3 years ago

February Issue - Stage Directions Magazine

February Issue - Stage Directions Magazine

Bartlett Bartlett TM-125

Bartlett Bartlett TM-125 TM-125 stage-floor stage-floor microphone microphone "TM-125 single-handedly solved my sound problems" -- B.W, school music director, Oak Bluffs, MA "Ecstatic with the results on a production of Amahl " -- Rev. T.H., Plano, TX. "Ecstatic with the results on a production of Amahl " -- Rev. T.H., Plano, TX. "TM-125 single-handedly solved my sound problems" -- B.W, school music director, Oak Bluffs, MA • Incredibly rugged • Low cost • Clear, natural sound • Tech support by the design engineers • Made in USA 574-293-0366 Sometimes it’s faster, and makes more sense, to just go to the management office and photocopy all of the incoming documents. Analyze and compare each quote for accuracy against the original shop order. Check each quote for the dates of delivery, the contact information and the billing information. Compare the quotes to one another for the number and size of the transport vehicles involved. Compare the quotes for any additional drop-off or pick-up costs. If time is limited, use broad strokes. Is there enough time to send out a second reduced shop order and request a second set of quotes? More to the point, does it politically make sense to take this step? Will any (or all) of the lighting rental shops still want to be involved? Define which shop(s) should be considered “relevant.” Speak with each relevant shop to review the current situation, define the schedule, clarify any anomalies in the bid, identify big-ticket items and review potential substitution or elimination options. Reviewing these topics allows the lighting designer to consider all options, so that the best decisions can be made the first (and usually only) time. If there’s any confusion about the equipment choices or the way that the original bid was constructed, this is the time to clarify any questions and remove them from future discussion. Analyze the show and define what can be exchanged, altered or cut. If the lighting package needs to be changed, or cut, most lighting designers agree “the sooner the better.” The sooner the procedure takes place after the preliminary light plot and shop order are created, the fresher the light plot and core design documents are in the lighting designer’s mind. In some situations, the lighting designer may able to rattle off which gear is expendable without thinking twice. Even while creating the light plot, many designers will mentally assign an internal prioritization to different equipment or effects: “This will create an incredible series of looks for the show, but if anything has to be cut, this would be one of the first things to go.” Other than specific 10 February 2010 •

moments, however, having a solid sense about the amount of time or scenes that any system in the plot will be used can seem like a daunting task. But all of that information has already been decided and detailed in the lighting designer’s core design documents. Ensure that the director and management are aware of the current situation, kept abreast of all major developments and provided with the opportunity to provide input when final decisions need to be made. Negotiate an agreement about an altered lighting package with the relevant shops. Speak to the lighting rental shop’s account rep to negotiate a middle ground for the light plot. The different layers and nuances of negotiating with any light shop is colored by personal relationships, competition between shops, who gets the “last look” and who “sharpens the pencil.” Shop negotiation is often based on experience, both good and bad. Involving other members of the management team in this negotiation is an individual decision, and one each lighting designer must carefully consider. Notify everyone involved, relevant or not, when when final agreements have been made and the bid has been awarded to a single lighting rental shop. The Basics Although many of these steps may overlap or take place in a different order than what’s presented here, they can all be distilled down to three basic guidelines: 1. Make sure that everyone is aware of what is going on, especially the producer and the director. 2. Whenever possible, make rational decisions based on facts, instead of knee-jerk reactions. 3. Keep a detailed diary of everything that takes place. Keep all documents in archive for reference. When possible, have information doublechecked before publication. Steven L. Shelley is the author of A Practical Guide to Stage Lighting, Second Edition. This is an excerpt from the chapter titled “Cuts and Changes.” • February 2010 11

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