Movie Terminology Glossary: P

P&A

Prints and advertising, the major costs of film distribution.

PAL

AKA: Phase Alternating Line
A standard for tv/video display, dominant in Europe and Australia, which delivers 625 lines of resolution at 50 half-frames per second. See also NTSC and SECAM.

Pan

The action of rotating a camera about its vertical axis. See also tilt.

Pan and Scan

AKA: Panned and Scanned
As the aspect ratio of movies are rarely the same as the aspect ratio of a television screen, when showing movies on TV it is necessary to make sacrifices. "Pan and Scan" refers to the technique of chopping off strips from one or both sides of the picture when displaying. The areas chopped off are typically changed on a shot-by-shot basis, depending on scene composition. The main advantage of this technique is that it allows detail to be seen, the disadvantage is that shot composition is sometimes destroyed. Contrast with letterboxing.

Pen

To write, especially a script.

PG

AKA: PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
A certificate issued by the MPAA indicating that a film's content is suitable for viewing by children, but recommends parental guidance. See also PG-13.

On the web: MPAA Ratings Explanation


PG-13

A certificate introduced by the MPAA on July 1, 1984 to indicate that a movie's content is rated as slightly stronger than a PG certificate. See also R.

On the web: MPAA Ratings Explanation


Pickups

AKA: Picked up
Movies made by one studio that have been acquired by another. Alternately, any footage shot after production wraps. See also additional photography.

Picture Car

A vehicle shown in a movie.

Pipeline

A schedule of movie projects in production.

Pixelation

Visual squarelike digital break up that appears on the monitor when playing back a video from a digital medium such as a miniDV or a Digibeta resulting from some sort of corruption of the video. Also, a variant of stop-motion animation where actors are the objects being filmed. The key example is Neighbours.

Point of View

AKA: POV
A camera angle in which the camera views what would be visible from a particular object's position. The abbreviation is often used in a slug line.

Pornographic Film

AKA: Porno, Skin flick
A film in which sex is graphically depicted to a large degree. See also XXX.

Positive Print

An original light image captured on film. See also negative print.

Post-Production

AKA: Postproduction, Post
Work performed on a movie after the end of principal photography. Usually involves editing and visual effects. See also production.

Post-Production Co-ordinator

A person who works many facets of the post-production process, including ensuring the smooth operation of the editorial department, coordinating the production and delivery of final delivery elements, scheduling and coordinating ADR sessions, managing the administration of the department including post-production accounting and final delivery paperwork, organizing final post-production related documents, and coordinating the final wrap and proper storage of final video and audio masters and offline editorial materials.

Post-Production Supervisor

AKA: Production supervisor
A person overseeing the entire post-production of a project. They report directly to the producer and/or the studio in charge of the feature. Working side by side with the director and editor, the supervisor has the responsibility of finishing the film on time and on budget while satisfying the wants of the director. Post-production supervisors have authority over post-production co-ordinators. Typical duties include: Controlling all activities with vendors such as optical houses, sound facilities, inserts, ADR, reshooting, CGI, score, delivery requirements to domestic and international distributors, legal clearances, preview screenings, color timing, video mastering and budgeting the movie through the completion and delivery.

Pre-Production

AKA: Preproduction, Pre
Arrangements made before the start of filming. This can include script editing, set construction, location scouting, and casting. See also production.

Premiere

AKA: Bow, Debut
The first official public screening of a movie, marking the opening. The affair is often a gala event attended by the filmmakers, stars, and other celebrities.

Fictional Movie(s): Ed Wood (1994)


Prequel

A movie that presents the characters and/or events chronologically before the setting of a previously filmed movie. See also series, serial, contrast with sequel.

Presenter

AKA: Presents
A presenter is person (often famous or well respected) who introduces a movie or show on screen or via voice-over. Some films include a credit "Presented by", or "presents", which indicates the person is an executive producer as opposed to someone who appears in the film.

Previsualization Artist

A designer who uses low resolution proxy models, quick OpenGL hardware renderings, and other 3D FX systems to completely conceptualize a sequence that requires either visual FX or character animation with the goal of to producing usable data that will help streamline the production process.

Principal Photography

AKA: Principal Filming, Principal, Shoot
The filming of major or significant components of a movie which involve lead actors.

Print

A projectable version of a movie, usually consisting of one or more reels. When referring to a particular take on a continuity report, "print" indicates that the take should be developed. See also hold.

Producer

AKA: Prod
The chief of staff of a movie production in all matters save the creative efforts of the director, who is head of the line. A producer is responsible for raising funding, hiring key personnel, and arranging for distributors. See also associate producer, co-producer, executive producer, line producer, Producer's Guild of America.

