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Grip and Lighting Illustrated Online Dictionary for Film and Video Production:

P - from Parabolic light  to Punch.

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Parabolic (spotlight) - a stage, film and video lighting unit using a parabolic reflector (and often a non-fresnel type lens) to produce a narrow beam of light. Lekos, Source Fours and similar brands of lights fall into this category.

Parallels - the individual horizontally oriented bars in scaffolding. The word is also used to name the entire scaffolding system. Parallels/scaffolds can be used to build a camera shooting platform, support fairly large lights and other tasks on a film shoot.

Photoflood - a type of light bulb or globe which is run at an over-voltage to raise the color temperature (above the normal orange tungsten color temp) and increase the brightness or output.

Photometer (aka light meter) - is used to measure light intensity. The two types are incident and spot meters. Incident light meters measure the light falling onto a light-sensitive ball or disc, while spot meters evaluate the light reflected from a given object in the scene through a lens. Gaffers and L.D.'s use them along with D.P.'s/cameramen to fine tune light levels and "be on the same page" with the D.P.'s requests.

Pipes - can be parallels in a scaffold set up or individual crossing beams in an overhead grid for hanging lighting and grip units.

Polarity - the direction of current in a DC (direct current) power feed or system, defined as either positive or negative.

Polecats - a very useful type of spring-loaded, cylindrical/pipe type rigging. Polecats feature suction-cup type pads at either end, and are expandable in length. They can be used vertically between a floor and ceiling, or horizontally from wall to wall (depending on their maximum length). Polecats can be used for rigging lights and grip items, background support and many other applications.

Pool-hall lighting - a style of film/video lighting that seems to, or does, come from one overhead lighting source, such as might be found over a pool table or boxing ring.

Poop - a phrase sometimes used to request more light output from a lamp, either by moving it closer to the subject or spotting it in (if a fresnel type fixture). "Get a little more poop out of that 2K".

Porcelain - a higher capacity (60 or 100 amp) extension cable or whip that has a single or double pocket stage plug hole.

Practical - refers to any electrical (and sometimes mechanical) item in a scene, set or location that needs to actually operate while a scene is being filmed. A practical light, for example, is a light that is on and visible in the shot. A practical computer would be on/working and the screen display visible in a given shot or scene.

Practical set - a "real" or location "set", as opposed to a built set in a studio or on a film lot.

Props - comes from the word properties, and refers to any item to be used in a scene, usually of a portable nature, and includes furniture. Items as small as a book of matches (or smaller) up to something as large as a non-working airplane in the background could be considered "props". Although not part of the grip and lighting departments really, the props are part of the landscape a grip, gaffer, L.D and D.P must factor into setups and shots. A "prop" can even be the subject of the shot itself.

Punch - can refer to the amount of light or the "spottiness" or "tightness" of the beam from a given lighting instrument. "Give it more punch" would mean "adjust the beam toward the spot setting and away from the flood setting", or to create a more focused beam (from a fresnel-type light, for example).



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