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An interesting take on streaming...

An interesting take on streaming...

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macbeth
#1An interesting take on streaming...
Posted: 7/5/20 at 10:21am

I know the debate on the issue will never end, but I'll admit that I like this particular idea that could open up the audiences for show, making everyone more $. That said, I don't think I'd cut from 8 shows a week. 

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JBroadway
#2An interesting take on streaming...
Posted: 7/5/20 at 10:57am

Looks like you forgot to include a link 

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macbeth
Alex Kulak2
#4An interesting take on streaming...
Posted: 7/5/20 at 12:05pm

Wasn't this the original game plan with BroadwayHD?

I know a lot of the problems with filming shows is the red tape the unions put up, but what about livestreams of shows? Do those count as well?

I think the way this could work is if it's treated like sports games: presented live with recording discouraged. The main problem is that most filmed shows have to have pickup shots, filmed without an audience in case someone flubs a line, or misses a cue, or you want to film something from an angle that would make the audience see the camera. If the show was livestreamed, you couldn't do that.

Ravenclaw
#5An interesting take on streaming...
Posted: 7/5/20 at 1:26pm

I mean, the National Theatre in London has been doing a version of this for the past 10 years, to great success. And so has the Met Opera. And both organizations have found that these programs help foster new audiences and provide access to people who are unable to attend performances in person. The argument that filming theatre will cannibalize the box office potential has been disproven time and time again.

Jarethan
#6An interesting take on streaming...
Posted: 7/5/20 at 1:47pm

Great idea to me, even if there are cases where it is not shown until the end of the run or after the show closes.  Every time I read one of these things, I always seem to walk away with the view that it can''t be done because of the unions.  Can't they see that this could probably make them more money, certainly on some shows?  How many people in this country would pay a modest amount of $$ to see a 'theatrical' performance of TKAM or Moulin Rouge or The Lion King or Phantom or Harry Potter or Tina or the Temptations show or Wicked.  (Of course, in the latter case, likelihood of a real movie being filmed would probably obviate against the latter).  

Not everything would work, e.g., not sure enough people would pay to see most shows without serious (I gotta see so-and-so) name recognition or some wow factor to insure that they have a chance of at least breaking even, e.g., Diana, Gary, Frankie and Johnny, etc.

It would sure be great, though, either because you couldn't see the production when it was open or because you want to revel in it again.  For example, I saw The Audience twice on stage, but that didn't keep me from seeing it 3 times when NT Live came around.  hill I will always prefer to see the show live, there were some benefits of seeing it in a movie theatre, e.g., more comfortable seats, periodic close-ups, etc.

In one case, I have to admit that, having seen and really enjoyed an NT Live show, The Lehman Trilogy. I felt no need to see it in person.  So, I dave quite a bit of money.  Maybe that was wrong, but I just didn't have enough interest to see it in a cramped theatre after seeing it in an excellent taping (or what ever it was) for NT Live

Fosse76
#7An interesting take on streaming...
Posted: 7/5/20 at 1:55pm

The tweeter seems to think that their should be a stream of the actual performances, not just a on-time streaming or filming, all seemingly based on the reception of Hamilton. But he ignores one fact: you wouldn't get the same results. I'd argue that both Hamilton and Miss Saigon (and Rent, to a lesser extent) were more or less filmed with the same stylistic intent, which is to record a stage performance without looking too much like a stage performance (yet not trying to hide it as such, either). This can't really be done with a live stream.

Of the shows that have streamed live which were later released commercially, there are significant differences betweenthe live streamed performance and the final release. Changes in camera angles, scenes shot or re-shot in an empty theater, scences from a different performance, etc. All of these have the advantage of going back and picking the best footage from different performances, live streams don't.

And that doesn't include the inconvenience of and obstruction from the cameras on the audience in the theater.

Now I'm not arguing against live streaming, but I think many people are thinking it would have the same shiny result as Hamilton, and it just wouldn't. Live events have glitches and snafus all the time.

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ggersten
#8An interesting take on streaming...
Posted: 7/5/20 at 2:06pm

I'd read that the Met's broadcasts were either not that profitable or even lost money.  I know it's just Wikipedia, but there are some numbers here. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolitan_Opera_Live_in_HD One key item is the reference to a 2011 study that concluded the broadcasts didn't cannibalize audiences, but the broadcasts also didn't increase audiences at any opera house.  I recently read that many actor/creative contracts are being rewritten to address streaming potential - it hasn't been just the "unions." The other issue has been timing of taping - if a show is in the middle of a hit run, I don't think they want to take out 3 days to film and lose that ticket revenue. But, if they wait too long, then they lose the OBC or the actors change their performances - sometimes not for the better. I remember being shocked at Chad Kimball's "Huey" and Imelda Stanton's "Rose" and reading all the people who said "but, that's not the way they performed it in the theatre". 

Fosse76
#9An interesting take on streaming...
Posted: 7/5/20 at 2:21pm

ggersten said: "I'd read that the Met's broadcasts were either not that profitable or even lost money. I know it's just Wikipedia, but there are some numbers here. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolitan_Opera_Live_in_HD One key item is the reference to a 2011 study that concluded the broadcasts didn't cannibalize audiences, but the broadcasts also didn't increase audiences at any opera house. I recently read that many actor/creative contracts are being rewritten to address streaming potential - it hasn't been just the "unions." The other issue has been timing of taping - if a show is in the middle of a hit run, I don't think they want to take out 3 days to film and lose that ticket revenue. But, if they wait too long, then they lose the OBC or the actors change their performances - sometimes not for the better. I remember being shocked at Chad Kimball's "Huey" and Imelda Stanton's "Rose" and reading all the people who said "but, that's not the way they performed it in the theatre"."

