Dramaturg Jane Barnette has put together an essential guide for theatre scholars and practitioners seeking to understand and participate in the process of adaptation for the stage. Employing the term “adapturgy”—her neologism for the art of adaptation dramaturgy—Barnette redefines the dramaturg’s role and thoroughly refutes the commonplace point of view that adapted works are somehow less creative than “original” plays.
The dual nature of dramaturgy and adaptation as both process and product is reflected in the structure and organization of the book. Part 1 explores the ways that linking adaptation to dramaturgy advances our understanding of both practices. Part 2 demonstrates three different methods—each grounded in a detailed case study—for analyzing theatrical adaptations. Part 3 offers concrete strategies for the dramaturg: dramaturgy for the adapted script; the production dramaturgy of stage adaptations; and the role of the dramaturg in the postmortem for a production. Rounding out the book are two appendixes containing interviews with adapters and theatre-makers and representative program notes from different play adaptations.
Plays adapted from literature and other media represent a rapidly growing part of the theatre. This book offers both practical and theoretical tools for understanding and creating these new works.
The best-selling script analysis book for thirty-five years
Considered an essential text since its publication thirty-five years ago, this guide for students and practitioners of both theater and literature complements, rather than contradicts or repeats, traditional methods of literary analysis of scripts.
Ball developed his method during his work as literary director at the Guthrie Theater, building his guide on the crafts playwrights of every period and style use to make their plays stageworthy. The text is full of tools for students and practitioners to use as they investigate plot, character, theme, exposition, imagery, conflict, theatricality, and the other crucial parts of the superstructure of a play. Also included are guides for discovering what the playwright considers a play’ s most important elements, thus permitting interpretation based on the foundation of the play rather than its details.
Using Shakespeare’s Hamlet as illustration, Ball assures a familiar base for clarifying script-reading techniques as well as exemplifying the kinds of misinterpretation readers can fall prey to by ignoring the craft of the playwright. Of immense utility to those who want to put plays on the stage (actors, directors, designers, production specialists) Backwards & Forwards is also a fine playwriting manual because the structures it describes are the primary tools of the playwright.
Below the Line illuminates the hidden labor of people who not only produce things that the television industry needs, such as a bit of content or a policy sound bite, but also produce themselves in the service of capital expansion. Vicki Mayer considers the work of television set assemblers, soft-core cameramen, reality-program casters, and public-access and cable commissioners in relation to the globalized economy of the television industry. She shows that these workers are increasingly engaged in professional and creative work, unsettling the industry’s mythological account of itself as a business driven by auteurs, manned by an executive class, and created by the talented few. As Mayer demonstrates, the new television economy casts a wide net to exploit those excluded from these hierarchies. Meanwhile, television set assemblers in Brazil devise creative solutions to the problems of material production. Soft-core videographers, who sell televised content, develop their own modes of professionalism. Everyday people become casters, who commodify suitable participants for reality programs, or volunteers, who administer local cable television policies. These sponsors and regulators boost media industries’ profits when they commodify and discipline their colleagues, their neighbors, and themselves. Mayer proposes that studies of production acknowledge the changing dynamics of labor to include production workers who identify themselves and their labor with the industry, even as their work remains undervalued or invisible.
Business Plans for Filmmakers
John W. Cones Southern Illinois University Press, 2010 Library of Congress PN1995.9.P7C66 2010 | Dewey Decimal 384.83
The practical and legal aspects of writing a business plan for a film venture can be daunting to navigate without a firm grasp of know-how. With this in mind, John W. Cones's Business Plans for Filmmakers arms independent movie-makers and students with everything they need to successfully tackle the confusing intersection of law, business, and art when creating a business plan for a movie. This pragmatic volume offers plenty of examples and strategies for success, sharing straightforward insight into some of the toughest challenges independent filmmakers face when encountering these documents.
With simple yet thorough detail and clarity, Cones outlines the legal requirements affecting movie proposals, including ways to evaluate the necessity for a business plan or a securities disclosure document, as well as the legal definition of "an active investor." Also addressed are the numerous subjects filmmakers and students must consider before a film offering, including the efficacy of a business plan to fund the development, production, and distribution phases of a film; common elements of fraud of which fledgling filmmakers should beware; the intricacies of revenue sharing; and how to render financial projections. Cones also imparts useful distinctions between such industry terms as "company financing" versus "project financing," along with many others.
This bookalso includes in-depth guidance through the murky paths of investor analysis and key strategies to find and attract parties interested in financing film. Drawing upon his many years as a securities and entertainment attorney, and his experiences advising independent film producers, Cones offers the tools necessary not only to understand investors' motivations but also to use that knowledge to the filmmaker's advantage. Also provided are perceptive studies of the investment vehicles commonly used in business plans seeking investors, with analysis of each method's pros and cons. Throughout the volume, Cones uses sample plans to offer a real-world grasp of the intricacies of the business.
In the business of this art, knowledge is power. Business Plans for Filmmakers dispels the myths and misinformation circulating among filmmakers to provide accurate and useful advice.
From Attali's "cold social silence" to Baudrillard's hallucinatory reality, reproduced music has long been the target of critical attack. In Bytes and Backbeats, however, Steve Savage deploys an innovative combination of designed recording projects, ethnographic studies of contemporary music practice, and critical analysis to challenge many of these traditional attitudes about the creation and reception of music. Savage adopts the notion of "repurposing" as central to understanding how every aspect of musical activity, from creation to reception, has been transformed, arguing that the tension within production between a naturalizing "art" and a self-conscious "artifice" reflects and feeds into our evolving notions of creativity, authenticity, and community.
At the core of the book are three original audio projects, drawing from rock & roll, jazz, and traditional African music, through which Savage is able to target areas of contemporary practice that are particularly significant in the cultural evolution of the musical experience. Each audio project includes a studio study providing context for the social and cultural analysis that follows. This work stems from Savage's experience as a professional recording engineer and record producer.
Alfred Hitchcock is often held up as the prime example of the one-man filmmaker, conceiving and controlling all aspects of his films’ development—the archetype of genius over collaboration. An exhibition at the Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University, however, put the lie to Hitchcock-as-auteur, presenting more than seventy-five sketches, designs, watercolors, paintings, and storyboards that, together, examine Hitchcock’s very collaborative filmmaking process. The four essays in this collection were written to accompany the exhibition and delve further into Hitchcock’s contributions to the collaborative process of art in film.
Scott Curtis considers the four functions of Hitchcock’s sketches and storyboards and how they undermine the impression of Hitchcock as a lone artist. Tom Gunning examines the visual vocabulary and cultural weight of Hitchcock’s movies. Bill Krohn focuses sharply on the film I Confess, tracking its making over a very cooperative path.
Finally, Jan Olsson draws on the television series, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, to show the ways that collaboration contributes to the formation of his well known public persona. Anchored by editor Will Schmenner’s introduction, this book represents an important contribution to Hitchcock scholarship and a provocative glimpse at his unsung strength as a collaborative artist.
Charlie Chaplin, Director
Donna Kornhaber Northwestern University Press, 2014 Library of Congress PN2287.C5K67 2014 | Dewey Decimal 791.430233092
Charlie Chaplin was one of the cinema’s consummate comic performers, yet he has long been criticized as a lackluster film director. In this groundbreaking work—the first to analyze Chaplin’s directorial style—Donna Kornhaber radically recasts his status as a filmmaker. Spanning Chaplin’s career, Kornhaber discovers a sophisticated "Chaplinesque" visual style that draws from early cinema and slapstick and stands markedly apart from later, "classical" stylistic conventions. His is a manner of filmmaking that values space over time and simultaneity over sequence, crafting narrative and meaning through careful arrangement within the frame rather than cuts between frames. Opening up aesthetic possibilities beyond the typical boundaries of the classical Hollywood film, Chaplin’s filmmaking would profoundly influence directors from Fellini to Truffaut. To view Chaplin seriously as a director is to re-understand him as an artist and to reconsider the nature and breadth of his legacy.
Finnish director Mika Kaurismäki’s films challenge the boundaries of nations, genre formations, art and popular culture, and fiction and documentary. Synthesizing concepts from a range of thematic frameworks, including transnationalism, eco-philosophy, architectural theory, and cartography, this book provides an interdisciplinary reading of Kaurismäki’s body of work. The notion of “transvergence”—thinking in heterogeneous and polyphonal terms—emerges as an analytical method for exploring the power of these films. Through this method, the book encourages a rethinking of transnational cinema studies in relation to many oft-debated notions such as Finnish culture, European identity, cosmopolitanism and globalization.
A PDF version of this book is available for free in open access via the OAPEN Library platform, www.oapen.org It has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License and is part of Knowledge Unlatched.
Imagine attending a fascinating film forum among a distinguished and varied panel of cinema legends. An afternoon or evening where contemporary filmmakers from around the world--Kazakhstan, Turkey, Macedonia, Portugal, Chile, Argentina, Egypt, Cameroon, Australia, the Philippines, South Africa, Greece, Portugal, Sweden, Japan, the People's Republic of China, Mexico, Poland, the United States, Italy, the United Kingdom, and France--gather together to discuss how they arrive at the creative choices that bring their film projects to life.
Can't spare the time from work or class? Travel expense too great? What? You can't even find such a collaborative event?
Then imagine curling up with a good book, maybe a shot of espresso in hand, and becoming engrossed in the exciting and informative conversation that Elena Oumano has ingeniously crafted from her personal and individual interviews with these artists. Straying far from the usual choppy question-and-answer format, Cinema Today saves you from plowing through another tedious read, in which the same topics and issues are directed to each subject, over and over-an experience that is like being trapped in a revolving door.
Oumano stops that revolving door by following a lively symposium-in-print format, with the filmmakers' words and thoughts grouped together under various key cinema topics. It is as though these experts are speaking to each other and you are their audience--collectively they reflect on and explore issues and concerns of modern filmmaking, from the practical to the aesthetic, including the process, cinematic rhythm and structure, and the many aspects of the media: business, the viewer, and cinema's place in society. Whether you are a movie lover, a serious student of cinema, or simply interested in how we communicate in today's global village through films that so profoundly affect the world, Cinema Today is for you.
Film is often used to represent the natural landscape and, increasingly, to communicate environmentalist messages. Yet behind even today’s “green” movies are ecologically unsustainable production, distribution, and consumption processes. Noting how seemingly immaterial moving images are supported by highly durable resource-dependent infrastructures, The Cinematic Footprint traces the history of how the “hydrocarbon imagination” has been central to the development of film as a medium.
Nadia Bozak’s innovative fusion of film studies and environmental studies makes provocative connections between the disappearance of material resources and the emergence of digital media—with examples ranging from early cinema to Dziga Vertov’s prescient eye, from Chris Marker’s analog experiments to the digital work of Agnès Varda, James Benning, and Zacharias Kunuk. Combining an analysis of cinema technology with a sensitive consideration of film aesthetics, The Cinematic Footprint offers a new perspective on moving images and the natural resources that sustain them.
Studies of "Classic Hollywood" typically treat Hollywood films released from 1930 to 1960 as a single interpretive mass. Veronica Pravadelli complicates this idea. Focusing on dominant tendencies in box office hits and Oscar-recognized classics, she breaks down the so-called classic period into six distinct phases that follow Hollywood's amazingly diverse offerings from the emancipated females of the "Transition Era" and the traditional men and women of the conservative 1930s that replaced it to the fantastical Fifties movie musicals that arose after anti-classic genres like film noir and women's films.
