Show Biz Glossary – letter – C
A bit part played by a famous actor who would ordinarily not take such a small part. Originally meaning “a small piece of artwork”, the term was borrowed by director Michael Anderson when attempting to attract famous actors to play bit parts in Around the World in 80 Days.
A device for recording images.
The group of crewmembers directly involved with operation of the camera. Individual job titles include: clapper-loader, camera operator, assistant cameraman, director of photography, focus puller, grip, key grip, dolly grip, additional camera.
AKA: Clapper-Loader, Clapper Loader
The person who operates the clapboard at the beginning of a shot, also responsible for loading film stock into film magazines. The action of slapping the clapper was invented as a way of synchronizing the visual and audio components of a shot. Recent innovations in audio-visual synchronization have made this unnecessary, but it still occurs extensively. See also assistant cameraman.
The person who operates the camera to the specifications dictated by the director of photography. A director or a director of photography sometimes assumes this role. (Luc Besson always operates the camera on films he directs.) See also Society of Operating Cameramen, Steadicam operator.
Fictional Movie(s): Living in Oblivion (1995)
A form of comedic parody where the clichŽd conventions of a dramatic form like adventure are deliberately exaggerated to the point of ridiculousness. Often unfairly used to describe superhero films and shows as Batman is a prime example of this form of comedy.
On the web: List of “camp” titles at the IMDb.
Use of the abbreviation after a name indicates that the person is a member of the CSC.
On the web: Official Home Page
A collective term for the actors appearing in a particular movie.
During the so-called “Golden Age” of Hollwood, it was not uncommon for would-be-stars to grant sexual favours to directors and/or producers in return for a role in films. These favours were usually rumoured to be on a couch in the filmmaker’s office. The phrase “Casting Couch” has been popularized, and although the practise has diminished, the term remains in use.
AKA: Extras Casting, Casting Assistant, Casting Associate
The person who auditions and helps to select all of the speaking role actors in film, television shows or plays. The CD must possess a vast knowledge of the actor pool and be able to match a variety of actors with just the right role. Directors and producers rely on the Casting Director to assist them with assembling the perfect cast for their production. Casting Directors are also responsible for serving as the liason between the director, and the actors and their agents. CDs negotiate the deals with agents once the actors have been cast and are also responsible for the contracts and SAG of each actor.
The Casting Society of America is a professional organization of Casting Directors working in theatre, film, and television. The C.S.A. is not a union or a guild, therefore every Casting Director working in these mediums is not necessarily a member of this organization.
On the web: Official Home Page
AKA: C.I.F.E.J., CIFEJ, International Centre of Films for Children and Young People
A 40-year-old international non-governmental organization whose goal is to promote quality films, television programmes and videos for children and young people around the world.
On the web: http://www.odyssee.net/~cifej
AKA: Certificate, Ratings
Various countries or regions have film classification boards for reviewing movies and rating their content in terms of its suitability for particular audiences. For many countries, movies are required to be advertised as having a particular “certificate” or “rating”, forewarning audiences of possible “objectionable content”. The nature of this “objectionable content” is determined mainly by contemporary national, social, religious, and political standards. The usual criteria which determine a film’s certificate are violence and sexuality, with “mature” (adult) situations and especially blasphemy and political issues often being considered more important outside the Western world. This is by no means a hard and fast rule; see the Hays Production Code for an example. In some cases, a film classification board exhibits censorship by demanding changes be made to a movie in order to receive a certain rating. As many movies are targetted at a particular age group, studios must balance the content of their films against the demands of the classification board. Negotiations are common; studios agree to make certain changes to films in order to receive the required rating. The IMDb uses the term “Certificate” as opposed to “Rating” to avoid confusion with “ratings” meaning the opinions of critics. See also: Banned, NC-17, PG, G, XXX.
AKA: Computer Generated Imagery
The use of computer graphics to create or enhance special effects.
AKA: Change-Over, Reel Change, Reel Change Marks
Most completed movies consist of more than one reel, and thus for an uninterrupted screening, at least two projectors must be used. Towards the end of a reel, one or more frames may include a small circle in one of the corners. These are signals to the projectionist that the current reel is approaching the end, and he or she should be ready to start the next projector, which should have the next reel prepared for projection.
Fictional Movie(s): Fight Club (1999)
An actor who specializes in playing a particular style of character, often stereotypical, offbeat, or humorous.
On the web: Search IMDb for Character Actors.
Training scheme in the UK to give schoolchildren experience of all aspects of film making. Now replaced by the Children’s Film and Television Foundation
A person who plans and directs dance sequences within a movie.
Slang term for experienced parachutists that either perform or assist with stunts involving parachutes.
Fictional Movie(s): Game, The (1997)
A philanthropic, non-profit organization formed in 1964 for the purpose of sharing information with sound professionals in the motion picture and television industry. Use of the abbreviation after a name indicates that the person is a member of the CAS.
