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

Money Talks: The Economics of Film Sound

Deadline for Abstracts: July 1, 2013

The promotional materials for The Jazz Singer, Forbidden Planet, and Jurassic Park all draw upon sound as a key marketing tool. Current conceptions of film sound aesthetics, however, have downplayed the role of economics in shaping the creative decisions of sound practitioners. When scholars take economic and business considerations into account while discussing film sound history, they typically use them to account for technological innovation and branding strategies, or to account specifically for the aesthetics of film music.

This area, composed of multiple panels, seeks to extend these current discussions on the relationship between film sound and money. We invite proposals that explore the manner in which sound has and continues to be affected by the economics of the film industry. Proposals that examine previously neglected aspects of the relationship are particularly welcome. Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:

• Star’s voices as a component of their box office draw

• The economic strategies of competing film sound companies

• The history and economics of failed sound technologies and standards

• The role of sound in the marketing of films

• Film sound and labor policies

• Music licensing in national and foreign markets

• The business strategies of foreign sound mixing studios

• The marketing of sound technologies, formats, and equipment (e.g., Dolby Atmos., THX, Nagras)

• The licensing of sound technology patents

• Economics and sound practices during the silent era

• The relationship between integrating new sound technologies with the economics of film production and/or exhibition


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 chairs:

Eric Dienstfrey
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Katherine Quanz
Wilfrid Laurier University

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