7 Bits of Set Lingo Every PA Should Know
If you’re new to the industry, or just interested in the world, you may have heard some odd jargon being tossed around set. It can be overwhelming and a little embarrassing when your DP asks for a “brick” and you bring them back, well, a literal brick…
Here are just a few common terms you’ll hear on every set!
Used in a sentence: “Watch it, points coming through!”
If you’ve worked in a restaurant then you’re probably familiar with the concept of saying “behind” or “hot” when you’re trying to navigate through a packed kitchen. Alerting everyone to “points coming through” is essentially the same thing.
When dealing with all manner of equipment in often small spaces, safety is key. Be sure to alert everyone when you are turning a corner with a cart, exiting an elevator with gear, or navigating through a packed set.
Points = Watch out around you
Used in a sentence: “PJ, grab me a backup brick for the RED”
If your heart lies in camera operation, you might be seeking out PA jobs that focus more in that area. As mentioned above, this is one of the most common requests you’ll hear from your DP (check out our previous list on Set Roles if you’re not sure what a DP is).
Brick = Battery
Used in a sentence: “The interviewee has a hard out at 2pm”
This is your absolute end time. If you only have a person, location, permit, etc for a certain amount of time then you need to make sure your pre-production for the day’s events is 100% on point. There is no “5 more minutes” for a busy subject who needs to get to another appointment or a road that is about to be opened up to traffic. Make sure you always know what your time limits are.
Hard out = End time
Used in a sentence: “Go grab the 6ft stinger from the van”
This is the one that tripped me up one of my first times on set. Someone asked me to get a stinger and I had no idea what it meant or what could even be close to it. To my surprise, though it does make sense, a stinger is an extenstion cord.
When on set it’s often hectic and loud and you need to communicate clearly and quickly. Reducing the amount of words for something reduces the chance you will mishear and waste a trip.
Stinger = Extension Cord
Used in a sentence: “There should be a full and half apple on the van”
Simply put, the apple box is a wooden box that comes in a variety of sizes. Typically this piece of equipment belongs to the grip department. These boxes are one of the most useful tools as they are used to prop up lights, level dolly tracks, raise talent, anything really.
Now, if you want to get really specific you should know that each size apple box has it’s own name:
Full apple (also referred to as just an “apple box”) 20″×12″×8″
Half apple 20″×12″×4″
Quarter apple 20″×12″×2″
Pancake (eighth apple) 20″×12″×1″
Apple Box = Wooden box
Used in sentence: “Look out for the call sheet, it has all the parking info on it.”
The call sheet is the daily schedule created by the Assistant Director. It’s distributed amongst the cast and crew and details the time and locations of everyone for that particular day.
This will be sent out ideally the day before the scheduled call time.
Pro tip – If you’re making the sheet, be sure to include the nearest hospital to location as well as list all other emergency numbers. A set is controlled chaos and occasionally things go wrong. It’s best to be completely prepared.
Call Sheet = Daily Schedule
Used in a sentence: “Coffee and crafty are in the kitchen”
Crafty is short for Craft Services which is the complimentary coffee and snacks you’re eating onset. Complimentary is actually not entirely correct, there is a specific amount of money allotted in every production budget for crafty.
Pro tip: Don’t complain about the snacks and drinks offered, it’s never a good look to complain about free food.
Crafty = Snacks & drinks