Mar 7, 2010

A Typical Day

A reader recently sent me an e-mail with the following questions...

- Do I need to bring my own equipment, logs, etc. or is that something that is usually provided for a Script Supervisor?

- What is the typical day like as a Scripty on a one day commercial shoot?

Yes, I always bring my own equipment, which consists of paper, pens, stopwatch, laptop, jump drive and gum (although the last item may be found on your finer craft service tables).

Of course, there is no such thing as a "typical" day. It's rather bizarre actually but I can break it down for you this way.

  • You will arrive before call time
  • You will take notes
  • You will eat craft service
  • You will take more notes
  • You will flirt with the camera assistant/grip/electric/wardrobe in the gender of your choice (optional)
  • You will eat a meal (there is no guarantee it will be good)
  • You will chew gum
  • You will take more notes
  • You will interact with several departments
  • You will be asked a technical question
  • You will answer it correctly (all scripty's are smart!)
  • You will call out a mistake and save someone's butt (again all scripty's are smart)
  • You will write down when wrap is called
  • You will bring your notes to production
  • You will fill out a time card
  • You will get paid (in most cases)

You will also be prepared for rain, snow, sleet, hail, tornadoes, earthquakes, acts of God, bad food, no food, wood ticks, sunburn, wind burn, small spaces, large spaces, noisy spaces, stinky spaces, mean directors, nice directors, insane directors, nice directors that are also insane, long days, short days, fast days, slow days, you name it, I've done it! And that's a typical day.

BTW Script Supervisors should be interviewed more often! Check out Script Supervisor Kathleen Messmer's interview for Making Of:


Jonathan said...

I like this post, and it find it to be very accurate. And I also agree that Script Supervisor should be interviewed more often. I just finished up a short film and got interviewed for the behind the scenes part of the DVD. I even made the DVD at the screening. I always get so upset that a major department head is not considered for DVD interviews more often.

Also, in this film that I was on (Liz, which you can look up on imdb) we had the documentarian there every day. He would always find a good spot to see the whole scene and I soon realized that when he found a place to shoot from, I could take his spot. It was wonderful. He would find the perfect place to see everything, and then I would make him move. We had an on going joke about it the whole time. I prefer to see the scene with my own eyes instead of the monitor if I can. What about you? Do you like to watch it from the screen or watch the actual set?

Scripty said...

Hey Jonathan is your interview up on the Web? I'd love to see it!!!

You have a great question about watching live versus the monitor. If I can catch a position where I can watch the performance from the set I will, I find I can catch more detail that way than from the muddy monitor, but location doesn't always allow for that....:)

Jonathan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jonathan said...

Hi Scripty. I don't think my interview is online anywhere but the dvd. However, I was just interviewed for a newsletter of the production company of a film I just worked on. Here it is:

The picture on the side is of my notes :D I don't know why that makes me more excited then if it were a picture of me, but it does.

I just finished working on a short film that was shot on film with no monitor and loved it. I would just take a look through the eye piece and watch the actors.

I was wondering if you could make a post about how you handle your timings? How do you get a total running time of a project? Not just the pre-timing, but timing master shots and close ups; deciding how long you choose to write down as the total time in the production reports. Please keep writing, I love your blog!

Devon Ellington said...

What drives me nuts is when I get a work call and I say, "Do I need to bring my kit" and they say, "No, we've got everything here" -- which of course they don't, but they don't want to pay the kit fee, and if you're not asked to bring the kit and bring it anyway, you don't get the kit fee.

L. Rob Hubb said...


Two articles relating to continuity:

and sort of a rebuttal:

certainly worth some discussion, I believe...

Scripty said...

Devon: Yes, not paying the kit fee is annoying! Remember when we had to buy Polaroid film? I would always make the current job reimburse me for the film so I had film for the next job and so on...

L. Rob Hubb: Yes, I agree...certainly worth some discussion

chadwickjohnson said...

Great post! Seems like you enjoy your job. I totally agree, Script Supervisors should get more of the spotlight. Keep it up!

Devon Ellington said...

Yes, those Polaroids! Now they don't want to pay for the memory cards for the digital, but they don't want personal photos on the same card. Go figure.

You know, I'm blanking out. Shooting series, week to week, the 8-day-per-episode one hour schedule, are there alternating scriptys, odds and evens, like we had alternating keys for wardrobe? So that, when you're breaking into B units on the old episode while shooting the new episode, you're not screwed? Or how do you choose who to bring in when the units are breaking into B's and further?

I know we always had a scripty breaking into multiple units, but I don't remember how it was assigned.