Pravadelli sets her analysis apart by paying particular attention to the gendered desires and identities exemplified in the films. Availing herself of the significant advances in film theory and modernity studies that have taken place since similar surveys first saw publication, she views Hollywood through strategies as varied as close textural analysis, feminism, psychoanalysis, film style and study of cinematic imagery, revealing the inconsistencies and antithetical traits lurking beneath Classic Hollywood's supposed transparency.
Many dogmas regarding Greek theatre were established by researchers who lacked experience in the mounting of theatrical productions. In his wide-ranging and provocative study, Clifford Ashby, a theatre historian trained in the practical processes of play production as well as the methods of historical research, takes advantage of his understanding of technical elements to approach his ancient subject from a new perspective. In doing so he challenges many long-held views.
Archaeological and written sources relating to Greek classical theatre are diverse, scattered, and disconnected. Ashby's own (and memorable) fieldwork led him to more than one hundred theatre sites in Greece, southern Italy, Sicily, and Albania and as far into modern Turkey as Hellenic civilization had penetrated. From this extensive research, he draws a number of novel revisionist conclusions on the nature of classical theatre architecture and production.
The original orchestra shape, for example, was a rectangle or trapezoid rather than a circle. The altar sat along the edge of the orchestra, not at its middle. The scene house was originally designed for a performance event that did not use an up center door. The crane and ekkyklema were simple devices, while the periaktoi probably did not exist before the Renaissance. Greek theatres were not built with attention to Vitruvius' injunction against a southern orientation and were probably sun-sited on the basis of seasonal touring. The Greeks arrived at the theatre around mid-morning, not in the cold light of dawn. Only the three-actor rule emerges from this eclectic examination somewhat intact, but with the division of roles reconsidered upon the basis of the actors' performance needs. Ashby also proposes methods that can be employed in future studies of Greek theatre. Final chapters examine the three-actor production of Ion, how one should not approach theatre history, and a shining example of how one should.
Ashby's lengthy hands-on training and his knowledge of theatre history provide a broad understanding of the ways that theatre has operated through the ages as well as an ability to extrapolate from production techniques of other times and places.
Superhero films and comic book adaptations dominate contemporary Hollywood filmmaking, and it is not just the storylines of these blockbuster spectacles that have been influenced by comics. The comic book medium itself has profoundly influenced how movies look and sound today, as well as how viewers approach them as texts. Comic Book Film Style explores how the unique conventions and formal structure of comic books have had a profound impact on film aesthetics, so that the different representational abilities of comics and film are put on simultaneous display in a cinematic work. With close readings of films including Batman: The Movie, American Splendor, Superman, Hulk, Spider-Man 2, V for Vendetta, 300, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Watchmen, The Losers, and Creepshow, Dru Jeffries offers a new and more cogent definition of the comic book film as a stylistic approach rather than a genre, repositioning the study of comic book films from adaptation and genre studies to formal/stylistic analysis. He discusses how comic book films appropriate comics’ drawn imagery, vandalize the fourth wall with the use of graphic text, dissect the film frame into discrete panels, and treat time as a flexible construct rather than a fixed flow, among other things. This cinematic remediation of comic books’ formal structure and unique visual conventions, Jeffries asserts, fundamentally challenges the classical continuity paradigm and its contemporary variants, placing the comic book film at the forefront of stylistic experimentation in post-classical Hollywood.
Written for a broad audience of professional informational and corporate filmmakers, film students, technical writers, and clients, Communicating Ideas with Film, Video, and Multimedia: A Practical Guide to Information Motion-Media is an insider’s perspective on the informational media industry. With over thirty-five years of experience, award-winning filmmaker S. Martin Shelton presents his astute views on the state of the profession and offers sage, constructive advice for the successful design and production of information motion-media.
Forgoing discussions of technology, Shelton instead concentrates on the communication principles that can motivate an audience to achieve a particular goal—a goal that must be realistic, worthwhile, and appropriate. His inventive approach coalesces theory of the media with its philosophy, analysis, history, and application, as well as his own informed personal opinions. This valuable guide examines how to effectively encode information in motion-media by using in-depth communication analysis and pertinent filmic design. Throughout, Shelton emphasizes that kinetic visuals, rather than audio, are the defining elements of the best motion-media communication. Organized into five parts that can be used independently or in sequence, the volume frames key topics in the industry that collectively form a cohesive strategy for motion-media design and production. First, Shelton discusses the essence of the medium as a communication tool. In the second part, he addresses the forms and functions of motion-media. The third part details communication analysis and its application. Next, Shelton delves into script design, distribution, and career growth. Lastly, he offers advice on business aspects of the profession. Told from the vantage point of a seasoned expert, Communicating Ideas with Film, Video, and Multimedia is a “how to do it” book as well as a treatise on “why to do it.” Shelton’s narrative is complemented by twenty-six illustrations (including multimedia flowcharts, sample forms, and photographs of some of the great documentary filmmakers), a variety of script formats, and a listing of the all-time best documentary films.
Costume, Makeup, and Hair
McLean, Adrienne L Rutgers University Press, 2016 Library of Congress PN1995.9.M25C67 2016 | Dewey Decimal 791.43027
Movie buffs and film scholars alike often overlook the importance of makeup artists, hair stylists, and costumers. With precious few but notable exceptions, creative workers in these fields have received little public recognition, even when their artistry goes on to inspire worldwide fashion trends.
From the acclaimed Behind the Silver Screen series, Costume, Makeup, and Hair charts the development of these three crafts in the American film industry from the 1890s to the present. Each chapter examines a different era in film history, revealing how the arts of cinematic costume, makeup, and hair, have continually adapted to new conditions, making the transitions from stage to screen, from monochrome to color, and from analog to digital. Together, the book’s contributors give us a remarkable glimpse into how these crafts foster creative collaboration and improvisation, often fashioning striking looks and ingenious effects out of limited materials.
Costume, Makeup, and Hair not only considers these crafts in relation to a wide range of film genres, from sci-fi spectacles to period dramas, but also examines the role they have played in the larger marketplace for fashion and beauty products. Drawing on rare archival materials and lavish color illustrations, this volume provides readers with both a groundbreaking history of film industry labor and an appreciation of cinematic costume, makeup, and hairstyling as distinct art forms.
Documentaries such as Zana Briski and Ross Kauffman's Born into Brothels, Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, Jeffrey Blitz's Spellbound, along with March of the Penguins and An Inconvenient Truth have achieved critical as well as popular success. Although nonfiction film may have captured imaginations, many viewers enter and leave theaters with a nanve concept of "truth" and "reality"-for them, documentaries are information sources. But is truth or reality readily available, easily acquired, or undisputed? Or do documentaries convey illusions of truth and reality? What aesthetic means are used to build these illusions?
A documentary's sounds and images are always the product of selection and choice, and often underscore points the filmmaker wishes to make. Crafting Truth illuminates the ways these films tell their stories; how they use the camera, editing, sound, and performance; what rhetorical devices they employ; and what the theoretical, practical, and ethical implications of these choices are. Complex documentary concepts are presented through easily accessible language, images, and a discussion of a wide range of films and videos to encourage new ways of thinking about and seeing nonfiction film.
This guidebook for transforming actual American figures and events
into dramatic form has aided many communities and groups in writing, planning, and producing first-rate historical dramas. The new edition of Creating Historical Drama: A Guide for Communities, Theatre Groups, and Playwrights features updated examples of drama and dramatic activities from short indoor productions to large-scale, outdoor historical dramas; new material about funding, economic impact on communities, budgeting, and marketing; and current information on physical theatre development.
Responding to a national interest in dramatizing historical material in a variety of community settings, the volume begins with a discussion on the scope and sources of historical drama, as well as the reasons for historicizing drama. From there, it details the features of biography, pageant, and epic dramas, and takes on important issues such as historical accuracy and dealing with expository material. The handbook then provides assistance in composing drama, leading and organizing the theatre group, organizing the community’s resources, and evaluating the audience and the production site. Twenty-nine illustrations, with sketches by Darwin Payne and Ronald Naverson, augment the discussion.
Written for the nonspecialist and particularly useful to novice playwrights and directors, the volume is equally important for professional historians, educators, and theatre artists. More than a guidebook, Creating Historical Drama convincingly demonstrates that the genre is a beneficial and significant cultural phenomenon that not only educates and entertains, but also has the power to revitalize civic economy and morale.
The 1957 classic American musical West Side Story has been staged by countless community and school theater groups, but none more ambitious than the 2000 production by MacMurray College, a small school in Jacksonville, Illinois. Diane Brewer, the new drama head at the college, determined to add an extra element to the usual demands of putting on a show by having deaf students perform half of the parts. Deaf Side Story presents a fascinating narrative of Brewer and the cast's efforts to mount this challenging play.
Brewer turned to the Illinois School for the Deaf (ISD) to cast the Sharks, the Puerto Rican gang at odds with the Anglo Jets in this musical version of Romeo and Juliet set in the slums of New York. Hearing performers auditioned to be the Jets, and once Brewer had cast her hearing Tony and deaf Maria, then came the challenge of teaching them all to sing/sign and dance the riveting show numbers for which the musical is renowned. She also had to manage a series of sensitive issues, from ensuring the seamless incorporation of American Sign Language into the play to reassuring ISD administrators and students that the production would not be symbolic of any conflict between Deaf and hearing people.
Author Mark Rigney portrays superbly the progress of the production, including the frustrations and triumphs of the leads, the labyrinthine campus and community politics, and the inevitable clashes between the deaf high school cast members and their hearing college counterparts. His representations of the many individuals involved are real and distinguished. The ultimate success of the MacMurray production reverberates in Deaf Side Story as a keen depiction of how several distinct individuals from as many cultures could cooperate to perform a classic American art form brilliantly together.
Mark Rigney is a writer whose stories have appeared in THEMA and The Bellevue Review, and whose plays have been staged at the Foothill Theatre Company, the Utah Shakespeare Festival, and the Alleyway Theatre. He lives in Evansville, IN.
ISBN 1-56368-145-5, 6 x 9 softcover, 232 pages
The late 1960s and 1970s are widely recognized as a golden age for American film, as directors like Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, and Martin Scorsese expanded the Hollywood model with aesthetically innovative works. As this groundbreaking new study reveals, those filmmakers were blessed with more than just visionary eyes; Designing Sound focuses on how those filmmakers also had keen ears that enabled them to perceive new possibilities for cinematic sound design.
Offering detailed case studies of key films and filmmakers, Jay Beck explores how sound design was central to the era’s experimentation with new modes of cinematic storytelling. He demonstrates how sound was key to many directors’ signature aesthetics, from the overlapping dialogue that contributes to Robert Altman’s naturalism to the wordless interludes at the heart of Terrence Malick’s lyricism. Yet the book also examines sound design as a collaborative process, one where certain key directors ceded authority to sound technicians who offered significant creative input.
Designing Sound provides readers with a fresh take on a much-studied era in American film, giving a new appreciation of how artistry emerged from a period of rapid industrial and technological change. Filled with rich behind-the-scenes details, the book vividly conveys how sound practices developed by 1970s filmmakers changed the course of American cinema.
Directed By Allen Smithee
Jeremy Braddock University of Minnesota Press, 2001 Library of Congress PN1995.9.P7D53 2001 | Dewey Decimal 791.430233
Wexman, Virginia W Rutgers University Press, 2017 Library of Congress PN1995.9.P7D533 2017 | Dewey Decimal 791.430232
When a film is acclaimed, the director usually gets the lion’s share of the credit. Yet the movie director’s job—especially the collaborations and compromises it involves—remains little understood.
