Understanding On-Set Phrases In Video Production

14 August 2023
 Categories: , Blog


Navigating a video production set feels akin to immersing oneself in a foreign language. The director, the set's orchestrator, often uses a set of distinct terms to guide the crew and actors efficiently. For the unacquainted, decoding these phrases offers a glimpse into the cinematic art's essence. 

"Lock It Up!"

When a scene is about to be shot, it's essential to prevent any interruptions. "Lock it up" is a call for everyone on set to secure their positions and ensure no one walks into the scene unintentionally.


After the clapboard is used to sync sound and picture, this shout lets the crew know the take's official start. It's a cue for everyone to be on their toes.


If the director isn't satisfied with a particular take or wants to shoot it again for safety, they'll call for a "reset." It's the cue for actors and crew to revert to their initial positions and settings to start the scene afresh.

"Tail Slate!"

Occasionally, the clapboard marking a take's start might come at the end of the shot, especially if the beginning was too chaotic. In such instances, you'll hear "tail slate" before the clap.

"Going Again!"

Instead of diving into lengthy explanations after a take, a director might immediately want another shot. "Going again" prepares the crew and actors for a quick redo without much downtime.

"Back to One!"

When a scene needs another take, the director might say this, indicating that everyone, especially the actors, should return to their starting positions.

"Check the Gate!"

Historically used in film production, this phrase meant checking the film gate for debris or hairs that could ruin a shot. Though digital technology has mostly replaced film, the term persists, often meaning a quick review of the last take.

"Stand By!"

If the director needs a brief moment before the next action – maybe to finalize a decision or consult with a crew member – you will ask everyone to "stand by."

"Room Tone!"

Silence is golden, especially when capturing the ambient noise of a location. "Room tone" is a request for absolute silence on set, allowing sound technicians to record clean background noise for post-production needs.

"That's a Wrap!"

At the end of a long day or the entire shoot, directors use this term to signify that filming has concluded. It's a moment of celebration and relief for everyone involved.

Each phrase, while short, plays a crucial role in ensuring seamless operations on set. They help maintain order, foster precision, and streamline the often-hectic environment of a shoot.

To learn more about video production, reach out to a local service provider.