My Role as a Script Supervisor

Oct 30, 2021 | 0 comments

Oct 30, 2021 | Essays | 0 comments

Picture yourself on set. Am whole set crew is working hard towards completing the last scene just before its officially a wrap. Perfect lighting, the camera operator at the scene has just found the excellent audio, an amazing shot in place, together with the actors significantly delivering. The scene is completed in an exemplary timely fashion all grateful to the crew’s awesome performance. Immediately after wrapping up your film, the post-production process commences. While editing, you make a discovery that the film you have worked so hard on cannot be cut.
Even with your whole crew’s excellence as well as professionalism and excellence, the entire film holds a great lack of consistency, with a heavy load of continuity errors. Question is who was in charge of maintenance of continuity as well as lack continuity? A script supervisor also known as a continuity supervisor holds enormous significance in the task of film continuity maintenance from one shot to another shot. The script supervisor is henceforth the editor’s representative while on set. Therefore, the script supervisor is vital in the production of a film.
*Who is a Script Supervisor?*
A script supervisor in a filming set is referred to as scripty. As a script supervisor is identified as a film crew member who is in charge of the supervision of the script components which are being shot. A script supervisor I came to appreciate the roles and responsibilities entailed in being a script supervisor.
*Roles and Responsibilities of a Script Supervisor*
*Continuity*
The key responsibility of a script supervisor was the aspect of continuity. I was given the responsibility of working in coordination and collaboration of all the departments within the set in order to ensure that the continuity errors that emerge from lighting, camera, wardrobe, sound, make-up, sets, as well as properties, are avoided. As a script supervisor, I would take down notes on the required details which enabled the efficient re-creation in enhancing continuity within specific actions, scenes, and locations. With every take, I would utilize a stopwatch in taking down notes on the take’s duration in order to combine it with the log information which entails the take’s action, it consists of the actor <en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Actor>s positions, movement screen direction, the lens <en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photographic_lens> to be utilised, together with any information that may be different from one case to another case. The notes I took provided the editor information.
*Eyelines and Axis*
As a script supervisor, I was the person to come to in decision making for the determination of the scenes axis. As a supervisor I learnt that I had to keep tabs and assist the camera-operator as well as director in setting the position of the camera together with the eyelines of the off-camera to enable an efficient scene coverage to cut seamlessly, as well as to ensure that actors in particular scene to remain constant with minimal confusion from the viewer’s perspective.
*Slating *
As a script supervisor, I was in constant interaction with the scene’s camera assistant as well as the sound mixing producer to help ensure each film remained significantly inconsistency to produce a slate of high significance. Moreover, I was expected to ensure that the slates of the picture, as well as sound, were in collaboration. I was to take careful note of each sound roll to ensure its consistency.
*Script *
As a script supervisor, I was handed the responsibility of documenting and safekeeping of the recent versions in regards to the shooting script <en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_script>. As shooting was going on I would notate any occurrences of alterations throughout the entire screenplay <en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screenplay> which resulted from the director, actors as well as other essential individuals as the filming was in process. In case of any critical alterations, I was expected to alter the changes and report the set’s assistant director to be in line with the script to avoid any potential interference in future. Every day before a shooting I would draw a vertical line in the specific page in every camera setups. With every line was a designated commencement and end to the particular setup. Thus, I was in a position to enhance my capability to make fast references that gave the coverage of each of the camera setups in regards to the actions as well as dialogue.
*Production Reports *
Every shooting day ended with me preparing daily reports to give to the series production team. I reported according to the various aspects that emerge dependent on the production and studio firm. I was expected to include the log consisting of the shooting times, the time of the breaks taken, together with page, minutes and scenes definite breakdowns. In short, I was the time manager of the entire set.
*Editor’s Notes *
Lastly, every note I made in regards to the shootings was accumulated and shared the series’ editorial staff to enhance the process of editing.
*Skills of a Script Supervisor*
As a script supervisor I came to recognize that there are certain skills apart from knowledge; earnt in theory necessary to carry out your duties and responsibilities swiftly. I identified that there are certain skills that were highly essential in order to effectively carry out your tasks, and succeed in attaining the set objectives as a script supervisor.
Therefore I learned that it is vital to have exceptionally strong visual skills so at to spot out the necessary change that is key to ensuring continuity in film production. Additionally, it is key to have a certain level of capability to make the necessary translations from the written word into the specific visual medium. Moreover, a script supervisor ought to be detail-oriented in both the visual and sound aspects. Additionally, as a script supervisor, it was key to have substantially strong verbal as well as written communication skills, due to the simple fact that you have the responsibility to accurately pass forward the directions in regards to the script, on to the other individuals involved within the particular set. The verbal and well-writing communication skill are key in the generation of the daily reports.
As a script supervisor, I needed to be relatively comfortable with working quite closely with the rest of individuals in the set. In addition, I needed to learn how to work under pressure to meet the set deadlines. Not to mention that a script supervisor it was important for me to sharpen my time management skills. Moreover, creativity, innovativeness together with the capacity to make the necessary adaptions to any alterations was of high significance. Last, but certainly not least, as a script supervisor it was critical to learn and enhance your ability to multi-task.
*Challenges Faced As a Script Supervisor*
Nevertheless, as much as I learned and gained a significant amount of knowledge and skills working in a set. There are quite a number of challenges that emerged and deemed as great obstacles towards fully fulfilling my duties as a script supervisor. Besides the organizational skills and the technical aspects of the job, and even with the script supervisor being amongst the critical and most essential member in the set’s crew, one faces a great amount of resentment which may lead to a substantial amount of reluctance and collaboration with the actors as well as the production crew. It is human for people to resent being given orders over and over again especially in the case of a filming set. Therefore, a script supervisor is bound to face some level of resentment and resistance which may significantly limit one from effectively fulfilling their set objectives.
*Conclusion*
All in all, I was grateful for the entire experience. I learnt and gained a significant amount of both the knowledge and skills necessary for succeeding the film production industry as a script supervisor. I have taken a whole turn in my perspective of a script supervision and gained a whole level of respect for the profession. I acknowledge that script supervision is a highly critical aspect and necessity in the entire filmmaking process, it focuses on building a firm foundation for success in the film production process. Therefore, a script supervisor’s significance should not, and should never be taken lightly especially if one wants to save on a lot of unnecessary cost and expenses in the entire film production process and significantly enhance the quality of their film.