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By Sandra Kay
May 16, 2001

You’ve finally done it!  Four long years of film school, and you’re ready to take a bite out of Hollywood!  Off to the Greyhound station you go, film reel in hand, with hopes and dreams bigger than the space next to the Clearasil in your Nike backpack.  Before you launch out with stars in your eyes and big ideas of LA LA land, let me tell you the inside dish of “must knows” of Hollywood.  These are insider secrets that you won’t find anywhere else, and will make you look like a seasoned pro even though you flunked film history.  Get a grip on your ego and take slice out of the film world, if you dare…  (First bit of advice:  Keep your dreams to yourself, we don’t want to hear them anymore.)  

1)  AFI stands for:

A) American Film Institute
B) Aliens For Independence
C) Another Fucking Idiot

2)  The most common drink after a 14-hour work day is:

A) Coffee
B) Water
C) Beer

3)  Many Hollywood movies are now shot in:

A) Canada
B) Australia
C) Hollywood, duh!!!
D) All of the above…hmmmm

4) The person who usually ends of with the most money is:

A) The Leading Actor
B) The Producer
C) The Director
D) All of the above

5) Somebody asks you “Where’s the Honey Wagon?”  You send them to:

A) The Producer’s office
B) The Porto-potty
C) The Make-Up trailer
D) There is no such thing…

6) Crew members are often referred to as:

A) Below the line
B) Carney Trash
C) White Trash
D) I am Cornholio, Do you have TP for my…wha?  Huh?

Whew…Are you still there?  Just had out lunch at hour six…just another 8 to go.  Better get tough kiddo, you’re in Hollywood 

7) The phrase you hear right before you roll is:

A) Shut Up!
B) Lights, Camera, Action
C) Roll sound

8) Crew Members that sleep with actors are referred to as:

A) Sleaze Stacks
B) Wannabes
C) Star fuckers

9) Pornographic material is most likely to be found:

A) Producer’s Office
B) Studio bathroom
C) Grip truck
D) Camera truck

10) Residuals are:

A) Background actors
B) Money’s paid for the lifetime of a product
C) Something left in the toilet bowl

11) What department do you go to if you want a fag?

A) Property
B) Craft Service
C) West Hollywood

12) The most likely way you are going to injure yourself on set is:

A) Trip and fall
B) Electrocution
C) Cutting a bagel

13) A Ball Buster is

A) The 1st Assistant Director
B) 25 lb. sandbag
C) A swift kick in the nuts

14) MOS means

A) Without sound
B) You scored
C) An overly helpful PA

15) Somebody asks for a Gary Coleman, what are they referring to?

A) A piece of camera equipment
B) One of the actors
C) A piece of lighting equipment
D) None of the above

16) The most commonly used drug on film sets in the 90’s was:

A) Pot
B) Cocaine
C) Prescription pills…

17) Somebody tells you over the walkie they are going 10-100, what does this mean?

A) You’re getting ready to wrap
B) You’re in the bathroom
C) You’re chatting somebody up, leave me alone!!!

18) The Abby is:

A) A place in England
B) The second to last shot
C) An old reference to a 3-camera television shoot

19) One of the assistant director’s comes by and hands you a stack of blue pages, what does this mean?

A) You’re fired
B) Changes in the script
C) Crew lists and start paperwork

20) What is the most expensive thing a director can say?

A) I’ll know it when I see it
B) Re-shoots
C) Scratches on the film

21) 1 page of a script is equal to:

A) One minute of screen time
B) Two minutes
C) Five minutes

22) Bring in the meat means:

A) Second meal
B) Bring in the actors
C) A new set of PA’s has arrived

23) The Martini is:

A) The last shot
B) The second to last shot
C) A drink after a hard day with the crew


1) A Officially, AFI refers to the prestigious school, American Film Institute.  Off the record, it’s often referred to among crew members as “another fucking idiot”. 

2) C  Wrap Beer, although some assistant directors are now cracking down on this due to car accidents and liability 

3) D  Sadly, many American movies are now shot in Canada as well as Australia due to costs and greedy studio executives (Chicago was shot in Canada…Bastards) 

4) D Actors and Directors are often times Producers as well as’s all incestuous, don’t try too hard to figure it out. 

5) B  The honey wagon is the porto-potty, glamorous, huh?

6) A and/or B.  Crew members are below the line, meaning they are salaried employees, and they are often times referred to as carney trash amongst one another

7) C  Nobody seems to know where the term “lights ,camera, action” came from

8) C  Star Fuckers

9) C  Pornographic material is most likely to be found on the grip truck, but they have been cutting down on this due to sexual harassment concerns

10) B  Residuals are money’s paid for the lifetime of a project

11) A Want a cig?  Ask Property…

12) Cutting a bagel

13) B A ballbuster is a 25 lb. sandbag

14) A  MOS refers to a shot without sound

15) B  A Gary Coleman is a piece of lighting equipment

16) A…Pot.  This is somewhat subjective, but if I had to call it, I’d say marijuana was the most common drug on set, with pills a close second.

17) B 10-100 means your in the john.  Many military references are used among film production crews 

18) B  They Abby refers to the second to last shot.  A leftover from the Assitant Director on Mary Tyler Moore named Abby who always seemed to call the last shot too early

19) B  Blue pages are the 2nd revisions of a script

20) A “I’ll know it when I see it” 

21) A  One minute of screen time equals one minute of film.  The reason why most scripts are around 120 pages.  120 pages, 120 minutes…2 hours…Get it?  I knew you were smart.

22) A  Bring in the meat means bring in the actors, camera is ready…

23) A The last shot is the Martini

Congratulations!  You’ve made it baby…Let’s do lunch…Ciao…You look FABULOUS!  Not a day over 25…


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