Sunday, 20 February 2011

Set slang

A collection of some of the more entertaining terms and expressions heard on film and TV sets across Britain, which might not mean much to the uninitiated, but carry weight on set.

teddy bear's arsehole - the felt ring around the eyepiece of a viewfinder. So called because it's made of felt, it's a ring, and it can get rather smelly.

to Spanish - to get rid of something or someone from shot or camera. This is after the Spanish archer, El Bow.

hobbit - a small runner secreted somewhere about the shot, positioned to catch some falling prop or hold a door, etc.

Magic Hour - the period before sunset (usually much less than an hour) when the shadows grow long, the light warms, and the shadows get softer. It can also be applied to the early dawn shot.

to ninja - to stealthily move some dressing/steps/etc. into or out of position during the course of a shot to facilitate a camera or artist's movement. Often requires the ninja in question to strip down to his socks and remove extraneous kit belts, or don black clothing.

D.F.I. - when a director, creative head of department, agency bod or other has a change of heart regarding some significant aspect of a setup. Acronym for "Different Fabulous Idea". More or less.

Numpty - While occasional in the wider world, this term is standard BBC slang for an ineffective or inadequate member of a production team.

Ten-One / Ten-One Hundred - Wee break.

Ten-Two / Ten-Two Hundred - Take a wild guess, Sherlock.

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