Author Topic: Recording rehearsals for designers  (Read 3077 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

DavidA

  • New to Town
  • **
  • Posts: 9
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA
Recording rehearsals for designers
« on: Sep 28, 2014, 09:35 am »
The Hardline seems a good place for this.

I've found a disturbing trend going on recently that deals with the allowing of recording of rehearsals for designer purposes. It is my understanding that unless there is a need to record something for safety reasons, it's simply not allowed by AEA. I even clarified this on my current Guest Artist contract with my rep.

However, this was done on the last GA contract by the theatre. They had one AEA contract and no AEA stage manager. When I spoke to the Lighting Designer, he told me that he has "never been denied this request in the past."

I didn't permit any recording for the current show but after more discussion, I found that the LD has been permitted to do this exact same thing at other theatres (at least one being a well-known LORT theatre).

So, what's the deal? Why do SM's allow it? Why does theatre management look the other way? Am I missing something? I've spoken with a number of  other AEA SM friends and they all say I'm clearly in the right. Believe me, I'd LOVE to let it happen to make all over our lives easier but, y'know, rules are rules. This isn't the first time I've come across this issue either. It's about the third time in the last TWO years.

I'm curious to hear your thoughts on this matter.


EFMcMullen

  • SM Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 127
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Recording rehearsals for designers
« Reply #1 on: Sep 28, 2014, 01:05 pm »
It is now allowed in LORT.

From the most recent rule book:
Rule 35: Media: Recording and Broadcast
(E) Recording to Facilitate Production Work and Transfers to Not-for-Profit Theatres.
(1) Capture:
(a) For the purpose of production work and the facilitation of transfers to other not-for-profit Theatres only, there shall be no time limit on the capture of rehearsal or performance.
(b) It is intended that in permitting such capture, it shall be unobtrusive and neither the Actor nor the audience shall be disturbed in any manner.
(c) If possible, all Actors involved must be given notice at least 24 hours prior to the performance or rehearsal that is to be captured. The cast must be informed at the half hour call of the capture of an entire performance or any part thereof.
(d) A Stage Manager must be present at the captured performance and rehearsal.

(2) Use:
(a) The Recording may be used by the director, choreographer, playwright, orchestrator, dance arranger, designers, Stage Manager, Dance Captain, Fight Captain, Stunt Coordinator, and/or the not-for-profit transferee Theatre’s production staff.
(b) After the stated purpose has been accomplished, the Recording must be destroyed.

I think it is too bad that it is being used and designers are not able to be in the rehearsal hall, but such is the nature of freelance designers nowadays.

MatthewShiner

  • Forum Moderators
  • *****
  • Posts: 2477
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, SMA
  • Current Gig: PSM THE LION KING NORTH AMERICAN TOUR; Assc Director and Production Supervisor HUNCHBACK International
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Recording rehearsals for designers
« Reply #2 on: Sep 28, 2014, 01:34 pm »
Yes, it is allowed on the LORT contract, and I think it's an amazing use of technology.  Being able to dry tech, or paper teching a complicated sequence off a video is great.  Also, for complicated sequences, being able to check blocking off the video tape is pretty good back up.

I think this is a positive thing, and I wish it was allowed on more contracts.

But, you need to check that it is allowed on your contract - the more lucrative contracts seem to allow it.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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.

DavidA

  • New to Town
  • **
  • Posts: 9
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA
Re: Recording rehearsals for designers
« Reply #3 on: Sep 28, 2014, 02:16 pm »
Thanks. I haven't been on a true LORT since 2011 and I remember that rule coming in. Didn't know it was still in play. It's not allowed on Guest Artist still and I'm not sure about SPT.

My last Off-Broadway in 2012-2013 didn't allow it either.

I'm also all for this across the board on all contracts. I'm now curious as to why it isn't.

ejsmith3130

  • SM Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 155
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: EMC
  • Current Gig: Coordinating a Move to Napaskiak AK- Harder than any show I've ever done!
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Recording rehearsals for designers
« Reply #4 on: Sep 28, 2014, 02:57 pm »
We ran into this on our last production at an SPT theatre, and found that without express permission from Equity, we could not record for this purpose.

