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Utrecht Centre for Television in Transition


7 October 2013

SiFTI: Success in the Film and Television Industries

Willemien Sanders and Eggo Müller will present their research into ‘Success in the Film and Television Industries’ (SIFTI: www.sifti.no). Aim of this project – a collaboration of partners from Lillehammer University College (project leader), the University of West England, the University of Southern Denmark and Utrecht University – is to study production cultures in private film and television companies, in order to increase our understanding of how this sector operates and to improve its competitiveness.

The main research questions are as follows: What characterizes the production and marketing processes behind films and television programs that can be described as successful, in regard to critical acclaim or box-office results, or both? What innovative measures do private film and television companies take to stay ahead of competitors? What are the most important drivers for achieving success in the private film and television sector, and what obstacles need to be overcome?

This project focuses on the current situation in Norway, but in order to establish critical vantage points, the project includes both historical and cross-national comparative dimensions. The former examines what caused the growth and demise of prominent private film companies in Norway during selected historical periods. The latter is a study that investigates successful film and television companies in present-day Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK.

The presentation will include the design of the project and will then zoom in on the sub study for the Dutch market. The more general scope of the discussion will be types and methods in production studies.

The meeting is planned as a follow-up to the September-session with Wouter Groot (HU), where we discussed ‘action research’ developing business models for start-ups in the media sector. This meeting is the first in a row of sessions dedicated to question of methodology.

Recommended readings for those not yet familiar with production studies:

Caldwell, John T. 2009. “Cultures of Production. Studying Industry’s Deep Texts, Reflexive Rituals, and Managed Self-disclosures.” In Media Industries History, Theory, and Method, edited by Jennifer Holt and Lisa Perren, 199–212. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Mayer, Vicki. 2009. Bringing the Social Back In Studies of Production Cultures and Social Theory. In Production Studies. Cultural Studies of Media Industries, edited by Vicki Mayer, Miranda J. Banks, and John T. Caldwell, 15-23. New York: Routledge.

For those not afraid of reading German academic prose, P. Vonderau’s overview over the field of production studies in the latest issue of Montage/AV might be interesting. Copy will distributed soon.

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