Open Forum

Copyright and Marketing

  • 1.  Copyright and Marketing

    Posted 11-06-2018 14:13
    I have been seeing lots of marketing suggestions about filming teasers or giving "Sneak Peek" performances of 10-15 minutes to work as a cliffhanger and convince students to come to shows. It was my understanding that this is illegal. Where is the line of what is acceptable and what is illegal?


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  • 2.  RE: Copyright and Marketing

    Posted 11-07-2018 09:20
    Check your contract with the rights holder.  Sometimes they allow for short (30 second) clips of the show with audio to be used for marketing purposes.  If not, you can always make a compilation video from rehearsal and replace the audio with royalty free music. This works well when there are funny or surprising physical moments in the show.  Interviews with the cast and crew are always fun too!  Or let students use their media savvy to create a trailer for the show without using lines or music from the show. Yes, none of these things is the same as posting a short teaser, but they are legal, and fun ways to promote the show and get folks excited.
    We are doing Footloose in the spring and we are asking the students to film themselves doing some choreography from the show around town and on school trips.  If I get enough submission I am planning on putting them together in one big "Where's Matt?"- style video.

    Elana Kepner
    Theatre Instructor
    The Oakwood School
    Greenville NC

  • 3.  RE: Copyright and Marketing

    Posted 11-07-2018 10:06
    A lot of movie DVDs nowadays come with "making of" documentaries including some of what Elana mentioned, and some even include outtakes, deleted scenes, and similar stuff. They would be great inspiration for a short video about your show, and they're a lot of fun to watch. I especially like it when they include interviews with art directors and production designers.

    You can find out which DVD includes what by just reading the back of the case: look for things like "Bonus materials."

    George F. Ledo
    Set designer

  • 4.  RE: Copyright and Marketing

    Posted 11-07-2018 10:42
    I agree. Read you contract, permission may be there already. If not, contact the publisher and get a clarification or rider that sets out what you can do for marketing. When it comes to copyrights always assume the answer is no, but don't take no as the only answer. Contracts are a negotiating process, so negotiate. If the ultimate answer is still no, you haven't lost anything except the time for a phone call.

    Remember, these publishers want you to succeed and marketing is a part of the process that they understand. So talk to them.

    James Van Leishout
    Olympia WA

  • 5.  RE: Copyright and Marketing

    Posted 11-07-2018 12:16
    ​It's always a good idea to ask, but I think most playwrights and publishers would be open to granting permission--especially if you offered to share your teaser with them. Anyone with a website is always looking for new material to promote work that they are offering. Just a thought!

    Jean Klein
    [Playwright/Founder HaveScripts/BlueMoonPlays]
    Virginia Beach VA