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Video transforms TV and film

Photo caption: IA crew members on a set.

The age of video arrived during the 1980s.  Videotape in TV effected the employment of IA members.  Instead of live programming, which required extensive rehearsal time, shows could be recorded on videotape in the same way filmed shows were made - using the stop-and-go method.  Tapes could also be edited like film, so shows could be put together out of sequence.  Several shows could be taped in a day or a week, whereas with live TV it took much longer.  This resulted in less work for IA members who had been working both on the actual production of shows and the rehearsals.  Worst of all, shows recorded on tape could be re-broadcast many times, providing networks with a source of program material that dispensed with the necessity of IA crafts.

Additionally, with the development of mobile video cameras used in the field to cover news stories, the work of operating electronic cameras was assigned to engineering crews and displaced some IA film cameramen, though a number of IA news film camera operators found work in these units, operating the electronic tape cameras.

Tape could be reused, and did not require as much careful lighting as film.  Video cameras were perfected to where virtually anyone could use one.  The result was that “independent” producers began to make video films for television as well as movies.  Video cassette recorders also allowed viewers to tape programs and watch them at leisure.  The video boom also brought copyright infringement, a problem that the Alliance and others continue to fight with great vigor.

The pirating of Hollywood productions eventually led to the commercial release of major films on the video market, as a way to circumvent the movie and television pirates and to encourage the public to buy the tape before it hit commercial TV or a pay channel.