Glossary E-H

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.

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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.

Edit Decision List(EDL)
Elapsed Hours
Electronic Funds Transfer(EFT)
Electronic Press Kit(EPK)
End Credit Roll
Equity Investment
Errors & Omissions
Essential Elements
Essential Elements Coverage
Estimate to Complete(ETC)
Estimated Final Cost(EFC)
Exercise of Option
Exhibit G
Exhibitor Share
Eye Contact



Family Bereavement
Favored Nations
Federal Unemployment Insurance(FUI)
Federal Wage & Hour Laws
Film Rentals
Final Application
Financing Structure
Fine Cut
First Draft
Fiscal Year
Focus Puller
Foley Artist
Foley Editor
Food Stylist
Force Majeur
Foreign Co-Production
Foreign Pre-Sale
Foreign Sales
Frame Rate


Gap Financing
General Liability
General Partner
Golden Time
Governing Law
Green Light
Gross Participants
Guild Travel & Accident


Hard Money
Hard Money Requirements
Health & Welfare
Hold Days
Holding Areas
Hot Cost


Edit Decision List(EDL):
A complete list of each and every cut point in the final Edit of a show.
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Elapsed Hours:
The total hours that a crew member is called to work including meal breaks. For example, someone called in at 6am and working until 8pm with a one hour meal break would have 14 elapsed hours. Generally, under union agreements, hours worked after 14 elapsed hours are paid at premium rate.
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Electronic Funds Transfer:
The transfer of funds from one bank account to another via electronic means; generally refers to a method of depositing payroll taxes.
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Electronic Press Kit:
A set of video interviews of major cast and crew members shot by the production and used to source various publicity outlets.
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Generally, a person hired to work for a production who falls under the direction and control of that production; usually, they are paid on a weekly basis; This type of engagement carries certain statutory requirements including withholding of taxes and payment of unemployment and worker’s compensation insurance.
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End Credit Roll:
Generally, the screen credits of a film that appear as a “roll” at the end of the picture.
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An accounting term which defines the amount or value of ownership in an entitiy; Equity = Assets – Liability
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Equity Investment:
Generally means a straight money investment in a production that carries with it rights of ownership; not an acquisition of rights which would be known as a Pre-sale.
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Errors & Omissions:
A type of insurance coverage designed to protect against claims of copyright infringement and invasion of privacy with respect to depictions and materials used in a movie.
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Essential Elements:
The person deemed essential under this type of insurance coverage
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Essential Elements Coverage:
A type of insurance coverage which deems certain individuals “essential” to a production’s completion and without whom, the insured shall suffer a total loss.
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Estimate to Complete(ETC):
In a Cost Report, this is the amount of money in each detail account which represents the remaining expenditure necessary to complete the project
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Estimated Final Cost (EFC):
In a Cost Report, this is the amount equal to the total of the Costs to Date and the Estimate To Complete and is tracked and analyzed in detail each week.
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The specific individual elements listed in calendar form signifying that a cost is incurred; for example, opening an office, start work for a crew person, etc.
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In insurance, specific types of occurrences that are excluded or not covered by a policy.
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Exercise of Option:
With respect to a Literary Option-Purchase Agreement, the term for executing the Purchase clause in the agreement whereby the entire agreed upon purchase price is due and payable
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Exhibit G:
A Daily Actor’s Timesheet required by SAG to be signed by each actor; forms the basis for actor salaries.
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Exhibitor Share:
With respect to a theatrical release, the portion of revenue that is retained by the theater or exhibitor.
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In scheduling, the term for shooting outside

