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Podcast – Script supervisor Kristin Voumard

Script supervisor Kristin Voumard on being an on-set voice for the editor and learnings from a 30+ year career spanning everything from Round the Twist to Marvel movies.

Splice of stills from Dance Academy The Movie and Rake

Dance Academy The Movie, Rake

Find this episode of the Screen Australia Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Pocket Casts

There are many aspects to the role of a script supervisor, but first and foremost for Kristin Voumard is being an on-the-ground representative for the editor.

“I want to offer up to the editor the most options for cutting as possible,” she says. “Because once you get into the editing room and you’re in a jam and you can’t get out of it… it’s really hard and really expensive to go back.”

Within that is also helping the director to make sure they have options to work with in the edit as well.

“So there’s that aspect of the job, which I feel is the most important and then there’s the aspect of trouble-shooting for costume, make-up, wardrobe,” she says.

Kristin Voumard on locationKristin Voumard

On the latest episode of the Screen Australia Podcast, Voumard talks through her extensive career since starting out at Crawford Productions in the 80s and dives into the detail of working as a script supervisor, including switching from film to digital, indies vs studio movies, working with directors like Jeffrey Walker and John Woo, how genres impact how she works, career highlights and advice.

Voumard’s credits include working on Australian TV series like Round the Twist, Rake, Jack Irish, Barracuda, Lambs of God, Mr Inbetween and MaveriX, as well as Aussie features such as Lantana, Tomorrow, When the War Began, Love Serenade and Dance Academy The Movie. Her work has also extended to Australian-filmed big budget studio movies like Mission: Impossible II, Superman Returns, Where the Wild Things Are, and Dora And the Lost City of Gold, as well as working on NBC TV series Young Rock and upcoming Amazon series Class of 07.

Voumard says she fell in love with the job back when she was 22 and still feels the same way.

 “It meant that you could work with everybody,” she says, from the director to the grips, 1st AD, director of photography, editor, heads of costume, make-up, and more. “It meant that I was interfacing with everybody and I really adored that about my job.”

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Audio Transcript

[00:00:05] Caris Bizzaca Welcome to the Screen Australia podcast. I'm Caris Bizzaca, a journalist with Screen Australia's online publication Screen News. I'd like to firstly acknowledge the countries on which we meet. Regardless of your geographical location, we are meeting on the unceded lands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This podcast has been created on the lands of the Gadigal people of the larger Eora Nation, and I've had the great privilege to be a visitor and be able to work on these lands during my years at Screen Australia. Always was, always will be. On this episode of the podcast, we are joined by Kristin Voumard, a script supervisor whose extensive career has included working on Australian TV series' like Round the Twist, Rake, Jack Irish, Barracuda, Lambs of God, and MaveriX, as well as Aussie features such as Lantana, Tomorrow When the War Began, Love Serenade, and Dance Academy The Movie. Her work has also extended to Australian-filmed big budget studio movies like Mission: Impossible II, Superman Returns, Where the Wild Things Are, and Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings, as well as working on NBC TV series Young Rock and upcoming Amazon series Class of 07. Throughout the episode, Kristin talks about what the role of a script supervisor is, switching from film to digital, working on indies compared to studio movies, how genres impact how she works, career highlights and advice. As always remember, you can subscribe to the Screen Australia podcast through places like Spotify and iTunes. Feedback can be sent to [email protected] and subscribe to Screen Australia's industry eNews for all the latest from the local industry. Now, without further ado, here's script supervisor Kristin Voumard.

[00:01:51] Caris Bizzaca What's your role in the industry and some of the projects that you've worked across?

