Non-diegetic insert

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In film, diegesis refers to the story world, and the events that occur within it. Thus, non-diegesis are things which occur outside the story-world.

A non-diegetic insert is a film technique that combines a shot or a series of shots cut into a sequence, showing objects represented as being outside the space of the narrative. Put more simply, a non-diegetic insert is a scene that is outside the story world which is "inserted" into the story world. Diegetic could also refer to sound in media or film studies.


  • Three images shown during the disastrous opening night of the play in The Band Wagon, as a metaphor to highlight how much of a flop the show is.
  • Sky sequences shown in Gus Van Sant's Elephant.
  • Most famously in The Great Train Robbery a bandit, either following the character's death or before the narrative began, shot his gun directly at the audience.
  • Starting scene of Charlie Chaplin's film Modern Times.