The development of computerized script notes in combination with
digital capture technology has introduced some additional issues in the already
complex Video Assist Script Supervisor dynamic.
These issues include:
Self-sufficiency and the balance between completely prepared with
all the tools to do your job, and an utter reliance on other technicians
At what point, if any, is it appropriate to have a script
supervisor playback a captured scene?
The possible loss of printer rental
The addition of yet another trouble shooting scenario for the
Video Assist operator to deal with
We at Videorama! have always felt very strongly that we as
professionals should be completely self-sufficient and carry all the tools
necessary to do our job in most standard configurations. That is why we
always have generators, dolly offsets, suction cups for car rigging and the
like. Should there be a setup that requires us to request a tool or help from
another department we teach our operators to ask being mindful of the fact that
someone is doing you a favor, never demand and take care to specifically return
the item when you are finished. The latter part of the sentence seems to
be the biggest challenge in our current situation. My experience is that
many script supervisors do not carry their own cables and or adaptors and have
an EXPECTATION that we will have everything they need to do incorporate their
new technology into a well established protocol. When I get asked by
scriptys as to what they should include in their package, I always tell them
everything it would take to do their job if the was only a monitor set up by a
camera department member. I suggest a couple of bnc cables of a 10 -25ft
length, any necessary adaptors required in work with their particular capture
device, and additional batteries for their computer to eliminate the need to
always have an electrician run power. Also, appropriate backup should accompany
all of these items. The occasional moments where there is conflict
inevitably arise when high expectations are accompanied by a communication
style that is less than gracious.
Videorama believes simply that it is the job of a video assist
technician to provide on set playback, not the script supervisors. That
said, given the increasing demands on all departments, I would have no problem
going to a scripty that does full motion capture for help should I have missed
a take or otherwise be unavailable to do my job. As I said before, this
would require some diplomacy on my part as I am asking a favor of another
technician, and at no time should this technology be used to throw another
technician under the bus or undermine our basic job function. Just as I would
take a script supervisor aside to make a continuity suggestion, without
announcing it to the entire crew or director, l would expect the same
protocol in return.
Printer rental is on of the stickiest points in this new dynamic.
Our view is that at no time should any other technician undermine our
ability to create any additional revenue for myself or any other technician.
This attitude sometimes fosters resentment as the kit rental for scripty
is low or sometimes non-existent at all. My strategy is simple, just begin the
job by printing, whether that is a request or not, and with the assumption that
there will be a board, even if one does not exist right now. Scriptys
should again be sensitive to the fact that the introduction of this technology
again should not significantly alter a well-established protocol.
The last thing an
overworked video assist operator needs is another trouble shooting headache.
Scriptys should be responsible for not only having all of the physical tools to
do their job, but the basic trouble shooting skills as well, and this
especially includes computer issues. Once again it should never be a
problem to help another technician who makes a gracious request for help, but
that should be balanced by a demonstration of the fact that you run through at
least the most basic trouble shooting techniques to eliminate some of the
possible causes for the trouble.
This is our view, and
we’d welcome your feedback or experiences. Feel free to submit your comments or issues to email@example.com.