[00:01:55] Kristin Voumard Okay, so my role in the industry I suppose, has evolved. I started out as a script supervisor and I still am essentially hired as a script supervisor because I love that job. But I also have done producing and screen business. But script supervising is my and has been my main role since I was about twenty-two and I started off at Crawford Productions in Melbourne, which was [back] then the main production house which did a lot of-- the bulk of Australian TV actually, and that was my learning ground. So I learnt on, or was trained on film. It was in the days when we didn't have any video playback, so it was actually a craft at that time. So essentially our job was to oversee the wardrobe, hair, makeup, look at the script, look at story arc, look at storylines that followed from one episode to another. Make sure that editorial had all the notes at the end of the day, because of course, they were then sticking the bits of film and sound track together. And I absolutely loved it because it meant that you could work with everybody, from the grips asking me, how long is that shot running? How long do we have for the dolly? When should we stop? That sort of thing. So it meant that I was interfacing with everybody and I really adored that about my job. And I would be with the director the first AD and the DOP and we'd be discussing coverage and then I'd be double checking that we actually got all the coverage in the madness of what would happen. It might be a rainstorm or it might be someone getting sick, so we'd have to always keep a track of what was shot and what wasn't shot, obviously, for different reasons. Sometimes it was pick up shots that had to be done - there were lists of pick up shots. But really it's a legend for the editor to be able to assemble the show in the way that the director would like it to be seen. So within that, there's always a different way you can cut a show so people have different agendas, like a producer may not like what the director has actually shot and say, oh do we have a wider shot there that we can go to? Do we have a close up? If not, why not? And at Crawford's [Productions] during that time, it was quite a, I suppose, baptism of fire, because you would get into trouble. They'd be asking you, why didn't you get that? What did you miss there and why?

[00:04:34] Caris Bizzaca So if there wasn't a shot available, it would come down to your role about why that was missed?

[00:04:39] Kristin Voumard Yeah, that's right. Exactly. And you took that really heavily. It wasn't just something to say, oh yeah, we can get it now, but it meant a lot of money. It was really a lot of pressure. And looking back on it, actually, I think, oh, I can't believe that we were so young and had such a responsible role because then every foot of film mattered, every foot of film had to be accounted for. And it changed slightly when video came in, there was a little bit more latitude, but every show had to run to a certain length because that was the delivery that they would deliver to the network. So it was a much more rigid system and there was a lot of craft involved.

[00:05:20] Caris Bizzaca It's not like now where you can be on a streamer and have one episode that's twenty-five minutes and one that's thirty-five.

[00:05:29] Kristin Voumard Exactly, and I always find that conundrum quite difficult because they never actually adjust the schedule accordingly. We're always trying to stuff long shows into short schedules, so, when you have like a ten-minute overage on an estimated forty-five and you're suddenly fifty-five and I'm sort of saying to the line producer, 'Oh, hey, we're running at fifty-five minutes, do you think we should be looking at maybe cutting something there?' And nobody will these days, so it's just the pressure comes down onto the floor to get it done within that time. I understand completely why they do it. But then being on the floor and doing it is, the pressure is enormous. I think the accuracy, it's a long bow now, a much longer bow than it ever has been.

[00:06:26] Caris Bizzaca And in terms of your career, like you said, you started out at Crawford [Productions], but what are some of the projects that you've worked across?

[00:06:36] Kristin Voumard Well, I've done a lot of TV drama, which was my background, which taught me to think quickly and efficiently and to troubleshoot easily. I came to Sydney from Crawford [Productions] and started freelancing and I always thought I'd go back to study at some point. I started freelancing in Sydney and I worked on A Country Practice and then I went on to a thing called Return to Eden, so that was still in the TV realm. Then I got a chance on a feature film called Cassandra, which was a bit of a horror film and then it just went from one thing to another. And the film side of things really opened up in Australia because we had 10BA and then that meant that there was lots of people getting loads of experience on movies and then the Americans started being interested in coming here and one thing led to another. And I've worked on both really high budget films like Superman and Where the Wild Things Are, all sorts of American stuff. Shang-Chi, just recently, that was actually right across COVID period. And it was the first film shot here that was shooting through COVID, so it was quite, sort of, stressful in a way because we were all put into pods, so the whole communication system was quite different and it was usually via radio and we're all wearing masks and the protocols were very strict, but actually it was the safest place to be, no doubt. And I really cherish that experience now because Destin [Daniel Cretton]--

[00:08:20] Caris Bizzaca --the director?

