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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000205.txt from 2000/09

From: Bill Hausmann <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Copyright vs improvisation
Date: Wed, 6 Sep 2000 07:06:28 -0400

At 05:52 PM 9/5/2000 -0700, William Wright wrote:
> The one time that I was a spear carrier in an opera (nonprofit
>community organization that hired some professional performers and
>depended heavily on donations in order to do so), the artistic director
>wanted to make a single video tape "just for the record."
> What prevented this was the stage hand union (whatever its name
>was). Their contract allowed non-union performers under certain
>conditions (such as myself being a non-union spear carrier); but to make
>a 'motion picture' recording of anything built or moved onto the stage
>by a union stage hand required the payment of big $$$$. It had nothing
>to do with the publisher...

I remember some years ago writing to a publisher (Rogers and Hammerstein, I
believe) to ask permission to videotape a short scene to use in public
access channel advertising for the production. The almost had a
conniption! They seem to fear that community theater people, once they own
their own copy of the show on video, will never again be interested is
seing another performance. This, of course, is baloney. Just because you
have one recording of the Mozart Concerto, do you no longer have any
interest in hearing different interpretations? And even if the tapes were
used to trade between amateur theater groups, the net result would probably
be an IMPROVEMENT in the overall level of performances. Still, they seem
to (or seemed to at that time anyway, probably 15 years ago now) to view
the video camera as the devil incarnate. Unions, of course, are quite
another matter!

Bill Hausmann
451 Old Orchard Drive
Essexville, MI 48732 ICQ UIN 4862265

If you have to mic a saxophone, the rest of the band is too loud.

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