16 Terms Stand-Ins Need to Know

MAY 21, 2020
Learn these terms to be a successful film Stand-In.
*Use of persons’ photos does not imply endorsement of Central Casting.

A TV and film Stand-In spends a lot of time on set, so it’s important to know the production terms you’ll hear while working. Study these when you get booked and you’ll be a pro when you get called to set.

1. Second team

TV and film Stand-Ins are called the second team, while principal actors make up the first team.

2. Utility Stand-In

Utility Stand-Ins are typically used for light and camera rehearsals and may stand in for actors of varying looks, genders, and ethnicities. Matching the height of actors is more important than matching a look. If you’re booked in this role, you may be standing in for multiple actors on the same project.

3. Single Camera Stand-In

Single Camera Stand-Ins must often match the principal actor in height, build, hair color, and complexion. They are mainly used for lighting and camera setups.

4. Multi-Camera Stand-In

Refers to Stand-Ins on a multi-camera production. Most often filmed in front of a live studio audience and utilize 3-4 cameras at a time on a 3-wall set.

5. Upstage

If you’re facing the camera (or audience) this is the area behind you. If a Director asks you to move upstage, they want you to move towards the back of the set.

6. Downstage

Downstage is in the direction of the camera or audience. To move downstage, you would move to the front of the set.

7. Stage left

When you’re facing the camera, this is the area to your left.

8. Stage right

When you’re facing the camera, this is the area to your right.

9. Camera left

This refers to the point of view of the camera. If you’re facing the camera and the Director instructs you to move camera left, you will move to your right.

10. Camera right

This refers to the point of view of the camera. If you’re facing the camera and the Director instructs you to move camera right, you will move to your left.

11. Sides

Miniaturized call sheet and script pages for the scenes being shot that day given to you by production so you know what’s happening in a scene and can take notes. Stand-Ins mainly use sides in single camera projects, and are often given full episode scripts for multi-cam productions.

12. Blocking

Determining actors’ movements in a scene. As a TV and film Stand-In, it’s important to take notes and pay attention to all your movements in a scene in case you need to relay them to the principal actor.

13. Color cover

Color cover refers to wearing wardrobe similar in color and pattern to what the principal actor will wear in a scene. This helps the crew light and block the scene correctly.

14. Stand-In resume

A TV and film Stand-In resume lists your Stand-In experience so Casting Directors can determine if you’re right for a role. Your resume should list the project you worked on, how long you worked, whether it was single or multi-cam, and the actor you stood in for.

15. Private / Closed Rehearsal

Rehearsal for actors, director, director of photography, and 1st Assistant Director to establish initial blocking of a scene.

16. Marking Rehearsal

Full rehearsal by actors for all department heads, including Stand-Ins. This is your first (and sometimes only) opportunity to take notes regarding your actor’s movements in a scene.

Want to know more about being a Stand-In? Read through our articles 5 Things All Stand-Ins Should Know and Do’s and Don’ts for Working as a Stand-In.

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By Meghan Dubitsky

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