Author Topic: TECH: Paper Tech  (Read 14758 times)

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Isis

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TECH: Paper Tech
« on: Feb 14, 2005, 07:50 pm »
has anyone run one of these and what is the best way, I have to run one a week on wednesday and I am quite nervous.
« Last Edit: Jun 08, 2009, 10:18 pm by PSMKay »

MatthewShiner

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paper tech
« Reply #1 on: Feb 14, 2005, 08:09 pm »
basically, start at the top and discuss and book all the cues and major cueing sequence.  Try not to get bogged too much in specifics, as a lot when change when you start the actual tech.  I like to have my entire staff there as well (aka, assistants), so they can start working on thier runbooks as well.
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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.

loebtmc

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Paper Tech
« Reply #2 on: Feb 15, 2005, 02:32 pm »
I am a huge fan of paper techs. I usually make an initial run myself, asking myself where I think cues belong, since sometimes the other dept heads have overlooked things or forgotten to add in items from rehearsal notes. Keeping in mind that nothing is locked in stone, I use my beloved post-it flags and color code lights, sound, FX (which include manual sound cues like doorbells and phones, that I usually end up doing), rail cues when they exist, gags, etc - and then I listen as we meet and when we get to places I have notes they don't, I ask.

And the huge chunk of time saved in tech is enormous in so many ways - between the paper and the dry tech, my LD can do light-overs, my sound guy can start plotting levels and so forth - so when we get to 10-out-of-12s we have eliminated a whole mess 'o unnecessary time -
« Last Edit: Aug 29, 2010, 02:32 am by loebtmc »

MatthewShiner

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To Paper Tech or Not Paper Tech
« Reply #3 on: Feb 15, 2005, 11:16 pm »
I find the more I work, doing a Paper Tech rarely happens - when could I possibly get all my designers in the same room at the same, heck, I can't get them in the same city before tech.

But, during rehearsal, I right the cues in as mentioned, and I plot out transitions and paper tech them myself (putting sections in order).  That is a huge time saver as well for tech, that doesn't require anyone else.
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jspeaker

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Paper Tech
« Reply #4 on: Feb 16, 2005, 02:03 pm »
More often than not I have found paper tech ususally revolves around the lighting designer.  Most of mine have been the director, the LD and myself sitting and writing the show before we start tech the next day.

I also use paper/dry tech to run the scene shifts like crazy so they are nearly spotless by the director sees them.
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benthehack

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Paper Tech
« Reply #5 on: Feb 17, 2005, 01:09 am »
Paper techs are beautiful things for getting the foundations of lighting down, which saves everyone time and nerves during tech day. As well, if the crew is not familiar with the theatre, having the lighting and or sound cues completed allows for time on set changes.

If you are doing a musical, use the CD to pace the show in some places.

smejs

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Paper Tech
« Reply #6 on: Feb 18, 2005, 01:08 am »
Guess I just feel like throwing in my two cents, for anyone who's never done either a paper or dry tech....in my experience a paper tech is just talking it through, on paper...with any and all designers and the director and yourself.  Done it sometimes just me and LD, sometimes just me and director...great if you can have more, of course.  And a dry tech can be all technical elements without the actors...or sometimes just scene shifts.  But I've never done a paper tech with anything onstage, just people sitting at a table talking.  Regardless, if you have a chance to do ANY of these things, it of course makes tech with the actors go smoother...

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Paper Tech
« Reply #7 on: Feb 19, 2005, 12:21 am »
Me too - my experience is that a paper tech is just the director and me + the LD and when possible the SD - dry tech is all the maneuvering, setting light and sound cues and levels, running set shifts etc but without the actors (and I always ask my onstage bodies to wear colors in the costume palate for the LD's sake) and then finally there is the wet tech, which is with actors. That's the language I learned, but sometimes folks look at me funny when I say dry tech/wet tech, and I have had two places where they call their first tech day (which includes all the pieces including actors) the dry tech.

FallenRain

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Paper Tech
« Reply #8 on: Feb 26, 2005, 03:33 am »
I haven't seen too many professional theatres willing to cough up the money to provide the staff to spend any significant amount of time dry teching.  I get one regular rehearsal onstage (which is mostly a spacing rehearsal to adjust the blocking to the realities of the set) and then we start our 10 out of 12s the next day.  We get an hour of "shared time" before half hour is called for the shops to finish up their work and for the crew to prep the stage and figure things out.  If something is very complex, we'll push for more shift rehearsal time the morning of the first 10 out of 12.  If something is very very complex, then a select dry tech might be added to rehearse technical elements.  But even then, you don't want to have your crew, your board ops, etc. sitting there idle while you hold a conference with the designers to figure out where they think cues should go... you should have an idea of what should happen going into this tech or else you're wasting time and money.

It is much more likely that the SM will sit down with the Lighting Des., Sound Des, and the Director (all of whom are paid lump sums, and the SM usually doesn't go into OT doing this) to talk thru the show.

MatthewShiner

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Paper Tech vs Dry Tech vs Wet Tech
« Reply #9 on: Feb 26, 2005, 12:58 pm »
Yes, Paper tech is an odd thing - you don't do it outside the college or university setting all that often.  Not many designers in the LORT world have a lot a patience for this.

Now, I do sit down with my team and Paper Tech the show among my people - basically work on the run book - and that is done long before we step into the theatre.  So, basically I paper tech the show.  As far as putting cues into my book - I find that even just copying the rehearsal cues into my calling script is sometimes a waste of time, as when the whole gang gets together and starts to work on it together, everything changes - spacing, concepts, sound cues . . . etc.

