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Glossary - B

All terms

Baby Legs

A very low tripod - also known as Short Legs

Baby Wranglers A qualified person who coaxes babies and young children to perform on camera
Back Projection A filming method whereby live action is shot in front of a screen with the background action projected onto it. Originally often used as the background to a moving vehicle shot, the method became less prolific in the 1990s when green screen and blue screen became more common
Back Story The parts of the plot or character development that happened prior to what the audience see, often revealed retrospectively
Backdoor Pilot A pilot test episode of a prospective series which can also be broadcast as a standalone piece
Backdrop Photograph or painting, usually made with cloth or light wood. It can be various colours, and is often used instead of an outdoor scene
Background Artist An extra who has no dialogue
Background Music Music from a source that is not visible on screen
Backlighting When an object or person is lit from behind, emphasising the outline
Backlot Part of a studio which is less developed to film large open-air scenes and often used for auditions

A production company

Barn Doors Flaps attached to the front of a spotlight to direct the light into specific areas
Barney A cover placed over the camera to muffle its mechanical sounds. See also Blimp
Bazooka Tubes Tubes which can be fitted together to create a stand to support the camera with when floor space is limited
Beat The length of time an actor waits from the director’s command before moving or speaking; the equivalent of about one second
Below The Line Expenses The budget that applies to most crew apart from cast, director, writer and producer
Best Boy Electric

Assistant responsible for the day-to-day running of the lighting department, moving cables etc. Answers to the gaffer

Best Boy Grip

Assistant responsible for the day-to-day running of the grip department. Answer to the key grip

Bidirectional Microphone A microphone which picks up sound from just two sides
Billing The position in which cast and crew are listed in credits
Biopic A biographical feature film or drama

A two-legged piece of equipment used to steady a camera.

Bit Part An acting role with very few lines
Blimp A cover placed over the camera to muffle its mechanical sounds. See also Barney
Blockbuster A film that is a huge hit financially, usually with a big budget
Blocking The term used by the director when arranging where the actors will stand for a particular shot, used to line up the correct positions for camera and lighting
Blonde A larger version of a Redhead which can be 1000 to 2000 watts
Blooper A visual or verbal mistake
Blooping Tape The tape used in sound editing to cover unwanted audio

A background against which the action is filmed and replaced later during post-production. Also known as Chroma Key

Blurb Commercial, mainly used in the US

Low-budget films independently produced that is often associated with exploitation cinema (horror, action, sci-fi themes). Also, has smaller release in cinema or on other media.

Body Double A stand-in used to line up shots. Also used for nude scenes or specific shots of body parts
Bokeh A Japanese term for a deliberately out-of-focus, cloudy background
Bomb A box office disaster, a flop
Bonnet Beam Device which mounts a camera and lighting equipment on the bonnet of a moving car
Bookends Scenes which knit a film together, one at the start and one at the end
Boom A microphone mounted to a pole, usually held over the actors’ heads
Boom Operator Assistant to the production sound mixer who operates the boom
Bounce Board A surface used to reflect or re-direct light towards a particular object or person
Bounce Light A soft lighting effect achieved by the light reflecting off another surface
Bow The debut of a film or TV show
Box Office The total amount of takings for a film at the cinema
Breakdown Script An account of everything needed for the shoot on a daily basis, including cast, crew and props
Bridging Shot A connecting shot between two scenes, using a change in location or time
Broad Light When the light is angled onto the side of an actor’s face closest to the camera
B-Roll Secondary footage used to illustrate the main footage, often used in documentary filmmaking. Can act as a cutaway from the main footage such as when the camera shows a crime scene while the original newsreader’s voice is still heard
Bubble Helmet A diving helmet worn by presenters when filming underwater which allows them to move their head and talk
Buy-Out A payment method mainly for actors where there is no repeat fee; a one-off payment is made upfront. It often covers a given amount of years over which the footage will air, tapering off towards the end of the given period. Used instead of royalties/residuals