Fil 3054 The New Hollywood

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FIL 3054 The New Hollywood
Spring 2012; Wed 1 pm – 4 pm; CU 109

3 Credits

Instructor: Dr. M. Pendakur

Office Hrs: Thr 10-1 & by appointment (held in CU 224)

Contact Information:
Examines Hollywood as an industry, its structures and policies in the production, distribution and exhibition sectors. Global expansion of Hollywood and its power relations between the U. S. government, Canada and other governments are considered. Part of the course will be devoted to survival strategies for independent filmmakers including alternative modes of financing independent films, contractual terms & conditions in production, distribution and exhibition to understand the intricacies of deal making. This is not a course about film aesthetics, watching and analyzing movies.
Required Readings:
Wasko, Janet. How Hollywood Works (Sage, 2007)
Weekly Periodical: Variety (at FAU Library); The Hollywood Reporter; also websites: Deadline Hollywood; The Wrap; The Motion Picture Association of America
Handouts, Reserve Room Readings and materials on Blackboard.
Suggested Readings:
Bach, Steven. Final Cut. Dreams and Disaster in the Making of HEAVEN'S GATE (New American Library, 1985)
Litwak, Mark. Dealmaking in the Film and Television Industry. From Negotiations to Financing Contracts (Silman-James Press, 1994).
McClintick, David. Indecent Exposure: A True Story of Hollywood and Wall Street (Dell, 1982).
McDonald, Paul and Wasko, Janet eds. The Contemporary Hollywood Film Industry (Blackwell, 2008).
Pendakur, Manjunath. Canadian Dreams and American Control: The Political Economy of the Canadian Film Industry (Wayne State University Press/Garamond Press, 1990).
Phillips, Julian. You’ll Never Eat Lunch in this town again (Signet, 1991).

Pierson, John. Spike, Mike, Slackers & Dykes. A guided tour across a decade of American independent cinema (The New York Times

Company, 1995).
Squire, Jason E. The Movie Business (3rd Edition, Fireside Books, 2006)

The Movie Business Book, Third Edition

Course Mechanics:

Each class period will consist of lecture and discussion on the readings assigned during the previous class period.

Students are expected to come to class, to be on time, and not to leave class early. Additional readings may be handed out either at the beginning or at the end of class. All announcements of relevance to the course and to the student's grade will be made either at the beginning or at the end of class. Thus, students coming to class late or leaving early will miss important information and will, as a consequence, jeopardize their own grade.

Students are expected to come to class prepared, i.e., they are expected to have done the reading assigned during the previous class period.

Assignments & Grading Policy:
Attendance, Participation (25%)

Two research papers: These papers will be evaluated for content, organization, effective argumentation, clarity, and sentence level concerns (i.e., grammar, spelling, syntax). They will also be evaluated for content, i.e., critical understanding of the ideas and/or theories under discussion. If any of these components is deemed unsatisfactory, the paper as a whole will be considered unsatisfactory.

Paper #1 Company Briefs (5 pages, double-spaced; 25% of final grade); Due: October 6th. Submit this in class.
Company briefs (5 pages) is a report on a company of your choice. Examine public records (annual reports, 10-k, business periodicals, court records...) and write an account of the current economic condition of the company. It should give a fair description of the company's operations, assets (physical, human, financial), ownership and other relationships, liabilities, legal and other problems, and its future plans.
Your analysis should consider how these various dimensions

can be read in terms of the macro economic issues of

competition, monopoly and public policy that the course is

concerned with. Do some thinking, take a position, and argue.

Paper #2 Take-home Essay: Film Financing Project

(10-12 pages, double-spaced; 50% of final grade).

Independents in recent years have used several creative ways of funding their first films. Assume you have been hired as an assistant in a newly formed company to produce independent features in the budget range of up to $1 million. Research how five feature films made by independents were financed between

2000-2008. Your report should include (a) comparison of their experiences in raising their funds, (b) deals the

producer/director made with distributors nationally and

internationally, (c) release pattern for the film in major

markets - NYC, Chicago, and LA (d) any ancillary market sale (TV, syndication, cable, satellite, Internet, etc.) and (e) your analysis and conclusions of the financing situation in the U.S. film industry.

Make-up policy:

There will be absolutely no make-up work permitted in this course. No extensions and incompletes are given in this course.

Grading Scale:
100-92: A

91-90: A-

89-88: B+

87-82: B

81-80: B-

79-78: C+

77-70: C

69-68: D+

67-62: D

61-60: D-

Below 60: F
Policy on Plagiarism:

Plagiarism, the presenting of the words or ideas of another person as one’s own, is a serious academic offense which may result in failure in a course or suspension from the University.

