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I'm not sure how to phrase this, so bear with me...


When shooting a film, what kind of things do you say during and after...for example, what are some standard commands that are shouted, and what do they mean? What kind of things do YOU say? Everyone has different ways of saying things, and I'm just curious what the "professional" commands may be...


For example, when shooting film, do you say, "Standby...roll film, action!" or whatever? Some people say marker, and I have no idea what that means...


I know this is a silly dumb question, but sometimes at a filmshoot I am at a loss what to say, because I am so used to television and not film. We say roll Video, so I feel silly saying roll video when shooting on film, but roll film just sounds wrong..


Anyway, thanks for your time.

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All it takes is a few set-ups for whatever system you want to use to become understood, because there are variations on film sets, and variations depending on what country you are shooting in.


I tend to hear something like this:


AD: "Roll Sound"


Boom Op (upon hearing from the sound mixer over his headset): "Sound has speed" or just "speed"


AD: "Roll camera" (although the camera crew usually rolls as soon as they hear "speed" from sound -- so sometimes the AD doesn't even call for cameras to roll)


1st AC: "Camera has speed" or just "speed" (although sometimes the camera crew just rolls when they hear "speed" from sound, and the 2nd AC just waits a beat and then claps the slate.)


2nd AC: "Scene --, Take ---" (if the soundman asked for a verbal slate, sometimes they do it themselves at their mixer and don't need one. If not, the 2nd AC may just say "Mark!" and clap, or just clap the slate.)


Camera Operator: "Camera set" or just "set" or nothing at all


AD or Director: (after hearing the clap or hearing "set" from the operator) "Action!"


AD or Director: (after the shot is over) "Cut!"


Sometimes when the director is way over at a video village area, he or she may yell "cut" loud enough to be heard on set, or tell it to a 2nd AD or Set PA, who then radios the AD on set to yell "cut".


Whether the AD or director calls "action" is something they decide between them. Often the AD may yell "action" but the director will call "cut".


Sometimes there are multiple action cues, like "Background action (to the extras)... action (to the actors)" or "Action dolly (to begin a dolly move)... action (to the actors)."


It's just a matter of everyone knowing the system, which gets figured out early on.


An operator may not always call out "set" but there may be a situation where it is more necessary to wait until the operator is set, like if they had to zoom in to see the slate (like if they are up in a crane) and then reframe for the shot, and then call out "set" when they are ready. So even if they didn't normally wait for the operator to call "set", in a particular case, the operator might tell the AD to wait for a "set" from him because he or the 1st AC has to get reset or settled after the slate.

Edited by David Mullen

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