How to Move an Entire Group of Stand-Ins Easily

By | 2017-08-27T15:19:52+00:00 September 20th, 2017|Lessons, Stories, Tricks|0 Comments

Recently on set, five stand-ins were seated around a picnic blanket in the park, all relatively close to each other.

As the director of photography (DP) went in for coverage of the different actors, the backgrounds for the shots weren’t always optimal.

So the DP asked the stand-ins to hold hands.


A Great Trick for Cheating Groups of Stand-Ins

The DP wanted the backgrounds to be something different, so in setting up the shots, he had to cheat the stand-ins to different spots. To achieve this, the DP simply rotated the stand-ins as a single group to achieve better backgrounds!

Once the stand-ins held hands, they formed a circle. The DP was then able to instruct the circle of stand-ins to move together as a unit several steps in one direction. The DP was also able to ask the circle of stand-ins to rotate as a circle.

The instruction to hold hands was very effective. As a result, the stand-ins were repositioned as a group to a new position while proportionally preserving the relationships between and among the stand-ins. The DP didn’t have to instruct each and every stand-in to a new position, which obviously would have taken a lot more time compared with having the stand-ins link hands and move as one.


Have you encountered this trick for moving groups of stand-ins? What other tricks do you know for moving groups of stand-ins?

About the Author:

Ben Hauck (Editor, Stand-In Central) has stood in on a number of projects shot in the NYC area. In addition to day-playing, he has stood in on major projects for John Oliver (Last Week Tonight), Jason Bateman (The Longest Week, Disconnect, and The Switch), Jason Sudeikis (Sleeping with Other People), Seth Rogen (The Night Before), and Peter Facinelli (Nurse Jackie and American Odyssey). Ben is an actor and improviser, author of the 2012 book Long-Form Improv (Allworth Press), and host of The Acting Income Podcast.

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