Quotation of another person’s words must be indicated in one of the standard ways. This applies to all quoted material, including passages, sentences, and important parts of sentences used verbatim. Do not paraphrase or virtually quote passages by changing a few words or the word order.

Relating the information in a quote by using different word or expressions, without paraphrasing, also requires citation.

As well, the use of another person’s ideas, even without quoting or paraphrasing, requires citation.

The source of all quoted matter and the source of all ideas and information that are taken from the work of another person and that are not a matter of general knowledge must be indicated by the proper use of reference notes. Remember this: When in doubt as to whether or not citation is required, it is better to be safe and use reference notes than not to use them.

If not familiar with the proper use of reference notes, either consult with your professor or consult one of the many reference sources available in the library (such as the MLA manual of style, the Chicago manual of style, or the APA (American Psychological Association) manual of style). Always inquire whether your professor has a particular stylistic preference regarding citations (that is, either MLA, Chicago style, or APA).

Remember this: Reference notes show that an idea or information came from a published source. Quotation marks show that the specific words of another person are being used. Students should be familiar with section 6C5-4.001 of the Florida Administrative Code (printed on p. 72 of the University Catalog), which describes the penalties incurred when students engage in academic irregularities such as plagiarism.
Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (A.D.A): In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) - Students who require special accommodations due to a disability to properly execute coursework must register with the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) located in Boca - SU 133 (561-297-3880), in Davie - MOD I (954-236-1222), or in Jupiter - SR 117 (561-799-8585) and follow all OSD procedures. (

Honor Code: Students at Florida Atlantic University are expected to maintain the highest ethical standards. Academic dishonesty, including cheating and plagiarism, is considered a serious breach of these ethical standards, because it interferes with the University mission to provide a high quality education in which no student enjoys an unfair advantage over any other. Academic dishonesty is also destructive of the University community, which is grounded in a system of mutual trust and places high value on personal integrity and individual responsibility. Harsh penalties are associated with academic dishonesty. For more information, see:

Week 1: Orientation; Film as a unique commodity; local and global film industries; tensions and public policy issues; national versus global film culture; development of underdevelopment. Information Sources in film industry research; problems and limitations.

Bagdikian, Ben. “The Lords of the Global Village”, The Nation, June 12, 1989, 805-20 (excerpt).

“Rupert Murdoch. Teen Idol! The Future of MySpace+Google, Ebay, Amazon, Yahoo, Apple…” Wired, July 2006, 145-164.
Eric Pooly, “The Last Tycoon: Inside Rupert Murdoch’s quest for the Wall Street Journal”, Time, Juy 9, 2007, 32-38.
Week 2:

Tom Schatz, “ The Studio System and Conglomerate Hollywood”, McDonald, Paul and Wasko, Janet. eds. The Contemporary Hollywood Film Industry (Blackwell, 2008), chapter 1, 13-42.

Wasko, Janet. How Hollywood Works (Sage, 2007)


Week 3: Historic development of the U.S. film industry; ownership and mechanisms of control; changing structures and policies; copyright and patents.
Read: Ronald V. Bettig, “Hollywood and Intellectual Property”, in McDonald and Wasko, chapter 12, 195-206.
Week 4: Industry Structure & Public Policy (cont’d)

Wasko, chapters 2 & 3.

Week 5: Government - industry relations in the USA and other countries; theory of competition; antitrust law: philosophy,Limitations to the laws and implementation issues. FTC, FCC, industry groups, political elites, think tanks, Lobby power, interlocking directors.
Read: TBA

Wasko, chapter 4

Pendakur, M. chapter 11 in McDonald and Wasko book.
Week 7 Oct 6

Financing and Production; Talent Agencies and Packagers;

Writing Agreements; Optioning;

Read: Wasko, chapter
Week 8: Tax Shelters, subsidies, investment units, pre-sale of territories, etc. Cases from Canada, W. Europe, and India.
Week 9: Co-productions; international agreements.
Read: Pendakur, M. Canadian Dreams and American Control, chapter 6, 194-221.
Week 10: Distribution & Exhibition: problems of assessing

appeal; standard exhibition contract; terms & problems

Distribution: types & functions, producer's deals;

fees; patterns of release.

Read: McDonald and Wasko, chapter 3, 63-83.
Week 11: Global Markets; Festivals: Sand, Sex and Money
Week 12: International Markets (cont’d)

Pendakur, "Dynamics of Cultural Policymaking" TBA

Falicov, “Latin America: How Mexico and Argentina Cope and Cooperate with the Behemoth of the North”, in McDonald and Wasko book, chapter 18.

Week 13 Nov 17

Planet Hollywood: Expansion
Read: McDonald, Ch. 13 & 14.
Week 14: Protectionism

Read: Wasko, chapter 5.
Week 15: Open for Discussion.
Week 16 Paper#2 Due Submit in Class

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