Maintaining Consistency in Action and Detail

It's the Continuity Director's job to see not only that the actor's clothes, jewelry, hair, make-up, etc., remain consistent between takes, but that props (movable objects on the set) also remain consistent. Below find continuity errors from Friends. Usually, this is what people think about when the term continuity comes up because there are some people enjoy pointing out filmmaking goofs. The goal is the same for both uses of the term: to make sure that edits go unnoticed and that viewers pay attention to the story, dialogue, and performance. Shooting for continuity editing is pretty much the job of the director and this type of continuity is a different job on most productions. If you are one of these folks who are very observant and slightly compulsive (like Monica Gellar!) script supervision and continuity direction may be the job for you! Did I mention that I watch Friends while I'm cleaning the house? It's strangely therapeutic for me. 


When Joey is counting the floors of Ross' building (the first time) to find out where Hot Girl lives, he is wearing a black top with a zip. When he rushes over to Ross' building, he walks down the hall and knocks on what he believes to be Hot Girl's door. In these shots, he is wearing a dark purple button-up shirt. As soon as Ross answers the door, Joey is wearing the black top with a zip again.


When Rachel finds out that Ross and Julie are getting a cat, watch Rachel's neck. When she says "together?" she's not wearing a necklace; cut to Ross and Julie for a fraction of a second, then when it cuts back to Rachel saying "both of you?" she's suddenly wearing a necklace. It then disappears again when she says "isn't that just lovely?"


When Joey goes to Monica and Chandler's apartment, he goes to the fridge to get something to drink to keep his bladder full for the audition. When he closes the fridge he has two bottles in his left hand. The camera cuts to Monica, then cuts back to Joey. He then has two cans in his left hand and is holding them differently.


Monica is sitting in the living room with all her wedding presents, waiting for Chandler to return. She begins to open a large parcel and reveals a brown cardboard box. Then the camera moves to Joey, and when it moves back, the parcel is wrapped up again. This happens about three times.

Watch them in action below: