Author Topic: Blocking/Calling: 1 or 2 Scripts?  (Read 4214 times)

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Blocking/Calling: 1 or 2 Scripts?
« on: Feb 25, 2007, 01:58 pm »
I have a dilemma here.. I am currently working on a show that has very specific blocking, and I am trying to decide if I should create a blocking script and a calling script? Is it better to have 1 or 2 scripts?Any experiences? How much blocking should make its way into the calling script? I am trying to keep things clean, but I also want to have information I need available to me.

« Last Edit: Feb 26, 2013, 11:57 am by yomanda »


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Re: 1 or 2 Scripts?
« Reply #1 on: Feb 25, 2007, 04:07 pm »
In a show with a lot of blocking (usually a musical for me) I take my blocked script to paper tech. If LD asks "Where is XY when he says Blah blah?", I have the information and write the cue there. Once we've run our cue to cue I transfer my cues (in pencil) in to a clean copy of the final script. From then on I use the clean script as a prompt script, moving only blocking notes that I find I need for one reason or another. ( ex: XY x to door L 31) I call the first couple of shows from the penciled cues, refining where each warning and standby should go, once I am calling the script consistently, I start inking in my cues.

Having just the prompt script safely in the booth during the run of the show saves space there and keeps it available to anyone who might need it were I hit by the Proverbial Bus. I'm working more and more from my laptop. I scan in audition forms resumes, headshots, receipts, notes, etc. I get CAD scenic drawings, costume and props plots as PDFs, and create calendars, attendance forms, rehearsal schedules, etc. on the computer to email and print. I print out everything and make a production book for the company. I like to leave it in the theater office if there is a place for it. I keep my laptop with me at all times, am accessible by phone or email  most of the time, and have everything that is in my book in the computer, as well as loaded on a 1 GB jump drive, AND saved on a separate hard drive at home.

I'm excessive. Even so, if there is a computer and scanner available at the theater, or at home, doing as much of the paperwork as possible on computer will save you much stress and angst in the long run. I'm not to a point of being able or willing to call a show from a computer, but I do see a time coming when I may well be ready to do all of my paperwork digitally, archived to CD or some other media at the close of the production, with a print out of the prompt script being the only paper I need to keep.

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Re: 1 or 2 Scripts?
« Reply #2 on: Feb 25, 2007, 07:21 pm »
I always use two scripts.  It just makes it so much easier for me, even if there isn't a whole lot of blocking.  I use a Script Notes sheet for my blocking that I attach on the opposite side of the script page that helps with keeping blocking organized.  Although my blocking notes aren't actually on my script, I still don't want to flip through other pages while I'm calling cues.  Either way, two scripts always work best for me!
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Re: 1 or 2 Scripts?
« Reply #3 on: Feb 26, 2007, 04:14 am »
I usually make quite a few copies of the script anyway (It is just as easy to make 4 or 5 copies as it is to make 1). Book layout is (in my opinion) largely show dependant. What is good for show A is not necessarily good for show B - and what is good for SM 1 in show A is not necessarily good for SM 2 who is also doing show A.

Since calling and blocking occur during different stages of the show, you have a bit of leeway - until tech starts really. If you don't think you can fit it all in one copy, then go for the twin-script. It is always a good idea to have a spare copy of the script accessible anyway (for when the actors forget theirs)

On a different note however: Long runs where you are expected to do show maintenance - 2 scripts is always a good idea - a "Bible" and a maintenance guide (ie blocking, directors notes etc). My last long run's maintenance script was about 2 times the size of the normal script because the director gave me complete notes on how they wanted everything - down to "James NEEDS to put his left hand on his hip at about belt level and waggle his right index finger about a foot from Triss' nose. It has to be a stereo typical 'camp' (gay) scolding. His 180 degree turn MUST be snappy, and a good huff given before he marches off" - that occured between two lines in a script. It was great for me, because I did not have to interpret directorial intention. But the main point - it would be impossible to keep the sort of notes needed to properly maintain a show in your bible if a strict adherance to directorial intention was required.