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Film Industry Terms – G

Film Industry Terms – G

Film Industry Terms – G

In this series, we’ve been de-mystifying some of the more common film industry terms. Useful for extras and walk-on artistes, as well as other performers, in this instalment we browse through film jargon beginning with the letter G.


Often listed in the closing credits of the film, a gaffer is the head lighting technician on the movie set. He or she will design the lighting, as well as making sure that there is a plan in place to make the best of the action. Their assistant is often referred to as ‘best boy’.

Gender twist

There has been a lot of ink spilt in recent times of gender, especially as we are now embracing the idea that not everyone wants to identify with being male or female, nor with the gender they were born with.

For a long time – and some argue this is still the case – films and TV production reinforced stereotypes around gender norms. A gender twist is when the ‘accepted’ gender of a character is changed.

Two examples as ‘M’ played by Judi Dench in James Bond films, a role that was normally given to a male actor. Jodie Whittaker when she became Dr Who also took on a role that up until a few years ago, was considered a male-only role.

General release

This refers to when a film is being released wholesale across the globe.


Genre is a French word for ‘type’ or ‘kind’. It is used not just in films but in literature too. it refers to a class or type of film such as westerns, sci-fi and so on. Films are often referred to as a genre when they share common and distinct artistic theme or elements,

For example, in westerns, the film would be typified by cowboys, the hats and clothing they wear as well as the plot and narrative. Driven by film styles, there are also those films that go against typical genres and are known as anti-genre films.

Genres include action films, adventure, gangster, sci-fi, western, horror, thriller, musical and comedy.


This is a film style characterised by ‘dark and dreary influences’ and deathly forces. There are many different examples but the 1939 version of Wuthering Heights is the ideal example. Not only is it dark and gothic but it also teases gothic romance too.  Some older versions of Dracula can also be described as gothic as well as the 1946 version of Great Expectations.

Green light

When a film or production has the green light, it means everything is in place and filming is about to start.

Gross takings

This refers to how much a film makes at the box office before all expenses are taken into account. For many, the bigger this figure and the faster a film makes money, the more successful it is.

Guilty-pleasure film

Sometimes, a film is made that is so truly awful it becomes iconic in its own right. Known as B movies, these are often the films that people secretly enjoy, hence the term guilty-pleasure film. And when it comes to example, it really is over to you…

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