Author Topic: Stage Management Desktop  (Read 22958 times)

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PSMKay

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Stage Management Desktop
« on: Sep 25, 2007, 08:59 am »
So, now that I've moved into being a full time geek, I'm looking to finally create what the stage management community has been looking for for years: one central desktop application for monitoring performances.


The advent of the Enttec USB to DMX controller with open source protocols has made it possible for someone to control lighting from a laptop in any house with a DMX box.


Mind you, my experience in creating desktop applications is small (read: none!) but I'm interested in learning backend code and I figured that having a goal would help out.  So, here's the question: What would you want?


Some things I've thought about:
  1. Track Hours and schedules, possibly against an AEA Timelimit count down

  2. Monitor costumes and props

  3. Load a script in (not sure how yet) and assign cues to specific words, musical notes, or beats

  4. Track items for a tour and be able to export and send that information to all tour itinerary venues

  5. Load in a CAD rendering of the lighting and set for dry calling a show

  6. Graphical blocking page by page.  Point and click to place your actor.

  7. Contact list for cast and crew including measurements for actors

  8. Scene shift tracker

  9. Import info from Lightwright

  10. Import scripts from common playwriting apps

  11. Microphone battery replacement schedule, same for perishable props -- auto generate shopping lists.


Comment please with your ideas.  What platform (Windows/Mac) should I start with?  What other features should I look at incorporating?  What would you be willing to pay for something like this?

PSMAK

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Re: Stage Management Desktop
« Reply #1 on: Sep 26, 2007, 03:02 pm »
I would prefer a windows platform.

What about including various reports and schedule types, with a way to distribute the this information quickly electronically.

I probably wouldn't pay anything anything more than $75 dollars.

avkid

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Re: Stage Management Desktop
« Reply #2 on: Sep 26, 2007, 04:09 pm »
Integrated video monitoring software.

I want OSX obviously, but it will sell much better as a Windows program.
Parallels is only like $80 anyway.
Philip LaDue
Shore Production Group LLC
IATSE Local #21 Newark, NJ

jempage

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Re: Stage Management Desktop
« Reply #3 on: Sep 26, 2007, 08:25 pm »
Perhaps if you could somehow integrate an open source .PDF generator for your reports that would automatically attach the .PDF files to an email as an attachment?
Cheers,
Jem.
_____________
“Perhaps, therefore, ideal stage managers not only need to be calm and meticulous professionals who know their craft, but masochists who feel pride in rising above impossible odds.”
-Sir Peter Hall

avkid

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Re: Stage Management Desktop
« Reply #4 on: Sep 26, 2007, 10:33 pm »
I would pay $80 for a good pdf creator alone.
Philip LaDue
Shore Production Group LLC
IATSE Local #21 Newark, NJ

PSMKay

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Re: Stage Management Desktop
« Reply #5 on: Sep 26, 2007, 11:01 pm »
avkid, I know that Openoffice has a pdf creator built in.

Mac Calder

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Re: Stage Management Desktop
« Reply #6 on: Sep 27, 2007, 08:44 am »
I had a few boring hours last year, and decided to play with some autocue software being manufactured by a friend, and he showed me a really cool feature that would be great for SMing.

Basically, you have a USB jog wheel, which you use to speed up or slow down the scrolling of the text on the screen. This autocue software highlighted words as it went, and by using the softkeys on the jog wheel, you could insert flags into the autocue sheet. Now if that is not nifty, I don't know what is. Imagine combining that with a tablet PC, so that you have a floorplan on the tablet, and by using the hot keys to indicate the actor, you could use the stylus to tap out locations, and viola, blocking.

Then, same deal for calling the show, jog wheel to control speed, acting as an autoprompt. Extra facilities like house lighting control could sit below the prompting window.

Line notes, as the script scrolls, push down on the jog wheel when they go off book, and release at the end of the line, auto generated line notes.

Jogwheels start from about $40 Linky, going up to the hundreds - however something middle of the road like this would be cool... it would really be a great interface for an SM application.

I have spent a fair bit of time thinking about it, as you may guess.

As for what I would be willing to pay? It depends. A product that was an all round productivity suite, capable of multitasking etc, anywhere up to $1600. A basic database style application, $120ish.
« Last Edit: Sep 27, 2007, 08:48 am by Mac Calder »

avkid

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Re: Stage Management Desktop
« Reply #7 on: Sep 27, 2007, 04:43 pm »
This is an interesting product:
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MusicPadPro/
and cheaper than an honest to god tablet PC to boot!
Philip LaDue
Shore Production Group LLC
IATSE Local #21 Newark, NJ

stagemonkey

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Re: Stage Management Desktop
« Reply #8 on: Oct 05, 2007, 01:16 pm »
This is an interesting product:
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MusicPadPro/
and cheaper than an honest to god tablet PC to boot!

While that is pretty cool I'd think I would still spend the extra money and buy a tablet pc as it then gives the benefit of having all my other computer programs right there to easily make up rehearsal/performance reports and email them out quickly.

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