WFT Member in Focus: Emer Regan, Script Supervisor

At WFT Ireland, we are constantly inspired and impressed by the calibre of work being done by our members across the screen industry. So much so, that we love to celebrate their achievements
with our Member in Focus segment. We are delighted to feature talented script supervisor for film and TV, Emer Regan.

What were the films that inspired you growing up?
I’m an 80’s child, which will tell you everything you need to know about film inspiration. That
decade felt like the golden era of blockbusters especially for children, E.T., The Goonies,
Indiana Jones, The NeverEnding Story, the list is just endless. I have always had a love of
story and those films really captured and sustained my imagination growing up and even to
this present time. Some of the most vivid memories I have of my childhood were afternoons
spent at the matinee in the art deco style Gaiety Cinema in Sligo town where I grew up. I still
miss that old cinema.

That’s very Cinema Paradiso Emer! Is it a car park now?
No, it’s just a more modern 10 screen cinema!

How did you get into film?
I studied Media and Communications at University of Limerick initially because I’ve always
wanted to work in film. It was a very different landscape back when I left college and I found
it quite difficult to get started. I trained as a primary teacher at that point, but about six years
ago I decided to give it a go again. I did a short course in digital filmmaking at Filmbase in
Dublin and then was really lucky to secure a place at the National Film and Television
School in London specialising in script supervision for film and television, it’s been all guns
blazing since then!

What was it about the role that drew you to script supervising?
I like that it is a very central role, you are right at the epicenter of everything. The script
element of the job description certainly appealed to me also. Reading the wonderful words
that are a road map of the story and supervising the script to protect its’ integrity and
helping everyone to stay on track. I enjoy how it is very technical and creative in equal
measure, and working as the liaison between what happens on set and post production.
You are really “the second pair of eyes” on set and try to assist how the director wants the
story to be told. The notes I write are relaying to the editor how each take was filmed and I
also give advice on the technical aspects of how the film will eventually be edited together.
Continuity, in and of itself, is also a huge part of my job, many types of action that take
place in a scene and between scenes. The main goal for me is to get the maximum
amount of useable footage and to ensure that there isn’t a break in the escapism and the
audience are not taken out of the story when watching.

Sounds incredibly busy but also very detail-orientated? What are some of the
challenges you’ve faced on the job and what are the common misconceptions?

The sheer volume of what the job entails, it’s so much more than coffee cups or clocks! Script
supervisors are considered part of “camera” but we are still very much a department of one, so it’s important for me to have other people who work in the job that I can bounce problems off or go to for advice on very specific things.
I get asked a lot by people who don’t work in the industry if I am involved in writing the
script and I think there is a perception sometimes that we are simply note-takers when in
fact it is about thinking of the entire structure of the script and safeguarding the story.

You mentioned that you have also trained and worked as a teacher, are there any
transferrable skills that could be applied from this career or other careers to script
Teaching is a very observational job, and you have to be quick to adapt new ideas and
strategies to learning and behaviour. I think those are skills that can be used readily
because things can change so fast when filming. I also feel it’s important to have the
confidence to use your own initiative and to trust your own gut when you think something
doesn’t seem right and not be afraid to speak up.

What does a day’s work look like for a script supervisor? Is there any technology
you use that you find particularly helpful in your job?
I think it’s important to highlight that before we even start shooting so much work has
already been completed. I reread the script many times and time each scene, complete
the story days breakdown and a breakdown of all of the production details that is
distributed and used as a reference guide to different departments. It’s tricky, because I
am working on my own at home trying to imagine and build this world in my head from
the script before I ever arrive on the set. While shooting, during each setup, I am writing
my Continuity Notes which are a record of what happens during every take for the editor,
In addition, I also line the script and write up the Editor’s Log. At the end of each day I
email the Daily Progress Report to production which is a record of our timings. I use
Scriptation for pre-production and production on my ipad, which is an excellent script
reading and annotating app but I always keep a paper copy of documents in my bag to
get me out of the weeds in case I need it. That is the administrative side but more
significantly is that you are working with every department, thinking about the detail in
every frame. You have to wear many hats and the reality is that each day presents its
own challenges and you have to roll with that.

