Author Topic: First SM position and first Challenge  (Read 4211 times)

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First SM position and first Challenge
« on: Mar 18, 2007, 01:36 pm »

Hi ,
I am brand new to SM and am really excited about learning the
tricks of the trade. I have found some wonderful forms on this website
I am sure will help me out.

My number one challenge is "blocking" what exactly do I write and how many scripts to have on hand for the process...yikes :-\


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Re: First SM position and first Challenge
« Reply #1 on: Mar 18, 2007, 01:56 pm »
Just have a clean copy of the script that you don't touch, so that you have it for future needs.  Then use one copy of the script for blocking notes.  You write whatever you need to write to be able to recreate the blocking if needed.  I was given some blocking notation in school, but I mostly just invent my own.   eSL2 = enter stage left, 2nd wing.   Stuff like that.


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Re: First SM position and first Challenge
« Reply #2 on: Mar 22, 2007, 12:42 am »
Play around with a few different notations and find a way that works for you:  is quick to write down, easy to change, and won't confuse you when you go back to it.  Play around with it.  I usually draw a short vertical line in the text of the script where an action takes place, then write out the action to the right side of the page.  X for cross, ext and ent for exit and enter, dr1 for a door, stuff like that.  And you'll probably want to have an abbreviation for each character, with a key onhand.   L = left, (La) = Larry, (Lu) = Lucy, to take an example from a recent play.

Hope that's helpful.
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Re: First SM position and first Challenge
« Reply #3 on: Mar 25, 2007, 11:28 pm »
I just recommended this site for another post, so I may as well be redundant.
There's a page on blocking shorthand that I think you'll find very helpful.  Personally, I set up my script so that the pages are centered on 8-1/2 X 11 pages, righthand side of my 3-ring binder only.  I use the inside margin for blocking and the back of the facing page for sketches or notes to clarify anything difficult.  The outer margins are used for writing Qs.  That's how I've been doing it for lots of years - other folks find their own way.  As you gain experience, you'll discover what works best for you, too.  Have fun!


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Re: First SM position and first Challenge
« Reply #4 on: Mar 26, 2007, 07:18 pm »
I find the easiest way to do blocking is make a small set plan with key features, give each an abreviation (T1,T2 etc for tables, StL for stairs left, and StR for stairs right etc) and put this at the top of a piece of paper. Copy one for each page of script, and insert it on either the left or right side facing that page in your prompt copy. Next, give each major character their own abbreviation.

Then use some form of blocking notation - document it whilst you do it - and write steps. I would then correlate these steps with numbers sketched into my script.

Ie - in this snippet, Stacey enters a Temple, crosses to a table, kneels, saying a prayer, then exits through an upstairs door.

(1) S en -> DSL T1 (k)
(2) S (s) -> StR upArrowHere ex

S being my abbreviation for Stacey, Enters, then Crosses to the Down Stage Left corner of Table 1 and Kneels
Stacey Stands then Crosses to Stair case Right, goes Up stairs and Exits.

There would be a (1) above my script towards the start of that scene when Stacey enters the monastery, then her prayer would be after that, and at the conclusion of the prayer would be the number 2.