What is an insert?

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.


of a 12-year-old Patton and his father in upper deck seats at the 1997 World Series, hot dogs in hand.


Go Marlins.

He fights back the single tear that’s trying its damnedest to fall.