Continuity 101 (or: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Scripty)
- Q & A on just what it is that Continuity / Script Supervisors actually do...

#2: The Continuity Supervisor – Avril Rowlands

This one’s British rather than American. It’s a much slighter and more basic book than Pat Miller’s, and a fair bit of it isn’t really about the Continuity Supervisor at all, but about working as a Production Assistant or Production Coordinator (the average Continuity Supervisor doesn’t generally look at insurance or catering…). Still very informative though, and most of it¬†does stick to the title.[1] Covers some of post-production as well, plus a little bit on doing Continuity¬†on documentary productions and the like.

The most useful thing I picked up from this was my habit of lettering each dialogue line A-Z (and then AA-AZ and so on), which you can see on the Marked-Up Script excerpts over in my Samples section. The US system (primarily for television shows) is to number each dialogue line for reference, but I prefer the letters when using consecutive slating as it is much clearer that you’re talking about a script reference rather than a scene or shot or take.[2] I have extended the system to letter each action point as well as each dialogue line, which has been well-received by editors. It works particularly well with action scenes.

  1. An earlier edition (this is the fourth) was titled Continuity in Film and Video: Handbook for Directors, Script Supervisors and PAs, which makes it a little more understandable. []
  2. Consecutive Slating is when the first shot of a shoot is Shot 1, the next is Shot 2, all the way up the final Shot 786 or whatever on the last day. The Scene Number can be added to the slate, or the Script Supervisor simply keeps track of what shot corresponds to what scene (which is our job anyway). This is the system usually used in Australia and the UK.
    American Slating is when shots are named by scene. The first shot of Scene 6 will be 6A, then 6B, all the way to 6Z and starting again at 6AA if required. This is marked on the slate as the Scene. In this case, numbering rather than lettering the script makes more sense as otherwise the script references could be confused with the Scene/Shot. []

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Posted By That Continuity Guy On March 2, 2009 @ 12:41 pm In Further Reading

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