Transforming European cinema : transnational filmmaking in the era of global conglomerate Hollywood
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The film industries in Europe have undergone a series of fundamental structural and strategic changes during the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. This study looks at the nature of some of these changes, focusing on the Big Five film producing countries in Europe: the U.K., France, West Germany and the reunified Germany, Italy and Spain. It examines how the transformation of the U.S. film industry from “The New Hollywood” of the 1960s and 1970s into “Conglomerate Hollywood” in the 1980s, and into “Global Conglomerate Hollywood” in the 1990s affected the Big Five film industries in Europe. In this context, the question is raised: How have these changes influenced European development strategies and practices, leading to the creation of an increasing number of transnational motion pictures originating in, and produced in collaboration with, these film industries. The study finds that conglomeration and globalization trends within the U.S. entertainment industry have gone hand in hand with the changes observable in the Big Five European film industries in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. These changes include, but are not limited to, an altered definition of talent and the creative process, as well as notions of authorship, in European cinema. They also encompass an increased emphasis on an often neglected phase of film production: the development process, which is typically comprised of the conception of an idea or the acquisition of an existing fiction or non-fiction property to adapt, the research of potential markets and audiences, the writing and rewriting of a script, the casting of a movie’s lead characters, and the raising of production financing. To examine the nature and extent of the perceived changes, the study relies primarily on academic literature on the U.S. and European film industries; European and U.S. trade publications; as well as observations from several years of attending the Berlinale Co-Production Market and the European Film Market (both part of the Berlin International Film Festival) and the Marché du Film (part of the Cannes Film Festival). It also draws from a number of oral histories of industry professionals from both continents conducted by the author.
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