Author Topic: PROMPT SCRIPT: Using Sheet Protectors  (Read 2466 times)

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SMeustace

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PROMPT SCRIPT: Using Sheet Protectors
« on: Aug 01, 2012, 09:17 am »
Hi
I'm looking for a few ideas and thoughts about and idea I have. I am currently pre-organizing my prompt book to get ready for my new production.

How can I use sheet protectors with my script (and other important documents) to record blocking without contantly removing and putting back each page, which will get annoying and messy??

I'm planning on putting a page of the script (single-sided) and a blocking slip sheet with ground plan in each sheet protector. I can use dry erase markers for line notes (so I can erase marks after giving line notes to actors) ill erase markings after giving notes.

I am also looking for new methods and ways of writing blocking and tech cues. Last show I stapled a sheet to the backside of the script which had columns for blocking, standbys and calls. Sorta got messy little bit. Writing cues on the script itself, I found got messy and difficult to read especially with all the blocking, notes, and cues.

Thank you.

Changed subject line-Rebbe
« Last Edit: Sep 29, 2012, 01:26 pm by Rebbe »
"On the first day the lord said....Light cue 1, GO! Then there was light".

LCSM

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Re: Ideas & Opinions please
« Reply #1 on: Aug 01, 2012, 11:04 am »
I thought about this a while back, though, mind you, I never ended up trying it. What I pictured was using different coloured markers for line notes, blocking, cues, etc. and, at the end of each day, transferring anything that had been solidified onto the paper, while erasing it on the sheet protector.

I think it's a great idea as regards line notes - instantly visible, quickly erased. Though I like to keep my line notes in the script until the next time the actor gets it right (each day has a different little symbol so that I can tell them apart) and that way I know quickly how much trouble someone's having with a particular line.

Maribeth

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Re: Ideas & Opinions please
« Reply #2 on: Aug 01, 2012, 01:01 pm »
I think that clear sheet protectors are tricky to use for things like blocking, because they can get easily smudged or erased. (I can easily imagine losing a whole page of blocking by accident this way). That said, if you want to do it, try using one of those fine point Sharpies to write it on. It won't smudge or wipe off as easily, but when you do want it to come off, just write over top of it with a regular dry erase marker and then wipe off.

Here's how I organize my book to deal with the three things you mentioned (blocking, line notes, cues). On the left side of the book (I'm right handed), I have a page of text. I manipulate the text in Word to give me a 2 or 3 inch column to the left of it- this is where I put my cues. Keep this area clean of blocking notes and you should be able to read your cues fine.

On the text itself, I take line notes. I circle a line (or part of a line) when an actor makes a mistake and make a little notation about what kind of mistake it was (DL for dropped line, WW for wrong word, etc). When an actor gets the line correctly for the first time, I put a little check mark next to it. The second time, I erase the line note. (This saves me having to erase and rewrite the same note over and over, for the most part). These notes can either be given orally, or transferred to a line note form. It's also pretty easy to tell which lines they have trouble with the most frequently.

On the right hand side of the book, I have a blocking slip sheet, with the bottom right corner cut off. This lets me turn the page more easily, and because it's a separate sheet, it can be replaced if it gets too messy.


I think sheet protectors can be great for some things- I use mine to hold calendars, contact sheets, and other frequently asked documents at the front of my book for easy access, and sometimes for preshow checklists.

MatthewShiner

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Re: Ideas & Opinions please
« Reply #3 on: Aug 01, 2012, 01:19 pm »
I am unsure why the desire to use sheet protectors.
It would make you script really thick, and anything that you right on the sheet protector that can easily come off when you want to clean it, might come off on accident on the other sheet protectors.  (Although I am intrigued about the sheet protectors for line notes . . . but again, I usually like an assistant who has some sort of record of where the past trouble spots where.)

I am wondering about the time suck from transferring from sheet protector to regular paper.

I do insert a blocking page between my script pages, with the corners cut off - so as you turn the page, you turn the blocking page automatically.  (See attachments).  That way, you can add new blocking pages on top of old, and still turn them.  Hopefully you are changing blocking more often then changing text.  But even then . . . the system still works.


The section on the left side of the script is room enough to write in preliminary cues, although I do type my calling script, it's basically this format.  (Attached is a more difficult section of this show . . . which was not that difficult).  Again, my reason for having a separate calling script - is I will need to move around the text to get all my cues in, especially around complicated sequences or more technically complex shows . . . (That full page of cues is only 1/3 of page of text).

