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level7

7AAIDC04 Digital Media Production Cultures

Module convenor: Dr Sarah Atkinson
Credits:
20
Teaching pattern: Ten one-hour lectures and ten one-hour seminars
Module description:

The creative media industries are in a constant state of change, brought about by rapid technological innovation, the rise in new digital working methodologies, the increasingly dynamic relationship between audience and producer, cross and transmedia modes of production & distribution, and economic factors -such as a tax incentives which have been put in place to attract and influence the locations of production which has lead to changing work behaviours characteristic of an itinerant workforce.

This module enables students to examine and interrogate the new spaces of production (with an emphasis on digital and online) in project-based creative media industries as they, and the workers within them, respond to these changes, looking across the film, game, music, broadcast domains - from mainstream media production to independent freelance work.

Through case-studies, the module will examine how Digital Media Production communities of practice form, function, collaborate and represent themselves within both physical and online spaces (with a specific emphasis on the online/virtual and digital modes of communication, and innovation). The module will explore how communities offer support and initiate instances of resistance in both on and offline spaces, in the absence of human resource and staff development infrastructures.

Draft teaching syllabus

  1. Introducing Critical Production Studies & Critical Media Industry Studies
  2. From Film Practice to Data Process
  3. At the frontiers of Digital Film & Video
  4. Spectacular work in the VFX and games industries
  5. Industry Convergence, Transmedia and innovation spaces
  6. Representational practices, texts, aesthetics and the politics of invisibility
  7. Collaboration, Co-working and Co-creation
  8. Audiences, fans and publics
  9. The hope economy – volunteering, interning, labour and playbour
  10. ‘Live’, ‘Event’ and ‘Experience’ – emergent hybrid economies

Module aims

  • To develop students’ capacity to analyse, critique and participate in Critical Production Studies debates concerning the new digital spaces of production and communication in project-based creative media industries through theory and key concepts;
  • To foster a critical awareness of, and reflexive responses to, contemporary models of digital work, digital production and digital representation in the project-based creative media industries;
  • To enable students to gain a critical awareness of the changing nature of creative media production and the impact of societal, technological, cultural, political and economic factors at play in the new digital economy.

Learning outcomes

  1. The ability to identify and critically analyse the new spaces of digital production and communication in project-based creative media industries with a particular focus upon the film, game, music, and broadcast domains; 
  2. The ability to apply key theories and research methodologies of Critical Production Studies;
  3. The ability to synthesise information from various media forms in order to develop a critical awareness of how the creative media industries are responding to change within the context of the new digital economy;
  4. The ability to critically evaluate how the language, codes, structures and corporate frameworks of media industries impact upon how communities of practice form, function, collaborate and represent themselves within both physical and online spaces;
  5. The capacity to formulate own arguments and questions in the field of Critical Production Studies.

Core reading

  • Atkinson, S. and Kennedy, H. (eds.) (2016) Participations Journal of Audience & Reception Studies: Special themed issue, “Inside-the-scenes: The rise of experiential cinema” (May 2016).
  • Banks, Miranda, Conor, Bridget and Mayer, Vicki (2016) Production Studies, The Sequel! New York: Routledge.
  • Caldwell, J.T. (2008) Production Culture: Industrial Reflexivity and Critical Practice in Film and Television, Durham: Duke University Press.
  • Deuze, Mark. 2007. Media Work. Cambridge: Polity.
  • Deuze, Mark. (2011) Managing media work New York: Sage
  • Elmer, Greg. & Gasher, Mike. (Eds.) (2005) Runaway Productions and Foreign Location Shooting. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. Lanham.
  • Fuchs, C. (2014) Digital Labour and Karl Marx, New York: Routledge.
  • Hesmondhalgh, David. and Baker, Sarah. (2011) Creative Labour: Media Work in Three Cultural Industries (Culture, Economy and the Social), London: Routledge.
  • Holt, Jennifer and Alisa Perren. (eds.) (2009) Media Industries: History, Theory, and Method, edited by Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Jenkins, Henry. (2006) Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide, Henry Jenkins, New York: New York University Press.
  • Johnson, Derek, Kompare, Derek and Santo, Avi. (2014) Making Media Work: Cultures of Management in the Entertainment Industries. New York: New York University Press.
  • Mann, Denise. (2014) Wired TV: Laboring Over an Interactive Future, edited by New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.
  • Mayer, Vicki. (2011) Below the Line: Producers and Production Studies in the New Television Economy, Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
  • Mayer, Vicki., Miranda.J Banks and John.T Caldwell (eds.) (2009) Production Studies: Cultural Studies of Media Industries, New York: Routledge.
  • Navas, Eduardo., Gallagher, Owen., Burrough, Xtine.  (eds). (2015) The Routledge Companion to Remix Studies, London: Routledge.
  • Scholz, T. (ed.), (2012) Digital Labor: The Internet as Playground and Factory, Abingdon: Routledge.

Assessment

1 x 4,000 word essay (100%)

 The modules run in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand so there is no guarantee every module will run. Module descriptions and information may vary depending between years.

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