On the web: Official Home Page
AKA: Cinematography, Cin
A person with expertise in the art of capturing images either electronically or on film stock through the application of visual recording devices and the selection and arrangement of lighting. The chief cinematographer for a movie is called the director of photography.
AKA: Clapper, Slate
A small board which holds information identifying a shot. It typically contains the working title of the movie, the names of the director anddirector of photography, the scene and take numbers, the date, and the time. It is filmed at the beginning of a take. On the top of the clapboard is a hinged stick which is often “clapped” to provide audio/visual synchronization. See also clapper-loader, continuity report.
Fictional Movie(s): Postcards from the Edge (1990)
See camera loader.
On the web: CARA Home Page
Animation of models constructed from clay or plasticine.
A take in which all dialogue was performed without error.
A moment of high drama, frequently used at the end of serials. Named for the (now clichŽd) practice of leaving a hero or heroine hanging onto the edge of a cliff.
On the web: List of cliffhanger titles at the IMDb.
On the web: National Captioning Institute
A producer who performs a substantial portion of a creative producing function, or who is primarily responsible for one or more managerial producing functions. A co-producer has less responsibility than a producerfor the completion of a project. Note that if a project has more than one producer, it doesn’t mean that these individuals are “co-producers” in the technical sense of that term. See also executive producer, associate producer, line producer.
Term that describes the color of light sources; literally, the temperature at which a blackbody emits enough radiant energy to evoke a color equivalent to that coming from a given light source. A high color temperature corresponds to bluer light, a low color temperature to yellow light. The color temperature of daylight is around 5500K.
AKA: Color Correction, Color Timer, Color Corrected
A process which adjusts the final print so that colors match from shot to shot, regardless of the film stock and camera used to shoot the scene. So named because one aspect is adjusting the exposure time of each shot. Performed by a color timer. See also color consultant.
A film alteration process where an operator digitally alters a black and white image to include color. It is a controversial practice because many filmmakers and viewers believe it fundamentally alters an artistic creation. Early attempts at colorization in the 1980’s were relatively crude in their shading range. Examples of this kind of alteration are versions of Casablanca and It’s a Wonderful Life. Citizen Kane is notable in that Orson Welles was able to legally prevent its alteration.
A musician whose music appears in a movie’s score. Most movies have at least some original music written for the score, usually after the relevant parts of the movie have been filmed. See also lyrics.
AKA: C.I.C.A.E., CICAE, Internationaler Verband der Filmkunsttheater
AKA: Construction Foreman, Construction Manager
Financial responsibilities include budgeting, tracking costs, generating reports, etc. Through drawings, a construction co-ordinator is directed artistically by the Production Designer and Art Director to produce their “vision” in three dimensions. Also responsible for the physical integrity of the structures built by the construction department.
AKA: Continuity Error
The degree to which a movie is self-consistent. For example, a scene where an actor is wearing a hat when seen from one camera angle and not from another would lack continuity. A person is often employed to check that continuity is maintained since reshooting embarrassing lapses in continuity can be prohibitively expensive. See also continuity report. In modern times, some continuity errors can be corrected through digital compositing. See theTerminator 2: Judgment Day trivia entry for an example.
On the web: IMDb Goofs Section
AKA: Continuity Script
A detailed list of the events that occured during the filming of a scene. Typically recorded are production and crew identification, camera settings, environmental conditions, the status of each take, and exact details of the action that occurs. By recording all possible sources of variation, the report helps cut down continuity error between shots or even during reshooting.
On the web: A continuity report from Star Wars (1977)
The clothes worn by actors when being filmed.
AKA: Assistant Costume Designer
A person who designs the costumes for a movie.
The person in charge of costumes, usually preparing them for use and making sure they are accurate and faithful to the designs. Other responsibilities include consulting with the designers and training, supervising, and scheduling the costume staff.
Fictional Movie(s): Postcards from the Edge (1990)
The person or department responsible for obtaining wardrobe items specified by the costume designer. Most items are borrowed from the studio’s costume stock or rented from outside companies; others may be created specifically for the production.
A collective term for anyone involved with the production of a movie who does not appear in the movie. This term is usually used to refer to the more subordinate members of a production team (contrast with filmmakers.)
A person who publishes a review of a movie from either an artistic or entertainment point of view.
The technique of interweaving pieces of two or more scenes, usually in order to show simultaneous actions or illuminate themes.
A change in either camera angle or placement, location, or time. “Cut” is called during filming to indicate that the current take is over. See also shot,action. A “cut” of a movie is also a complete edited version.
A subgenre of science fiction that typically has elements which include a futuristic tone, massive urban areas in decay and poverty, partial environmental collapse, extremely powerful business corporations, random street gang violence with the overall presence of extremely powerful computer, robotic and information technology. Blade Runner is considered the definitive cyberpunk movie.
On the web: List of cyberpunk titles at the IMDb.