Dying of Encouragement: From Pitch to Production in Hollywood
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CitationRussell, Rupert Henry. 2013. Dying of Encouragement: From Pitch to Production in Hollywood. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
AbstractSocial scientists have long held that the media has a profound effect on modern societies. However, the cultural production of motion pictures and television shows has largely been neglected as a topic of inquiry. The following dissertation seeks to fill this lacuna in the current research by offering a systematic, comprehensive, and comparative analysis of the industry known colloquially as "Hollywood." Specifically, this dissertation seeks to uncover the matrix of causal processes that filter the infinite array of potential television shows and motion pictures to the chosen few that are selected for production. This process is known as "development and green lighting." Drawing from 110 interviews with writers, directors, producers, agents, managers, studio executives, network executives, financiers, and assistants who had been involved in the development and green lighting process, I explore not just decision making but the social milieu within which those decisions were made. Over the course of three chapters, three distinct social processes are examined in turn: institutional scripts ("Formulas"), status ("Stars"), and social capital ("Relationships"). Throughout the thesis, a new approach to cultural production is carried out, based on an inductive methodology where micro-level social processes are examined in the context of macro-level struggles over legitimacy, power, and resources.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:11158240
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