The latest volume in the Behind the Silver Screen series, this collection provides the first comprehensive overview of how directing, as both an art and profession, has evolved in tandem with changing film industry practices. Each chapter is written by an expert on a different period of Hollywood, from the silent film era to today’s digital filmmaking, providing in-depth examinations of key trends like the emergence of independent production after World War II and the rise of auteurism in the 1970s. Challenging the myth of the lone director, these studies demonstrate how directors work with a multitude of other talented creative professionals, including actors, writers, producers, editors, and cinematographers.
Directing examines a diverse range of classic and contemporary directors, including Orson Welles, Tim Burton, Cecil B. DeMille, Steven Soderbergh, Spike Lee, and Ida Lupino, offering a rich composite picture of how they have negotiated industry constraints, utilized new technologies, and harnessed the creative contributions of their many collaborators throughout a century of Hollywood filmmaking.
Lois Oppenheim University of Michigan Press, 1997 Library of Congress PR6003.E282Z6249 1994 | Dewey Decimal 792.95
In Directing Beckett, Lois Oppenheim presents interviews and essays with twenty-two prominent international directors of Samuel Beckett's work, many of whom worked closely with Beckett, assisting him with his productions or acting under his direction before directing his work themselves. Here they speak openly of their experiences of working with him, and comment on various productions that, in taking great liberties with his work, have raised a number of fascinating legal and aesthetic questions.
In exploring this key figure in the history of theater, Oppenheim's interviews--with such directors as JoAnne Akalaitis, Edward Albee, Herbert Blau, Joseph Chaikin, and Carey Perloff--also address many of the complexities of the director's role, such as the meaning of directorial integrity and fidelity to the playwright's vision--an issue of particular relevance to a playwright whose exactitude, with respect to stage directions, is well documented. Additional highlights include photographs from many of the productions; the unpublished text of a lecture by the late Alan Schneider, Beckett's most accomplished American director; and an interview with the late Roger Blin, the very first director of Beckett's work.
"Directing Beckett is a rare thing--a book both pleasant to read and useful to have . . . it is like listening to the ideal panel, everyone who should be there there and all at their articulate best." --Toby Silverman Zinman, Theatre Journal
"Anyone intending to direct or act in a work by Beckett, or to write about his work, must read this book." --Choice
Lois Oppenheim is Professor of French, Montclair State University
Directing the Dance Legacy of Doris Humphrey looks inside four of Doris Humphrey’s major choreographic works—Water Study (1928), The Shakers (1931), With My Red Fires (1936), and Passacaglia (1938)—with an eye to how directorial strategies applied in recent contemporized stagings in the United States and Europe could work across the modern and contemporary dance genre. Author Lesley Main, a seasoned practitioner of Doris Humphrey choreography, stresses to the reader the need to balance respect for classical works from the modern dance repertory with the necessity for fresh directorial strategies, to balance between traditional practices and a creative role for the reconstructor.
Drawing upon her own dance experience, Main’s book addresses an area of dance research and practice that is becoming increasingly pertinent as the dancer-choreographers of the 20th century modern and contemporary dance are no longer alive to attend to the re-stagings of the body of their works. Insightful and thought-provoking, Directing the Dance Legacy of Doris Humphrey calls for the creation of new forms of directorial practice in dance beyond reconstruction. The radical new practices it proposes to replace the old are sure to spark debate and fresh thinking across the dance field.
Finalist, 2017 Theatre Library Association George Freedley Memorial Award
Shortlist, 2019 Prague Quadrennial Best Scenography and Design Publication Award
The Director's Prism investigates how and why three of Russia's most innovative directors— Vsevolod Meyerhold, Alexander Tairov, and Sergei Eisenstein—used the fantastical tales of German Romantic writer E. T. A. Hoffmann to reinvent the rules of theatrical practice. Because the rise of the director and the Russian cult of Hoffmann closely coincided, Posner argues, many characteristics we associate with avant-garde theater—subjective perspective, breaking through the fourth wall, activating the spectator as a co-creator—become uniquely legible in the context of this engagement. Posner examines the artistic poetics of Meyerhold's grotesque, Tairov's mime-drama, and Eisenstein's theatrical attraction through production analyses, based on extensive archival research, that challenge the notion of theater as a mirror to life, instead viewing the director as a prism through whom life is refracted. A resource for scholars and practitioners alike, this groundbreaking study provides a fresh, provocative perspective on experimental theater, intercultural borrowings, and the nature of the creative process.
In Discorrelated Images Shane Denson examines how computer-generated digital images displace and transform the traditional spatial and temporal relationships that viewers had with conventional analog forms of cinema. Denson analyzes works ranging from the Transformers series and Blade Runner 2049 to videogames and multimedia installations to show how what he calls discorrelated images—images that do not correlate with the abilities and limits of human perception—produce new subjectivities, affects, and potentials for perception and action. Denson's theorization suggests that new media theory and its focus on technological development must now be inseparable from film and cinema theory. There's more at stake in understanding discorrelated images, Denson contends, than just a reshaping of cinema, the development of new technical imaging processes, and the evolution of film and media studies: discorrelated images herald a transformation of subjectivity itself and are essential to our ability to comprehend nonhuman agency.
Winner of the 2007 Otto Kinkeldey Award from the American Musicological Society and the 2007 Deems Taylor Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers.
Divas and Scholars is a dazzling and beguiling account of how opera comes to the stage, filled with Philip Gossett’s personal experiences of triumphant—and even failed—performances and suffused with his towering and tonic passion for music. Writing as a fan, a musician, and a scholar, Gossett, the world's leading authority on the performance of Italian opera, brings colorfully to life the problems, and occasionally the scandals, that attend the production of some of our most favorite operas.
Gossett begins by tracing the social history of nineteenth-century Italian theaters in order to explain the nature of the musical scores from which performers have long worked. He then illuminates the often hidden but crucial negotiations opera scholars and opera conductors and performers: What does it mean to talk about performing from a critical edition? How does one determine what music to perform when multiple versions of an opera exist? What are the implications of omitting passages from an opera in a performance? In addition to vexing questions such as these, Gossett also tackles issues of ornamentation and transposition in vocal style, the matters of translation and adaptation, and even aspects of stage direction and set design.
Throughout this extensive and passionate work, Gossett enlivens his history with reports from his own experiences with major opera companies at venues ranging from the Metropolitan and Santa Fe operas to the Rossini Opera Festival at Pesaro. The result is a book that will enthrall both aficionados of Italian opera and newcomers seeking a reliable introduction to it—in all its incomparable grandeur and timeless allure.
From the Chicago Conspiracy Trial and the O. J. Simpson trial to the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill congressional hearings, legal and legislative proceedings in the latter part of the twentieth-century kept Americans spellbound. Situated on the shifting border between imagination and the law, trial plays edit, arrange, and reproduce court records, media coverage, and first-person interviews, transforming these elements into a performance. In this first book-length critical study of contemporary American documentary theater, Jacqueline O’Connor examines in depth ten such plays, all written and staged since 1970, and considers the role of the genre in re-creating and revising narratives of significant conflicts in contemporary history.
Documentary theater, she shows, is a particularly appropriate and widely utilized theatrical form for engaging in debate about tensions between civil rights and institutional power, the inconsistency of justice, and challenges to gender norms. For each of the plays discussed, including The Trial of the Catonsville Nine, Unquestioned Integrity: The Hill/Thomas Hearings, and The Laramie Project, O'Connor provides historical context and a brief production history before considering the trial the play focuses on. Grouping plays historically and thematically, she demonstrates how dramatic representation advances our understanding of the law's power while revealing the complexities that hinder society's pursuit of justice.
Dramaturgy in Motion innovatively examines the work of the dramaturg in contemporary dance and movement performance. Katherine Profeta, a working dramaturg for more than fifteen years, shifts the focus from asking “Who is the dramaturg?” to “What does the dramaturg think about?”
Profeta explores five arenas for the dramaturg’s attention—text and language, research, audience, movement, and interculturalism. Drawing on her extended collaboration with choreographer and visual artist Ralph Lemon, she grounds her thinking in actual rehearsal-room examples and situates practice within theoretical discourse about contemporary dramaturgy. Moving between theory and practice, word and movement, question and answer until these distinctions blur, she develops the foundational concept of dramaturgical labor as a quality of motion. Dramaturgy in Motion will be invaluable to practitioners and scholars interested in the processes of creating contemporary dance and movement performance—particularly artists wondering what it might be like to collaborate with a dramaturg and dramaturgs wondering what it might be like to collaborate on movement performance. The book will also appeal to those intrigued by the work of Lemon and his collaborators, to which Profeta turns repeatedly to unfold the thorny questions and rich benefits of dramaturgical labor.
In Dying in Full Detail Jennifer Malkowski explores digital media's impact on one of documentary film's greatest taboos: the recording of death. Despite technological advances that allow for the easy creation and distribution of death footage, digital media often fail to live up to their promise to reveal the world in greater fidelity. Malkowski analyzes a wide range of death footage, from feature films about the terminally ill (Dying, Silverlake Life, Sick), to surreptitiously recorded suicides (The Bridge), to #BlackLivesMatter YouTube videos and their precursors. Contextualizing these recordings in the long history of attempts to capture the moment of death in American culture, Malkowski shows how digital media are unable to deliver death "in full detail," as its metaphysical truth remains beyond representation. Digital technology's capacity to record death does, however, provide the opportunity to politicize individual deaths through their representation. Exploring the relationships among technology, temporality, and the ethical and aesthetic debates about capturing death on video, Malkowski illuminates the key roles documentary death has played in twenty-first-century visual culture.
A timely consideration of both the history and the current challenges facing practice-based film training, Educating Film-Makers is the first book to examine the history, impact, and significance of film education in Britain, Europe, and the United States. Film schools, the authors show, have historically focused on the cultivation of the filmmaker as a cultural activist, artist, or intellectual – fostering creativity and innovation. But more recently a narrower approach has emerged, placing a new emphasis on technical training for the industry. The authors argue for a more imaginative engagement and understanding of the broader social importance of film and television, suggesting that critical analysis and production should be connected. Examining current concerns facing practice-based film education in the digital era, this book is indispensable for film teachers and students alike.
Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, and space aliens like the Transformers share a surprising connection along with James Bond, Indiana Jones, and Rocky Balboa. These beloved icons played active roles in movie and television projects set in the state of Nevada. Long time state film commissioner and movie reviewer Holabird explores the blending of icons and Nevada, along with her personal experiences of watching movies, talking with famous people, and showing off a diverse range of stunning and iconic locations like Las Vegas, Reno, Lake Tahoe, and Area 51.
Holabird shows how Nevada’s flash, flair, and fostering of the forbidden provided magic for singers, sexpots, and strange creatures from other worlds. She also gives readers an insider’s look into moviemaking in Nevada by drawing on her extensive experience as a film commissioner. This is a unique take on film history and culture, and Holabird explores eighteen film genres populated by one-of-a-kind characters with ties to Nevada. Along with being a film history of the state of Nevada written by a consummate insider, the book is a fun mixture of research, personal experiences, and analysis about how Nevada became the location of choice for a broad spectrum of well-known films and characters.
Honorable mention, 2017 Best Monograph Award from the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies (BAFTSS)
From Shortbus to Shame and from Oldboy to Irreversible, film festival premieres regularly make international headlines for their shockingly graphic depictions of sex and violence. Film critics and scholars alike often regard these movies as the work of visionary auteurs, hailing directors like Michael Haneke and Lars von Trier as heirs to a tradition of transgressive art. In this provocative new book, Mattias Frey offers a very different perspective on these films, exposing how they are also calculated products, designed to achieve global notoriety in a competitive marketplace.
