A funny little thing happens from time to time on set.

Someone will confuse sides and skins.

What are sides, and what are skins?


When you are working as a stand-in, you will be handed a small packet. It will usually be topped with a nearly microscopic version of the callsheet for the day, which will explain all that’s being shot.

On the remaining pages are selections from the script. These are the scenes for the day that are being shot.

The entire packet, and specifically the selections from the script, are called “sides.”


Skins are something completely different from sides, but for some reason some stand-ins mistakenly confuse the two.

The background PA will have a list of all of the background actors and stand-ins working for the day. That list is primarily used for checking in background actors and stand-ins, but also for categorizing them as, say, stand-ins, or as particular character groups working that day. For example, the skins may say who are playing police officers, who is playing a nanny with a stroller, etc.

It’s as Simple as That!

So the next time you catch yourself calling the sides “skins,” correct yourself. They’re sides!  And if you want to see the names of people working that say, you want to look at the skins.

What are some other terms you hear on set as a stand-in that you don’t understand? Chime in in the comments section below!