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Film, Television, & Content Creation

Script Supervisor

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Script Supervisor

What does a Script Supervisor do?

A script supervisor (scripty) supervises the continuity of a film. During pre-production, the script supervisor analyzes the script and mentally piece the film together. If they foresee any potential red flags, they consult the heads of departments that it may impact. From there, they prepare a continuity breakdown. This report lists various details regarding wardrobe, location, time of day, story days, props, cast, and character actions.

 

Next, the scripty times the script determining how long each scene, page, and the overall film will run in terms of screen time. There is the well-known "one-minute rule," but we all know that a half-page action scene will run way longer than 30-seconds. You may have a 90-page script, but it may actually be a 120-minute film, which determines how many shooting days the production may need.

Their responsibilities also include:

  • Take notes on everything that was shot, including slate info, take numbers, length of takes, and camera and lens details.

  • Closely monitors the actor's dialogue to make sure it is consistent. Add notes to the script if the dialogue is changed.

  • Monitor the actor's actions and eye-lines.

  • Keeps detailed photographic records of the set, costumes, and props.

  • Creates production reports for each day of filming, which goes to the production office. 

  • Provide the editor and post-production team their collected notes for reference.

Skills:

  • Strong attention to detail

  • Excellent organizational skills

  • Ability to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines

  • Strong communication skills, both verbal and written

  • Knowledge of film and television production processes

  • Ability to work well in a team environment

 

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree in film, television, or a related field

  • Previous experience as a script supervisor or in a related role

  • Familiarity with film and television production software, such as Final Draft or Movie Magic

  • Ability to work flexible hours, including evenings and weekends

  • Ability to travel as needed

 

Pay Rate:


The pay rate for a script supervisor varies depending on experience and location. According to Salary.com, the national average salary for a script supervisor is $68,339 per year. The salary range for a Script Supervisor job is from $60,123 to $74,871 per year in the United States.

The union pay rate for a script supervisor depends on the specific union they belong to and the project they are working on. In the United States, the main union for script supervisors is the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE). Within IATSE, script supervisors are typically part of the Local 871 union, which covers script supervisors, production coordinators, and other production staff.

According to the Local 871 website, as of 2023, the minimum hourly rate for a script supervisor is $41.77 for a Tier 1 project and $38.06 for a Tier 2 project. However, the actual rate can vary based on factors such as the budget of the project, the experience level of the script supervisor, and the location of the production.

It's worth noting that the union pay rate is just one aspect of compensation for a script supervisor. Many script supervisors also negotiate additional benefits such as kit fees, overtime pay, meal penalties, and travel expenses.

 

Education, Training, and Experience:


To become a script supervisor, you will need a bachelor's degree in film, television, or a related field. You should also have previous experience working in film or television production, ideally as a script supervisor or in a related role. Additional training may be available through industry organizations such as the Script Supervisors' Network.

 

Career Track:

 

Breaking into this field can be challenging, as it often requires a combination of education, experience, and networking. Many script supervisors start out as production assistants or work their way up through other roles in the industry. Once established, they can advance by building a strong reputation and developing relationships with producers, directors, and other key players in the industry.

 

As a script supervisor, you will have opportunities to advance your career by working on larger and more complex productions. You may also choose to specialize in a particular genre, such as action films or romantic comedies. 


If you are passionate about film and television production and have a strong attention to detail, a career as a script supervisor may be right for you. With the right education, training, and experience, you can build a successful career in this exciting and dynamic industry. 

PS: Some of these are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I may get a commission for recommending the product to you.

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Script Analysis

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