Glossary C-D

Here you will find my ‘plain English’ definitions for some of the terms used every day around a production.

You can navigate to alphabetical sections of the Definitions or scroll through the list of terms. Generally site references to any terms are linked to their Glossary entry on this page. I also link to more “official” sites for any of the truly technical terms.

And return to the Glossary Home page for more helpful External Links.

Navigation:  
Go to C TERMS
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If you’ve come across a term or an acronym that you aren’t familiar with please let me know by submitting it below. I’ll do my best to get you a definition and an explanation.

 

C TERMS
C Corp
Calendar
Call Sheet
Call time
Camera Car
Captain
Cash Basis
Cash Flow
Cast
Cast Insurance
Cast Medical
Casting Director
Ceiling(s)
Certificate of Insurance
Chain of Title
Chart of Accounts
Check Print
Check Request
Cherry Picker
Civil Authority Coverage
Claims Adjuster
Clip License
Clips
Clips (Promotional)
Collateral
Collective Bargaining Agreement(CBA)
Color Correct
Completion Bond
Compliance
Consecutive Employment
Construction
Contingency
Contingent Compensation
Contract Dates
Contract Expiration
Corporate Officer(s)
Corporation
Cost Period
Cost Report
Cost To Date(CTD)
Courtesy Transportation
Cover Set
Coverage
CPA
Credit
Credit(s)
Crew Rate Structure
Critical Assumptions
Cross Collateralize
Crowd Funding
Cue sheet
Cut Away
Cutoffs

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D TERMS

Daily Allowance
Day
Day Rate
Day Break
Day Player
Day-Out-Of-Days(DOOD)
Debit
Deductible
Deferments
Deferral Pool
Deferrals
Department Heads
Departmental Breakdowns
Departmental Budgets
Departments
Depreciation
DGA
Digital Cinema Package(DCP)
Director
Director of Photography
Disability Insurance
Discounting
Disregarded Entity
Distant Location
Distribution Fees
Domestic Box Office

