Communication and Culture | Hollywood II
C292 | 1151 | Chris Anderson


We live in a culture in which movies, TV, music, books, video games,
magazines, and advertising form an increasingly integrated media
environment.  Contemporary Hollywood movies are no longer really
successful unless they launch a consumer product line -- a soundtrack
album, computer games and web sites, amusement park rides, clothing
apparel, spin-offs and sequels -- and unless they perform in
international markets as well as in the U.S.  Celebrated filmmakers,
such as directors Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg, or producer
Jerry Bruckheimer move easily across the media -- creating TV series,
computer games, and commercials, in addition to feature films.  In
this environment, distinctions between art, entertainment, and
commerce that once seemed self-evident have become hopelessly blurred.

	Much has changed in Hollywood over the last few decades.
Movie studios have been bought and sold repeatedly by transnational
conglomerates that control every stage of the media business - from
the studios that produce films and television programs to the
television networks on which they appear. With worldwide distribution
and marketing, these conglomerates earn more money from international
markets than from the U.S. market - and more money from video games
and DVDs than from movies in theaters.  New distribution technologies
-- cable, satellites, home video, the Internet -- have turned the
family home into Hollywood's most lucrative exhibition market.  And
new digital production tools have enabled filmmakers to set up shop
anywhere they please.

	This course will explore the ways in which Hollywood has
adapted and survived in spite of the changes that have occurred over
the past few decades.  Although the entertainment industry has changed
dramatically since the days of the Hollywood studio system, the idea
of Hollywood as the center of popular cultural production survives
because it captures the diverse interests of the media industries in a
single, identifiable location.  In the second half of the century, the
term "Hollywood" has come to stand for several things:  a particular
location for cultural production, a style of storytelling and
filmmaking, a highly marketable type of entertainment, and a landmark
in the global cultural landscape.  In all these senses, Hollywood has
shown remarkable resilience, an ability to incorporate major changes
into the structures established first by a small band of entrepreneurs
nearly seventy years ago.

	Grades for this course will be based on a combination of exams
and written assignments.