Bootleg/Filming Shows Discussion

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LizzieCurry
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Bootleg#76
Posted: 10/5/19 at 5:28pm
Who else thought of this thread/discussion when the Diahann Carroll videos started popping up over the weekend? I'm sure a lot of people were grateful for those clips who might otherwise be opposed to the activity.
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mikey2573
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Bootleg#77
Posted: 10/6/19 at 5:15pm

I think I recall that JEROME ROBBINS' BROADWAY was actively seeking old bootlegs of some of his shows (most probably done with 8mm cameras) when they were putting that show  together.  Or did I just dream that? 

I think for most collectors it is just a way to preserve a favorite show and a means to go back and visit shows that have closed.  Who wouldn't want to be able to hear the entire show of CAMELOT with its amazing original cast? Well, thanks to some shady bootlegger back in the 60s, we can. 

magictodo123
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Bootleg#78
Posted: 10/6/19 at 5:36pm

qolbinau said: "In some cases, such as Carrie, bootlegs are the only reason the show survived and had a second life. In the 2011 'pre-off-broadway preview' night where the creators thanked Betty Buckley for her performance, the audience clapped. I'd say not evenhalf of those people actually see Betty Buckley in the role.

If people use bootlegs as an alternative to actually seeing a show (and could afford to go otherwise) I see it as a problem, that's not for me though. The quality just isn't high enough, I have to see a show live.

That said, one of the few shows I listen to a bootleg of that I couldn't see is Betty Buckley in Dear World, but I make no apologies. I love that I can listen to Betty Buckley in the role.


Last, I would be interested to know how much people here who complain about bootlegs also spend on the actual theatre tickets - sorry but you can't get on a high horse that bootlegs involve stealing or don't supporttheatre if you frequently pay less than full price.
"

I do kvetch about bootlegs, as I am the OP. So I will say this; I have to admit I rarely pay full price. I use discounts from websites like BroadwayBox, and rush, occasionally lotteries but less so these days because with only one source of steady income, I can't afford it right now. But it's never, ever gotten to a point where I've been so self centered that I've put myself before the actors, before everyone who has worked so hard on a show, and recorded it. 

Why do you think it's not stealing? You are illegally taking someones work. You are capturing their work for your own pleasure of listening to it over and over again, when theater is meant to be a special experience. It's not for you to decide that you can take that experience and lessen it, cheapen it by recording it illegally. And for people who say, "well I wouldn't have discovered [x] show if it wasn't for a bootleg!", I bet you tons of actors you love started off in community theater productions. So those are nothing to sneer at and say, well Broadway or the West End is my only hope!! Think again. There are theatrical gems to be found everywhere. 

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LizzieCurry
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Bootleg#79
Posted: 10/7/19 at 12:38am
Didn't Seth Rudetsky also routinely show bootlegs at Chatterbox?
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magictodo123
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Bootleg#80
Posted: 10/7/19 at 5:28am

LizzieCurry said: "Didn't Seth Rudetsky also routinely show bootlegs at Chatterbox?"

Doesn’t make them any less illegal to film. People say oh actors post clips so it’s okay...no. For every ONE actor or person in the industry that does that, there are five actors who don’t approve/have a problem with people filming their show. 

magictodo123
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Bootleg#81
Posted: 10/7/19 at 6:15am
magictodo123
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Bootleg#82
Posted: 10/7/19 at 6:16am

From that article I think this is SO accurate..

"As to complaints that such rules of etiquette could keep young people from embracing classical concerts, she noted that some pop musicians were also growing concerned by audiences who seem more interested in filming concerts than in experiencing them.

“The beauty of such an event, a pop concert as well as a classical concert,” she said, “is really being there, taking it in, having your own personal, really private memory of it.”"

This is so true. And theater is meant to be something you experience, not something you capture. 

magictodo123
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Bootleg#83
Posted: 10/7/19 at 6:34am

dramamama611 said: "Oh, please - justify all you want - You are still in the wrong."

Is this directed at those who are pro- or anti? 

am97
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Bootleg#84
Posted: 10/7/19 at 7:44am

Rainah said: "Most the evidence I've seen shows bootlegs having a mildly positive effect on sales via word of mouth. The big issue with most shows is that no one has heard of them. The average tourist wants to see a show but has never heard most of the titles, they shrug and pick chicago because hey that was a good movie. In terms of sales, I find it similar to a pro sports game. Watching it live in the stadium is a vastly different experience than at home on your tv, and the people who shell out to see it live probably watch a lot of sports on tv."

