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Second unit

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Second unit

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In film, the second unit is a separate team that shoots footage which is of lesser importance for the final motion picture, as opposed to the first unit, which shoots all scenes involving actors, or at least the stars of the film. This includes shots like scenery, close-ups of objects and other inserts or cutaways. This has the advantage that the First Unit director and the lead actors, which are expensive, do not have to be present and can shoot at the same time, or, in the case of actors, leave the production earlier. Sometimes, the second unit also films close-ups of body parts. In this case, a stand-in takes the place of the normal actor. This, in turn, is often a problem for continuity. Very large productions may have more than one additional team - in this case, they are all called second units (sometimes "additional second units"), never third or fourth unit.

The second unit has its own director and cinematographer. Second unit director is a position for aspiring first unit directors, of course, and is considered above the post of assistant director. An example is Barry Sonnenfeld, who was second unit director (and first unit cinematographer) of Misery in 1990 and went on to direct Addams Family in 1991. Another job often combined with second unit director is stunt coordinator, since stunts are also often shot by the second unit.

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Movies, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.