Film Set Walkie-Talkie Lingo You Need to Know

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The film set walkie-talkie lingo is not just for fun or to make you feel like you’re the protagonist in an action movie. The codes used by the crew are essential for efficient communication and safety on set. The jargon also ensures you can quickly exchange information with other crew members, minimizing misunderstandings and delays.

Below is a list of the most common walkie-talkie lingo found on set. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with it so you know what the heck everyone is on about. Bookmark this page for quick reference for the next time you’re on set.

Remember, when in doubt, always ask the crew on set.

Basic Conversation

  • Radio Check / Walkie Check: Checking if your radio is working. Reply with “Good Check” or “Loud and Clear.”
  • 10-4 / Copy: Message understood.
  • Over: End of a sentence, awaiting reply.
  • Out: Finished communicating.
  • Go Again / Come Back On That: Repeat the message.
  • [Name] for [Name]: Requesting to speak to someone (e.g., “Chris for Sarah”).
  • Go for [Name]: Response to being called (e.g., “Go for Sarah”).
  • 20: Location (e.g., “What’s your 20?”).
  • On It: Task acknowledged and in progress.
  • Stand By: Wait, I’m busy.
  • Standing By: Waiting for further instructions.
  • Eyes On: Subject spotted or inquiring about the subject’s location.
  • Flying In: Person or object is on the way.
  • Switching: Changing radio channel.
  • Keying: Someone is accidentally holding down the talk button.

Taking a Break

  • 10-1: Quick bathroom break.
  • 10-2: Longer bathroom break.
  • Going Off Radio: Turning off the radio and won’t be in communication.

Recording a Shot

  • Final Checks / Last Looks: Last chance to check before recording.
  • Lock It Up: Secure the area, no one allowed through.
  • Going for a Take: Preparing to record.
  • Roll Camera / Turnover: Start recording.
  • Reset / Back to One: Return to starting positions for another take.

Additional Lingo

  • First Team: Principal actors.
  • Second Team: Stand-ins for the principal actors.
  • Strike / 86: Remove an item or person.
  • Kill: Turn something off.
  • Traveling: Requested person or item is on its way.
  • Stepping Off: Leaving set or going off the radio.
  • ETA: Estimated time of arrival.
  • Bogies: Unwanted people on set.
  • Stinger: Extension cord.
  • Hot Brick: Fully charged battery.

Standard Department Channels

These may differ from set to set, but the channels below are common:

  • Channel 1: Production
  • Channel 2: Open (for individual conversations)
  • Channel 3: Transportation
  • Channel 4: Open (for individual conversations)
  • Channel 5: Props / Art
  • Channel 6: Camera
  • Channel 7: Electric
  • Channel 8: Grip
  • Channel 9: Locations
  • Channel 10-16: Open (for individual conversations)

Common Terms for Shot Setup

  • Abby Singer: The second to last shot of the day.
  • Martini: The last shot of the day.
  • Apple Box: Wooden box used for various purposes on set.
  • Back to One: Reset to starting positions.
  • Final Checks: Last chance for departments to check their work before a take.
  • Hot Points: Warning that grips are carrying something with pointed ends.
  • Pick Up: Retake starting part-way through the beginning.
  • Choker: Tight close-up shot.
  • Baby Legs: Short tripod legs.
  • Four-Banger: Trailer with four doors, production room, dressing room, and bathroom.

Up Next: What is below-the-line film set roles?

Author

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  • Jan Sørup

    Jan Sørup is a indie filmmaker, videographer and photographer from Denmark. He owns filmdaft.com and the Danish company Apertura, which produces video content for big companies in Denmark and Scandinavia. Jan has a background in music, has drawn webcomics, and is a former lecturer at the University of Copenhagen.

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