Author Topic: FORMS: the WHO-WHAT-WHERE  (Read 7147 times)

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ljh007

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FORMS: the WHO-WHAT-WHERE
« on: May 13, 2006, 11:53 am »
I am currently engaged in a lively debate with another SM about the value of a Who-What-Where (WWW) production document. If you're not familiar, the WWW is a master document that tracks absolutely everything in a show - every entrance/xt, every prop, set piece, rail/sound/fx cue, costumes (actually, I don't think I've ever seen lights absorbed into a WWW). Usually it's a huge chart set up this way:
Time In // Who // What // Where // Notes
15:34  //Marie//Wine btl//ntr sr, x to c table//bottle has water inside

I think these documents are marvelous and I start building one before rehearsals even begin. All my running sheets are then zapped off by pulling info from this master document - it's a snap, and I can't imagine doing it any other way anymore. And I think it's an amazing tool for the archive; In theory, with a groundplan and the WWW, you could remount any production blind. Other SMs I've spoken with think they're ridiculously detailed and ultimately useless because there's just too much information. Does anyone else want to chime in on your love/hate of the WWW?
« Last Edit: Jun 08, 2009, 11:18 pm by PSMKay »

jspeaker

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the WHO-WHAT-WHERE
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2006, 02:42 pm »
I love the WWW!!

I learned the value of a WWW while I was at Washington National Opera.  I took the basic format of mine from what I learned there.  My WWW only has actor NT/xt info. along with props the enter with and costume notes.

What I have found is that a WWW IS alot of work and, for me at least, is not always worth all the work.  If its a show with alot of costume changes or with a large cast than it is.  I start every process with a WWW prepared and ready to fill in.  Since I mostly do straight plays and musicals rather than opera only about 1 in 3 WWW's proves itself useful for me.

I am interested in seeing an example of your WWW with all of the scene shifts and blocking incorperated.  Would you be willing to email one to me?
Jess W. Speaker, III
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djemily

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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2006, 07:15 pm »
I would love to see it also. As a new stage manager I'm always interested in new paperwork, etc to help me be organized and keep track of everything. Let me know and I'll PM you my e-mail address.

Mac Calder

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the WHO-WHAT-WHERE
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2006, 10:58 pm »
I start most shows with some form of "WWW" - It makes a lot of sense to do so really. I usually read the script through once, get the idea of the story. Then on the second readthrough I pull out post-it notes and I stick notes on about 'between the lines' things (ie implied props etc). Finally I go through, scene by scene doing a who/what/where. Then I create my individual extractions and lists from the WWW. It helps that with a master list like that, if you do it on something like excel, creating the other extractions is really simple.

BalletPSM

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the WHO-WHAT-WHERE
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2006, 01:21 am »
I love the WWW.  don't do one for every show, believe it or note, i find them more useful for one night run outs - you had one out to every designer and crew member and they can write their notes on it and know what everyone else is doing.

if anyone's interested in my form PM me and I can email it to you.  its just a word table -- but l love it!
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MatthewShiner

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Paperwork
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2006, 12:46 pm »
Like all paperwork, you have to weight the pros and cons for the amount of work versus what you get out it.

I find that sometimes SM's put a lot more time into something versus what they get out.

I will often have someone on my team doing a Scene by Scene breakdown of the show, but it's only really useful to start something like this in staging - at least on classical shows where details depend on the concept more then the script (compare a prop list from a Shakespeare play on opening night versus the props mentioned in the script - they often have nothing in common
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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.

jspeaker

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Re: Paperwork
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2006, 01:54 pm »
Quote from: "MatthewShiner"
at least on classical shows where details depend on the concept more then the script (compare a prop list from a Shakespeare play on opening night versus the props mentioned in the script - they often have nothing in common


I also find this to be true in large musicals as well
Jess W. Speaker, III
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DC Area AEA Liaison
(301) 335-1498
 
http://q5go.blogspot.com/

prizm

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the WHO-WHAT-WHERE
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2006, 10:37 pm »
I usually start a show with  a props list and a scene breakdown. I get everything I need from those two documents My scene breakdown becomes a WWW of sorts as time progresses, I add slots for QC's and times for the wardrobe crew, It becomes a shift plot for the run crew, ect... I do mostly Classical Shakespeare and Musicals and I have found that best for me. I dont like to start with too much more because... wel call me lazy but I don't like to do work that might not ultimatly be useful to me.
I aggreewith Matheew that the props list I have at final preview is much longer than the one aI have at first rehearsal, but I will say that at leats 95% of what is on my 1st rehearsal list is still there on opening night

MarcieA

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the WHO-WHAT-WHERE
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2006, 11:14 pm »
I've never heard this called a Who-What-Where before.

I've done them, many a time, and simply called them a Production Analysis, typically created before the first rehearsal begins, and then, depending on the needs of the show will update it with blocking during the reahearsal process.

A Who-What-Where. Clever.
Companions whom I loved and still love, tell them my song.

ljh007

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Re: Paperwork
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2006, 11:52 am »
Quote from: "MatthewShiner"
I find that sometimes SM's put a lot more time into something versus what they get out.


This is exactly what turned my friend off of WWWs! He'd seen another PSM go nuts perfecting every detail of her WWW to the point where other priorities were getting dropped, and meanwhile no one cared about the document but her. I start my WWW before rehearsals even begin, and perfect it after the show closes - slow and steady means all the details can be absorbed. In the meantime, it's the most useful tool in my paperwork arsenal.

ReyYaySM

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the WHO-WHAT-WHERE
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2006, 04:39 pm »
I had never seen a WWW until our child wrangler made one for Carousel specifically for the young actors.  When we got into performance, we had a "handoff" system for the young actors (CW brought young actors to one of the ASMs), so I was able to take the info from her WWW to add when to expect young actors/what props needed to be handed to them to my run sheet.  

 I've never created a WWW myself, but I can see its benefits.

Scott (formerly Digga)

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the WHO-WHAT-WHERE
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2006, 05:19 pm »
I've never done a WWW but I have done Scene Breakdowns before rehearsals begin.  Generally I only do them for large musicals of straight shows that require a small number of actors playing a large number of roles, ie Pride's Crossing.  Providing a WWW before rehearsals even begin doesn't seem to make sense since I've never worked with a director that followed the stage directions in the book.

I see the use of them for costume changes and will sometimes keep track of WWW based on the Scene Breakdown I created earlier.  I've also used this Scene Breakdown for Mic Tracking (I work in a lot of theatres where actors have to share mics).  Maybe I'm missing the point of the WWW though?

Mac Calder

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the WHO-WHAT-WHERE
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2006, 09:07 pm »
A who/what/where is usually fairly independant of the directorial stage directions. The who/what/where is a scene breakdown of "Who" (LX, Sound, Deck, member of cast), "What" (entrance, lighting state change, a scene change etc), "Where" (Which page/line/scene/act). That is the sort I use anyway.

MatthewShiner

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AMEN!!!
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2006, 08:33 pm »
Quote
and if it's an easy show, LET it be an easy show and enjoy it.


AMEN!
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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.

 

riotous