Author Topic: Labtop vs. Pencil and Script/Notepad  (Read 21463 times)

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Cedes

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Re: Labtop vs. Pencil and Script/Notepad
« Reply #45 on: Apr 23, 2011, 11:17 pm »
I'm an old-fashioned person generally.  However, I am buying an ipad over the summer and seeing if it helps...I know there are a couple apps that can be used to write directly on a document with a stylus, as well as switch between documents to take notes. We'll see once it comes in. 

iamchristuffin

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Re: Labtop vs. Pencil and Script/Notepad
« Reply #46 on: Apr 24, 2011, 06:05 am »
.I know there are a couple apps that can be used to write directly on a document with a stylus....

Interesting....do you happen to know the app name? And where to get a stylus that works?

Chris

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Re: Labtop vs. Pencil and Script/Notepad
« Reply #47 on: Apr 26, 2011, 12:35 pm »
I must say that although I am a young SM, like everything I do to be typed, and have ran a successful computer business for two years I will never take digital blocking. I am very good at blocking notation and all of my blocking books have a key in the front. I can guarantee that I can take four times the blocking by hand than anyone can do on the computer in the same amount of time. I got a special keyboard cover that silences the keys on my laptop and I can type quietly, however I do very little during work time on my laptop. I take all my RR notes by hand on my yellow notepad. I will work paperwork during breaks, run sound from my computer, and that's about it. Our job as SMs is to help foster the best possible environment for the rehearsal process. If that means I have to take the time to type something later then I feel that is part of my job. It isn't wasting time if you are doing it for your actors. I am not against using a laptop in the room but it has to be done carefully an respectfully. Limiting its usage is key. If I ever had one of my ASMs on Facebook during work time I probably would ask them to leave the room to be honest.

As far as how I deal with the person being on book missing giving a line, I have a simple solution. When the process starts I create an "on book totem" for that show. Its usually an object like a fancy block of wood or a sticky not that says "ON BOOK" in a bight color. The rule I tell my ASMs is simple: "If you have the totem, you are on book. If you are on book, it is the ONLY thing that you are doing. Since it is the only thing you are doing there is no reason to miss giving a line." Its that simple. If I am on book and I have to do something else I can silently pass it to one of them and they will know that they are on book. I have worked with SMs before where they don't tell anyone to be on book and they do it themselves. Then someone will call for a line and they will ask why I or the other ASM wasn't on book. I have learned that this is the easiest way to remove the errors. I know that was a bit of a digression but it still kinda fit.

Joshua S.

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Re: Labtop vs. Pencil and Script/Notepad
« Reply #48 on: Apr 26, 2011, 02:19 pm »
I bring my netbook to rehearsals and type up my rehearsal report as the rehearsal progresses.  The main reason I do this is because I can type a whole lot quicker than I can write, and when I am trying to make a note detailed, I can get that information down a lot faster and won't have to ask anyone to repeat themselves.  I usually will take 10 minutes or so after rehearsal to clean up the notes and turn short thoughts into real sentences.  This ultimately makes the notes more accurate and saves me time at the end of the day trying to remember all the details of a note.

Since I stage manage mostly for community theatre, I don't have an office to work out of and use mostly my own supplies.  Because of this, I don't print out every draft of my paperwork (especially when I know there are going to be many more drastic edits soon to come).  Having my netbook with me allows me to access the most current paperwork for reference when needed. 

All in all, I think laptops are an important tool.  They can be a distracting tool if you let them, but then again, I feel the same way about my battery operated pencil sharpener.

stgmngr

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Re: Labtop vs. Pencil and Script/Notepad
« Reply #49 on: Apr 27, 2011, 12:19 am »
The thing that scares me the most about relying on a computer is that I have had my computer erase its entire hardrive during finals week. That being said, if I ever did shift to working largely on a computer, I would back up files like mad.

Overall, the directors that I have worked with didn't particulary care for laptops at all--and made it known. So when the situation arises when I want something on the computer, I just take time outside of rehearsal to do it.  As it has been said, working with a new script sometimes is easier on a computer--I worked on a show this past fall which the playwright was in, so the script changed nearly daily.

