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Thread: Ethics of filming amateur musicicans

  1. #26
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    Default Re: Ethics of filming amateur musicicans

    Your friend in the band probably wanted some recordings. I can't imagine her bringing a random pal who was so excited about hearing your group practice that she wanted to record every moment! So, yes, I think you over-reacted. Since you appear to think you were being reasonable, I think you and I have very different world views. So maybe you're in the right and I am not.

    My amateur band needs someone to record us so we can hear how bad it sounds when four guitars compete to be heard instead of listening and blending. If that woman had tried to record one of our practices I probably would have kissed her, though my wife would disapprove. ��

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  3. #27
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    Default Re: Ethics of filming amateur musicicans

    OP: If you had played flawlessly would you have objected to having the recording?

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  5. #28

    Default Re: Ethics of filming amateur musicicans

    Timbo is right..."In the modern world, courtesy is becoming far from common". I'll add that 'sense' is also becoming a bit less than common.

    !GEEZER RANT ALERT!

    Modern technology has made filming/taping etc so easy, that it has become a constant accessory and extension of modern culture.

    Kids today film everything.

    They (many anyway) are not only oblivious to the fact that they might be invading someone else's privacy, they often invade their own.
    Really...How can anyone expect NOT to be filmed at any moment, public or private, when it is becoming common to film oneself in the act of vandalism, burglary, or assault?

    I'm not suggesting the girl at the jam was a criminal. Only that the whole definition of 'courtesy', 'privacy' and 'sense' is undergoing a paradigm shift. I don't like it, but I guess I'll have to get used to it.

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  7. #29
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    Default Re: Ethics of filming amateur musicicans

    Again, this is not about flawless performance, it's about "Common Courtesy" it's easy enough to just stop playing until the film maker gets the hint and shuts down.
    I have no serious inhibition abut having things filmed, but it needs to be done by agreement, not just some random face pulling a surprise camera out. As a man of "reasonable age" I try to instill some respect of other people's feelings in my grandchildren, the manners and appreciation of courtesy is what we need to promote.
    Just stop people being discourteous as gently as possible. Maybe we can help make this world a kinder place.
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  9. #30
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    Default Re: Ethics of filming amateur musicicans

    The OP has brought up a good discussion -- I know that I hadn't thought a lot about this stuff beforehand except to think that the occasional person who wandered into our slow session and put up a smart phone deserved what they got. Yeah, we would prefer to always sound perfect, but our session is in a sort-of public place (we meet at the Gaelic American Club), rehearsal that it is, and people stop by the door to look in all the time. OTOH, when I play my yearly classical thing, there's a very definite 'no filming at all, no photos without permission 24 hours in advance' that's listed on the signup literature. It's a matter of making and keeping rules front and center.

    So, now we have a head's-up to have rules in place if it ever comes up.

    Whether the OP over-reacted, well, probably. I've spoken with people who have the same attitude, so I'm willing to see where he's coming from (I'm a journalist myself and privacy and public events are very much part of my training), but there were less confrontational ways to have handled it. Hindsight is always 20/20, as they say. The filmer was a guest, she didn't see anything wrong with filming her friend playing -- even though it was the band who was up there, it was her friend she was probably concentrating on -- and the OP allowed her to keep her first film which she did let all of you watch. From her standpoint, she was being consistent and having fun and then someone from the band started freaking out.

    As to the private party -- yeah, not much you can do about that, no matter how annoying it is. We play a gig at a restaurant and when we're on break, the owner can't put on his canned music fast enough and play it loud enough. You get the feeling he's trying to wash the air of our acoustic music ... but a lot of people can't stand the sound of silence (or people talking, if it's a party), witness the incredibly loud music at weddings and reunions and other big events -- and there's nothing you can do to change them. The bottom line, I guess, is not to take stuff that's out of your control personally.
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  11. #31
    Middle-Aged Old-Timer Tobin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ethics of filming amateur musicicans

    Quote Originally Posted by PlaneSimple View Post
    The other post about Jonathan Edwards coming up on stage without an invite.. Why would anyone feel the need to insinuate themselves into someone's show?
    I agree. I don't care if it's a famous or talented musician. You don't just invite yourself to go up on stage in the middle of a band's set and try to upstage them or make yourself the center of attention. That is the height of rudeness, self-centeredness, and general bad behavior. Much more egregious than someone simply filming a band playing, IMHO.

    Unfortunately, it's become a "thing" for celebrities to crash weddings and other social events. Their fans just love it, but it only feeds the extreme narcissism that's rampant in celebrities today.

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  13. #32
    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ethics of filming amateur musicicans

    Welcome to the 21st century. Sounds like an overreaction to me.

