What does Background mean in Film and TV?
The term “background” refers to the actors or elements in a scene that are not the primary focus. These actors are often known as background actors, supporting actors or extras.
When on set, it’s common to hear the AD call out “background” before calling “action“, this callout tells the background actors to start acting, this means that when the main “action” callout is given and the primary cast members begin acting, the world is already alive.
This makes it easier for the actor to step into the world and also ensures the editors don’t have to worry about background actors stood around waiting to hear “action”.