Page last updated at 16:42 GMT, Monday, 29 September 2008 17:42 UK

Journo lingo: Phrases used on a shoot

By Monica Coyne
BBC Technical Operator

School Reporters from Mayfield School and College
School Reporters from Mayfield School and College
School Reporters making a video report may find these phrases, used by BBC film crews, useful.

Before recording, the sound person says:

Can we have some word for level

Which means:

I want to check the microphone and the cables to the camera are working

Then the director says:

Roll to record

Which means:

I'm happy that the interview or piece-to-camera is set up and you can start recording

To which the camera person replies:


Which means:

The tape is recording

Then, while counting on his or her hands, the director says:

Five, four

Then silently:

Three, two, one, action (making an "action" hand gesture)

Which means:

The presenter can start speaking

After the first take, the director may say:

Pick up from...

Which means :

The presenter has made a mistake and needs to ask a question again or redo a piece-to-camera

Then the director says to the camera person:

Can you do a spot check?

Which means:

Check the beginning and end of the tape to make sure the sound and vision are okay. If it's a long interview, check a few places in the middle too.

To which the camera person replies:

That's a clear on the recording

Which means:

The sound and vision on the tape are fine

Finally the director says:

That's a wrap

Which means:

We've finished recording!


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific