Studying the blockbuster event movie is now an enterprise too vast for any individual researcher. The complexities and scale of globally-released mega movies, all the detailed craft that goes into them and the franchises, fans and hoopla that accompanies release are simply too big. It takes a dedicated and coordinated team to understand the whole cycle of production, texts and distribution.
The editors of the book are Sean Cubitt (Professor of Media and Communications at the University of Melbourne, Australia), Barry King (Professor of Communications at Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand) and Thierry Jutel (Program Director and Lecturer in Media Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand). They are the founding members of the MEDIANZ association for media studies in Aotearoa, New Zealand, and they have much editorial experience between them including anthologies on The Piano (Cambridge), The Third Text Reader (Continuum/Athlone) and journal special issues on special effects (Screen), science fiction (Futures) and global media arts (Third Text). Between them they are on the boards of a number of refereed journals including Screen, The Journal of Visual Communication, International Journal of Cultural Studies and Third Text.
Peter Jackson's epic trilogy, the biggest film event of the 21st century, turned the best-selling book of the 20th century into a popular, critical and financial success all over again. This comprehensive collection draws together twenty-five essays on the making, the meaning and the reception of The Lord of the Rings.
The book will fall into two sections. It opens with a dossier of production documents, press kits, interviews, reviews, box-office statistics and examples of both franchise and fan-produced merchandise. The essays section includes cutting-edge analyses of themes and investigates the financial and political aspects of production and distribution, and the techniques and organization of production and postproduction, the business and the pleasures and meanings of the film in the public realm, including marketing and advertising of the film and its multimedia spin-offs, and audiences from online fandom to the international box-office.
Readers will be urged to understand the relationship between these aspects of film study as the constraints and challenges to creativity among makers and viewers, and to increase their enjoyment of the film through a deeper acquaintance with its processes of production and their own processes of understanding.
More closely integrated, and more attuned to the global marketplace than the older blockbusters, the event film, with its attention-grabbing pitch for the status of news, will be one of the most influential media forms of the coming years. These meticulous essays combine with Peter Jackson's remarkable trilogy to form a unique entry to the study of 21st century media.
The book will be of immense value to film teachers and students at upper secondary and university levels and to scholars and students of media studies, communications, cultural studies and the sociology of the media. It will be written in a manner that will also attract informed fans.
List of contents
Since I did not see the final list of contents I'll have to base myself on the information I found so far on the internet over the last few years. I'll be updating this content list once I have the book in my hands.
Introduction: how to study an event film Harriet Margolis
I. A gathering of materials
II. Creative industries / National heroes
III. Stardom and the event film
IV. Making a film trilogy
V. Reading for meaning: The Lord of the Rings, Middle-earth, and Aotearoa New Zealand
VI. There, back again, and beyond: production infrastructures and extended exploitation
VII. The Lord of the Rings: credits, awards, reviews
List of contributors
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