“A PA without a walkie is a talking sandbag.” – Unknown AD
As a PA, you are going to be on the walkie a lot. You will quickly find that there is a certain “walkie lingo” that you must learn, if you don’t want to look and sound like a complete retard. Let me attempt to explain how some of this works. It’s pretty straightforward. Also be sure to check out Set Lingo.
When you first get your walkie: If you are given a headset, plug it in. Turn the walkie on. You do this by turning the nob on top. Make sure you are on the right channel. Usually, you will be on channel 1, but be sure to check with your supervisor to confirm this. Hit the talk button and say: “Radio Check” or “Walkie Check”. Someone will then respond: “Good Check” or “Check”. This means everything is working properly. If you hear nothing, something isn’t working.
Channels: Different departments can be on different channels, but the main channel will most likely be channel 1. Channel 2 is usually left open for one-on-one conversation. If you need to have a private conversation, or a conversation that lasts more than a few seconds, you should issue (or will be issued) the following instruction: “Switch to 2.” Then, you (or the person you’re speaking with) should respond with: “Switching” or “Copy, switching to 2.” When the private conversation is over, one of you should issue the term: “Back to 1” to which the other person should respond with: “Copy that, switching back to 1.” The reason it’s done this way, is because only one person can be speaking on a channel, at a time. You don’t want to be jamming up a main channel that people need, and you don’t want to annoy people with conversations that they don’t want to hear.
(Also, on that note – No goofing off over the walkie. Unless you want the AD to take it away from you, and make you look like a child in front of the whole crew.)
Frequently check to make sure you are on the right channel, and that your walkie is still working properly. If you don’t hear anything over the radio for a long time, you should probably do a walkie check.
Remember to keep fresh batteries on you or somewhere close – at all times!
“Does anyone have eyes on _____” – Term used when trying to find someone who doesn’t have a walkie.
“____ to ____” – Term used when requesting someone’s attention: “John to Bill.”
“Go for _____” – Term used when acknowledging a request: “Go for Bill.”
“Copy/Copy that” – Term used t0 indicate that you understand the instructions, or tasks you’ve been given. Make sure to respond EVERY TIME, that way people know you actually heard them.
“10-1” – Term used when someone is in the restroom.
“What’s your 20?” – Term used when attempting to locate someone: ”Bill, what’s your 20?”
“Flying in” – Term used when bringing someone, or something, to the set. The someone/something ”flies in”.
These are some of the more frequently used “walkie lingo” terms.
If anyone else has more on set walkie lingo let me know and I’ll add it to the list!