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The Script Supervisor

April 09, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 166

If you're venturing into film school, one of the most important, yet often overlooked roles in any film crew is that of the script supervisor.

While you may think it's unglamorous at first, the script supervisor is ultimately responsible for managing the continuity of any film or TV production. In film schools, students get to learn this element of film production first hand, much like they do with editing or lighting.

The script supervisor wears many hats, instead of just holding the script and standing next to the director as it's been portrayed over the years. The script supervisor has to ensure that the continuity of a film is being followed, resulting in highly detailed notes that include lighting cues, staging, props and the use of multiple cameras. These notes are extremely helpful in guiding the director on the flow of the production.

While a preexisting script is used throughout any film, there are sometimes changes to the text and these have to be noted by the script supervisor in order to manage continuity. In film schools, it's made quite clear that this can happen during pre-production and the actual production itself. Any changes in a script need to be kept track of. Let's say that if some dialogue changes greatly affect the plot and no notes are made, then it can throw the whole production into disarray. Also important is the positions of the actors which is very crucial; if your actors are jumping all over the place and not keeping their places, it can become problematic, so the script supervisor has to be an extra set of eyes and ears on the set.

The script supervisor is also responsible for daily reports of the shooting day which are given to members of the crew. This can range from portions of the script that have been shot, the length it took each shot to take, including retakes and lighting changes. So it's not just keeping track of the script, in many ways it's very similar to a project manager.

After I had finished at film school and directed a few short films, I found myself confiding greatly with my script supervisor as a precautionary measure to make sure I wasn't ignoring any significant details. It's those details that can have a lasting effect on how your film turns out. Noting is worse than having sloppy continuity and if your leading man says that he has two kids in one scene and then four in another, then you have major issues.

On another occasion, I was shooting a lengthy musical number and wasn't sure if the background dancers were in the right place. Not only were the dancers in the wrong place, but the script supervisor noticed that some of the props had been moved without my knowledge and prior to shooting, everything had to be moved back to its place in order to continue. The end result of this could've been disastrous as there would've been an inevitable reshoot, taking a large amount of time and money. Thanks to his quick thinking, everything went right on schedule.

So if you're venturing into film school and are a stickler for detail, keep in mind that the script supervisor is one member of a film crew who keeps their eye on every facet of a production and helps it run smoothly in the end.

Source: EzineArticles
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