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Movie Speak: How to Talk Like You Belong on a Film Set Paperback – January 8, 2009
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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 Line people), as well as the pecking order within those castes. And it reveals the delicate proprieties that must be observed, and the proper decorum. It's been famously observed that good manners are the lubricant that allow the moving parts of a society to function. If you plan to direct or produce, ignore these realities at your peril, lest you antagonize a crew that can find an endless number of ways to cost you a lot of time and money.
The book is also a history lesson. Where it is known, Bill offers the etymology of the words and phrases, and sometimes even the name of the person who coined the term (or after whom it was named).
The author also breaks the dictionary up with several essays on his theories on writing and filmmaking, illustrated with personal anecdotes from a long and storied career. A great raconteur, we can only hope Tony Bill finds time to expand this material into a full length biography.
If you need to know the words, this book will also help you understand the culture and nuances of the field. Recommended.
And I can't say for definitely but even if I didn't want to make movies OR learn the terms this book would still be entertaining. The author just makes it interesting.
It's in dictionary form. A-Z with all the different movie slang. I took this to L.A. and was surprised how many people had never heard of it. So if you know any aspiring movie makers this would make a great gift they probably haven't read yet.
Tony Bill has written an entertaining and instructive guide to the arcane rituals of the movie set packed with definitions of such quirky terms as hair in the gate, gullysucker, five-dollar Friday, squash and stretch, video village, pork chop, gripology, Klieg eyes, etc., etc., etc.
Bill is an engaging writer. The brief essays scattered throughout the book are rich with anecdote and revelation, including reminiscences of his boyhood in San Diego, a chance encounter with a great movie star, his unlikely friendships with Frank Sinatra and Steve McQueen, and, as a director, an epic on-set clash of wills with an insubordinate ingénue that probably saved her career. And the piece entitled, "The Death of Acting" is a startling forecast of the future of film acting.
But the core of the book is the glossary of movie-set slang. Though I consider myself something of a buff, most of the terms were new to me. Bill illuminates them all with gentle wit and almost sociological precision, always extracting the humanity and humor.
The book's subtitle, "How to Talk Like You Belong on a Film Set," suggests it would benefit anyone trying to break into the business, and there's indeed plenty of advice to aspiring film makers. The section on the ingenious ways writers have gotten producers and stars to read their scripts is hilarious (Bill confesses he's a "sucker for an offbeat pitch") and his list of 12 things not to do when sending a script will be worth the price of admission to aspiring screen writers.
There are also sections on "setiquette" (surprise: movie sets are almost always models of civility--maybe because they have their own language), how to write a great script (no surprise: it's not easy) and even a recommended reading list.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There are more than a few helpful tips in this book as well.Published 16 months ago by Victor Ludorum
Bought this for my daughter's first assignment as a Production Assistant. She said it was 'extremely useful.'Published 19 months ago by Stephen Smith
Got this to talk film with my tv biz daughter and her film director boyfriend over Christmas. A whole lot of fun!Published 20 months ago by KewlDadiJ
It's got a lot of neat information and definitions, but it also has quite a bit of foul language, including multiple uses of the f-bomb, along with a few off-color tidbits. Read morePublished on August 14, 2014 by Rebekah Teravskis
Fun book for beginners... Loved it.
A Cute and funny read. A great present for someone going into film or just a movie lover. Good buy.Published on February 28, 2014 by fairydustxo