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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.
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.
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 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.
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 two 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.
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."
Film editing is both a creative and a technical part of the post-production process of filmmaking. The term is derived from the traditional process of working with film which increasingly involves the use of digital technology.
A film crew is a group of people, hired by a production company, for the purpose of producing a film or motion picture. The crew is distinguished from the cast, as the cast are understood to be the actors who appear in front of the camera or provide voices for characters in the film. The crew is also separate from the producers, as the producers are the ones who own a portion of either the film studio or the film's intellectual property rights. A film crew is divided into different departments, each of which specializes in a specific aspect of the production. Film crew positions have evolved over the years, spurred by technological change, but many traditional jobs date from the early 20th century and are common across jurisdictions and filmmaking cultures.
A film producer is a person who oversees film production. Either employed by a production company or working independently, producers plan and coordinate various aspects of film production, such as selecting the script; coordinating writing, directing, editing; and arranging financing.
A clapperboard is a device used in filmmaking and video production to assist in synchronizing of picture and sound, and to designate and mark the various scenes and takes as they are filmed and audio-recorded. It is operated by the clapper loader.
The role of an assistant director on a film includes tracking daily progress against the filming production schedule, arranging logistics, preparing daily call sheets, checking cast and crew, and maintaining order on the set. They also have to take care of the health and safety of the crew. The role of an assistant to the director is often confused with assistant director but the responsibilities are entirely different. The assistant to the director manages all of the directors in development, pre-production, while on set, through post-production and is often involved in both personal management as well as creative aspects of the production process.
A take is a single continuous recorded performance. The term is used in film and music to denote and track the stages of production.
Filmmaking is the process by which a film is made. Filmmaking involves a number of complex and discrete stages, including an initial story, idea, or commission. It then continues through screenwriting, casting, shooting, sound recording, pre-production, editing, and screening the finished product before an audience that may result in a film release and an exhibition. Filmmaking occurs in a variety of economic, social, and political contexts around the world. It uses a variety of technologies and cinematic techniques.
Principal photography is the phase of producing a film or television show in which the bulk of shooting takes place, as distinct from the phases of pre-production and post-production.
Video assist is a system used in filmmaking which allows filmmakers to view and distribute a video version of a take immediately after it is filmed.
In filmmaking, dailies are the raw, unedited footage shot during the making of a motion picture. The term comes from when movies were all shot on film because usually at the end of each day, the footage was developed, synced to sound, and printed on film in a batch for viewing the next day by the director, selected actors, and film crew members. After the advent of digital filmmaking, "dailies" were available instantly after the take and the review process was no longer tied to the overnight processing of film and became more asynchronous. Now some reviewing may be done at the shoot, even on location, and raw footage may be immediately sent electronically to anyone in the world who needs to review the takes. For example, a director can review takes from a second unit while the crew is still on location or producers can get timely updates while travelling. Dailies serve as an indication of how the filming and the actors' performances are progressing. The term was also used to describe film dailies as "the first positive prints made by the laboratory from the negative photographed on the previous day".
Television crew positions are derived from those of film crew, but with several differences.
This article contains a list of cinematic techniques that are divided into categories and briefly described.
MOS is a standard filmmaking jargon abbreviation used in production reports to indicate an associated film segment has no synchronous audio track.
Camera coverage, or coverage, is the amount and kind of footage shot used to capture a scene in filmmaking and video production. The film editor uses coverage in post-production to assemble the final cut.
The multiple-camera setup, multiple-camera mode of production, multi-camera or simply multicam is a method of filmmaking and video production. Several cameras—either film or professional video cameras—are employed on the set and simultaneously record or broadcast a scene. It is often contrasted with a single-camera setup, which uses one camera.
In filmmaking, a pick-up is a small, relatively minor shot filmed or recorded after the fact to augment footage already shot. When entire scenes are redone, it is referred to as a re-shoot or additional photography.
In the post-production process of film editing and video editing, a cut is an abrupt, but usually trivial film transition from one sequence to another. It is synonymous with the term edit, though "edit" can imply any number of transitions or effects. The cut, dissolve and wipe serve as the three primary transitions. The term refers to the physical action of cutting film or videotape, but also refers to a similar edit performed in software; it has also become associated with the resulting visual "break".
Articles related to the field of motion pictures include:
A line producer is a type of film producer who is the key manager during daily operations of a feature film, advertisement film, television film, or an episode of a TV program. A line producer usually works on one film at a time. They are responsible for human resources and handling any problems that come up during production. Line producers also manage the budget of a motion picture and day-to-day physical aspects of the film production.
This glossary of motion picture terms is a list of definitions of terms and concepts related to motion pictures, filmmaking, cinematography, and the film industry in general.