Author Topic: CALLING: Lights? Electrics? Elex? What do you say?  (Read 16746 times)

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themikejones

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CALLING: Lights? Electrics? Elex? What do you say?
« on: Oct 16, 2004, 12:37 am »
I want to take a little pole.  What do you call the electrics cues when you’re calling a show?  In undergrad I was taught to say “Lights 38… Go”.  But in my first internship I found that the SM’s said “Electrics 38… Go”.  This made little sense to me.  I mean I understand that electrics controls more than lights.  Special effects, foggers, and other electrically powered devices are controlled by the light board—but why say 3 syllables when you can get away with one?  The calling ASM that I’m working with now says “Elex 38… Go”.  This is better since it’s only 2 syllables but I still think I’d go with “Lights”.  Does this make me sound less professional?  What do you say?  

Also, the theatre I’m working at now numbers the sound cues instead of lettering them. An argument can be made for both.  I think that if you have less than 26 sound cues- lettering is the way to go.  But once you get into the double and triple letters it’s just silly.  Numbers however can be to easily confused with electrics cues.  (Of course a solution here to is start with like 300 or something as your first sound cue number.)  Anyway, what do you do?  Numbers or letters?
« Last Edit: Jun 08, 2009, 11:33 pm by PSMKay »

smejs

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Lights? Electrics? Elex? What do you say?
« Reply #1 on: Oct 16, 2004, 02:11 am »
Electrics always seems like a mouthful to me, like you said.  I just took over calling a show for someone else who does say L-X (or Elex), which she was taught by a lighting designer........I myself prefer to simply say Lights...though the only time i had confusion was on one show I also had to call mics for.  Aha.  You see why.  I think I eventually said audio or sound instead of that, even though it wasn't for true sound cues.  That said, that's only been once in my life, and also for the same reasons you mentioned, I usually letter the sound cues (and for that one show, we lettered the mics, as well, trying to utilize all letters that sound different (i.e., not B, C and D unless it was people who ALWAYS sang at the same time, but used things like A, B, F, I, U, and X.

Erin

Michael

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Lights? Electrics? Elex? What do you say?
« Reply #2 on: Oct 16, 2004, 05:41 pm »
Well, I'm still a bit new at this (even though I've called over ten shows in the last three years) but at our college (the way I was taught) is to call the light cues generically: Cue 38, GO.

Any other cues we have (sound, slide, fog, etc.) are called specifically: Sound Cue A, GO. Fog GO....Fog out GO.

Do I have a rude awakening coming when I leave academia?

akearson

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Lights? Electrics? Elex? What do you say?
« Reply #3 on: Oct 16, 2004, 10:31 pm »
My experience has been that on the regional theatre level SMs say "Lights". Large scale musical, road show, and Broadway/NY SMs say "Electrics". This is probably a gross generalization. I have not personally worked in a situation where the SM just said "Cue 38, GO". As for lettering sound cues, I have not experienced that since my long ago college days.

centaura

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Lights? Electrics? Elex? What do you say?
« Reply #4 on: Oct 17, 2004, 12:29 pm »
I think of LX as a british thing.  I remember working out how the locals wanted me to call cues when I was over in London.  Here in the states, I say 'Light cue 1 go"  "Sound cue 2 go".  My sound numbers and light numbers are generally far enough apart in number that I don't find them too confusing.  At least to me, I rely on the local venue to provide crew on tour, so I'm usually calling the show to folk who've never seen it before.  I have few problems with attentions wandering off 'cause they don't have any feel for the show.

-Centaura

dchec2100

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Lights? Electrics? Elex? What do you say?
« Reply #5 on: Oct 18, 2004, 08:50 am »
I was actually curious of the same question myself... and adding to the original question, what about other types of cues?  scene shifts? fly cues?  rail cues?  special effects?  What are you calling all of these things?

MatthewShiner

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lx vs lights
« Reply #6 on: Oct 18, 2004, 11:39 am »
I started this career calling lights cue, but during grad school and my working on larger and larger shows with other stage managers, I found more and more people calling electrics or LX cues - so I adapted my style.

Sound cues number is a result of the computerization of sound systems, although some programs can letter cues, some can not.  Also call sound cue A.7 is just odd.  Also, with 100 sounds cues in a show, you woul get to cues AAAA, which is silly  (or dealing with sound cues aba or thinkgs like that.)

I don't usuall number or letter rail cues or scene shifts, but use some sort of narrative description - although I think for my next show, with so much automation, I maybe rethinking that.
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Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

KC-SM

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Lights? Electrics? Elex? What do you say?
« Reply #7 on: Oct 18, 2004, 11:41 am »
There are standard's that certain people and theaters prefer to use, however the general rule of thumb for me is COMMUNICATION without CONFUSION.  As long as everyone knows when you say LIGHTS that means a light cue etc. it works.  

