What Do Script Supervisors Do?
Before you even start anything on your film, you first need to hire a script supervisor. It doesn’t matter if the shoot is for a commercial with no words, you still need to have one in use during your time. They are an essential player when it comes to film production, and help the director and editors with their jobs. The problem is, not everyone has a full grasp on what a script supervisor does. This can lead to problems during shooting when the script supervisor tries to do their job, but no one listens.
During pre-production, you are getting everything organized and scheduling when you are shooting when and where. You will even have read throughs and production meetings to finalize any last minute errors. This is when your script supervisor should be there. They will help you realize any possible continuity errors in the script, allowing you to fix these problems before shooting ever starts.
The script supervisor will also help you determine where to shoot so it follows the story accurately. In order for them to do this, they need the schedule and script to time out all these points. For instance, the script supervisor needs to record how long each scene will possibly take to shoot. This saves production hours of trying to get the lighting and staging correct, as well as help the editors during their editing process. They will keep a log of everything being done, needing to be done and needing to be changed; saving thousands in production.
During production, the director is normally seen as the person doing most of the work and heavy lifting, but people tend to forget about the other people involved with the art. Most of the time, directors will look to script supervisors for help on what to do. They might ask how they should line up the shot or even word the scene. If the director didn’t like the shot, the script supervisor will take a note for the editor so they know what to do during post-production. The script supervisor aids the director in his duties, but also acts as their own department.
Script supervisors take notes on camera lens and angles, where actors are supposed to be in the scene, notes on various production tasks, how long each scene is supposed to take, etc,. Before a scene is shot, they’ll take a picture where the actors are standing to remember the location and wardrobe for next time. They’ll even follow the storyline as it goes on to make sure there’s no continuity problems. Script supervisors even start to feel overwhelmed at times, but this is what makes them extremely valuable. Were they to do their jobs right, they wouldn’t even be needed during post.
Post-production can be a long process for editors, which is why they rely on the notes of the script supervisor and the director to make their lives easier. They look to see what is written about each scene and determine what to do with it from there. Most of the time—if the notes are flawlessly executed by the script supervisor—they won’t ever hear from the editor about what to do with a scene. Freeing up the script supervisor’s life for other tasks and making post-production much easier to deal with.
Using a Script Supervisor for Your Next Shoot
Finding the perfect script supervisor for your production can be difficult, especially when it’s rare to find a great one capable of doing everything you need. Every script supervisor has their own way of doing things and handling certain situations. At Creative Media Design, only the best are hired, which is why they have worked with various companies across the globe. Their branches have worked with those from the BBC to Nielsen.
Your production will be drastically easier to maneuver with a script supervisor on your side. Their duty is to assist in production as much as possible and ensure continuity is kept. They will aid you in this journey and—since most of them have years of experience—they can assist you in any big decisions you have to make.