Universal Women: Filmmaking and Institutional Change in Early Hollywood

University of Illinois Press
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Between 1912 and 1919, the Universal Film Manufacturing Company credited eleven women with directing at least 170 films, but by the mid-1920s all of these directors had left Universal and only one still worked in the film industry at all. Two generations of cinema historians have either overlooked or been stymied by the mystery of why Universal first systematically supported and promoted women directors and then abruptly reversed that policy.

In this trailblazing study, Mark Garrett Cooper approaches the phenomenon as a case study in how corporate movie studios interpret and act on institutional culture in deciding what it means to work as a man or woman. In focusing on issues of institutional change, Cooper challenges interpretations that explain women's exile from the film industry as the inevitable result of a transhistorical sexism or as an effect of a broadly cultural revision of gendered work roles. Drawing on a range of historical and sociological approaches to studying corporate institutions, Cooper examines the relationship between institutional organization and aesthetic conventions during the formative years when women filmmakers such as Ruth Ann Baldwin, Cleo Madison, Ruth Stonehouse, Elise Jane Wilson, and Ida May Park directed films for Universal.

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About the author

Mark Garrett Cooper is an associate professor of English and film and media studies and the director of the Moving Image Research Collections at the University of South Carolina. He is the author of Love Rules: Silent Hollywood and the Rise of the Managerial Class.

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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Illinois Press
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Published on
Oct 1, 2010
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Pages
264
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ISBN
9780252090875
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Language
English
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Genres
Performing Arts / Film / Direction & Production
Performing Arts / Film / History & Criticism
Performing Arts / General
Social Science / Women's Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Are homecoming games and freshman composition, Twitter feeds and scholarly monographs really mortal enemies? Media U presents a provocative rethinking of the development of American higher education centered on the insight that universities are media institutions. Tracing over a century of media history and the academy, Mark Garrett Cooper and John Marx argue that the fundamental goal of the American research university has been to cultivate audiences and convince them of its value.

Media U shows how universities have appropriated new media technologies to convey their message about higher education, the aims of research, and campus life. The need to create an audience stamps each of the university’s steadily proliferating disciplines, shapes its structure, and determines its division of labor. Cooper and Marx examine how the research university has sought to inform publics and convince them of its value to American society, from the rise of football and Great Books programs in the early twentieth century through a midcentury communications complex linking big science, New Criticism, and design, from the co-option of 1960s student activist media through the early-twenty-first-century reception of MOOCs and the latest promises of technological disruption. The book considers the ways in which universities have used media platforms to reconcile national commitments to equal opportunity with corporate capitalism as well as the vexed relationship of democracy and hierarchy. By exploring how media engagement brought the American university into being and continues to shape academic labor, Media U presents essential questions and resources for reimagining the university and confronting its future.

From a co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios—the Academy Award–winning studio behind Coco, Inside Out, and Toy Story—comes an incisive book about creativity in business and leadership for readers of Daniel Pink, Tom Peters, and Chip and Dan Heath.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Huffington Post • Financial Times • Success • Inc. • Library Journal

Creativity, Inc. is a manual for anyone who strives for originality and the first-ever, all-access trip into the nerve center of Pixar Animation—into the meetings, postmortems, and “Braintrust” sessions where some of the most successful films in history are made. It is, at heart, a book about creativity—but it is also, as Pixar co-founder and president Ed Catmull writes, “an expression of the ideas that I believe make the best in us possible.”

For nearly twenty years, Pixar has dominated the world of animation, producing such beloved films as the Toy Story trilogy, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Up, WALL-E, and Inside Out, which have gone on to set box-office records and garner thirty Academy Awards. The joyousness of the storytelling, the inventive plots, the emotional authenticity: In some ways, Pixar movies are an object lesson in what creativity really is. Here, in this book, Catmull reveals the ideals and techniques that have made Pixar so widely admired—and so profitable.