[00:08:22] Kristin Voumard The director, was such an insightful, gentle, wonderful person and came from an independent background and then went into the studio system with Marvel, which I don't think would be easy. But he managed it so beautifully without ever being ill-tempered. He was very thoughtful and took his time, which is also hard to do under the pressure of a studio day because everyone has to finish on time and we've got to achieve the call sheet. And I think that Destin's gentleness and his own personal experience in life had led him to being able to articulate in that particular film sexism and racism in a really beautiful way. He managed it without being heavy handed, so I think that was a film that I'm really proud of doing.

[00:09:19] Caris Bizzaca And so script supervising for anyone that hasn't heard of script supervising before and they aren't sure what the role is, in a nutshell can you define it?

[00:09:30] Kristin Voumard Yeah well, the way I do the job, and everybody does the job differently, I feel that I'm the editor's representative on the set, so I feel that I want to offer up to the editor the most options for cutting as possible because once you get into the editing room and you're in a jam and you can't get out of it for whatever reason, it's really, really hard and really, really expensive to go back. That would be in a nutshell. Within that framework, you're also helping the director to make sure that the director has those options in the cut as well and that may be about asking the right questions: 'well do you want to cover that in a wide shot? Because you might actually want to use his run from the wide shot rather than the two shot.' And he might say, 'no, I'll make the decision to not cover that'. And that's fine and that is completely-- it is what the director wants. But I always feel you should be duty bound to offer it up and if they don't want it, then that's fine and not be offended or upset. It's a matter of offering up the information and then the director is the person that makes the decision on the floor. So, there's that aspect of the job, which I feel is the most important and then there's the aspect of troubleshooting for costume, makeup, wardrobe, making a story logic in your pre-production so you actually read the script, put it into a time frame: times of day, costume day, so when people change clothes and when people don't change clothes, or if somebody's stranded on an island, it breaks down over how long - might be ten or fifteen days. You plot things out in pre-production, discuss it with the director and the makeup and costume and that's also a really important part of the job.

[00:11:27] Caris Bizzaca Well, with that in mind, so continuity plays a big aspect? So someone takes a jacket off in one scene, you need to make sure that in the following shots that the jacket is still off. Like it's not reappearing.

[00:11:41] Kristin Voumard Well, see in life, and this is the way I look at it, you can be really literal and you can say yes he took it off in that scene, but, we've since then, we've cut away to somebody else having a conversation on the phone. He's now walking outside in the streets, quite reasonable. He has his jacket on. But there will be some people that can be really literal and say, no, no, no, he's got to have it off because he took it off there. But actually, you have to think about things visually. That's how I like to approach it.

[00:12:09] Caris Bizzaca There's still a story going on outside of the frame.

[00:12:12] Kristin Voumard Exactly, and it's sort of like people going to the bathroom and doing their hair- somebody comes to work with their hair down, they go to the bathroom and they've put it up in a ponytail. It's about what works visually, as long as it's not jarring and as long as you check with the director that that's okay, and then it doesn't disrupt any other flow, because that's what I think, ultimately, you're looking for a visual flow and a movement through time, and that's not always obvious. Actually, Bruce Beresford speaks about that in one of his books that sometimes people don't understand the language of time passing, so if you are very literal and certainly there are many people that are, they might see it as a mistake, but it isn't necessarily. Although, you can't have somebody opening one door and then they open the door and walk out of their office in a completely different outfit.

[00:13:10] Caris Bizzaca Yeah, there are limits.

[00:13:12] Kristin Voumard Yeah, exactly, so it's just about conversation and communication and working out what is reasonable and what is the visual flow.

[00:13:19] Caris Bizzaca So you worked on these big studio movies over the years, you worked on more indie films. Is there a difference in your role, depending on this budget size?

