We had the good fortune of connecting with Kyla Thomas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kyla, do you have a budget? how do you think about personal finances?
Yes, I do have a budget. I think a budget is important for everyone, but especially for those who are self-employed. Since I don’t have a regular salary, I think in terms of percentages as opposed to dollar amounts. I tithe 10%, save 10%, and live off the other 80%. I think tithing is a great way to give back to the community, and it always feels good to share with others. I don’t usually enjoy doing things for myself, so knowing that a portion of what I earn will bless others helps keep me motivated to work. Having a healthy savings account is especially important since my income can fluctuate radically, and I don’t pay into unemployment. Therefore, I’ve had to create my own safety net to get me through the dry spells. I actually try to save more than 10%. I sometimes challenge myself to see how little I can spend in a month. As a result, my lifestyle could be described as simple (or “very frugal”). However, when I do spend money, I’m what’s sometimes referred to as a “conscientious spender.” Although the items typically cost more, I make an effort to buy quality products that will last and that are either made in America or are fair trade certified.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
In the U.S., people in my profession are called “script supervisors,” but in the U.K., we’re called “continuity supervisors,” which is probably a more accurate term. When people outside the film industry hear my job title, they usually think I write or edit scripts. I don’t. My work starts after the script has been written. There are many aspects to the job that can be boiled down into three main categories: Breaking down the script (which involves filling out lots of forms, such as a scene/page count, and identifying any mentions of clothing, props, etc.), taking notes for the editor during filming, and keeping track of continuity. Keeping track of continuity is very important since films are shot out of order. For example, a character may be filmed coming out of a house with a purse over her right shoulder. The exterior of the house might not be filmed for another week, but when that shot is filmed, it’s my job to remember which shoulder the purse was on.
When I was young, I had no idea there was a job like that, but I knew I enjoyed theater and wanted to do something in the film industry. While in college, I interned for a local director, Karl Kozak. He noticed my attention to detail, bought me a book on script supervising, and I worked on his next feature film. So, for me, getting into the profession was pretty easy!
One thing I would like people to know about my profession is that if you notice mistakes in a film, it’s not ALWAYS the script supervisor’s fault. There are lots of other factors involved. For example, if it comes down to picking a take with perfect continuity or one with better acting, the one with better acting is typically preferred.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I live in San Diego County and there are lots of things to do here. I think we’re most famous for the San Diego Zoo. There’s also the Safari Park and Sea World, For a more low-key experience, Balboa Park is a beautiful place to walk around and has many museums to explore. Visiting the beach in the summer is a must and, in the winter, it’s fun to visit the snow in the mountains. In Julian, there are orchards where you can rent an apple tree and pick as many apples as you want. Some have their own cider presses where you can make your own apple cider. For eating out, I’d definitely recommend The Wing Factory in Ranch San Diego.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I interned for a local director, Karl Kozak, while I was in college. He mentioned that I’d make a great script supervisor, bought me a book on the subject (Script Supervising and Film Continuity by Pat Miller), and I worked on his next feature film.
Tomlyn Nicholson, DickFisher.net