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C Corp:
A tax designation for a corporation meaning that it is taxed as a separate entity and will pay federal, state and local taxes. Distributions to shareholders are then taxable to those shareholders as well.
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Calendar
In budgeting and/ or scheduling, the detail of an entire productions schedule from the beginning of preparation to the final completion and Delivery of the project elements.
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Call Sheet
A physical and/or electronic report detailing all of the elements required for a given day of shooting and the time and location they are required; this document is the basis of determing every person’s start time for payroll purposes.
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Call time
A crew or cast member’s start work time as indicated in the Call Sheet.
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Camera Car
A vehicle designed to mount camera, lighting and other equipment for shooting a scene in a moving car.
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Captain
The crew position that is in charge of a Transportation Department (may be in place of or in addition to a “Transportation Coordinator”).
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Cash Basis
An accounting term indicating that income and expenses are recorded when they are received or spent; not when they are incurred. This differs from “Accrual Basis”. For example, a service is performed in December but the money is not received until January. Under a Cash Basis accounting method the income would not be recorded until it is received in January.
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Cash Flow
The cash requirements of a production over time, generally express in terms of weeks; often a requirement for funding a project’s budget intended to use funds only on an “as needed basis”.
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Cast
Generally, the speaking roles on a project.
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Cast Insurance
Insurance coverage intended to compensate the production for money/ time lost due to injuries and/ or illness of the cast; also extended to all key production personel without whom the picture cannot be shot (such as Director, Director of Photography).
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Cast Medical
A physical examination by a doctor for anyone who is being coverd by Cast Insurance.
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Casting Director
The person(s) in charge of coming up with ideas for, auditioning and hiring the speaking roles for a project; generally works under the supervision of the Director and under the approval of Producers and Financiers.
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Ceilings
see “cutoffs”
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Certificate of Insurance
A document evidencing the types, amounts and periods of insurance coverage for a specific entity.
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Chain of Title
With respect to a specific property (a script, for example), this is the historical sequence of ownership and transfers of that ownership beginning with the original owner, usually the author.
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Chart of Accounts
The numbering system used to budget, record and track the costs associated with a production.
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Check Print
A 35mm film print run from a fully timed and color corrected Internegative, intended to confirm that the settings are as indicated and match those used to create the Answer Print. Run and screened prior to striking Release Prints.
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Check Request
A form used by an accounting department for anyone needing a check to be written for payments that are not requested via invoice; often used for contractual payments and/or unique one-off payments.
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Cherry Picker
A truck or other vehicle containing a bucket attached to a long extendable hyraulic arm. The purpose is to use this device for a lighting or camera position.
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Civil Authority Coverage
Insurance coverage which insures a production against losses due to the interruption of shooting based on the instructions or requirements of a civil authority such as fire or police departments or other government agencies.
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Claims Adjuster
see Insurance Adjuster.
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Clearance(s)
General term used to indicate that permission has been obtained to use copyrighted materials; for example, music clearances, still photo clearances, etc.
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Clip License
A license allowing the usage of a copyrighted video or film clip in another film or video project; typically, the license is non-exlculsive and contains specific terms for the price, type, duration and scope of use.
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Clips
Generally video clips owned by third parties and licensed for use in the body of a film or other production
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Clips
Generally clips of the final film or show that are used to air alongside actor interviews or in other marketing situations. Clips are generally 60 to 90 seconds in length.
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Collateral
In banking, a term used for assets held as security for a loan.
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Collective Bargaining Agreement
An agreement between an authorized bargaining agent and a union regarding terms and conditions of employment for that union’s members.
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Color Correct
In post production, the process by which colors and other visual aspects of a project are adjusted under the supervision of the project’s director and/or director of photography.
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Completion Bond
A form of insurance whereby the guarantor insurance company guarantees completion of the production on a certain budget.
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Compliance
Generally refers to adherence to laws or statutes; for example, paying labor correctly, filing tax reporting forms on a timely basis, etc.
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Consecutive Employment
A term of employment, generally in a union contract, which stipulates that intervening time between work dates must be paid as if worked.
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Construction
The department that builds sets and set pieces for locations under the supervision of an Art Director and Production Designer.
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Contingency
An amount set aside for unexpected expenses in a production budget; generally a requirement of a Completion Bond.
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Contingent Compensation
A type of compensation that is contingent upon other events occurring; for example profit particiaptions or box office bonuses.
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Contract Dates
The dates for which a specific contract is valid; generally labor rates increase when a contract is renewed so it is important to specify the dates for which quoted rates are valid.
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Contract Expiration
The date beyond which a contract’s terms and conditions are no longer valid.
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Corporate Officer(s)
The management team of a corporation, generally, President, Vice President, Treasurer and/or Secretary; These offices hold certain specific fiduciary responsibilities.
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Corporation
A legal entity whereby stock is issued to shareholders and a Board of Directors is elected to manage the company via a team of corporate officers.
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Cost Period
The period in which costs are measured; generally during photography this is one week while in post it may be two or more weeks.
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Cost Report
A detailed accounting report that indicates the costs incurred, the total cost to date, an Estimate to Complete and an Estimated Final Cost which is compared to a Budgeted amount. This is the mechanism by which a production measures the differential between their actual cost and their budget.
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Costs To Date (CTD)
The costs incurred through a specific date for a project.
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Courtesy Transportation
A ride for cast and/or crew that is provided as a courtesy to them despite the fact that a shooting location is within the Zone; generally used for night shoots or in dangerous or difficult to get to locations.
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Cover Set
A backup shooting location which a production can go to if they are unable to shoot at the location originally planned. Generally used in cases of inclement weather cause exterior shoots to be cancelled.
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Coverage
In insurance, this describes the specific types of events that are insurable – for example, life insurance provides coverage in the event of the death of the insured.
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Coverage
The written analysis of a screenplay or other literary material that includes a logline, a synopsis and a critical analysis of the material with respect to both it’s overall literary merit and its viability as a motion picture.
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CPA
In the U.S., a Certified Public Accountant; a license conferred by individual states denoting a professional level of competence in accounting and tax matters.
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Credit
An accounting term literally meaning “right side” of an account; A Credit is the opposite of a Debit; A Credit decreases an Asset and Expense account but increases a Liability, Equity or Income account.
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Credit(s)
Generally known as screen credit; the negotiated placement of a cast or crew members name in the End or Main Titles of the picture.
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Crew Rate Structure
The hierarchy of pay scale on a crew; generally, the Director of Photography is the highest salary Below-the-Line. The core crew is generally paid based on a Key-Second-Third rate structure with all similar positions earning the same wage.
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Critical Assumptions
A page which accompanies every budget detailing the major assumptions used to create that budget; for example, shooting days, star salaries, etc.
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Cross Collateralize
Generally, to use the revenues from one asset to offset loses from another; used often when a package of films is financed and/ or sold and all revenue from the subsequent pictures is bundled together instead of tracked separately; also occurs when a single distributor uses all revenues from all sources to offset costs of acquisition and distribution.
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Crowd Funding
Refers to various methods of funding projects via online sites that seek donations and offer rewards to those who contribute at certain levels. These sites charge a fee and the donations are generally not tax deductible.
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Cue Sheet
A generic term for a list of creative elements in a production, listing time and type of use. Generally used for Music Cues but can also be related to Visual Effects, Video Clips, etc.
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Cut Away
In editing a separate shot that the editor can use to insert in a long take in order to shorten the original take. Also used to provide a variety of shots in cutting the scene.
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Cutoff
In payroll, the limit on wages after which a certain tax or benefit contribution is no longer charged. For example, in 2013 the cutoff for applying the FICA tax is $113,100 per person per year. See also, “Ceiling”
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D Terms


Daily Allowance:
A lump sum of money accounted for on a daily basis. For example, budgeting a Daily Allowance for Site Rentals.
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Day:
Scheduling definition used for scenes taking place during daylight hours.
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Day Rate:
Generally based on an 8 hour day for union workers. Industry conventions have become deals based on a Day Rate for a given number of hours (10 or 12), however, a Day Rate based on anything beyond 8 hours may create problems with Federal Wage & Hour Laws and should be avoided. Always best to base Day Rate on an 8 hour day.
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Day Break:
Scheduling definition – a strip signifying one day’s work completed
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Day Player:
Generally a term used for an employee who is not a regular employee but works sporadically by the day. With respect to Actors and the SAG Basic Agreement, these are performers employed on a Scehdule A for an 8 hour minumum per day.
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Day-Out-Of-Days (DOOD):
A scheduling report indicating all of the elements of a specific category and how many days they work out of the entire schedule.
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Debit:
An accounting term literally meaning “left side” of an account; the opposite of a Credit. Debits increase Asset and Expense accounts while decreasing Liabilities, Equity and Income accounts.
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Deductible:
An insurance term meaning the portion of a claim that is the responsibility of the insured; this amount is set for each type of coverage and expressed as the first “X” dollars of a claim.
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Deferments:
see Deferrals
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Deferral Pool:
Name given to the collective group or groups that have some form of Deferred Payment or Deferral due.
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Deferrals:
This is a form of contingent compensation wherein payment is delayed either until some condition is met and/or some time element is reached; generally, these payments are not guaranteed.
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Department Heads:
With respect to a crew, this is the person who is creatively and financially in charge of a department; they are paid at the Key rate or higher. Also known as Head of Department or HOD.
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Departmental Breakdowns:
The detailed analysis of a script done by a Department Head with respect to their area of responsibility; done with the intention of preparing a detailed budget; for example, the Prop Master will create a detailed, scene-by-scene breakdown of every prop needed for a show.
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Departmental Budgets:
The projected cost of acquiring all of the elements in the Departmental Breakdown for the required amount of time.
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Departments:
The working units of a production organized according to task.
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Depreciation:
A reduction in the value of an asset based on wear and tear over time. Physical assets such as automobiles are “Depreciated.” Films and television productions are “Amortized.”
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DGA:
Directors Guild of America, the collective bargaining unit representing Directors, Production Managers and Assistant Directors.
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Digital Cinema Package(DCP):
A high quality digital version of a film delivered via physical hard drive or electronic transmission and used for screening the film in theaters. Requires a Digital Cinema Projector.
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Director:
In feature films, the person responsible for all aspects of the creative content of the production.
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Director of Photography:
The person responsible for the lighting and photography of a production, also known as Cinematographer.
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Disability Insurance:
Insurance that provides coverage for individuals who become disabled; generally, provides benefits designed to replace a person’s income if they are disabled and cannot work.
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Discounting:
Generally, selling at a lower rate; applies to transferrable tax credits.
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Disregarded Entity:
A tax term indicating that an entity is “disregarded” with respect to tax; i.e., the enitity does not pay its own income taxes – all income and loss flows through to the owners of the entity.
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Distant Location:
Any shooting location that requires the cast and/or crew to spend a night away from home; generally requires payment of transportation, hotel and per diem
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Distribution Fees:
Fees charged by a distribution company for their services; generally charged as a percentage of box office.
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Domestic Box Office (DBO):
Gross revenues from theatrical ticket sales
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