Author Topic: TECH: Paper Tech  (Read 15295 times)

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loebtmc

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Paper Tech
« Reply #15 on: Mar 01, 2005, 01:01 pm »
I have paper tech'd at all kinds of union houses - LORT, HAT, SPT, TYA, URTA, etc - and I never came from nor dealt w folks out of university (well, except my one URTA experience) - no it isn't universal, but it had been more than 50% of the time for me - and I do a lot in the smaller houses out in the regions - tho I will say that Sacramento Theater Co didn't do one....

cuz it saves them time and money if the director and designers know what they each expect before we get to dry tech.  (And yes, it's one more non OT piece of the day the SM includes in our oh-so-huge bump - but it makes dry and wet techs so much easier.)

Kat

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Paper Tech
« Reply #16 on: Mar 07, 2005, 12:56 pm »
Thank you for the answer. I have done techs like that, but never heard that term..odd. Have a good one!! ~Kat
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gotracigo

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Re: TECH: Paper Tech
« Reply #17 on: Mar 20, 2012, 11:51 am »
I was just back-reading this thread since I left a meeting this morning where we scheduled a paper tech.  I know it's uncommon outside of University settings, so I'm just unclear as to why we, as University theatre programs, continue to do them.  We should be teaching Stage Managers to glean information from the rehearsal process and communicate them to the design team, and we should be preparing SM's to work quickly and synthesize multiple pieces of information into a cueing sequence. Right?

I'm frustrated by the amount of time designers think they need for paper tech, and am trying to gauge if I'm having an unreasonable response to their requests.  When I stage managed professionally, there was never the time or money to make this happen, so I'm interested in hearing people's opinions:

Are paper techs desirable and useful in all environments, and it's the luxury of the University setting which allows for them, and therefore I should support it and foster it and get on board for however long they might take?

Or, since paper techs are not common in professional settings, is it better to eliminate them in University settings so as not to train SM's into that false sense of security of having time to discuss each cue?

I would *love* other SM's and PM's feedback.  Thanks.
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loebtmc

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Re: TECH: Paper Tech
« Reply #18 on: Mar 20, 2012, 12:17 pm »
Paper techs are used most often when a dry tech isn't gonna happen - it's a chance for director and LD/SD to discuss where and when each of them sees or specifically wants to see things. No, it isn't universal, but it is done professionally and, even when not done, it's useful as a prep for the SM to do it themselves since we've been in the rehearsal and know where the director has said things like "light shift" or "underscore" that sometimes isn't obvious or hasn't been translated to the designer.

gotracigo

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Re: TECH: Paper Tech
« Reply #19 on: Mar 20, 2012, 12:25 pm »
Well, I guess if it is even done sometimes professionally, then it's a good thing to expose students to.  We don't do a dry tech here, so maybe this takes the place of that. 

In your experience, about how long does a paper tech take?
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hbelden

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Re: TECH: Paper Tech
« Reply #20 on: Mar 20, 2012, 04:42 pm »
It's also training for director and designers, at the university level.  The only reason paper techs aren't often done at the professional level is because the professionals know they need to do the work even if there isn't a set-aside time for it.  Sometimes university directors and designers haven't forced themselves to do the detailed planning that tech requires, and paper tech forces that to happen.

Almost always I do a version of a paper tech all by myself, collating the cue sheets from sound and lights and what I know of the shifts. 

When I've done paper techs with the creative team in the past, they have ranged from 2-3 hours per act, depending on the complexity of the show.  If possible, I've split the paper tech over two days.  I've only done them for complicated shows, not generally for Chekhov or Wilde.
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gotracigo

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Re: TECH: Paper Tech
« Reply #21 on: Mar 20, 2012, 04:59 pm »
Thanks, hbelden.  This is a really useful perspective.  I hadn't thought about the idea that paper tech creates a deadline for technical elements to be determined and / or decided upon.

I also really appreciate your perspective on the time paper techs take.   It's so helpful to hear others' experiences.  Thanks. 
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loebtmc

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Re: TECH: Paper Tech
« Reply #22 on: Mar 20, 2012, 07:59 pm »
I can usually get a whole play done in about 3-4 hrs or so - director and designers sit down and get it done.

missliz

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Re: TECH: Paper Tech
« Reply #23 on: Mar 20, 2012, 11:51 pm »
I've done paper techs for technically-complex shows and shows that are part of a festival (those terrible timed techs where you don't have NEARLY as much time as you need) and can usually get them done in a couple hours. I wasn't aware they were mostly a university thing...I was introduced to them by a SM I was working under in a LORT house.
I personally would like to bring a tortoise onto the stage, turn it into a racehorse, then into a hat, a song, a dragon and a fountain of water. One can dare anything in the theatre and it is the place where one dares the least. -Ionesco

Bwoodbury

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Re: TECH: Paper Tech
« Reply #24 on: Mar 23, 2012, 10:25 pm »
Usually I dry tech or paper tech at best. Often I will, as hbelden does, paper tech on my own, with cues I have questions about noted. Sometimes I can wrap up the 'paper tech,' read: get my questions about the cue sheets answered during costume half hour. Addressing each cue, at least myself,  before the start of tech is something that I think is really important for my process.

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