My mind is going blank here and I feel like I'm missing something basic.

I have an insert form for movie profiles that takes cast members, writers and 
directors and inserts them into the 
tables for the correct movieid.

In the old version of the script I would repeat the inserting section of the code 
three times, once for casts, 
once for directors and once for writers. The script checks if the person's 
first/middle/last name exists in the
people table. If it does it grabs the id number, if it doesn't it doesn't it inserts 
it and gets the id number.
The peopleid and titleid are then inserted into the appropriate table. (casts, 
writers, directors)

I decided to streamline the code with a function so that calling 
peopleinserter($table,$titleid) would loop
through the form variables and insert into the appropriate table. I can easily grab 
the results of the 
$HTTP_POST_VARS but I'm going blank trying to get the array out of the array.

Here's a snippet:
function peopleinserter ($table,$titleid) {
//$titleid = the titleid from the titles table
//$table = the job table e.g. casts, directors, writers
$firstvar = "first$table"; //if $table = casts it would grab the firstcasts variables 
from the form
$middlevar = "middle$table";
$lastvar = "last$table";
while (list ($key, $val) = each ($HTTP_POST_VARS[$lastvar])) {
//in this example $lastvar=lastcasts, so it's calling each ($HTTP_POST_VARS[lastcasts])
// if I echo $key $val for this I would get for example "0 Thornton 1 Jolie
//end snippet

How do I call the key of the firstcasts, middlecasts, lastcasts arrays so I can do 
stuff like:
$lastcasts[$key] = trim($lastcasts[$key]); and
$sql = "SELECT peopleid, first, middle, last FROM people WHERE 
first='$firstcasts[$key]' and middle='$middlecasts[$key]' AND 

In other words, how do I get those three arrays out of the HTTP_POST_VARS array?

Banging head on desk...

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