[00:13:34] Kristin Voumard Yes, definitely. With studio films, I tend to tread much more carefully because they have a sort of hierarchy system, I suppose, in America. I went to the States with John Woo to shoot Mission: Impossible [II], and it was there that I actually learnt about the hierarchy in America. They had their role, they stuck in their role and there was a bit of a culture of 'I'm not going to make that decision because I'm afraid that decision is going to be wrong and I'll get into trouble.' So people were always deferring decisions, on the crew that is, which is very different to Australia because we all make decisions and if we make a mistake, we're up for it, that's okay. But there's a lot more personal investment in the Australian culture and I think what I also saw in America was that they were very used to hiring and firing quickly and people would just say, 'oh, [I] just got fired.' But here people take that really personally, so there is that sort of massive cultural difference and specifically in the role of script supervising, it really depends on the relationship that you have with the director. I try to feel that out first in the interview and I ask them, 'how do you like to work with the script supervisor?' and 'this is the way I like to work, but I'm capable of also just being somebody that's by your side to actually provide what the editorial department need.' And I suppose when I have more personal investment, I'm able to discuss things with the director. It's more satisfying to me but obviously there are boundaries too so when there are boundaries, you just observe those boundaries. And I have to say, with someone like John Woo, he was incredibly philosophical and I learnt so much. I just could not believe how much I learnt from him because he'd been the script supervisor in his previous incarnations in Hong Kong because he made his own films as well. And I really also was grateful for that opportunity and then he took me to Los Angeles to finish the movie, which was a really incredible opportunity and one which not many people had. And so off I went with my mother and my son who was about one year old at that point. And to him, I'm very, very grateful. And one of the key things he said to me, which I've always taken to heart, is he said never, ever be afraid, because that set was quite a sort of-- there was a big machine of the Tom Cruise thing and he said to me, never, ever be afraid. And I've taken that with me all my life now. And I really appreciated that lesson.

[00:16:29] Caris Bizzaca Oh, wow. Was that Mission: Impossible II?

[00:16:31] Kristin Voumard Yeah.

[00:16:31] Caris Bizzaca Yes, okay, so there is a difference then between studio and more indie films - is there a difference in Australia, between television series, you know, Rake compared to working on an Australian feature? Does the role differ in that?

[00:16:51] Kristin Voumard With Rake that was so much fun. It was enormous fun and it was a great collection of people, and we were all very able to say anything really at any time. But the writers, Peter Duncan and Andrew Knight, were so fantastic. And I'd known Andrew Knight since Crawford [Productions] because he came through Crawfords as well and so we could actually speak quite openly without worrying about any hierarchical thing.

[00:17:26] Caris Bizzaca It's also number of seasons rather than like a limited series.

[00:17:29] Kristin Voumard Exactly, and we did have so many laughs and so much fun, but it also was pretty high pressure because we were always shooting a lot because it was an ABC budget. It was a great experience.

[00:17:45] Caris Bizzaca On the point of Rake and you saying how fast paced it was, is that maybe the difference between script supervising in television versus features? Do you have more time in features?

[00:17:58] Kristin Voumard Definitely, so for instance on Rake would be shooting maybe eleven, twelve minutes a day, and so on something like Shang-Chi, we might shoot a minute or fifty seconds a day, primarily because a lot of that's stunt based and that takes a lot of time. There's a lot of visual effects. There's a lot of care taken for safety, which is obviously a priority. And the studio budget is, of course, the key there, and if we had budgets like that in Australia, which I don't think we really ever will have, but we do pretty amazing things for the budgets that we have. And I think that the most important thing is that we retain our cultural voice.

[00:18:41] Caris Bizzaca So you talk about your role as being kind of like a representative for the editor on set, does that then mean that your role is more challenging if you're working on, say, like an action genre film compared to, say, a drama because of faster cuts or more angles with stunt sequences or are drama and action similar?

[00:19:10] Kristin Voumard Words and story, for instance Lantana [2001], the words and the story were so important, so it's really paying very fine attention to that and making sure that the writer's intention is protected and that's not being high handed at all, it's just making sure that the words are said the way they're written. An actor might deviate from that and it can give it a completely different nuance and it might be an accident.

