More Than a Movie: Ethics in Entertainment / Edition 1by Miguel Valenti
Pub. Date: 10/28/2000
Publisher: Westview Press
In More Than a Movie, producer and entertainment attorney F. Miguel Valenti presents a compelling argument for the creative community to consider the consequences of its products, from movies to TV to the Internet. Valenti refrains from attacking the industries in which he himself works, but argues for reflection on the part of those who create media./i>… See more details below
In More Than a Movie, producer and entertainment attorney F. Miguel Valenti presents a compelling argument for the creative community to consider the consequences of its products, from movies to TV to the Internet. Valenti refrains from attacking the industries in which he himself works, but argues for reflection on the part of those who create media. More Than a Movie takes a pioneering first step toward outlining the issues in an insider fashion, and provides the tools to make ethical decisions about creating for the big and small screens. Edited by veteran media writer Les Brown and media consultant Laurie Trotta, More Than a Movie is written to stimulate debate in professional and academic arenas, and for the enjoyment of everyone who loves entertainment. The book contains a foreword by noted author and director Peter Bogdanovich, and commentary from producers Christine Vachon and David Brown. Mediascope, a Studio City, California-based media policy organization, commissioned the book upon discovering that ethical discussions seldom occur in film and television schools, although they are staples for studying law, medicine, business and journalism. Issues range from ethnic and gender stereotyping to excessive and gratuitous violence."It’s not about censorship -- it’s about having a responsibility for what we do," says author Valenti (no relation to MPAA’s Jack Valenti). "The book outlines how we are helping to shape societal values and individual behavior with the artistic choices we make." A team of writers from across the nation offer essays: Neil Hickey, editor, Columbia Journalism Review ; Annette Insdorf, Columbia University; Ted Pease, professor and columnist; Jack Pitman, Variety; Martin Koughan, Emmy Award-winning documentarian. The essays in More Than a Movie are interspersed with stories of actual ethical dilemmas told by noted screenwriters, directors and other practitioners in interviews by Manhattan writer Laura Blum.
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Valenti and his interviewees probe deeply into the Pandora's Box that is ethical film making. He neither spurns nor spares the movie industry and the Washington politicos who use such an easy target for political gain. His discussions of such inflammatory subject matters as sexual content, violence and the portrayal of substance use and abuse are impassioned yet rational. He knows when to ask the right question and when to get out of the way and let the interviewees speak their mind. I think this should be required reading, not only for film scholars, but those working in the film business, those who wish to demonize it and those who just love movies.
This book is the first I've seen that dares producers, writers and directors to assume responsibility for the work they put out there-- Valenti speaks as an insider; he doesn't threaten, doesn't use the bludgeon of government censorship, but simply ponders the question: Because we have the right to do anything we want, should we? A great tool for classroom discussion