This is still a work in progress, but below is the first section of our film dictionary. Our goal was to create the most in depth film and television dictionary the interweb has ever seen! This dictionary will always be added to and worked on. If you have a suggestion for for the dictionary, get in contact with us.
Film & Television Dictionary – Letter C
C-Stand: The century stand and/or grip stand. The most versatile and useful piece of film gear in film history
Cable Puller: Also known as a cable wrangler. A Cable Puller wrangles cable during a take. This can be from a dolly or handheld. This will usually be done by the lowest level member of the camera team or a PA.
Call Back: A call back is when an actor is asked to audition for a second or third time for a part in a production. A call back usually means that the director is interested in more than one actor and would like to have them read again.
Call Sheet: A call sheet is the document sent out to all cast and crew before a shoot day that breaks down all of the information for the day. This will include the location of the shoot, the call time, crew names and positions, key phone numbers, scenes that will be shot that day, an advanced schedule for the next shoot day, lunch time, weather, and any other important information that the crew needs to know to get through the shoot day.
Call Time: The call time is the time that all crew needs to be on set by. On the call sheet there will be a grid of all crew and one for all talent. Specific call times will be listed on the grids as some people will need to arrive earlier than the general call, which is called a pre-call and some people may not have to show up until later than the general call time.
Cameo: A cameo is a brief appearance by a recognizable personality in a production such as Hugh Jackman’s appearance in X-Men: First Class.
Camera Jam: When film jams up inside the camera.
Camera Truck: The truck used by the camera department to house and transport camera equipment.
Carps: Carpenters hired by production to build the sets.
Cast: A cast is all of the talent that appears on screen in a film, TV show, play etc.
Charlie Bar: Term used for a horizontal or diagonal strip of shadow, made using a flag to block light from the actor or an area of the set. “give me a charlie bar right here”. Term can also be heard when using blinds to break up lighting, creating horizontal lines of light and shadow.
Cheat: To move the actors, set or props in a way that will make their filming easier. “Can you cheat camera right and open up to the lens?”
Check the Gate: To check the gate is a term used when shooting on film cameras, before moving on the camera department checks that there are no issues, such as dust or hair, with the film before changing scenes.
Cheese plate: A metal plate filled with holes, used to mount any number of cameras.
Chicken Coop: An overhead light that contains 6 tungsten bulbs.
Chimera: An American made lighting brand that specializes in collapsible soft boxes.
Cinema Verite: Is a kind of documentary film making that combines naturalistic techniques with stylized cinematic devices of editing and camerawork, staged set-ups, and uses the camera to provoke subjects. It is also known for taking a provocative stance toward its topics.
Clapper: The board that is held in front of the camera to mark the take and clapped for syncing audio
Clean Shot: A clean shot of something or an actor. No foreground element obstructing an area of the shot.
Closed Set: A closed set means that the set is closed off to most crew, only a few specific and necessary crew members are allowed on set during filming. The set is usually closed for nudity, sex scenes and other sensitive subject matter.
Close Up (C.U.): A close up is the type of shot used in film making that has a specific feature taking up the entire frame, generally this applies to a close shot of a face.
Cold Reading: Cold reading is when actors read or perform materials with little or no rehearsal.
Color Bars: Multicolored Bars used to calibrate monitors. These bars are shot for 30s-1min at the start of a tape so editors can calibrate their monitors.
Color Temperature: Determining the colour of light based off of its temperature using the Kelvin scale.
Common Marker: A common marker is used when multiple cameras use the same slate to mark at either the top or end of the take.
Company Move: When the whole production crew packs up and moves to a new location.
Composite: A shot made up of several other shots or elements using post production software.
Com-Tek: The radio box that allows the Director and Continuity person to clearly hear dialogue while it is being recorded on set.
Condor: A crane, often used to get large lights in hard to reach places.
Continuity: Continuity is the process of making sure that things stay consistent throughout a production. If an actor is drinking from a glass it needs to be filled to the same level and in the same hand when the camera angle changes to cover the same scene. Continuity needs to be kept for props, set dec, wardrobe, makeup, eye-lines etc. The script supervisor is in charge of continuity.
Cookie: A large, usually wooden type of flag that is put in front of a light to break up the light into some sort of pattern.
Co- Producer: A Co-producer is usually a line producer who also had a hand in a substantial portion of the creative producing. They could also be the lead producer from a second production company that is co-producing the film.
Co- Production: A co-production means that there is more than one production company producing the project.
Copy: Copy is what you say when someone gives you instructions, by saying copy you are saying that you have acknowledged what they have asked for and you are going to do it. Copy is commonly used over walkie talkie.
Costume Designer: A costume designer is the person who is responsible for designing the wardrobe that is worn in a production. In conjunction with the director the costume designer creates the costumes to be worn by the talent.
Coverage: The shots you need to cover the scenes in your film. “We need more coverage!” is something you can often hear a Director or DOP say on set.
Cowboy Shot: A shot that features an Actor from the knee up.
Craft Service: Usually referred to as craft or crafty, it is the food and snacks that are provided throughout the day on a production. Craft is not meals, meals are usually hot, catered food that is brought in. Craft generally consists of coffee, tea, fruit, muffins, bagels, granola bars, chips, chocolate, etc.
Crane Shot: A Shot that utilizes a crane for large camera movements.
Crew Call: A crew call is the general call time given to the crew of a production. Individual calls and pre-calls may also be given, but the crew call will be large at the top of the call sheet and meant for anyone who doesn’t have a specified time beside their name.
Crystal Sync: Camera speed that is true 24 frames per second.
CTB: Colour Temperature Blue. CTB is colour correction gel that can be placed on lights.
CTO: Colour Temperature Orange. CTO is colour correction gel that can be placed on lights.
Cuculoris: The technical term for a cookie, which is a large, usually wooden type of flag that is put in front of light to break up the light into some sort of pattern.
Cue: A mark, movement, line or action that signals the start of something else to happen in a scene after the initial action is called. “Sorry, I missed my Cue”
Cue Card: A cue card is used to largely display the talents lines in case they should need reference. Cue cards are most commonly used in live shows as there isn’t an option to do multiple takes.
Cut: What a Director will often say to signal the actors and crew that they wish to stop the scene.
Cutter: A large flag used to shape light.
Cutting Room Floor: A term used for scenes that get left out of a project. Based on film that was literally spliced out of the timeline and left of the floor.
Cyclorama: Also know as a Cyc. This is usually a white wall where the floor and wall intersect smoothly, allowing the appearance of endlessness.
Cyc light: A small tungsten light, usually used to light large surfaces like a Cyclorama
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