Script Continuity

Script Continuity

Please note that the job description for Script Continuities differ a bit from the international customs. E.g. the Daily Progress Report in Germany (called “Tagesbericht”) resembles more the international AD Report, as ADs in Germany do not write reports and it is not a staple to hand in a lined script at the end of a shooting day.
The following job descriptions specifically describe the job customs in Germany.

The profession of “Script Continuity” encompasses a complex field during film and television production and involves the documentation and monitoring of technical and artistic aspects during shooting.

Script Continuities possess fundamental knowledge and understanding of various filmmaking aspects.

In addition to reporting for production and post-production, monitoring dialogue and text and aligning pre- and shooting stops, they serve as points of contact and connection for various functions during production, including, but not limited to:

  • Continuity of movement

  • Scene-specific continuity (makeup, costume, props, weather, etc), within the overall
    artistic parameters of the film
  • Continuity critical to camera and editing (axis, shot sizes,

  • Narrative continuity (plot progression, timeline)

Script Continuities serve several vital functions to the director.
They delve into the script in detail, identifying inconsistencies in plot, text, and performance, and then highlight these beforehand and as reminders for the director when and/or if those potential issues arise during the shoot.

Script Continuities anticipate and take note of continuity and questions.

Script Continuities hold substantial knowledge in editing and visual composition. They can realistically assess the importance of continuity. Furthermore, they keep track of the scenes being covered so as not to overlook needed moments for the successful completion of the planned shots.

Script Continuities ensure optimal information flow with post-production.

Professional prerequisites:

  • Quick comprehension

  • Team player

  • Empathy, sensitivity and tact in dealing with people, their needs and situations

  • Ability to remain calm and maintain an overview in all situations

  • Assertiveness, determination and decisiveness

  • Resilience, multitasking ability

  • Ability to concentrate

  • Self-organizational skills (methodical work)

  • Ability to recognize correlations

  • Logical and forward-thinking

  • (Refined) language skills sufficient to monitor spoken dialogue and also clearly communicate one’s ’ own opinion, as and when appropriate
  • Visual imagination and spatial understanding

  • Comprehensive film technical knowledge (camera, sound, editing, VFX, etc.)
  • Flexibility and openness in all aspects of filmmaking

  • Basic understanding of acting processes

Prep Responsibilities:

  • Thorough familiarization with the script with a focus on inconsistencies in plot, text, performance 
and timeline
  • Independently pointing out any inconsistencies found by Script Continuities
  • If desired by assistant director: setting story times (requires more preparation time)
  • If explicitly requested in the Geman Regieassistenz-System: if feasible and paid separately – creating the estimate timing and estimates for scene revisions
  • Optionally: creating lists for comparing estimate, actual and editing (projection)
  • Optionally: participation in rehearsals and table reads, including documenting scenic and dialogue changes (rehearsal days must be paid separately and are not included in preparation time)
  • Creating personal records to have continuity (props, makeup, costume) available at any time during the shoot
  • Setting up the script for individual needs on set (markings, cross-references, continuity notes, estimate 
times, story days & times, partial shots, etc.)
  • Contacting the editing room and post-production regarding reporting and workflow
  • Checking expected wild tracks according to the script with the director/assistant director/sound
  • Estimating the need for qualified additions, e.g. at splinter or 2nd unit days, or scenes with more 
than two cameras

Responsibilities during filming:

  • Attending rehearsals and debriefings, including the required documentation
  • Feeding of lines
  • Monitoring lines (context, sensitivity to the artistic intention of the work, comprehensibility)
  • Optionally: feeding off lines (e.g., phone) for actors without present partners (continuity 
work and documentation takes priority)
  • Observing inconsistencies in plot, logical continuity, lines, performance and timeline
  • Reviewing shots for combinability and completeness, i.e. coverage
  • Reminding the director and DOP for title and end credit sequences
  • Anticipating, checking and documenting scene-specific continuity (props, costume, makeup, movement), within the overall artistic parameters of the film
  • Ensuring the reproducibility of all shot scenes for continuity, including the actual spoken lines
  • Tidy organization of their personal records (if necessary for use by subsequent Script Continuities or Script Supervisors)
  • Discretionary: Lining of work script to check coverage
  • Review of camera axis and noting axis jumps (including assessment of relevance)
  • Liaison with camera and lighting (light continuity, day/night settings, scene times, light 
switches etc.)
  • Determining slate labeling (in consultation with the director & post production beforehand)
  • Documenting certain technical camera data by arrangement and providing guidance on technical 
 inconsistencies (e.g., color temperature)
  • Support for matching shot sizes, transitions, tempi etc.
  • Assistance to the camera department (timing of focus & camera movements, image quality, etc.)
  • By arrangement: noting camera data for VFX shots in the absence of a VFX supervisor
  • Monitoring the recording of wild tracks
  • Taking actual timings of scene lengths and providing current projections to the director
  • Overview of status of shots (complete, partial, owed, shooting day, slate/roll numbers)
  • Liaison between the set and editing room/post-production
  • If qualified support is available for a splinter or 2nd unit: Passing on the necessary continuity information 
and report paperwork
  • Reporting:
    • Creating comprehensive reports for the editing room/post-production in handwritten or 
digital form, including:
                  – Director’s preferences
                  – Wild tracks & necessary technical details (shooting day, slate number, etc.)
                  – Potential rearrangements of the scene sequence
                  – Additional comments
                  – Actual timing for each scene
                  – Status of shots (compete, partial, owed)
                  – Unscripted, additional shots (impressions, ad hoc shots, establishing shots)
                  – Recording of VFX-relevant camera data (only if no VFX supervisor is on site; means
                  – Possibly remarks on music used during shooting
    • If requested: creating a lined script for post-production (additional work)
    • Creation and distribution of list regarding owed shots/scenes
    • Creating a Daily Progress Report or completion of a daily report (not an online ZDF daily report) with the following details:
                  – Total Est/Act timings
                  – By scene Est/Act timings
                  – Scene overview and status
                  – Number of shooting days
                  – 1st slate, break times, if applicable, 1st slate after break, wrap time
                  – Location (shooting location, set)
                  – Shooting ratio
                  – Number of setups per day
                  – Material consumption

It is not the responsibility of the Script Continuity to collect start/end times of the crew.

The following tasks entail more work for Script Continuities and require corresponding compensation:

  • Creation of estimate timing (usually at least one working day per 90 minutes of film length) > 
 the same rate applies to revised script versions
  • Integration of script revisions
  • Estimate timing for revised scenes
  • Creating a lined script for post-production
  • Documentation of VFX data in the absence of a VFX Supervisor to a certain extent

Scenarios requiring a necessary qualified addition:

  • Shooting days with more than two parallel working cameras
  • Shooting days with elaborate scenes involving over 6 actors performing simultaneously (big 
family meals, celebrations, etc.)
  • 2nd units, splinter units, drone shots, etc.
  • Shooting days with exceptionally high numbers of shots (e.g. action/stunt sequences)