Industry Advice

Glossary of industry terms

Assistant director. The first AD calls “action” and “cut” on behalf of the director, and there is usually a second AD who directs background action.

ADR stands for Automated Dialogue Replacement. If a scene is filmed and the sound isn’t quite right, the actor comes back in post-production to dub their dialogue.

An agent could be a person or a company. They represent an actor or model, help them land work, and take a percentage fee of any bookings.

Art director
The art director overseas the creative and visual aspects of the production, including the set, props, costumes and shoot.

The position and movement of actors in a scene. The director normally determines blocking during rehearsals, so actors know where to move/stand for maximum effect.

Body double
A person of similar proportions to the actor who replaces them in shots where the main actor isn’t required, e.g. distance/back of head shots.

Boom operator
One of the sound crew, who operates the boom microphone (microphone on the end of a pole to capture sound in a scene).

Call sheet
A form which refers to the scenes to be filmed and the personnel and equipment needed for shooting on a particular day.

Call time
The time an actor needs to be on set and ready to shoot or attend a make-up call. You might have a pick-up time if you’re being collected. If you’re down on the schedule as MOW (Make Own Way), make sure you’re there by your call time!

Casting director
Leads the audition process and liaises with the producer/director to cast talent for projects.

Cinematographer / Director of photography (DOP or DP)
Contributes to the artistic look of a film, e.g. camera angles and lighting.

The choreographer prepares and directs any dance sequences in a film or for the stage.

Clapper loader
The person who operates the clapboard (clapper) at the beginning of a shot. They may also load film into the camera.

Cold reading
When an applicant is asked to read a part from a script they haven’t seen before.

Commercial Talent
Commercial talent are people with a strong/interesting look who can take direction well and can probably perform a few lines of dialogue.  They can be any age/gender/shape or size/ethnicity and are often booked for TV Commercials and stills shoots.  Unlike actors and models, there is less expectation that they could perform large chunks of dialogue, create or sustain a character or, in the case of models, meet strict physical critieria.

Comp card
The card a model carries to give to prospective agents, with their photo, details, and measurements.

Construction coordinator
Oversees the building of any physical structures on a film set.

A series of shots for one scene are checked for continuity to make sure they ‘flow’ and don’t look out of sequence (e.g. a glass of water that is full, then half-empty, then full again is bad continuity!).

The person responsible for the artistic and technical side of a production.

Foley is the reproduction of everyday sounds for TV shows and films, and can be anything from a car door slamming to the clack-clack of high heels on a wooden floor. It helps to create a sense of reality within a scene.

The gaffer is the chief electrician.

Green room
The area where performers wait before appearing on a show, or onstage. May or may not be green!

The main photo in a model or actor’s portfolio. On StarNow, it refers to the photo that appears next to your name in search results or in the Talent Directory. Like it sounds, this is a close-up focused on the face, not a full body shot.

A word used to indicate that a particular take should be kept, but not developed. Also means an actor is in the running for a part and should keep themselves available for shoot dates.

Photographic model
A model who poses for print work, e.g. in fashion magazines.

Pick-up shots
Shots filmed after the main shooting has finished. Often close-ups on objects and scenes without the main actors.

The producer coordinates, supervises, and controls major aspects of a project, including fundraising and hiring key people such as the casting director.

A person present at auditions to read opposite the person auditioning, to help them give a more believable performance – often stands off camera.

Also known as a callback. The top few applicants are asked to audition again before a final decision is made on who gets the part.

Release form
Also known as a “model release”, this is a form the model signs giving permission for a photo of them to be published. Also used for talent to sign away various rights (e.g. usage payments, or the rights to use footage in ways not previously agreed). Some agents ask talent not to sign release forms on set without checking with them first, as they may affect other agreements.

Often considered a foot in the door of the film industry, a runner spends time on set and runs errands, from looking after the talent to fetching coffee for the crew.

Runway / Catwalk
A long platform where the model walks up and down in front of an audience to model the clothing.

Screen test
An audition for a role in front of the camera, where the applicant performs a scene from the production.

Pages or scenes from a script, either for a reading during an audition or for a scene during a day of shooting.

The board with an actor’s name and agent details that they hold while standing in front of the camera before an audition.

TFP stands for Time For Prints, and means the model/actor is willing to pose for a photographer for free in return for prints they can use in their portfolio. (TFCD is Trade For CD).

TV commercial (or advertisement).

Weather cover
Another day that they might need to shoot if the weather doesn’t co-operate.

To finish shooting (for the day, or for the entire production).

Wrap party
The big blow-out at the end of filming to celebrate a job well done. The scale of the party depends on the budget of the production!

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