Media Matters series

Series editors: Patrice Petro and Cristina Venegas

Published by Rutgers University Press, Media Matters focuses on film, television, and media within a transnational and interdisciplinary frame: environmental media, media industries, media and democracy, information media and global media. It features the work of scholars who explore ever-expanding forms of media in art, everyday, and entertainment practices. The inaugural volume in the series, Global Cinema Networks, was edited by Elena Gorfinkel and Tami Williams.

Publications sponsored by the Carsey-Wolf Center’s Media Industries Project

Voices of Labor: Creativity, Craft, and Conflict in Global Hollywood.  Edited by Michael Curtin and Kevin Sanson.  Berkeley: UC Press, 2017

Motion pictures are made, not mass produced, requiring a remarkable collection of skills, self-discipline, and sociality—all of which are sources of enormous pride among Hollywood’s craft and creative workers. The interviews collected here showcase the ingenuity, enthusiasm, and aesthetic pleasures that attract people to careers in the film and television industries. They also reflect critically on changes in the workplace brought about by corporate conglomeration and globalization. Rather than offer publicity-friendly anecdotes by marquee celebrities, Voices of Labor presents off-screen observations about the everyday realities of Global Hollywood. Ranging across job categories—from showrunner to make-up artist to location manager—this collection features voices of labor from Los Angeles, Atlanta, Prague, and Vancouver. Together they show how seemingly abstract concepts like conglomeration, financialization, and globalization are crucial tools for understanding contemporary Hollywood and for reflecting more generally on changes and challenges in the screen media workplace and our culture at large. Despite such formidable concerns, what nevertheless shines through is a commitment to craftwork and collaboration that provides the means to imagine and instigate future alternatives for screen media labor.

Precarious Creativity: Global Media, Local Labor. Edited by Michael Curtin and Kevin Sanson.  Berkeley: University of California Press, 2016.

Precarious Creativity: Global Media, Local Labor examines the seismic changes confronting media workers in an age of globalization and corporate conglomeration. This pathbreaking anthology peeks behind the hype and supposed glamor of screen media industries to reveal the intensifying pressures and challenges confronting actors, editors, electricians, and others. The authors take on pressing conceptual and methodological issues while also providing insightful case studies of workplace dynamics regarding creativity, collaboration, exploitation, and cultural difference. Furthermore, it examines working conditions and organizing efforts on all six continents, offering broad-ranging and comprehensive analysis of contemporary screen media labor in such places as Lagos, Prague, Hollywood, and Hyderabad. The collection also examines labor conditions across a range of job categories that includes, for example, visual effects, production services, and adult entertainment. With contributions from such leading scholars as John Caldwell, Vicki Mayer, Herman Gray, and Tejaswini Ganti, this collection offers timely critiques of media globalization while also intervening in broader debates about labor, creativity, and precarity.

Precarious Creativity grew out of the Carsey-Wolf/Mellinchamp conference held in Spring 2014, which brought together an international group of scholars at UC Santa Barbara to examine the increasingly globalized and interconnected nature of screen media labor in a series of roundtable discussions and a keynote session featuring leading advocates from the VFX community in Southern California. The anthology is also the first to be offered through Luminos, the new open access publishing platform of University of California Press.

Distribution Revolution: Conversations about the Digital Future of Film and Television. Edited by Michael Curtin, Jennifer Holt and Kevin Sanson. Berkeley: UC Press, 2014.

Distribution Revolution is a collection of interviews with leading film and TV professionals concerning the many ways that digital delivery systems are transforming the entertainment business. These interviews provide lively insider accounts from studio executives, distribution professionals, and creative talent of the tumultuous transformation of film and TV in the digital era.

The first section features interviews with top executives at major Hollywood studios, providing a window into the big-picture concerns of media conglomerates with respect to changing business models, revenue streams, and audience behaviors. The second focuses on innovative enterprises that are providing path-breaking models for new modes of content creation, curation, and distribution—creatively meshing the strategies and practices of Hollywood and Silicon Valley. And the final section offers insights from creative talent whose professional practices, compensation, and everyday working conditions have been transformed over the past ten years. Taken together, these interviews demonstrate that virtually every aspect of the film and television businesses is being affected by the digital distribution revolution, a revolution that has likely just begun.

Connected Viewing: Selling, Streaming, and Sharing Media in the Digital Era. Edited by Jennifer Holt and Kevin Sanson. New York: Routledge, 2014–Sharing-Media-in-the-Digital-Age/Holt-Sanson/p/book/9780415813600

Connected Viewing brings together twelve original essays that critically engage with the socially-networked, multi-platform, and cloud-based world of today, examining the connected viewing phenomenon across television, film, video games, and social media.  Research for the anthology originated as part of the Connected Viewing Initiative, a multi-year collaboration between the Carsey-Wolf Center’s Media Industries Project and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.  Collectively, the chapters offer a wide-ranging analysis of shifting business models, policy matters, technological infrastructure, new forms of user engagement, and other key trends affecting screen media in the digital era. Connected Viewing contextualizes the dramatic transformations taking place across both media industries and national contexts, and offers students and scholars alike a diverse set of methods and perspectives for studying this critical moment in media culture.