In Which I Pick Some Nits

Not to be an elitist asshole, but there are certain twists of phrase that absolutely give you away as an on-set first-timer. It's not that there's anything innately wrong with being new at a job, it's just that, in this business at least, a distressing plurality of the greenwoods are cocky and entitled well beyond what their level of experience would justify. If you're going to be that guy, fine, but try to remember these things:

Length of a script or of a scene is articulated in eighths of a page and not by some common denominator. We say that a scene is one and six-eighths long, not one and three-quarters.

The vacuum tube and filament in a light fixture that actually produces the illumination, it's called the "lamp" not the "bulb."

Those products that we use up in the course of shooting a film: tape, sash cord, recordable media, canned air, office supplies, razor blades, p'touch tape, cleaning supplies, batteries etc. are collectively referred to as Expendables, like the 80's action homage. They're not 'consumables,' 'disposables' or 'supplies.'

PR means "Production Report" -- Not Public Relations

Time, especially for the purposes of payroll, is articulated on a decimal clock, the minimum unit of which is a "tenth" of six minutes. So, if I get to work at seven in the morning and leave work at seven thirty in the evening, my time card will read 7.0 - 19.5. Also, the clock does not reset at midnight so if I come in at noon but don't leave until ten after two in the morning, it will read 12.0 - 26.2 .

NDB stands for "Non Deductible Breakfast." What that actually means is a discussion for another time.

These are just a few little bits of jargon but they're a few of the ones that seem to be misunderstood the most often and they're the ones that I've noticed today. Learn the lingo is all that I'm saying.


Michael Taylor said...

There are nits and there are nits -- but you're picking the wrong one with your "lamp" vs "blub" terminology. After three decades (and then some) working in all aspects of set lighting, I can tell you that the term "lamp" refers to the entire lighting unit -- as in a 1K, 2K, 5K, 10K, 12K, 18K, or 24K head. The term "bulb" is reserved for "practicals" -- ordinary household 15 watt through 100 watt bulbs used in on-set fixtures (table lamps, floor lamps, and sconces). What you call the "lamp" is called the "globe" by juicers, best boys, and gaffers, even though it has been a very long time since any of these expensive little items were spherical.

No harm, no foul -- you're not a juicer, so there's no reason you'd know all these details, but I'd be ever so grateful if you could explain the unfathomable mysteries of the Non Deductible Breakfast"...

John Myste said...

Phew! Thank you, sir. I could have really embarrassed myself.

God bless.