.

August 31, 2016 at 7:02AM, Edited August 31, 7:02AM

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Rick Idak
videographer
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