Author Topic: [FAQ] Electronic Prompt Copies  (Read 55695 times)

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J

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[FAQ] Electronic Prompt Copies
« on: Sep 16, 2005, 12:09 am »
I have an idea, but I'm not sure if it will work or not. I'd love to hear some feedback on it.  I'm wondering if it would be possible to use the COMMENT function in word to create a prompt book, or for that matter, a rehearsal blocking script?  The comment function would enter the comment wherever you wanted in the script, and then would put the comment you wanted off to the side, therefore you could do things as such:

A x L to couch  (for a blocking script)

OR

Standby LQ 17 (for a prompt script)

Has anyone ever tried this?  What was the outcome!?!?!

Thanks
Justin
« Last Edit: Jan 31, 2007, 08:00 am by Mac Calder »

YesItsKat

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Creating a prompt book in word...using comments for cues
« Reply #1 on: Sep 16, 2005, 03:20 am »
I haven't tried that, but it sounds like it might work.  I type all my scripts out in word so I can make them bigger and get bigger margins.  Plus it helps me get to know the piece a little better.  

If it works for you let me know.  My rehearsals start next week.

J

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Creating a prompt book in word...using comments for cues
« Reply #2 on: Sep 16, 2005, 09:50 am »
I messed with it a bit last night, adn the only problem is that when you add a comment, the comment box starts out with "COMMENT" in in, and I can't figure out a way to remove that.

If you're willing to overlook taht, it may work.

Justin

MatthewShiner

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script in word
« Reply #3 on: Sep 16, 2005, 10:09 am »
I type all my calling scripts in word using callouts.

It someone like's a sample, I can send out my current calling script.

Matthewshiner@stagemanager.net
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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.

Fireguy551

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Word Comment Section
« Reply #4 on: Sep 19, 2005, 04:20 pm »
This is awsome and what i do for scripts:
Type the script in word then click on tools and protect document Word will track the changes.
When you want to add a cue i go in and type (LX 1) or whatever and it Highlights it, then draws a red arrow to the left margin and in a Red box put (LX 1) so it pretty much looks like my old promt books.

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bearbos

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Creating a prompt book in word...using comments for cues
« Reply #5 on: Oct 02, 2005, 02:31 pm »
I tried to find Callout in Word and couldn't find it. What is callout?

Fireguy: I tried to do what you were doing but it didn't work. I protected the document but then it either made it a comment which put a date and the work COMMENT in the box OR it just highlighted it in the text. Is there something that I'm missing.

The only way that I can do cues in word is text boxes. They work really well but it is a complicated procedure. It takes awhile.

MatthewShiner

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call out
« Reply #6 on: Oct 02, 2005, 06:50 pm »
Pull out the drawing tool bar.

Callouts are are the pull out menu that inlcudes basic shapes, block arrows, flow charts, stars and banners, and call outs.  

There are a wide choice of callouts, which are basically just text boxes with various functiosn, most have a graphic line which can be placed to text.  I box the word the cue is called on, and then draw a callout box to the left margin (My prompt book is whole bunched on the right side).  I then type the cue in the call out.

I use text boxes as standbuys.

I use the thought bubble for things I need to remember.
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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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loebtmc

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Creating a prompt book in word...using comments for cues
« Reply #7 on: Oct 03, 2005, 12:30 pm »
me too - sounds interesting


I had my board ops making snide remarks abt my book yesterday - I ignored them, having been taught to make it work in case someone had to come in off the street to call the show, meaning it has lots of extra notations in the margins and the like - FWIW my cues are always the farthest right thing on the page - I always box the GO cue with a line to the word or action, (boxed if that specific) and simply underline the s/b in the right margin - and it'd be fun to see how to make that work on a computer (altho that requires the script on screen as well, and it's been a while since I've typed in a script...)

bearbos

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Creating a prompt book in word...using comments for cues
« Reply #8 on: Oct 04, 2005, 09:52 pm »
The Callout thing works pretty well!! A little less intensive than the text box thing. Now, to box the word in the script, you use what? the regular box and send behind text?

