Brokerage and Production in the American and French Entertainment Industries

Brokerage and Production in the American and French Entertainment Industries : Invisible Hands in Cultural Markets

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Invisible Hands in Cultural Markets shines unprecedented light on the activity of talent representatives and production professionals in the American and French film and television industries. Agents and other talent brokers, studio executives, independent producers, casting directors, and film offices-all operate and interact behind the scenes in ways that are consequential to the making of artistic careers and cultural products. But even as these professionals play a crucial role in the entertainment industry, their activity is usually invisible and relatively unknown. This collection of empirically grounded contributions by established and up-and-coming American and French scholars reveals their day-to-day reality. It presents how entertainment industry professionals work and what they experience, demonstrates the ways in which they build relationships with artists and other counterparts, and examines the role they play in shaping the content of film and television projects. Taken together, the chapters put the brokerage of talent and content in comparative perspective.
They also challenge taken-for-granted approaches to the study of cultural industries and explore the complex intertwining between commercial and artistic logics.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 220 pages
  • 152.4 x 231.14 x 22.86mm | 430.91g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 5 Tables, unspecified; 1 Illustrations, black and white
  • 0739193139
  • 9780739193136

Table of contents

Chapter 1: Introduction: Cultural Brokerage in the American and French Film and Television Industries, Violaine Roussel and Denise Bielby Part I. Agents, Agenting, Agencies Chapter 2: Twenty-Four Years of Agenting, Harry J. Ufland Chapter 3: Talent Agencies and the Market for Screenwriters: From the Origins of Packaging to Today's Transformations, Denise Bielby Chapter 4: The Talent Agent's Role in Producing Artists' Symbolic and Commercial Value in France, Delphine Naudier Chapter 5: The Market for Actresses: Gender, Reputation, and Intermediation in French Pornography, Mathieu Trachman Chapter 6: The Emergence of Hollywood Agents, Tom Kemper Chapter 7: "It's Not the Network: It's the Relationship": The Relational Work of Hollywood Talent Agents, Violaine Roussel Part II. Behind the Scenes of Production Chapter 8: The Choice between a Good Job and a Good Life, Bill Mechanic Chapter 9: The Importance of Being Ordinary: Brokering Talent in the New-TV Era, Laura Grindstaff and Vicki Mayer Chapter 10: "This Is the Girl": The Social Division of Recruitment in the French Film Industry, Vincent Cardon Chapter 11: Film Offices as Brokers: Cultivating and Connecting Local Talent to Hollywood, Candace Jones and Pacey Foster Chapter 12: Overlapping Temporalities in Project-Based Work: The Case of Independent Producers in the French Movie Industry, Laure de Verdalle
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Review quote

Movies are the heart of the entertainment business, a business that revolves around notoriously elusive notions of 'talent.' This fascinating collection of case studies peeks behind the screen to show us how talent is identified, valued, and mobilized by professionals who unobtrusively influence every element of the production process. Each chapter features richly detailed descriptions of how the business works and conceptually sophisticated arguments about the inscrutable relationship between art and commerce. -- Michael Curtin, University of California, Santa Barbara In Brokerage and Production in the American and French Entertainment Industries, Violaine Roussel and Denise Bielby have pulled back the normally unmovable curtain cloaking the true inner workings of day to day Hollywood to enable the layman to see the wizards at work, doing the good, the bad, and the ugly. -- Bob Bookman, Paradigm Agency This is a book for anyone interested in the inner workings of the entertainment industry. It shows in stunning detail how the relationship, that somewhat ineffable realm of interpersonal dialogue and exchange, is and always has been at the very heart of the entertainment business. -- Michael Renov, University of Southern California
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About Denise D. Bielby

Violaine Roussel is professor of sociology at the University of Paris VIII. Denise Bielby is professor of sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
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