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Reading Terminology and Jargon Practice Exercises

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Updated on Sep 28, 2011

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Reading Terminology and Jargon Study Guide

Reading Terminology and Jargon Practice Exercises

Practice 1: Quiet on the Set!

Read the selection, and then answer the questions that follow.

(1) Last summer I visited my uncle Ron. The public relations firm he works for was handling the ads for an upcoming movie, and he took me to watch a shoot! "Let's go meet the a.d.," Ron said when we got to the studio.
(2) "You meet an ad?" I asked, a little confused.
(3) "Oh, sorry, that's the assistant director," he laughed. "You get so used to the jargon on the set that you figure everyone else knows it."
(4) The a.d., whose name was Mim, pointed out that "The d.p. is using a dolly to track some actors running a scene." I guess I looked confused because she smiled, "He's the director of photography, or cinematographer . . . around here we just call him the d.p. He runs the camera; it's his job to get the best shot every time!"
(5) "And the camera's on a dolly," I said knowingly, "I saw a platform on wheels like that at my dad's store. It's on tracks, like a train. Is it always there?"
(6) "No, we move them after the d.p. gets the final shot," she replied.
(7) Just then, someone called, "Where's the gaffer? We need a blue gel. And can someone just close the barn door on that one?" he called, pointing up.
(8) "They need an electrician," Uncle Ron whispered. "They want a blue filter over the light . . . blue light is softer, not so harsh."
(9) "Got it," I replied. "But what's a barn door?"
(10) Mim pointed up at the huge lights. "See the flaps on the front of the light? They can be opened or closed to give more or less light. We call them barn doors."
(11) I didn't say it, but I thought, "That's silly; why not just call them flaps?"
(12) Later, I saw two actors filming a sword fight in front of a green wall. "Without scenery, how will anyone know if they're in a castle or on a cliff?" I asked.
(13) "That's where c.g.i. comes in," explained Mim. "The action is filmed in front of a blue or green screen, then a computer-generated image is dropped in for the background. It'll make them look like they're dueling atop the Statue of Liberty or in a hall at Buckingham Palace, whatever the filmmakers want."
(14) "So if I see an actor riding a camel in a desert, is he really doing it?" I asked.
(15) "Sometimes," Mim replied. "Some films are shot on location at different spots around the world. But it costs less to use blue-screen and c.g.i., so it's up to the filmmakers and their budget. They may want movie magic."
(16) "We need background people for the next scene," someone called to Mim.
(17) She nodded. "Time for me to make sure the people you may know as extras are in place," she confided. "They're the ones who give the scene a sense of reality—folks walking down a street or shopping in a mall as the stars do their thing."
(18) After lunch, we watched more filming. "Quiet on the set!" someone called. "Rolling! Action!"
(19) The background people began to move, then into the scene rode the hero, the star of the movie, on a real motorcycle! No green screen needed!
1. In which would you most likely use jargon like cinematographer?
a. medicine
b. sports
c. construction
d. film production
2. What is the meaning of a.d. as used in the selection?
a. after delivery
b. artistic director
c. assistant director
d. actors' directory
3. A gaffer is
a. in charge of serving lunch on a movie set.
b. a worker for an advertising agency.
c. the star of a movie.
d. an electrician.
4. A c.g.i. is dropped in as background for action that's shot in front of
a. a live audience.
b. a blue or green screen.
c. Buckingham Palace.
d. a white screen.
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