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Movie Speak: How to Talk Like You Belong on a Film Set

At a Glance

  • Experience a writer's love of language in this collection of hundreds of film terms
  • This working language of movies sheds light on the hugely complex process of making a film
  • A book about what it’s really like to be a director or a producer or an actor or a crew member

When is "groucho" not a comedian? A "seagull" not a bird? A "banana" not a fruit, and a "taco cart" not a food stand? What's the "Castle rock rule" and when should you call for a "buff & puff"? And why expect trouble when the A.D. (assistant director) knowingly mumbles "Gone With the Wind in the morning, Dukes of Hazzard after lunch"? An oral tradition gathered and passed down for more than a hundred years, the language of moviemaking, like other secret lexicons, is the only accepted way of communicating on a set—and is all but unknown to the outside world. Technical, odd, colorful, mysterious, the working language of movies sheds light not only on the hugely complex process of making a film, but on the invisible hierarchies of a set, the unspoken etiquette between cast and crew, and the evolution of a process that's endlessly fascinating.

Movie Speak is a book about language, but through language also a book about what it’s really like to be a director or a producer or an actor or a crew member. An Oscar-winning producer (The Sting), actor (who worked with Spielberg, Coppola, and Sydney Pollock), and director (Five Corners, Flyboys, My Bodyguard, and more), Tony Bill has been on sets for more than 30 years and brings a writer's love of language to this collection of hundreds of film terms. A futz. A cowboy. A Brodkin and a double Brodkin (a.k.a. screamer). Streaks ’n tips, a Lewinsky, Green Acres, rhubarb, a peanut, a Gary Coleman, snot tape, twin buttes, manmaker (and why you can yell for one if needed for a grip, but must whisper if it's for Tom Cruise) - these are the tricks of the trade.

Product Details

Return Policy

Your satisfaction is our top priority. If you are not satisfied with your purchase, please return the item(s) for an exchange or refund within 30 days from the purchase date, unless otherwise noted on the product page.

Ship the item(s) to The Writers Store via a traceable and insured method. You will be responsible for return shipping fees.

Please include a completed Return Form with your shipment. Refunds take up to one week to process once we have received the item(s).

Software returns must be deactivated and uninstalled from your computer before a refund may be issued. Please contact the software manufacturer if you need assistance uninstalling or deactivating your software.

The following items are not returnable: Hollywood Creative Directories, DVDs (opened), and Gift Certificates.

Meet the Author: Tony Bill

Tony Bill started out in Hollywood as an actor, became an Oscar-winning producer (The Sting), and then a director for film (My Bodyguard, Five Corners, Untamed Heart, Flyboys, and more) and television (Truman Capote's "One Christmas," Harlan County War, Pictures of Hollis Woods). He teaches and lectures widely on film and lives with his family in the oldest house in Venice, California.

$8.95