I completely agree with this. Other arguments about bootlegs aside (theatre etiquette, intellectual property, etc.) I've never come across anyone who has seen a low quality shaky bootleg of a show and gone "Well, that's it, now I don't want to see it live anymore."

In my experience (i.e. the chaos of the Tumblr musical theatre fandom) most people who watch bootlegs fall into a select number of categories. There are people who watch shows that have already closed or casts that have already departed. There are people who are huge fans of particular understudies and who wouldn't be able to guarantee seeing them live in a role (DEH had, I think, a fun response to this when they posted an official video of Michael Lee Brown singing Sincerely, Me as all the roles he covers). There are people who have already seen a show and want to relive the experience, which, sure, brings up the "live theatre is meant to be ephemeral" argument, but I don't think it's necessarily the greatest evil in the world. And there are people who wouldn't be able to see a show live anyway due to financial / geographic / time constraints (and for some people and some shows just waiting until they can go just isn't an option).

So yeah, I completely agree - and to carry on the flip side of your sports analogy, most people who watch a lot of sports on TV really want to go to a sports game live, and if a team they like is playing near them and they can afford tickets and get to the game they're almost certainly going to go even if they've seen them play on TV a billion times.

It's a very complicated argument, and I'm only mentioning one side of it and I want to clarify that this isn't meant to be the entirety of my argument about bootlegs. But I think the issue of why people watch bootlegs, and whether or not they take away from ticket sales, is an interesting aspect of this debate.

magictodo123
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Bootleg#85
Posted: 10/7/19 at 8:11am

am97 said: "Rainah said: "Most the evidence I've seen shows bootlegs having a mildly positive effect on sales via word of mouth. The big issue with most shows is that no one has heard of them. The average tourist wants to see a show but has never heard most of the titles, they shrug and pick chicago because hey that was a good movie. In terms of sales, I find it similar to a pro sports game. Watching it live in the stadium is a vastly different experience than at home on your tv, and the people who shell out to see it live probably watch a lot of sports on tv."



I completely agree with this. Other arguments about bootlegs aside (theatre etiquette, intellectual property, etc.) I've never come across anyone who has seen a low quality shaky bootleg of a show and gone "Well, that's it, now I don't want to see it live anymore."

In my experience (i.e. the chaos of the Tumblr musical theatre fandom) most people who watch bootlegs fall into a select number of categories. There are people who watch shows that have already closed or casts that have already departed. There are people who are huge fans of particular understudies and who wouldn't be able to guarantee seeing them live in a role (DEH had, I think, a fun response to this when they posted an official video of Michael Lee Brown singing Sincerely, Me as all the roles he covers). There are people who have already seen a show and want to relive the experience, which, sure, brings up the "live theatre is meant to be ephemeral" argument, but I don't think it's necessarily the greatest evil in the world. And there are people who wouldn't be able to see a show live anyway due to financial / geographic / time constraints (and for some people and some shows just waiting until they can go just isn't an option).

 

But that's the thing about live theater--it's meant to be experienced LIVE.  There are going to be hundreds of people who won't be able to see a show when they want. That's just how it is. Call me blunt, but why is everything so urgent? If you miss a show, you miss a show. Yes, I live in NYC. Can I afford to see every show when I want to? Absolutely not. Do I think that means I'm justified if I ask for a bootleg? NO. I wouldn't be. Because every single person is going to have a show they want to see, and a LOT of people are going to miss that show. And I gotta tell ya-it's not the end of the world. Have I been disappointed that I haven't been able to see shows? Yes. Has life continued on? Yes. People miss things. That's just how it is. By recording the show you're taking away what makes theater special--that any production-Broadway, off-Broadway, regional, community- is something meant to be experienced in the moment. Something the audience and actors experience together. And if you can't be in that room, well, it happens. We've gotten into a society that demands things right away, when we want it. But that's not how the world works. People are going to miss out on things all the time. Speaking as someone who rarely spends money on things other than lifes necessities and then theater tickets if I have money leftover, I also use discounts, lottery (though it's been a while since I've won one of those). Why are people who live far away entitled to illegally recorded, free productions? Why don't they understand that sometimes you can't always get what you want? I'm not being a snob--it's the harsh truth. 

So yeah, I completely agree - and to carry on the flip side of your sports analogy, most people who watch a lot of sports on TV really want to go to a sports game live, and if a team they like is playing near them and they can afford tickets and get to the game they're almost certainly going to go even if they've seen them play on TV a billion times.

