Movie Speak: How to Talk Like You Belong on a Movie Set
When is "groucho" not a comedian? A "seagull" not a bird? A "banana" not a fruit, and a "taco cart" not a food stand? What's the "Castle rock rule" and when should you call for a "buff & puff"? And why expect trouble when the A.D. (assistant director) knowingly mumbles "Gone With the Wind in the morning, Dukes of Hazzard after lunch"? An oral tradition gathered and passed down for more than a hundred years, the language of moviemaking, like other secret lexicons, is the only accepted way of communicating on a set—and is all but unknown to the outside world. Technical, odd, colorful, mysterious, the working language of movies sheds light not only on the hugely complex process of making a film, but on the invisible hierarchies of a set, the unspoken etiquette between cast and crew, and the evolution of a process that's endlessly fascinating.
Movie Speak is a book about language, but through language also a book about what it’s really like to be a director or a producer or an actor or a crew member. An Oscarwinning producer (The Sting), actor (who worked with Spielberg, Coppola, and Sydney Pollock), and director (Five Corners, Flyboys, My Bodyguard, and more), Tony Bill has been on sets for more than 30 years and brings a writer's love of language to this collection of hundreds of film terms. A futz. A cowboy. A Brodkin and a double Brodkin (a.k.a. screamer). Streaks ’n tips, a Lewinsky, Green Acres, rhubarb, a peanut, a Gary Coleman, snot tape, twin buttes, manmaker (and why you can yell for one if needed for a grip, but must whisper if it's for Tom Cruise)—these are the tricks of the trade.
Highly recommened to all!
By A. Rosenfeld "Hyp-storian" - December 21, 2008
This book was a pleasure to read from start to finish (or perhaps I should say from "Roll 'em!" to "Cut!"). It was informative, engaging, interesting and witty, and there was "never a dull moment". In short: anyone interested in any aspect of film making, or simply curious about the subject, should have a copy in their collection- and that's a wrap!
Much more than a dictionary
By Gerald P. Owens - July 12, 2009
Tony Bill's elegant little volume does indeed offer exactly what it says on the cover--it's a handy dictionary of the slang used by movie professionals, and if that's all you want, you need look no deeper. Buy it and enjoy. But in fact, it's also a little lesson on the culture of the movie business, and I mean that in the whole National Geographic sense of the word. Slang exists for two reasons: it's a shorthand way for people to communicate, but it also serves to exclude those who aren't part of the club (or tribe or social class or generation, for that matter). Many of the terms documented here are not in fact any shorter than the official terminology they replace, but they are understood only by those fellow shamens who share the same "secret knowledge." Many film slang terms also reveal the way the sexes relate on a movie set (most technicians have historically been men), and the way the different social castes within the movie world interact (the Above the Line vs Below the... read more
The Greatest Toilet Book Ever!
By William Badger - June 23, 2009
I am a screenwriter. Years of reading all the how to books and Tony Bill tells the reader to throw them all away. I love it. Great reading from beginning to end! The number one Bible sized book on the movies.
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