Below the Stars: How the Labor of Actors and Extras Shapes Media Production
Austin: University of Texas Press.
Abstract: Despite their considerable presence in Hollywood, extras and working actors have received scant attention within film and media studies as significant contributors to the history of the industry. Looking not to the stars but to these supporting players in film, television, and, recently, streaming programming, Below the Stars highlights such actors as precarious laborers whose work as freelancers has critically shaped the entertainment industry throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. By addressing ordinary actors as a labor force, Kate Fortmueller proposes a media industry history that positions underrepresented and quotidian experiences as the structural elements of the culture and business of Hollywood.
From Riches to Rags: The Decline of Venezuelan Telenovelas
ABSTRACT: In 1994, economist Abdel Güerere classified telenovelas as Venezuela’s most important non-traditional export and envisioned a prosperous future for this media product. In 1999 the country produced 8–12 telenovelas a year. Today no telenovelas are produced in Venezuela and the country’s once powerful telenovela industry is virtually invisible in the international market. Based on […]
Hollywood Shutdown: Production, Distribution, and Exhibition in the Time of Covid
Abstract: Hollywood Shutdown examines how the COVID-19 pandemic affected film and television production, influenced trends in distribution, reshaped theatrical exhibition, and altered labor practices. From January movie theater closures in China to the bumpy September release of Mulan on the Disney+ streaming platform, Fortmueller probes various choices made by studios, networks, unions and guilds, distributors, […]