Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Movie Lingo - Sound Like a Pro on Your Next Movie Set!

If you’re a fan of movies you might be aware of the vast amount of vocabulary words that cater specifically to the world of production. If you don’t, well, that’s what we’re here for. Every profession has its own vocabulary; think about the medical world and even sports, but movie terms are in a league of their own. Here is a list of 10 movie terms that range from seemingly unrelated to completely bizarre.

Magic Hour

This one isn’t so bad, especially if you have also been exposed to photography or modeling. There are two “Magic Hours” in the day--the hour before sunrise and the hour right after sunset. At this time, the lighting is optimal for the film crew to shoot buildings and other cityscapes without drowning out surrounding details like car headlights.


Think AK instead of Cosmo. On a movie camera, the magazine is a light-proof chamber that holds film. While most current movies are filmed digitally, there are still plenty of directors keeping it old school. These chambers can hold 400 or 1000 feet of film.


Nope, nothing to do with your kitchen. Pans are when a camera moves across a horizontal access. Do you have a smartphone? If so, this term should sound very familiar to you--think “panoramic”!

Sun Guns

At least this term makes you think of movie westerns. Sun guns are mounted lights the provide major illumination. They are usually positioned on the left and right sides of scene to light it up to avoid harsh shadows.

Apple Box

A lot of people are familiar with this term, but in case you aren’t, apple boxes are strong wooden boxes typically used to give an actor some height. There are also pancake boxes, but they are flatter (no, really).

Baby Legs

One of the more bizarre terms in movie lingo, baby legs refers to a small camera tripod.


You would think this term refers to a prop, but it actually refers to the music used in the background of a commercial. The bed serves as the narrator’s “soundtrack.”


Nope, nothing to do with Jack LaLanne. A juicer is the set’s electrician.


Often confused with a movie’s soundtrack, the score is original music composed for a movie or TV show. For example, the famous themes from “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” are part of the film’s score--not the soundtrack.


Your friends might call these the “previews”, but those in the know understand these video snippets used to advertise upcoming movies and get the crowds excited are actually called trailers. Go ahead, correct them next time!

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