Last Edit: ShowGoer 06:19 am EDT 04/06/21
Posted by: ShowGoer 06:09 am EDT 04/06/21
In reply to: re: Hmmm.. Glib naiveté? - ryhog 10:15 pm EDT 04/05/21

Those two words haven’t so much struck a nerve with me, as just thinking you’re suffering from the “glib naïveté” you accuse him of. But I’m not saying Yang has all the answers, or that his pilot program makes much sense or will be all that effective, any more than (I think) you’re believing that this is all about Netflix, or that Netflix and Disney are the only streamers.

Here’s the thing: you’re making this all about the streaming services; I’m making a larger point and saying it’s about the producers, as a way to preserve their shows, enhance awareness of their theater companies, and strengthen their long-term investments.

I’m simply saying, and I’m confident in this, that a post-pandemic world, with it without Andrew Yang as mayor, will be moving more and more towards, not a SHIFT to streaming, but making either concurrent or -eventual- streaming a regular part of the theatrical product, much as the advent of home video in the late 70s and 1980s made video sales on VHS and later DVD a regular part of theirs.

Virtually every off-Broadway theatre company and regional resident theater company that I’m aware of is planning/hoping to make it part of their model going forward (for the reasons Terry Teachout cites – during the last year countless theater fans have watched productions online from theaters not only that they’ve never attended and maybe will never visit, but that in some cases they’d never even heard of); I happened to wake up this morning to emails from four such theater companies just from overnight, including the Mint, Bay Street Theatre, and two outside NY, all referencing current or future streaming plans. And with major movie adaptations still a rare thing, virtually every Broadway production will want to make videorecordings happen, whether a smash hit or even some semi-flops (to be honest, it remains to be seen, for example, whether Diana actually opens next winter: it’s possible that in advance of filming they made the deal in advance to sell it and see a partial return on their investment, and that with the show loaded in already, if advance sales are dismal and/or critical and public response lacking, that they’ll have enough time to give notice after it drops on Netflix that the show will not reopen).

But much as the major record labels stopped routinely bidding on cast album rights in the 1990s-2000s and the original cast recording became more frequently part of the show’s capitalization (Kurt Deutsch was, I believe, first among others in pushing first-class productions towards this model as the albums by RCA and Sony became rarer and rarer) – I am 100% positive that something of the same will become the rule, not the exception, here as well. (Make fun of Davenport all you want - I can join you in that in some respects - but there’s an argument that his Daddy Long Legs will prove to have had longer ‘legs’ than, say, best musical nominees as diverse as The Visit, Bright Star, The Scottsboro Boys and Groundhog Day purely because that original production was filmed.). Obviously everyone would love the $75-million sale to Disney + .... but the Diana example proves, and I’m sure they hope, the Come From Away example WILL prove, that the interest is there from the producers and the interest is there from the audiences. Maybe by selling to BroadwayHD or Broadway on Demand, maybe by putting it themselves on iTunes, maybe a service that hadn’t been invented yet... but there are more options if a show has been filmed than if it hasn’t.

We’re not going to see every single show professionally filmed at all, let alone streamed during their runs... but I believe it will eventually become the rule rather than the exception. Apologies if it seems this discussion has turned snarky, but check back with me in a few years and we’ll see who’s exhibiting quality thinking.

Previous: re: Hmmm.. Glib naiveté? - ryhog 10:15 pm EDT 04/05/21
Next: re: Well... - Chazwaza 09:41 pm EDT 04/06/21

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