In film production continuity is incredibly important. In short, continuity refers to the consistency of actors, props, plot points, locations, events, etc. seen by the viewer. Filmmakers must make sure that if an actor opens a door with his or her left hand on one shot, he/she must do it the same way in subsequent takes. There are people on set whose job is to watch out for these visual errors. It can be very difficult to keep track of all the details within a particular shot, but careful consideration of continuity will make the film seamless.
Last weekend while shooting a scene for my upcoming short film “If Only,” we ran into a situation that demanded we pay careful attention to the light falling onto the set. That particular day we began filming around 6pm while it was still daylight. It was an interior scene staged against a large window. I wanted the scene to take place in the late afternoon, but I knew that we would never get the coverage we needed before sunset. It was up to our cinematographer to match the lighting in subsequent close-ups with the daylight we saw in the establishing shots.
Fortunately, we were shooting 720p/24p on a Panasonic HVX-200a. All of our footage was on our P2 cards. The beauty of P2 is that every take it itemized as a separate file. Therefore, users have the ability to go back to any take without the need for rewinding tape. Rewinding tape to review footage can be risky due to possible time code breaks and the potential for recording over important footage. However, with P2, my cinematographer and I were able to review our wide shots from earlier in the day, examine the way the light was falling onto our actors, then match the close-ups accordingly. I think the results were excellent. This is another reason why I am a big fan of solid-state recording.