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Production Desk  


Suzie Cummins
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-Should only the programmer or Chief LX or Designer (whom ever is doing the bulk of desk work) be allowed to touch the desk and be around the production desk?

-Do we need to Label all cans for the entirety of Tech/Production?

-If it has to be 2m this means programmer and designer will have to communicate on a comms line where everyone else is on that line too. Will this be too disruptive?

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Mike O'Halloran
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Hi Suzie,

In some ways, these rules should exist already. They certainly would in union houses. Even the LD isn't allowed to touch the desk. We are very lucky that we work in an industry with things like comms, patch panels etc and are used to setting people up in different places while keeping them connected with audio at least. Of course, smaller venues will struggle with this if they are not wired well or do not have a great selection of comms equipment.

I would try and arrange a system where people set up their own workstations. I have been on some contact tracing sessions and it was our responsibility to clean down our workstation and sanitise up each morning. So while there will be a duty of care on some employers to provide safe places of work there will need to be some responsibility taken by individuals to clean their own areas.

As for the use of comms, I feel that yes they would need to become the property of the individual for the duration of the run. It is an interesting question here at the best of times. Does anyone clean a headset before putting it on when they are running a show? I don't know that I ever have and now I feel ill thinking about it......

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Fiona Keller
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@mike-ohalloran and suzi- there's also been a lot of talk about people wanting to own their own headsets but we would need to set an industry standard that would work in majority of venues. Think the setting of one's own workspace is very important and individual responsibility for cleaning and hygiene is paramount

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Mike O'Halloran
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@fiona-keller it could be very difficult to ask venues to switch over to a unified brand of comms. For the most part alot of comms use 4pin xlr type connectors. What might be possible is to get a list of all the comms out there and look at making up small adapters which are either kept with the individual or by the venue. Generally you will come across: Tecpro, ASL, HME and another I can't think of now so wouldn't be a huge task to create adapters just like 15amp and 16amp lighting connections in different theatres.

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Gary Maguire
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@mike-ohalloran Altair is another comms system I've seen. Generally wired comms headsets are, as you said 4pin xlr. It's the wireless systems that seem to have more varied connectors.

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Chris Venton
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perhaps a multi prong approach to comms. The first suggestion would be to maintain your own set. The cleaning of which will be down to the owner of the equipment. When comms are needed and used, each set is assigned to an individual and not a position. No cans are to be swapped. The comms equipment should be maintained by the owner of the equipment. This may now need to include a sterilisation routine at the hire check in/out stage. The hire recipient should then have their own cleaning routine for a belts and braces approach. All sets should be cleaned before use, at the sign out stage, with alcohol and again when returned at the end of each day/session. perhaps comms equipment could be left in a UV-C light box over night? More research will be needed into the safe use of UV-C light boxes as they are very dangerous if used improperly. 

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Sarah Jane Shiels
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Hello, 

I bought a cheapish ASL Intercom HS1/D a few years ago for €70, it has worked with all wired systems I've tried it with.  I forget it at home more often than not, but not anymore!  It could be a good investment for designers and technicians who are on headsets frequently.  I agree with Chris that each comm set should be assigned to one person for the duration and that person in charge of cleaning. 

The programmer should be the only one to touch the desk.  Silver lining in all this, might train some sneaky designers to keep their hands to themselves (me).  But still being able to see whats going on on the desk would be a must for me so I would still use Nomad as a client.

Having a separate ring for LX to communicate on would be ideal, but not possible in all houses at the moment.  A dedicated plotting session would facilitate less talking over comms for LX.  I remember an app stage managers were talking about a few years ago for houses that didn't have a comms system.  Like the walkie talkie app for iPhone.  Would a supplementary system like this work for LX temporarily?   

Production tables.  Should we now provision for production stations for all persons in the room?  Traditionally Directors and Set and Costume designers did not have a table and were free to roam.  Perhaps setting them up in a dedicated location in line of sight of all the creative team and on comms would reduce the risk of people moving around to communicate in the dark.  

 

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eoinlx
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I've had my own set of DT-108s for a few years now. Mainly bought because of crappy canford headsets round the country but I'm very glad I have it now. I can highly recommend them. 

I try to make it a rule that only the programmer touches the desk. If any changes need to be made when the programmer is on a break, a note is left (which might need to be changed to a text).

A change I think needs to be made in relation to the prod desk is that prod meetings at the end of the day's are no longer to be crowded round the prod desk. 

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