Paying close attention to the discourses employed by film critics, distributors, and filmmakers themselves, Extreme Cinema examines the various tightropes that must be walked when selling transgressive art films to discerning audiences, distinguishing them from generic horror, pornography, and Hollywood product while simultaneously hyping their salacious content. Deftly tracing the links between the local and the global, Frey also shows how the directors and distributors of extreme art house fare from both Europe and East Asia have significant incentives to exaggerate the exotic elements that would differentiate them from Anglo-American product.
Extreme Cinema also includes original interviews with the programmers of several leading international film festivals and with niche distributors and exhibitors, giving readers a revealing look at how these institutions enjoy a symbiotic relationship with the “taboo-breakers” of art house cinema. Frey also demonstrates how these apparently transgressive films actually operate within a strict set of codes and conventions, carefully calibrated to perpetuate a media industry that fuels itself on provocation.
Film Talk: Directors at Work
Dixon, Wheeler Winston Rutgers University Press, 2007 Library of Congress PN1995.9.P7D548 2007 | Dewey Decimal 791.4302330922
What 1970s Hollywood filmmaker influenced Quentin Tarantino? How have contemporary Japanese horror films inspired Takashi Shimizu, director of the huge box office hit The Grudge? What is it like to be an African American director in the twenty-first century?
The answers to these questions, along with many more little-known facts and insights, can be found in Film Talk, an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at filmmaking from the 1940s to the present. In eleven intimate and revealing interviews, contemporary film directors speak frankly about their work-their successes and their disappointments, their personal aspirations, struggles, relationships, and the politics that affect the industry.
A medley of directors including those working in pop culture and documentary, as well as feminist filmmakers, social satirists, and Hollywood mavericks recount stories that have never before been published. Among them are Monte Hellman, the auteur of the minimalist masterpiece Two-Lane Blacktop; Albert Maysles, who with his late brother David, created some of the most important documentaries of the 1960s, including Salesman and The Beatles: What's Happening?; Robert Downey Sr., whose social satires Putney Swope and Greaser's Palace paved the way for a generation of filmmakers; Bennett Miller, whose film Capote won an Academy Award in 2005; and Jamie Babbit, a lesbian crossover director whose low-budget film But I'm a Cheerleader! became a mainstream hit.
The candid conversations, complimented by more than fifty photographs, including many that are rare, make this book essential reading for aspiring moviemakers, film scholars, and everyone interested in the how movies are made and who the fascinating individuals are who make them.
The work of Maria Irene Fornes, author of such acclaimed plays as Fefu and Her Friends, Mud, and The Conduct of Life, has for over three decades earned the attention of theater-goers, scholars and critics. She has won eight Obie awards, has provoked considerable controversy, and has consistently challenged and delighted the reader and spectator with her idiosyncratic voice and her serious and yet profoundly playful approach to the theater and to the issues of humanity, gender politics, and art.
Diane Lynn Moroff focuses on Fornes's major plays, providing illuminating readings of her unique and irreverent body of work. The book traces the career of this influential playwright, director, and teacher, including the reception of her plays, the range of critical responses (particularly those of feminist critics), and an introduction to Fornes's theatrical philosophies. It looks at such critical issues in Fornes's work as the representation of female subjectivity, theater as metaphor and context, art as ritual, and the role of the spectator. In a final chapter, Fornes's plays including Abingdon Square and her most recent work, What of the Night? are examined in the context of the sexualization of character, an ongoing theme for Fornes.
Fornes: Theater in the Present Tense will appeal to scholars and students in theater studies and women's studies and to anyone interested or engaged in contemporary theater.
Diane Lynn Moroff is Assistant Professor of English, Oglethorpe University.
Without scenery, costumes, and stage action, an opera would be little more than a concert. But in the audience, we know little (and think less) about the enormous efforts of those involved in bringing an opera to life—by the stagehands who shift scenery, the scenic artists who create beautiful backdrops, the electricians who focus the spotlights, and the stage manager who calls them and the singers to their places during the performance. The first comprehensive history of the behind-the-scenes world of opera production and staging, From the Score to the Stage follows the evolution of visual style and set design in continental Europe from its birth in the seventeenth century up to today.
In clear, witty prose, Evan Baker covers all the major players and pieces involved in getting an opera onto the stage, from the stage director who creates the artistic concept for the production and guides the singers’ interpretation of their roles to the blocking of singers and placement of scenery. He concentrates on the people—composers, librettists, designers, and technicians—as well as the theaters and events that generated developments in opera production. Additional topics include the many difficulties in performing an opera, the functions of impresarios, and the business of music publishing. Delving into the absorbing and often neglected history of stage directing, theater architecture and technology, and scenic and lighting design, Baker nimbly links these technical aspects of opera to actual performances and performers, and the social context in which they appeared. Out of these details arise illuminating discussions of individual productions that cast new light on the operas of Wagner, Verdi, and others.
Packed with nearly two hundred color illustrations, From the Score to the Stage is a revealing, always entertaining look at what happens before the curtain goes up on opening night at the opera house.
Ghost Light: An Introductory Handbook for Dramaturgy offers useful and entertaining answers to the confounding questions: “What, exactly, is dramaturgy, and what does a dramaturg do?” According to Michael Mark Chemers, dramaturgs are the scientists of the theater world—their primary responsibility is to query the creative possibilities in every step of the production process, from play selection to costume design, and then research the various options and find ways to transform that knowledge into useful ideas. To say that dramaturgs are well-rounded is an understatement: those who choose this profession must possess an acute aesthetic sensibility in combination with an extensive knowledge of theater history and practice, world history, and critical theory, and they must be able to collaborate with every member of the creative team and theater administration.
Ghost Light is divided into three sections. Part 1, “Philosophy,” describes what dramturgs do, presents a detailed history of dramaturgy, and summarizes many of the critical theories needed to analyze and understand dramatic texts. “Analysis” teaches the two essential skills of a dramaturg: reading and writing. It includes a “12-step program for script analysis” along with suggestions about how to approach various genres and play structures. “Practice,” the third part, delves into the relationships that dramaturgs forge and offers useful advice about collaborating with other artists. It also includes ideas for audience outreach initiatives such as marketing and publicity plans, educational programs, talkbacks, blogs, and program notes and lobby displays, all of which are often the responsibility of the dramaturg.
Ghost Light was written with undergraduate students in mind and is perfectly suited for the classroom (each chapter concludes with a series of practical exercises that can be used as course assignments). However, dramaturgy is a skill that is essential to all theater practitioners, not just professional or aspiring dramaturgs, making Ghost Light a valuable addition to all theater libraries.
The traditional model of video news reporting has always had two separate roles: reporting and videography. For years, however, small-market news outlets have relied on “one-man bands”—individual reporters who shoot and edit their own video—for stories and footage. Lately, as the journalism landscape has evolved, this controversial practice has grown more and more popular. With the use of video constantly expanding, many large-market TV stations, networks, and newspaper Web sites are relying on one person to carry out a job formerly executed by two. News outlets now call these contributors VJs, digital journalists, backpack journalists, or mobile journalists. But no matter what they are called, there’s no denying the growing significance of solo videojournalists to the media landscape.
Going Solo: Doing Videojournalism in the 21st Century details the controversy, history, and rise of this news genre, but its main objective is to show aspiring videojournalists how to learn the craft. While other textbooks depict the conventional reporter-and-videographer model, Going Solo innovates by teaching readers how to successfully juggle the skills traditionally required of two different people.
Award-winning journalist G. Stuart Smith begins by describing how and why the media’s use of solo videojournalists is growing, then delves into the controversy over whether one person can cover a story as well as two. He illuminates how, together, the downsizing of the media, downturn in the economy, and growth of video on the Web have led to the rise of the solo videojournalist model. Going Solo profiles TV stations and newspaper Web operations across the country that are using the model and offers helpful advice from VJs in the field. The book presents useful guidelines on how to multitask as a reporter-videographer: conducting interviews, shooting cover video, and writing and editing a good video story. Readers will also learn how to produce non-narrated stories and market themselves in a competitive field.
Smith, who started his career as a “one-man band,” insightfully covers an area of journalism that, despite its growing market demand, has received little academic attention. Going Solo: Doing Videojournalism in the 21st Century is useful for students learning the basics and those already in the field who need to upgrade their skills. By presenting industry know-how and valuable tips, this unique guidebook can help any enterprising videojournalist create a niche for him- or herself in the increasingly fragmented news media market.
An essential work of twenty-first-century cinema, Alfonso Cuarón’s 2004 film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is an elegant exemplar of contemporary cinematic trends, including serial storytelling, the rise of the fantasy genre, digital filmmaking, and collaborative authorship. With craft, wonder, and wit, the film captures the most engaging elements of the novel while artfully translating its literary point of view into cinematic terms that expand on the world established in the book series and previous films. In this book, Patrick Keating examines how Cuarón and his collaborators employ cinematography, production design, music, performance, costume, dialogue, and more to create the richly textured world of Harry Potter—a world filtered principally through Harry’s perspective, characterized by gaps, uncertainties, and surprises. Rather than upholding the vision of a single auteur, Keating celebrates Cuarón’s direction as a collaborative achievement that resulted in a family blockbuster layered with thematic insights.
Hollywood cinema and Los Angeles cannot be understood apart. Hollywood Cinema and the Real Los Angeles traces the interaction of the real city, its movie business, and filmed image, focusing on the crucial period from the construction of the first studios in the 1910s to the decline of the studio system fifty years later.
As Los Angeles gradually became one of the ten largest cities in the world, the film industry made key contributions to its rapid growth and frequent crises in economic, social, political and cultural life. Whether filmmakers engaged with the real city on location or recreated it on a studio set, Los Angeles shaped the films that were made there and circulated influentially worldwide. The book pays particular attention to early cinema, slapstick comedy, movies about the movies and film noir, which are each explored in new ways, with an emphasis on urban and architectural space and its representation, as well as filmmaking style and technique. Including many previously unpublished photographs and new historical evidence, Hollywood Cinema and the Real Los Angeles gives us a never-before-seen view of the City of Angels.
Hollywood has a long tradition of bringing in emigre directors from around the world, dating back to the silent era. Today, as the film industry is ever more global, the people who make blockbuster movies seemingly reflect this tradition, hailing from many countries across the world. But that fact hides a fundamental difference, one that Melis Behlil examines in Hollywood is Everywhere: today's Hollywood studios are themselves transnational, with ownership structures and financial arrangements that stretch far beyond the borders of the United States. Seen in that context, today's international directors are less analogous to the emigre talent of the past than to ordinary transnational employees of other major global corporations.
The 1950s was one of the most turbulent periods in the history of motion pictures and television. During the decade, as Hollywood's most powerful studios and independent producers shifted into TV production, TV replaced film as America's principal postwar culture industry. This pioneering study offers the first thorough exploration of the movie industry's shaping role in the development of television and its narrative forms. Drawing on the archives of Warner Bros. and David O. Selznick Productions and on interviews with participants in both industries, Christopher Anderson demonstrates how the episodic telefilm series, a clear descendant of the feature film, became and has remained the dominant narrative form in prime-time TV. This research suggests that the postwar motion picture industry was less an empire on the verge of ruin—as common wisdom has it—than one struggling under unsettling conditions to redefine its frontiers. Beyond the obvious contribution to film and television studies, these findings add an important chapter to the study of American popular culture of the postwar period.
