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What’s That?

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Learning and Lingo

Speaking entertainment means learning a language that may seem extremely foreign at first.  There are many industry-specific terms that are vital for you to understand in order to stay in the game.  Let’s take a look at a few of these terms.

  1. At Wrap. This means “at the close of a project.”  It’s typically used to describe when payment for the gig will be made to talent.
  2. Booked. This means the talent was offered the role, spot, or slot they sought.  They will be included in the project or event.
  3. Call Time. The time at which talent should report to a set.
  4. Comp Card. This is a talent’s photographic resume.  It typically consists of the talent’s stats (i.e., age, height, weight, eye color, and contact information) as well as several “looks,” or different poses, that visually represent a talent’s range.
  5. Feature Film. A full-length film like the box office hits widely available in theaters.
  6. Featured Role. An important, principal role in a project.
  7. Green Room. This is a room used for filming that is termed for its background color. Green Screen.  A green backdrop used in a studio or green room when the final background will be transposed around the talent.
  8. Headshot. A shoulder-up shot typically used as the primary photo on a comp card which will visually introduce the talent.
  9. Improv. Unscripted dialogue and actions normally exercised by stage actors.
  10. On Cue. Delivery on demand.  This is when the talent performs after being prompted.
  11. Per Diem. A daily allowance is given to talent to cover living expenses when traveling for work.  This amount is normally specified upfront and is separate from an hourly rate.
  12. Short. It refers to a short film or a film that is shorter than a feature film.  Shorts are usually just a few minutes in length.
  13. Slating. Introducing oneself on camera at an audition prior to jumping into the dialogue.  Slating typically means standing at a certain position, looking into the camera, and stating one’s first and last name.  It can also include giving a brief introduction regarding what the talent plans to present.
  14. Union. There are specific requirements that talent must meet before they can be considered for union membership.  If a project is only open to union talent, only those with active membership are eligible to participate.
  15. Work Permit. Minors (those under 18) are often required to complete a work permit prior to involvement in a project, especially if the project requires the talent to take time off of school or away from other important obligations.

Navigating the verbiage of the entertainment industry will become second nature eventually.  It just takes time and experience.  As you’re getting your foot in the door, if you come across a term you don’t understand, just ask someone to clarify.  No one expects a newbie to be a know-it-all!

-Sara E. Teller

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