[00:19:42] Caris Bizzaca That sounds like it's the difference between a drama where every word is so precise compared to some comedies, where they might do multiple takes of improvisational scenes.

[00:19:54] Kristin Voumard Yeah, that's much more Taika's thing, he does so much impro[visation]. Usually if you're doing an improvisation, then you will always get what's written on the script first, and then you do the improv[isation]. But then sometimes you can go completely off track with what's been written down, down the track, so you can cause problems accidentally if you're not careful, which is why it's always important to get what's written there first. I work with Jeff[rey] Walker a lot, and Jeff I worked with when he was a child actor on Round The Twist, and then he's, of course, become one of our most wonderful directors in the country.

[00:20:37] Caris Bizzaca Lambs of God, he recently did Young Rock.

[00:20:40] Kristin Voumard Yeah so I did the set up with him for Young Rock on this current season and Jeff was EP on that, and he's really making great roads into the US and he also is bringing productions here - he talked them into coming here so that was pretty good. So Jeff will always do an improv[isation], but we will always make sure we get the right words first and then that gives them plenty of latitude in the edit as well.

[00:21:08] Caris Bizzaca So then that comparative to action, making an action film? 

[00:21:12] Kristin Voumard Yeah action films, it tends to become all about the stunt coordinators and how they've sorted out the stunts and then the visual effects department so they take priority and then I'm writing up what's there, making sure that we get everything - usually that's storyboarded - and crossing things off on storyboards, making sure that we get the dialogue if there's dialogue during it, as it was in Shang-Chi. Actually, that was quite interesting in that we were doing a Chinese version as well and actually a lot of it was in Chinese, so I was working with a Chinese interpreter, and she would send me a written copy and I would cut and paste it into the script under the English dialogue so the editors knew what was going on there. So that was an interesting experience, which I hadn't had before and it worked really well.

[00:22:12] Caris Bizzaca And you're working across departments on the set, so at the end of the shoot are you handing over a document to the editor for post-production that has lists of every scene that's been shot, what's been said? What is this document?

[00:22:35] Kristin Voumard Every day at the end of the day, I go home and I have a digital file, which is what you call a line script and that marks up what we've shot so the editor can open it up, and there's what you call a facing page that has all the takes and the lens sizes and the director's comments, shot descriptions, and the slate number more importantly hangs it all together. Then you have a line script and the editor looks at the line script and says, 'oh yeah okay, they shot that bit today and they've done fifteen shots of this stunt sequence, I can still see there's three quarters of page to go so it's not completed, so I might have a go at it, but I won't cut that today. That happens at the end of my day and then I make a production report to that goes to our line producer, then to the producers to be signed off on, which then goes to the studio and then they use that to see what we've shot, the page count, the minutes and seconds and what is outstanding and if we achieve the day or not. They can then put that into basically what they call hot cost report and make an assessment on if we're ahead or behind or, 'hey, guys, you've got to work faster because this is costing us' because they can actually put that into a cost analysis. That serves quite a few different departments and then at the end of the week, I update the costume, makeup and hair and art department about, 'okay, we've got a pick up shot, this is what it is, this is what you need' and that will appear on a schedule some way down the track but just remember, this will be outstanding from this scene and it might not be shot for another three months. With something like Rake, really, we have to we have to finish the day every day and if we don't, we have to finish it in, I think we used to do it in fourteen days. Every episode would be completed and it would be cut, so that was a lot of work.

[00:24:41] Caris Bizzaca It seems like you need to be quite organised, [with] attention to detail - what kind of qualities do you think script supervisors need to have?

[00:24:51] Kristin Voumard To be able to think on your feet really quickly and to troubleshoot and to ask the right questions at the right time and also to pick the fights you can win because sometimes, say, for instance, actors will do one thing in one take and one thing in another take and it's not going to match necessarily what they did in the two shot or the wide shot. In theory literally everybody should do the same words and the same actions and that means that you could cut anything together but that's sort of gone out of the window with digital. So on film, those sorts of--

[00:25:34] Caris Bizzaca --needing to replicate performances was more important?

