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Student #1 has left a new comment on your post "NBC Will Air a Live Version of Peter Pan in Less T...":
I had a good laugh reading this article, and while The Sound of Music may not be considered successful among theatre-folk, I have to disagree with the negative attitude toward live broadcasting of musicals and plays. Yes, NBC casted a "star" as the lead role, and maybe she wasn't what everyone wanted her to be as Maria. However, how far off is this idea of "casting a star" from what is going on in nearly every production on Broadway? Not far at all. Most people I talked to absolutely loved getting to watch a live performance of a musical while sitting in their living rooms on a Thursday night. Of course, as people heavily involved in theatre, we are going to really critique the performance, but most people do not have the same perspectives we have. In reality, The Sound of Music Live attracted an insane amount of viewers, and all of those viewers were exposed to theatre through their living rooms. For people who either physically or financially cannot take themselves or their children to the theatre, this NBC broadcast is a brilliant alternative. Also, by broadcasting live theatre to millions of Americans, NBC is actually promoting our industry, no matter how much Underwood couldn't act or sing or dance. The point is, NBC is acknowledging the difficult task of mounting a theatrical production, and they are embracing it for the whole world to see. Maybe we should embrace it, too.
I really enjoyed this article, I think that the relationship between director and playwright is very interesting. The author of this made solid points, and was especially justified in his stance as a director himself. The first of his numbered points was one of the strongest and most significant to me. Here, the author explains that there is a difference between the collaboration of a director and a playwright and a director violating contract by changing the script. This article made me think about the general attitude towards writers in relation to a director. When I think about movies, credit typically seems to be given more to the director than to the screenwriter, at least as far of who the attention is on. With plays I think there may be more of a balance. I'm not really sure if there are implications of this, but I guess it relates to this attitude that the director should get complete creative control and is therefore justified in whatever he choses to take. It's interesting when the playwright is the primary artist who's work is being interpreted in the first place.
This article is PROOF that a loud working environment is detrimental to the quality of your work. The old saying "you need to be quiet I cant think straight" must be true! I think everyone can take a valuable lessen from this article and reconsider polluting a work environment with noise. I know sometimes I can be just as guilty as anyone else but that being said Studio 33 is a WORK environment, 95% of the time I am in the studio trying to concentrate it is extremely loud. I hope most of the class reads this article and we can all agree on some house rules in regards to being loud and obnoxious while people are trying to get through stressful work. I would never have even considered that loud noise would make you physically uncomfortable but after reading the article and thinking about it the more it starts to make sense. While noise level has somewhat of a factor in distracting people I think any noise at all can play a large part in this as well. Why? Think about it... if someone is carrying out a reasonable "indoor voice" conversation but you sit close enough you hear what there talking about. Then all you can concentrate on is what food they think is better and why instead of where your next line should go. At the very least when I have to crank my music so loud to cover up people shouting about something or another from one side of the room to the other... We have a problem!
So this is really interesting to me because the other day in my film class we talked about animation. Not just any animation, but a new type of animation that uses color 3D printing. The example from class specifically was the movie ParaNorman. It was a fairly recent stop motion animation film...but if you watch it, you'd never peg it for stop motion. The reason for this is, in older stop motion, and really any stop motion before this film, the animators had one of two options for moving the characters. Some animators made models that could morph and move. The problem was, there was little consistency and it took forever to get the models just right to take the next shot. The other (and more popular option in professional stop motion, as well as the most recent) is a system in which each character has a skeleton with removable parts. But up until ParaNorman, each character would have around 800 different faces. That sounds like a lot, but think of how many separate frames there are between two different faces, and the number of combinations of faces (smiling to sad, happy to bored, quizzical to amused, yadda yadda). ParaNorman animators decided to use a new piece of technology (color 3d printing) to print over 2000 faces for each character AND have all the skin tones match because they were computer generated (before, artists had to paint each of the 800 faces, and thus the paint was simple because it had to stay consistent). This meant the frame to frame resolution was immense and all of the effects were very cohesive. This 3D printer could provide another layer to that animation process, allowing more lifelike skin qualities or other options that animators still do by hand.
I think that only large non-profit theatres are broken. The smaller ones tend to be more about doing theatre and making people happy, so they care less about making money. No one gets paid in non-profit theatre, so it is hard to imagine that any non-profit theatres want to make money. I mean, sure you can stock up the organizations bank account and pretend to make money, but you personally aren't getting any money. It is weirdly relevant to my situation right now. Recently, my loal community non-profit theatre started worrying about money problems. The last show we put on didn't draw that large of a crowd, so we didn't make as much as we usually do on ticket sales. Of course there was plenty to cover the cost of putting the show on, but we had to draw from our savings in order to donate the usual amount of money that we give to charities every year. This really concerned some of the Board members for some reason. I mean, non-profit means that all of the money goes back to the community, but we have about $35,000 in the bank just in case we don't get any audience at all for a show (That is about how much it costs us to put on a show including space rental). What they don't realize is that we will always get an audience. Even if the show is something like Will Rogers Follies, which is the show that didn't draw much, we have a couple hundred loyal audience members that come out no matter what the show is because they enjoy the atmosphere of our theatre. Also, we are pretty much professional quality without anyone getting paid. Time and time again, people find our theatre group, come see a show, and then talk about how they felt like they had just seen a Broadway production for a 10th of the cost. Sure, non-profit theatre is dying a little from the fact that the people who were around when it was big are getting older, but that doesn't mean people don't go at all. Broadway is the big thing again and the younger generation doesn't realize that there are wonderful community and non-profit theatres putting on beautiful pieces of artwork just because they love what they do.