Film & History 2013 Conference
Making Movie$: The Figure of Money On and Off the Screen

Market Manners: The Exchanges Between Economies and Cinematic Style

Deadline for Abstracts: July 1, 2013

How is cinematic style, from the glossy, high-budget set design of Lost Horizon (1937) to the rough, verité technique of The Blair Witch Project (1999) a direct indicator of market influences? When and how does a film reflect stylistically the market that is creating or consuming it? How, for example, do the successes of mid-twentieth-century exploitation films such as Reefer Madness (1936) or, decades later, the virally-marketed Cloverfield (2008) illustrate the impact of contemporary promotional outlets and strategies? From the studio era to the present day, how do market influences – the box-office popularity of particular stars or subjects, the cost of technology or travel, the relationship between stock-driven economies and filmmaking choices – shape the manner of film? Major studios of the classical era thrived on “star vehicles” that showcased celebrities – Shirley Temple, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, or Clark Gable – whose fame they carefully burnished. How were films built around the celebrity market? Beginning in the 1950s, the rise of television and rock-and-roll yielded movies based on popular performers and programs. Current-events documentaries and docudramas, from Power and the Land (1940) to The Social Network (2010), have been pitched to audiences eager to see breaking news and real-world events dramatized on screen. When does the market for certain kinds of music or fashion or food or custom meaningfully determine a film’s own style?

This area, comprising multiple panels, welcomes proposals examining the ways in which market factors influence the style of films, and the ways in which promotional strategies, from exploitation to viral media, are employed to address, appeal to, and expand films’ audiences. Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

Proposals for individual papers should include a 200-word abstract and the name, affiliation, and contact email of the presenter. Proposals for complete panels (three related presentations) are also welcome, but they must include an abstract and contact information, including an e-mail address, for each presenter.

Deadline for Abstracts: July 1, 2013

For updates and registration information about the upcoming meeting, see:

Please send submissions or queries to the area chair:

Tony Osborne
Gonzaga University



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