Pickup Shots (often just called a “pickup”) refers to small shots or scenes that are recorded after principal photography has ended. Pickups are in order either to correct a mistake or to film additional material.
There are several kinds of mistakes that would justify a pickup:
- Equipment malfunction, corrupting file
- Human error, failing to capture something important
- A director wants to try something different
- Footage does not work in editing
Although a lot of times a pickup implies an error, some pickup shots can be planned and executed by the production as a way to save money. If you are filming with big stars, for instance, insert shots of hands and objects may be filmed during a pickup day, using other actors. The same goes for angles in which you can’t see the actor’s face; you can use an extra or a stand-in. A smart Assistant Director will always allocate time for pickups as a contingency.