Author Topic: Use of Technology (Videotaping Performances)  (Read 4258 times)

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MatthewShiner

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Use of Technology (Videotaping Performances)
« on: Nov 11, 2006, 05:47 pm »
I have had an idea in the works for awhile.  I tend, at my current job, to work on large cast shows, lots of technology in the scenery and lights, and at a theatre we treat very seriously, sinec we tend to run shows 10+ weeks.  This is an AEA LORT company.

I am looking into asking for a concession from Equity to allow stage management to record a performance early in the run for the following purposes:

1) To allow me to update blocking that happens during tech which I am unable to get do to teching the show.  (especially during tight tech moments)
2) Allow me to train an ASM or outside SM to take over a show.

Now, there is no current rule that would allow such thing.  Has anyone ever asked for such a concession?

This would be seperate from the Archival Video . . . which is done by an outside company, comes very late in the run, and has a turn around time which would not make it useful to me.

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Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

smejs

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Re: Use of Technology (Videotaping Performances)
« Reply #1 on: Nov 11, 2006, 06:04 pm »
I've never asked for a concession, but I agree it would be great for stage management purposes (and if a musical, etc, for the dance captains).  I worked on a large non-Equity show that had video screens that were used for the audience to "enhance" their perspective.  One of the camera shots was a constant full-stage shot, so we asked the video people for a copy of that almost every show, and would delete them after a few days.  We used these specifically for dance captains and stage management to train the show, and did NOT let them get out for public viewing.  I'm sure would also be helpful for fight captains.

I'm sure this will take a bit of convincing Equity that it's needed, however.  But I can attest it's extremely useful.  And so helpful training someone on tricky calling sequences.

And you mean I'm not the only stage manager who can't catch all the blocking changes during tech?

Erin

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Re: Use of Technology (Videotaping Performances)
« Reply #2 on: Nov 11, 2006, 06:12 pm »
Interesting thought, Matt.  The closest thing I've ever heard of is a concession being granted for video-taping of vast fight sequences in shows like "Three Musketeers" so that those fight sequences can be both notated and maintained. This video (to the best of my recollection) could only be of the specific fight sequences granted in the concession and the tape had to remain in Stage Management's posession and destroyed after a certain time period.

I'm not even sure Stage Managers on Broadway are allowed to video-tape to put a new SM into calling the show.  (Someone here please correct me if I'm wrong...)  My friends who have gone into calling shows have always just watched from near the calling position, made their own version of the calling script, and listened to the calling repeatedly.

That all being said, it is nice to know that I'm not the only one who can't get all the blocking changes during tech. of big shows, as I never have extra staff for such a job.  It sure would be nice to have a tape for that, which I would happily destroy after updating notation.! 

It doesn't hurt to ask, but, personally, I wouldn't hold my breath!

Ruth

[snip]

I am looking into asking for a concession from Equity to allow stage management to record a performance early in the run for the following purposes:

1) To allow me to update blocking that happens during tech which I am unable to get do to teching the show.  (especially during tight tech moments)
2) Allow me to train an ASM or outside SM to take over a show.

Now, there is no current rule that would allow such thing.  Has anyone ever asked for such a concession?
"Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you."
--Alan Alda

Jessie_K

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Re: Use of Technology (Videotaping Performances)
« Reply #3 on: Nov 11, 2006, 08:31 pm »
I say, it can't hurt to ask.  This kind of thing is done is dance ALL the time.  You might have to make a new request each show and have the cast sign a waiver.

When I have had to get special permission for filming/ video taping before I have had to go through several drafts of the agreement with AEA.  So start your requests early.

SM_Art

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Re: Use of Technology (Videotaping Performances)
« Reply #4 on: Nov 11, 2006, 09:28 pm »
It's not just Equity you have to ask... you have to have the performer's permission, as well.  I've videotaped dance sequences in rehearsals, with the cast's permission, in order to get light cues in the right place, and practice calling a section of a show. 
It's a battle we've been discussing with AEA for a long time, and I hope enough SM's DO call AEA and ask, so that they know it's still a valid tool for SM's... and let's face it, the quality of video we're talking about for our purposes is not anywhere close to broadcast quality, so it's not like we're looking to sell copies or anything like that.  It's just another tool which we'll have to fight for....
Art

wilsom6317

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Re: Use of Technology (Videotaping Performances)
« Reply #5 on: Nov 11, 2006, 10:32 pm »
I agree with everybody, I think it would be a good idea. I had a similar thought but mine was videotaping the rehearsals for blocking purpose. Sometimes when I do a show, I am still writing blocking or the director has questions. I know that its not feasable but it would help in the long run!

MatthewShiner

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Re: Use of Technology (Videotaping Performances)
« Reply #6 on: Nov 12, 2006, 11:18 am »
Well, I know I can use the Archive video tape  for all my purposes, but as I said I just can't get it done in time.  So basically, all I am asking for is a second archive video tape of the show.

Recently, has anyone dealt with this, Directors are now allowed to videotape a run thru in rehearsal for their purposes.  (Something SSDC negotiated with LORT or AEA . . .).
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Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

stagemonkey

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Re: Use of Technology (Videotaping Performances)
« Reply #7 on: Nov 13, 2006, 04:33 pm »
It would be highly useful.  I have not delt with equity as I am still early in my SM carreer, but in college they would do this all the time especially with the dance shows.  It was so helpful as it allowed me to sit down with the LD before tech and have our own dry tech with the rehearsal video so that when we got to tech it was a lot easier. 

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