As a young man, Ed Catmull had a dream: to make the first computer-animated movie. He nurtured that dream as a Ph.D. student at the University of Utah, where many computer science pioneers got their start, and then forged a partnership with George Lucas that led, indirectly, to his co-founding Pixar in 1986. Nine years later, Toy Story was released, changing animation forever. The essential ingredient in that movie’s success—and in the thirteen movies that followed—was the unique environment that Catmull and his colleagues built at Pixar, based on leadership and management philosophies that protect the creative process and defy convention, such as:

• Give a good idea to a mediocre team, and they will screw it up. But give a mediocre idea to a great team, and they will either fix it or come up with something better.
• If you don’t strive to uncover what is unseen and understand its nature, you will be ill prepared to lead.
• It’s not the manager’s job to prevent risks. It’s the manager’s job to make it safe for others to take them.
• The cost of preventing errors is often far greater than the cost of fixing them.
• A company’s communication structure should not mirror its organizational structure. Everybody should be able to talk to anybody.
As divorce rates in the United States reach alarming levels, the institution of marriage receives more and more criticism as an unrealistic endeavor. However, the contributors to this volume view marriage as a vital social institution, not merely one kind of intimate relationship. They argue for stronger support through legal and policy reform in order to strengthen for the benefit of individuals, communities, and the nation. The contributors address hot-button issues such as same-sex marriage, effects of divorce on children, and the role of fathers in addition to issues such as the permanence of marriage, covenant marriage, and the role of religion in marriage. This work brings together the work of respected legal scholars and social scientists, who articulate why we should care about strengthening the institution of marriage, what we can do, and what challenges we face.

Despite dramatic social change, marriage remains a critical social institution that promotes individual, family and community well being. The contributors to this book believe that marriage deserves our best efforts to revitalize it instead of a conscious agenda of benign neglect. Here, assembled in one place, is a clear pro-marriage research and policy agenda aimed at revitalizing this insitution based on principles of the best interests of children, husbands and wives, and society at large. Contributors from both the social sciences and legal studies illuminate critical issues from a variety of important perspectives, providing a comprehensive and respectful treatment of a timely and often divisive subject.

This enhanced eBook transforms The Making of Star Wars into an immersive multimedia experience worthy of the original film. It features exclusive content pulled from the Lucasfilm archives by author J. W. Rinzler:
 
• 26 minutes of rare behind-the-scenes video*
• 29 minutes of rare audio interviews with the cast and crew
• New bonus photos and artwork not found in the print edition
 
After the 1973 success of American Graffiti, filmmaker George Lucas made the fateful decision to pursue a longtime dream project: a space fantasy movie unlike any ever produced. Lucas envisioned a swashbuckling SF saga inspired by the Flash Gordon serials, classic American westerns, the epic cinema of Japanese auteur Akira Kurosawa, and mythological heroes. Its original title: The Star Wars. The rest is history, and how it was made is a story as entertaining and exciting as the movie that has enthralled millions for more than thirty years—a story that has never been told as it was meant to be. Until now.
 
Using his unprecedented access to the Lucasfilm Archives and its trove of “lost” interviews, photos, production notes, factoids, and anecdotes, Star Wars scholar J. W. Rinzler hurtles readers back in time for a one-of-a-kind behind-the-scenes look at the nearly decade-long quest of George Lucas and his key collaborators to make the “little” movie that became a phenomenon. It’s all here:
 
• the evolution of the now-classic story and characters—including “Annikin Starkiller” and “a huge green-skinned monster with no nose and large gills” named Han Solo
• excerpts from George Lucas’s numerous, ever-morphing script drafts
• the birth of Industrial Light & Magic, the special-effects company that revolutionized Hollywood filmmaking
• the studio-hopping and budget battles that nearly scuttled the entire project
• the director’s early casting saga, which might have led to a film spoken mostly in Japanese—including the intensive auditions that won the cast members their roles and made them legends
• the grueling, nearly catastrophic location shoot in Tunisia and the subsequent breakneck dash at Elstree Studios in London
• the who’s who of young film rebels who pitched in to help—including Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg, and Brian DePalma
 
But perhaps most exciting, and rarest of all, are the interviews conducted before and during production and immediately after the release of Star Wars—in which George Lucas, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Sir Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, composer John Williams, effects masters Dennis Muren, Richard Edlund, and John Dykstra, Phil Tippett, Rick Baker, legendary production designer John Barry, and a host of others share their fascinating tales from the trenches and candid opinions of the film that would ultimately change their lives.
 
No matter how you view the spectrum of this phenomenon, The Making of Star Wars stands as a crucial document—rich in fascination and revelation—of a genuine cinematic and cultural touchstone.

*Video may not play on all readers. Please check your user manual for details.
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