Your latest film, Conveyance, is premiering at the Fleadh! Congratulations, can you
talk to us about that project?
I’m really delighted to hear that!, it was a joy to work on. Firstly, the script is a supernatural,
comedic short about the horror a young couple face looking for a house is very relatable for
anyone in the rental or property market in Ireland. It was also my first time working on a
professional project with both a female Director: Gemma Creagh and Director of
Photography: Jaro Waldeck and it couldn’t have been more welcoming. When a set is open
for crew to vocalise a good idea, that’s a very comfortable and inclusive place to be in.
Script supervision is not as celebrated as other departments, and if you do your job well it is
completely invisible so it’s lovely when a director shines a light on it by acknowledging and
valuing the results of our work. Oddity, a feature film directed by Damian McCarthy and
Peat, a short film by Paudie Baggot, were also two great films I script supervised that are
playing at the Fleadh and I am looking forward to seeing both of them too.


Can you talk about the types of projects you have worked on – from horror to drama? Are there different rules for different genres when it comes to script supervising?

Luckily to date I’ve got to work on drama, comedy, horror, mostly horror though, which is
funny as it’s a genre I wouldn’t have naturally gravitated towards. The biggest differences
from my experiences in script supervision are in working on tv shows, films and
advertisements and whether it is a single or multi-camera shoot. The basic process of
paperwork remains the same, but there may be one particular element that is complicated
and needs more attention like hair and make-up, props, SPFX or we are shooting in an area
that has very changeable weather. I usually discuss this with the director before we start
shooting and try to have as many conversations with different departments as possible.
Then I may need to create a separate breakdown in pre production to keep track or a
column in my notes and highlight this for the editor. Every film is so different although, it has
its’ own cinematic language, style and pacing and you just have to take it one scene at a
time when filming.

How do you manage that amount of information and piece it together?

It certainly helps to have the script, even with all of its’ revisions, for a long time to really think about it.

What are some of the common mistakes people make starting out? Would there be
any advice you may give to someone who is brand new to script supervision or
thinking of doing it?
I would say to watch films and tv shows with a critical eye to understand that editors
usually cut on action and emotion and to become familiar with this. On set, sometimes the
performance can trump matching or an emotional take that is organic and lively is more
important for the director. I think looking at the bigger picture and for things that are really
important and try to remain solution-focused if you do encounter a problem. Mostly, just
keep going and look for opportunities to keep learning, it’s a lot to take on but script
supervisors are invaluable and a great repository of information.

Do you have any fun on set anecdotes you’d like to share?
Not off the top of my head! But every so often I am tickled when I am reminded out of the
blue of something funny or interesting that happened when filming.

Any interesting upcoming projects?
I am currently working on a short film, directed by Christine Braithwaite and Sean McGarry,
shot in Sligo at the beginning of July which is great because I get to go home for a while. I
am also really looking forward to working on a 6-part family show with Deadpan Pictures,
directed by Hugh O’Conor, so it’s all go!

Peat is screening as part of IRISH TALENT, NEW SHORTS 7: FÍS ÉIREANN/SCREEN
IRELAND WORLD PREMIERE SHORTS at 11:30 Saturday 13th. Book tickets here.

Conveyance is screening as part of IRISH TALENT, NEW SHORTS 5: FICTION at 11:30am
Friday 12th. Book here.

Oddity is screening at 22:30 on Friday 12th.  Book here.



Emer Regan has been working as a Script Supervisor since studying at the National Film and Television School, London in 2020. Her script supervision work includes the IFTA nominated pharmaceutical-horror thriller Double Blind and Irish horror Oddity which won the Midnighter Audience Award at SXSW Film and Festival in 2024. She has also script supervised the Heineken Island’s Edge Stout advert and several shorts including comedy The Life of Lester Wink which won Best Short Film at the Waterford International Film Festival in 2023. Conveyance and Peat, two short films that Emer script supervised in 2023 will be screened at the Galway Film Fleadh 2024.