Author Topic: CALLING: Rail cues  (Read 3426 times)

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RachaelBaciocco

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CALLING: Rail cues
« on: Jun 12, 2016, 03:03 pm »
Hi everyone!
Quick question. I'm working with rails for the first time and I'm not sure how to call them. I know you bring the rails in and take them out, so when you call the cues do you recommend saying stuff like "Standby Rail 5 In" and "Rail 5 Go", or do you think it's a waste of time to say if they're coming in or out? What have you found to be necessary when calling rails?


Edited to add topic tag- Maribeth
« Last Edit: Jun 17, 2016, 10:52 pm by Maribeth »
message me with any advice! =)

SMAshlee

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Re: Rail cues
« Reply #1 on: Jun 12, 2016, 03:35 pm »
Ideally, the operator should know which direction they are moving, but a reminder never hurt. If I have time to talk through the upcoming sequence at a standby, then yes, usually I'll say "Standby for Rail 5 out, Lights 15, and Deck shift for couch platform." But in the midst of actually calling the cue, especially if there are several other things happening at the same time, I'd just say "Rail Go."

However you decide to call it, make sure you're consistent.

iamchristuffin

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Re: Rail cues
« Reply #2 on: Jun 12, 2016, 07:53 pm »
N.B. In the UK, Rail=Flys

It depends what the flys staff need. Sometimes it's just a case of Standby Fly Q6....Fly Q6 Go. Sometimes it's much more descriptive, e.g. Standby Fly Q6 which is Full Black and Castle Gauze Out over 30 seconds.....Fly Q6 Go. That's normally for a one-off event show though, if there's any more than 'three' performances I'd expect Flys to work it out themselves, same as with any other department.

Cx

smejs

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Re: Rail cues
« Reply #3 on: Jun 14, 2016, 03:00 pm »
It does depend on the show. I've had some where you've got multiple cuelights for the flyrail, and you simply say stand by for Fly Cue 6 on Red and 7 on Blue, then run off the lights. And sometimes you have such simple shows, you say "Standby the Scrim Out" and Scrim Go. Slightly more complex shows might be "Standby the Shift" - and if time, the standby includes whatever details are necessary. It's whatever your crew needs...and what you have the time to say factors in too.

Actually, I'm more likely to use "Rail"...because "Flys" and "Lights" can sound similar. Let alone if you have "Mics" to call.

Post Merge: Jun 14, 2016, 03:03 pm
And after I replied, I noticed this "similar thread" linked at the bottom: http://smnetwork.org/forum/students-and-novice-stage-managers/calling-shows-calling-rail-cues/
« Last Edit: Jun 14, 2016, 03:03 pm by smejs »

iamchristuffin

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Re: Rail cues
« Reply #4 on: Jun 14, 2016, 05:26 pm »
Actually, I'm more likely to use "Rail"...because "Flys" and "Lights" can sound similar. Let alone if you have "Mics" to call.

I use 'LX' for Electrics and 'Sound' for Sound cues....never had to say 'Mics' before!

MatthewShiner

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Re: Rail cues
« Reply #5 on: Jun 15, 2016, 01:22 am »
Find out . . . often, rail is on cue light for a wide variety of reasons.

On busy shows, I wouldn't have time to call the direction.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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.

BenTheStageMan

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Re: CALLING: Rail cues
« Reply #6 on: Jun 20, 2016, 04:13 pm »
Depends on the show, and what your crew is used to working with.
I've done shows where the crew is fine with numbers, so they get called just like I would a light cue.  "Standby rail 5.  Rail, Go."
Sometimes I've had shows where we decided to forgo cue numbers.  Then it's "Standby to fly out the swag curtain.  Rail, Go."
I have personally never called it as "Stand by Swag Curtain out.  Swag Curtain, Go." but that's definitely an option.
My kingdom for a cue light, though.
"Show people are doomed!  Doomed to a life of booze...and pills...and heavy meals late at night!" -Judy, "Ruthless!"

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Re: CALLING: Rail cues
« Reply #7 on: Jun 21, 2016, 12:32 am »
I learned rail cues on a cue lite, and the first time I had to call them verbally it was a real trip, took a minute to fit it into my mouth along with what were always tied sound and light (and often spot) cues. Good to be ready for anything!

dance stage manager

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Re: CALLING: Rail cues
« Reply #8 on: Jun 21, 2016, 08:24 pm »
If you have a rail/fly cue with multiple moving pieces, your Head of Flys probably wants a longer warning than you would give for a lighting or sound cue if your fly system is manual.  They will take time to make sure an operator is on each lineset, remind them what the operation of the cue is (in/out, speed, co-ordination, spike colour, etc.).  As a default, I warn fly cues about 90 seconds before the anticipated cue, then say 'standing by on the rail' just before calling the cue/sequence, to indicate locks off the line(s).

BayAreaSM

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Re: CALLING: Rail cues
« Reply #9 on: Jun 30, 2016, 03:07 am »
If you have a rail/fly cue with multiple moving pieces, your Head of Flys probably wants a longer warning than you would give for a lighting or sound cue if your fly system is manual.  They will take time to make sure an operator is on each lineset, remind them what the operation of the cue is (in/out, speed, co-ordination, spike colour, etc.).  As a default, I warn fly cues about 90 seconds before the anticipated cue, then say 'standing by on the rail' just before calling the cue/sequence, to indicate locks off the line(s).


This was very much my experience in ballet as well. My ASM would build their rail cue sheets, make sure the Cue label matched my script along with everything that was moving at a particular time. We were working with IATSE and had a head Flyman, and he always wanted a standby at least 5 minutes out if there was a large gap between cues, or at least a minute for regularly-spaced cues. I also used cue lights and would remind him the color that went with each cue (which my ASM referenced in the Rail Cue Sheet). It's hard when you have only 2 colors available and it's a sequence with more than 2 rail moves in it, so you're flipping and resetting lights while calling other cues. Additionally, my Head Flyman wanted me to give the verbal "Rail A GO, Rail B GO" while flipping lights and calling everything else. His concern is that if one system failed (cue lights or headsets) he would have a backup to get the cue.

And, on the simpler rep piece programs, we may have no cues - it could all be MAIN GO, MAIN GO, MAIN GO. Because if it's in, you're going to take it out* and vice versa.

*Though as a side note, when working in Spain, I had to call Cerrado, Abierto, Sube or Abajo. It didn't matter if the Telon was already out, you had to tell it to come in. They would correct you or look at you weird if you didn't give them a direction. 

 

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