Film Acting Definitions

By Darryl Green

  • Film Definitions
    Important film definitions you should know….

    Film Extra: an Extra is an actor/performer who has little-to-no speaking lines and whose main role in the film is to provide background scenery to create the illusion of reality.

    Production assistant: a production assistant is the main person who provides aid and assistance to the producer on a set.

    SAG: short for Screen actors Guild, SAG is the largest and most prominent film union

    SAG eligible: when an actor becomes SAG eligible, it means he or she has met the requirements needed to enter the Screen actors Guild. That is, they have either performed one principal role in a union film or have met some other SAG requirement for entry.

    Trailer: A trailer is a collection of clips, usually from an upcoming film, used to generate an interest in the film.

    Action: When the director of a film yells “action!” it generally is the verbal cue used to induce actors to commence their performance.

    Crew: crew, in film, refers to the team hired by a production company to assist in the production of the film.

    Frame: Frame refers to the area of focus of the camera’s lens without the camera moving.

    Industrial: An industrial film is a film that is generally not shown in theaters. Rather, it is used for private marketing or educational purposes.

    Off-Camera: when an actor is said to be off-camera, it simply means that that actor is out of the camera’s view.

    Production Company: a production company is the company with the resources to bring the screenplay to life.

    Set: Set refers to the area where the performance of the various scenes takes place.

    Slate: The device used in a film to identify the various takes in the film, as in “Take 1”.

    Wrap: Verbal command used by the director to signify the end of the day’s shooting, as in “That’s a wrap.”

    Post-production: Post-production is the period after filming ends when scenes are edited.

    Pre-production: Pre-production is the period before filming begins when special tasks are to be completed, such as the selection of actors for the various roles in the film.

    Screenplay: A screenplay is to film what a stage play is to the theatre. It is the script written for a film.

    Take: A take is the segment in which a scene is performed, as in “Take 1!”

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