A Comment on my What do Scripty's Do all Day post read:
Blogger Glemaud said...
This post was quite informative, and I can't think you enough for taking the time to write it. Being a beginning Scripty, it's hard for me to really get the ropes without anyone there to tell me what I'm doing right and wrong. I have read the Script Supervising book, and still had unanswered questions, in which I had answered in this post.
I would hope there are to be later installments similar to this, detailing other pieces of information (Continuity One-Liners, please!) I'd massage your feet, thrice daily were you to do that.
So for the promise of virtual foot massages, here is how I do a continuity One-Line:
For some reason, breaking down the script is quite possibly my favorite part of the job. Step one is to make sure you have the latest version of the script, which should also be the version the AD is using for his/her one-liner (as fun as this is for me, it's amazing how it loses its luster when I have to do it a second time).
A question I get a lot is, "what's the difference between the scripty's one-liner and the AD's one-liner?" The difference is simply that the AD one-line is in SHOOTING order, the Script/continuity one-line is in STORY order.
I typically lay the script on the floor grab a sharpie, a ruler and my lap top. You can do it however you like, but for some reason sitting on the floor makes me think with more clarity. Just another one of my lovable quirks.
I'll start out with the fun and easy part. With sharpie and ruler I will separate each scene by drawing a line across the page where each scene begins and ends. This will give me and the editors a clear indication of where each scene starts and stops.
After the sharpie fumes die off and I no longer see music and hear colors, I do some mental gymnastics and assign page count. AD's typically work off a software that will provide page count for them, but I like to do it the old fashioned way. Generally speaking, a page of script equals a minute of movie. So if you have a 118-page script, that should turn into a 118-minute movie, give or take (depending on action sequences and such). That way as you time each day's coverage you can check it against the page count and you can easily tell if the movie is running long or not. This of course is predicated on the notion that the script is in standard script format. If the script comes to you written on torn out sheets of spiral notebook paper, well, then I just feel sorry for you.
The next step is to divide the script pages into eighths. Stare at a page and image it divided into eighths (go ahead, I'll wait). If a scene starts at the top of the page and ended in the middle of the page that scene would count as half, or 4/8 of a page. A scene that spans an entire page would be 1 page. Now of course, not all scenes begin and end on a page so let's say scene 10 fills 1 page and then half of another the scene would be 1 4/8 page.
I typically do my own page count then tweak it with the AD's page count to make sure we match up. If there's a huge discrepancy we'd have a page count throw-down, but I don't like to talk about those. They can be ugly.
Filling in the one line breakdown from left to right it's typically,
Scene #: (which you pull from the script starting on scene 1)
Location: again pulling from the slug lines on the script (e.g. Ext. North Woods).
D/N: Day 1 or Night 1. This requires you to read the script and determine when in the story time passes to the next day. Some scripts are easy to read as the slug line will tell you NEXT MORNING, or something to that effect. Sometimes you will have to place a call into the AD, writer or director to verify when the next day starts. Then your day count will read as D1 (meaning Day 1) then N1 (meaning night 1) next STORY day will be D2 etc. aligned with it's particular scene number. The day night progression is an extremely important part of your continuity one line which will become the bible for Wardrobe and Make-up.
Page Count: which we already discussed.
Characters: Enter the list of characters appearing in the scene.
Scene Description: A very short sum up of the scene. Many an AD love to put their own personal spin on the scene description. I just give a quick sum up. It's never a good idea to try and out-funny the AD.
For example a scene description might be "JAKE ARRIVES AT HIS CABIN". Primary importance is that it has to be clear succinct. Of secondary importance is to be amusing (like "KILLER MONOLOGUES" OR "AMY AND MARK MAKE THE BEAST WITH TWO BACKS"), stuff like that, of course always being respectful of the content since the writer will get a copy, as will all department heads.
Then, make a zillion copies of the thing, bring them to the production meeting and make any changes when the new script pages show up (notice I said 'when' and not 'if').
That's pretty much it. Hope that helps!
My virtual feet await...