Film terms: B

1 KW Fresnel.

Baby stand
A stand with a 5/8 inch stud.

Baby legs
A short tripod used for low shots.

Back lighting
A subject lit from the rear to provide separation from the background. For example black hair against a black background would need back light to create more of a sense of depth.

Back story
A characters life and history before the time of the film.

An electrical voltage/current-limiting device required for all discharge sources.

Covering for film cameras to cover magazine or other mechanical noises.

Colour bars, standardised, and usually generated from the camera and recorded at the start of filming as a reference for later grading, effects work etc. You’d be silly not to have ‘em.

Barn doors
Movable leaves attached to the front of a lamp enabling some degree of control over the shape of the light emerging from it.

Base light
A general workable level of light ensuring enough illumination for video recording.

Battery belt
Does what it say on the tin. It doesn’t make you Batman.

Black and white. Doh!

Big close up

A pause in the action. A moment of change in a performance. A director might tell an actor to wait a ‘beat’ before saying the lines.

Below the line costs
The costs of the all the production excluding the above the line.

Best boy
The gaffer’s assistant. A highly skilled electrician/coke head…”just for like energy and shit, yeah.”

British Film Institute


Binks, (Jar-Jar)
‘He’s done a Binks’ or ‘He’s gone Jar-Jar’, meaning a tremendous loss of judgement and sense.

Black bag
Bag for sealing unexposed film and then the when the film is exposed it goes back in the bag for transportation and placement in the film can.

Black body
The theoretical object representing ‘absolute’ zero degrees which equals zero degrees Kelvin, or -273 degrees Celsius which is the coldest temperature possible, where atoms and molecules have ceased moving altogether. Any object that absorbs 100% radiation and emits 100% radiation back.

Black wrap
A tough form of aluminium foil, matt black in colour, used to control light spilling out from lamps.

British version of a barney, a sound proof cover for cameras.

Blocking/blocking a scene –
Walking through a scene with the actors and choreographing other elements such as vehicles. This is to discover what works and what doesn’t and/or how to improve the action.

A 2KW lamp

An extendable arm/pole which holds the microphone, enabling an operator to stay out of the shot whilst positioning the microphone close to the action.

Boom operator
A skilled technician with training/knowledge of the of sound recording who manoeuvres and positions the boom for best results. Not just your mate who’s got strong arms.

Bounce light
Areating softer light by aiming a source at any large surface. For example a ceiling, wall, reflector board.

The reflectance of a surface, its ability to emit light back.

Brightness ratio
relationship between the brightest and darkest areas of shot.

An open faced light used to throw light evenly, often used as fill light.

A large carbon arc fixture.

Activities for actors to use. Physical activity during performance provides the actor’s critical mind with another focus instead of watching itself or monitoring the performance, leading to thoughts such as “am I doing it right?”

A large net or silk usually no less than 4ft by 4ft.

Buzz track
A soundtrack recorded at each location of the ambient noise, background noise. An example of this would be a kitchen where you have shot a scene and, the buzz track would contain the quiet hum of the fridge.

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