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HRC Seminar: Marketing the Movies: Promotion, Advertising and Film Studies

saturday 24 february 2007, 09:30-18:30, graduate space, 4th floor, humanities

More so than many other kinds of art, films exist primarily as commercial entities, with for-profit enterprises producing and distributing the vast majority of the works which are seen throughout the world. Selling these products to audiences often entails more money (and some would say, creativity) than goes into the production of the films themselves. Despite the prominence in film culture of movie posters, theatrical trailers, and television commercials for upcoming releases, relatively little research has been done within film studies on film marketing itself. Promotion has heretofore been used mainly as a supplementary component of reception studies, with materials such as studio guidebooks or staged promotional events being typically presented as constituting “useful evidence as to how the company involved viewed the film at the time,” to quote Colin McArthur, or helping to explain the journalistic reception of the films in question.

This event seeks to break from this pattern of using the promotion of films in such ways and to shift the critical focus to the materials and practices themselves, to treat them as the object of study while also reflecting on the ways in which they can, and should, be used as research resources. How do they go about getting people to see movies? How have they functioned and changed throughout the history of the medium? How do they work in differing national and cultural contexts? How should they be used to study films?

Registration fee includes refreshments, lunch and wine reception. Conference website

For more details, contact Sue Dibben on ext. 23401 or email