Author Topic: 15 vs 30 second timings  (Read 6875 times)

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billykano

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15 vs 30 second timings
« on: May 22, 2009, 01:37 am »
I'm about to do timings for my next opera and have read threads about doing 15 sec rather than the normal 30. What are the benefits to this? Has it become extremely handy for anyone?

« Last Edit: Jun 23, 2010, 09:34 pm by shh »

sievep

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Re: 15 vs 30 second timings
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2009, 01:40 am »
I think 15 second timings are more precise . . . I wouldn't necessarily say 30 second timings are "normal". 

I put a red check mark where the timing took place and the actual time in the margin.
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ChaCha

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Re: 15 vs 30 second timings
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2009, 05:09 am »
I used to do 30 second marks.  I wrote the elapsed time over the relevant spot in the score so i coul;d calulate the time from any one point to any other one point quickly.
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ljh007

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Re: 15 vs 30 second timings
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2009, 09:08 am »
It's not a scientific answer, but I vary by show. If I'm doing a more standard park-and-bark opera, or I know the director and expect simpler blocking, less complicated cue sequences, etc, I'll do 30"'. But if I know it's a busier show with lots of stage and cue action, or if the tempo for the overall piece is faster, I'll go with 15"'. My default is probably 15"'. It's certainly more specific and pays off throughout the show in terms of paperwork, planning, etc. But it has been known to happen that my prep time is rushed, my brain is full, and I have trouble taking the time and concentration to make 15"' timings in a full 3.5-hour opera, so I just run with 30"'.

liamproche

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Re: 15 vs 30 second timings
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2009, 12:22 pm »
I think 15 second timings are more precise . . . I wouldn't necessarily say 30 second timings are "normal". 

I put a red check mark where the timing took place and the actual time in the margin.

I've seen this method used a lot by opera SMs, however I prefer to note the timings in the system where they actually occur between the bass and treble clef lines. This keeps me from having to look away from the music to check the timing when following the score.

I used to identify the systems in which a timing was notated with a check mark in the side margin. This made them easier to locate, but since highliting seems to be pretty standard practice I've abandoned this method as a waste of time.

Either way I always favor 15sec. timings over 30, but that's strictly out of personal taste.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2009, 12:25 pm by liamproche »

kitsmits

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Re: 15 vs 30 second timings
« Reply #5 on: Jul 25, 2009, 07:09 pm »
I'm new to SMing, and want to learn more. What exactly do you mean by "timings?"
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SMrose

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Re: 15 vs 30 second timings
« Reply #6 on: Jul 26, 2009, 12:16 pm »
"Timings" are ellapsed time from one point in the score to another point in the score.  Music follows a tempo (time) and is very precise.  The ellapsed time from one point to the other point in music will be very much the same each time it's played/sung (15 seconds from point A to point B, 30 seconds, etc.)

LCSM

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Re: 15 vs 30 second timings
« Reply #7 on: Jul 27, 2009, 06:43 pm »
Judging from what has been said above, it seems these are used to mark blocking...are there any other uses?

SMrose

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Re: 15 vs 30 second timings
« Reply #8 on: Jul 27, 2009, 07:09 pm »
Judging from what has been said above, it seems these are used to mark blocking...are there any other uses?

Lighting cues: how long a count as it pertains to the timing in the score
Scene changes: how long can we have between start to finish of a particular set change
Costume changes, etc. etc.

Maribeth

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Re: 15 vs 30 second timings
« Reply #9 on: Jul 27, 2009, 07:37 pm »
Judging from what has been said above, it seems these are used to mark blocking...are there any other uses?

Lighting cues: how long a count as it pertains to the timing in the score
Scene changes: how long can we have between start to finish of a particular set change
Costume changes, etc. etc.

Also, since opera singers are paged 5 min before each entrance, you can use your timings can be used to figure out when to page them by counting back 5 minutes.  And then 2 minutes before, you can put a warning for that entrance in your book.

Timings are helpful in making the WWW as well- entrances, prop handoffs, etc will happen at the same time during each performance. Using the timings to make your paperwork will make it more accurate and useful to the crew.

LCSM

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Re: 15 vs 30 second timings
« Reply #10 on: Aug 02, 2009, 06:22 pm »
Fantastic, thanks alot. I can see how they would come in handy, it's a shame there's nothing that accurate for straight theatre.

PSMKay

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Re: 15 vs 30 second timings
« Reply #11 on: Aug 02, 2009, 09:19 pm »
Actually, with good and consistent actors, French scenes wind up being very close to the same length every night.  It isn't exact, but usually similar within 30-45 seconds!  I used to time French scenes nightly to track any major deviations from opening night.  If someone changes a beat it will show up very clearly as a timing variance.

LCSM

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Re: 15 vs 30 second timings
« Reply #12 on: Aug 04, 2009, 08:52 pm »
Kay, I'll have to try that on my next show. I've heard people talk about it as a way of making sure actors don't switch up the direction, like you mentioned, and since it's in sections it would be fairly easy to tell where the problem was.