It's a very complicated argument, and I'm only mentioning one side of it and I want to clarify that this isn't meant to be the entirety of my argument about bootlegs. But I think the issue of why people watch bootlegs, and whether or not they take away from ticket sales, is an interesting aspect of this debate.
"

 

ellbellthomps
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Bootleg#86
Posted: 10/7/19 at 8:41am

RaisedOnMusicals said: "ellbellthomps said:Some people do want bootlegs,

Some people also want heroin.


"

Correct me if I'm wrong, but bootlegs definitely do not kill people and ruin families/lives. 

As someone who has addiction in my family, this is so far from accurate. 

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LizzieCurry
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Bootleg#87
Posted: 10/7/19 at 10:29am
I also fall on the side of "What's the urgency?" when it comes to bootlegs, but when the sense of urgency is completely gone (aka someone in the video has passed away, the production has long closed, etc) and it turns into a more archival and appreciative item, I don't see much of a justification for uproar.
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SporkGoddess
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Bootleg#88
Posted: 10/7/19 at 12:49pm

Do bootlegs really remove the beauty of live theatre or do they just supplement it? I've never really seen much evidence for the argument that people won't go to a live show if they've seen a video of it. For instance, I saw the Miss Saigon filmed anniversary production in a movie theater and even own it on DVD so I could literally watch it everyday if I wanted to. I'm still incredibly excited about the tour of that same production coming here in a few months. 

I would expect people who really love the theatre to elect to see a show live when they can, as they must know that a recorded audio or video can't replicate that experience. 

Jimmy, what are you doing here in the middle of the night? It's almost 9 PM!
Updated On: 10/7/19 at 12:49 PM
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LizzieCurry
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Bootleg#89
Posted: 10/7/19 at 12:53pm
Also, the "theatre is MEANT TO BE EXPERIENCED LIVE!" argument is so... I don't know, dismissive? Rude? Exclusionary? Are you also against pro-shots? A friend of mine who grew up going to the theatre with her mom can't do that anymore because her mom is bedridden for the foreseeable future, so they often stream shows to watch together at her mom's place. Are they both doing it wrong, according to the "meant to be live!" evangelists?
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JSquared2
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Bootleg#90
Posted: 10/7/19 at 1:57pm

LizzieCurry said: "Also, the "theatre is MEANT TO BE EXPERIENCED LIVE!" argument is so... I don't know, dismissive? Rude? Exclusionary? Are you also against pro-shots? A friend of mine who grew up going to the theatre with her mom can't do that anymore because her mom is bedridden for the foreseeable future, so they often stream shows to watch together at her mom's place. Are they both doing it wrong, according to the "meant to be live!" evangelists?"

 

If they're streaming bootlegs, then of course they're in the wrong --- but I know you already knew the answer yourself.  

 

ellbellthomps
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Bootleg#91
Posted: 10/7/19 at 2:37pm





If they're streaming bootlegs, then of course they're in the wrong --- but I know you already knew the answer yourself.

"

and thats where we disagree. why should someone not having access to live theatre not be allowed to view it if someone recorded it?

 

magictodo123
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Bootleg#92
Posted: 10/8/19 at 5:40am

LizzieCurry said: "Also, the "theatre is MEANT TO BE EXPERIENCED LIVE!" argument is so... I don't know, dismissive? Rude? Exclusionary? Are you also against pro-shots? A friend of mine who grew up going to the theatre with her mom can't do that anymore because her mom is bedridden for the foreseeable future, so they often stream shows to watch together at her mom's place. Are they both doing it wrong, according to the "meant to be live!" evangelists?"

Then people don’t have to go to a museum to see the Mona Lisa in person-they can just look at it online. People don’t have to go to concerts, they can just listen to that artists music online. 
it’s the EXPERIENCE. Sitting in a theater with other people and experiencing the magic on stage, as INTENDED. Someone felt they wanted to put something on a  stage for masses to see, to experience. Not just so a bunch of people could perform it in a big empty space. It’s an experience. Not one that SHOULD exclude people, but there are always things people don’t get to experience when they want to. 

SporkGoddess
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Bootleg#93
Posted: 10/8/19 at 8:33am

Doesn't the above just support bootlegging? People look at pictures of the Mona Lisa online but still go to the Louvre. People listen to artists but still go to their concerts. How is that different?

Jimmy, what are you doing here in the middle of the night? It's almost 9 PM!
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helvizz
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Bootleg#94
Posted: 10/8/19 at 9:23am

So long as the filming isn't disruptive to other audience members (and most good bootlegs were shot without disrupting any audience members - and I should know, apparently I've sat very near a bootlegger once - more to follow), I really don't see the harm in bootlegs.

