Author Topic: Spike Tape Problems  (Read 11524 times)

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MarcieA

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Spike Tape Problems
« on: Feb 20, 2006, 04:59 pm »
Hey all.

I'm having a problem keeping spike marks on my carpeted set. My ASM and I have tried stapling it through the carpet into the deck but they keep coming up, and it's usually during a scene despite the fact that they are checked daily and maintained nearly as frequently.

My last resort is to draw them on with sharpie, but I'l like to not permanently scar the carpet, it's quite nice and possibly re-useable.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Marcie
Companions whom I loved and still love, tell them my song.

loebtmc

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Spike Tape Problems
« Reply #1 on: Feb 20, 2006, 09:22 pm »
you can make nice discrete sharpie marks without disfiguring the carpet - and indeed can pick a color that might not be a major prob but useful during your run - but I gotta say, I have almost never had probs w spike tape (well, REAL spike tape) on carpet other than getting it up when the show is over -

any more details? what kind of carpet, is it stage carpet or someone's real floor etc...

MarcieA

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Spike Tape Problems
« Reply #2 on: Feb 20, 2006, 10:01 pm »
The carpet is sort of a generic stuff, nubbly. Kind of like what you'd find in a doctor's office or other public place. Part of the problem is that it's a very stiff rug and I think the spike is being rolled up and scraped up by furniture moving.

I'd like the avoid  making sharpie marks because the remnant is large enough that someone could use in a room or a patio when the show closes (and that offer has been made my the artistic director).

Maybe it's just going to be one of those things.
Companions whom I loved and still love, tell them my song.

Mac Calder

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Spike Tape Problems
« Reply #3 on: Feb 20, 2006, 10:21 pm »
I agree - find a better grade of spike tape. Or, use carpet tacks and a tacking hammer.

hbelden

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Spike Tape Problems
« Reply #4 on: Feb 22, 2006, 10:22 am »
Identify your goal, specifically, and then isolate the obstacles to that goal.

Goal: accurate placement of furniture during performance.
Obstacle: spike tape comes off of floor surface.

Response: staple spike tape? Result- spike tape comes up
Response: use sharpie marks?  Result - unkown.  How about trying a sharpie mark in a corner of the carpet (like testing the colorfastness of a garment) and seeing if it actually damages the look of the carpet, or if it will come out with a cleaning solution like GooGone or something?
Response: Carpet tacks & tacking hammer? Result - unknown (good suggestion, mc)
Response:  Train crew to LIFT furniture rather than dragging it?
Response:  Marly tape over the spike marks?  if the carpet is a low pile stiff carpet, maybe this will work


If all the responses fizzle out, REVIEW YOUR GOAL:
just how necessary is accurate placement of furniture?  does furniture move a lot?  Do you have a lot of lighting specials focused specifically on the actors on this furniture, or hard focus cuts around it?  Are spike marks the only way to gauge where to place it - could you reference off of set pieces or corners of the deck, or other pieces of furniture that haven't moved yet?

Don't assume that you have to spike mark everything just because stage managers always spike mark everything.  Spiking isn't the goal.  Accurate, repeatable performances are the goal - and if your tolerances are wide enough, you might not need spike marks at all.

If placement really must be precise, and spike marks are coming up during a run (so there's no time for you to re-measure and replace them) then this is a TD/Producer issue, and I would get permission to disfigure the carpet, or get a replacement carpet for the set, or lower the standards of accurate placement by getting the lighting designer to make changes (for example)
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Heath Belden

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stagebear

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Spike Tape Problems
« Reply #5 on: Feb 22, 2006, 12:58 pm »
you can always try covering the spikes with packaging tape

centaura

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what's under the carpet?
« Reply #6 on: Mar 01, 2006, 01:26 pm »
What's under the carpet?  The stage or a platform?  If its a platform - you could try some other type of mark - say a large painted washer screwed into place.  Or some other such item that's screwed into place.  Or, depending on how much the furniture is dragged, using corsage pins to pin a bit of fabric in the appropriate spike spot.  Corsage pins work 'cause you can slid them sideways into the pile of the carpet, and they're large enough that they stay put fairly easily.  Or, if they move, they can be bent under the carpet and then taped there where they tape won't be rubbed.

-Centaura

BalletPSM

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Spike Tape Problems
« Reply #7 on: Mar 01, 2006, 09:49 pm »
I'm a fan of the packing tape over the spike tape -- I do this with glow tape for my dancers (glow tape doesn't stay well on  marley when there a hundred pointe shoes running over it all the time).  

