Script Supervisor: Education Requirements and Career Information

Sep 30, 2019

A script supervisor makes sure that everything in a film or show adheres to the script so it retains continuity on screen. Employer and salary vary greatly according to the script supervisor's experience and various business factors. Film school is an educational option, but many script supervisors learn their craft via apprenticeship or on-the-job training.

Essential Information

Script supervisors are typically employed in the television, theater and movie industries. They ensure the continuity of dialogue and story line during production of a movie, television show or play. Formal post-secondary education is not required, but apprenticeships and on-the-job training can help develop the skills needed for this occupation.

Career Titles Script Supervisor; Continuity Supervisor
Education Requirements Apprenticeship, on-the-job training or film school education
Recommended Skills Applicants must have excellent communication, organizational and writing abilities. They must be observant and detail-oriented
Job Outlook (2018-2028) 5% for producers and directors*
Median Salary (2018) $71,680 for producers and directors*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Requirements

A formal degree is not required to become a script supervisor; on-the-job training or apprenticeships are a more common practice. However, script supervisors may enroll in a film school, attend workshops or become assistants to experienced script supervisors to learn this trade. These schools and workshops will teach individuals about industry-related topics such as pre-production, continuity, directorial styles, on-set protocol and blocking strategies for scenes. Also, individuals learn how to work with cameras, develop essential shots and deal with actor improvisation to scripts.

Becoming an assistant to an experienced script supervisor may provide valuable training and experience, including a hands-on understanding of the day-to-day challenges facing professional script supervisors. Individuals interested in this job should be strong communicators, and organized, observant, detail-oriented and responsible.

Career Information

A majority of the television and film industry is located in Los Angeles and New York, and aspiring script supervisors may have to relocate to find employment. The amount of work available for script supervisors varies greatly, and may depend on an individual's reputation, the extent of their contacts in the industry, the demand for script supervisors and the availability of projects. An option for script writers may be to seek work as television commercials to gain more experience and exposure.

Along with ensuring continuity and accuracy of a script, these workers also record information about each take. This includes the length of the scene, the take number, as well as notes on a variety of thing such as setting props, wardrobes, makeup and hairstyle.

The salaries of script supervisors are based by the job and experience. Some script supervisors are members of unions, which sets the wages for its members. Some script supervisors may work for production companies such as the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees.

Script supervisors work with the writers and on set to ensure filming or taping is consistent with the script. Most script supervisors obtain experience and training either during work or through an apprenticeship, although degrees in film are available and may be beneficial.

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