Cosmos - season 2
produced by Cosmos Studios, Fuzzy Door Productions and National Geographic Channel
David Shapiro, Script Coordinator
Script Coordinator on Cosmos - season 2
Handling a constellation of scripts for a show unlike others
“Cosmos is an inspirational show that wants to trigger your desire to learn more about the world we live in and to see things from a new perspective. It’s a really unique production that talks about nature and science and it’s been a wonderful experience.”
My job is to read and proof the script. I read the first draft, take any questions that I have or possible notes about things that could be changed. I then take those questions back to the writers and producers.
I’m also in charge of everything regarding script distribution. I think being a script coordinator is mostly about organization: you have to pay attention to details and be sure that you keep everything up to date.
“The best part of my job is certainly early on, when there are more discussions about the stories we’re telling and the script itself. I really like when I have the opportunity to have a creative influence.”
The challenge: keeping scripts organized and up to date in a cross-boarded show
What’s very challenging about Cosmos is that the entire production is cross-boarded. On a day to day basis, it’s hard to know which materials have already been shot, because we’re shooting scenes from all episodes at once.
I get notes from the writers and from our research department that checks the scientific accuracy of the scripts. My job is to keep track of all these reviews and to make sure that the changes we’re making are on sections that haven’t already been shot. SetKeeper’s filing system helps me a lot, as it makes it easy to keep everything organized and to always have the latest script version within reach.
It also makes life a lot easier to have a secure place where everyone can have access to all documents, according to their pre-set rights. All crew members involved in the script can directly look at everything in SetKeeper. In the same way, I can check the shooting schedule and confirm whether something has already been shot.
“As the entire show is cross-boarded I really like the ability that I have to pull sides from all the different scripts. It makes that process a lot easier.”
I take on the distribution part, I then find myself pulling a lot of sides, which works great with SetKeeper. I especially like the fact that I can give access to that feature to different people and have them being able to make sides too.
For a while when the show was just starting, I was manually watermarking and sending emails for the various drafts: that was a time-consuming nightmare. I used preview and kind of crossed things out by hand, but it was a real pain. So the minute I could just hit send on SetKeeper and distribute the draft, that made my life infinitely better.
What I really love about SetKeeper is that I can send multiple files within one message which isn’t possible with the software that I use on another production. Also, being able to have an actual look at the file right before you send it is just a good way to alleviate any last second worry. It’s simple things like that that make the product user friendly.