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Woodson
07-20-2004, 10:02 PM
Okay... I got my actors, my cinematographer/camera operator. What else do I need for my short low budget movie. Oh ya a sound boom mic holder and a make up artist. Anything else? I don't think I need to deal with things like Production Manager and Assistant Directors.

Mike_Donis
07-20-2004, 10:19 PM
Do you have a good script? ;D

Honestly though, it'll depend on what kind of a film you're doing...

When they made Lord of the Rings they needed a different kind of crew than when they made Lost in Translation.

Woodson
07-20-2004, 10:21 PM
Yes I do have the script. I have written it, will produce and direct it.

Mike_Donis
07-20-2004, 10:26 PM
Awesome!

To figure out what kind of crew you need, you've pretty much got to go through what your film needs. Think of all the set pieces, how you're going to shoot it, and what needs to happen behind the camera. If you write it out on paper, it'll make it clear what you do and don't need for your crew.

Woodson
07-20-2004, 11:12 PM
Sweet.

Ya most of the set up and stuff will be done by me and my cinematographer. The food/catering will be done by my mom. Will probably need a one or two production assistants to help with set up.

GenJerDan
07-20-2004, 11:48 PM
Okay... I got my actors, my cinematographer/camera operator. What else do I need for my short low budget movie. Oh ya a sound boom mic holder and a make up artist. Anything else? I don't think I need to deal with things like Production Manager and Assistant Directors.

Someone to do Continuity, perhaps.

Josh_Boelter
07-21-2004, 04:53 AM
If you have a digital camera, just bring that on set and take photos for continuity.

J_Barnes
07-21-2004, 05:56 AM
Continuity, continuity, continuity!

If you're using someone else to edit the film, see if they'd like to come on set and do continuity, it would just save them tons once the edit session begins anyway.

Woodson
07-21-2004, 12:08 PM
If you have a digital camera, just bring that on set and take photos for continuity.


Can you explain more about continuity and how did you work about it on your projects?

J_Barnes
07-22-2004, 07:45 AM
Can you explain more about continuity and how did you work about it on your projects?


Woah, I would suggest that if you don't know much about continuity, you're probably not ready to shoot yet.

Continuity is the generic term for the process of insuring the continuance of established visual and special relationships within the context of your scene. To put it plainly, continuity makes sure that your actor doesnít have a cigarette in his mouth in his close up, followed by a shot of the same cigarette in the ashtray in the master shot

ďContinuityĒ is typically the name for a single person on the set who methodically takes notes about each take and shot, photographing everything they can so that the scene can be repeated with the props and clothing in the same places.

The obvious continuity problems come with props and clothing, anything that the actors can interact with and change over the duration of your shot. Any changes (for example, an actor moving a glass) must be repeated at the same point in each take in each shot so that when you edit, you donít have anything jumping around in the frame.

The more subtle continuity issues are with the actorís eyelines matching from shot to shot, reading lines at specific points to match a physical movement, and matching the lighting from master to closeup.

The two things that kill most beginner films are bad audio and bad continuity. Even the most experienced film actors will create continuity flaws, and if you donít have someone there specifically to watch for them...the burden will be entirely upon your shoulders to correct all flaws on location.

I suggested that you ask your editor to come on set as the continuity person because editors are keenly aware of continuity problems and how they affect post production. If youíre not working with an editor, see if you can get someone with at least a little bit of experience to be on set doing continuity during your production.

It also might be a good idea to carry along a cheap VCR and TV on location to record the video out of your camera feed. That way, you can roll back the tape on the VCR and check for continuity issues without messing with your master DV tape.

Iím sure a lot of other people will chime in on this issue...it doesnít matter how well prepared you think you are, if youíre not accounting for continuity, your project will be THE DEATH OF YOU once youíre in the editing session.

Respect it now, fear it now, cover it in the shoot and youíll never have to experience the pain of your best shots laying on the proverbial cutting room floor because they wouldnít cut in with the rest of your takes.

Josh_Boelter
07-22-2004, 08:13 AM
Continuity's important, no doubt. But if you're telling a good story, people won't notice minor continuity errors. I would just take on set photos to refer to when you need to match clothing, hairstyle, props, etc. It doesn't need to be terribly complicated.

J_Barnes
07-22-2004, 09:07 AM
Continuity's important, no doubt. But if you're telling a good story, people won't notice minor continuity errors. I would just take on set photos to refer to when you need to match clothing, hairstyle, props, etc. It doesn't need to be terribly complicated.