Personally, I trust my handy-dandy (paper) notebook :)

smccain

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Re: Labtop vs. Pencil and Script/Notepad
« Reply #50 on: Jun 01, 2011, 12:29 pm »
I have never worked with a director who has had issues with a laptop in the room. That being said, I am always careful about how I use it. I still have my notepad and pencil with me and I take most of my notes down there. I only use my computer for when we need to look something up, or if there is a pressing need, I can email the designers and get a quick response. It's generally more of a help than a hindrance in the rehearsal room, but only when not abused for non-work-related things. I can't imagine ever switching over to a digital script. Too time-consuming. If you're willing to spend all that time putting it into your computer, then by all means, do it. I just think I have better things to do with my time.
Sean

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Re: Labtop vs. Pencil and Script/Notepad
« Reply #51 on: Jun 02, 2011, 07:01 pm »
I write everything down in pencil and with big erasers! Each and every move and some times I do 2 columns- 1 column of blocking the director gave, one column of blocking the actors has been doing- then I get to discuss with the room which is the final shape.

I agree- using the laptop in the rehearsal studio is distracting. To the actors, director and ME! I always feel like I should be looking over the shoulder of the PA double checking... of course that's just my own control issue!  ::) But I can echo a hundred times- YES- the person typing is NOT paying attention to what is happening in the room! Either that or they're not paying enough attention to what their typing.






MelanieZastrow

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Re: Labtop vs. Pencil and Script/Notepad
« Reply #52 on: Jun 05, 2011, 05:30 pm »
The only thing that I try to use a laptop for in rehearsal is do rehearsal reports. I transferred over to using the laptop sparingly, but I've noticed if i don't at least have it with me to do things during breaks. I end up with 70 pages on notes that I then have to transfer to all the different places things have to go. I know of plenty of theaters that want everything to be emailed, it just seems to me a more efficient use of time to type quietly a little quick note directly into an email you send at the end of the rehearsal than spending who knows how long looking through all your notes to make sure that you've got something. The downside of technology is that in this day and age, it's so easy to get distracted. I don't know how many times I've been in the theater and actors or others miss something because they were on Facebook, texting, or playing Angry Birds. I find it happens more with a younger crowd.

plutosams

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Re: Labtop vs. Pencil and Script/Notepad
« Reply #53 on: Jun 08, 2011, 02:18 pm »
I am a mixed SM, meaining I rely on both computer and paper.  The one thing I have never done digitally is blocking.  Now that I know my rhythm it is much faster by hand.  Often directors change blocking so quickly that the pencil and a sticky note is my best friend (with an eraser of course).  With blocking I usually use sticky notes for the first few few times through a scene.  Then I go back and put the blocking into my book since it doesn't change "as much" anymore.  It allows me to know where actors are early in the process and keeps my book from getting to smudged from eraser marks.  I always try to put a "key" in the front of the script so in case anything happens any SM can come in an easily understand the blocking. 

I also still do paper line notes, I know that is more rare these days I just find actors actually read them if you personally hand them out.  I have also become quite fast at writing them. 

On the other hand I have to say I am a self-professed computer nerd.  If a program were to come around that automated blocking notes (point and click and it writes your blocking) and allowed me to quickly edit those for specific details I would likely use it.  I tend to try just about everything just in case I find something that really works for me.  So far nothing I have found has made life easier than a pencil and eraser for blocking.

Tempest

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Re: Labtop vs. Pencil and Script/Notepad
« Reply #54 on: Jun 09, 2011, 01:59 pm »
Oooooo, post-its for the first few rounds of blocking?  I love that idea!!! 
I could put them right on top of each other, so when the question comes, "What did we do, before?" I can just peel back a few layers.

Thanks for the idea, plutosams!  I use post-it arrows for cues in tech, but I never thought of applying the same idea to blocking!
Jessica: "Of course I have a metric size 4 dinglehopper in my kit!  Who do you think I am?"

bradthommo1

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Re: Labtop vs. Pencil and Script/Notepad
« Reply #55 on: Jun 12, 2011, 10:45 pm »
I am more inclined to do blocking with paper/pencil. Much easier to change on the fly not to mention the ease of drawing diagrams and symbols


On the other hand I have to say I am a self-professed computer nerd.  If a program were to come around that automated blocking notes (point and click and it writes your blocking) and allowed me to quickly edit those for specific details I would likely use it.  I tend to try just about everything just in case I find something that really works for me.  So far nothing I have found has made life easier than a pencil and eraser for blocking.

It is funny that you mention this. Currently in Australia a group of SM's and Computer programers are actually in the process of making such a program. It's called Production Genie.

Although this program might be able to do blocking like you say (point and click) but I would still use pencil and paper in the rehearsal room.
Cheers
Bradthommo1

 

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