This is a list of filming terms that are commonly used in most film industries, including Vancouver's. This list covers terms used on the set and off the set.

Background action

The assistant director will say, "Background action" to cue the background performers to start moving.


A booking is an employment engagement. If a person is booked for a production, that means he/she has accepted the job at the specified time and date.


A calltime is the time a performer or crew member must report to set, ready to begin work. Being late is obviously frowned upon, as productions aim to finish ahead of time and ahead of budget.


Catering is the service that provides food to the cast and crew. For non-union background performers, it is important that they do not eat from the union members' catering table because of different budgets for the two groups. See also craft service.

Craft service

Craft service provides light snacks to the cast and crew during the shoot. The snacks are usually on a table near the set or, for background performers, in extras holding.


A commission is a percentage of the performer's earnings that goes to his/her agent. It serves as compensation for finding the performer work. Commission applies both for principal performer and background performer agents.

Extras holding

This is the area where background performers are supposed to stay until the crew tells them they are needed on set. Background performers are not permitted to leave this area without consulting the crew. This area is where they are signed in and signed out, where they have lunch and where their wardrobe is checked.

First marks

This term refers to the performer's starting position at the beginning of the scene. It is also referred to as "number ones." It also means this when the director asks performers to "reset."


A lunch can occur anytime during the day (not necessarily noon hours; it can occur at 2:00am for night shoots) and are usually provided on set by catering. For background performers, who are paid by the hour, lunch is not paid time.

Night shoot

For night shoots, work starts in the evening and ends in the morning.

Number ones

See First marks.


See First marks.

Rolling (or roll sound)

When the director tells the shooting crew to "roll sound," the rest of the crew will shout out "rolling." This means that the camera has started filming and all on set should be quiet.


The set is the actual area of filming. This does not include extras holding or the eating area.

Sound speed

This is uttered by the sound department to confirm that they are currently recording sound. They utter this after the director says "roll sound."


The Union of British Columbia Performers is the provincial branch of ACTRA that serves as the labour union for performers in British Columbia. This covers both principal and background performers (although entry restrictions are in place for background performers). Union members enjoy higher pay rates, better on-set meals (they get different catering meals) and a lower commission rate for their agents.




Wardrobe means the clothes that are worn in front of the camera for scenes. Background performers are usually responsible for providing their own wardrobe, unless otherwise specified. Normally, wardrobe on set cannot contain advertisements or logos; exceptions arise if the film has corporate sponsors.

Wardrobe fitting

For performers, a wardrobe fitting is a booking before the actual shoot date. The performer must report for measurements for specialized costumes in preparation for the actual shoot. Background performers, who are paid by the hour, receive 4 hours' pay for a fitting.

Wrap and wrap time

When a person is wrapped, that means he/she has completed the work needed from him/her for the day. The time the performer signs out at is referred to as the wrap time.

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