Better Know a Film Crew: Top 5 Production Vocab Words

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Thanks to expanded tax credits from Governor John Kasich, Film Cincinnati (formerly known as the Cincinnati Film Commission) will host 10 film productions this year, their busiest ever. Chances are movie trucks will block your parking spot, dog walk, or cycling route at some point, so here’s a brief primer on those *@#!% vehicles on your street.

1. Honeywagon: The honeywagon houses the portable toilets for use by cast and crew during a location shoot. Depending on the production’s size, the honeywagon can be as large as a semi-trailer and contain additional production or changing rooms. But that’s not where John Travolta is headed when he says, “I’ll be in my trailer.”

2. Trailer: Where John Travolta is headed when he says, “I’ll be in my trailer,” and it’s probably nicer than your apartment. It’s the private refuge of the movie’s star(s) where they can hide from all of us nosy neighbors. But location shoots often use hair/makeup and wardrobe trailers as well.

3. Grip truck: A film grip’s job is to construct and manage any equipment that supports the camera, such as tripods, dollies, cranes, tracks, jibs, etc; if it touches the camera, a grip touches it.

4. Camera Car: The vehicle a camera gets mounted to (by a grip) if the movie requires footage of passing scenery, or characters walking along the street or driving in a car.

5. Picture Car: Not to be confused with the camera car, the picture car is the vehicle being filmed for the movie, like the Jaguar Don Cheadle drives in Miles Ahead. Sometimes the picture car gets its own trailer too.

Honorable Mention
PAs
: Ok, Production Assistants aren’t vehicles, but they can halt your forward progression. On set PAs have the thankless job of disrupting your gawking, er, running route by turning you back from locked location sets. If you encounter one, be patient and courteous; they don’t make much money and will get a shellacking if they don’t stop you from walking into Colin Farrell’s third take.

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