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What's the difference between Cut-In and Insert?


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#1 Berker Taşkıran

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Posted 04 December 2016 - 02:13 PM

I can't seem to find anything on the internet which seems... weird. Both is showing something that exists within the scene in closer detail, right? I know the difference between cutaway and cut-in, and cutaway and insert but not between cut-in and insert. So it's just two different words for exact same thing..? For some reason it makes me uncomfortable to assume that.


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#2 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 04 December 2016 - 02:35 PM

Insert shot pertains to the action in a given scene.

Cut-in pertains to showing action outside of the given scene.

For instance, an insert could be part of the main coverage of a given scene, close-up's, medium's, etc.

Cut-in would be shot of something the actor is talking about. It could be a moment of flashback or flash forward. It's used to cut-in something that you want to show the audience, that doesn't pertain to the current action on screen.
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#3 Berker Taşkıran

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Posted 04 December 2016 - 04:04 PM

Then how about cutaway vs cut-in?
 
Here, he describes cutaway as something in or out of the scene. Which contradicts to what I read about, I thought cutaway was cutting to outside of the scene. Insert obviously can't be cutting to outside of the scene. Is insert a general description that includes both? But still the question of cutaway vs cut-in remains. If any 2 of these 3 terms means the same thing, which one is used where? E.g. is one used only in screenplays and one during shooting, something along those lines?


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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 04 December 2016 - 06:41 PM

These terms are not well-defined, they sort of mean similar things.  "Cutaway" tends to imply that you are cutting to some other action or actor in a scene, like a reaction shot of the crowd at a baseball game, or even a cut an entirely different scene/location, like a reaction shot of the announcer in the booth at a baseball game or the family watching it at home on their TV sets -- all those might be considered "cutaways" from our hero player at the plate about to swing the bat.

 

Whereas an "insert" suggests a tighter angle on some bit of action being seen, a detail.  But these terms are vague, if you want to be more specific, you have to describe what you want to do more clearly. 

 

For example, during a sequence there may be a bomb established ticking away in another location and every now and then the editor will cut back to the ticking bomb even though it is not in the space or location of that current scene -- you might call that an "insert" or you might call it a "cutaway" (or maybe a "cutaway insert"!)  But then the characters might arrive at the location of the bomb and there will be another insert on the bomb which is now physically in the same scene with the actors.


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#5 Berker Taşkıran

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Posted 04 December 2016 - 07:15 PM

Okay then, I got Insert and Cutaway covered now, but what about Cut-In? In thefreedictionary.com it says Cut-In is another word for Insert?

 

Or if you can use insert for both cutaway and cut-in, then perhaps, as I said before, Insert is used for both and cutaway and cut-in are more specific? Just checked screenplays of Interstellar and The Dark Knight Rises, and the only term out of these I found used, is Insert.

 

Cutaway and cut-in seems a bit redundant if you ask me. Even Insert doesn't make too much sense when you have no idea what the scale will be. A close up of an actual human being standing up and a cup of coffee sitting on a table should not be described with same term.


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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 04 December 2016 - 07:28 PM

Generally you wouldn't call a close-up of an actor an "insert", that usually describes a tight shot of an object or another body part other than a face (like hands, often touching an object in some manner).  You'd call a close-up of an actor's face a "close-up", you'd call a tight shot of their hands holding the cup an "insert".

 

I don't see the term "cut-in" used as much as "insert" but they suggest similar things.  I don't see "cutaway" as the same as "cut in" since "cut in" suggests, well, an insert into the action of the scene whereas "cutaway" suggests cutting to some other action ("away" versus "in").  But at it's most vague and useless, "cut in" can mean any cut to almost anything.

 

Again, there is little point in trying to nail down exactly what these vague terms mean, there is no official ruling body that defines such things, it's all just evolved over time.


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