Author Topic: COMMUNICATION: Production Meeting Reports - How much do you put in it?  (Read 8350 times)

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MetalSmither16

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Hi,

I have a quick question about Production Meeting Reports.  

I'm SMing my first show out of college - non-equity.  It's a new musical, and we had our first production meeting yesterday.  There was a lot of discussion about concept, set design metaphors, the weakness in the scripts and music, etc.  A lot of "soft" stuff.  I took obsessive notes, but I'm not sure on how to format it all into a report.  I'm use to more concrete factoids that I can put under headings, like light and electrics or music and sound.  Should I try to do the same thing with this, or should I try for meeting minutes.  How much should I edit out?  The writer and lyricist weren't there, but I am sending the report to them, and there was some stuff mentioned about how much input they were going to have in production and what channels that was going to go through.  How accurate should the report be?  Should I go for word for word, or just capture the ideas and spirits?

« Last Edit: Jun 09, 2009, 02:29 am by PSMKay »

J

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It sounds like you were at a design meeting.  In the regional theatre I work at, we don't even attend design meetings. And production meetings are documented by the Production Management dept. not Stage Management.

Nevertheless, if you do need to send notes from it, make it basic, not too detailed. Those that were there will remember the points by basic notes.  Those that weren't there should have a conversation with the director and not rely on meeting minutes to catch them up.  Suggest that the  writer and lyricist set up a time to meet with the director --- and I wouldn't mention in the meeting minutes about  the "weakness in the script and music" OR "how much input they were going to have".  Let the director meet with them.

MetalSmither16

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Right.  Thank you!

MatthewShiner

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At some regional theatre, stage managers do take notes at the production meeting; it depends on the theatre.

In general about notes, I always think as much detail as possible without being annoying about it is the way to go.  If you are too exact, you will get people starting to correct your notes.  I also find it very important for someone to take notes in a production meeting, and then someone else who was at the meeting proof them - often how one person hears something is different then another person hears it.

I tend to be okay with notes like . . .

"The was detailed conversation about how the tracking bed needs to be constructed and it's path to storage backstage.  Designer mentioned that the she would pefer the headboard not be detachable, but was fine about the sidetables being removeable for storage and backstage traffic.  TD will work up new drawings and get back to stage manager."  Just sort of highlights to a perhaps a much larger conversation.

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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.

J

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Thanks Matthew - good followup to my post.

and BTW, I hope that my first post doesn't assume that SMs NEVER take notes in production meetings. That was not my intention. To be clear, yes, in some theatres the SM does take production meeting notes, however, where I work this is not the case.  (I think that is better said than the first time around!)

johnmurdock

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anyone have example meeting report forms?

just curious
John Murdock
AEA Stage Manager
John@Johndmurdock.com
http://Http://www.johndmurdock.com

crazylady

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I write down everything I possibly can that is relevant when I am at a meeting, design or otherwise. The reason I say this and continue to do it, is my minutes/agendas actually confirmed for my company that we did not screw something up one time and we were able to prove it through my minutes. So in that sense, I see them not only as a way to keep everybody apprised of the same information, but it can also save your butt.

As for format, I tend to keep it simple and just use roman numerals and letters and numbers below that.
“Perhaps, therefore, ideal 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.”
                                           - Peter Hall

johnmurdock

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Thanks for that! Very helpful.
John Murdock
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SMrose

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I agree with Matthew: edit the notes down to the needed info and who will follow up w/whom.
I've attached the PM notes from the last show I SM'd where I teach.

 

riotous