Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Typical Scene for Alex on the Hawaii Five 0 Set?

By Pam

Al is standing next to a cookie on the set.

 "Okay Al," says the director. "Time to get out of the woodshed." 

"Okay, okay," Al says, obligingly. "I'm off-book now. Anybody got any gum? You know me and my mouth noise."

Al goes to his mark. He fidgets a bit and takes a deep breath. The director yells action. Al begins speaking and has a false start. "Fuck," he says under his breath. "Sorry guys, not much turnaround. I'm a bit tired."

The director repositions his cans. "SPEED,” he yells. “Rolling.....aaand.......ACTION." 

Al begins delivering his lines without a hitch this time. After 4 takes and a few minutes, the director orders a pick-up shot. He needs Al to be smaller, and asks for a larger apple box for Scott. 

The assistant director orders Al back-to-one. Heand positions his gum between his cheek and teeth. 

"Okay,” says the director, “let's do this. I need circle takes. And give me more balls, Al." 

Alright, what the heck just went on here? You kind of get the gist, but here are the meanings of the terms of the trade.

Cookie. A flat board, like a flag, but full of irregular holes used for creating a pattern of shadows when put in front of a light.
Woodshed. To rehearse or practice reading copy out loud. This term is said to come from old theater days when actors would have to rehearse out in the woodshed before going into the theater to perform.
Off-book. When an actor knows his or her lines and no longer needs to carry the script.
Mouth Noise. Also known as "clicks and pops." A dry mouth produces much more mouth noise than a damp one. Cigarette smoking also contributes to a dry mouth. The less mouth noise you have, the less editing has to be done later.
Actor's Mark
 Hitting Your Mark. The ability to physically stop on a preset mark or put down the product in an exact spot.
False Start. Term used to describe a take in which the talent makes an error within the first couple of lines. The take is usually stopped, and a new take is slated.
Turnaround. Cast and crew rest time, from wrap until next day’s call time.
Cans. Slang term meaning headphones.
Speed. Exclamation that indicates the film and the audiotape are running simultaneously at the correct speed.
Pick-up Shot. Small parts of a scene that are re-shot, usually because all angles were not captured satisfactorily during the first shooting.
Small. A very subtle performance by an actor.
Apple Box
Apple Boxes. Wooden crates that elevate an actor, a cameo or furniture on a set.
Back-to-One. Direction given by the Assistant Director after a take. It means to go back to the position which you were in at the beginning of the scene.
Circle Takes. A director’s favorite or most usable filming of a particular scene. Used to expedite the editing process.
Balls. A deep and resonant vocal tone.

1 comment:

  1. Once again, interesting research Pam. Looks like a person needs to go to acting school, just to learn what the directors are talking about on set.