Alex Brightman Bootleg Tweets

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Alex Brightman Bootleg Tweets#1
Posted: 12/20/19 at 11:08am
Someone filming at a performance of Beetlejuice yesterday REALLY upset Alex Brightman, because hes been tweeting a lot about it since. Its causing quite the debate in the comments because some people are trying to argue that its okay.

He sounds mad enough that next time it happens, hes just going to pull a Patti LuPone
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Alex Brightman Bootleg Tweets#2
Posted: 12/20/19 at 11:13am
https://twitter.com/ABrightMonster/status/1207851518789144578
"This thread reads like a series of White House memos." — Mister Matt
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Alex Brightman Bootleg Tweets#3
Posted: 12/20/19 at 11:16am
I know about it and feel crappy about it.
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Alex Brightman Bootleg Tweets#4
Posted: 12/20/19 at 11:18am

The funny thing is probably about 10-20% of anyone on any given Broadway stage (including at the Winter Garden) has fond memories of trading videos either on VHS or megaupload. Not to mention watching a few less-than-legal videos on YouTube, I’m sure.
"This thread reads like a series of White House memos." — Mister Matt
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Alex Brightman Bootleg Tweets#5
Posted: 12/20/19 at 12:26pm

LizzieCurry said: "
The funny thing is probably about 10-20% of anyone on any given Broadway stage (including at the Winter Garden) has fond memories of trading videos either on VHS or megaupload. Not to mention watching a few less-than-legal videos on YouTube, I’m sure.
"

Oh 100%. I’m in the camp that completely understands why it’s wrong, but I’m also a few hours from the city and can see shows more frequently than people across the country. So, I get where people are coming from, but that still doesn’t make it right or acceptable. 

One moment I found hilarious was when a couple Mean Girls cast members posted a video asking for anyone to send them a bootleg from a specific night that there was a huge mess up because they really wanted to see it.
 

There seems to be really split opinions on the whole bootleg matter, even professionally. 

Updated On: 12/20/19 at 12:26 PM
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Alex Brightman Bootleg Tweets#6
Posted: 12/20/19 at 12:26pm
Whats amusing is he doesn’t mention the word bootleg or mention anything about illegal jargon. All he wrote was about the filmer thinking they’re so entitled to do as they please without caring about being distracting to other audience members as well as the actors on stage.

Hilarious how everyone took it elsewhere. Hahaha.
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Alex Brightman Bootleg Tweets#7
Posted: 12/20/19 at 12:28pm

BrodyFosse123 said: "Whats amusing is he doesn’t mention the word bootleg or mention anything about illegal jargon. All he wrote was about the filmer thinking they’re so entitled to do as they please without caring about being distracting to other audience members as well as the actors on stage.

Hilarious how everyone took it elsewhere. Hahaha.
"

Oh I know! It’s such a crazy sensitive topic, that even with any hint at the matter, it veers off so fast. 

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Alex Brightman Bootleg Tweets#8
Posted: 12/20/19 at 12:33pm

I can't help but laugh and roll my eyes when a performer is vehemently against bootlegs but then posts bootlegs of themselves. Leslie Marghertia a few months back posted a video of her in Matilda as a #tbt, someone called her out on it and she basically just shrugged, not recognizing the irony of it all. 

 

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Alex Brightman Bootleg Tweets#9
Posted: 12/20/19 at 12:39pm

I don't see where people are "coming from". You are asked/told not to do it. It is illegal (Something most tourists probably don't even know). But the fact that people blatantly disregard the announcements (at the shows that have them) shows they don't care. Rules and laws are out the door. They mean nothing these days. People feel they have this device and they can use it any time and anywhere they want and don't see a problem with it. And when approached I have heard "Oh, it's just snap chat",

I think there is a fine attached to the law but that is probably hard to enforce. I say include being able to throw the people out at intermission if they take pictures or film during the first act. I have heard tons of stories from friends who have said how distracting it is when they are performing. And audience members don't bother to ask people near or next to them to stop. I do, and wish all of the avid theatergoers would do the same. maybe it would happen much less. JMO

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Alex Brightman Bootleg Tweets#10
Posted: 12/20/19 at 12:50pm

uncageg said: "I don't see where people are "coming from". You are asked/told not to do it. It is illegal (Something most tourists probably don't even know). But the fact that people blatantly disregard the announcements (at the shows that have them) shows they don't care. Rules and laws are out the door. They mean nothing these days. People feel they have this device and they can use it any time and anywhere they want and don't see a problem with it. And when approached I have heard "Oh, it's just snap chat",

I think there is a fine attached to the law but that is probably hard to enforce. I say include being able to throw the people out at intermission if they take pictures or film during the first act. I have heard tons of stories from friends who have said how distracting it is when they are performing. And audience members don't bother to ask people near or next to them to stop. I do, and wish all of the avid theatergoers would do the same. maybe it would happen much less. JMO
"

When I said that I get where people are “coming from”, I meant I get why people feel the need to do it. Like why they want to film or watch bootlegs. But I 100% think it’s completely wrong and would never do it myself. 

