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Allowing filming of Dance shows

lx bear

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My concern always was (as a Lighting Designer) was the copyright situation re my created work i.e. the lighting states. Some organisations have clauses in contracts stating that copyright in created work rests with the company and so creating a video of a show that I've lit could potentially (I believe) infringe my (or my employers) copyright.


I know this is all a bit 'How many fairies dance on a needle?' but the last theatre I worked at (and got paid at) was a 600 odd seater and the video of the performance was seen by some amateur companies as a fundraiser item for them - so why not pay the 'creative types' a consideration or ask for a release? I have a friend (also an LD) who got upset when photo's of a panto he lit professionally were used as advertising by a manufacturer - without his permission.


For these reasons, and because no one would 'volunteer' to admin a payment system, we eventually disallowed any official video'ing of performances (which also alleviated the problems of two versions of lighting shows - one for the 'public' and one for the video!). I think parents using a cheap camcorder from their seat is not being too unreasonable and they take a chance with the show but when it becomes two 'Pro' cameras, operators and a lighting run-through - stop right there!


It then becomes a minefield of who was allowed to do what last time they came to see a show - better to forestall it and say "Sorry - no - for copyright reasons we don't allow video's of performances" if the visiting company wants a video, then they can arrange an extra run for a video shoot - or go without.


My apologies for the ramble - but my point is - there are more copyright issues than just for the music, and more problems being stored for the future in terms of audience relations.



Moderation: Discussion of "what constitutes a lighting design" split and moved to 'Lighting'.

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There is also the point of how much lighting comes with a show.

That is, if I were LD'ing a school's WWRY, for example, how many of the lighting looks are part of the show's script and storyline, and how many came direct from the original LD.


What is unique about that LD's lighting, and what is considered 'standard' to the show, or even to the world of theatre?


Is McCandless' estate due millions of pounds worth of copyright infringement from everyone using his ideas on basic lighting design?

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