SEARCH OLD BLOG POSTS

CATEGORIES

.

Revisions, Or: When Five Figures Isn’t Enough To Do It Right the First Time

Paul writes:

When the hell are the pages going to come?!!

A very valid question. The answer is, as always, they’ll get here when they get here.

If you’ve never been the late shift PA, it’s hard to appreciate the agony of waiting for scripts to come out. This may come as a shock to those of you who only work in movies, but on television, scripts and/or revisions are printed nearly every day.

Obviously, there’s an entirely new script for each episode, which is every five to eight days, depending on the show’s schedule. But one draft isn’t enough. There’s a draft for the studio, there’s a draft for the network, there’s a draft for department heads only, there’s a production draft that everybody gets.

And then there are pages.

The writers are continually tweaking the work; combining scenes, cutting scenes, rewording this, trimming that, whatever. These changes are released on colored paper, reflecting whatever draft we’re on. Every network has their own standard, but a fairly common order for draft colors is:

  1. White
  2. Blue
  3. Pink
  4. Yellow
  5. Green
  6. Goldenrod

If the writers go beyond six drafts, we cycle back through the colors, called either, for example, “second white” or “double white.” Occassionally you’ll get into triple colors, but that usually ends with the writing staff stabbed to death with an inordinate number of brads.

I once collated a man in Reno, just to watch him die.
Far deadlier than they look.

This isn’t that big of a deal when the script comes out in the day time, and you have an office full of PAs to copy and distribute the scripts. But when you’re on the night shift and all alone, man, it sucks.

The worst of the worst is when the crew wraps, but the pages haven’t yet come in. Now you don’t even have the option of walking over to the stage and pigging out at the crafty table. You just have to sit at your desk, alone, with nothing to do but write angry, semi-literate emails to anonymous bloggers.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

7 Responses

  1. I just came off a feature where we had:
    white
    blue
    pink
    yellow
    green
    goldenrod
    salmon
    buff
    ivory
    cherry
    tan
    orchid

    At the end of shooting, the script had gone to quad blue revisions. If I hadn’t made the switch from paper to digital (I’m a script supervisor) I would have shot myself in the head.

  2. I just stumbled by, searching for a good and detailed description for this wonderful job. In Germany the productions still didn’t get, why a scriptcoordinator is essential. There isn’t even an descriptoin to find in German. I LOVED your little episodes, they are as hilarious as the job!

  3. I was on one show where we had, I kid you not,
    white
    blue
    pink
    yellow
    green
    goldenrod
    salmon
    buff
    cherry
    tan

    the final script STILL managed to get to ‘green script, double blue pages’. I did all the collating and distribution. It was 3 years ago and I’m still scarred.

Comments are closed.

SEARCH OLD BLOG POSTS

CATEGORIES

.