First, bootlegging isn't stealing. It's piracy, but it isn't stealing. There's a big difference: in stealing, a person loses something. When you record a show, no one necessarily has to lose anything: for example, bootlegs of shows that are long closed, whose box office sales can't go up or down. I'm not gonna get into the whole 'bootlegs help sales x hurt sales' discussion: both sides have good arguments, but no real statistical research has been done about it, so there's no way of knowing what really tends to happen.

And, needless to say, watching a recording and being at the performance are two very, very different things. There's a Cabaret bootleg shot at the very same performance I attended (it's easy to know because of the people who Alan Cumming danced with in the beginning of Act 2). Moments that I thought were glorious live don't hold up nearly as well in the video, and it's obviously the bootleg because the performances I'm watching are exactly the same performance I watched, and from a very similar angle/seat (and I didn't even notice anyone recording the show, so they weren't disruptive at all - which is more than can be said for many ushers and members of the production, but that's another story). But, by god, am I glad this recording exists, because not only is it a video of a show I love, but it's from the very performance I saw, so there's also the sentimental value. I know that this sentimental value is weaker when you didn't attend the performance captured on video, but it still exists becase you saw the show and liked it enough to watch it again on video, so you have warm feelings towards it. It may not be ideal, but it is what I have since I can't go back in time to watch it again. I'm very thankful I can revisit that wonderful night any time I want. Even though it's not as good as it was, it still holds up much of the magic. 

Updated On: 10/8/19 at 09:23 AM
magictodo123
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Bootleg#95
Posted: 10/8/19 at 9:50am

SporkGoddess said: "Doesn't the above just support bootlegging? People look at pictures of the Mona Lisa online but still go to the Louvre. People listen to artists but still go to their concerts. How is that different?"

Maybe you're missing the point or I'm not phrasing it correctly. You can see something online, but it takes away from the experience, the way the thing was meant to be experienced. Sure, you can see it, but I think it lessens the impact something can have on you. Maybe this was a bad example...I don't know. But I still don't support bootlegs.                                                                                                     It doesn't matter if the filming isn't disruptive--you're taking someones work and yes, you are stealing. You're saying, I'm so important,. I can record this show and I don't have to pay for rights, I don't have to pay the creators, I'm so important that I can record this and it doesn't matter. I don't have to pay for a ticket! That's essentially what you're saying. You're saying your ability to relive something rhat's meant to be special, experienced in person, is more important than what theater is--a special event you pay for, and you can relive it by listening to cast recordings, seeing revivals, etc. Yes, the cast is different, but if you're truly a fan of the show, it wouldn't matter to you. It would still be special if you're a true fan. If you didn't ask a creative member for express permission to take their work onstage, yes, you are stealing their work, their words, the music, etc. It's selfish. It's saying you're more important than the great tradition of sitting in a theater and experiencing a show once. That's what most people do. They don't feel so entitled that they can record it on their own terms and experience it again and again. What makes you so special that you are excused from the law of not recording shows? 

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metropolis10111
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Bootleg#96
Posted: 10/10/19 at 9:44am

Sooo did anyone else get the email from Footlight Records seeking fan shot DVD-r of a bunch of shows now?  Maybe it's not so much illegal but just keeping it till it's not so. 

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Bootleg#97
Posted: 10/10/19 at 10:12am
Updated On: 10/10/19 at 10:12 AM
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Bootleg#98
Posted: 10/10/19 at 10:34am
To clarify, magictodo123, (as far as I know), my friend doesn't watch bootlegs with her mom. She watches stuff on BroadwayHD or when a FathomEvents filmed show ends up on DVD or streaming. But even still, a filmed version of a live show doesn't fit the definition of experiencing a show "the right way" to far too many people.
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Bootleg#99
Posted: 10/10/19 at 10:40am

magictodo123 said: "From that article I think this is SO accurate..

"As to complaints that such rules of etiquette could keep young people from embracing classical concerts, she noted that some pop musicians were also growing concerned by audiences who seem more interested in filming concerts than in experiencing them.

“The beauty of such an event, a pop concert as well as a classical concert,” she said, “is really being there, taking it in, having your own personal, really private memory of it.”"

This is so true. And theater is meant to be something you experience, not something you capture.
"

I've been saying this for years: People are far more interested in DOCUMENTING their experience, than they are LIVING it.   

If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
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Bootleg#100
Posted: 10/10/19 at 12:45pm

magictodo123 said: "Why do you think it's not stealing? You are illegally taking someones work."

No, it's not. Theft/stealing have very specific legal definitions. Recording a copyrighted show is not theft, no matter what you think.