I agree that it is a very useful thing to be able to do- and especially at the lower levels. We had the opportunity to work with a great sound designer who was booked solid right up until our tech, because he was in high demand, and it would have been great if he was more up to speed prior to actually sitting down at tech when we were using rehearsal and tech hours to play catch up.

NomieRae

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 246
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, SMA, Adelphi University
Re: Recording rehearsals for designers
« Reply #5 on: Sep 28, 2014, 08:15 pm »
In my experience, theaters often ask AEA to give express written permission either on a show or season basis for this. One regional LOA/COST space I was in did that because their rehearsal process is only nine days before tech. Really expedites the process of paper tech, etc.

--Naomi
"First, I honor life, and with it my life in theatre." -- Jacques Burdick

hbelden

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 412
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Recording rehearsals for designers
« Reply #6 on: Sep 30, 2014, 12:23 pm »
Contracts are negotiation, not legislation.  The status quo ante was that recording of entire run-throughs was not allowed except for one archive tape.  But when technology became more pervasive and useful, LORT theaters pressed hard for permission to expand the recording of rehearsals for many various reasons, one of which is saving on transporting/housing designers.  It's my understanding that AEA won some pretty important and unprecedented benefits in exchange for the privilege.

So, don't be so willing to allow recording on your contracts; even if we find it useful, it's *so much more* valuable to the producers, and we should work to get them to give up something real in each contract in order to get what they want.

Now I think AEA is feeling pressure from producers to allow live-streaming of rehearsals; Skype, FaceTime, etc.  As far as I know, there isn't any offer producers could make that AEA would find a palatable exchange for that ability, but I expect theaters to press for it more often.  Be ready.

As always, I speak only for myself and my (very limited) understanding as a union member.  Nothing I say here or anywhere else should be read as "AEA says..."
--
Heath Belden

"I'm not good, I'm not nice, I'm just right." - Sondheim
--

MatthewShiner

  • Forum Moderators
  • *****
  • Posts: 2477
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, SMA
  • Current Gig: PSM THE LION KING NORTH AMERICAN TOUR; Assc Director and Production Supervisor HUNCHBACK International
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Recording rehearsals for designers
« Reply #7 on: Sep 30, 2014, 02:42 pm »
I disagree that videotaping rehearsals is
Quote
"it's *so much more* valuable to the producers"

Taping a complicated sequence for designers so they cast doesn't need to do it over and over again, it's pro-production - both producers and actors.  Think about a complicated tech transition with automation, flying, etc, that has to be scored . . . run it once, give it to the composer and move on.

Think about a complicated musical, where a swing has multiple tracks to learn . . .

A complicated show that a new SM needs to learn calling it . . .

Fight / dance work - although this has been approved for awhile.

I never see it a solution as pro union or pro-producer, but looking for the solution that is PRO-PRODUCTION, and I see this as a win-win solution.



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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.

hbelden

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 412
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Recording rehearsals for designers
« Reply #8 on: Sep 30, 2014, 03:32 pm »
I never see it a solution as pro union or pro-producer, but looking for the solution that is PRO-PRODUCTION, and I see this as a win-win solution.

I agree that the usefulness of videotaping makes this a win-win solution, but the *financial benefit* is to the producers, not the union members.  They save potentially thousands on transporting and housing designers, are able to hire people who might otherwise be unavailable, and still get a decent tech.  It cuts down on the number of run-throughs needed in a rehearsal process, so it potentially shortens the rehearsal period.  It also lets artistic directors keep tabs on their own company while directing out of town, for example.  So in return, getting a financial benefit to the Actors that we didn't have before, is really smart; AEA was also able to put up explicit fences around how such video could be used.

And this one benefit was just one of a whole media package that expanded producers' ability to market the show online and in broadcast media; I'm certain we wouldn't have been able to restrict video capture to just production use.  I think the negotiation on this issue in LORT was smart and to everyone's benefit; I'm just hesitant to propagate it to other contracts without also improving those contracts in negotiation.  Why throw away real leverage?
--
Heath Belden

"I'm not good, I'm not nice, I'm just right." - Sondheim
--