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Rock Creek’s On-set Jargon

If you’re ever on set with Rock Creek, you might hear some strange or curious terms.  To alleviate any confusion, here are a few definitions you might enjoy.

Skōsh – a little bit; as in “move that light a skōsh to the right.”

Woof – stop; enough; as in, “move that light a skōsh to the right.  Woof!”

Apple Box – multipurpose wooden boxes, e.g. useful for sitting on, raising the plant in the background a bit, or making a shorter actor taller; e.g. “Put Tom Cruise on an apple box.”

Pancake – Apple boxes come in a variety of sizes:  full, one-half, one-quarter, and, yep, you guessed it….

Diva – a personal sized florescent lighting fixture, just right for an actress’s face.

Boy/Girl – an even mix of daylight and tungsten color balanced florescent tubes in a fixture.

Salt and Pepper to Taste – an uneven mixture of daylight and tungsten color balanced florescent tubes in a fixture; used to warm or cool a scene.

Stick-ups – small, battery-powered LED lighting fixtures that one can ‘stick up’ onto anything.

Floppy – a 4’ by 4’ black flag with extendable fabric used to block light.

C-47 – A wooden clothespin; used to secure diffusion and colored gels to lights (the name originates from its catalog designation)

Pigtail – a short bundle of audio signal and monitoring cables that attach to the camera ending in a quick release attachment

“Uno mas, por favor” – “one more take, please” (but not really just one, probably several; anyway, let’s go again….)

Grip – the name for a broad category of hardware and fixtures used to control light, or the person who deals with it

Gag – any device placed in front of a light and used to change or control the way light is striking an object, or to create shadows.

Schmutz – typically diffusion that we place in front of a light to soften it; or, alternately, dirt on the lens or on a monitor; as in, “Wipe that schmutz off the lens, man!”

C-Stand – a sturdy, multi-purpose stand to hold lighting and grip equipment; named for the Century company, an old Hollywood establishment.  C-stands come with arms and knuckles for attaching all manner of stuff.

Gary Coleman – a half-height C-stand.  Enough said.

Stingers – heavy-duty electrical extension cords

Crafty – Food!  Snacks, drinks, etc.  In our case typically coffee, juice, sodas, bagels, Odwalla protein drinks, granola bars, beef jerky, chocolate … and yes, fruit.

Martini Shot – the last shot of the day, right before Martini time.

“This has been another fine Rock Creek production” – that goes without saying…, but typically our Martini shot.

(As always, thanks to Donny Aros for keeping the verbiage lively on set.)