Dry tch is also something that doesn't happen at too many LORT theatres, or at least none I have worked at.  Since the actors and SM are avaialable at the same time, most directors are loathed to loose actor time for crew to work on the show.  Sad really, since we could probably run the entire show in 8 hours, work out all the bugs and kinks, etc.  But most directors won't give up that stage time.  Again, so many things change with actors.

Now, oddly, when I was working on JANE EYRE at the La Jolla Playhouse, we did do a version of dry tech.  But this was a show that was huge.  (I think between the SM team we did about 20 model presentations of the show going through scene be scene with the model all the changes  . . . we got really good at it.)  The show was huge, the technology new, and the money being spent on it vast - it was worth the expense and time to make sure everyone was on the same page.

I think in a dream world, I would love to have all my designers see the show before tech, then sit down and discuss everything as we paper tech the show, give me and my crew 8 hours to dry tech the entire show, and the move into the space and work it all with the actors.  That, my friends, is a dream world.
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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.

smejs

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Paper Tech
« Reply #10 on: Feb 26, 2005, 02:07 pm »
Quote
I think in a dream world, I would love to have all my designers see the show before tech, then sit down and discuss everything as we paper tech the show, give me and my crew 8 hours to dry tech the entire show, and the move into the space and work it all with the actors. That, my friends, is a dream world.


But it's a very NICE dream!

I remember being amazed the first time I found out a designer wouldn't see a runthrough.  Seems lately it's the sound designer.  Sound is often never given the importance it deserves...especially in this day of such amplification.  Entertainment Design just had a great article about someone who had done mixing for bands and did not realize the difference between that and theatrical musicals.  ... but I digress....

Erin

Debo123

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Re: paper techs are...
« Reply #11 on: Feb 27, 2005, 10:55 am »
Quote from: "scoot"
...a waste of time.  College and Uni's spend far too much time focusing on something that most professional theatres do not do.  Focus on learning how to run an actual dry tech (which is sometimes confused with "paper" tech).


Alright, so I'm a college SM right now. We just changed our tech schedule this past season with the goal of making it more similar to a professional schedule (while still maintaining the educational setting goodness). Currently the process tends to follow this series of events:

Pre tech (that is, pre moving from rehearsal in to the space)- designers may come and watch a run; a run may be videotaped for a designer as well, crew may come and watch a run through

Shift rehearsal and paper techs- we have a shift rehearsal with the crew for four hours and the director can also use that time to have a last rehearsal with the cast (in our building it's pretty easy for the SM/ASM to bounce between the theater and rehearsal room as necessary, and the director knows they dont have full SM support that night and it's fine). Granted, if the actors are shifting, then they practice the shifts that night as well. At some point in the last week of rehearsals, pre-space, the SM sits down with the SD and LD (not necessarily together, whenever one has time) and finds out the general gist of cue numbers/letters and their placements

Tech- I guess it's technically wet tech, if wet implies actors- this is the night after the shift rehearsal where we start at the top of the show with presets and continue on through the show, cue by cue, to post show settings. We have actors there as we need them, and for the most part they are good, patient, gentle beings. After a few evenings, we have a 10/12 and add costumes and hopefully we're running the show at that point. A few nights more and then we preview and then open.

Can someone advise me as to what I ought to be learning to do that I am not? How accurate is this procedure? Am I getting the experiences I need in order to make the leap from university to the real world?

(FYI, this is the schedule of the theater dept, which is mainly MFA actors, some ugrad actors, MFA designers, a resident sound designer, faculty directors and undergraduate stage managers)

lejenna

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Re: paper techs are...
« Reply #12 on: Feb 27, 2005, 01:44 pm »
Quote from: "scoot"
...a waste of time.  College and Uni's spend far too much time focusing on something that most professional theatres do not do.  Focus on learning how to run an actual dry tech (which is sometimes confused with "paper" tech).


Maybe it's just that most of the director's I've worked with all come from the University, but I still find that the paper tech is an important element of the tech procedure.  It's usually done the day before the first tech rehearsal, and is attended by myself, the director, and the lighting designer.  It's hooray for me because I get to stay up all night reorganizing my damn prompt book (which reminds me, I'm thinking up a new system for that).  

I have to say, though, that there is a certain amount of flow that happens when you go from paper tech to dry tech to wet tech.  I worked a renegade circus show that had three dress rehearsals in a row which *should* have been dry tech, wet tech, dress but they had other ideas about how a production should be managed.  I think it all depends on the director and their style.... and their organization. ;)

I don't think that paper techs are a waste of time though... I'm trying to conceptualize how else you would get your cues.  Do you meet with designers on the side?  That might go so much faster since the director often just gets in the way... er, I mean, has a change of vision...

Kat

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Paper Tech
« Reply #13 on: Mar 01, 2005, 08:24 am »
I am an undergrad SM and have never heard the term 10/12. Can someone please tell me what that is? Thanks!!!
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MatthewShiner

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responses
« Reply #14 on: Mar 01, 2005, 11:51 am »
10 out of 12 is a term for a rehearsal day, done during tech, where we tech for 10 hours out of 12 hours.

So, that is if you start tech at noon and midnight, and then take a 2 hour meal break.

Also, for those preparing for the real world, Equity does not allow you to videotape a run thru for a designer who is not present.  If you want to do it, you have to get a concession from Equity.

*** CONTRACTS ARE CHANGING TO NOW ALLOW THE VIDEO TAPING FOR THIS PURPOSE - yeah AEA for keeping up with technology ***
« Last Edit: Apr 06, 2011, 01:43 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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