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Paperwork

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by BNEL, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. BNEL

    BNEL Member

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    Location:
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    So everyone has their own system of paperwork when they design. I am wondering what type of paperwork other designers generate for their designs and for other production staff including the stage manager and director?
     
  2. Sony

    Sony Active Member

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    Occupation:
    Freelance Electrician/Rigger
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    The paperwork I create depends on how involved in the show I am. Usually I'm not only the Lighting Designer but also the Lighting Programmer and Master Electrician as such is the case when I am in our small theatre at my college. When this is the case I produce a minimal amount of paperwork because I know what I'm doing and I don't need to waste a million tree's creating stuff that I already have in my brain. When this is the case I usually produce:

    1) Lighting Plot
    2) Gel and Gobo Schedule
    3) A list of things that need to be ordered

    Once the Plot is Hung and I circuit it, I make a Circuit Diagram/Patch List to ade in my programming the show.

    In venues where I am only the Lighting Designer and not the ME or such I will produce more paperwork. Including:

    1) Hang Plot
    2) Instrument Patch/Channel Hookup
    3) Gel and Gobo Schedule(s)
    4) Focus Plot
    5) Magic Sheets
    6) Ordering List for anything that needs to be ordered ahead of time

    I will also produce any other specific paperwork on request, including renderings, concept....etc
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2009
  3. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Lighting:

    - Vectorworks generated Plot, Hang Cards
    - Lightwright generated Channel Hookup
    - Lightwright exports patch to Express/Emphasis directly
    - Open Office/Word file for Color Order
    - Open Office master things to do list for electrics
    - Everything needs to be able to export to Adobe to send to the folks on the road who are coming to the space.

    Sound uses Open Office spread sheet for mic assignments and patching

    Production:

    - Vectorworks for stage diagrams, staging layouts, band layouts, etc
    - Open Office for all word processing, spreadsheets (payroll, etc...)
    - Palm Desktop schedule for staffing and what's happening day to day (there HAS to be a better program at this !).

    - SM uses Open Office spreadsheets for crew time and SM reports.

    FWIW, about every traveling event I see and have had in the past 3 years or so, that needs a plot using house gear is using Vectorworks and Lightwright. A recent dance designer works in AutoCad but told me he's now switching to VW and LW.

    SB
     
  4. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Occupation:
    Controls Technician - TAIT Towers
    Location:
    Lititz, PA
    In this day and age, we expect our designers to submit a digital copy of the plot, most just draft in Vectorworks now, so it isn't a problem otherwise a PDF will do. For those designers (not many left) who still draft by hand, we like to get hard copies as well, just in case. We also ask for some form of paperwork. I scowl at the people who don't use LightWright, but usually if I don't get a LW file it is Excel, so I can just import to LW. I see no reason for people to send my any paperwork in hard copy as most of the time I want it in a different format/layout as how the LD looks at it. From a complete LW file I can generate any paperwork I need, color and template schedules, hookups, etc.

    We don't require the submission of Magic Sheets, though most LDs will leave a copy for me after tech. Usually the SM wants a copy of the cue list before tech starts, but we don't require the submission of a cue list before the designer run through. It is not the LDs job to produce a circuit plot, that should be the ME. If the show is done entirely as a rental then it may be the LDs job to produce a shop order, but for us in regional theatre and the academic world, any rental and purchasing decisions are usually made by the ME.

    In summary, what I like to get (as ME in our theatre):
    1) Plot - A Vectorworks file (or PDF in scale accompanied by hard copy)
    2) LightWright File (or Excel file)
    3) Cue list for SM (not required until designer run)
     
  5. Sony

    Sony Active Member

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    Occupation:
    Freelance Electrician/Rigger
    Location:
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    Sorry, I meant Instrument Patch instead of Circuit Diagram on the second part of my post.

    Edited!

    I also do everything in Vectorworks, it's so much easier to just send a digital copy. I unfortunately do not have LightWright yet as it cost money I don't have. I'll hopefully be getting it soon though. For now I do all my lists in the Open Office equivalent of Excel and save it in Excel format.
     
  6. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
    Teacher
    Location:
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    How much info is included on a Cue sheet? Just a list of cues and their descriptions? Or actual corresponding line and page numbers?
     
  7. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Occupation:
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    Are you looking for "channel hookup," it sounds like that is what you mean.
     
