A stand-in, also known as 2nd team, is a member of the crew hired by extras casting. They often match the principal actors (AKA 1st team) in height, coloring, and body type. A stand-in's job is to replace the actors when they need to step off set or in-between takes so the camera and lighting department can set up shots.
A costume or color that matches what the principal actor is wearing in a scene. On some sets, color cover is provided by the wardrobe department and may be identical to what the actor is wearing. On other sets, stand-ins provide their own color cover, by wearing similar colored wardrobe pieces from home. We recommend coming to set with a bag full of multiple clothing pieces in basic colors that may match what the actor wears. If you work on a show long enough, you can usually figure out or ask what colors a specific actor tends to wear.
The movements and actions an actor performs during a scene.
Often T shaped colored tape or sand bags placed on the ground that show where the actor stood in a scene. Each actor will have their own colored mark in a scene. When standing on an actor’s mark make sure your toes are lined up against it.
This is a miniature version of the script containing the scenes being filmed on a particular day. This is a great place for stand ins to write any notes about the blocking in the scene.
While standing in this means to match the actor's eyeline. This way crew can see where the actor's eyes will land so they may light the actor accordingly.
This means go to your first or second mark, sometimes also called first and second positions. When setting up shots the DP may ask you to stand on a specific mark.
As a stand-in, when you hear this be alert and ready to watch the next set up or rehearsal for a new scene. If the gate is good, production will move on to the next shot.
This is usually only for a specific crew including the actors, directors, ADs and DP. However, stand by and be within hearing distance so you can step in if you are needed.
During this rehearsal the actor will perform the scene, so the blocking can be marked and the crew can set up the shot. During this rehearsal, it is very important that the stand-ins pay attention to everything their actor does. This includes taking notes about what hands were used to pick up certain items.
Means walk in a curve pattern like a banana instead of walking in a straight line.
This generally means they are almost done setting up the scene with the stand-ins, once 1st team arrives the stand-ins can step off set.
DP - director of photography.
AD - assistant director.
PA - production assistant.
1st Team -principal actors.
2nd Team - stand ins.
Make sure you arrive at least 30 minutes before your call time. Your call time is generally the time you need to physically be on set watching your first rehearsal. Therefor, you need to show up early to familiarize yourself with the set, get a call sheet, sides, a voucher from a PA, and color cover from the wardrobe trailer.
Once company is in, make sure you are ready to go and near the set. If the director calls for a private rehearsal stand back, unless you are asked for. Once a marking rehearsal is called, quickly get in position to watch your actor and memorize their blocking. During this time, study their movements. A good tip is to jot down any specific notes that the actor does or a map of their actions. (Ex: Picks up glass with right hand.)
If you have questions, you should consult with your other stand-ins, PA, or 2nd 2nd AD.
As soon as you hear the crew call for “2nd team," hustle to set as quickly as possible and go to your actor’s marks immediately. Sometimes you may just need to stand on a single mark, while the camera and lighting sets up. Other times you may be asked to act out part of the scene while reading the sides.
Each actor will have differently colored marks on the floor. Make sure you toes are lined up with the mark. If you are asked to shift off of your mark, do not move the mark itself, the camera assistant will handle that.
During set up, various crew members will use you as a reference to create the shots. They might measure the distance from the camera to your eyes, or use a light meter close to your head to collect a light reading. Always keep facing the same direction the same direction your actor does. The DP will check how the lights and shadows hit your face. And camera operator may ask you to move so they can get the framing lined up.
Once you are standing on the actor's mark, remain quiet and focused. Avoid chatting with other stand ins or turning your head. Various crew members may be using you to set up the shot and you might not even realize it. (By the way, the camera will be focused on you so don't pick your nose.)
“2nd Team Rehearsal!” This is your time to shine! When everything is set up the AD may call for a 2nd team rehearsal, sometimes background actors are included in the as well. If there are extras in the scene, they will start on “background action,” however you will start on “action.” During this time, you will go through the scene performing all of the actors actions and sometimes reading from the sides.
Once 1st team steps in, you should watch from the monitor or nearby off camera for any blocking changes during shooting. If you need to step off set this is usually the best time. During this time you can get snacks at craft or use the restroom. Just make sure you tell the PAs and ask another stand-in to take note if any changes are made. Be sure to hustle back!
First things first, in order to stand-in you need to somewhat resemble an actor, at least in height, and coloring. In order to work as a stand-in on any of our productions, make sure you are in our database by signing up at signup.castingalltalent.com. Then make sure you are following us on social media. Sometimes when we are in need of stand-ins will post it on facebook or instagram. Other times, we will look through our database and ask people to stand in without even posting that we are looking for stand-ins. Be sure to check out what roles we are booking every week at apply.castingalltalent.com.
Most of our stand-ins are people who have worked with us as background actors that have impressed us with their work ethic and positive attitudes so much that we will begin offering them stand-in positions because the crew enjoys having them on set.