Regardless of the story youíre telling, the audience will notice the flaws in its presentation. Even something as small as a glass being in the wrong place from cut to cut is enough to cause a hiccup in the mind of the viewer, and anything that brings attention to the filmmaking process distracts the audience from the story and performances. Sure you can get away with minor continuity problems, but if youíre not paying attention to continuity you wonít have minor problems...youíll have extensive persistent errors that will compound in the mind of your audience.

An amazing story that enchants the audience will only be enhanced in its effect if your presentation is seamless and transparent, and a firm respect of continuity is essential to that presentation. It isnít some evil bit of dirty business that inhibits the creative art, itís a necessary part of production that deserves your full attention.

Thinking of continuity as an unnecessary formality is akin to thinking of a spelling as a hindrance to your writing. Sure, itís a pain in the ass, but it just makes you shine in the long run.

Besides, why aim low? Why not try to have a professional high-production value shoot? If errors slip in, then they slip in, but in NOT preventing them...youíre essentially allowing them to happen.

Josh_Boelter
07-22-2004, 09:29 AM
Well, I would definitely take photos or videos on set for continuity. It's definitely important. I just think some people blow it out of proportion. There are minor continuity errors in most films, and if the story's good and the performance is good, most people won't notice. In Love Actually, for example, I didn't notice that Hugh Grant changed had constantly changing ties in one scene until Richard Curtis mentioned it on the DVD commentary. If you have a poorly-acted take with perfectly matched continuity, but have a brilliant take of the same scene where that glass is moved a few inches, I'd use the good take with the continuity error. Teh performance is more important.

I definitely wouldn't rely on memory for continuity. That's why I suggest on-set photos. It's a quick and simple method of matching continuity.

J_Barnes
07-22-2004, 09:38 AM
If you have a poorly-acted take with perfectly matched continuity, but have a brilliant take of the same scene where that glass is moved a few inches, I'd use the good take with the continuity error. Teh performance is more important.

I agree with you there, but when you're faced with an awesome take that doesn't match your other shots, you feel like it's Sophie's Choice.

I tend towards the better performance, but it's still painful to have to sacrifice one or the other.

taubkin
07-22-2004, 11:37 AM
I can honestly say bad audio is *much* worse than bad continutiy. Truth be told, continuity is a bitch and you have to watch it, but I agree with josh when he say some people blow it out of proportion. That said, a "sophie's choice" in the editing room is very traumatizing.

Mike_Donis
07-22-2004, 03:49 PM
Thing is, it's not a continuity problem if nobody notices it: and if they notice it, then you DO have a mistake. So it's definitely important to never have a continuity problem...it's kind of like the saying "if a tree falls down in a forest, but nobody was there to hear it, did it make a sound?".

If nobody notices the problem then it ain't there. And if they do, then it *is* a problem and will take whoever notices it out of the movie right away. So to say there's no worry about continuity is an issue - it's one of the most important technical things in my opinion to keep the audience believing your scene.

Woodson
07-22-2004, 08:38 PM
Can you explain more about continuity and how did you work about it on your projects?


I know what continuity is.. I should of been more clear.. too tired wasn't thinking... what I meant is do you guys have one person dedicated to the dialogue, prop, clothing continuity, or would you have the script supervisor normally doing that stuff.

J_Barnes
07-23-2004, 08:27 AM
I know what continuity is.. I should of been more clear.. too tired wasn't thinking... what I meant is do you guys have one person dedicated to the dialogue, prop, clothing continuity, or would you have the script supervisor normally doing that stuff.

Most of the indie shoots I've been on have used the script supervisor to do general continuity. If they have a props person, that person does props continuity on set. If the cast is small and there isn't much need to prep standby actors, the wardrobe/makeup artist will do continuity for that on set.

It really depends on how much is going on and how capable your people are.

A lot of times, having more people on set is far more detrimental to productivity then it is to have fewer people who are working double and triple duty.

If there arenít a ton of props, a ton of wardrobe, a ton of actors, or complicated locationsÖitís probably better to just have a script supervisor doing everything.

Woodson
07-23-2004, 09:15 AM
Yes, thank you.

That makes sense.

Bsmith
07-25-2004, 09:48 AM
also to whoever said that continuity isn't that important as long you have a great performance.

well you prolly don't have Hugh Grant in your movie, nor any other great actor in hollywood...so your performance isn't going to be great..therefore for you...continuity is very important.

TylerGred
07-25-2004, 10:28 AM
well you prolly don't have Hugh Grant in your movie, nor any other great actor in hollywood...so your performance isn't going to be great...*

That isn't necessarily true....

Mike_Donis
07-25-2004, 02:37 PM
*All* great actors were unknown at ONE point...

