Inserts are those little extreme close up shots that you probably never even notice when you watch a movie or a TV show. A hand holding a ticket, a piece of paper, a computer monitor, keys going into a lock.
Inserts aren’t shot at the same time as the rest of the scene, and the show’s actors aren’t there – the inserts use doubles who are about the same size and coloration as the lead actors, since the shots are so tight you can’t tell.
The director and DP have a monitor and the rough cut on DVD, which they use to watch the main part of the scene so they can make sure the lighting and movement match, and then we light it, shoot it, double check to make sure it’s going to match and then move on.
Inserts don’t take very long to light because the frame is so tight that you can’t see very much, and today’s DP was really fast (he’s been doing this a long time and is really, really good at his job) so we got a huge shot list done in under 10 hours, which means I got out of work in time to get stuck in rush hour traffic on the way home.