What’s a stand-in?
A “stand-in” is a person who takes the place of a principal actor when the crew is setting up the lights and camera for a shot. Getting the lights and shot just right can be a slow and tedious process. To stay on schedule, crews often use stand-ins to set lights, camera shots, and even blocking so principal photography can begin promptly and efficiently.
On a TV/film set, stand-ins are part of the “second unit” team. On a large production, stand-ins work with an entirely different “second unit” crew, sometimes on an entirely different location, set or day as the principal “first unit” actors. In most cases, stand-ins and principal actors are on set together and cross paths as they trade places to do their different jobs. Most of the time when the first unit steps off set, the second unit steps in to replace them, and vice-verse.
A good stand-in is a necessary and valuable cast member on any production. Sometimes a member of the production crew might stand-in. Often specific stand-ins are cast to take the second-unit place of specific principal performers.
Ideally, a stand-in is the same approximate height, coloring, and body-type of the principal actor. These physical similarities are necessary to set the lights and camera correctly. If a stand-in is too short or too tall, a principal’s head might get cut out of a rehearsed camera shot or filmed in relative darkness. In many cases, stand-ins wear identical or similar costuming, make-up and hair as the principal actor. Some stand-ins even look like the principal actor off-set!
If you would like to learn more about acting, performing and being on-set, come take a free class at my acting school in Los Angeles for children, teens and young adults. You also might want to take a look at the different programs we offer to prepare our students to do a fantastic job at our Talent Showcase, where top Hollywood agents watch our students perform TV commercials and monologues. We had 21 participating acting students at our most recent Showcase and 19 got agent Call-backs! That’s right the agents who attended called in 19 out of the 21 to interview for acting/modeling representation. WOW! The reason so many of our actors get contacted by agents is because 3-2-1- Acting Studios prepares them to be competitive and ready to work. You too can join the world of acting and modeling work by visiting us at Palms Plaza Shopping Center 3131 Foothill Blvd. # H in La Crescenta, CA 91214. See you in the movies!!!
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From your top Hollywood Acting Coach for kids,
Ms. Mae Ross