Verbal Cues
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Verbal Cues

ACTION: This is the cue the Director yells when the scene should start and the actors should begging their movements and/or dialogue. Extras usually begin their actions when "background action" is called.

BACKGROUND ACTION: This is the cue for the extras to begin their on camera movements. Often it is the 2nd Assistant Director or 2nd 2nd who calls "Background Action" just before the Director gives the call for "Action" and the principal actors begin their movement and/or dialogue.

BACK TO ONE: This is your command to reset and return to your starting position. When "Back to one!" or "From the top!" is called this means that the same shot will be done again. You will need to repeat same action as before.

CUT: The command given by the Director to stop operation of camera, action, and/or sound recording equipment. When you hear this command freeze where you are and wait for further direction.

CUT & HOLD: An order called out by the Director freezing all principal action until released.

FROM THE TOP: Same as "Back to One." This is your command to reset and return to your starting position. When "From the top!" is called this means that the same shot will be done again. You will need to do the same action as before.

MARTINI: Not exactly a cue, but an important saying you may hear on the set. The word is used simply as fun way of distinguishing the last shot of the day. Someone on set will call out "Martini" and everyone will let out a sigh of relief as day is just about over.

MARKER: The call a member of the Camera Department, usually a 2nd Assistant Camera Operator, says just before clapping the slate. This verbal cue helps the editors distinguish the actual audible clap made by the slate when syncing the sound roll with the picture. When "marker" is called out it is a good sign that the camera is rolling and the Director is about to give the command for action. Actors and extras should be on their mark, ready to begin when given their command.

PRINT: The takes that are developed for consideration in editing. Not all takes are printed to conserve developing lab fees. Therefore only the good takes are printed. Often "Print" is heard on the set as the Director indicates that a particular scene is good enough to be processed by the lab. This usually indicates the production is moving on to a new setup.

ROLLING: Term used when the film camera is on and operating. Small wheels and gears actually roll the film out of the magazine, into the camera body, past the film gate and lens, on through the camera body, and back into the magazine -- hence the term rolling. "Rolling," or "Speed" will be heard on set as the camera operator starts the camera just before the action command is given.

SPEED: A call given by the sound mixer and camera operator when the sound recorder and film camera are running at the proper speed and the command for action can be given. Actors and extras should be on their marks ready to begin by now since the very next call will most likely be "action!"


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