Josh_Boelter
07-25-2004, 04:52 PM
I didn't mean to imply that continuity isn't important. Continuity is very important. I just meant to say that I don't want to get so bogged down in the technical details that I overlook the performance and the writing, which is ultimately way more important.

Mike_Donis
07-26-2004, 10:31 AM
Definitely....that's why having someone designated to focus on continuity is so valuable :)

THiNSPiRiT
07-29-2004, 01:33 PM
I don't even really think you need someone dedicated to continuity. It especially depends on how big your crew is. I know that when I make a film I can pretty much ensure the continuity will be maintained naturally. It's a feel you get when you're making films.

That being said, you aren't going to be able to catch every single little thing. You should ask everyone on your set to pay attention to the continuity of your movie at least a little or at least in respect to each of their roles. If the sound guy notices a sound that shows up which wasn't there before, he's automatically helping you with your sound continuity. If your actors are conscience of it they'll do consistant movements and make sure that props they're interacting with will be in the same position they were previously.

In the middle of a scene's shoot you generally film the scene in chronilogical order so continuity is generally kept because aside from the cuts in between takes and changing setups everything is as it was previously. Continuity gets to especially be a problem if you're doing pickup shots or filming different scenes that occur right after each other on completely different days. Having an onsight photographer taking pictures of your set and scenes is a good idea if that's what's going to be happening, but if you're filming an entire scene that occurs in one day on a single shoot, continuity isn't usually an issue if your entire crew is paying attention to it. *you* will catch the majority of the issues, but if you don't, someone will....

at least that's what I've noticed is the easiest way to ensure continuity when dealing with a small crew. Assigning such specific roles as continuity to one person is silly. *You* should be catching most of it, your actors should be aware of it, and your entire crew should be paying attention to it in their own respects....

Mike_Donis
07-29-2004, 04:54 PM
It's definitely good if you can get it though...any help is help. If having them there won't slow down your work, and they aren't asking for money (or money isn't an issue for you) it's helpful IMO

THiNSPiRiT
07-29-2004, 09:58 PM
It always slows down the work. It's someone else you have to worry about...

J_Barnes
08-19-2004, 07:27 AM
Someone doing their job isn't someone you have to worry about. Thats a backwards way to approach management.

Now, saying "someone else to worry about" in terms of feeding them...well, then sure it's going to cost a little bit more and add a little bit of production value to your film in return.

A continuity person won't ever slow down work unless there's a continuity problem, in which case, you should be slowing down to fix it. That's like saying a sound mixer just slows production down.

Eight grips around a watercooler, yeah, that slows production down sometimes...but if you're having a continuity person on set and they're slowing your production down by doing their job...then you obviously need to have them there.

Mike_Donis
08-19-2004, 09:44 AM
Good point.

Woodson
08-19-2004, 12:05 PM
After finishing shooting my short this past weekend, I think continuity is important, and you do need a person for it. I didn't have one, so I had to do it, and yes it did take abit away from directing.

IllLifeFilms
09-01-2004, 05:49 PM
Hugh Grant?!? Seriously?

THiNSPiRiT
09-07-2004, 12:48 AM
It's still someone else to worry about that they also make it to set on time, letting them know what's happening... one more person always adds a little more work if you don't have the proper administrative structure on the set. Just based on the kind of shoot he's going to have I'm assuming he won't have that much of an administrative staff working on the film. This makes juggling more people more work...

By all means, if you have the resources to have the extra person on set to do continuity, it can be an asset. However, if the continuity guy is sticking out like a sore thumb as an extra body and you're lacking other essential crew, it can be a problem.

You really need to assess the entire structure of your crew and determine if it's really feasible to have a continuity person on board. Don't skimp out on a good AD or sound mixer in place of a continuity person. It's all about cost to benefit ratio.

Will having a continuity person on set be worth the extra managerial work rather than simply doing it yourself?

In smaller productions this is really the question you need to ask yourself.

T-1000
10-03-2004, 08:08 PM
Hugh Grant?!? Seriously?

LOL!
Did you ever see the movie "About a Boy"? He was pretty good in that. In fact, I liked it a lot.

T-1000

kitsu
10-30-2004, 08:26 PM
Speaking of continuity...
In "The Day After Tomorrow" when the main character draws the "south of here, evacuate. North of here, they are doomed" line on the map, the line jumps around from wide to CU to wide. Would most people notice this? I doubt it. But I live near DC and in the first take I'm like "woo, I live", but then in the close-up I noticed that I would have died.
Don't understimate a random viewer picking up on small details.

That said... A short film I made one saturday night with some friends because we were bored was littered with continuity errors. But it was fun to make, and shooting took like 3 hours, so who cares.