• I think a lot of scenes that are supposed to be in darkness are shot in normal lighting with a neutral density filter on the lens, to give the impression of darkness. I also think it's the director who says that - the producer raises the money.
  • I dont think that phrase has been used for a long time. The phrase, since I've been alive has been "Actors?" who reply ready "Sound" who replies ready and "Camera" who replies 'speed' or 'the camera's at speed'. Then "Action!"
  • To directly answer your question, "Producers" do not call out any of that. A description of the standard "setup" protocol is below to show you who does and says what on set. As far as a "dark scene" goes, nothing different happens. As you'll read below, all of the lights are in place and on by the time the Actors are on their marks. No one actually says, "Lights, camera, action!" in that way. [excerpted from the book, "What I Really Want to Do: On Set in Hollywood."] A “SETUP” A script is broken into scenes. Each scene is made up of one or several individual shots. The process to get a single shot on film is called a “setup.” The setup follows a predictable pattern that is repeated throughout the schedule for all shots. The typical setup begins with a rehearsal and ends when the First AD says, “Moving on!” • Rehearsal — The Director runs a rehearsal with the Actors, usually to iron out dialogue and character issues. These are usually open rehearsals where everyone on the crew can watch. Sometimes, though, the Director asks that the crew step off the set so he can have a closed rehearsal, which happens if the scene is particularly emotional or if the Director or Actors feel the need for privacy. • Marking Rehearsal — After the general rehearsal, the Director of Photography gets more involved as specific marks for the Actors are chosen with camera placement in mind. • Second Team — Everyone is clear on where the Actors and cameras will be, so now it is time to actually set it all up. The cameras are built and the set is dressed and lit. • Through the works—In the morning and after rehearsals, the Actors leave set and go back to BASE CAMP. While there, the Wardrobe Department gets them properly dressed before Hair and Makeup apply their touches. • Last looks—When the set is ready, FIRST TEAM is called back and the First AD calls for “last looks” or “FINAL TOUCHES.” This is the cue for everyone to get into place. Hair, Makeup, and Wardrobe do a final once-over on the Actors before cameras roll. • On a bell—The First AD asks the Sound Mixer to “put us on a bell.” A loud bell rings once, and this signals everyone to be quiet. • “Roll Sound”—The First AD calls out for sound to roll. A few seconds later, the Boom Operator announces, “Sound speed.” The cameras are turned on and the Second AC says, “Mark!” before clapping the SLATE. The Camera Operators say, “Set” when they are ready. • “Action!”—The Director gets things going. While the Actors are working, it is important that no crewmember make noise, talk, or be in an EYE-LINE. And before anyone even steps near a set, all phones and pagers should be turned to silent mode or off. • “Cut!”—The action has completed successfully or not. Either way, when the Director yells, “Cut,” the sound and cameras stop and everyone waits to find out what will happen next. • “Going again”—The Director has decided that he needs another take. Everyone goes BACK TO ONE (returning to the starting positions) to reset and do it all over again. • “Check the gate”—The Director and the DP are satisfied that they have at least one good take. The First AD asks the First AC to “check the gate” before anyone undoes any of this setup. • “Movin’ on”—The gate was good, so the First AD announces that we’re “Movin’ on” or “New deal.” • Off the bell—The First AD asks the Sound Mixer to “Take us off the bell.” The bell rings twice, and the entire process begins all over again. Brian Dzyak Cameraman/Author IATSE Local 600, SOC

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