Author Topic: Stage Write - an iPad app for idiots, by idiots  (Read 9002 times)

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Kristine

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Stage Write - an iPad app for idiots, by idiots
« on: Dec 27, 2011, 01:26 am »
Im shocked nobody has mentioned this yet!!

hxxp://stage**********.com/index.html

An iPad app made specifically for blocking for use of SMs, directors and choreographers. No news on a price but it's released on March 1 st. I, for one, am crazy excited about this!!!

(I'm not related with the company at all so no attempts to sell here. Just excited!)

EDIT: Link mangled and removed, topic changed. Promoters spammed SMNetwork further down the thread, pretending to be legitimate users. We have no interest in working with or purchasing products from companies that use dishonest marketing tactics. - PSMK
« Last Edit: Mar 03, 2012, 12:50 am by PSMKay »

MatthewShiner

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Re: Stage Write - an iPad app for idiots, by idiots
« Reply #1 on: Dec 27, 2011, 10:49 am »
I am interested to see it in action - how it ties in with the script, etc.

I am also worried about the time it takes to actually take down - I don't mean to be an old fuddy duddy about - it looks great for planning, not sure how quickly take the notation.

What's good about Pencil and Paper is the stage manager can take down the information in any order they want, and make the judgement about what is important.

Anything that is "automated" will require you (most likely) to do steps a,b and c everytime.  (Select character, place character, note start point, note end point).  So, I think the proof will be in the end result.
« Last Edit: Mar 03, 2012, 12:50 am by PSMKay »
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LizzG

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Re: Stage Write - an iPad app for idiots, by idiots
« Reply #2 on: Dec 27, 2011, 12:07 pm »
I agree Matthew.

It's functions look really cool, but I think that every time I had to go into a menu to select a new character (as it appears that you do), I would loose so much valuable information...I would still love to try it out!

MatthewShiner

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Re: Stage Write - an iPad app for idiots, by idiots
« Reply #3 on: Dec 27, 2011, 04:52 pm »
I think this would be great to document a show for a long run .... Like, hey the show is open, let's get this all down for the next cast.

Then, I think this would work.

And that maybe it's target market.  I too look forward to try it out.
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babens

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Re: Stage Write - an iPad app for idiots, by idiots
« Reply #4 on: Dec 28, 2011, 02:44 am »
It definitely looks useful for potential long term documentation/archival preparation. Provided it is a reasonable price I may check it out for this spring (six months on the road with Theatreworks, I'm going to have nothing but time on my hands).

Scott

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Re: Stage Write - an iPad app for idiots, by idiots
« Reply #5 on: Dec 28, 2011, 11:29 am »
I am interested to see it in action - how it ties in with the script, etc.

I am also worried about the time it takes to actually take down - I don't mean to be an old fuddy duddy about - it looks great for planning, not sure how quickly take the notation.

What's good about Pencil and Paper is the stage manager can take down the information in any order they want, and make the judgement about what is important.

Anything that is "automated" will require you (most likely) to do steps a,b and c everytime.  (Select character, place character, note start point, note end point).  So, I think the proof will be in the end result.

Matthew, you missing the point: the more time spent fiddling with automated tools, the less time spent paying attention to what's actually going in the room, which seems to be the goal of the younger generation of stage managers.

Paper and pencil is just for older fuddy duddy's like ourselves, who got into this field to manage LIVE theatre with LIVE actors in a REAL room, instead of trying to turn a dying art form into a virtual experience...

(I bet you also neglect to check your email several times an hour, thereby giving the false impression that the work that is happening in the room is more important that what is happening in the rest the of the world...)


Kristine

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Re: Stage Write - an iPad app for idiots, by idiots
« Reply #6 on: Dec 28, 2011, 11:35 am »
I think once it's set up it will be a lot faster than writing, granted that everything is going in order. For a second scene in a row you just hit one button to make an exact copy of the previous scene then move the characters and set pieces accordingly. At least, for me personally, that would be faster than redrawing circles and set pieces. And I can type a lot faster than I can write without the need to look down. But like I said, that's just me personally.

MatthewShiner

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Re: Stage Write - an iPad app for idiots, by idiots
« Reply #7 on: Dec 28, 2011, 12:18 pm »
Scott, yes it does seem like the more tools and gadgets a SM has, the better they are.  (Read my previous rants and posts about the subject)

My job is managing people, and the computer screen up in front of my face, or my eyes on my ipad just exudes the attitude that "I have something more important going on then what you are doing".  But I have been down this path before.  Again, I am all for technology that makes my job easier - but the reality is when rehearsal is going on, I need to pay attention to that, listen to the director, get a sense of what's going on.  (Again, it helps I delegate blocking to my ASM so I can focus on the room, and running the room.)

