Maryellen and Erin, CCSL experts.
Delivery Requirements Matter.
Most producers wait until the very last minute to worry about CCSL (Combined Continuity and Spotting List or CCDL (Combined Continuity and Dialogue List and this is a big mistake, although understandable when there are so many elements involved in getting a film from start to finish.
Distributors will demand a CCSL.
As a filmmaker, you will be contractually bound to deliver a very detailed transcript of your film whether it be a documentary, thriller or biopic. Most delivery requirements will spell out the deliverables a producer must fulfill and every CCSL will include character, dialogue and time code. However, many distributors will require much more, depending on what kind of film it is and how many territories they plan to go to. There are also many different considerations in post.
Give them more than timecode, character and dialogue.
If you deliver a CCSL that just has the basics, there is a good chance your distributor will kick it back to you and request more, especially if it’s in the contract. They may want SCENE DESCRIPTION or MUSIC CUES. They may also want CAMERA MOVEMENT captured such as “tilt'“ or “pan” etc… The more details that are in your delivery requirements, the more it will cost to get a CCSL.
Don’t hire a company that goes overseas with your film or CCDL.
The reason is simple: Quality. Many companies have an American front and then ship your media overseas and many people and organizations are quite capable there, that isn’t always the problem. Native speakers capture information more accurately and, if you have a problem, communication can be an issue if you need to communicate.
CCSL’s can take 2-3 weeks to complete.
Leave time for this process to be done correctly. You always get what you pay for. CCSL’s are very detailed and require skilled transcribers to go over the media several times to capture all of the information required and, if ‘footage and frames’ are required or anecdotes, perhaps even longer.
How To Save Money on Your CCSL’s.
There’s one very good way to save money with your distributor on this because after all, this is your expense in the end as a producer, but shoot us an email or call us and we’ll share this with you. We’ve been doing them since January of 1993 and we’re happy to save you money because it will increase the chances of us getting ALL of your films and creative works and that’s our long term business objective. But there is a way and it works about 50% of the time. Not bad, right? Happy hunting.