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Phonetic Alphabet


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#1 Dan Collins

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 09:43 PM

Can some list the full phonetic alphabet that is most commonly used in film slating. Im aware there can be many variations. I have typically used thr military version (alpha bravo charlie delta) but have noticed many film people think Im making it up out, when it has just never been an issue before. Since it is one now, I figure i ought to learn at one of the morr tradituonal ones foe the industry.
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 10:50 PM

I prefer the Military one myself... I'm not certain there is some "film centric" one, though I could be wrong. I'd just stick with military....
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#3 Matt Kelly

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 12:28 AM

It really doesn't matter much. I've run into a bunch of scripties who do military ones like bravo and tango, but I think almost everyone says "Mary" and "Nancy". There is sort of an unwritten movieland alphabet here in LA, but it's mostly name based and much of it is interchangeable with the military version without getting a funny look

The alphabet I normally end up using is this;

Apple
Baker
Charlie
Delta
Echo
Foxtrot
George
Hotel
Jackson
Kilo
Lima
Mary
Nancy
Peter
Quincy
Romeo
Sam (sometimes when S is used)
Tango
Uniform
Victor
Whiskey
X-ray


It's pretty much just military and movie-land's mixed, but whatever you get used to totally depends on the script supervisor that you're with. I wouldn't worry about it too much. It's not a super important thing, but if the funny looks bother you, then try using "edward" or "frank" instead :P. Also if you haven't already, watch this:


Im amazed how many setups there were for some of those scenes. One got up to "Fritz Lang"... Really??? Lol. That's amazing
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#4 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 01:49 AM

A couple alternatives to the aforementioned that I use, below:

Alpha
Franklin
Gamma
Henry
Kelvin
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#5 J Van Auken

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 03:10 AM

More than once we've gotten into using DP's;

Ackroyd
Ballhaus
Chapman
Deakins
Elswitt
Fraker
Goldblatt
etc..

Good memory game, anyway.
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#6 Fred Neilsen

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 09:56 PM

More than once we've gotten into using DP's;

Ackroyd
Ballhaus
Chapman
Deakins
Elswitt
Fraker
Goldblatt
etc..

Good memory game, anyway.


But then you have to chose between Doyle and Deakins
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#7 Mitch Gross

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 12:03 AM

I like using Godfather character names.
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#8 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 10:28 AM

Star trek characters and/or aliens/ships..

Barclay
Crusher
Data
Enterprise
Ferangi
Gyianan (spelling?)
(H?)
Intrepid
Jerrak
Klingon
Laforge
Montgomery
Nelix
. . ..
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#9 Douglas Johnson

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 06:17 PM

That's a great video from Inglourius Basterds.

Most people don't mind if you have a little fun with the letters but some do. You'll feel this out quickly. Generally I used the standard Apple, Baker, Charlie, but on one shoot there were so many set ups it was the first time I got into double letters. I remember one I used was 'American Yeti' everyone cracked up and they had to stop the camera. After that I just stayed safe.

So, there's no real rule of thumb, just so long as people understand what letters they are when heard verbally.
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#10 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 07:13 PM

(H?)




Holodeck.
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#11 K Borowski

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 10:28 AM

Atoz - Great name for a librarian :-) - AnTYproton - Android
Brahms *hot stuff!* - Binar
Cestus [III] - Constellation - Constitution - Cochran
Dravidian or Decker or Disruptor - Doomsday or Daystrom (You are Great, I am great!) - Daystar or Delta used in TNG for *their* alphabet
Exeter - ENTER-prise (stress important)
Ferengi - Forty-seven - Finney
Guinan - Giotto (Lt. Commander) - Gorn
Hugh (:-) ) - Horta
Ilia - Impulse
Jupiter [Station]
Kohms - Ko[o]r - Kligon - Krag - Kirk
Lamda [Field Generation] - Lore
M-5 - Mordok - Minuet - Mugato
Neutral - Nanite
Organia
Phage - Polarity - Phaser
Q is just Q :-) - or Quasar the episode where they didn't understand that Quasars ARE galaxies, not in galaxies
Rigel [Colony]
Starbase - Stardate - Spock - Sta[o?}hn
Tribble - T'Pel - T'Pau - T'Pring - Telepath - Troi - Three-D Chess - Tiberius
Uhura
V'ger - Vash
Wix - Warp - Worf - Washburn
Xindi (even though Enterprise SUCKS)
Yang
Zefram - Zone - Z particle



What do I win, what do I win?
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#12 Matt Kelly

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 10:52 AM

Wow... It went there.
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#13 K Borowski

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 11:01 AM

Thanks for calling me "It" Matt. :(
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#14 John Sprung

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 01:35 PM

Most people don't mind if you have a little fun with the letters .....


Yeah, in the olden days we usually would have fun with the letters, just make up stuff related to the content of the scene. Then the sound guys invented the little slate mike, and pre-slating on the tape to save film. The AC's merely said "marker". I guess with digital that stopped working, so they went back to having the 2nd. read the slate.




-- J.S.
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#15 Matt Kelly

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 05:20 PM

Thanks for calling me "It" Matt. :(

Haha. No I didn't mean you, I meant the topic itself :P. For the most part though I've only seen 2nd's calling out slates on super duper low budget stuff where maybe the mixer is also the boom op. Most sound guys will say it into a mic themselves.
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#16 Mitch Gross

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 10:31 PM

Wow... It went there.

When the conversation goes far enough, production crews often find themselves talking Star Trek. I understand it's the same way in the halls of places like Google and MIT. Remember that the first computer game after checkers and tic-tac-toe was a Star Trek game.

I have a Tri-Dimensional Chess set sitting in my office. Take a look at the window sill in this video. Funny thing is that I's just moved into that office and the place was barren so it's the only decoration in the room. Sad, right?

http://blog.abelcine...t2-8-zoom-lens/

My excuse was that we needed something for our NAB booth that could show off the use of our HD Scope periscope/borescope system. But that was just an excuse to get AbelCine to buy me one off eBay.
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#17 Marque DeWinter

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 02:25 AM

Just so you have it (and I tend to use the military/NATO one...can't shake the army in me)

Alpha
Bravo
Charlie
Delta
Echo
Foxtrott
Gulf
Hotel
India
Juliet
Kilo
Lima
Mike
November
Oscar
Popa
Quebec
Romeo
Sierra
Tango
Uniform
VIctor
Whisky
X-Ray
Yankee
Zulu

They are those specifically because when pronounced in line with the guidelines there are no other words that sound similar.

~Marque
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#18 Larry Nielsen

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 12:57 AM

If it helps, the US film industry took a drastic turn during and after World War II. A great deal of equipment and language came from the military to Hollywood from those who served. Examples include the phonetic alphabet, the camera dolly, which was originally used to raise bombs onto and into planes, geared heads, from the gun turrets on ships. Interesting isn't it.
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