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Cultures of production

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Roy Forrester

on 17 March 2016

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Transcript of Cultures of production

Cultures of production
Lecture outline
Culture is ordinary
The logic of the field
A site of meaning-making
Routines, management, tradition
Artifacts and rituals in the film/TV industry
A white middle-class industry
Routines as the result of tradition - learning a craft
Routines and genres
The "rationalisation" of creative production (formating and institutionalisation of marketing) (Hesmondhalgh and Baker, 2011)
Artifacts and rituals
Fully embedded deep texts
The auteur myth
Negotiated and collective authorship
Idea theft and ownership
The creative process as agriculture
The creative process as a frat-house
[The creative process as a military operation]
Television as "bad art" - space trying to be filled
Creative labour resists alienation (Ryan, 1992)
"an act of navigation, a tentative balancing act, an attempt [...] to find that 'point' up to which creative individuals are willing to be controlled" (Hesmondhalgh and Baker, 2011)
Gentle controls - long-term relations built on trust (Hesmondhalgh and Baker, 2011)
Creative labour involves working within a tradition or established form (Smith and McKinlay, 2009)
Conventions of the craft
The production process as a site of meaning-making
Institutional structures of broadcasting:
practices and networks of production, organised relations, infrastructures
(Hall, 1993)
The production process and its discourses:
routines of production, historically defined technical skills, professional ideologies, institutional knowledge
(Hall, 1993)
Aesthetics, business, creativity, profit, autonomy, control, trust
Actors participating in the circulation of meanings
Craft labourers/ technicians
Creative managers (e.g. producers, commissioners)
Companies/ Advertisers
Scripts/ Texts of the industry
Both the
whole way of life
, as well as art and learning
The known
and directions, as well as the new observations and meanings that are offered and tested
Culture is ordinary: to grow up anywhere is to see the shape of the culture and its modes of change
Culture is ordinary: the making of a society is finding
common meanings
and directions; its growth is an
active debate and amendment
Dr Eleftherios Zenerian, ez38@brighton.ac.uk
Culture is ordinary
Raymond Williams, 1958
- Interpersonal discussions between writers, directors
and producers
- Art as stealing
- Widespread creative culture based on feigned mutual trust accompanied by suspicion
- Writing by committee - narrative development inside the company in a systematic way
- Artifacts and rituals that function to facilitate interaction among members of a community
- Demotapes, compilation reels, iconography, manuals, trade and craft narratives and anecdotes, union and guild workshops, newsletters...
Semi-embedded deep texts

- Forms of symbolic communication among media professionals - inter-group relations
- Electronic press kits, advertiser upfronts, internship programs, "how to make it in the industry" panels...
Publicly disclosed deep texts
(Cadwell, 2009)
A white middle-class industry
Race, gender, class bias
Parts of the sector noted for being white and middle class
Old boys club - Oxbridge/Public school culture, and recruitment
Advantages associated with possession of economic capital
- equipment
- internships
- general culture of after-work socialising
Racist stereotyping: class inscribed on black skin
Economic and cultural disadvantages faced by BME
The logic of the field: Bourdieu revisited
A field composed of different actors occupying different positions
Positions organised according to a logic that is field specific
Practices within the field depend on position one occupies, the logic of the field, the capital one possesses and their habitus.
What is the logic of the film industry? What are the forms of capital that matter?
(Cadwell, 2008)
(Cadwell, 2008)
- making-of documentaries, DVD extras, bloopers...
Full transcript