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Cultures of production

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by

Roy Forrester

on 15 May 2017

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Transcript of Cultures of production

The cultures of production in Broadcast Media
Lecture outline
Culture is ordinary
Some important discourses of creative production: Revisiting work/play, art-for-art's sake, and considering "authorship"
Tradition, genre, management
Exploring deep industrial practices: Artifacts and rituals in the film/TV industry
A white middle-class industry
Routines and culture
Routines and creative management
Routines as part of learning a craft
Routines and genres
Deep industrial practices
Fully embedded deep texts
Culture in the Metaphors
Metaphors in the TV industry
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
Creativity and 'gentle controls'
Creative labour resists alienation
"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)
Tradition
Creative labour involves working within a tradition or established form (Smith and McKinlay, 2009)
Conventions of the craft
Genre
QUESTION
: Take a few minutes to think and describe the hidden culture of your craft!
Revisiting work/play, art-for-art's sake
Actors participating in the production of culture in Broadcast media
A field composed of different actors occupying different positions
Creatives
Craft labourers/ technicians
Creative managers (e.g. producers, commissioners)
Companies/ Advertisers
Equipment
Scripts/ Texts of the industry
Culture is ordinary: to grow up anywhere is to see the shape of the culture and its modes of change (Williams, 1958)
Institutional structures of broadcasting:
practices and networks of production, organised relations, infrastructures
(Hall, 2001)
The production process and its discourses:
routines of production, historically defined technical skills, professional ideologies, institutional knowledge
(Hall, 2001)
Dr Eleftherios Zenerian
Culture and everyday life routines
- 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
(Caldwel, 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
(Caldwel, 2008)
- making-of documentaries, DVD extras, bloopers...
We have already seen some discourses that circulate in the creative industries
Work is play? Seeking pleasure at work? Resisting alienation?
Art-for-art's sake? Taking pride at one's work? How to reconcile art and business?
The 'auteur' myth
Negotiated and collective authorship
Idea theft and ownership
- 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
Another discourse: authorship
(Caldwel, 2008)
How else do we explore culture? Or, where do we look for more hidden discourses?
Caldwel (2009): examination of data from 4 registers
1. Textual analysis of trade and worker artifacts
2. Interviews with workers
3. Ethnographic field observation
4. Economic/Industrial analysis (political economy)
References
Caldwel, J. T. (2009) 'Cultures of production: studying industry’s deep texts, reflexive rituals, and managed self-disclosures', in Holt, J. and Perren, A. (eds.) Media industries: History, theory, and methods, pp.199-212.
Caldwel, J. T. (2008) Production culture: Industrial reflexivity and critical practice in film and television. Duke University Press. (Chapter 5: Industrial auteur theory)
Hall, S. (2001) 'Encoding/decoding' in Media and cultural studies: Keyworks, 166-176.
Hesmondhalgh, D., and Baker, S. (2010) Creative labour: Media work in three cultural industries (Chapter: Introduction)
Holgate, J., and Mckay, S. (2007) Institutional barriers to recruitment and employment in the audio visual industries. London: Working Lives Research Institute.
Smith, C. and McKinlay, A. (2009a) ‘Creative industries and labour process analysis’, in Smith, C. and McKinlay, A. (eds.) Creative labour: Working in the creative industries. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 3-28.
Smith, C. and McKinlay, A. (2009b) ‘Creative labour: Content, contract and control’, in Smith, C. and McKinlay, A. (eds.) Creative labour: Working in the creative industries. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 29-50.
Williams, R. ( [1958]2011) 'Culture is ordinary', in Cultural theory: An anthology, 53-59.
Full transcript