Opera is a more niche audience than Broadway, so it's not surprising. And though it,s a 9 year-old article, I'd be surprised if it's changed any.

One of the reasons Hamilton was released was because the only way the producers could get the most money for it was to sell to a distributor who would then have to release it while the "iron is still hot." If they'd waited for the show to lose it's popularity, they'd have been lucky to even recoup the filming costs.

I didn't get to see Imelda's Rose, but I was at the Shubert for most of Chad Kimball's run, and did indeed perform it that way (the three performances a week he bothered to do, anyway). 

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HogansHero
#10An interesting take on streaming...
Posted: 7/5/20 at 2:57pm

Fosse76 said: "The tweeter seems to think that their should be a stream of the actual performances, not just a on-time streaming or filming, all seemingly based on the reception of Hamilton. But he ignores one fact: you wouldn't get the same results. I'd argue that both Hamilton and Miss Saigon (and Rent, to a lesser extent) were more or less filmed with the same stylistic intent, which is to record a stage performance without looking too much like a stage performance (yet not trying to hide it as such, either). This can't really be done with a live stream.

Of the shows that have streamed live which were later released commercially, there are significant differences betweenthe live streamed performance and the final release. Changes in camera angles, scenes shot or re-shot in an empty theater, scences from a different performance, etc. All of these have the advantage of going back and picking the best footage from different performances, live streams don't.

And that doesn't include the inconvenience of and obstruction from the cameras on the audience in the theater.

Now I'm not arguing against live streaming, but I think many people are thinking it would have the same shiny result as Hamilton, and it just wouldn't. Live events have glitches and snafus all the time.
"

I agree with this. To add:

1. Hamilton is sui generis; most shows would lose money regardless of the way they are produced.

2. The Hamilton producers spent more money than most shows' scraped-together capitalization to make the film. Disney has spent more than that marketing it. (Not even counting the price they paid.)

3. There is very little experience with commercial show filming (by and for any means)

VintageSnarker
#11An interesting take on streaming...
Posted: 7/5/20 at 4:30pm

Opera is completely different. You're comparing relatively short runs (maybe 2 months) to Broadway shows that hopefully run at least a year if not more. Part of the draw in opera is different performers and sometimes new productions. Only devoted Broadway fans care about replacement casts and Broadway productions usually don't get fully retooled in the same way.

If this is a covid-19 issue, it also doesn't protect the actors at all. 

I think it's very difficult to gauge demand. I'd be interested in seeing the streaming numbers for Paul Gordon's Emma. Every show is not Hamilton or even Newsies. 

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itsjustmejonhotmailcom
#12An interesting take on streaming...
Posted: 7/5/20 at 4:35pm

Ravenclaw said: "I mean, the National Theatre in London has been doing a version of this for the past 10 years, to great success. And so has the Met Opera. And both organizations have found that these programs help foster new audiences and provide access to people who are unable to attend performances in person. The argument that filming theatre will cannibalize the box office potential has been disproven time and time again."

The Met and the NT are non-profits. Most Broadway shows are commercial, and their investors generally wouldn't support filming/streaming, which doesn't yet bring in profits (with a handful of exceptions, among them Hamilton.)

SpookyFish13
#13An interesting take on streaming...
Posted: 7/5/20 at 11:34pm

I would love to see a day where the big streaming companies compete for the distribution rights for pro-shot Broadway musicals. Especially if they sat on the footage (like Disney did with Hamilton) and only release it after a pre-determined amount of time, I feel as if it could breathe some light into shows who's audiences are beginning to dwindle. I know it's never going to happen, but I would absolutely love to see it. 

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itsjustmejonhotmailcom
#14An interesting take on streaming...
Posted: 7/6/20 at 2:33am

SpookyFish13 said: "I would love to see a day where thebig streaming companiescompete for the distribution rights for pro-shot Broadway musicals.Especially if they sat on the footage (like Disney did with Hamilton) and only release itafter a pre-determined amount of time, I feel as if it could breathe some light into shows who's audiences are beginning to dwindle. I know it's never going to happen, but I would absolutely love to see it."

I don't think you'll see that without the cost to film a show decreasing substantially. If producers could capture a performance at a reasonable cost, and a streaming service could acquire it at a reasonable cost, they probably would. But streaming services aren't going to spend 7 figures on a show unless it is a mega-hit like Hamilton.

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Broadway Joe
#15An interesting take on streaming...
Posted: 7/6/20 at 1:32pm

I'm probably in the minority with this opinion on this message board but personally if I could watch all shows from home professionally filmed(not crappy YouTube videos) I'd never go to another show again just like I basically never go to the movies anymore.

Watching from the comfort of my own home, not dealing with crowds, no horrible leg room from seats that are too cramped, can pause anytime I want, no cell phones or annoying people and I save my time and money? 

Sign me up.

Updated On: 7/6/20 at 01:32 PM