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...

Ah yes, you said you’d tell me more about the Marked-Up Script too.

The Marked-Up Script (MUS), also known as the Lined Script, is the final version of the script as it was actually shot. It contains (1) all the changes to action and dialogue made during shooting, and (2) details of which shot covers which part, along with any other important script notes for the editor (missing Sound FX for example, or VFX to be added in post, that sort of thing).[1]

If you look at one of those Marked-Up Script examples over in the Samples section, you’ll see pretty coloured lines drawn down the page. These are known as coverage lines, or tramlines.

Each tramline corresponds to a particular shot, and provides an instant visual reference as to what the shot actually covers. The colours help to indicate what kind of shot it is – the standard is red for masters and wide shots, blue for singles, black for multiples[2], and green for cutaways/inserts. This may vary from shoot to shoot, and the colour range can be extended if it’s helpful (for instance, different colours for different characters).

More detail is given in the notation beside each shot, which consists of the slate ID and preferred take along with an abbreviated shot description – e.g. “67/4 MS Rockatansky” indicates that Slate 67 was a Mid-Shot on Rockatansky, and that Take 4 is the print take.[3]

And since you’re wondering, the squiggly lines indicate that the dialogue and/or action is off-screen i.e. not actually in shot. Which is quite handy to know.

  1. Yes, I know I told you most of this earlier, but it was a while back and I was concerned that you might have forgotten. [↩︎]
  2. Shots covering multiple characters e.g. 2S (two-shot), 3S (three-shot), GS (group-shot) etc. [↩︎]
  3. Although I’m not sure they ever got to Take 4 on anything. [↩︎]

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Posted By That Continuity Guy On March 2, 2009 @ 11:04 pm In Continuity 101

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