Production 101: Script Supervisor

Have you ever seen a movie or TV show and discover that some of the scenes (or cuts between cameras) lose continuity? For example you see a character drinking from a glass full of water in a close up and then they cut to a wider shot and the glass is full again even though the character already drank the water.

Well this kind of mistakes happen a few times. So have you ever wondered who is responsible for trying to avoid this kind of mistakes… it’s the Script Supervisor. After learning what all the work they are responsible for I am willing to let pass some of this mistakes because they have so much work and responsibilities on their hands.

Want to know what else the Script Supervisor is responsible for?

The Script Supervisor is also known as the continuity supervisor and it’s a member of the crew. They work as part of the Camera Department on Feature Films and Television Shows.

They are responsible for maintaining the film/tv show internal continuity and also for recording the production unit’s daily progress in shooting the screenplay.

They ensure that, despite the fact that films are shot entirely out of script sequence, they eventually make continuous verbal and visual sense.  This entails checking on and keeping detailed records of dialogue, action, costumes, props and set design, so that when different takes and scenes are finally edited together, the fictional world of the film is not disrupted by continuity errors which may distract the audience. Script Supervisors closely observe every shot filmed, and take extremely precise and detailed notes, in order to provide an authoritative reference point should any doubt arise about how a previous take or scene was filmed.  These reports provide an invaluable resource for Directors and Editors enabling them to assess the coverage, including how many shot options there are for each scene of the script, and exactly how each shot was filmed.  Script Supervisors are involved during pre–production and principal photography.  Hours are long (12–14 hours a day), and some foreign travel may be required, involving long periods spent away from base. Source

The script supervisor is involved in the project during pre-production, production (continuity, slating, script, production reports, editor’s notes) and in post-production if needed.

There is much more about the script supervisor responsibilities but what have been posted here are the basics. If you want to know more about the script supervisor’s work and what key skills you need to become one check out this sites:

Also here are a couple of videos: the first one is a fun video that explains the role of the script supervisor and the second one is a behind the scenes with Numb3rs‘ script supervisor. Enjoy!

Hope you enjoy this post and we’ll see you in the next Production 101!

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