An insert is a shot — often a close-up — that focuses on a specific detail. If necessary, these shots can be written into a screenplay, but most inserts will be called for by the director.
Often, insert shots are done by the 2nd unit, or are done in pickups to patch over a hole in editing.
Some examples of details that may be inserts: a newspaper headline, a hand subtly reaching into a pocket, a sign on a shop door.
Patton smiles as he flips slowly through the stack.
He stops on one in particular.
INSERT – PHOTO
of a 12-year-old Patton and his father in upper deck seats at the 1997 World Series, hot dogs in hand.
He fights back the single tear that’s trying its damnedest to fall.