The Sweater Curese: A Yarn about Love closed yesterday. So today I returned items back to the two theatre companies I borrowed from, each across town from one another. Stopped by my mom's house to say hi. Then I was off to Mountain View College, a community college in Dallas. We had our first mini production meeting today. It was about saying hello to the designers and then getting our hands on the script to read. After that meeting we took a little field trip into the theratre that this show will be performed in. It's a big ole place. One of my tasks will be to make this theatre look full and not anemic.
What Do You Do First When Desgning a Stage Show?
First things first, you read the script. This is a must. Your clues for the entire show lie in the script. The hard thing is of course the final design. Read and re-read. Also doodle while your reading, this helps get the jucices flowing.
When is the Final Design Complete?
This step can be a little tricky. Kinda like playing a game of ping pong. Typically, I will stew for at leat one or two weeks from reading the script. Your Director or Producer might tell you the direction they have in mind, like today. Also keep budget in mind, don't go over.....oh and keep your build crew in mind. You do not want to over build a show if you only have one carpenter. They might not be able to complete the design. Also chek to see the skill set of your carpenter, they may or may not have certain build skills. Once you take all of that in you create a rendering of somekind you present that to the Director and or Producer. Changes will happen, just go with the flow. You can add and change things and still keep the integrity of the concept. Once revisions are complete it's now time to do one of two things, build a model or start on build plans. These days I always make one. This helps everyone see the 3D image in your head. It also helps the director block, carpenterrs build and painters paint and flush out not so great ideas. The design is finished!
Remeber your scale and by that I mean your scale ruler. Build plans are the design. Make sure they are inscale and correct. Do not guesstimate. I personally draft by hand. I have all my tools to give the correct angle and measurements. For this you will need and Architects Scale Ruler. If by comptuer then your software will do it for you.
These three steps are the most important in any set design. Any show I have ever worked on goes like this everytime. Remeber to have fun. The part where I have fun the most is the research. I get to buy books, learn things I might have not known, an inspire others or have them inspire me!
Enjoy reading my encounters in and around theatre set design.
"The object of art is to give life a shape" -Shakespeare-