Friday, February 17, 2012

What Happens at a Production Meeting?

This week we had the first production meeting for a new show: The Whipping Man.

The director and I had already met to talk about the set, so I showed up with sketches about 95% approved.  My first business - before the meeting - was to explain our idea to the producer for their approval.

A first production meeting always starts with a "This is our quest" speech by the director, explaining his or her approach to the text and this production.  Sometimes the producer will speak, but often that happens (if you'll forgive the expression) off stage, between director and producer.  Sometimes the stage manager will have contracts to sign.

The next speaker is often the set designer.

At this point you explain your design concept to the rest of the production team.  The set tends to lead the visual tone of a show, effecting the other designers' work.   These "others" include costume, lighting, prop, and sound designers and other specialists like choreographers, fight designers etc.  A interesting crowd.

The Mad Hatter's production meeting - public domain image

The actual set builder tends not to be at the production meeting.  Set designer, producer, and maybe director, usually talk to the technical director (TD) and/or head carpenter separately...  mostly so set doesn't monopolize the production meeting.  Costumes, props, light, and sound all need discussion too!

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