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Alex Brightman Bootleg Tweets#11
Posted: 12/20/19 at 12:52pm
I think most performers prefer to not know they are being filmed. It’s distracting see people filming. I don’t think they are completely opposed to bootlegs.

A European woman next to me at Moulin Rouge was filming from the bun in her hair. No lie. She was completely stealth and disrupted no one. I did tell an usher but she left too quickly.

I always wonder how the bootlegs from the 80s and 90s existed? Did people lug camcorders into the theatre? God bless those people.
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Alex Brightman Bootleg Tweets#12
Posted: 12/20/19 at 1:18pm

TobiasRagg, I understood what you meant. 

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Alex Brightman Bootleg Tweets#13
Posted: 12/20/19 at 2:11pm

Bettyboy72 said: "I think most performers prefer to not know they are being filmed. It’s distracting see people filming. I don’t think they are completely opposed to bootlegs."

It's not just about the performers, though.  The music, the staging, the design elements are all protected material.  Any composer, director, orchestrator, book writer, designer, etc. has a right to not have their materials shared for free on YouTube or social media.

 

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Alex Brightman Bootleg Tweets#14
Posted: 12/20/19 at 2:18pm

Personally, I think that once a Broadway show has closed, bootlegs are actually a good thing - people who didn't get see it can see at least get an idea of what the show was like, and those who did see it can relive their memories of it. It's also basically free advertisement for the actors, who of course will always be looking for the next job. While the show is still open however, I do think it's morally wrong, since they do need to sell tickets. Not that that stops me from watching them...

I could be wrong, but I sense this is the majority opinion, even among those who work on Broadway.

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Alex Brightman Bootleg Tweets#15
Posted: 12/20/19 at 2:26pm

Bettyboy72 said: "A European woman next to me at Moulin Rouge was filming from the bun in her hair. No lie. She was completely stealth and disrupted no one. I did tell an usher but she left too quickly."

Tbh, I'm not bothered by that. If you're going to go that far to film a show (I mean seriously, has she been scouted by the CIA yet?) you're clearly not disturbing anyone and at that point if anyone in the show is annoyed by it, they're basically just saying people who can't afford $100 tickets don't deserve to see the show. I've often wondered how much the cop-out answer "it distracts the performers" is just a cover for that. There are a lot more horribly distracting things in theatres (food, ice, children) that nobody is seriously saying should be banned

There's a reason bootlegs are so prevalent. It's the same thing Disney did before this decade with the "vault" where you had to either see the movie in theaters or buy it at the initial DVD release or you could never see the movie. It's an actual business strategy called artificial scarcity, and it's scummy when they did it and it's scummy when Broadway still does it. The kicker is that Disney eventually disregarded the "vault" because they realized they could make even more money by selling DVDs even if they were at a lower price than the initial release, and the more people who see their movies, the more people that get hooked enough to keep coming back.

Broadway will realize this soon enough, and start actually releasing the professionally recordings for most of the shows that they already have instead of keeping them locked up in a vault and letting one or two out every decade. Broadway dislikes bootlegs because 3rd parties are now profiting off of their own bad business strategy. 

Of course it's different seeing a live show, and of course that's how theatre was originally intended to be seen, but theatre was also traditionally intended to be an incredibly cheap form of entertainment that provided fun experiences for people of all socioeconomic status. It's telling that when people lord on about banning bootlegs to protect the "tradition of theatre", they always seem to leave that last part out.

 

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Alex Brightman Bootleg Tweets#16
Posted: 12/20/19 at 2:29pm

Broadway61004 said: "Bettyboy72 said: "I think most performers prefer to not know they are being filmed. It’s distracting see people filming. I don’t think they are completely opposed to bootlegs."

It's not just about the performers, though. The music, the staging, the design elements are all protected material. Any composer, director, orchestrator, book writer, designer, etc. has a right to not have their materials shared for free on YouTube or social media.


"

A Winter Garden usher posted in another thread a bit ago that the production has ordered them not to go into the aisles during the performance to stop people from texting, filming, etc.

At my performance some guy was repeatedly taking photos with his huge phone over his head and the ushers saw but did nothing. An idiotic policy like that is just going to breed more bad behavior like this.

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Alex Brightman Bootleg Tweets#17
Posted: 12/20/19 at 3:19pm

Bettyboy72 said: "A European woman next to me at Moulin Rouge was filming from the bun in her hair. No lie. She was completely stealth and disrupted no one. I did tell an usher but she left too quickly."

To paraphrase Ron Burgundy, I'm not even mad, that's amazing.

In terms of bootlegs, I'm both annoyed by people who film shows and find it "wrong", but I have also derived an awful lot of enjoyment from watching bootlegs I've stumbled across on Youtube. So I'm a total hypocrite on this issue and can see arguments from both sides.