  8. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Occupation:
    Controls Technician - TAIT Towers
    Location:
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    Cue list usually contains:
    - Cue number
    - trigger (when it is called: cue line, action, music, etc)
    - Page number
    - approximate line (if applicable)
    - fade time (if/when known)
    - sometimes a general description of the cue
     
  9. willbb123

    willbb123 Active Member

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    Location:
    Iowa USA
    I use Vectorworks, but I prefer having a paper copy of my plot. I hate having to scroll around on the computer.
    Once everything is connected I input the dimmer numbers into my laptop, and then generate a patch report, I normally dont even print the patch. That reminds me I have never found a good way to print reports on vectorworks.
    If I am running the board for the show I normally dont give anything to the SM. I have seen the show many and know where my cues are.
    Because I maintain a REP Plot at my theater I will normally have a "Special Sheet" that has all the instruments that can not change (Curtain Warmers, Pit lights, and stair lights)
    For concerts I normally have a hand drawn magic sheet infront of me. I make it for me, and normally I am the only one that understands it. :rolleyes:
    I also always have a printed magic sheet. Normally many copies... I take one with me when i use the RFU, and will normally need to write something on the back of it.
     
  10. DaveySimps

    DaveySimps CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Occupation:
    Performing Arts Center Manager
    Location:
    Macomb, MI
    I second what everyone is saying about the use of VW and Lightwrite. I do a significant amount of sound work, and I still just use Excel since the venues I design in are so different in what they need as far as paperwork, and for what they require of a designer. As a whole, I have found the more digital friendly you can be with being able to import, export, and email stuff, the better, no matter what area of the industry you are in.

    SteveB, you may want to check out Tech Planner. As a production manager / TD I recently started to use this for our calendars / scheduling, and LOVE it. I stopped off at their booth at USITT, and they were offering free 30 day trials to everyone. If you are interested, you may want to see if you can get in on that.

    Tech Planner : Home

    ~Dave
     
  11. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
    Teacher
    Location:
    Central Wisconsin
    Hey, Dave, could you post a review and maybe some screen shots for those interested? (Maybe in another thread?) Especially since the website gives almost no info other than purchase info...
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2009
  12. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    Dave,

    I went to the linked website, were there is absolutely zero information about what the program does, how it works and looks, page views, zip.

    You sign up and pay and get what ?. What am I missing ?

    SB
     
  13. DaveySimps

    DaveySimps CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Occupation:
    Performing Arts Center Manager
    Location:
    Macomb, MI
    Sorry, to be absolutely honest I have not perused the website, I just assumed it had the traditional screen shots and advertising that most do. I saw another production manager using it, and that is how I got into it.

    I will try and work on getting some screen shots and info up this weekend. Essentially, you get server space, so any computer with access to a web browser gets you to your stuff. Being a production manager, my favorite portion is the calendar function. It allows you to post everything to one calendar, and give the posting priorities and details (such as department, crew members they apply to, room, etc.) You can sort by all of these details which is great, or define your own category. If you want to make a rehearsal calendar, you can sort by something, if you want to see how many hours a crew member has, that can be another sort. Best of all, you can give others access to the calendar, and control what they see and do not see, simply by what HTML you post. They do not need a user name or log in or anything like that, just the URL. You control the access by what calendar you "print for view".

    It also has great TD related stuff for budget tracking and vendor lists. You can get so detailed that you can tell how much a scenic piece cost, how long it took to build, and what vendors supplies were used to build it. Any smart phone will also allow you to access all of the above as well, so you have access to stock info while at the hardware store or in a meeting. It does much more than what I am listing, but I just wanted to give the gist of it. Sorry again, for making the assumption the website was actually useful.

    ~Dave
     
  14. NickJones

    NickJones Active Member

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    Location:
    Somewhere far far away, Vic, Aus
    I do exactly the same as icewolf, I also have another feild, for followspots.

    Can any of you guys upload some of your Cue Lists? It would be interested to know how you guys do it.
    Cheers
    Nick
     
  15. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Location:
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    I'm curious why you aren't using LW's Color Count for your color order. I"m not talking about the Color Schedule (waste of paper) but LW will actually count how many and of what size cut color you need.
     
  16. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    LW generates the count, then I cut and past to a Word doc and do a re-sort to get the attached print out.

    SB
     

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