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  15. #33
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    Default Re: Ethics of filming amateur musicicans

    No way am I belittling the OP's feelings - but we get people filming us at most gigs. All we hope for is that we don't ever see the footage.
    Besides, in all but few cases it's filmed on phones in portrait mode (WHY on God's earth do people do that - do they watch movies in portrait mode or what??!!)

    I'm afraid it's just what we have to accept, however I will side with Stringalong and say that filming a practice without asking is just plain rude. That's way more intrusive than filming live performance.

    So I don't think it's overreaction as such. I think the person should have observed the feelings and politely acquiesced.
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  17. #34
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    Default Re: Ethics of filming amateur musicicans

    We should all lighten up.

    I'm amazed to see/hear myself on YouTube when videoed unbeknownst to me. I was amazed when one of my friends spotted a gouache portrait of me in an art show in Alfred NY. The artist took a photo of me at a restoration where I was playing, and made a painting from it. (Good move on his part; I ended up buying it for $400 and hanging it on my wall!)

    While we all have desires to control others' impressions and representations of ourselves and our music, probably not possible. If the others aren't rude or intrusive, I think we chalk it up to new abilities to record our world informally and at the drop of a hat.

    In a way, it's flattery that someone wants to preserve his/her interaction with us, beyond the moment it occurs. That record may not show us just the way we'd like to be shown, but it shows the way we were.

    There's enough other stuff to get up-tight about, IMHO.
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  19. #35
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    Default Re: Ethics of filming amateur musicicans

    Quote Originally Posted by stringalong View Post
    I will write an Ethics page in the website I maintain for the group. Then I can suggest to my friend that she read it.
    Ha, something tells me this band won't be together very long.

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  21. #36
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    Default Re: Ethics of filming amateur musicicans

    I think it's a matter of etiquette rather than ethics if it's a private rehearsal. If it's in a public place that's different. It might become an ethical issue if the person is videoing you to profit from it. I wouldn't particularly want anyone videoing my band rehearsals --not that there's anyone out there who'd actually want to video me practicing. Let me rephrase that: I'd love for someone to want to video/record me, but I wouldn't want it to be shown publically unless the way I looked and performed was exceptional by all standards, and I'd win the lottery jackpot before that happened.

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  23. #37
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    Default Re: Ethics of filming amateur musicicans

    I'd agree with the comments about courtesy during a private practice, I can understand why that would be upsetting, but I'd like to present another viewpoint. Not meant to be offensive here, just another perspective.

    When you are playing in a band, you need fans and supporters, and you really need publicity. Turn that interaction with a fan or supporter into a positive one, somehow, even if you don't like what they are doing at one particular moment. One way or another, find the positive aspects of their enthusiasm, and use it to promote your band and make the overall experience a fun one. If they got a good take of one strong song, get them to post it on YouTube for you. That person will show up at your gigs, and with a bit of luck, bring their friends along.
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  25. #38
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    Default Re: Ethics of filming amateur musicicans

    I saw the Milk Carton Kids last year and they were introducing a song they had not released yet...so they politely asked the crowd not to film this song. "We don't want the first version out there to be your crappy cell phone version..."
    Good way to handle it.

    Kirk

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  27. #39
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    Default Re: Ethics of filming amateur musicicans

    Quote Originally Posted by SincereCorgi View Post
    Ha, something tells me this band won't be together very long.
    Random thoughts:

    I don't visit a whole lot of band websites, but I haven't yet seen one with an "Ethics Page."

    My jam has been posted on You Tube without anyone asking me. I didn't get too upset, just thought, jeez if I knew, I would've put on a clean T-shirt and combed my hair.

    I can see getting upset if one's practice session is being disrupted, in one way or another. But if the other 4/5 of the group isn't upset, you might want to yield to majority opinion. Or end up a solo act like Jonathan Edwards, jumping up on the stage desperately belting out Sunshine Go Away Today while they are playing Rock The Casbah or something.

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  29. #40
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    Default Re: Ethics of filming amateur musicicans

    Quote Originally Posted by sheets View Post
    I'd agree with the comments about courtesy during a private practice, I can understand why that would be upsetting, but I'd like to present another viewpoint. Not meant to be offensive here, just another perspective.

    When you are playing in a band, you need fans and supporters, and you really need publicity. Turn that interaction with a fan or supporter into a positive one, somehow, even if you don't like what they are doing at one particular moment. One way or another, find the positive aspects of their enthusiasm, and use it to promote your band and make the overall experience a fun one. If they got a good take of one strong song, get them to post it on YouTube for you. That person will show up at your gigs, and with a bit of luck, bring their friends along.

