WHAT DOES A SCRIPT SUPERVISOR DO?
Over at The Rumpus, Andrea Manners breaks down her job. From the piece:
Rumpus: What’s a typical production day like?
Manners: Before we start production, I meet with other departments. I ask the hair department to communicate their ideas for the film, and I ask the makeup department what they plan to do. I’m basically making sure the director’s idea and vision is translated from the script’s point of view.
I’m also the liaison between the director and the editor. The editor needs a lot of notes to make the movie since he’s not there. I represent the editor on set, and I represent the director through my notes. I take really detailed reports for producers, the money people that are stuck in the office all day. The reports tell them what we did on set, how many pages we shot, how much of the movie we shot, and how much is left to go.
As soon as we start our first shot, I start taking notes. I do it on my laptop but it’s best to describe the process the old school way: I have the script in the binder with the script page on the right and a blank page on the left, which is the backside of the other script page. I have a stopwatch so I time the take, note the sound roll, the camera roll, the lens we used and whether or not the director says the take is good or no good.
I draw lines and squiggly lines on the script. It’s a language I talk with the editors. I draw a straight line through the character’s dialogue if they’re on camera, a squiggly line if they’re not on camera but you can hear them talking and a straight line with a squiggly line over it if they’re on camera but out of focus. So pages are just a bunch of lines and squigglys and little notes about what hand the actor was holding a coffee cup in, where her hair was, what outfit she was wearing. I’m taking all these notes all day throughout filming and at the end of the day I create a report for the producers.
Another part of my job is to make sure we’re respecting the rules of cinematography. There is a certain amount of degrees you can change from one shot to the next shot without it being jarring for the audience.
Read the complete interview at the link.
Related at Filmmaker: Script supervisor Shari Carpenter on new digital tools for supervisors.