I need advice for an amateur theatre production that I am filming at the moment over four nights. I have a written agreement with the company, specifically the chairman, that I will be recording the performances to be edited together on a DVD for the companies archive and training purposes. They are aware this is also for my own personal training experience and I am delivering the service free of charge and that any footage recorded must not be shown to the public and sold to make any profit in any way. We are both aware of the severe penalty that will be incurred if this should happen. I have stated that this would be clearly indicated at the start of the DVD unless they have express permission from the original writers and companies. The problem is not with the company however……let me explain.
I am recording the performances taking a direct balanced sound mix from the sound booth into my camera. This is made up from four microphones located at the front of the stage that picks up the actors, pit singers and band extremely well. The keyboard player has refused to be recorded as initially he thought that the company would seek to make a profit from his performance. He is already being paid for the work but wanted more money. Following this he said that written confirmation would need to be given to him that it was for private internal company use only. I spent most of yesterday putting together a written agreement that strictly outlined that the recordings would not be published in any way to the public and would not be for any profit for myself or the company. I also the stated the copyright laws of such an act and the penalties incurred if it went public. I clearly stated that I am supplying this service free of charge for personal experience and training for both myself and for the companies archive. During the interval in the performance last night he threw the contract back saying it was unacceptable and didn’t want an idiot recording him refusing to play. I had to no choice but to switch off the camera for the second half for the sake of the company.
I have read ‘THE GURU’s posting about legality which was very informative but am unclear how it would apply to this scenario. Surely the written agreement between me and the company is enough. The music director would have fired him apparently but she knew that he would try and take the company to court. Sounds like this guy is being completely unreasonable and difficult. The rest of the band, actors and singers are completely happy to be recorded. One of the actors is a professional they have brought in and is more than happy to feature in an introduction interview for the show. Bearing in mind that the keyboard player has a contract also to play can he breach it in this way and threaten to not perform
Urgent advice needed as I was planning to record the performances tonight and tomorrow. ‘Mark W’ I know you have a lot of experience with this and you might have come across this scenario and ‘THE GURU’ of course. If you guys are online and pick this up, please can you help.
Thanks in advance