    Yep. I can tell you now we have had followers that have irked us, and maybe don't agree with views they hold elsewhere; but I'm always extremely courteous. Or I let the less bothered band members do the chit chat. That's just normal

    You do have to respect people who like your music - after all that is a good thing. Make them feel included and it's a win win. Time & again one venue gets a bigger following for us because we befriended a husband & wife who like what we do.

    A friend of mine is in an indie band that are known across Europe (in a small way), and when I saw him a few gigs ago, I did back off when I noticed a fan lurking, and Paul himself was also making room for the guy to come & chat with him.

    Incidentally I did film some of Paul's band that day and he was quick and firm to ask me not to publish a new song that had not been released and was what he considered a lesser performance of it. Needless to say I did not do put it online.

    It's all about how you go about it, and that's just normal politeness & not letting the red mist descend.
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  30. #41
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    Default Re: Ethics of filming amateur musicicans

    Say Jaycat, isn't being ethical what regular folks do to avoid lawyers? I agree, never seen an "Ethics clause" from any band blog.
    I guess I'm not out on this yet but, I stand by the exercising of common courtesy. If I knew someone wanted to video a practice (my guitar players last father loved to do it) yes, clean t-shirt and combed hair makes it more comfortable as far as end product is concerned. It's the lack of civility and basic, what my parents used to call, manners tha I find distasteful about some "stranger" showing up and filming what is more private "band time".
    If someone wants to film a gig, they get what comes, it's live performance. That doesn't bother me.

    BTW, excellent "quote" from Rose! Quite appropo.
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  32. #42
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    Default Re: Ethics of filming amateur musicicans

    In my experience, most pros want to get filmed and out on Youtube, especially the up-and-coming ones. The more that potential fans and concert-goers can check when they see a gig announced, the better. The Milk Carton Kids thing not withstanding, everyone pretty well expects it. A quick survey I died a few months back of our audience showed that about 80% (didn't get too carried away with counting) watched several videos on Youtube, regardless of quality, to see what the show was going to be about. That's 80% who knew what they were getting, came because of that, and the audience satisfaction level was great, as when you see someone live, you're obviously going to have a much better time. So, now, I've never had a pro request no filming, and everyone actually invites it and expects it.

    As per the O.P., did she ever think that the friend was excited for her, and thought she was excited to share what she was doing? There's no such thing as a thin-skinned musician. Ex-musicians maybe. Forget ethics, forget people being required to pay attention, forget all that. If the situation or venue doesn't suit you, no problem, just play elsewhere in the future. It's easy for musicians to forget the fact that the venue is what it is; if there are noisy crowds, then obviously the venue is attracting a lot of business doing things the way they always have. There's no reason for them to change the way they do things, it's up to you to find a place that suits the way you want to play. I listen to venue horror stories and shake my head: it's not the venue, it's the musicians bad target marketing that lead them to take a gig there. Scout the venues first, then know if it's right.

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  34. #43
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    Default Re: Ethics of filming amateur musicicans

    I am perhaps of "geezer age" also, but I prefer in ANY circumstance to have someone ask before taking my picture/recording me. I may say yes, I may say no but ASK! It's just courtesy. I do the same. And my "public" performances are in church and I know all church services are recorded for our nursing home/homebound members, and that is fine with me. Again, forewarning is the right thing to do. I may be in the minority, but I am okay with that too. Just treat others the way you would want to be treated.

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  36. #44
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    Default Re: Ethics of filming amateur musicicans

    Interesting thread! Sorry to go a bit off topic, but the Jonathan Edwards story reminds me of a time back in 1980-something at the late, great Paul's Saloon in San Francisco. I was watching a local bluegrass band play when a quirky looking little guy jumped up on stage with a mandolin, stepped up to a mic and played some wild breaks. The band looked a little amused and bemused but kept playing just as you might at a jam. I didn't recognize the uninvited guest musician but a friend chatted him up when he came off stage. Guess who - Frank Wakefield! It was totally unplanned apparently.
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  37. #45

    Default Re: Ethics of filming amateur musicicans

    I'll just add my vote on this one. In a public performance be it a bar, festival or just busking, you have to accept being filmed these days. It would be nice if the filmers checked for permission first but basically you gotta' expect it. I'm old enough to have gone to the coffeehouse scene in Yorkville, Toronto when "compact" cassette recorders (with the piano keys) first appeared and performers would get very upset, and justifiably so, if anyone were clandestinely making and audio recording let alone being filmed.
    I heard a good argument by a very talented jazz musician awhile back, not an old fart, who said that he felt creatively stifled at concerts these days because he knew the performance was likely being filmed and therefore he was reluctant to take any chances musically. "Big Brother" is us!
    Now in a private house, even if it is a ticketed event, I feel hands down you need to ask permission, not only of the performers, but also of everyone there. What gives you the right to put everyone uptight. I do think that the OP did over react some, although she was well within her rights. If it were me, and it has happened to me, I would tell the filmmaker politely, that I do not wish to be videoed. If they were to object, I would just leave.

