Author Topic: Prompt books: Prompt Book Help  (Read 9652 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

w103bpb

  • Tourist
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Prompt books: Prompt Book Help
« on: Oct 18, 2006, 10:30 am »
How much space should I leave in the margins of my script to allow for cues and and other notations?
« Last Edit: Feb 11, 2008, 01:05 pm by PSMKay »

MatthewShiner

  • Forum Moderators
  • *****
  • Posts: 2477
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, SMA
  • Current Gig: PSM THE LION KING NORTH AMERICAN TOUR; Assc Director and Production Supervisor HUNCHBACK International
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Prompt Book Help
« Reply #1 on: Oct 18, 2006, 10:47 am »
I leave 1.5-2 inches usually.  But I write big.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 467
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, AGMA, SMA, USITT
  • Current Gig: Freelance SM in Denver
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Prompt Book Help
« Reply #2 on: Oct 18, 2006, 11:02 am »
I'm about the same as Matthew as far as "for cues".

As for "and other notations"...if you mean blocking, I'm sure there are lots of other threads on here as to how to even take it.  I tend to write a number in the script and have the blocking written on the opposite (blank) page.  So no other real space needed on the script page or in a margin.  And I'm one of those who doesn't have a separate blocking script (usually) - the script is on my left page and the blocking (since I'm right-handed) on the right.  So when reading left to right the very first things you see are the cues.

Now I do often create a margin space on the side of the page opposite my cues (usually near the rings of the binder) for things that happen backstage, so I can remember to doublecheck how that's going if it's a tight cue for them, especially during tech.

And margins at the top and bottom of the page for cues (unless there are so many that they simply get their own page of the script - seems the biggest chunk of cues happens when you're running out of room in the script!) or notes to "TURN PAGE!" for a quick cue on the next...

Erin

addrury

  • Tourist
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Prompt Book Help
« Reply #3 on: Oct 31, 2006, 09:33 pm »
something else that you can do, instead of writing in the margins to begin with, is to use post-its. this is just because designers and directors change their minds all the time. it's a lot easier to move a piece of paper that to rewrite a whole bunch of cues when they decide to change something in the middle of the show. then the night of the last tech, you can actually write the cues in. just a suggestion.

rayeelynn

  • Tourist
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Prompt Book Help
« Reply #4 on: Nov 02, 2006, 10:25 am »
I recently worked on a show where the director was continually changing blocking.  He was changed blocking right up until dress rehearsal.  This created a real problem both for me and for the lighting designer because the changes weren't simple things like a step to the left or right.  These were major changes from one side of the stage to the other.  Each night I had to redo the blocking notes for whatever scene we had finished working and then immediately notifiy the LD about the changes.  How do you deal with something like that?

Aerial

  • SM Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 199
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, SMA
  • Current Gig: The Winter's Tale, Gamm Theatre
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Prompt Book Help
« Reply #5 on: Nov 02, 2006, 09:07 pm »
I usually use a margin of 1 to 1 1/2 inches, on the right, but I write small.  In conjunction with what smejs said about margins on the top and bottom, I've found that the pages where you really, really want a large top margin is the first page of the script, and if there is one, the first page of the second act.  You usually end up with more cues when you're starting out sections.  Likewise, you'll want a larger bottom margin on the last pages of section.  Just what I've found.


smejs

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 467
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, AGMA, SMA, USITT
  • Current Gig: Freelance SM in Denver
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Prompt Book Help
« Reply #6 on: Nov 02, 2006, 10:37 pm »
Quote
Each night I had to redo the blocking notes for whatever scene we had finished working and then immediately notifiy the LD about the changes.  How do you deal with something like that?

As far as keeping major blocking changes in my book....I keep blank copies of my blocking page available (I have the script on one side, use a numbering system, and have a blocking page with minigroundplans at the top on the other).  I can quickly just add another whole page on TOP of the previous one in the script if needed quickly (then you only have to redo the numbers).  And I will often cut the bottom corner of the "old" page so that I can continue to use the script page on the opposite side of it that might still be correct.  If I train myself to always turn pages from the bottom corner of the script, I won't grab that one that's been cut away.  I know some stage managers who do their entire script from the beginning with cut corners like this, and never actually doubleside the script...it's always EITHER a page of script or blocking, with blank on the other side.  I find this a waste of paper, but use the same concept for adding in fresh blocking pages.  Hope this make sense.

