Script supervisor

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A script supervisor (also called continuity supervisor or script) is a member of a film crew who oversees the continuity of the motion picture including wardrobe, props, set dressing, hair, makeup and the actions of the actors during a scene. The notes recorded by the script supervisor during the shooting of a scene are used to help the editor cut the scene. They are also responsible for keeping track of the film production unit's daily progress. The script supervisor credit typically appears in the closing credits of a motion picture. Script supervisors are a department head and play a crucial role in the shooting of a film. It is the script supervisor's job to monitor the camera shots, seeking to maintain coherence between the scenes. [1]

Contents

In the most basic description, the script supervisor is the editor's and writer's representative on set, as well as being the right hand aide to the director and the director of photography. It is the script supervisor's job to make sure that the film can be cut together after shooting has concluded. In that sense, they back up every department, monitor the script during shooting and make sure that errors in continuity do not occur that would prevent the film from being able to be compiled smoothly in the editing room.

In pre-production, the script supervisor creates a number of reports based on the script, including a one-line continuity synopsis providing basic information on each scene such as the time of day, day in story order, and a one line synopsis of the scene. These reports are used by various departments in order to determine the most advantageous shot order and ensure that all departments, including production, wardrobe, set dressing, hair and makeup, are in sync in regard to the progression of time within the story. The script supervisor may also time the script, which is of enormous benefit for the director and the producer, and will often attend a table read or read-through with the cast.

Responsibilities

During production, the script supervisor acts as a central point for all production information on a film shoot, and has several responsibilities:

The script supervisor is the primary liaison between the director (who decides what scenes are to be shot) and the editor (who is usually not present during actual filming but needs to have exact records of the filming in order to do the job of cutting the film together). The script supervisor is a technical rather than artistic position and is generally considered as part of the director's team. There is usually only one script supervisor on a given film production. However, on big studio productions, the Main Unit script supervisor will have an assistant and there is usually a Second Unit script supervisor.

Earlier terms

Up until the late thirties and early forties, the script supervisor in the American film and television industry was typically called the continuity clerk, script reader or script girl and often there were 2 people doing the job. One was the "continuity clerk" and one was the "script girl". Individuals performing such duties were either credited with these titles or, more often, not credited at all. During this span of time, many script supervisors were indeed women, a fact that originally spawned the title "script girl." However, over the years, script supervisor positions throughout the American motion picture industry became more thoroughly integrated and formed a better balance among men and women. This fact, coupled with producers' desire to promote gender neutrality in a position that was increasingly taken up by men, produced the gradual change in nomenclature. By the fifties, the gender-specific term had virtually disappeared from film and television credits, but sometimes appeared in everyday speech.

History

Sarah Y. Mason is widely regarded as the first script supervisor, having invented the craft of film continuity for director Albert Parker and the film Arizona in 1918, for which she was credited as "Continuity Girl." [2]

See also

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References

  1. "Career Information".
  2. The Official Tumblr of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. "Sarah Y. Mason Seen Here at the Typewriter