Production Studies: Cultural Studies of Media Industries

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"Behind-the-scenes" stories of ranting directors, stingy producers, temperamental actors, and the like have fascinated us since the beginnings of film and television. Today, magazines, websites, television programs, and DVDs are devoted to telling tales of trade lore—from on-set antics to labor disputes. The production of media has become as storied and mythologized as the content of the films and TV shows themselves.

Production Studies is the first volume to bring together a star-studded cast of interdisciplinary media scholars to examine the unique cultural practices of media production. The all-new essays collected here combine ethnographic, sociological, critical, material, and political-economic methods to explore a wide range of topics, from contemporary industrial trends such as new media and niche markets to gender and workplace hierarchies. Together, the contributors seek to understand how the entire span of "media producers"—ranging from high-profile producers and directors to anonymous stagehands and costume designers—work through professional organizations and informal networks to form communities of shared practices, languages, and cultural understandings of the world.

This landmark collection connects the cultural activities of media producers to our broader understanding of media practices and texts, establishing an innovative and agenda-setting approach to media industry scholarship for the twenty-first century.

Contributors: Miranda J. Banks, John T. Caldwell, Christine Cornea, Laura Grindstaff, Felicia D. Henderson, Erin Hill, Jane Landman, Elana Levine, Amanda D. Lotz, Paul Malcolm, Denise Mann, Vicki Mayer, Candace Moore, Oli Mould, Sherry B. Ortner, Matt Stahl, John L. Sullivan, Serra Tinic, Stephen Zafirau

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Production Studies's collection of insightful essays by academics from a range of disciplines presents a superb example of precisely the kind of complex, collaborative work their essays elucidate. Incorporating material from interviews with a range of industry professionals, interrogating both industry practices and the scholarship that has explored them, this book speaks to some of the most pressing issues in the current media studies agenda."—Michele Hilmes, author of NBC: America's Network

"Arriving at a time when the analysis of cultural and material production, in all its forms, has perhaps never been so critical, this rich and diverse collection of essays is a vital contribution to media production studies. The contributors offer a variety of insightful accounts of production culture, approaching it from perspectives including anthropology, cultural studies, feminism, and political economy, and highlighting many different production modes, levels, and locales. Production Studies is the new benchmark for this important and rapidly evolving field, and will influence media scholars and practitioners for years to come."—Derek Kompare, author of Rerun Nation: How Repeats Invented American Television

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415997959
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 5/27/2009
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Vicki Mayer is Assistant Professor of Communication at Tulane University. She is author of Producing Dreams, Consuming Youth: Mexican Americans and Mass Media.

Miranda J. Banks is Assistant Professor of Visual and Media Arts at Emerson College.

John Thornton Caldwell is Professor of Film, Television, and Digital Media at UCLA. He has authored and edited several books, including Televisuality: Style, Crisis and Authority in American Television, Electronic Media and Technoculture, New Media: Digitextual Theories and Practices, and Production Culture: Industrial Reflexivity and Critical Practice in Film and Television.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Production Studies: Roots and Routes, Vicki Mayer, Miranda Banks, and John Thornton Caldwell. Part One: Histories of Media Production Studies. 1. Bringing the Social Back In: Studies of Production Cultures and Social Theory, Vicki Mayer. 2. Industry-Level Studies and the Contributions of Gitlin’s Inside Prime Time, Amanda Lotz 3. Leo C. Rosten's Hollywood: Power, Status, and the Primacy of Economic and Social Networks in Cultural Production, John L. Sullivan. 4. Privilege and Distinction in Production Worlds: Copyright, Collective Bargaining, and Working Conditions in Media Making, Matt Stahl. Part Two: Producers: Selves and Others. 5. Self-Serve Celebrity: The Production of Ordinariess and the Ordinariness of Production in Reality Television, Laura Grindstaff. 6. Feminism Below-the-Line: Defining Feminist Production Studies, Miranda J. Banks. 7. It's Not TV, It’s Brand Management TV: The Collective Author(s) of the Lost Franchise, Denise Mann. 8. Showrunning the Doctor Who Franchise: A Response to Denise Mann, Christine Cornea. Part Three: Production Spaces: Centers and Peripheries. 9. Liminal Places and Spaces: Public/Private Considerations, Candace Moore. 10. "Not in Kansas Anymore": Transnational Collaboration in Television Science Fiction Production, Jane Landman. 11. Crossing the Border: Studying Canadian Television Production, Elana Levine. 12. Borders of Production Research: A Response to Elana Levine, Serra Tinic. Part Four: Production as Lived Experience. 13. Studying Sideways: Ethnographic Access in Hollywood, Sherry Ortner. 14. Audience Knowledge and the Everyday Lives of Cultural Producers in Hollywood, Stephen Zafirau 15. Lights, Camera, but Where’s the Action? Actor-Network Theory and the Production of Robert Connolly's Three Dollars, Oli Mould. 16. Both Sides of the Fence: Blurred Distinctions in Scholarhip and Production (A Portfoloio of Interviews), John Caldwell. The Craft Association, Paul Malcolm. Hollywood Assistanting, Erin Hill. The Writer's Room, Felicia D. Henderson. Select Bibliography. List of Contributors. Index.

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