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Production Procedures


Lighting Production Paperwork Standards, Procedures, and Guidelines

These guidelines are to insure that proper professional procedures are followed and that the design process will be mentored adequately. If you run into problems on your production that may keep you from meeting these guidelines, please contact David Jacques immediately. Adjustments may be made on an individual basis.

All lighting production paperwork must be approved by David Jacques. Script break-down, cue list, magic sheets, and storyboards must be presented to David no later than three weeks before the plot due date. A rough plot, hookup, and working sections must be presented to David two weeks before the plot due date. The final plot with all paperwork must be presented to David one week before the plot due date. All lighting plots will be drafted in 1/2" scale. Rough plots may be drafted in 1/4" scale. Professional drafting standards are to be followed.

On the plot due date, all paperwork will be presented to the Master Electrician by 9 AM. The plot, section, and paperwork (hookup, instrument schedule, shop order, gel order, gel cut list, template list, etc.) will be complete and adhere to professional standards. Please ask the Master Electrician how many bluelines and copies are required. Computerized paperwork is acceptable. It must be kept updated daily with changes noted and presented to the Master Electrician by 9 AM the next morning. Please highlight all changes.

All anticipated production notes for the day must be in the Master Electrician's mailbox no later than 9 AM that day. It is preferable to list the following day's notes after the rehearsal. This will afford the Electrician time to organize morning notes so that afternoon notes may be accomplished in an efficient manner. All Stage Manager notes will be written legibly and delivered to the Stage Manager no later than 9 AM the following morning. A cue list with script and/or score placements will be delivered to the Stage Manager and discussed at a meeting with the Stage Manager no later than 24 hours before the first technical rehearsal.

Focus charts should be organized so that any lighting designer or electrician could re-focus the production. All information pertaining to symbols, short-hand, notes, and the positioning of the focus tapes should be indicated on an introductory page.

Floor charts indicating where set mounts and rovers are located, circuited, and colored must be presented to the Master Electrician at least 24 hours before the focus. These charts must be kept updated daily.

Initial track sheets should be taken for the first lighting rehearsal. If available, updating may be accomplished over a board cue printout. Otherwise, track sheets must be updated during each rehearsal.

If a production utilizes re-patching, an updated re-patch sheet will be delivered to the lighting crew and Stage Manager at the beginning of the crew call.

A production book will be maintained throughout the production process. It should be continually updated for accurate information pertaining to the lighting of the production. The finished and updated production book must be presented to David by the end of the week following the opening of the production. This book must contain all paperwork, magic sheets, and plots (one updated and re- drafted, and one with changes indicated), board disks, focus charts, production notes, storyboards, and any other relevant information and forms.

On the night of the preview performance, the designer will deliver to the lighting crew and the stage manager an updated light plot with a hookup, instrument schedule, and dimmer check list. An updated magic sheet will also be provided. The designer will also setup backup stage atmospheres that are programmed into the submasters.

It is the Designer's responsibility to check-in with David at least once a week beginning from the first design meeting to the opening of the show to update him on the progress of the design.

Lighting Production Rehearsal Standards, Procedures, and Guidelines

Work calls must be organized to efficiently accomplish as much work as possible with the least amount of wasted time. Try to plan focus notes so that a position is visited only once. Be considerate of the carpenters and the other artists working in the theatre. It is good practice to ask the carpenters if there is enough light for them to work. Try to accommodate their needs. Never black out the stage without warning them and hearing their acknowledgment.

Both the Designer and Assistant Designer should be present at least thirty minutes before the scheduled beginning of the rehearsal. Either the Lighting Designer or Assistant must be present at the beginning of the crew call during the tech and dress weeks.

The production table must be kept organized and neat. The table and surrounding area must be cleaned of trash at the end of every rehearsal. If movement around the theatre during a rehearsal is necessary, please be considerate of the actors and director. Keep your movements subtle and try to move only during moments that would not distract the artists. Keep your discussions to a minimum and try to talk softly. Discuss all actor notes (regarding lighting) with the Director or Stage Manager. The Stage Manager or Director will be responsible for delivering notes to the actors.

Avoid blackouts when there are actors on stage. It is usually best to preview record a black-out if possible. Always warn the Stage Manager before blacking out on stage.

Be considerate of the crew breaks. When the Stage Manager or Master Electrician calls the break, quickly finish up what you are doing and allow the crew to break.

A short production meeting will be held at the end of each rehearsal. The Lighting Designer must be prepared to communicate the work notes that must be accomplished for the next work call. The Production Manager is responsible for organizing work calls and deciding priorities for stage and crew time. Always check with the Master Electrician before any lighting work outside of crew calls is to be accomplished. There will be no work notes permitted after midnight.

Provide the Stage Manager and lighting crew with an updated set of paperwork and magic sheets for such trouble-shooting.

Also, make sure that a back-up cue is programmed on a submaster in case of a lamp or dimmer failure, and that the crews and Stage Manager be instructed how to implement the back-up cue.

Provide detailed start-up and shut-down check lists for the crews.


Unless otherwise specified by the lighting designer, the responsibilities of the assistant lighting designer consist of the following:

1. Generate, organize and update all of the pre-production and production paperwork including the following; Production Book, Hookup, Instrument Schedule, Focus Charts, Cardboards, Floor Focus plots, Magic Sheets, Followspot Cue Sheets, Moving Light Track Sheets, and Re-patch sheets.

2. Attend all lighting rehearsals and any other rehearsals which the lighting designer requests the assistant's attendance.

3. Take notes during any rehearsal and deliver them to the appropriate staff members (electrician, stage manager, etc.).

4. Keep focus charts for all focusing and re-focusing of the production. Make sure that the focus tape is down and that you are ready to begin when the call begins. The designer and electricians should not have to wait on you.

5. Deliver updated production book including updated light plot at the end of the production.

6. Keep the production table organized and neat.

7. Get to the theater early to set up the focus tape and production table. Everything should be ready to go before the call begins.

8. Check the production table light, headsets and monitors. Keep the table organized, supplied, and clean.

9. Supervise focus of floor stands and rovers during shifts. Also check repatch.

10. Be the designer's left brain. Try to stay one step ahead.

11. Become familiar with the piece and the production.

12. Conduct yourself and dress like a professional.

Cherubin, 2005