When the AD calls out that this is the Abby Singer, what should you do?

Well, nothing, because you’re the screenwriter. But being the observant sort, you might notice that the gaffers start tidying up. Craft service begins putting away the vegetable dip. The second AD dispatches some PAs to make copies of the call sheet.

movie speak bookThe Abby Singer is the next-to-last shot of the day, or at a given location. And if you’ve never heard of it, or some of the other terms mentioned above, I can recommend Tony Bill’s book Movie Speak: How to Talk Like You Belong on a Movie Set. It’s by far the best guide and glossary I’ve seen to all the esoteric terms you hear on a movie set. And real terms, not goofy had-to-be-there catchphrases.

Keep in mind: as a screenwriter sitting at a computer, you’ll never use most of these terms. You’ll never, ever type them in a script. It’s only when you’re on a working set that you’ll hear them. But knowing them might save you some embarrassment and confusion.

(As a reminder, I’ve previously recommended The Hollywood Standard as a go-to guide for screenplay formatting.)