Author Topic: NEW WORKS: Script Changes with Colored Paper?  (Read 3550 times)

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psmbjo126

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NEW WORKS: Script Changes with Colored Paper?
« on: Mar 01, 2014, 04:05 pm »
Hi All:

I'm working on a new work that starts rehearsals in a few days and the director and choreographer would like the script changes tracked by handing out pages on different colored paper for each change.  They don't really know how they want that organized, they haven't really done new works here before, and they believe that is "the way to do it" so that's what they want to do.

I've done new works multiple times before and I usually handle changes by documenting them in the rehearsal reports, documenting them in a script changes tracking spreadsheet that tracks all the changes from beginning to end, and also by updating the script and handing out new pages which are dated.  I'm perfectly happy to use colored paper as well, but I'm wondering if anyone else has done this before and how they have done it.  (From my research it seems to be more of a film thing than a theater thing).

So pretty much what I'm wondering is has anyone tracked changes by changing the color of paper and if so do you change the paper color based on the day or based on the amount of changes to that particular scene or piece of music.  So for example:

If I have a change to Act 1 Sc 1 on Monday and an change to Act 1 Sc 2 on Tuesday, do I print Act 1 Sc 1 on Blue paper because Monday's color is blue and print Act 1 Sc 2 on Yellow paper since Tuesday's color is yellow.  Or do I print both on blue paper since the color for first revision is blue.  In that case yellow would be used a second revision color, so if Act 1 Sc 1 was revised a second time on Thursday then it would be yellow for second revision.  Make sense?

So I know it could be done either way, just looking to see if anyone else has tracked changes this way and to see if they have had success either of those ways or a different way.  I'm still going to use all the traditional script changes tracking methods as well, the colored paper is in addition to those methods.

Thanks so much!!

Maribeth

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Re: NEW WORKS: Script Changes with Colored Paper?
« Reply #1 on: Mar 01, 2014, 07:06 pm »
I've never tracked changes to scripts on colored paper, only to running paperwork. For running paperwork, I have used the "Mon-blue, Tues- yellow" system. But, there are a limited number of days where I would do that- usually 4 or 5 days of tech. Some companies I have worked have standard colors for each day- e.g. piano tech is always blue, piano dress is always yellow.

I would be more inclined to use the other system for script changes (with a new color for each time a certain page is revised)- otherwise you would potentially need a different color of paper for every day of rehearsal.

I generally do script changes in the same way you described- noted in the report, noting them in a running document of changes, keeping a 'master script', and handing out fresh (dated) pages. If it were me, I would continue to do all of those things as well. Colored paper does make it easier to tell at a glance if someone has the right version of that page.

MatthewShiner

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Re: NEW WORKS: Script Changes with Colored Paper?
« Reply #2 on: Mar 01, 2014, 11:29 pm »
This is standard in television I know, and a bit in film . . .

But not always the way it is done in theater . . .

If you have the paper stock, it might be easy . . . but dating each page might work as well.
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loebtmc

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Re: NEW WORKS: Script Changes with Colored Paper?
« Reply #3 on: Mar 02, 2014, 12:31 pm »
just to echo - whenever I work in theater with primarily film/tv folks, we use colored paper. When I work with theater folks, we use pagination to differentiate (4a, etc).

Bottom line: whatever makes the script easy to use. Past that, not gonna lose any sleep -

bex

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Re: NEW WORKS: Script Changes with Colored Paper?
« Reply #4 on: Mar 02, 2014, 05:11 pm »
I did one new work where we used colored paper, but we didn't have enough changes to make it complicated or run out of colors. It was extremely helpful being able to tell without even getting up from the SM table that an actor was holding the wrong version of the scene, though.
You will have to sing for your supper & your mortgage, your dental coverage & your children's shoes, over & over again while people in desk jobs roll their eyes the minute you start to complain. So it's a good thing you like to sing.

psmbjo126

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Re: NEW WORKS: Script Changes with Colored Paper?
« Reply #5 on: Mar 02, 2014, 06:19 pm »
Thank you all!  I am going to end up using a different color paper for each time something gets revised in addition to all the typical theater script tracking methods.  And I'll see if adding the colored paper ends up being helpful.  I have a feeling it won't hurt.

Thanks so much!
Brendan

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Re: NEW WORKS: Script Changes with Colored Paper?
« Reply #6 on: Mar 03, 2014, 03:06 pm »
OH NO!
Wait you need another perspective! I had a terrible experience with colored pages. Make sure no one wants it double sided vs. single cause that is a whole level you don't even think about until you are trying to make 30 copies for cast and creatives and you are crying on the floor of the copy room at 7am.  Plus you have to keep a master colored copy going along side your own master copies, etc. Run out of the right color one day? You are screwed and the system falls apart. Theatre actors go crazy about it too. Just my perspective. Enjoy whichever you choose. :)
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KMC

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Re: NEW WORKS: Script Changes with Colored Paper?
« Reply #7 on: Mar 03, 2014, 04:05 pm »
I would suggest a document numbering scheme as opposed to colored paper for simplicity's sake.

I work in a slightly different facet of the entertainment industry, but we have a very specific document numbering scheme for large-scale jobs that goes a long way in keeping things organized.  There's an image below which is a capture of how the legend looks in excel.  This could definitely be tailored for stage management.  You could revise this to a smaller format specifically for script revisions or use it as a numbering convention for show-wide documentation that includes script revisions.

If this is of interest to you I'm happy to get a bit more detailed either here or via PM.

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BayAreaSM

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Re: NEW WORKS: Script Changes with Colored Paper?
« Reply #8 on: Mar 04, 2014, 12:16 am »
I have done multiple new works musicals and the theater I worked for always used colors for new pages. However, unlike TV, the colors were not associated with the day, but with the revision number. However, if there was a total re-write (like the entire 2nd act) that was issued in White.

I will say it helps make it clear that everyone is reading off the correct version (blue pg. 12 vs. yellow pg. 12) - and your script does end up looking like a rainbow. However, as others have pointed out, you do run the risk of running out of a particular color. I also have been in a situation with so many re-writes (over 7) that we did have to double back through the colors, which is yet another reason to not use this system. I've never come across the double-sided vs. single-sided issue. Everyone got single sided and had to deal with it. (We also ran the songs in color, if there were revisions.)

The important thing is to have a system in place in advance and just make sure you have enough reams of the appropriate colors. I will say, after years of color coding the revisions, last year that particular company decided to nix the color-code system and just reprint with dates. It made it a bit harder on me, as my author was not that savvy so I had to insert text boxes with dates on everything, re-paginate and I myself even lost track of which version was which (especially with 2 or more revisions in the same day), when all I was looking at was a pile of white paper.

It has its pros and its cons, but ultimately it has to be what will work for your team - and your sanity.

MatthewShiner

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Re: NEW WORKS: Script Changes with Colored Paper?
« Reply #9 on: Mar 04, 2014, 10:25 am »
I also think a certain amount of flexibility needs to come from the SM team - I like to ask the the producer, director and writers their preferred system (Some producers refuse to buy color paper, some directors DEMAND the colored system, some cast members hate colored paper).

Find the way that works for you.

A lot of more tech savy actors just ask for the PDF and read it off their Kindle or tablet . . . good for them . . . saves paper.

On my current show, I am not taking blocking.  I just read along with the new script, and we are doing major rewrites daily . . . so, I just work off my laptop reading along with he PDF . . . I am saving a little paper.

« Last Edit: Mar 04, 2014, 04:56 pm by MatthewShiner »
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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.