Wow. It’s finally up.

Hi there. My name is Ben Hauck. You are looking at a website I’ve had an idea of making for some time: Stand-In Central. Thanks for checking it out.

What’s the story behind Stand-In Central? Well, it was a little less than a year ago when on the first day of shooting for a film, a 2nd 2nd AD gave me a handout that defined the term “stand-in.” It outlined the job description and basic responsibilities of the stand-in. The 2nd 2nd put it down in front of me in such a way I was a bit taken aback by it. I know how to stand in was the image I was at least trying to portray. I was honestly quite scared of standing in on such a big project for so long and didn’t have much experience as a stand-in at the time.

So I was secretly grateful to have the handout.

The beauty of having a handout for standing in was that it made it very clear what was expected of me. What my job was, was in writing. I didn’t have to guess continually what was expected of me. I didn’t have to keep questioning if I was doing enough or needed to do something else. The handout told me what to do and when. As a result, I could figure out when I had a little bit of downtime and when I needed to really focus.

I don’t recall the time that I thought, Hey, this would be great if other stand-ins had this information, but suffice it to say that at some point I had the idea. Getting a bit better at WordPress, I realized it wouldn’t cost me much to create and host a website that would have a basic overview of the job of the stand-in. I thought having that information online would help a number of people out:

  • It would help out people cast as stand-ins, who had no idea what the job entailed.
  • It would help background PAs when they dealt with actors with no stand-in experience.
  • It would help production as a whole to increase the competence of stand-ins.
  • It would help casting should they need to refer someone to a resource to teach or improve his or her stand-in skills.

I started to see stand-ins on set who had little to no concept of standing in. They took up people’s time with their lack of focus, their naïveté, and their misunderstandings. Good, decent people, only uneducated in the role. There was no real way to learn about the job except on-the-job. But I believed that if these people had something to read about the job, they’d know better what to do and appreciate the job much better.

I asked a number of people what they thought of the idea of a website about standing in. I pitched the idea as a website with a job outline as well as a blog with tips. A few people didn’t get it, but some people really were excited about the idea. These people were those who saw value in such a site for themselves. These were people interested in doing stand-in work and struggling to get a grasp of it all.

It is for these people I mainly have created this website.

This website is also for those people I might call a bit “geeky” about standing in. Those people who think about how they can do their job better when they are standing there quietly being lit and walking from mark to mark. I don’t know about you, but my mind has tons of little thoughts on how to do this or that well when standing in, little tidbits the person who respects the job of standing in might also value.

The blog of this website is reserved for those tidbits: tips and tricks, but also entertaining tales from the world of standing in, and maybe interviews with professional stand-ins. This is not a gossip website and it will not become one. This site is meant purely as a friendly, helpful resource for the stand-in to get a sense of the job and to learn ways to do it better.

To back up the information on the site, I’ve had other stand-ins, experienced and inexperienced, beta-test it. I also had casting and production people beta-test it. They’ve all provided a lot of feedback that helped me shape this site. Despite it all, this site does not admit to being an authority on standing in. There is no one way to stand in. Instead there are as many ways as there are productions, but amongst all the productions there exist some commonalities. This site aims to talk about what is generally true about standing in, though take everything with a grain of salt and ultimately let your own personal experiences standing in be your guide.

Currently, I am editor of Stand-In Central and its sole contributor. I hope to invite additional contributors within a few months. (Feel free to apply via Ask Stand-In Central if you have an interesting slant on standing in.) The hope is that the Stand-In Central Tips & Tricks Blog will be updated at least once a week by different contributors, though possibly more often if there’s inspiration. Feel free to check back, but it might be better to subscribe to Stand-In Central’s blog via the RSS button in the footer of the website (and also in the Tips & Tricks Archives, accessible from the toggle switch between the red & blue sections above).

But please do check back if you’re on set and looking for something to read. If you have an interesting question to post to Stand-In Central, please use the “Ask Stand-In Central!” link. Or if you want to add your two cents to a post, please comment on an entry.

Admittedly, not everyone respects the job of standing in, and this website is not for them. But I’m not one of those people. Friends of mine aren’t either. We all have a lot of respect for the job. We are honored and happy to stand in and take pride in our accomplishments on the job. I hope after learning more about standing in, you will be just as honored and happy to stand in, and you’ll feel proud of what you did in the service of a production.

I’m still a professional actor, it’s just that I don’t have a day job in an office or at a restaurant. Occasionally it’s on set as a stand-in. I am continually studying in my field. And I love that.