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...

Alrighty then. Anything else?

Well, if you mean “is there anything else to what you do?”, then… yes.

For instance, Wardrobe and Make-Up. I touched briefly on them earlier – they have their own departments, and their own systems for maintaining continuity within their own areas. However, I am there with my notes, forms, and trusty digital camera (and extra camera, battery, memory card…) as a reference and a double-check.[1]

Similarly, I spoke barely in passing of the Art Department, but I work very closely with them (probably more so than I do with anyone else bar the Director), particularly with Standby Props resetting and adjusting between takes and the like.[2][3]

I’m the general script reference on set – all those questions like “What scene is it?” (constantly) “What day is it?” “Where are we?” “What happens next?” “Does it matter if we change this line?” “Where has the top hat gone?” “What is Katherine’s relationship to Evelyn?” “How does this fit in with Scene 137?”[4]

I’m also the film set equivalent of the theatrical prompter (in rehearsal), and if necessary running lines with actors between takes.

And I haven’t even mentioned pre-production[5].

  1. Always though with the guiding principle that if we can’t see it in the frame, then I don’t care. Like those newsreaders wearing board shorts under the desk. [↩︎]
  2. Note however that no-one except the Art Department should be doing any adjusting, or touching set or props at all. I liaise with them constantly, but I wouldn’t think much of it if the Art Director started making notes on my script, and I afford them a similar professional courtesy. [↩︎]
  3. And then watch them like a hawk to make sure they’re not surreptitiously changing bits of the set between takes to make it look prettier. Yes, I do appreciate that it looks much better now, but there is a slight issue in that it didn’t look like that for the last fifteen shots. [↩︎]
  4. Which is why I have seen Script Supervisors referred to as “the writer’s representative on set” too. Although I steer clear of that. [↩︎]
  5. Or sound. Which is a little in-joke for any sound recordists reading this… [↩︎]

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Posted By That Continuity Guy On March 2, 2009 @ 11:43 pm In Continuity 101

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