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Encyclopedia > Continuity (fiction)

In fiction, continuity is consistency of the characteristics of persons, plot, objects, places and events seen by the reader or viewer. It is of relevance to several media. The Three Graces, here in a painting by Sandro Botticelli, were the goddesses of charm, beauty, nature, human creativity and fertility in Greek mythology. ... It has been suggested that Elements of plot be merged into this article or section. ...


Continuity is particularly a concern in the production of film and television due to the difficulty of rectifying an error in continuity after shooting has completed, although it also applies to other art forms, including novels, comics and animation, though usually on a much broader scale. Most productions have a script supervisor (formerly "script girl") on hand whose job is solely to pay attention to and attempt to maintain continuity across the chaotic and typically non-linear production shoot. This takes the form of a large amount of paperwork, photographs, and attention to and memory of large quantities of detail. It usually regards factors both within the scene and often even technical details including meticulous records of camera positioning and equipment settings. The use of a Polaroid camera was standard but has since been replaced by the advent of digital cameras. All of this is done so that ideally all related shots can match, despite perhaps parts being shot thousands of miles and several months apart. It is a less conspicuous job, though, because if done perfectly, no one will ever notice. Film refers to the celluloid media on which movies are printed. ... Daniel Defoes Robinson Crusoe; title page of 1719 newspaper edition A novel (from French nouvelle Italian novella, new) is an extended fictional narrative in prose. ... See comedian Stand up comedian List of Comedians List of British comedians comics comic book comic strip underground comics alternative comics web comic sprite comics manga graphic novel List of comic characters This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same... 12 frames per second is the typical rate for an animated cartoon. ... The script supervisor is a position found on most major motion picture sets and is the individual who is primarily responsible for maintaining comprehensive and detailed notes of everything that has been filmed (or videotaped) during the shooting process. ... A Polaroid camera is a type of camera with self-developing film usually called an instant camera. The invention of modern instant cameras is generally credited to American scientist Edwin Land, who unveiled the first commercial instant camera, the Land Camera, in 1947, 10 years after founding the Polaroid Corporation. ... A SiPix digital camera next to a matchbox to show scale. ...


In comic books, continuity has also come to mean a set of contiguous events, sometimes said to be "set in the same universe" (see fictional crossover) or "separate universes" (see intercompany crossover). A comic book is a magazine or book containing the art form of comics. ... A fictional crossover occurs when otherwise separated fictional characters, stories, settings, universes, or media meet and interact with each other. ... An intercompany crossover (also called cross-company, or simply company crossover) is a comic or series of comics where a character (or group of characters) from one company meets a character from another (For example, DC Comics Superman meeting Marvels Spider-Man). ...


Today, maintaining strong plot and character continuity is also a high priority for many writers of long-running television series.

Contents


Continuity errors

While most continuity errors are subtle, such as changes in the level of drink in a character's glass or the length of a cigarette, others can be more noticeable, such as sudden drastic changes in appearance of a character, or the unexplained appearance of a character believed to be dead. Such errors in continuity can ruin the illusion of realism, and affect suspension of disbelief. In cinema special attention must be paid to continuity because films are rarely shot in the order in which they are presented: that is, a crew may film a scene from the end of a movie first, followed by one from the middle, and so on. The shooting schedule is often dictated by location permit issues. A character may return to Times Square in New York City several times throughout a movie, but as it is extraordinarily expensive to close off Times Square, those scenes will likely be filmed all at once in order to reduce permit costs. Weather, the ambience of natural light, cast and crew availability, or any number of other circumstances can also influence a shooting schedule. There are three main types of continuity errors. Suspension of disbelief is a willingness of a reader or viewer to suspend his or her critical faculties to the extent of ignoring minor inconsistencies so as to enjoy a work of fiction. ... Times Square, named after the one-time headquarters of The New York Times, is a neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan, New York City, which centers on 42nd Street and Broadway. ... Nickname The Big Apple, The Capital of the World [1], Gotham Government Counties (Boroughs) Bronx (The Bronx) New York (Manhattan) Queens (Queens) Kings (Brooklyn) Richmond (Staten Island) Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) Geographical characteristics Area  - City    - Land    - Water  - Urban  - Metro 1,214. ...


Editing errors

Editing errors can occur when a character in a scene references a scene or incident that has not occurred yet.


An example of an editing error can be seen in the film It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963), where a scene of people climbing a slope at the start is seen from below and then replayed from above. Its a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World is a comedy movie that followed the Hollywood trend in the 1960s of producing gigantic and epic films as a way to woo audiences into movie theaters. ...


Visual errors

Visual errors are instant discontinuities occurring in visual media such as film and television. Items of clothing change colors, shadows get longer or shorter, items within a scene change place or disappear. Film refers to the celluloid media on which movies are printed. ...