Over the past decade, the video camera has become a commonplace household technology. With falling prices on compact and easy-to-use cameras, as well as mobile phones and digital still cameras with video recording capabilities, access to moving image production technology is becoming virtually universal. Home Truths? represents one of the few academic research studies exploring this everyday, popular use of video production technology, looking particularly at how families use and engage with the technology and how it fits into the routines of everyday life.
The authors draw on interviews, observations, and the participants' videos themselves, seeking to paint a comprehensive picture of the role of video making in their everyday lives. While readers gain a sense of the individual characters involved in the project and the complexities and diversities of their lives, the analysis also raises a range of broader issues about the nature of learning and creativity, subjectivity and representation, and the "domestication" of technology---issues that are of interest to many in the fields of sociology and media/cultural studies.
David Buckingham is Professor of Education at the Institute of Education, University of London, and Director of the Institute's Centre for the Study of Children, Youth and Media.
Rebekah Willett is Lecturer at the Institute of Education, University of London, where she teaches in Media, Culture and Communication.
Maria Pini previously worked as Lecturer in Media and Communications at Goldsmiths College, London University, and is now a researcher on the Camcorder Cultures project at the Institute of Education.
Technologies of the Imagination: New Media in Everyday Life
digitalculturebooks is an imprint of the University of Michigan Press and the Scholarly Publishing Office of the University of Michigan Library dedicated to publishing innovative and accessible work exploring new media and their impact on society, culture, and scholarly communication. Visit the website at www.digitalculture.org.
Indie Cinema Online
Sarah E.S. Sinwell Rutgers University Press, 2020 Library of Congress PN1995.9.D57S56 2020 | Dewey Decimal 384.83
Indie Cinema Online investigates the changing nature of contemporary American independent cinema in an era of media convergence. Focusing on the ways in which modes of production, distribution, and exhibition are shifting with the advent of online streaming, simultaneous release strategies, and web series, this book analyzes sites such as SundanceTV, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and other online spaces as a means of redefining independent cinema in a digital era. Analyzing the intersections among cinema studies, cultural studies, and new media studies within contemporary convergence culture, author Sarah E.S. Sinwell looks at sites of media convergence that are often ignored within most studies of digital media. Emphasizing the ways in which the forms and technologies of media culture have changed during the age of convergence, this book analyzes contemporary production, distribution, and exhibition practices as a means of examining the changing meanings of independent cinema within digital culture.
In Indigenous Media in Mexico, Erica Cusi Wortham explores the use of video among indigenous peoples in Mexico as an important component of their social and political activism. Funded by the federal government as part of its "pluriculturalist" policy of the 1990s, video indígena programs became social processes through which indigenous communities in Oaxaca and Chiapas engendered alternative public spheres and aligned themselves with local and regional autonomy movements.
Drawing on her in-depth ethnographic research among indigenous mediamakers in Mexico, Wortham traces their shifting relationship with Mexican cultural agencies; situates their work within a broader, hemispheric network of indigenous media producers; and complicates the notion of a unified, homogeneous indigenous identity. Her analysis of projects from community-based media initiatives in Oaxaca to the transnational Chiapas Media Project highlights variations in cultural identity and autonomy based on specific histories of marginalization, accommodation, and resistance.
Horror films have for decades commanded major global audiences, tapping into deep-rooted fears that cross national and cultural boundaries in their ability to spark terror. This book brings together a group of scholars to explore the ways that this fear is utilized and played upon by a wide range of filmmakers. Contributors take up such major figures as Guillermo del Toro, Lars Von Trier, and David Cronenberg, and they also offer introductions to lesser-known talents such as Richard Franklin, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Juan López Moctezuma, and Alexandre Aja. Scholars and fans alike dipping into this collection will discover plenty of insight into what chills us.
The LEGO Movie
By Dana Polan University of Texas Press, 2020 Library of Congress PN1997.2.L4548P65 2020 | Dewey Decimal 791.4372
What happens when we set out to understand LEGO not just as a physical object but as an idea, an icon of modernity, an image—maybe even a moving image? To what extent can the LEGO brick fit into the multimedia landscape of popular culture, especially film culture, today? Launching from these questions, Dana Polan traces LEGO from thing to film and asserts that The LEGO Movie is an exemplar of key directions in mainstream cinema, combining the visceral impact of effects and spectacle with ironic self-awareness and savvy critique of mass culture as it reaches for new heights of creativity. Incorporating insights from conversations with producer Dan Lin and writer-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, Polan examines the production and reception of The LEGO Movie and closely analyzes the film within popular culture at large and in relation to LEGO as a toy and commodity. He identifies the film’s particular stylistic and narrative qualities, its grasp of and response to the culture industry, and what makes it a distinctive work of animation within the seeming omnipresence of animation in Hollywood, and reveals why the blockbuster film, in all its silliness and seriousness, stands apart as a divergent cultural work.
In The Long Take, Lutz Koepnick posits extended shot durations as a powerful medium for exploring different modes of perception and attention in our fast-paced world of mediated stimulations. Grounding his inquiry in the long takes of international filmmakers such as Béla Tarr, Tsai Ming-liang, Abbas Kiarostami, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and Michael Haneke, Koepnick reveals how their films evoke wondrous experiences of surprise, disruption, enchantment, and reorientation. He proceeds to show how the long take has come to thrive in diverse artistic practices across different media platforms: from the work of photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto to the screen-based installations of Sophie Calle and Tacita Dean, from experimental work by Francis Alÿs and Janet Cardiff to durational images in contemporary video games.
Deeply informed by film and media theory, yet written in a fluid and often poetic style, The Long Take goes far beyond recent writing about slow cinema. In Koepnick’s account, the long take serves as a critical hallmark of international art cinema in the twenty-first century. It invites viewers to probe the aesthetics of moving images and to recalibrate their sense of time. Long takes unlock windows toward the new and unexpected amid the ever-mounting pressures of 24/7 self-management.
The period between the Second World War and the mid-1960s saw the American music industry engaged in a fundamental transformation in how music was produced and experienced. Tim Anderson analyzes three sites of this music revolution: the change from a business centered around live performances to one based on selling records, the custom of simultaneously bringing out multiple versions of the same song, and the arrival of in-home high-fidelity stereo systems.
Making Easy Listening presents a social and cultural history of the contentious, diverse, and experimental culture of musical production and enjoyment that aims to understand how recording technologies fit into and influence musicians’, as well as listeners’, lives. With attention to the details of what it means to play a particular record in a distinct cultural context, Anderson connects neglected genres of the musical canon—classical and easy listening music, Broadway musicals, and sound effects records—with the development of sound aesthetics and technical music practices that leave an indelible imprint on individuals. Tracing the countless impacts that this period of innovation exacted on the mass media, Anderson reveals how an examination of this historical era—and recorded music as an object—furthers a deeper understanding of the present-day American music industry.
Tim J. Anderson is assistant professor of communication at Denison University.
Today's successful plays and playwrights achieve their prominence not simply because of their intrinsic merit but because of the work of mediators, who influence the whole trajectory of a playwright's or a theatre company's career. Critics and academic writers are primarily considered the makers of reputations, but funding organizations and various media agents as well as artistic directors, producers, and directors also pursue separate agendas in shaping the reputations of theatrical works. In The Making of Theatrical Reputations Yael Zarhy-Levo demonstrates the processes through which these mediatory practices by key authority figures situate theatrical companies and playwrights within cultural and historical memory.
To reveal how these authorizing powers-that-be promote theatrical events, companies, and playwrights, Zarhy-Levo presents four detailed case studies that reflect various angles of the modern London theatre. In the case of the English Stage Company's production of John Osborne's Look Back in Anger, she centers on a specific event. She then focuses on the trajectory of a single company, the Theatre Workshop, particularly through its first decade at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East, London. Next, she explores the career of the dramatist John Arden, especially its first ten years, in part drawing upon an interview with Arden and his wife, actress and playwright Margaretta D'Arcy, before turning to her fourth study: the playwright Harold Pinter's shifting reputation throughout the different phases of his career.
Zarhy-Levo's accounts of these theatrical events, companies, and playwrights through the prism of mediation bring fresh insights to these landmark productions and their creators.
In Media Heterotopias Hye Jean Chung challenges the widespread tendency among audiences and critics to disregard the material conditions of digital film production. Drawing on interviews with directors, producers, special effects supervisors, and other film industry workers, Chung traces how the rhetorical and visual emphasis on seamlessness masks the social, political, and economic realities of global filmmaking and digital labor. In films such as Avatar (2009), Interstellar (2014), and The Host (2006)—which combine live action footage with CGI to create new hybrid environments—filmmaking techniques and "seamless" digital effects allow the globally dispersed labor involved to go unnoticed by audiences. Chung adapts Foucault's notion of heterotopic spaces to foreground this labor and to theorize cinematic space as a textured, multilayered assemblage in which filmmaking occurs in transnational collaborations that depend upon the global movement of bodies, resources, images, and commodities. Acknowledging cinema's increasingly digitized and globalized workflow, Chung reconnects digitally constructed and composited imagery with the reality of production spaces and laboring bodies to highlight the political, social, ethical, and aesthetic stakes in recognizing the materiality of collaborative filmmaking.
In Microdramas, John H. Muse argues that plays shorter than twenty minutes deserve sustained attention, and that brevity should be considered a distinct mode of theatrical practice. Focusing on artists for whom brevity became both a structural principle and a tool to investigate theater itself (August Strindberg, Maurice Maeterlinck, F. T. Marinetti, Samuel Beckett, Suzan-Lori Parks, and Caryl Churchill), the book explores four episodes in the history of very short theater, all characterized by the self-conscious embrace of brevity. The story moves from the birth of the modernist microdrama in French little theaters in the 1880s, to the explicit worship of speed in Italian Futurist synthetic theater, to Samuel Beckett’s often-misunderstood short plays, and finally to a range of contemporary playwrights whose long compilations of shorts offer a new take on momentary theater.
Subjecting short plays to extended scrutiny upends assumptions about brief or minimal art, and about theatrical experience. The book shows that short performances often demand greater attention from audiences than plays that unfold more predictably. Microdramas put pressure on preconceptions about which aspects of theater might be fundamental and about what might qualify as an event. In the process, they suggest answers to crucial questions about time, spectatorship, and significance.
Reviewing the first volume of Opera Scenes for Class and Stage, Walter Ducloux wrote in the Opera Journal: "If you can come up, within five seconds, with an operatic excerpt involving two sopranos, four mezzo-sopranos, two tenors, and a bass, you don't need this book. Otherwise hurry and buy it. I keep it on my night table."
In More Opera Scenes, the Wallaces have reviewed 100 additional operas and have chosen over 700 scenes. The popular "Table of Voice Categories" providing more than 300 combinations is also featured in this volume.
