I have a small pet peeve about this phrase. It’s old, outdated, and nobody says it anymore. It’s a holdover from the silent film era where a studio was making several movies at once, some even right next to each other. Plus, it doesn’t account for some of the other important jobs on set.
So, what should happen before a take?
- Once everyone is in their respective places and ready to do their jobs, the Assistant Director (usually) calls for everyone to settle, and get ready to work.
- Director: “Sound”
- Sound Engineer: “Sound Speed” (The audio has begun to record)
- Director: “Camera”
- Cameraman: “Camera Speed” (The camera is now recording)
- Director calls “Marker”.
- Slate: Calls the Scene, Take, etc. like “Inglorious Basterds, Scene 137, Take 4”
- Slate guy scurries away.
- Director: “Action!”
- Actors act.
After the scene, the Director will say Cut, meaning everyone stops recording.
Obviously I have left out some important jobs that are pretty vital to the filmmaking process, mostly because they occur many hours or days before and after the shot. I’ll be covering what each person’t role on and off set is later in this blog series.