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Side Notes

I forgot to mention one more peculiarity of sides in yesterday’s post.

Opinions vary on whether the sides should be copied in script order, or shooting order.  Script order is easy.  You just copy the pages like I said yesterday.  If the scenes are shot out of order, it’s fairly simple to find the one you need.

Making sides in scene order is another matter altogether.  Suppose you’re shooting scenes 18, 20, then 19, all short scenes that appear on the same page.  Now you have to copy that page twice, crossing out scene 19 the first time, then 18 and 20 the second.

Not only is this wasteful, but it’s often pointless.  The scene order on the call sheet isn’t carved in stone.  The schedule changes all the time, due to the vagaries of physical production.  If the director decides to shoot scene 19 first, it’ll be unnecessarily confusing to find it in the sides.

Still, some ADs like it that way, and as a PA, you gotta do what the AD says.  Most single camera shows have two ADs, of course.  I’ve been on a show where one AD wanted the sides in shooting order, the other AD insisted on script order, and God help you if you got it backwards.  I once had to completely redo sides at six thirty in the morning when the night shift PA screwed it up.

On the subject of call sheets, Kelly asked why they’re always on legal paper.  I don’t have any authoritative history on the matter, but I imagine it’s because call sheets have a shit ton of information on them.  (That’s an ass load, for those of you on the metric system.)  It would be almost impossible to squeeze all of it onto a regular sheet of paper, and still be legible.

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2 Responses

  1. Shooting order or script order I can work with both. During one show my favorite PA actively looked for me every morning and would run up to me with sides and a cup of coffee. He totally made my day!

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