Insert Cameo

A particularly modest type of Creator Cameo consisting of An Insert of the creator's hand, usually standing in for that of one of the regular actors.

This may be an attractive alternative to an ordinary cameo for three reasons. First, it is unobtrusive and therefore does not risk breaking a tense or dramatic mood. Second, it symbolizes the creator's deep involvement in the project by portraying him almost literally as a "guiding hand." Third, it makes a neat trivia question.


  • Director Kazuya Tsurumaki's hand (rotoscoped and digitally altered) as the giant hand in FLCL.


  • Carol Reed's hands as Harry Lime's, grasping through the sewer grate in The Third Man.
  • Mel Gibson's hand as some Roman's, pounding in one of the nails in The Passion of the Christ.
  • Quentin Tarantino's hands as Landa's, strangling von Hammersmark in Inglourious Basterds.
  • James Cameron's hands as Jack's, drawing Rose in Titanic (1997).
  • Joss Whedon's hand as Captain Hammer's, punching the remote control on top of the bank van.
    Entire Cast on the commentary (not that commentary): JOSS'S FIST!
  • Peter Jackson's hand as Faramir's, pointing at a map in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.
    • Jackson's cameos in LOTR don't end there. In Return of the King, when Shelob drags paralyzed Frodo away, the Sam's hand welding sword that enters the frame gunslinger-style is actually Peter Jackson's.
    • More esoterically, he banged the gong which is heard as Aragorn enters Edoras and sees that Éowyn has disappeared.
  • Dario Argento as the Hand of Death in many of his films.
  • Lewis Milestone's hand as Paul's at the famous ending scene of All Quiet on the Western Front.
  • Bryan Singer as the silhouetted Keyser Soze in The Usual Suspects.
    • Which makes him one of about a half-dozen different people, including two of the lead actors, to portray Keyser in that film.
  • Spider-Man Trilogy:
  • In Paul Blart: Mall Cop, at one point producer Barry Bernardi's hand stands in for Adam Ferrara's. It's quite obvious, given the... significant age difference between them.
  • An somewhat squicky just-barely-an-example: In the first scene of the film adaption of Ichi the Killer, Ichi is shown masturbating, with what is supposed to be sperm being shown dripping down later. Turns out it really was semen, supplied by none other than the film's director himself.
  • Terry Gilliam is the gorilla hand who turns the book in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (the female hand that precedes it is his wife).
  • Andy Dufresne's hand loading the gun at the beginning of The Shawshank Redemption belonged to director Frank Darabont.
  • In Cameron's first scene in Ferris Buellers Day Off, we see the character's hand reach down and press a button on his speakerphone. The hand was actually that of writer/director John Hughes; actor Alan Ruck didn't get the movement quite right, so Hughes did it himself after everyone else had left for the day.
  • Producer Steven Spielberg's hands during the infamous face-tearing-off scene in Poltergeist.
  • Director Rian Johnson's hand in the scene in Looper when the older version of Seth starts losing his fingers, nose and other extremeties as the younger version is being tortured.
  • Director Martin Campbell's hand as Alec Trevelyan's in Golden Eye, when Trevelyan reaches into the Canadian Admiral's jacket pocket to steal his identification card while the Admiral goes out with a bang at the hands (or thighs, rather) of Xenia Onatopp.
  • Director Sam Mendes' hands as Ricky's towards the end of American Beauty, when he's pushing open the door to discover Lester dead in the dining room.
  • Director Zack Snyder's hands as Rorschach's hands when he's picking up Nite-Owl's blades in Watchmen.
  • Director Terence Young's hand as James Bond's writing the title phrase on a photograph in From Russia with Love.

Live-Action TV
  • Series creator Bruce Geller's hand, striking the match during the opening credits of the original Mission: Impossible.
    • In the 80's revival it was Peter Graves' hand.
  • Showrunner Damon Lindelof's hand as Locke's, turning on the lights at the Pearl Station in the Lost episode "?".
  • Series creator Agnes Nixon's hand opening the photo album in the old opening titles to All My Children.
  • Mark VII Productions created several Police Procedural shows including Dragnet and Adam-12, has a trademark video of the "VII" being set into stone by the use of a sledge hammer striking a chisel. The hands holding the hammer and chisel are Jack Webb's.
  • At the end of the Doctor Who episode Last of the Time Lords, the hand that picks up the Master's ring belongs to one of the producers.