VOTD: How A Script Supervisor Creates Continuity In Movies

Have you ever watched a movie and been frustrated by a prop being misplaced on a table from one place to another, a character in a different position from where he was a split second before, or a shirt collar shifting positions over and over again in different shots? Well, if the answer is yes, then you'll want to blame the script supervisor.

While many might initially think a script supervisor is only responsible for making sure the cast gets their lines right by supervising the script, the job is infinitely more complicated than that. Martin Scorsese's script supervisor Martha Pinson (The Departed, The Aviator, Hugo) picks apart a video full of the kind of errors that she's responsible for preventing, and you can see just how much attention she must pay to each and every shot.

As you can see in this video, a scene was shot with 30 intentional errors created for Martha Pinson to correct. They range from prop continuity, making sure items in the scene are in the same position they were from shot to shot, to time continuity, making sure the clocks visible in a scene are all on the same time.

Those are just a few of the kinds of continuity that a script supervisor has to keep track of. So the next time you get bent out of shape about a continuity error like this, just know that the script supervisor is keeping track of so many things that a mistake here and there is always going to happen. Try to cut them a break.