On Story—The Golden Ages of Television
Edited by Maya Perez and Barbara Morgan; foreword by Noah Hawley University of Texas Press, 2018 Library of Congress PN1996O67 2018 | Dewey Decimal 808.225
“On Story is film school in a box, a lifetime’s worth of filmmaking knowledge squeezed into half-hour packages.”—Kenneth Turan, film critic for the Los Angeles TimesAustin Film Festival (AFF) is the first organization to focus on writers’ creative contributions to film and television. Its annual Film Festival and Conference offers screenings, panels, workshops, and roundtable discussions that help new writers and filmmakers connect with mentors and gain advice and insight from masters, as well as reinvigorate veterans with new ideas. To extend the Festival’s reach, AFF produces On Story, a television series currently airing on PBS-affiliated stations and streaming online that presents high-caliber artists talking candidly and provocatively about the art and craft of screenwriting and filmmaking, often using examples from their own work. On Story—The Golden Ages of Television explores the transformation of television’s narrative content over the past several decades through interviews with some of TV’s best creators and writers, including Garry Shandling (The Larry Sanders Show), Carl Reiner (The Dick Van Dyke Show), Issa Rae (Insecure), Vince Gilligan (Breaking Bad), Greg Daniels (The Office), Paula Pell (Saturday Night Live), Noah Hawley (Fargo), Liz Meriwether (New Girl), David Chase (The Sopranos), Alan Yang (Master of None), Marta Kauffman (Friends), Jenji Kohan (Orange Is the New Black), and many more. Their insights, behind-the-scenes looks at the creative process, production tales, responses to audiences’ reactions, and observations on how both TV narratives and the industry have changed make this book ideal for TV lovers, pop culture fans, students taking screenwriting courses, and filmmakers and writers seeking information and inspiration.
Opera Production and Its Resources
Edited by Lorenzo Bianconi and Giorgio Pestelli University of Chicago Press, 1998 Library of Congress ML1733.S7513 1998 | Dewey Decimal 782.10945
Standing at the forefront of historiographical research, The History of Italian Opera marks the first time a multidisciplinary team of scholars has worked together to investigate the entire Italian operatic tradition, rather than limiting the focus to major composers and their masterworks. Including both musicologists and historians of other arts, the contributors approach opera not only as a distinctive musical genre but also as a form of extravagant theater and a complex social phenomenon.
Opera Production and Its Resources traces the social, economic, and artistic history of the production of opera from its origins around 1600 to contemporary stagings. From the very beginning, opera has been a chronically deficit-producing enterprise. Yet it maintained unchallenged preeminence in the culture of all Italians for centuries. The first half explores the central role of theater impresarios in putting on these complex productions and in increasing the output of librettos and scores. The second half considers the roles of the three key figures in the creation of any opera: the librettist, the composer, and the singer.
Opera Scenes for Class and Stage
Mary Elaine Wallace and Robert Wallace Southern Illinois University Press, 1979 Library of Congress MT955.W24 | Dewey Decimal 782.1071
Musically sound and fully annotated, this new reference work provides ready access to over 700 excerpts from 100 operas, by voice categories, and thus provides information on a wide variety of matters of interest to directors, teachers, and singers. A table of voice categories, coded excerpts (including length and reference to accessible scores), character descriptions (including estimations of degrees of difficulty of the music), summaries of the action of each excerpt, and indexes to titles, composers, and well-known arias and ensembles make this book an indispensable tool.
Since its origin, opera has been identified with the performance and negotiation of power. Once theaters specifically for opera were established, that connection was expressed in the design and situation of the buildings themselves, as much as through the content of operatic works. Yet the importance of the opera house’s physical situation, and the ways in which opera and the opera house have shaped each other, have seldom been treated as topics worthy of examination.
Operatic Geographies invites us to reconsider the opera house’s spatial production. Looking at opera through the lens of cultural geography, this anthology rethinks the opera house’s landscape, not as a static backdrop, but as an expression of territoriality. The essays in this anthology consider moments across the history of the genre, and across a range of geographical contexts—from the urban to the suburban to the rural, and from the “Old” world to the “New.” One of the book’s most novel approaches is to consider interactions between opera and its environments—that is, both in the domain of the traditional opera house and in less visible, more peripheral spaces, from girls’ schools in late seventeenth-century England, to the temporary arrangements of touring operatic troupes in nineteenth-century Calcutta, to rural, open-air theaters in early twentieth-century France. The essays throughout Operatic Geographies powerfully illustrate how opera’s spatial production informs the historical development of its social, cultural, and political functions.
Recognized as one of the most innovative and influential directors of our time, Peter Sellars has produced acclaimed—and often controversial—versions of many beloved operas and oratorios. He has also collaborated with several composers, including John C. Adams and Kaija Saariaho, to create challenging new operas. The Passions of Peter Sellars follows the development of his style, beginning with his interpretations of the Mozart-Da Ponte operas, proceeding to works for which he assembled the libretti and even the music, and concluding with his celebrated stagings of Bach’s passions with the Berlin Philharmonic.
Many directors leave the musical aspects of opera entirely to the singers and conductor. Sellars, however, immerses himself in the score, and has created a distinctive visual vocabulary to embody musical gesture on stage, drawing on the energies of the music as he shapes characters, ensemble interaction, and large-scale dramatic trajectories. As a leading scholar of gender and music, and the history of opera, Susan McClary is ideally positioned to illuminate Sellars’s goal to address both the social tensions embodied in these operas as well as the spiritual dimensions of operatic performance. McClary considers Sellars’s productions of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Così fan tutte; Handel’s Theodora; Messiaen’s Saint François d’Assise; John C. Adams’s Nixon in China, The Death of Klinghoffer, El Niño, and Doctor Atomic; Kaija Saariaho’s L’amour de loin, La Passion de Simone, and Only the Sound Remains; Purcell’s The Indian Queen; and Bach’s passions of Saint Matthew and Saint John. Approaching Sellars’s theatrical strategies from a musicological perspective, McClary blends insights from theater, film, and literary scholarship to explore the work of one of the most brilliant living interpreters of opera.
A comprehensive treatment of Shakespeare's plays in clear prose, The Practical Shakespeare: The Plays in Practice and on the Page illuminates for a general audience how and why the plays work so well.Noting in detail the practical and physical limitations the Bard faced as he worked out the logistics of his plays, Colin Butler demonstrates how Shakespeare incorporated and exploited those limitations to his advantage: his management of entrances and exits; his characterization technique; his handling of scenes off stage; his control of audience responses; his organization of major scenes; and his use of prologues and choruses. A different aspect of the plays is covered in each chapter?and all chapters are free-standing, for separate consultation. For easy access, chapters also are subdivided, and each part has its own heading. Butler draws most of his examples from mainstream plays, such as Macbeth, Othello, and Much Ado About Nothing. He brings special focus to A Midsummer Night's Dream, which is treated as one of Shakespeare's most important plays. Butler supports his major points with quotations, so readers can understand an issue even if they are unfamiliar with the particular play being discussed. The author also cross-references dramatic devices among plays, increasing enjoyment and understanding of Shakespeare's achievements.Clear, jargon-free, easy-to-use, and comprehensive, The Practical Shakespeare looks to the elements of stagecraft and playwriting as a conduit for students, teachers, and general audiences to engage with, understand, and appreciate the genius of Shakespeare. Colin Butler, previously the head of an English department at a British grammar school, lives in Canterbury, England, where he writes on literary subjects.
Lewis, Jon Rutgers University Press, 2015 Library of Congress PN1995.9.P7P745 2016 | Dewey Decimal 791.43023
Of all the job titles listed in the opening and closing screen credits, producer is certainly the most amorphous. There are businessmen (and women)-producers, writer-director- and movie-star-producers; producers who work for the studio; executive producers whose reputation and industry clout alone gets a project financed (though their day-to-day participation in the project may be negligible). The job title, regardless of the actual work involved, warrants a great deal of prestige in the film business; it is the credited producers, after all, who collect the Oscar for Best Picture. But what producers do and what they don’t or won’t do varies from project to project.
Producing is the first book to provide a comprehensive overview of the roles that producers have played in Hollywood, from the dawn of the twentieth century to the present day. It introduces readers to the colorful figures who helped to define and reimagine the producer’s role, including inventors like Thomas Edison, moguls like Darryl F. Zanuck, entrepreneurs like Walt Disney, and mavericks like Roger Corman. Readers also get an inside look at the less glamorous jobs producers have often performed: shepherding projects through many years of development, securing financial backers, and supervising movie shoots.
The latest book in the acclaimed Behind the Silver Screen series, Producing includes essays written by seven film scholars, each an expert in a different period of cinema history. Together, they give readers a full picture of how the art and business of producing films has changed over time—and how the producer’s myriad job duties continue to evolve in the digital era.
In Production Culture, John Thornton Caldwell investigates the cultural practices and belief systems of Los Angeles–based film and video production workers: not only those in prestigious positions such as producers and directors but also many “below-the-line” laborers, including gaffers, editors, and camera operators. Caldwell analyzes the narratives and rituals through which workers make sense of their labor and critique the film and TV industry as well as the culture writ large. As a self-reflexive industry, Hollywood constantly exposes itself and its production processes to the public; workers’ ideas about the industry are embedded in their daily practices and the media they create. Caldwell suggests ways that scholars might learn from the industry’s habitual self-scrutiny.
Drawing on interviews, observations of sets and workplaces, and analyses of TV shows, industry documents, economic data, and promotional materials, Caldwell shows how film and video workers function in a transformed, post-network industry. He chronicles how workers have responded to changes including media convergence, labor outsourcing, increasingly unstable labor and business relations, new production technologies, corporate conglomeration, and the proliferation of user-generated content. He explores new struggles over “authorship” within collective creative endeavors, the way that branding and syndication have become central business strategies for networks, and the “viral” use of industrial self-reflexivity to motivate consumers through DVD bonus tracks, behind-the-scenes documentaries, and “making-ofs.” A significant, on-the-ground analysis of an industry in flux, Production Culture offers new ways of thinking about media production as a cultural activity.
Based on work the author has carried out with survivor groups in Northern Ireland and South Africa, Recording Memories from Political Violence draws on written and audiovisual texts to describe and analyze the use of documentary filmmaking in recording experiences of political conflict. A variety of issues relevant to the genre are addressed at length, including the importance of ethics in the collaboration between the filmmaker and the participant and the effect of location on the accounts of participants. Cahal McLaughlin draws on the diverse fields of film and cultural studies, as well as nearly twenty years of production experience, in this informed and instructive contribution to documentary filmmaking and post-conflict studies.
Reel World explores what happens to life when everything begins to look and feel like cinema. Drawing on years of fieldwork with Tamil filmmakers, artists, musicians, and craftsmen in the south Indian movie studios of "Kollywood," Anand Pandian examines how ordinary moments become elements of a cinematic world. With inventive, experimental, and sometimes comical zeal, Pandian pursues the sensory richness of cinematic experience and the adventure of a writing true to these sensations. Thinking with the visceral power of sound and image, his stories also broach deeply philosophical themes such as desire, time, wonder, and imagination. In a spirit devoted to the turbulence and uncertainty of genesis, Reel World brings into focus an ecology of creative process: the many forces, feelings, beings, and things that infuse human endeavors with transformative potential.
The Brazilian television industry is one of the most productive and commercially successful in the world. At the forefront of this industry is TV Globo and its production of standardized telenovelas, which millions of Brazilians and viewers from over 130 countries watch nightly. Eli Lee Carter examines the field of television production by focusing on the work of one of Brazil’s greatest living directors, Luiz Fernando Carvalho. Through an emphasis on Carvalho’s thirty-plus year career working for TV Globo, his unique mode of production, and his development of a singular aesthetic as a reaction to the dominant telenovela genre, Carter sheds new light on Brazilian television’s history, its current state, and where it is going—as new legislation and technology push it increasingly toward a post-network era.
In the 1950s and early 1960s, America imagined itself young and in love in Europe. And Hollywood films of the era reflected this romantic allure. From a young and naïve Audrey Hepburn falling in love with Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday to David Lean’s Summertime, featuring Katherine Hepburn’s sexual adventure in Venice, these glossy travelogue romances were shot on location, and established an exciting new genre for Hollywood.