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  39. #46
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    Default Re: Ethics of filming amateur musicicans

    I have been just posting my freshly learned (little rehearsed) songs on videos. I tell people if they want to hear the polished version they need to come to a show LOL

    I have fun even when I suck so I just don't care what videos go up.
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  40. #47

    Default Re: Ethics of filming amateur musicicans

    Hello markscarts, In a lot of cases, it's illegal to record a band in a event, for instance. It's legal if it's outdoors or in some public places. These legal issues, the question of whose right it is -- the musicians' or the videographer's -- are discussed in many internet sites. (You can search google and find a lot of them.) However, the conversation here at the Mandolin Cafe is very useful indeed! We are discussing amateur musicians, for the most part anyway, issues like filming in a practice session, or at a pub, and such things.

  41. #48

    Default Re: Ethics of filming amateur musicicans

    Hello WW52, Oliver A, and the poster who wrote, "There is a generation coming up...." (Full quote below)

    I'm asking permission from each of you if I can quote you on our band website, namely thetraditionsstringband.org

    WW52 wrote: "I think it's a matter of etiquette rather than ethics if it's a private rehearsal. If it's in a public place that's different. It might become an ethical issue if the person is videoing you to profit from it. I wouldn't particularly want anyone videoing my band rehearsals --not that there's anyone out there who'd actually want to video me practicing. Let me rephrase that: I'd love for someone to want to video/record me, but I wouldn't want it to be shown publically unless the way I looked and performed was exceptional by all standards, and I'd win the lottery jackpot before that happened. "

    Oliver A wrote: "I'll just add my vote on this one. In a public performance be it a bar, festival or just busking, you have to accept being filmed these days. It would be nice if the filmers checked for permission first but basically you gotta' expect it. I'm old enough to have gone to the coffeehouse scene in Yorkville, Toronto when "compact" cassette recorders (with the piano keys) first appeared and performers would get very upset, and justifiably so, if anyone were clandestinely making and audio recording let alone being filmed.
    I heard a good argument by a very talented jazz musician awhile back, not an old fart, who said that he felt creatively stifled at concerts these days because he knew the performance was likely being filmed and therefore he was reluctant to take any chances musically. "Big Brother" is us!
    Now in a private house, even if it is a ticketed event, I feel hands down you need to ask permission, not only of the performers, but also of everyone there. What gives you the right to put everyone uptight. I do think that the OP did over react some, although she was well within her rights. If it were me, and it has happened to me, I would tell the filmmaker politely, that I do not wish to be videoed. If they were to object, I would just leave. " [Oliver A, I'll comment directly to your post...]

    Who contributed this one to the discussion? I would also like to put this on the Traditions String Band website, so if it's yours could you let me know if I have your permission to put your quote:

    "There is a generation coming up that treats video recording from their phones as a natural extension of documenting their daily lives. Sometimes they need a reminder about privacy and common courtesy by us old fogeys. Just not in a public space, where they're perfectly free to do that."

    I'll also be doing some thoughts, feelings and ideas of my own on the webpage.

  42. #49

    Default Re: Ethics of filming amateur musicicans

    Hi Oliver A, Regarding your comment about "If they were to object, I would just leave." That is definitely a possibility, and all of us have left various "situations" throughout our musical careers. I've been giving the whole issue of this thread a lot of thought. I came up with some good solutions, I think. To avoid leaving a gig or jam where you are playing, it seems to me that if a video maker asks permission to take stills, then the people who want or don't want their picture taken can say so -- or the people who don't, can leave temporarily, then return to playing with the group when the photograph is finished. It would need to be said that "this is a good time to take pictures, but then we'll not be available for more photos." (For example, my Yoga teacher asked me to photo the class in action and make a publicity poster. I told the class, "If you don't want to be in the picture, please let me know." Some chose not to be in the pic, and I aimed my camera away from them.

    If it's a video or audio, the same or similar approach could be taken by the band and the members of the band. First thing would be for the band of tell the recording person, "Some tunes work real well for us. We'll let you know when you can turn on your device." Alternatively, any member of the band or jam can "opt out" of the recording by leaving for a while.

    What do you think about these suggestions?

  43. #50

    Default Re: Ethics of filming amateur musicicans

    Mark Wilson, no, I would not -- and in fact did not -- object when one of the tunes we played turned out real well. She played the video for us and it was fine. I even asked her if she would, or mind if we would, post that video on YouTube. But I still would have much preferred that the guest ( or any person at any time, except in public places) ask permission first. Also, you might want so see my response to Oliver A about other possibilities I have thought up.

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