Erin

cljoycejon

  • Tourist
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Prompt Book Help
« Reply #7 on: Nov 02, 2006, 11:06 pm »
I'm a student at the University of Southern Indiana and taking a class in SM. My professor Shan Jensen
suggests to our class to use 3-ring binder to be able to add sheets when necessary. In addition, it would be also helpful to use the back of the previous page to take notes for the corresponding page.

smejs

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 467
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, AGMA, SMA, USITT
  • Current Gig: Freelance SM in Denver
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Prompt Book Help
« Reply #8 on: Nov 02, 2006, 11:55 pm »
Quote
...My professor...suggests to our class to use 3-ring binder to be able to add sheets when necessary.In addition, it would be also helpful to use the back of the previous page to take notes for the corresponding page.

Yes, the back of my script page IS the blocking page.  Though, unlike I think you're saying, I tend to put my script on the left-hand side of the binder...so it's the back of the NEXT script page (not the previous), and as a right-handed person I can have an entire page to scribble blocking without running my wrist into the rings of the binder.  And yes, all in a three-ring binder.  I think that might just be about the one thing everyone on this board agrees on, that a 3-ring binder is the way to go.  Now, we've had whole other discussions about D-ring or regular, locking or not, and how thick and how many....(do a search to find those discussions if you need to)...but almost definitely 3-ring.  Of course, we are stage managers, so I'm sure we'll even find a differing opinion on that.  ;D

Erin

Mac Calder

  • Forum Moderators
  • *****
  • Posts: 967
  • Gender: Male
  • Plan for the future, live for the now
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: Live Performance Australia / Media Arts and Entertainment Alliance
  • Current Gig: Technical Director
  • Experience: Former SM
Re: Prompt Book Help
« Reply #9 on: Nov 03, 2006, 04:36 am »
I am also a member of the three/four ring binder club (although recently I have found myself being forced into using 2 ring lever arch binders), however I don't use the back of any pages. I put a white page between each page in the script for blocking/notes/et al. All it means is I have to turn two pages instead of one.

TechieWench

  • Tourist
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Prompt Book Help
« Reply #10 on: Nov 03, 2006, 11:54 am »
Yes, the back of my script page IS the blocking page.

I did that originally, but since I discovered the wonder of post-it gluesticks, I've taken to attaching separate pieces of notebook paper to the back of the page so that if something happens to it or I erase so much that the page rips, I can unstick it and replace it with a fresh piece of paper without replacing any pages of actual script.

Maribeth

  • Superstar!
  • *****
  • Posts: 1014
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA
  • Experience: Former SM
Re: Prompt Book Help
« Reply #11 on: Nov 03, 2006, 03:16 pm »
...however I don't use the back of any pages. I put a white page between each page in the script for blocking/notes/et al. All it means is I have to turn two pages instead of one.

I put a separate blocking page in as well, and (as I learned from another SM), if you cut a small corner off of the blocking page, it makes it that much easier to turn the page. Sort of the samething Erin mentioned. Keep extra blocking pages so it's easy to replace the blocking page if you need to, and less fumbling around when turning pages.

tattie

  • Tourist
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Prompt Book Help
« Reply #12 on: Nov 03, 2006, 06:00 pm »
its very useful to put long strips of paper like book marks inbetween pages where u need to send for an actor or cue an actor..cause that way u can take this book mark out and hand it to an assistant silently and they kno who to go get....but this method really sux if u have to many cues and ur bok marks fall out..tattie

KC_SM_0807

  • SM Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 118
    • View Profile
    • http://
Re: Prompt Book Help
« Reply #13 on: Nov 04, 2006, 07:02 pm »
I have a separate blocking/notes sheet on the opposite side of the script page where I write all blocking, costume notes, props notes, etc.  It makes things so much easier instead of scribbling all over your script.
"Perhaps, therefore, Stage Managers not only need to be calm and meticulous professionals who know their craft, but masochists who feel pride in rising above impossible odds."

BalletPSM

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 226
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA
  • Current Gig: Stage Management Faculty at Baylor University
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Prompt Book Help
« Reply #14 on: Nov 10, 2006, 09:20 am »
Quote
Each night I had to redo the blocking notes for whatever scene we had finished working and then immediately notifiy the LD about the changes.  How do you deal with something like that?

Tell the director that tech is tech and blocking is done -- unless there are SERIOUS problems you discover in the transfer from rehearsal hall to stage, the blocking should be finished.  Except as you say for minor changes, like needing to adjust a step because there are no fixtures that will throw a special to a location on stage or something.  Good luck. 

Stage managing is getting to do everything your mom told you not to do - read in the dark, sit too close to the TV, and play with the light switches!

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
0 Replies
12747 Views
Last post Jan 05, 2011, 07:30 pm
by Rebbe
7 Replies
4366 Views
Last post Sep 05, 2013, 09:10 pm
by loebtmc
7 Replies
3934 Views
Last post Mar 17, 2014, 12:54 am
by Branden

riotous