About this software, again, I am interested to see it in action, but here are my concerns.  And Kristine if you are

1)  Do I have to drawn the set, or can I load it in from the autocad?  I want to see how the program handles this - it looks like you can draw basic shapes, but what about something more complex.  Can you group this line drawings to move as item.
2)  How do you edit/change actors' names?
3)  I sort of despise the fact it's not tied into the script.  You have to type the lines.  What happens when you get new script pages, but want to keep the blocking.  It sort of seems great for musicals and tie it the counts; but again, what if there is change in lyrics, or counts . . .
4)  How do you save versions, or go back to a version?  (Okay, let's go back to the version we did last week).
5)  How do you make edits on the fly - we want to change the blocking after Mr. Smith enters, but before Mrs. Jones exits.
6)  How does this print out?
7)  This is not about typing, this is about noting spacial relations, I think you would have to be constantly looking at the screen to find the actor in the green room, put them in the right relation to everything else on the screen, then type the line they cross on.
8)  Forget your ipad?  Out of power?  Leant your charger to the director . . . then you have to take blocking on your own.  Want an actor to look over your script for blocking, and you lending the ipad?  Want to share the blocking, does everyone have an ipad?
9)  Is this product going to supported in the long run?  Would hate to loose your show or the ability to update because the developer can't maintain it down the line with further updates to the OS. 
10) One of the reasons I have always been closed off to many SM softwares is the in end they want me to adjust how I do things, how I like to lay things out on the page, how I do my job - to adjust to how the software works.  In the almost 30+ years I have been working in theatre, I have learned a few tricks and short cuts - and I would always want the software to be customizable to MY style, since that has a proven track record of working with me.


Again, I think this software makes a lot of sense for the high end commercial shows that are either planning big numbers, or need to document the shows to maintain them, and put people in for months or years down the line . . . and in fact, would love to work with it in that way.  I mean, a show is out of previews, open, I would love to spend time with the video tape to put this all in writing, and document the show.


I am not sure in "the heat of the moment", "down and dirty creating a show", "we are working on the blocking" moments this is the right project for the job.

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ekylsnav6

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Re: Stage Write - an iPad app for idiots, by idiots
« Reply #8 on: Dec 28, 2011, 02:52 pm »
I would like to say I consider myself a youngin and I still consider this app to be more complicated than useful. But that is coming from a Guy whose pencil moves way faster and way more accurately than my stubby fingers do. I agree with Matthew,  I need my script right there next to my blocking, I prefer the diagram of my set on one side of the page, and the text on the mirrored page. If you rock out with your fingers and your ipad, all the power to ya, but although I'm still a fresh SM, I would still rely more on the conventions that older stage managers have passed down through years of experience. However I do think it is awesome that more and more apps are hitting the scene that are specifically tailored to the theater... I'm sure at this rate there will eventually be SM apps that most if not all SMs (young and old) can agree on.
Great topic!
Best

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dallas10086

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Re: Stage Write - an iPad app for idiots, by idiots
« Reply #9 on: Dec 28, 2011, 06:36 pm »
Until they create a program that will automatically read my mind and do everything I want it to do before I ask and run on endless never-needs-to-be-charged-and-won't-ever-crash power...then I'll put down my pen and paper.

But if that really happened I'd probably out of a job.

MatthewShiner

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Re: Stage Write - an iPad app for idiots, by idiots
« Reply #10 on: Dec 28, 2011, 07:28 pm »
No, no computer program take over our responsibilities, as those responsibilities change day to day, show to show . . .

Dallas, you are safe!
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Mac Calder

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Re: Stage Write - an iPad app for idiots, by idiots
« Reply #11 on: Dec 28, 2011, 07:29 pm »
I am waiting for the day they integrate something like CAST BlackTrax (URL) before believing in computerised blocking... The ability to take actual snapshots and record complete sections would be awesome.

It would be interesting to put an SM with a pencil against an SM with StageWrite and get them to take the same blocking, see which is quicker. My money is on the pencil. It may not be as neat and fancy looking, but it would be functional.

This tool looks to be great for the final show bible for long running shows - I can see it being used at places like Disney World, on cruise ships etc where the show are long running and the choreographers want to hand over the show to the dance captains/stage managers to maintain.

MatthewShiner

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Re: Stage Write - an iPad app for idiots, by idiots
« Reply #12 on: Dec 28, 2011, 07:43 pm »
And what's interesting, in the US, on most of the top tier contracts, we can now use video recordings of the show to help train subs, replacements, put-ins, SMs . . . so I feel like at this point it might just be best to video tape it . . . but, it will always be good to have a paper copy and something broken down.

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missliz

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Re: Stage Write - an iPad app for idiots, by idiots
« Reply #13 on: Dec 28, 2011, 08:12 pm »
I've begun working with my ipad in rehearsal to assist in note-taking, paperwork, etc, but I can't imagine having my entire script with blocking/cue in it on there. Too scary for me!

On the other hand, my handwriting is small but can get terrible...
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

Kristine

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Re: Stage Write - an iPad app for idiots, by idiots
« Reply #14 on: Dec 30, 2011, 10:10 pm »
I absolutely agree that with all the concerns, my typing is a million times faster than writing and but I have my concerns as well. I'm eager for the app to be released and see how it does work out but I will probably have paper blocking then translate it to the app for a cleaner version in my free time.

I don't have any arguments to any points brought up, they're all very true but I do want to see if something useful comes off it, even if it's only having a clean backup of my blocking for reference.

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