[00:25:35] Kristin Voumard Yeah, exactly, really, really important. But these days on digital, we tend to do a lot more takes, up to ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen whereas maybe we would do three takes on Australian film, we would do maybe three takes and that was it because you could not literally afford the film so accuracy then was very much more important about matching action, matching dialogue and matching a two shot to a single or an over-the-shoulder shot. But these days the flexibility is perhaps very different because of the volume and we're often shooting with two cameras, which really eliminates the need to be hardline about it. But if something's wrong, I will always say to the director, 'look, they've deviated at that point, but do you think that matters?' And the director will say, 'oh, no, I'm going to be on the close-up at that point, so it doesn't matter.' So you're not troubling the actor or burdening the actor with information that doesn't really matter because it actually affects their performance. I have a tendency to want to not disrupt performance and not disrupt actors because you can see them thinking that 'oh my god, I had that drink in my right hand' and if I go in and say it should be in your right hand and it was in the left hand for that take, well, it's not going to matter if it's on a close up because you're not seeing it. I always try to put the actors at ease and actually some directors can be very protective about their cast and not want you to speak to them at all for that very reason, because it's about performance and you should always cut for performance, not for bad continuity. Sometimes you have to just suffer the fact that the cigarette was like that and now it's a lot longer or a lot shorter or whatever.

[00:27:38] Caris Bizzaca But the performance is spot on in that particular take.

[00:27:41] Kristin Voumard Yeah, the idea is that if they're looking at the cigarette, they're not looking at the action or they're not listening or watching that person.

[00:27:54] Caris Bizzaca In terms of you talking about film verses digital, has technology changed your role, helped your role over the years?

[00:28:03] Kristin Voumard Yes, it has, actually, it has, it's helped enormously with digitising. We have a software that we use now which was specifically designed by a guy called Peter Skarratt for The Lord of the Rings films and Peter was an editor's assistant and he was a digital genius and he designed a script supervisor program, which is now really used worldwide. It's made our job so much easier and so much tidier because you're not reading hand-written notes all the time so that formatting has made it a lot better.

[00:28:40] Caris Bizzaca What's the program called?

[00:28:42] Kristin Voumard It's called just Peter Skarratt. It's a software, so it's his name and you work with that final draft so you're importing the final draft and you're actually marking the script up on final draft and then you're logging stuff that then ingests straight into the Avid which used to be in the old days the editor's assistant would get your notes and then he'd put it all into the--

[00:29:08] Caris Bizzaca --manually do it?

[00:29:10] Kristin Voumard Yeah, that's right, so it helps them a lot as well. That's made it easier but I think in Australia we don't have a culture of having two script supervisors on the set and so often we'll be shooting with maybe four cameras, five cameras, sometimes thirteen cameras and to cover that for one person is really hard. And when things are in constant rewrite to be one person and do that shooting day, then going home, getting a whole lot of rewrites that then have a knock on effect down the road, it makes the job really hard. And in the States and in London, they use assistants a lot and that's something that I now have started asking for. If I'm doing fourteen, fifteen hours, I can't do that for twelve or thirteen weeks. So I will ask 'is it possible to get an assistant on' and then choose someone that wants to be trained in that area and luckily, mostly I've been allowed to do that because it cuts down my hours as well. And really all the departments have become huge because of digital, but script supervisors have always been a one-person department and there's a little inequality there. But that is being heard a little bit better now, but it's not budgeted for so they have to find the money in the budget to do that. It's hard for the line producer to find the money to have an extra script supervisor on.

[00:30:48] Caris Bizzaca And you were saying it's usually a one person department in Australia so you see the word script and go 'oh it must be in the script department' but is it its own department? Does it operate outside of the other departments?

[00:31:05] Kristin Voumard Yeah, we used to be called continuity and it wasn't until the Americans started coming that we're now called script supervisors.

[00:31:15] Caris Bizzaca To adopt the American name for it?

[00:31:18] Kristin Voumard Yeah, and I guess that sort of happened a little bit in London because the way we were taught at Crawfords [Productions] was really the British system and the British system is slightly different to the American system. So the British system is much more collaborative and that's how we were trained.

