Acting Terms You Need To Know (pg. 2)
Open Call: This is just like a casting call, but anybody - whether they have an agent or not - can come in off the street. These are often used to cast big extra scenes, but you never know, you could get discovered!
Demo Reel: A video tape of all the previous film work you have done. It usually contains different types of stuff, like happy scenes and sad scenes and funny scenes. They are usually about five minutes in length and should show as much of the different sides to your talent as possible. So mix one part Romeo and Juliet with two parts Jim Carrey... stir vigorously, bake for twelve minutes, let stand one half hour, serve with fries or salad.
Screenwriter: This is the person who wrote the story or script for the movie. Did you know that sometimes there are multiple screenwriters for one movie? For example, X2 had three screenwriters, not to mention a whole lot of mutants.
Sides: These are the lines from the script that you'll be using for your audition. They can be anywhere from four lines to fourteen pages, maybe more, depending on the part you're up for. You'll get your sides from your agent before your audition. Your agent gets them from the casting agent, who gets them from the production company, which is connected to the hip bone, which is connected to the... oh never mind.
Feature: Now this is where you want to be. If you want to be famous, want to make lots of dough, well, the feature is where it's at. It's the full-length, big money Hollywood-style movie. And, if you're lucky, you might get to have lunch with some stars... excuse me Ashton, is this seat taken?
Pilot: This is the term used for the first episode of a television series. Basically, there is an idea for a TV show, the screenwriter writes, the actors act and the episode of the show gets made. If the test audience likes it, the pilot gets picked up by a studio (Fox, NBC, ABC, UPN - whatever,) that will make at least one season or about 13 episodes of the series. If it isn't well liked, it won't get picked up and the pilot itself may never see the light of day. The cool thing is that you get paid either way - NICE!
Casting Agent: This is the cat who talks to your agent about who in your agent's roster might be good for the part. (This, you hope, will always be you.) They work directly with the director and producer to fill in all the roles available on any given project.
Extra: A non-speaking part, or window dressing, as some people call it. Being an extra is a great way to start making money and learn about the process of movie making. And, you never know, you might just get chosen to do more. "Who's ready for their close-up?"
Principle: These are the guys who never shut up. They're the big shots, the larger roles, with more lines, and these are the parts you need if you want be a star and make the big bucks.