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Old October 6th, 2005, 01:58 PM   #1
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Theatrical Event pricing guidance

I'm familiar with the framework of wedding video pricing, but I'm not sure about live theater. If anyone has done something of this scale and could offer experience, advice, and most importantly pricing guidance, it'd be much appreciated!

I'm developing a proposal of my videography services to a respectable dance/theater company for a large scale production in December. This video could be used to promote the show, to sell after the show, or as a simple keepsake for the 2005 production. Live coverage of the production will be offered as well.

The following is a brief description of my service offerings:

- Video coverage of rehearsals
- Behind the scenes footage
- Interviews
- 3-5 minute highlight video---incorporates rehearsals and interview coverage of performers (can be presented on large stage screen
prior to show opening or sold)
- Live video coverage of the production
- DVD/VHS package that includes 3-5 minute highlight video, and final
production
- Optional VHS of raw footage

This package can be tailored to meet the requirements of the board members that my final proposal will go to. It all depends on what they want. I do know that they've never had this show professionally videotaped.

I plan on filming with a minimum of two Sony VX/PD series cameras/operators, one of which will be on a camera stabilizer. If the need arises, I can easily acquire a third camera. I will be filming two shows for redundant footage. All camera operators will be issued covert wireless communications devices.

Thanks!
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Old October 6th, 2005, 02:37 PM   #2
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In terms of pricing your services, it's always a market driven factor. What do others charge, whats the going rate, how much experience to you have...

But more importantly, you have to be able to sell them something they can use. IF they do not have the rights to resell/distribute the theatrical production (And I seriously doubt they do) then your pitch must be limited to presenting them with a single ARCHIVAL copy of the production, not a product for resell or distribution.
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Old October 6th, 2005, 09:12 PM   #3
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Richard beat me to it. Lots of legal issues here.

Play copyrights, music copyrights.

Performance clearances. If any actors are SAG, you will have additional restrictions if they will even sign a release.

Live music? You need releases from those performers too. Recorded music is probably worse.

Let us know how it works out. I stay away from this type of work just due to the legal complexities. I went to shoot a no-audio rehearsal of a local theater for some b-roll for a tourism video, and even then I had two SAG actors (out of 10 actors total) that would not allow their images to be used.
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Old October 9th, 2005, 08:36 AM   #4
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hmm.. here in oz its a lil different, however most actors sign a release for publicity and promos etc etc.. this is what we fal l under when we do this kinda thing.
from here, as the venuw must be licensed to broadcast copywritten music, our license allows us to use this "environmental influence" within the piece

its a tricky one...

as for pricing, i charge, per camera, per half hour vs the edit style and technique and delivery schedule. I also take into account axclusivity when it comes to dupes etc etc
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Old October 9th, 2005, 10:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
hmm.. here in oz its a lil different, however most actors sign a release for publicity and promos etc etc.. this is what we fal l under when we do this kinda thing.
from here, as the venuw must be licensed to broadcast copywritten music, our license allows us to use this "environmental influence" within the piece

its a tricky one...

as for pricing, i charge, per camera, per half hour vs the edit style and technique and delivery schedule. I also take into account axclusivity when it comes to dupes etc etc
Not familiar with Aussy rules at all but just a thought of two ...

"Publicity and Promotion..." would usually mean brief excerpts from the production designed to attract an audience to it. But your DVD of the entire production with highlights and interviews as added features, offered for sale after the production, turns your project into something quite different, making it a totally separate production in its own right. A DVD of the complete performance of "Star Wars" or "Cats" can hardly be considered a publicity piece for the theatrical film or stage play. (And there are a lot of theatrical films and TV productions whose DVD release is languishing in the vaults because they're unable to obtain music rights clearances for them, even though there were no problems with the same rights for the original production.) So I'd expect you'll find your project is considered to be a completely separate production that requires its own set of rights, releases, and clearances separate from those covering the stage performance and not included in any way under those clearances.

And I'd think that music in a stage production is not be considered a casual "environmental influence" such as something heard over the radio or jukebox in the background in a bar. In most stage shows I've seen, the music is an integral part of the production itself and by no means merely a casual part of the environment (unless a stage hand happens to be listening to his "tunes" offstage and it drifts out to the audience).

This is one of those areas where the potential losses of guessing and being mistaken are so large I'd suggest you absolutely confer with an intellectual property and entertainment industry specialist attorney before proceeding. The cost of the attorney compared to the risk exposure you're facing is negligible.
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Old October 9th, 2005, 10:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Costa
Richard beat me to it. Lots of legal issues here.

Play copyrights, music copyrights.

Performance clearances. If any actors are SAG, you will have additional restrictions if they will even sign a release.

Live music? You need releases from those performers too. Recorded music is probably worse.

Let us know how it works out. I stay away from this type of work just due to the legal complexities. I went to shoot a no-audio rehearsal of a local theater for some b-roll for a tourism video, and even then I had two SAG actors (out of 10 actors total) that would not allow their images to be used.
Many years ago I had the same problem arise shooting stills in an airline reservations office for a slide show presentation at a christmas party they were sponsoring for the area's travel agents. One of the reservation agents in the office was an AFTRA actor working at her "day job" and we couldn't use any shots containing her likeness without her and the union's clearance.
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Old October 14th, 2005, 10:58 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the great responses, I'll keep you apprised on how it turns out!
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