The job of a script supervisor was devised around the ten arbitrary things that nobody else on set wanted to do. Aprill Winney, an indie film veteran who is a director and script supervisor herself, made this observation at a recent Film Independent education event. On an effort to shed light on the script supervisor’s role and mitigate some of the mystery surrounding a job even filmmakers often know little about, Winney—who presently is working with Christopher Guest—illuminated what those arbitrary things are.
“One of the things you’re in charge of is continuity,” she explained. Winney describes this process as overseeing each take and camera angle to be able to cut footage in a way that appears to reflect one moment in time. The script supervisor focuses on costume– examining details of a lapel, for example, or ensuring an actor is wearing a wedding ring, or tucking hair behind an actress’ ear. She scopes the scene; “Is the purse on the correct shoulder of an actor [in every shot]?”
The script supervisor is also responsible for taking elaborate notes. The detail of the notes aids as the bridge in the gap from set to post. These observations serve to support the work of the editor scene by scene. Winney shares, “We are responsible for keeping records of our accomplishments throughout the day and what time they happened, for when the network calls….” She tracks how many pages have been shot and how many minutes of footage captured. She will know, “how many minutes of content is done by lunch or 5 o’clock.” The supervisor at all times must be prepared to report in this way…
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