Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Details, Details, Details

If you design theater sets for a while, you'll run into that set builder who seems absolutely unable to ever, ever, ever finish a set early.

Sometimes this is because the sets are too ambitious, sometimes because the builder is that kind of time-manager, and sometimes... sometimes this is Strategy.

Because I have also, after designing enough sets, run into the odd reality that, if the director and producers are given enough time to stare at a (nearly) finished set, they will start to get pickier, start to micro-note it.


Notes are the remarks, questions, and requests under the "Set" part of each day's Rehearsal Report.  The normal sort of scenic notes tend to read like:

"Stage right door sticks / need coat hook SL / can we darken chair? it's washing out under lights / need glo-tape at exit."

What I'd call micro-notes are more like:

"Fix faint blue drip / need thumb tacks not push pins / more bird poop."  (That last is my favorite-ever director's note!)

Image is of a vinyl sticker that I think you can buy HERE
if the owner objects to its reproduction, please let me know.

Savvy set builders learn that the longer everyone stares at a finished set, the pickier they all get.  So... some builders make sure the set is never finished till the last instant.  Saving them many hours of fiddly little revisions.

This strategy drives me crazy (because I want to be picky too), but sometimes I do understand the temptation!

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