[00:31:35] Caris Bizzaca And what have been two or three career highlights and why?

[00:31:42] Kristin Voumard Well, working with John Woo was a career highlight and that's--

[00:31:47] Caris Bizzaca --on Mission Impossible II?

[00:31:49] Kristin Voumard Yeah, and it was a massive education in politics and in elegance of choice. The choices that he made with lenses and speeds and camera speed to slow things down, to elongate somebody's look, but it would be really subtle. He taught me enormous amounts and going to America with him was incredible because we were working in L.A. and then in Utah, and that was a really amazing experience. And I think Round the Twist was really great. It was loving and fun and we broke traditional story rules and it was mad and really, I think it stands up today as well, which really intrigues me. Lantana was a highlight because it was all about fragile human nature and so I really loved that. In general, I would say that I've been incredibly lucky to always take something away, something good away from a job, even if I've had a bad experience. It's been really advisory and I've probably had two bad experiences in my whole career, but it has advised me so well and so overall I think I'm just so lucky to have a job I love.

[00:33:09] Caris Bizzaca And so what advice would you have for anyone listening that maybe wants to work in script supervision?

[00:33:17] Kristin Voumard The one thing that I would say and that was where I was really lucky at Crawfords is that we went into the edit department so we would finish the shoot and then we'd go in and we'd sit with the editor and the director and we would say to the editor 'this shot's next and this shot's next', and they'd be able to call it up on the old quarter inch machines, which were videotape in those days. And you would feed that information to them, so I learnt so much watching the edit and seeing what happened and seeing if I'd made a mistake, how they would get round it or if it in fact mattered [if it was] something I was really worried about - 'oh, actually that doesn't matter.' I think if you can do some sort of editing course first to actually understand and see, that really informs you very well for what you need on the floor. I think also being able to read the room is really important and not be stomping over people's sensitivities. I guess that goes without saying in most jobs, but particularly if you're sitting with a whole lot of producers and a director and sometimes it can be a hot seat of politics, it's very, very important to understand discretion, is, I suppose the word. I think comprehending story is a really essential part of it, because having a through line and reminding an actor of - because you're shooting everything out of order that they were prior to this scene - 'there's a written scene that you're really upset, you've had some terrible information' and then we're shooting a scene of them running downstairs, say, a month later, and they might have a smile on their face and you have to remind them that you've just heard this news so they can actually adjust accordingly, because it can be very chaotic: the mood that they're in the script and then the order that we shoot things on the set. And to make sure that the mood is the same throughout and most actors will have that down anyway but that's another part of the job.

[00:35:31] Caris Bizzaca That you can step in and help in that case?

[00:35:34] Kristin Voumard Yeah, exactly. Don't ever be afraid to ask, I think is a really important thing because you can only enhance your knowledge if you ask other people and in some cases, especially for younger people who are inexperienced - and it's really easy to be afraid on a set because it always feels like everyone's too busy to ask, but actually if you approach people at the right time, people are generally quite generous with their own experience and why that happened or how that bit of equipment works or whatever it is and so it's just a collective of information. To keep all your people close as a script supervisor, make sure that people feel free to come up and ask you something, because sometimes that will reveal a problem that could be down the track and you can troubleshoot it quickly. But if they're too afraid to ask you, then you won't know about it until it's too late. And always talk to the editors, that's something I always do. I always call the editors once a week and say, 'how's everything going and is there anything else you need?' That's really important because they're so far away often, and it's really easy to just be concentrating on the on-set work.

[00:36:55] Caris Bizzaca Brilliant, well, thank you so much for joining us on the podcast today. I really appreciate it.

[00:37:00] Kristin Voumard Thank you.

[00:37:04] Caris Bizzaca That was Kristin Voumard and again, a big thanks to Kristin for joining me to chat all things script supervising. Don't forget to subscribe to the fortnightly Screen Australia newsletter to keep up to date with new initiatives, opportunities, videos, articles and more. Thanks for listening.