How to avoid continuity errors in film.

Learn some basic techniques to avoid continuity errors in your films and create a seamless final product.

Continuity errors are the bane of a filmmaker’s existence. A single continuity error can have a jarring effect on your audience and completely ruin their suspension of disbelief, a crucial element in immersive storytelling. Here, we’ll help you identify and avoid common continuity errors so that you can produce a seamless film for your audience to enjoy.

Four common continuity errors.

Whether it’s a piece of equipment in a frame or a quick glimpse at the reflection of the cameraman, continuity errors have found their way into even finished Hollywood blockbusters — so don’t feel bad if they’ve found their way into your projects as well. Here are some common continuity errors that pop up in films and how to avoid them:

  1. Cameras or other film equipment caught in reflections: Carefully examine all reflective surfaces in a frame to ensure no equipment is seen.
  2. Objects disappearing and reappearing from the scene: In your master shot, carefully note the location of each object in the frame to ensure they aren't removed from any shots.
  3. Actor’s eyelines not matching between shots: In every shot, ensure that the actor’s eyeline matches the previous shots. Give them an eyeline marker to focus on to ensure continuity.
  4. Actors using different motions from shot to shot: If an actor picks up a coffee cup in the master shot, make sure they pick it up the same way every time in each new camera setup.

Attention to detail is vital for maintaining continuity. If you can, assign a script supervisor to carefully watch for continuity errors during filming. Discover even more tips and tricks that can help you up your filmmaking game.

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