Thursday, September 13, 2007

Pink Pages

I was an Associate Producer on a feature about six months ago and way too many script changes were flying around. Nobody seemed to be aware of the utility of having locked pages or how to manage script revisions using pink pages, so I took the initiative to detail the pink page process I learned years ago. (Some parts of this process aren't exactly standard Hollywood because I work as a Script Supervisor and use Final Draft, the industry standard for writing screenplays, but my guidelines do seem to make things easier to follow, so take whatever's helpful and leave the rest.)

Anytime revisions are made to a script, it's often hard to keep track of them. Visual markers are needed to quickly show everyone what was changed. To solve this, asterisks were added in the right margin on each line that was changed, but that wasn't enough—each page with a revision was also printed on a colored page. New sets of revisions, or "pink pages", are circulated until more than a quarter of the entire script has been revised, after which a pristine white draft is reissued and the process begins again.

First of all, each draft's page numbers are locked—they will not change. This means breakdown sheets can be done without scene and page numbers changing on the fly and everyone can literally stay on the same page. You can always tell which draft you have because the draft number and date is printed at the top right of each script page, just to the left of the page number. If you are looking at a revised page, the top right will instead have the revision set number and the date of that revision set.

REVISIONS: Chain of Command
1) You see a typo, a continuity problem, or anything which doesn't make sense and probably needs to be fixed in the script.
2) You bring your comment to the Script Super first, not the Director.
3) The Script Super adds all revisions to the latest list of revisions, but doesn't change the script yet...
4) The Script Super shows all the changes to the Writer, Director, UPM, the Line Producer, DP, and the 1st A.D. Once all those department heads approve the changes, or adjust them as needed, the Script Super adds the revisions to the script and prints out a new revision set, assigning it a revision set number and a date on the top right side of each page, to the left of the page number.
5) Revised pages are copied on a color-coded page corresponding to that set of revisions (see below).
6) Everyone gets a copy of the newly revised pages, although when the next set of revisions is distributed depends on how urgent the corrections are. (Obviously, actors get dialogue changes pronto, while the Line Producer needs changes that affect the budget, etc.)

REVISIONS: Methodology
Whenever revisions are made to the script (scenes added, omitted, or altered), redistribute new pages for everyone. With each set of revisions, the pages should be copied on different colored paper and have the date of the revision in the top right hand corner: "Rev. 8/31/06"

These color-coded revision pages are commonly referred to as "Pink Pages", even though they are not necessarily pink.

This is the color key for each set of "Pink Pages":
1st Revision—Blue
2nd Revision—Pink
3rd Revision—Yellow
4th Revision—Green
5th Revision—Gold
6th Revision—Back to white

"Someone handed me a set of revised pages (or 'Pink Pages')... what do I do?"
Use the page numbers as a guide to replace the pages in your script with the revised pages... and throw away your old pages. For example, if pages are added between page 16 and page 17, you will be handed revised pages with numbers 16A, 16B, 16C, etc.—put these in between pages 16 & 17; if pages are deleted between page 16 and page 24, you will receive a new page 16 with a page number of "16-23"; any omitted scenes will simply say 10 OMIT 10 (for scene 10).

The following people must receive copies of the Pink Pages:
Script Supervisor
1st A.D.
Line Producer
All lead actors

If at any time during the shoot, you are missing a set of "pink pages", ask the Script Super.

1 comment:

TamaraJ_ said...

Thanks, that helped with my homework. We were told the pink page was the first and the blue page was the second revision, I'll have to double check that!