Author Topic: PROMPT BOOK: Running Book  (Read 4057 times)

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RuthNY

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PROMPT BOOK: Running Book
« on: Jun 09, 2008, 12:28 am »
OK--the quote below is a snip from another thread, but I thought I'd use it as a jumping off point for a new topic.

Matt, you've mentioned your "running book" (which any member of your staff can write in) several times in your posts.  Please explain the concept for those of us who have never created such an animal and, if you will, explain what takes place at your run book meeting (including at what point in the process this meeting takes place.)  I think it would be illuminating!

Ruth


It's just a mini-ground plan with details.

This is what I use to communicate with Scenic and Lighting designers, and hand out to crew.

I can always hook up a projector and use it to talk through crew heads during run book meeting.


Posted on: June 08, 2008, 04:02:22 PM
Toast is a CD burning software - great to run off multiple rehearsal cds.
« Last Edit: Jun 09, 2009, 02:18 am by PSMKay »
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MatthewShiner

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Re: Running Book
« Reply #1 on: Jun 09, 2008, 10:17 am »
Well, the back story is I work on pretty big classical theatre pieces (although I have done this a lot when I used to do musicals, which seems like a whole life ago.)  This is a non-union crew situation.

We meet the last week in the rehearsal process, my staff and the run crew chief and the prop crew chief with Pizza or Chinese food - we usually plan on 2 hours.  Ideally, this is right after the crew has seen a run - but sometimes that gods are not happy and we can't schedule it that way.

I had out my scene by scene and the run book (which goes by many names - but it's the backstage run crew assignments - which is every prop move, every entrance by an actor, every scene change, quick changes, all the fire tracking, all the blood tracking, all the rail moves, all the automation crew . . . everything.)  We go through the show scene by scene and go over the major set changes, blood issues, and tricky spots  (Like crew member B will have to RUN from the trap run to the fly rail in about half-a-page . . .).  It brings the crew up to speed and we can problem solve before we actually get to the theatre.  We also work on any backstage storage issues here.  It can also allow the automation person to get a jump on programming a rough version of automation.

When I am calling a big show, I can't really get into the nitty gritty of how the backstage is run  - so, this is really my last time to take the time and discuss specifics of backstage life. 

The whole meeting is probably 90% of me or my assistants downloading information and 10% discussion.  I do find it very interesting because sometimes, even from the team being in the room during rehearsal, when we go over this for the crew, some aspect of the change will become clear ("I never knew that's when that was going to fly in.")

I know it sounds like a pain, and probably a needless meeting to some, but at the end of the day, if it saves 2 hours of tech time and added stress, it's worth it to take the time to go over all this outside of the tech time.


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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.

Aerial

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Re: Running Book
« Reply #2 on: Jun 09, 2008, 10:59 pm »
I have found this to be useful from a backstage standpoint on a big show, even having been in the rehearsal room as PA.  We had a meeting like this on a large show last season, to coordinate all the backstage moves, the elevator, the slick trap and the Foy, and it was incredibly useful to get everyone on the same page.

SMeustace

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Re: Running Book
« Reply #3 on: Jan 06, 2014, 04:00 am »
Well, the back story is I work on pretty big classical theatre pieces (although I have done this a lot when I used to do musicals, which seems like a whole life ago.)  This is a non-union crew situation.

We meet the last week in the rehearsal process, my staff and the run crew chief and the prop crew chief with Pizza or Chinese food - we usually plan on 2 hours.  Ideally, this is right after the crew has seen a run - but sometimes that gods are not happy and we can't schedule it that way.

I had out my scene by scene and the run book (which goes by many names - but it's the backstage run crew assignments - which is every prop move, every entrance by an actor, every scene change, quick changes, all the fire tracking, all the blood tracking, all the rail moves, all the automation crew . . . everything.)  We go through the show scene by scene and go over the major set changes, blood issues, and tricky spots  (Like crew member B will have to RUN from the trap run to the fly rail in about half-a-page . . .).  It brings the crew up to speed and we can problem solve before we actually get to the theatre.  We also work on any backstage storage issues here.  It can also allow the automation person to get a jump on programming a rough version of automation.

When I am calling a big show, I can't really get into the nitty gritty of how the backstage is run  - so, this is really my last time to take the time and discuss specifics of backstage life. 

The whole meeting is probably 90% of me or my assistants downloading information and 10% discussion.  I do find it very interesting because sometimes, even from the team being in the room during rehearsal, when we go over this for the crew, some aspect of the change will become clear ("I never knew that's when that was going to fly in.")

I know it sounds like a pain, and probably a needless meeting to some, but at the end of the day, if it saves 2 hours of tech time and added stress, it's worth it to take the time to go over all this outside of the tech time.


Would you happen to have any example paperwork that you'd be willing to send me as a guide?
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MatthewShiner

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Re: PROMPT BOOK: Running Book
« Reply #4 on: Jan 06, 2014, 11:51 am »
Quote
Would you happen to have any example paperwork that you'd be willing to send me as a guide?

For a wide variety of reasons, I am hesitant to send out any example of paperwork . . . but I am sure other people might be willing to share . . .
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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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