Author Topic: Clock for Backstage Tracks  (Read 4728 times)

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LexieTaylor

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Clock for Backstage Tracks
« on: Sep 01, 2015, 03:03 pm »
I fee like in the past I have worked on a couple of local crews for tours that have had show clocks backstage that the crew would be able to see so that they can have a more specific idea of what timing we are at during the act. When creating backstage paperwork for our productions here at the ballet, we always include act timings in everything and I think having a clock backstage would be great.
Does anyone else use a show clock backstage?
I think I would want something that starts at 0:00 and can start a count up on my control (via remote?).
Thoughts? Suggestions?

Maribeth

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Re: Clock for Backstage Tracks
« Reply #1 on: Sep 01, 2015, 04:31 pm »
I always include timings on runsheets, but don't always have a show clock available backstage. Usually folks who are interested in using the timings just have their own stopwatch. Some backstage consoles have them built in, and you just hit start when the show starts.

For something backstage, I would want something big and easily visible, that lights up- maybe something like this? There are some different options on amazon along the same lines, and many of them have remotes. A lot of them can either count up or count down.

KMC

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Re: Clock for Backstage Tracks
« Reply #2 on: Sep 01, 2015, 04:59 pm »
If your venue already has a master-clock device generating timecode (e.g. a show controller, track playback) then hang a timecode reader /display off of the LTC line.   Horita TR-100 is a good choice.

If you want something simple that counts up/down, look at something like the Horita ETD-100. 
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BayAreaSM

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Re: Clock for Backstage Tracks
« Reply #3 on: Sep 01, 2015, 11:12 pm »
My former Props Master used to set up a digital clock backstage right on his prop table (since he always worked on right), and he would set it himself with the downbeat. After he left, no one else did this. As Maribeth said, most of my current crew either set a stopwatch or use the stopwatch setting on their phones or wrist watches.

I think the problem with a fixed clock is that it's only in one place - so only one side of the stage sees it, and depending on where it is located on that side, even fewer people may be able to see it. Just easier for crew members to take care of themselves, or ask a member of Stage Management how long until the next cue.

hbelden

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Re: Clock for Backstage Tracks
« Reply #4 on: Sep 02, 2015, 12:58 am »
I find that time on run sheets is most useful in a relative sense, not an absolute sense.  What I mean is that I don't care that Rail 10 happens at 0:35 and Rail 12 happens at 1:30, what I want to know is that I've got five minutes until the next cue, or that I have to memorize the next four cues because I don't have time to check the run-sheet in between.  Sometimes I'll even highlight cue sequences in different colors so that I know where the breaks are to check the run-sheet.  I'll rely on the Stage Manager to warn me for the next cue, much more than I'll trust a clock on the wall (in 99% of situations).
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dance stage manager

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Re: Clock for Backstage Tracks
« Reply #5 on: Sep 02, 2015, 08:55 pm »
I'm with hbelden; I don't think I have ever encountered a crew that is accustomed to referring to a show-specific clock or timer.  For me, the timings on running sheets/notes are most valuable as an internal reference for determining how much time there is for a particular change, and how much time there is between activities.  I think a member of the running crew that wants an accurate reference can run a stopwatch themselves.

Maribeth is right too; I've encountered several SM consoles with built-in timers.  Stage mangers can use them to display a running time for an act or an intermission, or count-down an intermission - that's one feature I've definitely seen other running crew make use of and refer to.

forner

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Re: Clock for Backstage Tracks
« Reply #6 on: Sep 02, 2015, 09:49 pm »
Like most of you, I have always included summary timings for scenes and acts on the run sheets; I also provided when a move or task starts; when an actor enters or exits. These times can help all department, particularly the Props and Wardrobe departments with prop hand-off and prop catches or quick changes.
I agree with those who report that crew members want to know much time there is between cues or moves. It helps to know this because the crew can plan to accomplish other tasks, prepare for the next move or just chill.
I offer another way crew members are able to keep in sync with the show and that is to associate specific light cues with their tasks. (Of course these technicians have to be on headset and on the same channel as Electrics).

 

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