Movie Terminology Glossary: G


A certificate issued by the MPAA indicating that a film is suitable for all ages. See also PG.

On the web: MPAA Ratings Explanation


AKA: Chief Lighting Technician
The head of the electrical department, responsible for the design and execution of the lighting plan for a production. Early films used mostly natural light, which stagehands controlled with large tent cloths using long poles called gaffs (stagehands were often beached sailors or longshoremen, and a gaff is a type of boom on a sailing ship). In 16th Century English, the term "gaffer" denoted a man who was the head of any organized group of laborers.


A thin, tinted plastic-like sheet placed over a light to change the color of the projected light. "Cleaning the gels" is a practical joke usually given as a job to an inexperienced crew member.


AKA: Genny, Genny Operator
A mechanical engine which produces electricity from fuel (usually diesel). Frequently used for location shooting, either due to the unavailability or insufficient quantities of electricity locally available.


A mechanically extendable and manipulated boom microphone.


A take of a scene not used in a movie, usually because of an on-camera mistake made by the cast or crew. Also see out-take

Go Motion

AKA: Go-Motion
A form of animation similar to stop motion, but which incorporates motion blur. Ordinary stop motion cannot produce motion blur as motion only occurs between frames. Robotic models that are moved during the exposure of each frame produce motion blur, and thus are more realistic. Pioneered by Industrial Light and Magic for Dragonslayer.


A newer technique similar to bluescreen, however utilizing a key green background. Research showed that substantially better results could be gained by filming on green instead of blue, as effects stock was more sensitive to separating key green from other (foreground) colors. See also chromakeying.


A member of the crew who procures, places, and maintains any vegetation on a set.


A term used to describe movie theaters common in the U.S. from the 1950s onward, that specialized in showing, or "grinding out" as many B movies as they could fit into their schedules. The term is also used to describe the type of B movies -- commonly violent, exploitative, or just plain racy -- that were shown in such theaters.


In the USA, a grip is a skilled person responsible for the set up, adjustment and maintenance of production equipment on the set. Their typical duties involve camera movement, lighting refinement, and mechanical rigging. In the UK, grips work exclusively with equipment that the camera is mounted on. Contrast with swing gang, see also key grip.