Athene Hyde, second year Technical Theatre and Stage Management student. Published Mon 01/11/2010
After spending six weeks as ASM on Pornography, I am now the Script Supervisor on the first two RADA films of this year.
The challenge of temporarily changing to a different form of entertainment is eased slightly by the knowledge that the skills I’ve learnt in theatre transfer well into visual arts. That said, film is a completely different ball game. As a technical student at a drama school, I’d normally expect to do production work followed by a get-in and then be in my show role for 12 or 13 shows. In film, we have two weeks of pre-production then two weeks of shooting. The schedule will be different; the days around shooting will be irregular. It’s an exciting challenge.
As Script Supervisor, I am primarily responsible for continuity. Cigarettes, candles and clocks will be the bane of my life. I will also have to keep detailed notes of the shooting that in ‘real life’ would be sent to the editing team to assist them in the editing process.
This week we have begun work on pre-production whilst the actors spend two weeks doing radio recordings and voice-reels. To begin with we did a script breakdown. This involved sitting around a table with the production team (in our case, 1st Assistant Director, Script Supervisor, Art department/Props, Sound, Costume, Make-up and Director), the scripts and a pile of highlighters, picking out elements of the script to be entered into a computer program, Celtx, by the 1st AD's.
As I have little pre-production work to do as a script supervisor, I have become a art department assistant. This has so far involved me helping find locations. Initially, we did basic internet research then headed out on foot to scope out locations that looked right or could be transformed by the magic of props and dressing. It also involves charming the manager or owner of a venue to lend us the space for no fee as we have very, very little budget at our disposal. So far, the main triumph is a dark little sushi bar tucked away in the middle of Soho that has the most fantastic single conveyor belt. It’s rather beautiful in a odd city-style way.
Next week the pressure is on to secure our locations, finalise choices and prepare for the first film shoot. Should be fun!