“As a script supervisor, it is your job to ensure that the film or episode you are working on, while being shot out of script sequence, ends up making continuous verbal and visual sense.”
While Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man (2002) is well-known for many reasons – upside down kissing, strong storytelling, and visual effects far ahead of its time – it’s also recognized for another aspect that quite often gets forgotten: continuity errors. In fact, in the same scene as the infamous upside down kiss, you’ll notice that as Spider-Man is fighting off bad guys, a few of the destroyed windows end up repairing themselves. How? Well it isn’t magic; it’s a continuity error.
Our “EXPOSED: crew member of the week, Emily Canfield, is a script supervisor, which means it’s her job to ensure that the props, wardrobe, actors, and story stays consistent throughout the film (and continuity errors like the one in Spider-Man don’t happen). In GoodBye Stranger, (this week’s “EXPOSED” indie project), the film manages to explore an intricate theme, pushing the character to explore the boundaries of what he knows. For Emily, in order to keep the impact of this story’s ending scene, she had to work with the camera department to anticipate and solve all continuity problems.
But how? The role of script supervisor is not an easy one. Typically, this means having to check the script for any inconsistencies, and prepare estimated running times. It was Emily’s job to work with the camera department (such as the 1st AD) to configure how the required scenes would be shot from all mandatory angles and distances, and compare the shooting schedule to what happens during rehearsals. It’s important for script supervisors to be present during run-through days; knowing what goes on during rehearsals offers a rough idea of how timing will work, which helps outline a shooting schedule.
Once a project moves into its production phase, the role of script supervisor becomes similar to that of a curator at a museum: written & photographic records of dialogue, action, costumes, props & set design must be well documented and organized. And when it comes to all camera & lens details, slate and scene numbers, the information must be easily accessible (and legible for that matter), because when different takes are edited together, the fictional world of the film should not be disrupted (i.e. continuity errors).
If this job sounds intimidating, it’s because it is. Though the Goodbye Stranger was a shorter form project, it doesn’t mean the workload was any less. Canfield was good at her job, and had exceptional attention to detail. We thank her and her team for sharing Goodbye Stranger with us!
Thank you for watching this week’s Exposing the Crew “EXPOSED” indie project!
(We just want to do our part in supporting the indie community!)
We’ll See You All Next Tuesday,
Samantha George (Producer, JJack Productions)