Script Supervisors UK - continuity script supervisors - THE SCRIPT SUPERVISOR'S ROLE

The Script Supervisor (also known as continuity or continuity supervisor)
performs a key role in film and television production.
 

We ensure the continuity of story, action & dialogue is maintained throughout a film.


Film continuity is the unique structure by which a story is dramatised on film (or digital equivalent).   Continuity errors can ruin the illusion of realism and affect suspension of disbelief.   The Script Supervisor will ensure that continuity is maintained, therefore allowing the viewer to enjoy the film uninterrupted.   

THE ROLE OF THE SCRIPT SUPERVISOR
 
  • To ensure that the continuity of storyline, action and dialogue is maintained
  • Editor on the floor
  • Recording and accessing all information regarding the screenplay/scenes already shot
  • Identify the need for any additional coverage, re-shoot or link/transitional shot
  • To be able to make definitive technical decisions in a crisis or when there is doubt
  • Liaison with the director before and during principal photography regarding all the above points

 

 

   
INVOLVEMENT
 
The script supervisor will become involved two to three weeks before shooting commences.  During this prep period the script supervisor will become familiar with the script and prepare paperwork of pre-production requirements as detailed below, attend rehearsals and production meetings.


 
PRE-PRODUCTION
 

During prep the script supervisor will:

  • Produce a script timing and comprehensive timing breakdowns of the script
  • Produce continuity breakdowns
  • Produce story day breakdowns
  • Produce page-count breakdowns
  • Produce other documents relevant to a particular script
  • Attend recees where appropriate
  • Attend rehearsals
  • Liaise will all departments and work proactively in advance to prevent continuity errors which may arise
  • Attend production meetings prior to principal photography and articulate any identified continuity problems


 

 

 

 

 

 

PRODUCTION/PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY
 
During production the script supervisor will:
  • Require knowledge of intended scene coverage
  • Ensure consistency of storyline within and between each scene
  • Ensure that shots will have appropriate/matching eyelines and ensure correct execution and completion of that coverage, and to offer advice when/if additional cover is required - or when a shot does not work
  • Match action and dialogue and ensure that actions in conjunction with dialogue match
  • Ensure that costumes, make up, hair, props and relevant story plots match. Make reference (polaroid, digital, drawings, notes) information and keep available at all times for matching purposes. Liaise with relevant departments in regard to matching and correct any necessary elements
  • Give notes to actors/directors of any dialogue missed or errors
  • Bring continuity mistakes to the attention of the director and actors
  • Keep running totals of scene timings shot and compare with estimated timings in order to keep abreast of any over/under runs. This information to be provided to the producers at relevant intervals during shooting
  • Supply the film editor daily with a competent and complete set of notes to cover the day's work*
  • Keep detailed continuity notes on the script to ensure matching actions can be replicated when required
  • Ensure camera and sound departments have the relevant information for selected/preferred takes for lab reports or for the digital transfer process
  • Keep accurate records of all shots that need picking up at a later date and distribute this information where appropriate
  • Liaise with additional shooting units providing matching information where required
  • Have a good working knowledge of CGI/VFX and provide comprehensive information on composite shots where appropriate
  • Provide a production report at the end of each shooting day to include scenes completes or partially covered, screentimes, page counts, daily total








*CONTINUITY NOTES FOR THE FILM EDITOR  

Continuity reports
- usually one sheet per slate/shot. This will include:
  • Shot description and dialogue covered
  • Notes regarding each take
  • Timings of each take
  • Technical camera information to include lens, filters, stop, focal distance for each camera for each shot. CGI/VFX shots will require additional information to be noted
  • Relevant script pages to be clearly marked up with all shots for that day
  • Other information will vary from one supervisor to another, or a particular script will dictate additional information required

 
Editor's Daily Log to include:
  • Slate number and scene number
  • Concise shot description
  • Printed/preferred/selected takes
  • Sync/MOS info
  • Camera speed variations
  • How many cameras used for each shot
  • Other information will vary from one supervisor to another

 
Marked Up Script Pages:
  • To include all pages of the scene(s) covered with any dialogue amendments where necessary
  • Clearly indicate which shots/slates cover which piece of dialogue and/or action

 
POST PRODUCTION
 
The script supervisor is rarely required during post production these days as the editor will usually begin work at the start of principal photography.  A rough cut is often ready shortly after shooting ends.  The script supervisors notes received daily ensures the editor has the relevant information when required.

A wrap day is important to allow the script supervisor to collate all files/information originated for the production.  These files will be kept by the production/producer(s) and may be required for further re-shoots or financier's delivery requirements.
 
 

TO BE CONTINUED..........................