Author Topic: PROMPT BOOK: Your Prompt Book - Left or Right?  (Read 59477 times)

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prizm

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PROMPT BOOK: Your Prompt Book - Left or Right?
« on: Oct 27, 2005, 02:54 am »
OK so Ive been out there a while doing my thing and Ive always kida been the only one. I am not working at a LORT theatre which has belive it or not a Stage Managment Staff, people with whom I can share and commiserate. One of the catches with this situation is we end up ASMing each other. So I have had the oppertunity to see their books and now I wonder am I the oddball or them. I have only been here a few months so Im still settling but I have see the book of everyone on staff now and They All have ther books set up with text on the left side and blocking pages on the right. I can see how this would help with blocking but for cueing I think it would totally mess with my head. I asked they said there was no Company standars its just what they do. So I wanted to see what the you guys do.
text left or right?
« Last Edit: Jun 09, 2009, 02:19 am by PSMKay »

Mac Calder

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Your book Left or right?
« Reply #1 on: Oct 27, 2005, 04:01 am »
I have always placed it on the right hand side. I agree - I think that the calling is far more important than the blocking and a persons eyes naturally fall onto the right hand page before the left when they turn a page (unless held up and the person is doing reading, that is different)

There are reasons for and against both. I have seen some people who have it landscape, blocking at the bottom, script at the top. I have no idea how they call from it though.

giabow

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Your book Left or right?
« Reply #2 on: Oct 27, 2005, 07:06 am »
I do text on the right because I'm right handed.  I find that I have to write blocking faster than I have to write in cues.  Its neater if I put the blocking on the right since thats where my hand is anyway. (Its also the way I was taught to do it, though I've tried it both ways.)

Since I've been doing it this way for so long, I don't find it confusing to look to the left for my cues.

Sarah

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I Go Both Ways...
« Reply #3 on: Oct 27, 2005, 12:03 pm »
I've tried it with blocking pages on the right and on the left, but prefer my cues to be on the right. That said, it depends on what the show is, and what my mood is like when I make my script for my book. Eh...flexibility is good...

RuthNY

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Your book Left or right?
« Reply #4 on: Oct 27, 2005, 12:11 pm »
Hmmm..  

Personally, my blocking book has text on the left hand side page and mini-ground plans and blocking on the right hand page (because I am right handed.)

But, I make a second script for calling, with the text on the right and a big margin on the right of the page for the cues.  I've used a separate calling script for years and have never found it a requirement or even a convenience to have blocking and calling in the same script.
"Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you."
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jspeaker

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Your book Left or right?
« Reply #5 on: Oct 27, 2005, 12:41 pm »
I'm with Ruth.

I have always done a seperate call script.  Particularly if its a musical because I do not take blocking notes in the score but I ALWAYS call the show from the score.

I have my text on the right and my minis on the left.  Its just easier for me to follow the lines and the blocking at the same time if its all on the same page.  I've tried it other ways but they just dont work for me.

Thats the main thing... What works for you??
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hbelden

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simplify
« Reply #6 on: Oct 27, 2005, 02:13 pm »
I've been on a mission to cut down on the time I spend working outside of rehearsal - that's a main reason I keep the text on the right and the blocking on the left.  I want to use the same script the rest of the company has, so that when we're running off twelve copies of the new scene 5A, I don't need to say either to myself or an ASM "oh, and three-hole punch one of them on the right side instead, and reverse the page order".  I'll even work with a double-sided script or score if I have to.
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ORTaurean

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Your book Left or right?
« Reply #7 on: Oct 27, 2005, 02:44 pm »
I'm with Heath on this one.  Easier for all concerned.  I am left handed and have tried both ways.  I do find it easier to write my blocking on the left had side for my calling script.  I also add a arger margin in my calling script to the far right so I can easily see my cues.
Acting is standing up naked and turning around very slowly.
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MatthewShiner

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Calling Script
« Reply #8 on: Oct 27, 2005, 08:41 pm »
I do have my script on the left, and take blocking on the right.

I keep it the same way for the calling script, and my reason is that is how we read the cue . . .

for example


LX 16 ----------------------To be or (NOT) to be


You read LX 16 and thn your eye keeps tracking and you call the "GO" on NOT.

I just think for ease of eye tracking this works more natural for reading, as opposed to.


To be or (NOT) to be -------------------- LX 16

Your eye has to dart to the cue number read that, and then dart back to the cue word.

That is my rational in putting the cues on the left side of the script page on the left side of the binder.

