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Best time to shoot inserts/cutaways?


Marcos Cooper
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Inset shots make editors and audiences very happy but they seem to drive directors, actors abd everyone else crazy.
I try to group them so that I’m shooting A bunch of them at one time but I always feel like I’m ruining the party..

Is there a better or worst time in the day to shoot them? Is it better to shoot them in the morning when people are in good moods? Or wait until the end of the day when everyone is too exhausted to fight with you about it?

Does someone have an optimal strategy for this?

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Generally, inserts tend to get scheduled after the coverage because you may not need the actors (sometimes a stand-in will work), and usually you only see a small portion of the set so G&E and Art can be wrapping whilst you’re shooting.

Sometimes you can assign the B Camera team to grab those while setting up and shooting on A Camera. But it’s tricky because they may need some lights or grip, or to clear some equipment in the background to get inserts that will cut, and usually A Camera doesn’t like to see resources being sucked away from their setups. So then the insert shots get pushed ‘til after A Camera is done shooting. And then they will just shoot the inserts themselves.

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On one project, we saved up a list of inserts that we needed to get for the film. Then spent the last day of the shooting schedule just getting those. Of course, this only works if you’re in one location and don’t have radically different looks. Otherwise it’s easier to shoot them as you go.

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