You’re standing in in a scene. You’re next to a camera operator holding a handheld camera close on the other stand-in.

And you’re told to do a “Texas switch.”

What does that mean?

“Texas Switch” Defined

In film and television production, a Texas switch is a filmmaking trick where an actor appears during a shot, but a double substitutes for the actor during the shot to make it seem as if the actor did the stunt.

For example, an actor may run across a rooftop, run through smoke, then appear to jump to another rooftop — when in fact, in that smokescreen, the actor and the stunt double switched, and the actor’s stunt double ran out of the smoke and did the stunt jump.

A Texas switch is just a live-action switch between actor and double.

Texas switches may be done with stunt doubles, body doubles, or photo doubles.


In all likelihood, the word “Texas switch” is simply a “switch” — the word “Texas” isn’t much of a modifier.

If you’re standing in and told to do a “Texas switch,” just think of it as a “switch.” Don’t let the word “Texas” throw you.

Texas Switches and Stand-Ins

There are a number of occasions when you might be asked to do some sort of switch when you are standing in.

One example might be a scene where you’re standing really close to another actor, as in a doctor’s office scene. If you were the doctor examining a patient, the camera might need to be close up on the patient’s injury. But the director might want to start close on the injury, then widen out to reveal the patient and the doctor.

In such a case, there might not be enough room for you to stand close to the patient when the camera is also there.  So you might hold out until the camera moves away from the patient and slide into place, essentially switching with the camera operator as if you were standing there examining the patient.

That might be an example of a Texas switch. You would simply smoothly move in to the spot of the camera operator and “switch” with the camera operator during the shot.

Feel It Out!

In all likelihood, you won’t hear the term “Texas switch” on set much, at least when getting directions as a stand-in. Essentially, though, it just means you’ll be switching with someone during a shot.

If you are presented with the opportunity to do a Texas switch, have fun making it look seamless!

Have you heard the term “Texas switch” before? What are other examples you’ve done of Texas switches? Share in the comments below!