One example of a visual error occurs in the 1998 film Waking Ned Devine, when two of the film's characters, Jackie and Michael, are walking through a storm towards Ned's house. The umbrella they are under is black during their conversation as they walk towards the house (filmed from slightly above and to the front); yet after cutting to a lower shot (filmed from behind Jackie), Michael walks onscreen from the right holding an umbrella that is not black but beige, with a brown band at the rim. This is a list of film-related events in 1998. ... Waking Ned a. ...


(Though visual continuity errors are logically confined to visual media, parallel mistakes can occur in text. In "The Miller's Tale" in Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales a door is ripped off its hinges only to be slowly closed again in the next scene.) The Millers Prologue and Tale is the second of Geoffrey Chaucers Canterbury Tales, told by a drunken miller to quite The Knights Tale. ... Chaucer: Illustration from Cassells History of England, circa 1902 Chanticleer the rooster from an outdoor production of Chanticleer and the Fox at Ashby_de_la_Zouch castle Geoffrey Chaucer (ca. ... Canterbury Tales Woodcut 1484 The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories written by Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century (two of them in prose, the rest in verse). ...


Plot errors

Plot errors reflect a failure in the consistency of the created fictional world. For example, a character might state he was an only child, yet later mention having a sister. In the TV show Cheers, the character Frasier Crane's wife Lilith mentions Frasier's parents are both dead, but when the character was spun off and given his own show (Frasier), his father became a central character (albeit with the explanation that Frasier was embaressed about his father's lowbrow attitudes, and claimed his death as a result). Cheers was a long-running American situation comedy produced by Charles-Burrows-Charles Productions in association with Paramount Television for NBC. Cheers was created by the team of James Burrows, Glen Charles, and Les Charles. ... Frasier was a critically acclaimed American TV situation comedy. ...


Dealing with errors

When continuity mistakes have been made, explanations are often proposed by either writers or fans to smooth over discrepancies. Fans sometimes make up explanations for such errors that may or may not be integrated into canon; this is known as fanwanking. Often when a fan does not agree with one of the events in a story (such as the death of a favorite character), he or she decides to simply ignore that the event ever happened. This is known as Krypto-revisionism. Discarding all existing continuity and starting from scratch is known as rebooting. A less extreme literary technique that erases one episode is called the reset button. In the context of fiction, the canon of a fictional universe comprises those novels, stories, films, etc. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Krypto-revisionism is a concept created and named by writers Steven Grant and Mark Evanier, and describes the rejection by the audience of a storyline, concept, plot, or idea in an ongoing series. ... Reboot, in series fiction, means to discard all previous continuity in the series and start anew. ... The reset button technique (based on the idea of status quo ante) is a plot device that interrupts continuity in works of fiction. ...


Discrepancies in past continuity are sometimes made deliberately; this is known as retconning. Retroactive continuity — commonly contracted to the blend retcon — is the adding of new information to historical material, or deliberately changing previously established facts in a work of serial fiction. ...


Real time programs vs traditional films

Television programs like 24, in which actors have to appear as if it is the same day for 24 consecutive episodes, have raised public recognition of continuity. However, traditional films have frequently had much same sort of the issues to deal with; film shoots may last several months and as scenes are frequently shot out of story sequence, footage shot weeks apart may be edited together as part of the same day's action in the completed film. In some ways, 24 presents a simpler situation, as costumes and hairstyles generally should not change very frequently; in many feature films a range of different hairstyles and costumes must be created, changed, and then recreated exactly, as various scenes are shot. This article or section is missing needed references or citation of sources. ... 24 (twenty four) is a current U.S. television action/drama series, produced by the Fox Network and syndicated worldwide. ...


External links

  • Moviemistakes.com
  • Continuity Corner

  Results from FactBites:
 
Continuity (fiction) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (920 words)
In fiction, continuity is consistency of the characteristics of persons, plot, objects, places and events seen by the reader or viewer.
Continuity is particularly a concern in the production of film and television due to the difficulty of rectifying an error in continuity after shooting has completed, although it also applies to other art forms, including novels, comics and animation, though usually on a much broader scale.
In cinema special attention must be paid to continuity because films are rarely shot in the order in which they are presented: that is, a crew may film a scene from the end of a movie first, followed by one from the middle, and so on.
Continuity - definition of Continuity in Encyclopedia (922 words)
In fiction, continuity is consistency of the characteristics of persons, objects, places and events seen by the reader or viewer.
Many continuity errors are subtle, such as changes in the level of drink in a character's glass or the length of a cigarette, others can be more noticeable, such as changes in the clothing of a character.
Care towards continuity must be taken because films are rarely filmed in the order they are presented in: that is, a crew may film a scene from the end of a movie first, followed by one from the middle, and so on.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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