Script Supervisor

A script supervisor (also called continuity supervisor) is a member of a film crew responsible for maintaining the motion picture's internal continuity and for recording the production unit's daily progress in shooting the film's screenplay. The script supervisor credit typically appears in the closing credits of a motion picture.

Up until the late thirties and early forties, the script supervisor in the American film and television industry was typically called the continuity clerk, script reader or script girl. Individuals performing such duties were either credited with these titles or, more often, not credited at all. During this span of time, many script supervisors were indeed women, a fact that originally spawned the title "script girl." However, over the years, script supervisor positions throughout the American motion picture industry became more thoroughly integrated and formed a better balance among men and women. This fact, coupled with producers' desire to promote gender neutrality in a position that was increasingly taken up by men, produced the gradual change in nomenclature. By the fifties, the gender-specific term had virtually disappeared from film and television credits, but sometimes appeared in everyday speech.

In the most basic description, the script supervisor is the editor's and writer's representative on set, as well as being the right hand aide to the director and the director of photography. It is the script supervisor's job to make sure that at the end of the day the film can be cut together. In that sense, they back up every department, monitor the script during shooting and make sure that errors in continuity do not occur that would prevent the film from being able to be compiled in the editing room.

In pre-production, the script supervisor creates a number of reports based on the script, including a one-line continuity synopsis providing basic information on each scene such as the time of day, day in story order, and a one line synopsis of the scene. These reports are used by various departments in order to determine the most advantageous shot order and ensure that all departments, including production, wardrobe, hair and makeup, are in sync in regards to the progression of time within the story.

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