The Bottom Line
Left: Photo by Carli Lind of female operated production company “We’re The Films.” Producers: Cat Del Re and Jessy Greer.
Life really began for me when I became a film and television script supervisor. At least, life as I know it now. Life packed with purpose, adventure, means, creativity, community, and leadership.
But who am I? And what is a script supervisor?
I’m Jennifer Carriere, and I’m a script supervisor and producer in the film and television industry. I figured out an extra efficient way to do both, effectively creating my own custom film career. I was able to work far more film and TV jobs per year than is standard (and frankly, even imaginable) and naturally transitioned to producer along the way. As a result, I was rewarded with a life I’d never imagined for myself.
In my youth, I was a studious, easygoing kid. Early on, a decent talent in math emerged, and like my father, I ended up studying engineering. Like my father, I did not remain an engineer. In my mid-twenties, with a secure job at the Army Corps of Engineers, I walked away to go play in the film and TV industry. Best decision of my life. I found my calling and the career that is perfectly suited to my personality and energy. I love: problem solving, efficiency, working with creative people, reading scripts, watching actors create magic in the moment, being in the trenches with my crew, and going the extra mile to make my colleagues look great. I don’t mind: long hours, long periods of intense concentration, and speaking up when we missed something. I’m not a fan of sitting still.
The script supervisor is a film job that many have not heard of, and even fewer understand. I was a film department drifter, bouncing from department to department, for two years before I knew what a script supervisor was. When I found out, I went all in.
The script supervisor is a film boss starting their very first day, and an indispensable asset to the director, actors, producer, editor, screenwriter, and all departments wishing to shoot with proper continuity. The script supervisor’s interests overlap with those of the producer (in terms of production efficiency and shooting material correctly), the screenwriter (in terms of ensuring the telling of the scripted story), and the director (in terms of the telling of that story with camera angles and coverage). They work closely with actors throughout rehearsal and shooting.
Films and TV episodes are shot totally out of order, in whatever way is the most time-efficient and cost-effective. Scenes that take place in the same set are generally scheduled to be shot at the same time. (That’s a simplification, there are factors such as location and actor availability that could break this rule, but generally, the goal is to batch scenes by location in the schedule.) Shooting out of order creates a puzzle which must be put back together in perfect order, bit-by-bit, shoot day by shoot day. This job requires a film crew specialist to ensure all details track and fit in the right place, so that it appears that the show was shot in perfect sequential order. That film crew specialist is the script supervisor.
From their very first day, the script supervisor is an automatic department head on whom every department depends. Says Executive Studio President Michelle Sneed, “You can’t do it without the script supervisor. It’s like your directors, your writers, and your show-runner…. Without them, you’ve got nothing.” Everyone depends on the script supervisor, most especially the actors.
The script supervisor role has the reputation of being the hardest job on set. Let’s face it, they’re responsible for preventing continuity mistakes across a whole cast and crew. (They also produce reports tracking shooting progress daily for the production department.)
On every show, I have award-winning actors and directors tell ME that they could never do my job – that it’s the hardest job on set. It makes me laugh, because they have no idea what my secret is for getting it all straight. I’ve been called every type of outlier you could find a name or: maverick, unicorn, visionary, superhero. At least once per show, I’m asked if I have a photographic memory. If only they knew. In complete truth, I can barely remember what day of the week it is.
The reality is, I created an excellent system that I implement with vigor daily.
These days, my passion is sharing my signature system with creatives who want their own high impact film career. The biggest shock of all was how many actors come to me for a flexible film job that happens to be the best way to get close to the director and actors. Nothing lights me up like hearing their transformation stories, and being told the same thing over and over again. “This never would have happened without you.” It took me 15 years to perfect. Now, I train creatives who want to become high-paid film bosses and pack out their networks with directors, producers, and actor friends (even with zero film set experience).
Script Supervisor CEO
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Writer/script supervisor and mentor
Jennifer left a career in civil engineering in New Orleans, LA after catching “the bug” for the film and television industry in 2008. She soon discovered a passion for script supervising and hasn’t put the stopwatch down since. In early 2018, she began producing tv series in addition to script supervising. Today, she script supervises and associate-produces multiple television series per year (plus squeezes in a film or two). For the last ten years, she has spent most of her time working in Atlanta, GA – her second home.
Hollywood photographer Carli Lind, got her start behind the camera firing disposables and polaroids backstage at theater shows, video shoots, and parties in Los Angeles. It wasn’t until she started a social media back in 2019 that friends, and those she clicked photos of pushed her into the field with much enthusiasm. Lucky enough for Carli, she had accidentally surrounded herself with other film photographers when moving out west in 2016, and has a husband who keeps vintage analog cameras from donation stores. She was the girl with 100 Facebook albums growing up, and walls covered with CVS prints. Switching her focus during the time of the pandemic from performance to camera, “It’s like I have been practicing my entire life for this career.” Although very new to the game, she is living among some of the top film photographers in the world living in California, but to be the best you have to play to the best. This is just the beginning for Lind, and if you cant get a hold of her don’t worry, she was most likely up till 5 a.m. shooting backstage with a DJ.