Author Topic: PROMPT BOOK: Creating a Calling Script (meta-thread)  (Read 28429 times)

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MatthewShiner

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Clarification
« Reply #15 on: Jun 02, 2006, 05:29 pm »
I don't actually call from my computer.

I just type out the calling script and print it out from the computer.

There are some SM's who do call - - - but I would be to terrified of power going out, the computer shutting down, or getting bored, and starting to play solitaire.
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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.

erin

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Re: Creating a call script
« Reply #16 on: Jun 19, 2006, 12:41 am »
When i'm doing complicated shows with very little tech time, i try to get cue lists ahead of time from designers and stock up on post it flags - the kind that come in packs of 4 colors with a colored square and then a longer rectangular clear strip.  Cue numbers and descriptions can be written onto the clear part, and the whole thing stuck on to any script page.  Different colors for different kinds of cues (yellow=lights, blue=sound, green=deck/automation, red=cue light, etc.  whatever works for that pruduction)

The advantage is that when you call a complicated sequence, then need to move the lights before the sound and the rail after the trap, you can literally pick up the cues and reorganize them.  So after that preview when the director wants to try starting the music before the rest of the scene change, or cheating the trap open before anything else, those changes are super easy to make without lots of erasing.    Less messy, and the color coding can be very helpful.

The disadvantage is the possibility of losing a sticky note, and the fact that if you make a copy you can't send pages with flags through an automatice feeder copier.   I've never lost a note, and the exact cue location is still penciled in.

Sometimes i get paranoid and go through removing flags and writing in cues once the show is opened.

For long runs or shows that will be handed off, i use Matt's word based computer system.  It's clean, easy to read, and handily archived electronically :)

kjdiehl

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Re: Creating a call script
« Reply #17 on: Jun 27, 2006, 07:48 pm »
I use a method very similar to Erin's, which has all the same advantages. (ie, moving cues on the page, easy to see, etc.) But I use the Staples or Office Depot brand highlighting sticky flags. They come 5 to a pack, all in flourescent, SEE THRU colors! The flourescent really pops under a blue run light, which is great, and I write directly on the flag with a blue fine-tip Sharpie. And since they are transparent, I can use them to highlight text as well. I've used them for about 2-3 years now, and I have never had a cue fall out of the script, so I feel pretty safe with them. But if I ever do a long-running or open-ended production, I'd definitely enter the entire script in the computer and type in all the cues, probably in a different colors. I'm anxious to try Matt's word version one day.

And btw, Hi Erin!   :-*
-Kris Diehl, AEA SM

"Somewhere in the city there's a stage manager waiting,
standing in the shadows with a clipboard in hand..."

ReyYaySM

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Re: Creating a call script
« Reply #18 on: Jun 27, 2006, 11:54 pm »
I just did my first call script in Word and am in LOVE with it.  I teched the show using a pencil and ruler, and then transferred it all into Word as I had time.  The script is very clean and very easy to call from.  I look forward to trying this method out on a musical. 

erin

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Re: Creating a call script
« Reply #19 on: Jul 03, 2006, 03:50 am »
And btw, Hi Erin!   :-*

Off contract, eh? 

Gina

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Re: Creating a call script
« Reply #20 on: Jul 15, 2006, 04:42 pm »
I use Post It flags. They are amazing. This past year I've started touring and my calling script was taking a beating. We do children's plays that are only about 40 pages, so I just put each page in plastic sheet protectors. My pages never rip out, my flags are saved even if it is 1 degree in yakama, WA or 95 degrees in southern California. I also take notes in my script with dry erease pen for my sound levels for that house or something that may need to work differently due to the venue. It has worked great for me. I don't know anyone else who does this though. I haven't joined the script typing way of doing things yet, but I'd love to if I could get alittle more prep time for an upcomming show.

kjdiehl

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Re: Creating a call script
« Reply #21 on: Jul 16, 2006, 12:41 am »
oooo! on a side note, I've used dry erase pen on top of sheet protectors before too, (it works great for a daily checklist,) but it can get tricky when it does what it's supposed to: dry erase. I've heard that there is a very simple, common liquid which will erase sharpie from plastic sheet protectors, to solve this problem, but I can't remember what liquid that was. Anyone?
-Kris Diehl, AEA SM

"Somewhere in the city there's a stage manager waiting,
standing in the shadows with a clipboard in hand..."

Aerial

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Re: Creating a call script
« Reply #22 on: Jul 16, 2006, 10:20 am »
I like to use the wet erase markers(like Vis a Vis) on sheet protectors.  These don't erase quite as easily as the dry erase ones.

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Didaskalos

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Re: Creating a call script
« Reply #23 on: Jul 17, 2006, 11:46 pm »
simple, common liquid which will erase sharpie from plastic sheet protectors

isopropyl alcohol

from the Sharpie website:

"The black ink in the Fine, Twin Tip, Chisel and Super is permanent ink. The principle solvents are alcohols, but they also contain ethylene glycol monobutyl ether. All other SHARPIE ink colors are Permchrome ink. For these the principle solvents are also alcohols, but no glycol ethers are used."
Do it right the first time;  do it right every time.

