On tie knots and continuity

Nice windsor, Mr Bond - but for how long...?

Continuity in television and film is absolutely vital, not to please the people who watch things just to spot the errors, but because attention to detail is a prerequisite to a film or programme being as enjoyable as it possibly can be. A great plot, compelling characters, the newest technology do not make a good film unless the details – however subtle – are spot on.

Film and television programme makers know this, of course, which is why people are employed specifically for the task of ensuring ‘continuity’ – making sure things don’t go missing from or appear on set during a break in the filming of a scene, for example.

However, I’ve spotted one area where these continuity people don’t seem particularly successful: tie knots.

I first spotted this in one of my favourite US drama series, Boston Legal. The same character can be shown twice in the space of a minute and look essentially the same apart from the knot in the tie. It’s not that the type of knot changes, but that the way the knot looks does – dimple or no dimple, left large and untightened or smaller and more taut.

I noticed a quite gratuitous example in Tomorrow Never Dies, which was on ITV yesterday. Early in the film, when Bond is travelling in the car with M and others, he is shown wearing his tie in a properly dimpled four in hand knot. Literally seconds later, after the shot cuts away to M and then back, he is wearing the same tie, tied in the same way but completely dimple-free.

Does this matter? Well, not massively. Indeed I suspect I’m most certainly in a minority in even noticing (!). But if continuity is deemed important, why not go the whole way and really pay attention to the details?

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One response to “On tie knots and continuity

  1. “..attention to detail is a prerequisite to a film or programme being as enjoyable as it possibly can be. A great plot, compelling characters, the newest technology do not make a good film unless the details – however subtle – are spot on.” What utter rubbish! People watch a film for entertainment, not facts, historical detail, or even truth. They watch to be entertained.

    Hey, Nick; if you are watching “…US drama series” then you can forget all of the above.

    While I agree (tentatively) with your premise, watch a film, series, even many so-called ‘documentaries’ to be entertained; if you want facts, go to the local library. Even there, be aware- all facts tend to have a personal bias.

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