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Watching Films
New Perspectives on Movie-Going, Exhibition and Reception
Edited by Albert Moran and Karina Aveyard
Intellect Books, 2013
Whether we stream them on our laptops, enjoy them in theaters, or slide them into DVD players to watch on our TVs, movies are part of what it means to be socially connected in the twenty-first century.  Despite its significant role in our lives, the act of watching films remains an area of social activity that is little studied, and thus, little understood. 
In Watching Films, an international cast of contributors correct this problem with a comprehensive investigation of movie going, cinema exhibition, and film reception around the world. With a focus on the social, economic, and cultural factors that influence how we watch and think about movies, this volume centers its investigations on four areas of inquiry: Who watches films? Under what circumstances? What consequences and affects follow? And what do these acts of consumption mean? Responding to these questions, the contributors provide both historical perspective and fresh insights about the ways in which new viewing arrangements and technologies influence how films get watched everywhere from Canada to China to Ireland.
A long-overdue consideration of an important topic, Watching Films provides an engrossing overview of how we do just that in our homes and across the globe.

front cover of Where Histories Reside
Where Histories Reside
India as Filmed Space
Priya Jaikumar
Duke University Press, 2019
In Where Histories Reside Priya Jaikumar examines eight decades of films shot on location in India to show how attending to filmed space reveals alternative timelines and histories of cinema. In this bold “spatial” film historiography, Jaikumar outlines factors that shape India's filmed space, from state bureaucracies and commercial infrastructures to aesthetic styles and neoliberal policies. Whether discussing how educational shorts from Britain and India transform natural landscapes into instructional lessons or how Jean Renoir’s The River (1951) presents a universal human condition through the particularities of place, Jaikumar demonstrates that the history of filming a location has always been a history of competing assumptions, experiences, practices, and representational regimes. In so doing, she reveals that addressing the persistent question of “what is cinema?” must account for an aesthetics and politics of space.

front cover of Working Musicians
Working Musicians
Labor and Creativity in Film and Television Production
Timothy D. Taylor
Duke University Press, 2023
In Working Musicians Timothy D. Taylor offers a behind-the-scenes look at the labor of the mostly unknown composers, music editors, orchestrators, recording engineers, and other workers involved in producing music for films, television, and video games. Drawing on dozens of interviews with music workers in Los Angeles, Taylor explores the nature of their work and how they understand their roles in the entertainment business. Taylor traces how these cultural laborers have adapted to and cope with the conditions of neoliberalism as, over the last decade, their working conditions have become increasingly precarious. Digital technologies have accelerated production timelines and changed how content is delivered, while new pay schemes have emerged that have transformed composers from artists into managers and paymasters. Taylor demonstrates that as bureaucratization and commercialization affect every aspect of media, the composers, musicians, music editors, engineers, and others whose soundtracks excite, inspire, and touch millions face the same structural economic challenges that have transformed American society, concentrating wealth and power in fewer and fewer hands.

front cover of The Writers
The Writers
A History of American Screenwriters and Their Guild
Banks, Miranda J
Rutgers University Press, 2016
Screenwriters are storytellers and dream builders. They forge new worlds and beings, bringing them to life through storylines and idiosyncratic details. Yet up until now, no one has told the story of these creative and indispensable artists. The Writers is the only comprehensive qualitative analysis of the history of writers and writing in the film, television, and streaming media industries in America. 

Featuring in-depth interviews with over fifty writers—including Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Carl Reiner, and Frank Pierson—The Writers delivers a compelling, behind-the-scenes look at the role and rights of writers in Hollywood and New York over the past century. Granted unprecedented access to the archives of the Writers Guild Foundation, Miranda J. Banks also mines over 100 never-before-published oral histories with legends such as Nora Ephron and Ring Lardner Jr., whose insight and humor provide a window onto the enduring priorities, policies, and practices of the Writers Guild.

With an ear for the language of storytellers, Banks deftly analyzes watershed moments in the industry: the advent of sound, World War II, the blacklist, ascension of television, the American New Wave, the rise and fall of VHS and DVD, and the boom of streaming media. The Writers spans historical and contemporary moments, and draws upon American cultural history, film and television scholarship and the passionate politics of labor and management. Published on the sixtieth anniversary of the formation of the Writers Guild of America, this book tells the story of the triumphs and struggles of these vociferous and contentious hero-makers.

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