As Robert Shandley shows in Runaway Romances, these films were not only indicative of the ideology of the American-dominated postwar world order, but they also represented a shift in Hollywood production values. Eager to capture new audiences during a period of economic crisis, Hollywood’s European output utilized the widescreen process to enhance cinematic experience. The films—To Catch a Thief, Three Coins in the Fountain, and Funny Face among them—enticed viewers to visit faraway places for romantic escapades. In the process, these runaway romances captured American fantasies for a brief, but intense, period that ended as audiences grew tired of Old World splendors, and entered into a new era of sexual awakening.
In Scripted Affects, Branded Selves, Gabriella Lukács analyzes the development of a new primetime serial called “trendy drama” as the Japanese television industry’s ingenious response to market fragmentation. Much like the HBO hit Sex and the City, trendy dramas feature well-heeled young sophisticates enjoying consumer-oriented lifestyles while managing their unruly love lives. Integrating a political-economic analysis of television production with reception research, Lukács suggests that the trendy drama marked a shift in the Japanese television industry from offering story-driven entertainment to producing lifestyle-oriented programming. She interprets the new televisual preoccupation with consumer trends not as a sign of the medium’s downfall, but as a savvy strategy to appeal to viewers who increasingly demand entertainment that feels more personal than mass-produced fare. After all, what the producers of trendy dramas realized in the late 1980s was that taste and lifestyle were sources of identification that could be manipulated to satisfy mass and niche demands more easily than could conventional marketing criteria such as generation or gender. Lukács argues that by capitalizing on the semantic fluidity of the notion of lifestyle, commercial television networks were capable of uniting viewers into new affective alliances that, in turn, helped them bury anxieties over changing class relations in the wake of the prolonged economic recession.
Despite the popular myth that plays arrive at the theater fully formed and ready for production, the truth is that for centuries, most scripts have been developed through a collaborative process in rehearsal and in concert with other theater artists. David Kahn and Donna Breed provide the first codified approach to this time-honored method of play development, with a flexible methodology that takes into account differing environments and various stages of formation.
Directors can use this unique guidebook for new play development from the beginning to the end of the process. Kahn and Breed explore ways of choosing new projects, talk about where to find new scripts, and explore the legal aspects of script development. They present a detailed system for theatrical analysis of the new script and show how to continue exploration and development of the script within the laboratory of the theater. Most importantly, they delineate the parameters of the relationship between the director and the playwright, offering proven methods to help the playwright and help facilitate the healthy development of the script.
Breed and Kahn offer suggestions on casting, incorporating rewrites, and script handling plus how and when to use audience response and how to decide what step to take next. They also include extended interviews with developmental directors, dramaturgs, and playwrights, who give credence to the new script development process.
In short, Kahn and Breed demystify a common, though often convoluted, theater process, providing a unique codification of ways to work on new plays.
Though Ingmar Bergman became famous as a filmmaker, his roots-and, to some extent, his heart-were in the theater. He directed more than one hundred plays in his career, and The Serious Game takes a close look at fourteen productions he staged at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm. Looking closely at the relationship between the verbal and the visual, this book gives even longtime Bergman fans a new understanding of his sensitivity to nuance, his versatility, and his dedication to craftsmanship.**INCLUDES DVD WITH FOURTEEN VIDEO RECORDINGS, ALL IN COLOUR**
In the early days of filmmaking, before many of Hollywood’s elaborate sets and soundstages had been built, it was common for movies to be shot on location. Decades later, Hollywood filmmakers rediscovered the practice of using real locations and documentary footage in their narrative features. Why did this happen? What caused this sudden change?
Renowned film scholar R. Barton Palmer answers this question in Shot on Location by exploring the historical, ideological, economic, and technological developments that led Hollywood to head back outside in order to capture footage of real places. His groundbreaking research reveals that wartime newsreels had a massive influence on postwar Hollywood film, although there are key distinctions to be made between these movies and their closest contemporaries, Italian neorealist films. Considering how these practices were used in everything from war movies like Twelve O’Clock High to westerns like The Searchers, Palmer explores how the blurring of the formal boundaries between cinematic journalism and fiction lent a “reality effect” to otherwise implausible stories.
Shot on Location describes how the period’s greatest directors, from Alfred Hitchcock to Billy Wilder, increasingly moved beyond the confines of the studio. At the same time, the book acknowledges the collaborative nature of moviemaking, identifying key roles that screenwriters, art designers, location scouts, and editors played in incorporating actual geographical locales and social milieus within a fictional framework. Palmer thus offers a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at how Hollywood transformed the way we view real spaces.
Sound has always been an integral component of the moviegoing experience. Even during the so-called “silent era,” motion pictures were regularly accompanied by live music, lectures, and sound effects. Today, whether we listen to movies in booming Dolby theaters or on tiny laptop speakers, sonic elements hold our attention and guide our emotional responses. Yet few of us are fully aware of the tremendous collaborative work, involving both artistry and technical wizardry, required to create that cinematic soundscape.
Sound, the latest book in the Behind the Silver Screen series, introduces key concepts, seminal moments, and pivotal figures in the development of cinematic sound. Each of the book’s six chapters cover a different era in the history of Hollywood, from silent films to the digital age, and each is written by an expert in that period. Together, the book’s contributors are able to explore a remarkable range of past and present film industry practices, from the hiring of elocution coaches to the marketing of soundtrack records.
Not only does the collection highlight the achievements of renowned sound designers and film composers like Ben Burtt and John Williams, it also honors the unsung workers whose inventions, artistry, and performances have shaped the soundscapes of many notable movies. After you read Sound, you’ll never see—or hear—movies in quite the same way.
Sound is a volume in the Behind the Silver Screen series—other titles in the series include Acting; Animation; Art Direction and Production Design; Cinematography; Costume, Makeup, and Hair; Directing; Editing and Special Visual Effects; Producing; and Screenwriting.
Perhaps you’ve always wondered how public radio gets that smooth, well-crafted sound. Maybe you’re thinking about starting a podcast, and want some tips from the pros. Or maybe storytelling has always been a passion of yours, and you want to learn to do it more effectively. Whatever the case—whether you’re an avid NPR listener or you aspire to create your own audio, or both—Sound Reporting: The NPR Guide to Audio Journalism and Production will give you a rare tour of the world of a professional broadcaster.
Jonathan Kern, who has trained NPR’s on-air staff for years, is a gifted guide, able to narrate a day in the life of a host and lay out the nuts and bolts of production with equal wit and warmth. Along the way, he explains the importance of writing the way you speak, reveals how NPR books guests ranging from world leaders to neighborhood newsmakers, and gives sage advice on everything from proposing stories to editors to maintaining balance and objectivity. Best of all—because NPR wouldn’t be NPR without its array of distinctive voices—lively examples from popular shows and colorful anecdotes from favorite personalities animate each chapter.
As public radio’s audience of millions can attest, NPR’s unique guiding principles and technical expertise combine to connect with listeners like no other medium can. With today’s technologies allowing more people to turn their home computers into broadcast studios, Sound Reporting couldn’t have arrived at a better moment to reveal the secrets behind the story of NPR’s success.
Staging Consciousness argues that theater is a living invalidation of the Western dualism of mind and body, activating human consciousness through its embodiment of thought in performance. While consciousness theory has begun to find ways to bridge dualist gaps, Staging Consciousness suggests that theater has anticipated these advances, given the ways in which the physical theater promotes nonphysical thought, connecting the two realms in unique and ingenious ways.
William W. Demastes makes use of the writings of such varied theater practitioners as Antonin Artaud, Jerzy Grotowski, Samuel Beckett, Tony Kushner, Sam Shepard, Spalding Gray, Peter Shaffer, and others, illuminating theater as proof that mind is an extension of body. The living stage incubates and materializes thought in a way that highlights the processes of daily existence outside the theater. This book offers a new way for theater practitioners to look at the unique value of the theater and an invitation for philosophers and scientists to search for new paradigms in theater, the oldest of art forms.
William W. Demastes is Professor of English, Louisiana State University. His previous books include Theatre of Chaos: Beyond Absurdism, into Disorderly Order.
While many film programs prepare students for the realities of Hollywood, comparatively little guidance is provided for the aspiring documentary filmmaker. Alan Rosenthal fills this void with Succeeding as a Documentary Filmmaker: A Guide to the Professional World. Unlike traditional manuals on documentary filmmaking, which focus primarily on the creation of films, this user-friendly volume draws upon real-world examples and the advice of experienced filmmakers to provide essential information about the nonfiction movie business.
From the basics of the current film business environment and how to navigate it, to tips on how to maximize distribution and sales for a finished film, Rosenthal leads novice filmmakers step-by-step through the professional arena of documentary moviemaking. Included here are recommendations for how to make the most of a film school education; the best ways to find financing for a film and the realities of working with a budget; how to develop a successful proposal for a project; the intricacies of working both as an independent filmmaker and for others; and insight into the often complicated arenas of contracts and markets. Throughout the volume, Rosenthal shares the expertise of actual filmmakers on such subjects as film school and starting a career; pitching and funding projects; contract negotiation; effective marketing; and commissioning editors and legal help. Not limiting himself to merely the documentary world, the author also offers valuable information and advice for filmmakers interested in other genres of nonfiction movies - such as industrial, public relations, travel, and educational films - to provide a truly comprehensive and one-of-a-kind guide for readers.
Packed with useful tips for novices, film students, and practitioners alike, Succeeding as a Documentary Filmmaker is an indispensable addition to the library of anyone involved in the world of nonfiction filmmaking.
Theater Games for Rehearsal: A Director’s Handbook, first published in 1985, is a practical application of Viola Spolin’s famous method that guides directors and their companies step-by-step through all phases of the rehearsal period. Spolin shows in easy-to-follow detail how her techniques can be used for a variety of theater situations, ranging from selecting plays or material to be performed, casting, and building a harmonious company to warming up actors, creating stage space, and overcoming opening night jitters.
The edition reflects Spolin’s wished-for updates: five important exercises have been added, and instructions presenting her improvisational approach have been clarified throughout. Her wealth of useful notes remain undiminished. Sidecoaching instructions and game evaluations are boxed and highlighted for on-the-spot reading by the director, in rehearsal. Viola Spolin has been called "the high priestess of improvisational theater," and the method that she created andpresented in her books not only remains the pedagogical standard but has found an even wider audience beyond theater.
Featuring a new foreword by renowned film director Rob Reiner, the updated edition is a necessary addition to any theater bookshelf.
Defines, examines, and elevates home video to its rightful place.
From its recording of family events to its influence on filmmaking, home video defies easy categorization and demands serious consideration. In There's No Place Like Home Video, James Moran takes on this neglected aspect of popular culture. Moran offers a cultural history of amateur home video, exploring its technological and ideological predecessors, the development of event videography, and home video's symbiotic relationship with television and film. He also investigates the broader field of video, taking on the question of medium specificity: the attempt to define its unique identity, to capture what constitutes its pure practice.
In Moran's discussion of video, he argues that previous scholars have not sufficiently dealt with its nature as hybrid, varied, and mutable. He argues that such a medium shouldn't be conceived as pure in and of itself; it is neither autonomous from other media nor entirely dependent on any other, but instead has a chameleonlike interface with films, television, computers, telephones, and even architecture. Rather than look for a grand narrative to define its specificity, Moran places video and home video at the intersections of multiple forms of communication.
James M. Moran is adjunct professor of visual and media arts at Emerson College in Los Angeles.
