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December 2014, Week 5


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Jonathan Wroot <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 30 Dec 2014 10:07:45 +0000
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A reminder that the deadline for the following CFP is 20th January 2015.

Informal queries and questions are welcomed prior to proposal submission.

Dr Jonathan Wroot
Sessional Lecturer, Film Studies,
Institute of Humanities and Creative Arts,
University of Worcester.
PhD awarded by UEA
Email: [log in to unmask]


Distributors, Discs and Disciples: Exploring the Home Media Renaissance

23rd May 2015, University of Worcester


Distribution is often been seen as the “invisible link” in the media
industry, in terms of facilitating how films, television shows and other
texts reach audiences. The rise of digital platforms, such as online rental
services and bit torrents, recently changed this view and digital
distribution is the focus of several recent publications. However, there
has not been a mass shift towards purely digital media, and physical media
releases are still sought out by fans and consumers. Special editions and
box-sets for DVDs and Blu-Rays are frequently hyped up on social media, and
from many countries around the world. Past formats also make for
collectible items, such as VHS, Laserdisc, and HD-DVD. Terminology related
to physical media hugely affects perceptions of exhibition and consumption,
such as ‘box-sets’, ‘binge-watching’, and ‘marathon’.

Distributors have been recognised as the ones making all this possible.
Media distribution labels often promote their own actions; or their actions
are reported on by critics and journalists; or fans and consumers directly
respond to their releases and related activities. Such activity takes place
within a variety of contexts – from film festivals to conventions and Q&A
sessions; from social media, to dedicated websites and themed public
attractions. This also occurs in relation to a variety of media texts –
from newer releases to older titles; from films previously unavailable, to
those regularly watched and celebrated by many.

The result of the raising of the profile of distributors has been a Home
Media Renaissance. This exists not only as an alternative to online digital
media exhibition options, but as one that occurs alongside them. In
addition to the recent academic study of legitimate and illegitimate
methods of online downloading and streaming, the simultaneous desire to own
physical media is prevalent.

The aim of this symposium is to discuss and debate how and why distributors
are becoming so prolific in an increasingly digital age. Is this activity a
reaction to shifts towards downloading and streaming? Are consumers
increasingly attracted to these forms of media, or are distributors
desperate to maintain their interest? Can it last?

Case studies and observations of particular titles are encouraged – whether
they are films, television shows, or other media – and concern a particular
genre, national context, authorship figure, or other categorisation. This
can take the shape of a 20 minute paper, or a shorter presentation – for
example, as part of a panel of lightning talks or speed-geeking.

Other potential topics could cover, but are not limited to:

Distribution Labels
Home Media Formats
Exhibition Methods
Consumption Habits
Fandom (e.g. social media, blogs, communities and groups, etc)
Marketing and Promotion
Creativity and Production within Distribution and Marketing
Critical Reception and Other Reactions
Awards and Recognition

Any particular case study is welcomed - whether it relates to a particular
distributor, film, genre, national cinema, or other category.

Any research perspective is welcomed - whether it is from academics already
published in these areas, or early career researchers.

All topics proposed will also be eligible for inclusion within an edited
collection. The subject of the symposium has already gained early interest
from some publishers.

Proposals should be sent via email to [log in to unmask] Proposals
should be no more than 200 words, with a brief biographical statement (100
words) attached. The deadline for these is 30th January 2015. Decisions of
acceptance will be sent out by the end of February/early March. There will
be the opportunity to extend the length of the symposium, and potentially
host it at a different location, depending on the number of proposals.

Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
University of Alabama: