Variety speak: A users' guide

Whodunit: a mystery film (or show); "The director's next project will be a whodunit for Warner Bros."

Tubthump: to promote or draw attention to; from the ancient showbusiness custom of actors wandering the streets banging on tubs to drum up business; "Disney is planning a big parade to tubthump the opening of its new release."

Praisery: public relations firm; "The studio is retaining an outside praisery to augment its p.r. chores on the film."

Turnaround: no longer active; a project put into "turnaround" has been abandoned by one studio and may be shopped to another.

Sprocket opera: film festival; "The actor plans to attend the annual Sundance sprocket opera next year."

Whammo: a sensation; "Men in Black has done whammo biz internationally." (See also boffo)

Hoofer: dancer; "Mary Tyler Moore was a hoofer before she got into acting."

Tentpole: movie expected by a studio to be its biggest grossing blockbuster of the season, usually summer. Often the pic is the start of, or an installment in, a franchise; "Armageddon was a successful tentpole in 1998."

One-hander: a play or movie with one character; "One-hander Ferris Bueller's Day Off is one of the defining films for children of the 1980s." (See also two-hander)

Sudser: soap opera; "Sudser star Susan Lucci was nominated for an Emmy again this year."

Shingle: a small business, often set up by an actor or established player at a larger company; "Tom Green has launched production shingle Bob Green Films."

Boff: (also boffo, boffola) – outstanding (usually refers to box office performance); "My Best Friend's Wedding has been boffo at the B.O." (See also whammo)

Nix: reject, say no to; as in the famous Variety headline "Sticks Nix Hick Pix", meaning that audiences in rural areas were not interested in attending films about rural life.

Two-hander: a play or movie with two characters; "Love Letters has been one of the most popular two-handers of the Nineties." (See also one-hander)

Chopsocky: a martial arts film; "Chopsocky star Chuck Norris will make a guest appearance on Seinfeld this season."

Ankle: a classic (and enduring) Variety term meaning to quit or be dismissed from a job, without necessarily specifying which; instead, it suggests walking; "Alan Smithee has ankled his post as production prexy at U."

Sleeper: a film or TV show that lacks pre-release buzz or critical praise, but turns into a success after it is released, usually due to good word-of-mouth; "Sixth Sense was the surprise sleeper of the summer of 1999."

Warbler: singer; "Under its new policy, the nitery has booked a string of warblers."

Gotham: New York City; "Film production in Gotham has been on the rise for the past several years."

Payola: bribery or under-the-table payments; "The proliferation of payola rocked the music industry in the 1950s."

Unspool: to screen a film; "More than 30 films are set to unspool at the upcoming festival."

Moppet: child, especially child actor; "Elizabeth Taylor is one of the few moppets who made the transition to adult star."

Dramedy: a TV show that could be labeled both a comedy and a drama, usually an hour long. Also, a film or theatre show that could be labeled as either – or perhaps fails at both; "Fox Family Channel series State of Grace, a dramedy about two 12-year-old girls growing up in Sixties North Carolina, targets the female tweens demographic with hope of generating a tag-along parental audience."

Sport
Club legend Paul Scholes is scared United could disappear into 'the wilderness'
football
News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
News
Dawkins: 'There’s a very interesting reason why a prince could not turn into a frog – it's statistically too improbable'
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Travel
Dinosaurs Unleashed at the Eden Project
travel
Arts and Entertainment
music
Sport
football
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
News
i100
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Legal Recruitment Consultant

Highly Competitive Salary + Commission: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL BASED - DEALING ...

Digital Project Manager / Web Project Manager

£45-50k (DOE) + Bonus & Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced ...

Account Manager

£30 - 35k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Account Manager to join ...

Social Advertising Manager / Social Media Manager

£Excellent + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Social Advertising Manager / Social Med...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home