Industry Glossary

AFM - American Federation of Musicians, representing musicians in film and TV.

AFTRA - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. National labor union representing performers, journalists and other artists working in entertainment and news.

AMPTP - Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. From their website: "the trade association responsible for negotiating virtually all the industry-wide guild and union contracts, including the American Federation of Musicians (AFM); American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA); Directors Guild of America (DGA); International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE); International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW); Laborers Local 724; Screen Actors Guild (SAG); Teamsters Local 399, and Writers Guild of America (WGA).

The AMPTP, the entertainment industry's official collective bargaining representative, negotiates 80 industry-wide collective bargaining agreements on behalf of over 350 motion picture and television producers (member companies include studios, broadcast networks, certain cable networks and independent producers)."

companies - Management - the producing companies represented by the AMPTP - are referred to as the companies.

DGA - Directors Guild of America, the union of film and TV directors, assistant directors and unit production managers.

feature - Motion picture over an hour in length.

first-look - A deal wherein a particular studio has the first option on a filmmaker's or writer's projects.

greenlight - The okay or go-ahead for a film to be made.

hike - To increase, raise or promote.

IATSE - International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees union.

IBEW - International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

ink - To sign a contract.

major - Traditionally, one of the eight major film studios: Disney, MGM, Paramount, Sony, 20th Century Fox, Dreamworks, Universal, Warner Brothers.

Today, there are the Big Six Conglomerates: Sony (Sony Pictures, Columbia Pictures, MGM/UA, Sony Pictures Classics, Screen Gems, TriStar Pictures, Destination Films), News Corporation (Fox Filmed Entertainment, 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight, Fox Faith, Fox Atomic), The Walt Disney Company (Buena Vista Motion Pictures Group, Walt Disney Pictures/Touchstone Pictures, Miramax Films, Hollywood Pictures), Time Warner (Warner Bros. Entertainment, New Line Cinema, HBO, Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema, HBO Films, Castle Rock Entertainment, Warner Independent, Picturehouse), Viacom (Paramount Motion Pictures Group, Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks SKG, Paramount Classics/Paramount Vantage, Go Fish Pictures), General Electric (NBC Universal, Universal Studios, Focus Features, Rogue Pictures).

MPA - Motion Picture Association, international arm of Motion Picture Association of America(MPAA) representing the interests of the Hollywood studios abroad.

MPAA - Motion Picture Association of America (represents the interests of the major motion picture studios).

off-net - Network TV series repeats sold into syndication.

P&A - Prints and advertising, the promotional expense that goes on a film's financial ledger after production is complete.

pact - (n.) a contract; (v.) to sign a contract.

pen - (v.) to write.

percenter (also tenpercenter) - Agent.

pinkslip - To lay off or fire from a job.

pitch - Anything from a one-line description to a several-page treatment of an idea - it is not yet a script.

post-production - Stage at which editing, scoring and effects are executed on a motion picture or TV production.

pre-production - Stage at which a motion picture or TV project is prepared to go into production.

put pilot - A deal to produce a pilot that includes substantial penalties if the pilot is not aired; a virtual guarantee that a pilot will be picked up.

residual - Deferred payment made to the creator of performance art or the performer for subsequent showings or screenings.

SAG - The Screen Actors Guild, the union for film and TV actors.

scribbler (or scribe) - Writer.

showrunner - Executive producer of a television series; frequently but not always a series writer. Not to be confused with a producer, as in AMPTP.

spec script - A script shopped or sold on the open market, as opposed to one commissioned by a studio or production company.

Teamsters Local 399 - Hollywood union chapter belonging to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters/Motion Picture and Theatrical Trade Division.

thirty-mile zone - Within a union-defined 30-mile radius - often measured from the Beverly Center in West Hollywood - a production company can shoot without paying travel expenses or per-diems (daily expenses).

tentpole - Movie expected by a studio to be one of its biggest grossing features of the season.

theatrical - Feature-length motion picture.

turnaround - No longer active; a project put into turnaround has been abandoned by one studio and may be shopped to another.

upfront - Commercial time sold in advance of the TV season.

WGA - Writers Guild of America (West and East) the union for film and TV writers.

Fans4Writers is unaffiliated with the WGA, except in spirit.
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