See Background Actors
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Eye Contact:
Generally a reference to a crew member “making eye contact” with an actor during a shooting take. This is to be avoided as it may distract the actor and affect their performance.
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Family Bereavement:
A type of insurance coverage that reimburses the costs of shooting in the event the production is unable to shoot due to the loss of a family member of certain key personnel.
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Favored Nations:
A term used to tie one person’s deal points to another as in “everyone treated on a favored nations basis”; may be with respect to compensation and/or deal terms.
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Federal Unemployment Insurance(FUI):
A payroll tax intended to cover unemployment insurance that is charged at the Federal level.
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Federal Wage & Hour Laws:
A set of Federal laws regarding the proper payment of wages and overtime; including the requirement to pay time and one-half the hourly wage is required to be paid for all hours over 40 worked in a week.
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A payroll tax, also known as Social Security
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Film Rentals:
In theatrical distribution, the amount left over from Box Office gross after the Exhibitor has deducted their share.
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Final Application:
With respect to tax incentives, this needs to be filed in order to receive the final tax credit or rebate
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Financing Credits:
With respect to tax credits, it is possible to borrow against the anticipated credit in certain circumstances; naturally there will be interest and other transactions costs as with any loan.
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Financing Structure:
This is the legal structure of the financing – how the money comes in, who owns what and how the money is disbursed
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Fine Cut:
A stage of editing just before picture is locked; there will be furhter fine tuning but all of the major story points are there.
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First Draft:
Generally, with respect to a screenplay this is a defined step contractually for which a writer receives payment.
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Fiscal Year:
The reporting year of a company that operates on other than a calendar year.
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Focus Puller:
The First Assistant Cameraman
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Foley Artist:
In post production, the creator of customized sound effects created on a soundstage and done to specific on camera actions; classic example would be footsteps
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Foley Editor:
The post production sound editor who is assigned the tax of cutting in Foley effects.
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Food Stylist:
A crew person generally working under the direction of the Prop Master who is responsible for the look and maintenance of food being photographed.
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Force Majeur:
A legal term which means an event that is outside of human control; aka act of God.
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Forced Call:
Any call time given to a cast or crew member that does not allow for the contractual or agreed upon Rest Period.
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Foreign Co-Production:
Productions involving two or more companies from different countries where there is a production treaty between those countries.
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Foreign Pre-Sale:
A financing method wherein the rights to exhibit a picture in a foreign territory are sold to a distributor in advance of the picture being completed. The contract for that sale can then be borrowed agiainst to help finance the picture.
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Foreign Sales:
Generally, the sale of rights to a picture in foreign territories.
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Frame Rate:
An expression of the speed at which film or video plays. The frame refers to film which had a series of still frames moving at a pre-determined speed past a light to project moving images. Film plays at 24 frames per second while video runs at 30 frames per second.
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Additional costs of hiring labor – generally includes statutory charges for payroll taxes as well as union benefit charges.
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The head electrician. One story on the origin of the name is that in the early soundstages the head electrician would adjust lights with a fishing device known as a “gaffing hook”, thus the name “gaffer”.
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Gap Financing:
A short term loan allowing operations to continue while financing is being closed. This is highly speculative since, if financing is not closed, there is no asset to serve as collateral for such a loan. See Bridge Loan.
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General Liability:
Insurance designed to protect business owners from a wide array of losses due to their operations, including injuries on their premises as well as those involving the use of their products.
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General Partner:
A partner who bears personal liability for the activities of a Partnership.
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Golden Time:
Generally a term referring to any Overtime that is paid beyond the Double Time rate at either Double Time and One-Half or Triple Time.
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Governing Law:
In the event of a dispute in a contract or agreement, this is the geographic location whose laws apply and where legal action must be based.
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Schedule – color designated for INTERIOR NIGHT.
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Green Light:
A term that indicates a project has secured its financing and is ready to begin production.
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The department that is responsible for mechanical rigging of lights and camera as well as dolly and crane movement; Generally works side by side with the Electrical Department; Grip is a person who works in this department.
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Gross Participants:
Parties whose contingent compensation is calculated on the picture’s gross revenue; generally, a star actor. Gross participants are paid before investors or alongside investors.
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Guild Travel & Accident:
Insurance coverage that is required by the major film and television guilds – DGA, SAG and WGA – to cover their members for injuries incurred while traveling.
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Hard Money:
In finance terms, generally this is direct investment in a project. Hard money generally expects their investment to be returned and to have some form of profit participation.
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Hard Money Requirements:
These would be the requirements of an investor.
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Health & Welfare:
Generally insurance covering the health issues of members of a union.
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A descriptive term to any production element that plays a prominent role. A “hero car” is usually one that is on camera a lot and driven by the main character; likewise a “hero prop”.
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Hold Days:
Generally, days in which a person or production element is being paid for but not required to work. This is common in SAG agreement under Consecutive Employment clause.
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Holding area:
A space adjacent or near a shooting set designed to house either talent or crew during down time on set. May also refer to a catering space.
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Generally accepted legal holidays; generally paid for an 8 hour minimum for union crew members. Working on holidays results in premium pay.
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A tractor trailer containing bathrooms and multiple private rooms for “holding” actors and others
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Hot Cost:
The term for a daily report issued that measures cost items that fluctuate from day to day, most significantly labor in the form of overtime. Reports are generally done in production only.
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