You’re Next was an interesting script supervision challenge. Shot as an independent film in Columbia, MO by an incredible team of then up-and-coming filmmakers. The script by Simon Barrett takes place almost entirely over the course of a single night in one house. This meant that you couldn’t just push aside any continuity errors by simply saying “well some time passed, someone could’ve moved it or something”, everything was continuous so even the smallest mistake would be noticeable.
This being a horror feature, there was a lot of blood. And that blood needed to match perfectly from take to take, shot to shot, scene to scene. And not only blood, bodies needed to be at the right place at the right time, characters needed to have the right weapons with them, there was a lot to keep track of. Director Adam Wingard was also big on letting the actors improvise, so often I’d be transcribing improvised dialogue while monitoring the scene.
One particularly memorable challenge on You’re Next involved a long scene where about 10 people were having a half scripted, half improvised conversation that included a lot of important exposition and ended in a big action piece. The coverage needed for a scene like that was extensive and shot in probably half the time as it would have been allowed on a higher budget shoot.
Another challenge regarded re-writes. When you have a smaller budget, you often need to re-write some of the more ambitious pieces if they aren’t going to look as good with what your budget allows. What this caused was for me to have to go back and make sure every bad guy and good guy had the proper weapons (a lot of improvised weaponry was used like kitchen knives and screwdrivers) leaving and entering into scenes. This worked out wonderfully with thorough communication with the writer and effects and props departments.
This film was an incredible experience and every hard moment was worth it. The final feature was distributed by Lionsgate and has received rave reviews.