February 3, 2017

Continuity in Production

When shooting a commercial, marketing video, or documentary, many times capturing the necessary footage can take place over a period of days, weeks or even months. When a shoot takes a prolonged period of time, a production is susceptible to continuity errors. Viewers pick up on minor details, and inconsistencies in acting, props, or costumes can distinguish an amateur filmmaker or producer from a professional. At Edit House Productions LLC, we are vigilant when it comes to continuity in our shots.

Acting Continuity:

When you’re shooting multiple takes and shots, it’s important that actors repeat their action and lines the same way in every single take. For example, if in the master shot, an actress picks up a cup of coffee with her right hand, then that means in the subsequent close-up shots, she must again pick up the cup with her right hand. If she picks up the cup with her left hand in a subsequent take, editing the shots together won’t work.

Prop Continuity:

When shooting over an extended period of time, it’s extremely important to take note of every detail in your shots so when you come back to a scene later, all props are handled exactly the same way every time. For example, in one classic teen movie, there’s a scene in which a girl is holding a clear cup filled with beer. However, in the next few shots, the cup she’s holding is blue, then clear again. To avoid errors like this, we keep a strict props list and refer to it when we set up for each shot.

Costume Continuity:

Another important thing to watch when filming is costume continuity. Imagine you’re filming a scene in which an actor is wearing a tie. You film your master shots and then take a break for lunch. It would be easy for your actor to take off his tie and forget to put it back on before filming the tighter shots for the same scene. A famous example of costume incontinuity is a scene in the Wizard of Oz. When Dorothy and the Scarecrow fight the trees, a wide shot shows Dorothy wearing black shoes, not her ruby slippers. These kinds of errors are easy to make, so watch your actors’ costumes. Check straps, buttons, zipper placement, jewelry, makeup and hair.

Watching out for inconsistencies in acting, props, and costumes while you’re filming can save you the trouble of having to do an expensive reshoot. It can also make editing your production easier and when the video is finished, it will flow better. At Edit House, we keep an eye on the little things during production so that the end product is a beautiful, professionally done video you can be excited about using to promote your business.

Watch some great examples of continuity errors here!

Copyright: igoror / 123RF Stock Photo

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