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Glossary of filmy terms

india Updated: Jul 04, 2010 03:21 IST
Rahul Bose
Rahul Bose
Hindustan Times
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Rahul BoseAll right, so this is an exaggeration, but here’s a glossary of words (you thought you knew the meaning of) used in the main stream film industry.

Get-up: Not to be confused with the electric shock you got when your mother screamed these words into your ear every schoolday morning. In the film industry it means your costume, your makeup, your facial hair, your overall ‘look’ in the film. Usage — “Rahul saab, yeh National Award-winning role hain. Isme aapka get-up bilkul alag hain!”

Look test: No, not an optician’s chart reading. It’s a kind of screen test where nobody’s interested whether you can act or not. They just want to know how hot you look on camera. (Which is why no one’s ever asked me to do a look test.) Usage — Pinky madam, directorsaab aapko aaj hi sign karne ke liye tayaar hain, bus aapka look test baaki hain.

Highlights: Wrong again, so stop tossing your hair in the mirror, admiring the light catching your coloured hair. These are the commercial ‘highs’ of a film. A song sequence. A comedic character’s entry. Usage — Producer to director, ‘Sir, har dus minute koi na koi highlight nikalni hi chahiye. Kya hain na ki, audience ko pakadke rakhna hai.’

Interval point: No, it’s not the halfway point of the film. It’s the point of the film where the tension must rachet up, leaving the audience gasping for more. Usage — Director narrating the script to Superstar, ‘aur jaise hi aap mudke ke apne judwe bhai ko pehli baar dekhte ho… interval point!!’

ETMBA: Every Title Must Be Abbreviated. KKK, HAHK, you get the point. Coming soon, WTF. Get your mind out of the gutter. It’s Woh Thi Fataaka. Usage — Director to journalist, ‘Making OMG was a challenge for me because there are no songs!’ Item: Ah, you thought you knew this one, huh? Nice try, but it’s not ‘item’ as in ‘item number’.

It’s a sequence that has nothing to do with the narrative of the film but will have the audience whistling, throwing coins at the screen. Usage — Assistant director to director, ‘Lekin sir, iss point pe hero haathi ke saath sword fighting kyon karta hain?’ Director pats AD’s head paternally while his chamchas laugh, ‘Tu samjhega nahin, darling. Yeh item hain, item. Isi ko dekhne public dubaara ayenge.’

Next week we play — What They Mean When They Say. E.g. what does a director mean when he says to his hero after a shot, ‘Vicky, ek aur baar try karte hain. Kya hain na, mazaa nahin aaya.’ He means - ‘Stop this naturalistic, underplaying acting, you’ll sink my film. Give me something big, or atleast one of your four famous expressions. What the hell am I paying you for?’