Treacherous Subjects is a provocative and thoughtful examination of Vietnamese films and literature viewed through a feminist lens. Lan Duong investigates the postwar cultural productions of writers and filmmakers, including Tony Bui, Trinh T. Minh-ha, and Tran Anh Hung.
Taking her cue from the double meaning of "collaborator," Duong shows how history has shaped the loyalties and shifting alliances of the Vietnamese, many of whom are caught between opposing/constricting forces of nationalism, patriarchy, and communism. Working at home and in France and the United States, the artists profiled in Treacherous Subjects have grappled with the political and historic meanings of collaboration. These themes, which probe into controversial issues of family and betrayal, figure heavily in fictions such as the films The Scent of Green Papaya and Surname Viet Given Name Nam.
As writers and filmmakers collaborate, Duong suggests that they lay the groundwork for both transnational feminist politics and queer critiques of patriarchy.
In this fresh approach to musical theatre history, Bruce Kirle challenges the commonly understood trajectory of the genre. Drawing on the notion that the world of the author stays fixed while the world of the audience is ever-changing, Kirle suggests that musicals are open, fluid products of the particular cultural moment in which they are performed. Incomplete as printed texts and scores, musicals take on unpredictable lives of their own in the complex transformation from page to stage.
Using lenses borrowed from performance studies, cultural studies, queer studies, and ethnoracial studies, Unfinished Show Business: Broadway Musicals as Works-in-Process argues that musicals are as interesting for the provocative issues they raise about shifting attitudes toward American identity as for their show-stopping song-and-dance numbers and conveniently happy endings. Kirle illustrates how performers such as Ed Wynn, Fanny Brice, and the Marx Brothers used their charismatic personalities and quirkiness to provide insights into the struggle of marginalized ethnoracial groups to assimilate. Using examples from favorites including Oklahoma!, Fiddler on the Roof, A Chorus Line, and Les Misérables, Kirle demonstrates Broadway’s ability to bridge seemingly insoluble tensions in society, from economic and political anxiety surrounding World War II to generational conflict and youth counterculture to corporate America and the “me” generation. Enlivened by a gallery of some of Broadway’s most memorable moments—and some amusing, obscure ones as well—this study will appeal to students, scholars, and lifelong musical theatre enthusiasts.
What happens when operas that are comfortably ensconced in the canon are thoroughly rethought and radically recast on stage? What does a staging do to our understanding of an opera, and of opera generally? While a stage production can disrupt a work that was thought to be established, David J. Levin here argues that the genre of opera is itself unsettled, and that the performance of operas, at its best, clarifies this condition by bringing opera’s restlessness and volatility to life.
Unsettling Opera explores a variety of fields, considering questions of operatic textuality, dramaturgical practice, and performance theory. Levin opens with a brief history of opera production, opera studies, and dramatic composition, and goes on to consider in detail various productions of the works of Wagner, Mozart, Verdi, and Alexander Zemlinsky. Ultimately, the book seeks to initiate a dialogue between scholars of music, literature, and performance by addressing questions raised in each field in a manner that influences them all.
The essays in Upstaging Big Daddy: Directing Theater as if Gender and Race Matter argue that directing, as it has been taught and handed down over the years, has worked in the service of a body of dramatic literature that has routinely minimized or distorted the lives of women, people of color, gay men, and lesbians. The book’s contributors see directing not as an ideologically neutral set of skills, but as something that has served historically to preserve existing forms of authority.
What happens, then, when a feminist who directs for the theater decides that there is something called a feminist director, someone who sees her job as protesting and intervening in the existing system of representation? The contributors to this volume provide a wide range of answers, in original essays that disrupt traditional approaches of directing by showing how feminist theory might be applied in practice.
Essays and interviews by a wide variety of directors, scholars, and other theater specialists offer fresh new models for thinking about directing. The collection includes essays on African-American theater, feminist “classics,” and male directors working on feminist plays, as well as concrete suggestions for directing a variety of plays, from works by Shakespeare and Euripides to those by Caryl Churchill, Aishah Rahman, and Helene Cixous. The theoretical material, drawing from a wide range of contemporary critics and theorists, has been written with the director in mind, partly for the purpose of analyzing texts but also for inspiring creative directorial and design solutions.
Beginning in the early 1980s Aboriginal Australians found in music, radio, and filmic media a means to make themselves heard across the country and to insert themselves into the center of Australian political life. In The Voice and Its Doubles Daniel Fisher analyzes the great success of this endeavor, asking what is at stake in the sounds of such media for Aboriginal Australians. Drawing on long-term ethnographic research in northern Australia, Fisher describes the close proximity of musical media, shifting forms of governmental intervention, and those public expressions of intimacy and kinship that suffuse Aboriginal Australian social life. Today’s Aboriginal media include genres of country music and hip-hop; radio requests and broadcast speech; visual graphs of a digital audio timeline; as well as the statistical media of audience research and the discursive and numerical figures of state audits and cultural policy formation. In each of these diverse instances the mediatized voice has become a site for overlapping and at times discordant forms of political, expressive, and institutional creativity.
The voice in the headphones says, “you’re rolling” . . .
The Voice in the Headphones is an experiment in music writing in the form of a long poem centered on the culture of the recording studio. It describes in intricate, prismatic detail one marathon day in a recording studio during which an unnamed musician struggles to complete a film soundtrack. The book extends the form of Grubbs's previous volume Now that the audience is assembled, sharing its goal of musicalizing the language of writing about music. Mulling the insight that “studio is the absence of pushback”—now that no audience is assembled—The Voice in the Headphones details one musician's strategies for applying the requisite pressure to the proceedings, for making it count. The Voice in the Headphones is both a literary work and a meditation on sound recording, delivered at a moment in which the commercial recording studio shades into oblivion. It draws upon Grubbs's own history of several decades as a recording artist, and its location could be described as every studio in which he has set foot.
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.
Winner of the the 2021 Best Edited Collection Award from BAFTSS Shortlisted for the 2021 British Fantasy Awards - Best Non-Fiction Finalist for the 2020 Bram Stoker Award® for Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction
Runner-Up for Book of the Year in the 19th Annual Rondo Halton Classic Horror Awards
“But women were never out there making horror films, that’s why they are not written about – you can’t include what doesn’t exist.”
“Women are just not that interested in making horror films.”
This is what you get when you are a woman working in horror, whether as a writer, academic, festival programmer, or filmmaker. These assumptions are based on decades of flawed scholarly, critical, and industrial thinking about the genre. Women Make Horror sets right these misconceptions. Women have always made horror. They have always been an audience for the genre, and today, as this book reveals, women academics, critics, and filmmakers alike remain committed to a film genre that offers almost unlimited opportunities for exploring and deconstructing social and cultural constructions of gender, femininity, sexuality, and the body.
Women Make Horror explores narrative and experimental cinema; short, anthology, and feature filmmaking; and offers case studies of North American, Latin American, European, East Asian, and Australian filmmakers, films, and festivals. With this book we can transform how we think about women filmmakers and genre.
Working Backstage illuminates the work of New York City’s theater technicians, shining a light on the essential contributions of unionized stagehands, carpenters, electricians, sound engineers, properties artisans, wardrobe crews, makeup artists, and child guardians. Too-often dismissed or misunderstood as mere functionaries, these technicians are deeply engaged in creative problem-solving and perform collaborative, intricate choreographed work that parallels the performances of actors, singers, and dancers onstage. Although their contributions have fueled the Broadway machine, their contributions have been left out of most theater histories.
Theater historian Christin Essin offers clear and evocative descriptions of this invaluable labor, based on her archival research and interviews with more than 100 backstage technicians, members of the New York locals of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. A former theater technician herself, Essin provides readers with an insider’s view of the Broadway stage, from the suspended lighting bridge of electricians operating followspots for A Chorus Line; the automation deck where carpenters move the massive scenic towers for Newsies; the makeup process in the dressing room for The Lion King; the offstage wings of Matilda the Musical, where guardians guide child actors to entrances and exits. Working Backstage makes an significant contribution to theater studies and also to labor studies, exploring the politics of the unions that serve backstage professionals, protecting their rights and insuring safe working conditions. Illuminating the history of this typically hidden workforce, the book provides uncommon insights into the business of Broadway and its backstage working relationships among cast and crew members.
Theatre has long been an art form of subterfuge and concealment. Working in the Wings: New Perspectives on Theatre History and Labor, edited by Elizabeth A. Osborne and Christine Woodworth, brings attention to what goes on behind the scenes, challenging, and revising our understanding of work, theatre, and history.
Essays consider a range of historic moments and geographic locations—from African Americans’ performance of the cakewalk in Florida’s resort hotels during the Gilded Age to the UAW Union Theatre and striking automobile workers in post–World War II Detroit, to the struggle in the latter part of the twentieth century to finish an adaptation of Moby Dick for the stage before the memory of creator Rinde Eckert failed. Contributors incorporate methodologies and theories from fields as diverse as theatre history, work studies, legal studies, economics, and literature and draw on traditional archival materials, including performance texts and architectural structures, as well as less tangible material traces of stagecraft.
Working in the Wings looks at the ways in which workers' identities are shaped, influenced, and dictated by what they do; the traces left behind by workers whose contributions have been overwritten; the intersections between the sometimes repetitive and sometimes destructive process of creation and the end result—the play or performance; and the ways in which theatre affects the popular imagination. This collected volume draws attention to the significance of work in the theatre, encouraging a fresh examination of this important subject in the history of the theatre and beyond.
In a new edition of this popular guidebook, filmmakers Alan Rosenthal and Ned Eckhardt show readers how to utilize the latest innovations in equipment, technologies, and production techniques for success in the digital, web-based world of documentary film.
All twenty-four chapters of the volume have been revised to reflect the latest advances in documentary filmmaking. Rosenthal and Eckhardt discuss the myriad ways in which technological changes have impacted the creation process of documentary films, including how these evolving technologies both complicate and enrich filmmaking today. The book provides crucial insights for the filmmaker from the film’s conception to distribution of the finished film. Topics include creating dynamic proposals, writing narration, and navigating the murky world of contracts. Also included are many practical tips for first-time filmmakers. To provide context and to illustrate techniques, Rosenthal and Eckhardt reference more than one hundred documentaries in detail.
A new appendix, “Using the Web and Social Media to Prepare for Your Career,” guides filmmakers through the process of leveraging social media and crowdsourcing for success in filmmaking, fund-raising, and promotion. A day-to-day field manual packed with invaluable lessons, this volume is essential reading for both novice and experienced documentary filmmakers.
As Alan Rosenthal states in the preface to this new edition of his acclaimed resource for filmmakers, Writing, Directing, and Producing Documentary Films and Videos is “a book about storytelling—how to tell great and moving stories about fascinating people, whether they be villains or heroes.”
In response to technological advances and the growth of the documentary hybrid in the past five years, Rosenthal reconsiders how one approaches documentary filmmaking in the twenty-first century. Simply and clearly, he explains how to tackle day-to-day problems, from initial concept through distribution. He demonstrates his ideas throughout the book with examples from key filmmakers’ work.
New aspects of this fourth edition include a vital new chapter titled "Making Your First Film," and a considerable enlargement of the section for producers, "Staying Alive," which includes an extensive discussion of financing, marketing, festivals, and distribution. This new edition offers a revised chapter on nonlinear editing, more examples of precise and exacting proposals, and the addition of a complex budget example with explanation of the budgeting process. Discussion of documentary hybrids, with suggestions for mastering changes and challenges, has also been expanded, while the “Family Films” chapter includes updated information that addresses rapid expansion in this genre.