Skip to main content
Production Terminology

Every industry has their own jargon and terminology, but whether you’re starting out on your production crew journey, or you’re a client on the set of your first TV advert, here’s our handy guide to what it all means!


Recce – short for ‘reconnaissance’ or ‘reconnoitre’. A visit by key crew members to potential filming locations or studios to check suitability, plan filming and list any site-specific requirements.

Call Sheet – A document detailing a day’s filming including: what is to be filmed, arrival and departure times, key cast and crew, special occurrences on set and numerous other details: a complete overview of the filming day.

Call Time – the time that a member of the cast or crew should arrive on set ready to begin work.

Key Light – the main light used to illuminate a subject.

Blocking – a physical run through of a scene to familiarise the cast with their movements and positions.

Apple Box – a sturdy wooden box with multiple uses. E.g. a step, platform or camera support.

Last Looks / Checks – the final opportunity for all departments to check they are happy with their work before the camera rolls.

Turnover – the instruction for the camera to record. Derived from early motion picture cameras where a handle would ‘turn over’ the mechanism to start the motor.

Speed – called when the camera has reached the desired frame-per-second. Vital is recording sound.

Action – called to signal the action of the scene should start.

Cut – called to signal the action of the scene should stop.

Pick Up – used to signify another take of the same action but only needing to record a section of it.

Quiet on Set – called to quieten the set prior to recording

Standby – 1) can be called when to ready the crew for filming 2) prefix of certain job descriptions denoting they are part of the shooting crew as opposed to any other location. E.g. Standby Props, Standby Art Director

Rolling – called to indicate the camera is recording

Wrap – Acronym for ‘Wind, Reel And Print’ (historically used when shooting film) and usually denotes the end of the filming day.

Rushes – short for ‘rush print’. An overnight, one-light print of the previous day’s processed film that is watched by production crew to check for technical and creative content.

Sticks/Legs – A tripod

Talent – usually anyone appearing on camera.

Author Bio:

Rob Holder is Fable’s in-house Creative Director. Rob has lived and breathed directing TV Commercials for the last 13 years and thrives on the discipline of optimising every second on screen. His work has been effective in helping everyone from boutique brands to global names – Samsung, Pentel, Marriott, Dell and Hoover to name a few. Rob works across many styles and specialises in making polished, memorable TVCs that work hard for the Client.