There have been many shows where I have had to "invent" a name for a type of cue because it was unusual and specific to the show.  For instance, during a production of HOT L BALTIMORE the Baltimore Holtel sign would flicker throughout the show at my cue.  Because the flickering mechanism was controlled by something OTHER than the light board, I could not simply call LIGHTS 31 GO.  The board op would probably be confused and hit the GO button - thus NOT flickering the sign, but jumping us into a later cue.  So, I called all flicker cues "FLICKER GO."  All I had to do was brief all operators what FLICKER meant.  The word Flicker helped the board op remember that she wasn't supposed to simply flip a switch, but flicker it several times on my GO.  

In response to a previous posting.  It IS good to start naming your cues instead of just calling it CUE 2.  When you get into more complicated shows and larger houses with several types of operators on a multichannel headset that board op is really going to be looking to hear the "catchword" to put that book down and pat attention to what's going on.  

I largely depend on the designers to set the standard for numbering/lettering the cues.  Chances are they have a specific way they like to work and they've programmed the boards to their preferences.  To say, I prefer to use letters when they've already named all of their sounds cues with numbers would be a large re-programming issue for them.

CUE WORDS I USE:
LIGHTS= lights
SOUND = Sound Cues
AUDIO = mics (Usually I say AUDIO UP or AUDIO DOWN)
RAIL = Fly cues (Sometimes I like to use specific names like CURTAIN, FLY, SCRIM etc to prevent the operator from bringing down the wrong thing.)
FOG = fog
TRAP = stage trap cues
SPOT = spotlights
                                      -KC-
                                    --NYC--
                                  *AEA SM*

dchec2100

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Lights? Electrics? Elex? What do you say?
« Reply #8 on: Oct 18, 2004, 12:00 pm »
Quote from: "KC-SM"
There have been many shows where I have had to "invent" a name for a type of cue because it was unusual and specific to the show.


Just finished calling Into the Woods where we had a couple of "bird cues" where pigeons dropped in momentarily from above.  Calling it a rail cue didn't seem to fit, but everyone liked the bird cues.

jenk

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Lights? Electrics? Elex? What do you say?
« Reply #9 on: Oct 18, 2004, 03:57 pm »
I usually say "lights" and "sound", and currently I have cue lights for the rail and fog and turntable. As for lettering sound cues, I do like it on the shows that I have only a handful, but it does get weird when there are too many or when you have to add one in between. During a particularly long tech, when we were all a bit punchy, we had to add a sound cue between two letters. The board op asked me what I wanted to call it, and I called it "Bob." So it was "Sound Bob, Go." Later in the run we added a SQ Joe....

stagebear

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Lights? Electrics? Elex? What do you say?
« Reply #10 on: Oct 18, 2004, 05:27 pm »
i use "lights # go" even though we refer to the crew/department as electrics (or trix). for sound, i am currently calling "audio." when calling regular sound cues, i like to letter them "sound A". if i need and out cue i call "sound Ax". there are certain letters i avoid (Q, O, X), then i go into double letters, but i dont combine them (ie i would call "BB" but never "AB") for everything else, i call it what it is.
but it is nice to change things up a bit and give certain things names. this summer, for "kiss me kate," our bird was named gus, and therefore was called as "gus go." for the show i'm currently working on, there are two inflatables. one is named "big bird" the other is "oscar" - much easier than saying house eagle and stage eagle when it's all in a large series of cues.

benthehack

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Lights? Electrics? Elex? What do you say?
« Reply #11 on: Oct 18, 2004, 11:07 pm »
Usually I use 'Cue # go' for lights, and specify from there on in. 'SOUND' for sound, 'FOG' for fog, and so on. Maybe I should change... hmm.

gadget

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Lights? Electrics? Elex? What do you say?
« Reply #12 on: Oct 19, 2004, 07:43 am »
LX is the way i've been learnt.. even before i started uni,

as for sound i just use SOUND i.e SOUND 22 GO.. for the outs if the sound Q has an out I"ll use sound 22.5 GO (this being that is is related its sort odf the same Q if you know what i mean)

the rest .. FLY for flys, FX for any noise done backstage, DOME for followspot, PYRO  pyrotechnics, HOUSE LX house lights,
if we have a leaf drop out snow .. i will ussally call it as what it is,, i.e.. SNOW 1 GO,

I''ve that if you keep it simple and clear it works... :)

smejs

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Lights? Electrics? Elex? What do you say?
« Reply #13 on: Oct 19, 2004, 12:37 pm »
I am on the regional theatre level (most of the time), and at my current job we don't usually have more than 26 sound cues, so we letter them.  And if we need to add a cue, or adjust something during a cue, we start adding decimals to the end, such as Sound A.5.  If there's an out I call, it's always .9 at the end.  That's what this particular sound designer prefers.  

Erin

MatthewShiner

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oh yeah
« Reply #14 on: Oct 19, 2004, 08:58 pm »
that's a good point

as far as lettering and numbering going, if the designer has a preference, I will go with their style.  That's a very point.

But, as I said before, most of the newer designers are all learning and working in the era of automated sound - thus the numbering may become more and more common.
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Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

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