Filmmakers and the Weird Names They Give Their Gear

We all know film productions have a language all their own, but it can go way further than that on an indie set.

If you've ever been on a film set, you've heard plenty of slang terms for different things, whether they're for pieces of gear or the last shot of the day. But individual crews that work together a lot, namely no-budget or indie ones, can come up with some crazy lingo for the things they do and the stuff they use. One pretty hilarious example of this comes from The Film Look, who have shared the various names they've given everything from their lighting units to step stools in the video below.

Having spent my college years working with a small group of women on a number of shorts, I can definitely relate to this idiosyncratic christening of film gear and duties. Apple boxes were "manzanas," doing good work was "mauling that shit," and a "5-hour shoot" was our funny way of saying something was going to take all f***ing day. (When you're trying to convince a non-filmmaker to help you on a film, it helps to say it'll take less time than it actually will. Also, I had no concept of how long things took. Also, that first thing was a joke—don't mislead people you need help from.)

Though it's important to learn all of the filmmaking terms that are commonly used on-set, like "stingers" (extension cords), "sticks" (tripods), and "juicers" (on-set electricians), it's fun to look at what tightly knit crews call their own stuff. If you're brand new to on-set life, this video by Rob Hawk gives a very basic overview of on-set lingo:

Video is no longer available:

What are some weird slang terms you and your crew have come up with for different things on set? Let us know down below!     

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1 Comment

"That's the badger" or "spotty dog" for a good take

December 5, 2016 at 11:59AM

Thomas Dove