Again, you should keep tying new methods to find one that works for you and the types of shows you are working on.  Hope my samples help.

Post Merge: Aug 01, 2012, 01:21 pm
(Maribeth got her response in as I was typing and putting my together . . . I think we have identical formats, or very close)  Although I find I only need about 2 inches for my cues when hand writing.

Again, I manipulate the heck out the text when I put together my calling script.
« Last Edit: Aug 01, 2012, 01:21 pm by MatthewShiner »
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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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BayAreaSM

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Re: Ideas & Opinions please
« Reply #4 on: Aug 02, 2012, 01:41 am »
When I was in college, I saw another classmate's calling script: she had her entire script in sheet protectors.

HOWEVER...

She had written her blocking notes on the script, and used post-its for the cues, then slid the script pages into the sheet protectors. It was the thickest script I'd ever seen (until I SM'd a workshop musical), and though I never asked, I believe her reasoning was that she didn't want her post-it cues to move/fall out.

I was blown away by the expense of all those sheet protectors, and the fact that she would have to keep pulling the pages out to write notes or move cues around. Personally, I felt it was a waste of money and personal time. I only use sheet protectors, like Maribeth, for commonly used items like show calendars, contact sheets and scene breakdowns - things I'm pulling out of my binder/tray constantly, since I want them to last.

For my script, I make my slip sheet (I'd actually never heard of this term before this thread - I just call it my blocking page) with the ground plan at the top and numbered lines underneath. I then photocopy the slip sheet to the backside of each script page (hear me out...), then reverse punch my script so that the text is on the left and the blocking is on the right. Then I make 50-100 extra one sided copies of the slip sheet, hole punch them and have them standing by. I use the numbered lines to correspond with the text as to where the blocking occurs, then put my cues on the left side of the text page. So, pretty similar to Maribeth, yet again. :)
If blocking changes too drastically (I've had directors want version A, B....G of a scene), I insert another slip sheet and paperclip it over the original. Same deal if a new page is issued, just insert the new page, clip it over the old one. It sounds nutty, but it works really well for me when workshopping shows. I never lose my old pages, and it's so easy to let the playwright or director know where things used to be when they get confused.

I do like the idea of the sheet protectors for line notes, but I would still prefer to do the short hand in my script to know what they missed and erase later, once again, like Maribeth.

It's good to know that I seem to know what I'm doing - since it's so similar to what others do.

Though lately, my calling scripts have been electronic - and sometimes I make a combo electronic script with blocking and cues (though mostly just for staged readings). When you have two scripts, there really isn't a worry of your blocking getting in the way of your cues.

Maribeth

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Re: Ideas & Opinions please
« Reply #5 on: Aug 02, 2012, 02:05 am »
Les- what you said just reminded me of something. Years ago, I shadowed a Broadway tour where the SMs kept each page of the score in sheet protectors- however, the cues were typed into the script already, the sheet protectors were in place to (believe it or not) protect the sheets from wear and tear. As an added bonus, the show had 3 SMs, who traded off calling the show, running the deck, and doing other things (having a night off, watching the show from the house, doing paperwork, etc) and the SM who was calling the night I shadowed told me that she was the newest member of the team, and she was able to make little notes to herself on the sheet protector to help her while she was learning to call the show.

(That book was HUGE).

Though lately, my calling scripts have been electronic - and sometimes I make a combo electronic script with blocking and cues (though mostly just for staged readings). When you have two scripts, there really isn't a worry of your blocking getting in the way of your cues.

This too. I keep the "cues" area in my script for rehearsal cues, and any preliminary cue placement that I'm able to do. I usually handwrite all my cues in during tech, and when I have down time transfer them to a digital calling script.

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LizzG

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Re: Ideas & Opinions please
« Reply #6 on: Aug 02, 2012, 07:42 am »
I keep my calling script pages in sheet protectors, just like Maribeth said, to protect it from wear and tear.  I've seen a few other touring SMs do the same.

MatthewShiner

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Re: Ideas & Opinions please
« Reply #7 on: Aug 02, 2012, 10:17 am »
but with an electronic copy .... i can reprint a new script to deal with wear and tear.

i just like being able to write on my calling script, but for a show running years, it makes sense.
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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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DeeCap

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Re: Ideas & Opinions please
« Reply #8 on: Aug 02, 2012, 11:13 am »
My show had it's press opening last night. I hate to admit it but my calling/blocking script looks like a hurricane went through it.

I'm pretty old-school when it comes to my prompt script but next time I will join the 21st century and type up my script.

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