Nothing says committed quite like an 8:30 am meeting, and that’s what the Cox and Box staff were up to Wednesday morning when we would have much rather been asleep. Why, you ask? Well, it was an auspicious day in the life of a show: paper tech!

In a “normal” show, paper tech would take place about two weeks before the show and serve as an opportunity for us to talk through the technical aspects of the show and prepare for any potential problems that may come up during actual tech. Although I’ve previously music directed several shows with HRG&SP, this is my first stint as producer. Cox and Box is definitely a unique project, and paper tech is no exception.

For this online production, we’ve broken up this particular event into two parts. In the first part, which happened this morning, we talked through all of the prerecorded video material that will make up the show, led by Sam Dvorak ‘23, our fearless stage director. This is in preparation for actors starting to record their videos, which they will be doing next week!

Sam has made a shot-by-shot breakdown of each music-video style song, and today we took copious notes on changing backgrounds, green screen positions, where we’ll need more complicated editing techniques, and how many recordings each actor will have to make. Sam, our set designer Isaac Heller ‘23, stage manager Ruth Jaensubhakij ‘22, my fellow producers Clarissa Briasco-Stewart ‘24 and Jasmyne Roberts ‘24, and I talked through each shot, bringing up any potential problems and keeping track of things the actors and video editors will need to know to bring the show to life. Even though it was very early in the morning for a group of college students, I think it left us feeling rejuvenated and excited about the show! Sam’s vision and the hard work of our designers, technicians, cast, and orchestra is starting to really come together, and we cannot wait to share it with you!

So what’s next in the job of a producer? Well, we’re starting to put together audio for the songs, so we’re getting all the individual tracks in and Jasmyne is deftly handling audio editing logistics. We’re also getting props and costumes to actors this weekend, and preparing them for their next audio recording deadline in Zoom rehearsals this week. And since I’m playing viola in the orchestra, I have a track of my own to record before Sunday, so I’d better get practicing!

Once we’ve gotten all the recorded aspects of the show underway (or at least acquired footage from the actors), we’ll turn our attention to the scenes of the show, which will be performed live, and the technology necessary to merge prerecorded songs with live scenes!
If you think this sounds like a significant amount of work, you’d be absolutely correct, and we hope you’ll watch it when we’re finished!

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