To take pictures or not to take pictures, that is the question.
I received an invite to Fuerza Bruta‘s “Twitter Night” on Thursday, Dec. 3rd where I would be “encouraged to live tweet with pictures and video.” Benefits to the show, obvious.
I also saw Hamlet last week, and a couple of enthusiastic fans (at least one being from international waters) took photos during the curtain call. She was greeted with a flashlight in the face, and a security guard yelling at her. Damage to the show, obvious. (It reminded me of the time I got in trouble!)
It was the curtain call, guys. They weren’t shooting pix during Ophelia’s mad scene.
I had to wonder . . . are the actors really opposed to curtain call photos, or is this just one of those union positions that we’re holding on to that no one is that concerned about anymore? Wouldn’t those actors benefit from having their mugs on facebook pages and tweeted like the ones at Fuerza Bruta on 12/3? Could we get a curtain call provision that would allow photos to be taken only then? It’s not “uncontrolled” because the actors know what they look like, what they are wearing, etc. It’s much better than a shot on the street, which we can’t prevent.
If the actors are opposed to curtain call photos, then I respect it (Jude has had issues with camera folk before, so maybe he has asked for none to be taken). But if that really is the case, let’s treat our fans with a little more respect as well and not make them feel like they took a picture of the Mona Lisa (I still have nightmares about those security guards at The Louvre).
I guess I sort of understand the question of, “Do you really want all these flashes going off at the end of a show? It’ll look like a baseball game!” Ok, ok, I get it. But baseball games are exciting. And when people take pictures, they want to capture excitement so they can reminisce later. The marketing power of those photos for the show, and for Broadway, is more significant than we could ever muster on our own.
And since we allow the press to take curtain call photos (with or without a flash), why can’t we allow the fans? Nowadays, the fans actually have more distribution outlets than members of the press anyway.
At the end of the day, here is how I saw these two experiences:
Fuerza Bruta is harnessing the power of the fans.
Traditional Broadway has a habit of turning fans away.