Just make sure to sandpaper it after you put it down -- packing tape is slippery!
Stage managing is getting to do everything your mom told you not to do - read in the dark, sit too close to the TV, and play with the light switches!

Sarah

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I agree with Heath...
« Reply #8 on: Mar 03, 2006, 01:47 pm »
Quote
Don't assume that you have to spike mark everything just because stage managers always spike mark everything. Spiking isn't the goal. Accurate, repeatable performances are the goal - and if your tolerances are wide enough, you might not need spike marks at all.


It's nice to hear this sentiment from another stage manager. Personally, I detest spikes and will do almost anything to avoid using them onstage.

MarcieA

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Re: I agree with Heath...
« Reply #9 on: Mar 08, 2006, 02:16 pm »
Quote from: "Sarah"
Quote
Don't assume that you have to spike mark everything just because stage managers always spike mark everything. Spiking isn't the goal. Accurate, repeatable performances are the goal - and if your tolerances are wide enough, you might not need spike marks at all.


It's nice to hear this sentiment from another stage manager. Personally, I detest spikes and will do almost anything to avoid using them onstage.


I agree. Especially in a small house like this is.

Unfortunately in this case, spikes are necessary. I've covered spikes in the past with packing tape (or clear hockey tape which actually works better) and I don't know why I didn't think to do it this time.

Part of the problem stems from an inexperienced crew. We've had a number of conversations about "moving with purpose" and counting steps to remember where things should be placed and they just don't. Or can't. I'm not sure which.

We've switched since my last post to a new roll of spike and it seems to be holding up longer than the old.

Thanks for all of the suggestions!

Marcie
Companions whom I loved and still love, tell them my song.

Mac Calder

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Spike Tape Problems
« Reply #10 on: Mar 08, 2006, 02:52 pm »
Spikes have their purpose - My main spikes are for actors though. Many actors seem to have a strange problem of not being able to find the mark where the lone special (profile lantern) is shining for their 2 minute monologue. A small X and they are in the right place every time. I do a hell of a lot of spiking - most of it is not there when the curtain goes up, but as an LX designer, I know how handy a well spiked set can be for rough focus. It also helps the crew learn positions. Then just before we tech, I rip most of it back up and use it as a medium velocity projectile weapon to use on the director when s/he tries to make comments during tech.

Sarah

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Spike Tape Problems
« Reply #11 on: Mar 08, 2006, 02:53 pm »
Marcie, I'm glad you've found a solution to your tape woes. On a side note to the spike tape thread: I *love* having the "moving with purpose" conversation. Especially, with student crews. Does anyone employ a succinct analogy that well conveys this sentiment to inexperienced crews?

Debo123

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Spike Tape Problems
« Reply #12 on: Mar 09, 2006, 12:07 pm »
Can I hear more about this "moving with purpose" thing? I sort of understand what it might be getting at in terms of transporting tech pieces through space, but I'd love it if someone could flesh it out for me.

megf

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If memory serves me correctly...
« Reply #13 on: Mar 09, 2006, 12:57 pm »
The best analogy I've heard was from VSM (months back - correct me if I am not remembering this right...).

I was the ASM/set crew on a show with lots of furniture to move about, and no blackouts - he said "do your best impression of a waitor/waitress during the lunch rush." Worked out great. A few months later when I said it to a student crew at my college, it really helped settle the tech rehearsals, and reduced our scenes change running times by as much as 45 seconds apiece.

Rosemary

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Spike Tape Problems
« Reply #14 on: Apr 13, 2006, 09:33 pm »
I once had a friend call in a favor and ended up on her running crew during teach week of a show she was SMing (someone had broken their foot or some other injury).

I was paired with what was probably a fairly intelligent young man to do all of my scene changes with. Being on the other side of the relationship, I discovered that the biggest issue with crews is that they typically lack the sense of urgency that we stage managers tend to have. Although it drove me crazy to try to get this guy to get ready and remember what we had to do before each change (of which there were many), I learned a lot about how to motivate crews.

What I suggested to the SM was that we have a separate rehearsal for the crew to run changes so they can feel important and comfortable.  Also, she got the director to announce the night before at tech that the show was running X amount of time, which was too long.  The next day, post our separate practice, the SM announced how much time was shaved off due to the run crew.  It can't work for every show, but sometimes just making it a race against time helps tremendously.

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