Rutgers University Press
Producing is the first book to provide a comprehensive overview of the myriad roles that producers have played in Hollywood, from the dawn of the twentieth century to the present day. It introduces readers to the colorful figures who helped to define and reimagine the producer’s role, including inventors like Thomas Edison, entrepreneurs like Walt Disney, and mavericks like Roger Corman. Along the way, we get an illuminating picture of the creative, managerial, and financial decisions that producers make.
Of all the job titles listed in the opening and closing screen credits, producer is certainly the most amorphous. There are businessmen (and women)-producers, writer-director- and movie-star-producers; producers who work for the studio; executive producers whose reputation and industry clout alone gets a project financed (though their day-to-day participation in the project may be negligible). The job title, regardless of the actual work involved, warrants a great deal of prestige in the film business; it is the credited producers, after all, who collect the Oscar for Best Picture. But what producers do and what they don’t or won’t do varies from project to project.
Producing is the first book to provide a comprehensive overview of the roles that producers have played in Hollywood, from the dawn of the twentieth century to the present day. It introduces readers to the colorful figures who helped to define and reimagine the producer’s role, including inventors like Thomas Edison, moguls like Darryl F. Zanuck, entrepreneurs like Walt Disney, and mavericks like Roger Corman. Readers also get an inside look at the less glamorous jobs producers have often performed: shepherding projects through many years of development, securing financial backers, and supervising movie shoots.
The latest book in the acclaimed Behind the Silver Screen series, Producingincludes essays written by seven film scholars, each an expert in a different period of cinema history. Together, they give readers a full picture of how the art and business of producing films has changed over time—and how the producer’s myriad job duties continue to evolve in the digital era.
This volume 7, in the series Behind the Silver Screen on the subject of film-making, spotlights producing. The job title of film producer dates back to the turn of the twentieth century in the context of the age of invention. In the classical era (1928-1946), movies were still fundamentally viewed as industrial products or productions, so credit for a given work put industrial and copyright ownership over individual creative inspiration. With the evolution of studio styles came an affirmation, within Hollywood at least, of the creative input of the movie producer. By the 1980s, producers could be described as having “decisive personalities for no other reason than they need to be expedient more often than most other people”. Lewis notes that such heroic figures may now be obsolete in twenty-first-century Hollywood in an industry that adheres to a business model in which producers primarily mediate relationships between the private and public sectors, between and among parallel industries, venues, and formats. What exactly producers produce continues to be difficult to discern. If iconic models like Irving Thalberg--little formal education but uncanny instinct--still survive, it is in the boutique and independent outfits. Annotation ©2016 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)