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10641Re: costumes and lighting

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  • Curtis
    Sep 18, 2008
      I can honestly say I don't recall this particular argument being an
      issue on any of the shows I've worked on...but that is primarily
      because the groups that I work with do production meetings on a
      regular basis, starting months ahead of the production itself, so that
      everyone knows what everyone else is doing. The lighting designer has
      a heads up of costumes, as well as practical lights on stage from the
      props designer. Props and costumes get a chance to iron out who it is
      that will be rounding up canes, pocket watches, etc.

      I have, lately, been having problems with shows at the park, all of
      which can be traced back to the problem of not having enough
      production meetings. Ninety percent of the problems any production
      will run into can be avoided if everyone talks about what they're
      doing...but some people don't like to work that way. Those are the
      people I don't like to work with, because invariably, I end up hip
      deep in garbage that never needed to be there in the first place.
      These are the shows where I end up working overnight for three nights
      before final dress to try and fix all the stuff that fell through the

      So, I STRONGLY encourage you all, push for production meetings. Don't
      just sit down with your director and talk about what you're going to
      do. Sit down with the entire production team, so everybody is on the
      same page. Have the stage manager take notes, so if there's any
      question later on, someone can, in fact, say, "The director said
      THIS," instead of bickering about what was said in one meeting versus
      what was said in another. If there are particular costumes that you
      feel are 'make or break' for a character, let the lighting designer
      know about them, so some kind of compromise can be achieved...if
      you've got a good lighting designer, they can not only avoid giving
      you problems, they can enhance what you're trying to do. Be willing
      to give as much as you ask, though, or else you get a reputation for
      being hard to work with and people don't want your assistance. Yeah,
      artistic vision is important...but theater is a collaborative art
      form, which means everyone needs to have a little give and take.
      You'll be amazed just how many problems never arise when you start
      sharing information with the production team well in advance, instead
      of at tech rehearsals.
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