Films made for advertising purposes are among the most visible, and most elusive, modes of motion picture production. From early promotional experiments by Georges Méliès to Walter Ruttmann’s avant-garde advertisements in Weimar Germany to sponsored productions by global corporations, advertising films appear in an array of contexts and movements, adjacent to and in dialogue with narrative fiction cinema, documentary, and experimental cinema. While some theater owners, sponsors, and even filmmakers at times disavowed their work in the advertising field, many others saw persuasion as a noble profession, one that pushed the medium of cinema to its technological, social, and cultural limits.
For this one-day workshop, held on Wednesday, April 11, immediately prior to the Orphan Film Symposium, we are seeking papers on the advertising film in its myriad forms. Possible topics include:
· production histories of specific films and campaigns (including films for and by racial and ethnic minority groups)
· company- or industry-centered accounts of the use of cinema as an advertising medium
· exhibition and reception studies of advertising film in theatrical and nontheatrical contexts
· close readings of extant advertising films
· comparative approaches to other advertising media
· inquiries on the relationship between advertising film and documentary, or the avant-garde
· assessments of the “use” of advertising film
· feminist approaches to the production and reception of advertising media
While we welcome traditional fifteen-minute research presentations, we are also interested in receiving proposals that include (short) screenings, focus on methodological issues inherent in studying advertising film, or discuss important, but little known, collections of advertising film.
Please submit 300-word proposals, plus a list of five key texts (films, collections, or scholarship) you will consult in your presentations and a brief (150-word) bio to [log in to unmask] Proposals are due by December 1, 2017, and notifications will be sent by December 15, 2017.
Workshop organization: Martin Johnson / Matthew Ogonoski / Joachim Schätz / Patrick Vonderau / Yvonne Zimmermann
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