Factual Movie(s): Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991), Battle Over Citizen Kane, The (1996) (TV)
Fictional Movie(s): Get Shorty (1995), The Player (1992), Ed Wood (1994), Wag the Dog (1997)


Producer's Guild of America

AKA: PGA
http://www.producersguild.org/

Product Placement

A business arrangement whereby the filmmakers agree to show the products or logo of a particular company, usually in return for payment or other consideration.

Fictional Movie(s): Wayne's World (1992)


Production

AKA: In Production, Production Date
In the movie industry, this term refers to the phase of movie making during which principal photography occurs. Popularly, however, "production" means the entire movie project. See also pre-production and post-production.

Production Accountant

AKA: Accountant
The person responsible for managing finances during the production.

Production Assistant

AKA: Set Production Assistant, PA, Gopher, Personal Assistant, Assistant To, Assistant To Producer
A person responsible for various odd jobs, which could include such disparate tasks as running errands, stopping traffic, acting as couriers, fetching items from craft service, etc. Tasks and levels of responsibility can vary greatly, depending on the film, the needs of the rest of the team, and the skills of the individuals PA themselves. Production Assistants are often attached to individual actors or filmmakers.

Production Buyer

A person who purchases supplies, equipment, and property necessary for a production.

Production Code

Please see Hays Production Code.

Production Company

A general term for a company that is associated with the making of a movie.

On the web: IMDb Production Companies Section


Production Coordinator

The person responsible for overseeing practical matters such as ordering equipment, getting near-location accommodations for the cast and crew, etc.

Production Designer

AKA: Production Design
An artist responsible for designing the overall visual appearance of a movie.

Production Illustrator

AKA: Storyboard Artist, Illustrator
A person responsible for drawing the storyboards and anything else that needs to be drawn during the production of the movie.

Production Manager

AKA: PM
Reporting to the film's producer, this person supervises the budget, hires the crew, approves purchase orders & time cards, and generally makes sure all departments are doing their respective jobs within the parameters of the budget.

Production Report

A daily report of actual progress versus the production schedule. Includes dope sheets, continuity reports, and call sheets, as well as extensive notes regarding on-set happenings, activities of the cast and crew, and explanations of unexpected events. See also lined script.

Production Schedule

A detailed plan of the timing of activities associated with the making of a movie, of particular interest to production managers. See also production report.

Production Secretary

Secretary to the production manager.

Production Sound Mixer

The head of the sound department on the set. They are responsible for the process of recording all sync dialog and sync sound effects in a scene. The Production Sound Mixer has a number of duties: selection and operation of the microphones, and recording equipment used on the set, directing the boom operator, combining the sound of multiple microphones used to capture dialog and effects on a set, recording sound ambiance and room tone for all scenes, and wild track that will aid the editor and sound mixer in matching the different sound takes in a scene for smooth sound transitions.

Projectionist

A studio or cinema employee that operates a projector.

Projector

A device for displaying a reel of a movie on a screen, either for a screening or a back projection.

Prompter

AKA: Prompt
A person who supplies actors with the correct lines from the script if they forget.

Factual Movie(s): Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991)


Prop

Anything an actor touches or uses on the set; e.g. phones, guns, cutlery, etc. Movie animals and all food styling (food seen or eaten on set/screen) also fall into this domain. See also property assistant and set dresser.

Property Assistant

AKA: Prop Assistant
Responsible for the placement and maintenance of props on a set.

Property Master

AKA: Prop Master, Props, Property, Assistant Property Master
The person responsible for buying, acquiring, and/or manufacturing any props needed for a production. The property master is responsible for all aspects of prop use on the set and, in conjunction with the script supervisor, for maintaining set continuity. Contrast with set dresser.

Prosthetic Appliances

AKA: Prosthetic Makeup, Prosthetics
Makeup that requires gluing additions (prosthetic appliances) made of a material such as latex or gelatin to an actors skin. May be applied by someone other than the designer. See also squib.

Publicity Assistant

Assistant to the publicity director.

Publicity Department

AKA: Advertising
The section of a production's crew responsible for promoting a movie. Individual positions within in this department include: unit publicist, publicity assistant, and stills photographer.

Publicity Director

AKA: Publicity Executive
Person employed by a studio to conceive and oversee the publicity campaign that opens a movie. In many cases, this person never even appears on the set -- especially if the movie is a pickup and didn't have a releasing studio at the time it was produced. In other cases, this person is frequently on the set and directly supervises the efforts of the unit publicist.

Puppeteer

Someone who operates puppets; these may be either physically controlled (e.g., worn), cable operated, or radio controlled. This may also refer to remote-controlled portions of a costume.

Pyrotechnician

A member of the crew with expertise in fire or explosions.