stagemonkey

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Re: Creating a call script
« Reply #24 on: Aug 01, 2006, 03:58 am »
I'm a pencil and paper person.  Although reading some of these posts I can see the benifit of putting it all into a computerized script once the show opens (good to have a backup and for archival.)  As it is I tend to put a little work into my scripts before rehearsals even start.  I try to get a copy of the script that is being used as soon as I know I have the job.  Then I put in a lot of time typing the script into Word myself.  Yes this is time consuming but I find it gives me some benifits in the long run.  First off it allows me to increase the right margin so I have more room to write in my cues (this was my initial reason for doing it.) Secondly i can set everything to 1.5 spacing which gives me room under each line to insert blocking notations connecting it with the text (so when someone says "How dare you accuse me of such a thing" and he stands up when he says "accuse" i can fit my little symbol for standing up right under the word, which makes for a much cleaner blocking script.)  Thirdly (and i just came up with this one for the show I begin rehearsing tomorrow on) as I type it in word I have 2 other documents open, my production analysis and my entrance and exit tracking sheet, so in typing it i am also able to analyze it at the same time so after i type page 52 saying "CHARLIE: (exiting with a pumpkin) Fine but I'm keeping the pumpkin." I can pull the production analysis up on the screen and make a note for props that a pumpkin is needed on page 52, then pull up the entrance and exit tracking and mark that Charlie exits on p52.  Then in rehearsal that helps so when the director says tomororw we will work on page 53-65 i can see that Charlie left on 53 and since he doesnt come back till page 70 he doesnt need to be called.  And to solve the issue of making pages line up i just type out of the script to the end of the page use Word to draw in a line with the text box on the far right and inside the box put the page number that corresponds to the script everyone else has.  So on one of my printed pages i may have a page and a half of the actual script but I'm able to refer to the same page numbers everyone else if familiar with.

Ultimately it works for me helps me learn the script easier, but yes it takes a lot of time.  But after reading this thread I know when opening night comes up I have the script ready all I have to do is draw in some text boxes in my already widened right margin and place them in the right cue spots, then simply email it to the people at the theatre so there is an extra copy available to be printed at a moments notice if needed. 

And now I just have to add how it always amazes me that you do so many shows and then all of a sudden you learn something new to try.  I know once this show reaches opening night I'll try my hand and making an electronic version of my calling script.  Thanks for the idea.

DavidA

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Re: Creating a call script
« Reply #25 on: Aug 04, 2006, 11:20 am »
I just have to add how it always amazes me that you do so many shows and then all of a sudden you learn something new to try.

Amen to that, brother.  You can never stop learning.

I need some advice that might fit in this category.  I searched and couldn't find anything and I doubt it deserves a new thread:

I'm retyping a script for Grease for my use.  IThe original is a Samuel French script so all the text is crammed together and there are no spaces. 

This will be my prompt script and then a new clean copy will be used for my calling script.

I would like to keep the pages consistent with the original as I type in Word but there's no way that can happen.  There's too much text on one page for me to space it out properly.  I even went so far as to try to manipulate each individual page in an Excel document but while that fits it all on one page, the page is then slightly too small for me to deal with.

So, how do I pull this off?  I have many ideas but I figured I'd throw it out there and see if anyone else has some creative solutions.

stagemonkey

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Re: Creating a call script
« Reply #26 on: Aug 04, 2006, 02:40 pm »
Been there done that.  I think i said this in another thread somewhere but I'm not sure where.  I like retyping it cause yeah it lets you redo the spacing.  In my scripts I up my right margins to 2.5" to give plenty of room to write in cues, and then set the overall spacing to space and a half so I have room under the text to write blocking notation and such.  To solve the problem of keeping page numbers the same I ultimately put a little more work on myself but i know how the system works so its really no problem.   You type up a page of text from teh original script, when you reach the end of the page in word you can draw in a line to seperate the page then draw in a text box at the end of the line and you can put the page number in the box, so then you know everything under that line up to the next line is from whatever page number is in the box.  If you put the text box with the page number over into the larger right margin you can easily flip through pages and and once you see a number you know which way you have to go to find the page you want.  Granted you cant just look in the top right or bottom right corner of the page to see the number but it works for me.  Kinda looks like:


                                  |
text from page 34          |
                                  |
------------------------|------- 35
                                  |
text from page 35          |

where there is a box around the 35 and the verticle line of these things "|" is the margin.

If you want to see an actual example send me a private message and i can email you an excerpt from my script as if you see it it makes a lot more sense.

MatthewShiner

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Re: Creating a call script
« Reply #27 on: Aug 04, 2006, 04:51 pm »
When I do my script for calling - I keep the actor's page number on the bottom, and my page number at the top.

But seriously, how often do you say "let's pick up at the bottom of page 35" - you usually give a line and scene.  Besides a prop list, page numbers are rarely used - imho.

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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.

DavidA

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Re: Creating a call script
« Reply #28 on: Aug 04, 2006, 07:38 pm »
Hey, thanks.  My girlfriend (also a stage manager) has been trying to get me to do the above format presented by Stagemonkey for some time and I've always resisted.  Actually, I figured this way was the best way to go.



I also really like the idea of page numbers on the top and bottom, Matthew.  I use page numbers often, especially on straight plays and newer works.  I find that actors want a page number to get them to the right spot.  This summer I would say, "Scene II.3" and I would be met with collective blank stares, even though I had provided them with a detailed scene breakdown.

Thanks again, guys.

Froggy

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Re: Creating a call script
« Reply #29 on: Aug 16, 2006, 12:44 am »
Being based in England call scripts are so standardised that I don't dare to do it on computer even though I would like to. (Script goes on the left hand page and the right hand page has a number of columns; lighting cues in the left hand one; sound in the next; other cues in the next and blocking in the last. Everything is in pencil with no colour or highlighting.)

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