MatthewShiner

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box word
« Reply #9 on: Oct 04, 2005, 10:35 pm »
highlight text and then hit the border box - making sure top, bottom and both sides are marked.
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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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Creating a prompt book in word...using comments for cues
« Reply #10 on: Oct 05, 2005, 12:46 am »
So Matthew,

I imagine that by now you've gotten pretty quick at doing all this and have done it for several shows, but do you ever work with a printed version of it before it's finalized, or is it on your computer until the show is set?  Are you working straight into the computer during tech as the cues change, or off a hard copy and do the changes later?  The file you sent me said "Calling Script", so what about your blocking script?  Start with the same words but handwrite in blocking or do you do that in Word too?

Inquiring minds want to know :)

Erin

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typed script
« Reply #11 on: Oct 05, 2005, 04:46 am »
I tech the show with pencil and script.

Then during half-hour during tech - when everyone else is running around, I put my cues into the computer at the tech table.  I am doing something being productive, but still being able to to be asked questions.

Usually during tech, I may come in 30 minutes early to get it all done.

I am not saying this is for everyone, but it works for me.

The key is I hand over my shows to someone else to call, plus I work on big, complicated shows (not Broadway musicals, but close.)
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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.

Che

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calling from the typed script
« Reply #12 on: Oct 07, 2005, 02:20 pm »
Being the stage manager who has taken over calling from Matthew's typed script - I thought I'd post a comment on it   :D

It's been very easy to learn and call from - everything has been annotated, including when to start speaking the cue line and exactly on which syllable or movement to call "Go".  

I've only had to add a few notes for myself, since I didn't build the script, to remind me where-to-look-when (stage or monitor, prop, person or set piece) which we normally figure out on our own when teching.

I will certainly adapt this mode for myself in the future.  I especially like the thought bubbles as reminders and the uber-specific nature of the cue placement.  It's also very clean, and I didn't have to read someone else's writing!  

I was also able to print out a copy for myself to use when shadowing Matthew, making notes and "rehearsing" the calling on my own.  When he came back to call the show one night, he used his own copy - so I felt free to make what notes I needed.

It's really a fanastic method.
Che

jenk

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Creating a prompt book in word...using comments for cues
« Reply #13 on: Oct 07, 2005, 08:08 pm »
Wow, Matthew- that's a great system! I'm going to go ahead and steal it if you don't mind. I can't wait till my next show when I can make a really good-looking book. Thanks for the ideas!

StageMgrJon

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Electronic Calling
« Reply #14 on: Oct 11, 2005, 02:30 pm »
I have to agree that using electronic scripts works beautifully.  I have worked out a system for myself that I use all the time.

I tried the word option for blocking, but I was concerned that with a simple failure of a Microsoft product, I could lose blocking (even backups don't work every few minutes).  I still use a paper script for blocking rehearsals.

However, I call my shows from a computer screen, in the following manner:

1.  I make a PDF of the electronic script as I go into a paper tech (dry tech) and use comments to place cues.  This was an electronic version of my old method of placing Post-It Arrows in a paper script.

2.  I use a page layout program (Adobe InDesign) to create a clean call script in full color.  This way I can paste in pages of scanned music as well, so that the script can flip back and forth from text to music as needed (obviously in musicals).

3.  I then export the script (after tech) to another PDF which I use to call the show.  This also affords me an opportunity to send my call script to the lighting and sound designers at the end of each Tech day so that they can make Q notes and know exactly what I have at the time.

4.  In show run, I actually call from a computer screen.  I have a printed copy of the call script in case of computer failure as well.  The method I use continues to evolve, but currently I do the following:  I use a Mac and have a control device that is generally used for video editing.  I have a flat panel monitor that is on a desk arm (like a work light), and I split the screen with two things.  On the left is the PDF of the call script, which I can use the wheel on to scroll through as I call.  On the right is a databse I have written that lets me take notes in show for the report and for actor maintenance notes.  I have programmed buttons on the control for various actor names and departments.  Once I finish a show, I can use the database to automatically generate the show report and eMails with the report and various notes to everyone concerned.

I created the system to save time for myself, and money for the theatre.  Not using paper and post-its, as well as multiple copies of the script, saves my employer about $150-$200 per tech (the savings is in supplies and overtime, I averaged it from 6 shows over a 1.5 year period).

I don't know that this system would work for everone, but it certainly works for me.  It also keeps my re-typing of notes into paperwork formats at a minimum of work time, allowing me to end my days on a shorter note.

If anyone wants more info on my convoluted system, let me know.  I'm happy to share.

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