Continuity Script Services

a continuity transcript is a media script giving the complete action, scene descriptions, music, graphics in detail and in the order in which they are shown on the screen. It also includes other features, such as sound effects, actors’ accents, emotions, and others.

continuity scripts are a delivery requirement between production companies and studios or distributors. They serve as a legal description of the film or television project for copyright purposes. The continuity is used for pan and scan and content editing, while the dialogue can be used for captioning and as the outline for subtitling or dubbing.

more advanced scripts are referred to as Combined Dialogue and Action Continuity Script, Combined Continuity and Spotting List (or CCSL). Several variations and levels of complexity are offered.

credits

our credits include Holy Rollers, The Bleeding House and A Good Marriage.


continuity script types

We offer the following standard formats of continuity script formats. Any of our formats can be further customized per your project’s needs.

the Advanced and Full continuity scripts present-frame accurate and a detailed overview that requires a study of every aspect of the film. Accurate navigation is achieved using specialized software with detection and frame-by-frame audio scrubbing features.

the below comparison chart shows what each script includes.

Basic w/ TC Basic
Dialogue all all all all
Speaker ID all all all all
TC references each line of dialogue or each shot change (cut-by-cut) each line of dialogue & scene change +/- every 30 seconds none
Scene descriptions descriptive and plot-relevant descriptive and plot-relevant plot-relevant only plot-relevant only
Credits all opening only none none

continuity transcript comparison

Type

Description

Basic

Includes all spoken English dialogue and readable super-imposed text such as cards and lower thirds (limited on-screen graphics). We also provide brief scene descriptions (plot-relevant). Timecode references are not provided.

Basic with timecodes

Same as Basic, but with time code added every 30 seconds to the transcript. Must submit a VHS or DVD with a timecode window burn. Timecode is only accurate to about +/- 3 seconds and is not guaranteed to line up with cuts or specific pieces of dialogue. It is useful as a reference to find your place on the tape or transcript

Advanced with timecodes

A transcript that lists all dialogue, opening credits, brief scene description, limited on-screen graphics and timecode.

Timecode spotting is done for each line of dialogue and scene change. Frame accurate references to the picture are provided suitable for 'spotting' work.

Full

A highly detailed, cut-by-cut transcript that list all dialog, music cues, credits, on-screen graphics, scene descriptions and timecode.

Timecode spotting is either done a) on a cut-by-cut basis, b) for each line of dialogue or c) both on a cut-by-cut basis and for each line of dialogue. Frame-accurate references to the picture are provided and suitable for 'spotting' work.

Cut Spotting

Dialogue Spotting

Cut & Dialogue Spotting


Continuity Script Creation: Art or Science ?
Creating a quality continuity script is a process that requires professional tools, following established conventions as well as good judgement calls from the continuity script editor to properly describe ambiguous situations that occur in the film.

Such ambiguity/subjectivity comes in to play with scene descriptions; that is, describing action.

  1. when evaluating to commit to a timecode when describing "Lorna tumbles down the steps.", at what frame does that actually begin? When her heel misses the landing? When her facial expression changes? When she actually begins to fall forward?
  2. when it's time to actually form the description. In some scenes, the action itself is subjective. If "David glares disapprovingly at Maria," is that the best description? Or is he glaring angrily, distrustfully, knowingly?

so, both the frame-accurate timecode and the description text are subjective, and our editors make those calls when they are working within the transcript, because they are most familiar with the mood, the plot, the characters at that stage.


get started

to get started with your continuity script, please supply the following:

  1. Media with a t/c window burn
  2. Shooting script - if available ; preferably a near final version
  3. Song lyrics, if applicable
  4. Credits, if applicable

considerations

have a continuity script project you’d like to talk to us about? Give us a call any time at 212-489-6035.