But, I have been doing it that way for almost 15 years now, so now, it is the only way that "feels right".  You have to find what works for you.

(And, given the arguement that if someone has to call off it, it's difficult . . . I have found when passing off the show, it is no more difficult then the script laid out the other way.)
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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.

Mac Calder

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Your book Left or right?
« Reply #9 on: Oct 27, 2005, 11:07 pm »
Since I have my script in the right hand column of the right hand page and my cues in the left hand column of the right hand page I don't get what you mean. The way the blocking and script relate have nothing to do with how the cues are placed on the page... that is another matter entirely.

Code: [Select]

Script/cues on right blocking on left

+-------------++--------------+
| (1) a x dsl | | LX1__ asdad |
| (2) b x usl | | SD1   ffdsff|
| (3) a x dsc | |       asdas |
+-------------++--------------+

Script/cues on left blocking on right

+-------------++--------------+
| LX1__asdad  | | (1) a x dsl |
| SD1 ffdsff  | | (2) b x usl |
|      asdas  | | (3) a x dsc |
+-------------++--------------+

MatthewShiner

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ahhh
« Reply #10 on: Oct 27, 2005, 11:27 pm »
MC - good point.

But I have never seen someone with the script on the right side of the binder with the cues on the left side of the script before.  (I imagine it would be hard to write cues with the rings of the binder in the way.)

I just assumed, and incorrectly so, that a script on the right side of the binder would have the cues on the right side.  My apologies.
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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.

amylee

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Your book Left or right?
« Reply #11 on: Oct 28, 2005, 09:11 am »
this is funny- in my most recent show, everyone commented on how "weird" it was that I punch my script backwards, putting the text on the left LOL

I also make two different scripts - one for blocking, planning and notes, and a new, "clean and pretty" one to call from, that doesn't include blocking or prop notes (unless dealing with props is one of my jobs or if I discover a need to remind the run crew of something)

The other habit I have that seems to be oddball is that I don't use columns to separate light, sound and other tech cues. Instead, I surround the cue numbers with circles, squares and triangles, respectively, and then I re-write the word or action where the GO happens.

When there's time, I give a brief reminder of where "GO" is expected, for example, I might say "standby lights 25 and sound G, they'll be together on John's exit" - I suspect that I'm a good bit more conversational than is usual, but I don't know for sure. Literally all of my crew positions have been off-headset, or in a situation where the communication was an intercom, so there weren't individual cue calls, just signposts and emergencies.
amy lee
:)  :(

Mac Calder

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Your book Left or right?
« Reply #12 on: Oct 28, 2005, 09:36 am »
It is all personal style - I dont have separate columns either. LX cues above the line, everything else below. Go's are boxed, SB's proceded by SB.

ie:
Code: [Select]

SB LX1
-------------------------
   SD1

+-----+
| LX1 |
+-----+-------------------

+-----+--------------------
| SD1 |
+-----+

+---------+
| LX2 3 4 |
+---------+--------------
| SD3     |
| RC1     |
+---------+

ERK

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Your book Left or right?
« Reply #13 on: Oct 28, 2005, 10:50 pm »
I have, in the past, had the text (usually resized to allow for ample margins) on the right hand side.  On the reverse side of each page, I have the ground plan on the top (in musicals I have 2 ground plans side by side) and numbers at the bottom.  

When I take blocking, I write a number above the word at which the action happens and then write the movement on the line that corresponds to the number.  When I put cues in, they usually go on the right-hand side of the text page, since the rings get in the way.

I might change this for an upcoming production and see if I like the text on the left.  Considering that I am right handed and the rings do sometimes get in the way when I take blocking on the left, I wonder if I'd like it better if it was set up like Matthew's.

Also, I always use the same book throughout the production because often cues are called on a movement rather than a word.  Since actors can sometimes forget their lines I prefer to be able to refer to the blocking.  If I decide to call from the score, I usually insert it in my book just before or after the page that I need to call the cue from and I write a reminder to myself in the script.

Interesting discussion.  I think it proves there's no right or wrong way to put your book together; just whatever makes life easiest for you for that production.

thesteff

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I'm with Ruth
« Reply #14 on: Oct 29, 2005, 09:27 am »
I am also with Ruth . . . I much prefer to have separate scripts for blocking and calling, so I do blocking on the right.  I also make sure to write my cues in the calling script in bright colors (the ones you can still see as bright colors under blue light) so that the stand out.
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