I will say that the "wrongness" I feel has nothing to do with the copyright issues, and is entirely about how filming the show annoys the performers, distracts the audience and all of the other annoyances associated with bootlegs. In terms of copyright, bootlegs are such a far cry from reproducing the theatrical experience that, while they might technically be violating some copyrights and therefore worthy of civil penalties, I think they likely have a net-benefit in terms of ticket sales and honestly if I were a producer I'd probably consider the availability of a bootleg to a small bit of positive marketing.

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Alex Brightman Bootleg Tweets#18
Posted: 12/20/19 at 3:59pm

Pashacar said: 
"A Winter Garden usher posted in another thread a bit ago that the production has ordered them not to go into the aisles during the performance to stop people from texting, filming, etc.

At my performance some guy was repeatedly taking photos with his huge phone over his head and the ushers saw but did nothing. An idiotic policy like that is just going to breed more bad behavior like this.
"

In defence of the theatre/producers it does boil down to what ultimately is going to be less distracting to the audience as a whole. If the offending party is seated within a row and the show is running your options are very limited to: a) get their attention (they almost always pretend to be oblivious to theatre staff) and b) take any direct action without causing a larger disruption to everyone seated in that area. You’re really only left with the interval and the bows as an opportunity to get involved. Almost 100% of the time the audience member knows they shouldn’t be recording the show and have deliberately chosen to be obstinate about it .

 

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Alex Brightman Bootleg Tweets#19
Posted: 12/20/19 at 4:44pm
Alex needs the attention. Let him be
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Alex Brightman Bootleg Tweets#20
Posted: 12/20/19 at 5:02pm

Bettyboy72 said: "A European woman next to me at Moulin Rouge was filming from the bun in her hair. No lie. She was completely stealth and disrupted no one. I did tell an usher but she left too quickly."

To paraphrase Ron Burgundy, I'm not even mad, that's amazing."

In actuality, it was amazing. She was a gorgeous woman who looked like a model with limited English. She was pleasant, but austere. She took off a bolero hat, and made her hair into a messy bun. I wasn't watching her but noticed pre-show she was playing with the bun a lot. That was the end of it. 

At intermission, she pulls a tablet our of her bag. She is reviewing footage and it looks HD to me. I then see her adjusting her bun and its clearly a camera streaming to the table bc as she moves her bun, the angles move on the tablet which is showing the stage. She turned the tablet off and the lights went down. She didn't make a peep. She had a wireless cam of some sort in her bun. 

At the end of the show I got out first and told an usher. She was very quick and was bolting out of the theatre. The usher seemed out of effs to give and looked at me like I was nuts, so good on her. I hope she uses her power for good not evil. 

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Alex Brightman Bootleg Tweets#21
Posted: 12/20/19 at 5:50pm

Bettyboy72 said: "I hope she uses her power for good not evil."

With all the collaborators in the White House these days the spies are free to make their own entertainment.

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Alex Brightman Bootleg Tweets#22
Posted: 12/20/19 at 6:39pm

Bettyboy72 said: "A European woman next to me at Moulin Rouge was filming from the bun in her hair. No lie. She was completely stealth and disrupted no one. I did tell an usher but she left too quickly."

I've often wondered why these people who film shows don't get more creative like that. It's 2019. You can buy pens, binoculars and glasses on amazon.com that film HD video and you wouldn't disturb anyone around you. Not that I've looked into this or anything...

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Alex Brightman Bootleg Tweets#23
Posted: 12/21/19 at 1:15am
is there a legal argument against it? certainly! i cannot think of a moral argument against bootlegs, consent by the people being recorded seems a moot point considering they’re already performing for ten thousand people a week
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Alex Brightman Bootleg Tweets#24
Posted: 12/21/19 at 1:25am

The Distinctive Baritone said: "Personally, I think that once a Broadway show has closed, bootlegs are actually a good thing - people who didn't get see it can see at least get an idea of what the show was like, and those who did see it can relive their memories of it. It's also basically free advertisement for the actors, who of course will always be looking for the next job.While the show is still open however, I do think it's morally wrong, since they do need to sell tickets. Not that that stops me from watching them...

I could be wrong, but I sense this is the majority opinion, even among those who work on Broadway.
"

that is not a moral issue, it’s a financial one (one that does not concern me much, being one of the common folk while broadway investors are worth millions)

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Alex Brightman Bootleg Tweets#25
Posted: 12/21/19 at 1:35am

gypsy101 said: "is there a legal argument against it? certainly! i cannot think of a moral argument against bootlegs, consent by the people being recorded seems a moot point considering they’re already performing for ten thousand people a week"

The thing is that while yes, there's a law against cellphone usage in theaters. However, it's never enforced. It's like jaywalking in the city. Sure, it's against the law, but can you think of a time when someone got arrested for Jaywalking in New York City. Furthermore, the law was put into play years ago when cell phones were a new thing. It didn't nor does it take smartphones into account. 

And, as it was mentioned earlier in this thread, as FOH we have to make quick decisions. I have to stop someone from using their phone in a way that doesn't get in the way of others. Or, at least as little disruption as possible. Sometimes that means letting something slide, specially if, say, the offender is make in the middle of a row.