A blog by Jorge Garcia.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Sometime when you go to the movies you get that Coca Cola slideshow where you might get a film production vocabulary word (like "gaffer") with the definition.

Well I heard one on set that Coke will never show you. 

See when you shoot two people talking to each other you usually shoot a wide shot. 
And then you cover the conversation for each actor. 

Now when you shoot someone for their close up, you can shoot them clean. 
But it usually looks better if it's a little dirty. You keep a little piece of the other guys shoulder in the foreground, which creates a better sense of... space? 
Usually the finished scene will incorporate a mix of both dirty and clean shots. 

So sometimes a director will have the camera operator "keep it dirty" or "dirty it up." 

But the other day because one actor was standing while another was seated. 

And the director let the camera guy know that he wouldn't mind a little more "ass dirt" on it. 
Ass dirt - n. A piece of out of focus rear end to be used in the foreground of an "over the shoulder" shot.


blaqbird said...

LOL nice!!! you learn something new everyday! Wednesday's show was amazing by the way!

Nene said...

interessting and funny at the same time hehehe

Tasha Who? said...

That's one defined dirty-butt...

Thanks for that lesson!

Utility Fog said...

Brilliantly illustrated

sewermaster82 said...

hah awesome.

Wiccababe said...

very imaginatively illustrated
greetings from Scotland

GigiSxm said...

lol you learn something new every day. I'll never look at tv/movies the same again

~Karen~ said...

I totally loved your descriptive photo examples!

Anonymous said...

Now that's funny!

illahee said...

ah, ultraman!!

i really needed the photos to keep it straight. except you distracted me with ultraman. gah!

CaraBee said...

From the title, I thought there was going to be some Norse mythology involved. Funny!

jlk said...

I never would have known that. Now, to use it in a sentence today...

Tammy said...

those are some serious man toys you've got there.
Im hoping it's Josh's. :)

Jenn Nixon said...

OMG Baby Godzilla!

Robbi said...

There is always room for learning!!LOL!!!

Thank's for the lesson..

Dirty it up!

redelf said...

Alright...now I will need to remember this. My daughter wants to be a director but she is always afraid of saying things I wont approve of...now I can let her know dirty butt is okay.

The Ferber Family said...

haha!! ass dirt!! that's awesome. I work in tv promotion (for an abc affiliate no less) so I'm gonna remember that on my next promo shoot!

Michelle said...

Oh the hilarity of it all.

Beena said...

Now I'm going to be curious as to exactly whose out of focus behind was being filmed in this scenario you describe!

John's Secret Identity™ said...

I swear in that first shot I thought the dude was wearing a space helmet.

Erin said...


aims said...

I've always wondered what it takes for an actor to evolve into a director. Now I see!

Hyla said...


Jigsawdiva said...


Nikoli said...

No sh*t? (get it? oh nevermind) Great stuff!

Jenny and the Princess Peonies said...

Oh my Heck! Ass dirt...I always thought that was something you dusted off after sitting on the beach! That is awesome. Thanks for the great illustration!

1001 Petals said...

I thought the DP set up shots. . .I need to learn more about this stuff as I find it fascinating + I love movies. Cool inside info, thanks :)

MFonvielle said...

And now I know.

Love the picture aids- you should teach classes :P

Movie Star Wife said...

I'm laughing my "ass" off reading this!

La Pixie said...

lol, ass dirt. so funny.

I have to agree with everyone else, the pictures really MAKE this post.

April said...

Thanks for the laugh! Love you on Lost. I went and read all your blog archives and you are definitely a well rounded funny guy. Thank you for letting us peek into your life through this blog.

James said...

Using Minilla and Ultraman to set up your shots is...classic!

Love the blog, keep it up.

Irishcoda said...

I loved your photo examples too! Boy I'm amazed at the new things I still learn everyday! :)

Sean Yoda Rouse said...

That was great! I loved the toys used for the shot demos.

Unknown said...

Ahh! Baby Godzilla! That was one of my favorite movies as a little kid! I had the first half of it recorded but we used the tape to record "Are You Afraid of the Dark" and Ren and Stimpy. It wasn't until a couple of years ago when I found a used DVD at a video game store that I saw the end.
That movie brings up a lot of nostalgia for me, but it's kind of depressing.

Unknown said...

LOL- thanks for the layman terms!

Christina Bauer said...

Thanks for the lesson! And the example pictures were very helpful to the understanding of the definition! Thanks for the laughs, Jorge!

Nena said...


Etyark said...

The show needs a lot more ass dirt in my opinion.

Kristianna said...

1. "Found" your blog via Cake Wrecks the other day, and being a LOST junkie, had to subscribe. You're a funny dude. Love this blog.

2. Great photos in this post--perfectly illustrated what you meant.

3. Whose ass?

julianna said...

it just would not have been the same without the photo essay accompanying your explanation... if the acting thing doesn't work out for you you have a real future as a technical writer/photographer. :0)

Das Mutter said...

I'd like to know who's as* it was! heh heh

Please Type Legibly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Please Type Legibly said...

LOL - today's fun fact, brought to you by the alien doll, Baby Godzilla and Jorge! Interesting about the shooting technique, though, and very true about it looking better with part of the other actor in the picture. Guess I like my shots dirty....hehehe

Molly said...

Now I'll be watching to figure out just who's butt you were talking about. By the way, were you guys the ones shooting at the Macadamia nut farms last night. I was passing by and saw some signs with GSP on it and some huge lights...figured it might have been Lost.

M said...

Jorge, Have to ask, the action figure (I'm presuming it is one) in the first few photos, the one with the green face, is that Minya? I'm pretty sure the silver and red one is an Ultraman.

When I was a little kid, I loved the Japanese monster movies, and Minya was my favorite.. the silverish body is throwing me off, but the face looks so much like him.

Lazy Mom Leslie said...

There's gotta be a better term for that. Too funny!

Malea said...

Why haven't I seen you as a guest on Sesame Street, or even Yo Gabba Gabba? You make an excellent teacher.

Miss Notesy said...

You know, from now on I'm going to notice that. :-)

PenguinJosh said...

lmao good stuff

lostinphilly said...

Defintely loved the action figure stand-ins. Could they be the stunt doubles also? You're so funny and you brighten up my day every time I read your blog. Thanks.

Jen L. said...

That is phenomenal.

Dakota said...

Oh, cool. I'll have to try that in my next animation.

Ofelia Bellavista said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tsukuyomi said...

Solo se fijan en Baby Godzilla? Y que me decis de Ultraman? Aaah, la gente ya no recuerda los clasicos...

Tricia Roth said...

I was just telling my husband that there is nothin' on the internet, then I found your blog! Thanks for proving me wrong. I laughed out loud like 7 times!

Ethan said...

I really wish I'd known this blog existed before now. In the past two hours I have procrastinated, and not written a paper...instead read nearly every post clear to the middle of 2007.

I'm now subscribed, and now feeling very justified to call Hurley one of my favorite Losties, since you're such a rad dude. Keep it up, man.

Heather (a.k.a. Bella) said...

LOLOL... I feel so much smarter now.

Just whose ass was in the shot, pray tell?

myanrellick said...

Dude, I'd like to see your toy collection. I'm assuming you have one because I see a kidrobot toy there. So, if by any chance, you read this. Let's see them toys!

I collect Dunnys & fatcaps.

ThespianSheldon said...

Any certain scene that said "ass dirt" was in?

Deborah Godin said...

I like knowing this bit of filming 'trivia' Now we need to make up a definition of ass-dirt for the non-film world. Oh wait, we have one, it's 'dingleberry.' BWT, a friend of mine used to shear sheep, that's how I know...

James Hernandez said...


You CRACK me up! Theres no END in sight, oh wait yes their is. Well at least you'll never be the BUTT of the joke. :-) Hee Hee!!

Anonymous said...

Yep, learn something new everyday.

You're doing a great job! Still my fav. :)

Julie Phillips said...

You are right.....Coke would never put that one on the big screen.......Thanks for sharing......HUGS!!!!


Mr. Bill said...

Hey There!
I know that you are a fan of the Dharmalars and I just wanted to drop you a line to let you know that they have decided to throw in the towel and quit podcasting. They will be missed bigtime!

Leslie said...

hehehe. You crack me up. :D

Leslie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brie said...

NICE! and gotta love the lucha libre!

Jennifer Tanko said...

Officially don't need film school.

Carrie G said...

See, these are the posts that make me say, "aw, man...we would SO hang out with this guy!" Don't worry - we're not moving to Hawaii to stalk you. Just saying.

Tae said...

Do you think my Han Solo and Edgar Alan Poe figures could sign up for your acting workshop? :)

Lula! said...

"Ass Dirt." My new, all-purpose noun, to be used randomly, daily, and very often.

Bobby Tomio said...

Great post and thanks for using our Red Demon figure! Japanese toys were a huge inspiration to us making our Lucha Libre Designer Toy line so it's an honor to see our dude starring in a "film"-test with Ultraman & Minira. :-)

BTW, you'd be a kick ass Dr. Pantera. ;-)


Tink said...

LOL! Aren't you a wealth of useless information. ;)

Lynn Faruque said...

Ok so I always wondered if both of the same actors were in the scenes like that.

Or, if they did a wide shot showing both, then when the camera focused on a dirty shot, if the actor off camera was a stand-in or if we were still seeing the same two actors as in the wide shot.


Thanks and besos, and now I gotta go back and look for Beth on the plane!

Trude said...

Were your stand-ins union? ;) I'm going to have to find some way to work that into my next shoot!

Anonymous said...

Love it lol And is that a Kikaida action figure? Cool beans, man!

Jess Ray said...

I'm sure you've already seen this, but just in case!


Liz said...

hilarious! Thanks to you now I am going to have a burnt ass dirt image in my head. Nothing like seeing some booty in my face LMAO

ValMo said...

Classic. My film student friend really dug this. Especially the use of the action figures.

Unknown said...

Very informative post, and also entertaining...loved your photos to illustrate the concept.

Rachel said...

Hee hee ..... I worked in news studios and I always liked explaining the "nipple shot" to the new people. :)

Cinnamon said...

LOL! You learn something new every day!

Merry Karma said...

Thank you Jorge! I try to expand my vocabulary whenever I can.

Laura A said...

This post has so much more meaning after seeing "Watchmen."

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