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What Does Picture Wrap Mean in Film?

If you’ve ever worked on a film set before, you’ve almost certainly heard the Director call out, “That’s a wrap!” In fact, even if you haven’t been fortunate enough to work on a film set, you’ve likely heard the saying before, maybe in reference to a project being completed or something similar. Film terms like “wrap” or “picture wrap,” are commonly used to deliver key details on the status of the production to the set crew, but what does picture wrap mean in film?

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Picture wrap, or simply “wrap,” is a phrase used by the Director to announce the end of production. Once the Director makes the call, “That’s a wrap!” all production stops.

Cameras stop rolling, the film crew begins packing up. And cast and talent know that they are no longer needed. Unless there are reshoots or post-production voice-overs and other needs.

In fact, picture wrap brings the cast, and crew one step closer to bringing the final film to life on the big screen.

Principal Photography Process

Generally, the principal photography process involves the bulk of the film creation on set. This is the period in which the film crew and all actors are working together to capture each scene and shoot to absolute perfection.

The process can be challenging and time consuming. But it’s incredibly important to the outcome of the film. So the entire team works to ensure each shot and scene is produced with the vision of the Director in mind. 

The End

The principal photography process may span just a couple of hours, or it could easily span months for a feature film. A Director may call out “That’s a Wrap!” After any shot, scene, or film day is completed.

Many like to save the terminology for the end of the shoot day or for the absolute end of production. In fact, picture wrap means that all shots, scenes, and associated b-roll has been captured and the production phase is complete. 

After principal photography wraps, the next step is post-production editing. So, when a director calls picture wrap, or otherwise claims a wrap on principal photography. The entire crew knows they are now off the hook for the production phase, and that the editing will now begin.

What Happens After Picture Wrap?

Knowing that picture wrap means production is complete and the cameras are no longer rolling is great, but what happens next?

A film certainly doesn’t go from shooting to ready for the big screen without anything happening in between. After picture wrap, a lot of post-production editing will take place. 


It’s also possible for reshoots to be required. In this case, the cast, and crew, will be called back to the set to capture any shots or scenes which were missed during production, which were added after production, or which were not sufficiently captured during production.

There are a variety of reasons for a reshoot to occur. But what’s most important to recall about reshoots is that they cost money. They are hard to coordinate. And Directors like to avoid them if at all possible!

So, what does picture wrap mean in film? It means principal photography is complete, and the film is moving into post-production editing for finalization. Does it mean that the cast and crew will not be called back for a reshoot — not necessarily, but hopefully!