Saturday, August 11, 2007


An INSERT is a technical term whereby a writer documents the vision for a close-up on a prop or special attention to some detail.

The INSERT shot focuses on the one thing and is then followed by a return to the scene.

These are not common in Spec scripts because they’re viewed as unnecessarily technical in nature, provide little/nothing in terms of telling the story and are a type of camera direction. (The exact same thing can be achieved by resourceful use of scene description.)

from “Mission:Impossible” (1996)


ETHAN nods.

        Beyond Charles Bridge there is our
        Embassy. See it? Tomorrow night, if
        anything goes wrong, this guy will steal
        the names of our agents in every country
        all over Eastern Europe. Up for grabs to
        the highest bidders -- third world
        terrorists, arms dealers, drug lords --
        any and everybody who'd love to get rid
        of long term coverts like us, and some
        very dear friends among them. If they're
        exposed, they'll be executed. Come over
        here. Take a look at this.

CLAIRE, who is working at a computer, has pulled up a quicktime
video image in a box on her screen. In it, an old edition of the McLaughlin
Report, the PBS news show, is playing.

ETHAN is distracted by it.


SENATOR WALTZER, a bearded, bespectacled man in his forties,
is holding forth:

                SENATOR WALTZER
        I'll go you one further. I say the CIA
        and all its shadow organizations have
        become irrelevant at best and
        unconstitutional at worst. It's time we
        throw a little light on the whole concept
        of the Pentagon's "black budget." These
        covert agency subgroups have confidential
        funding, they report to no one -- who are
        these people?! We were living in a
        democracy the last time I checked.


ETHAN looks back at JIM.

        You're going to use Walter?

        He's our guy.

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