CFP: Velvet Light Trap: Production Cultures

Call for Papers: The Velvet Light Trap Issue #80: “Production Cultures”

Submissions due: August 15, 2016.

In the introduction to their edited book on production studies, Vicki Mayer, Miranda Banks, and John T. Caldwell argue that “the off-screen production of media is itself a cultural production, mythologized and branded much like the onscreen textual culture that media industries produce.” This has never been more true than in the current moment.

The production process – aided by the proliferation of social media – has become increasingly visible. Long before movies, games, comic book issues, or television series are released, audiences have already been exposed to, and have opined over, casting choices, false starts, locations, script drafts, and various other aspects of the production process. Additionally, the development of cinematic universes has caused the cultures of production to become increasingly complex, resulting in productions that are both more global and transmedia-minded. This raises new questions about power and labor as new relationships are forged between production capitals, and workers who have traditionally functioned independently of each other must come together to create transmedia stories. In addition, the newly-heightened visibility of the production process, and the consolidation of the production studies field, emphasizes the need to reexamine and evaluate production cultures of the past.

This issue of The Velvet Light Trap seeks historical and contemporary studies of media production. Submissions should engage with the above issues of increased complexity, visibility, and ubiquity, in addition to new questions. We invite scholars to submit work that not only deepens our current understanding of production studies, but also challenges our assumptions about what production cultures are, and the types of questions that should be asked about them. We would also ask scholars to consider how issues of gender, race, and sexuality function beyond the screen and contextualize these issues within the production process.

Topics may include but are not limited to:
· Relationships between producers and consumers
· Negotiating professional identity
· Evolution of production
· Production communities
· Creative hierarchies within cinematic universes
· Industry lore related to specific productions
· Issues of gender, race, sexuality, and/or disability
· Labor relations, unions, and guilds
· Below-the-line labor
· Below-the-line labor
· Failed productions/Fired producers
· Disputes between producers and creators
· Unpaid labor and intern culture
· Contracts and other legal issues
· Labor of practical effects
· Genre-specific work identities
· Video game production cultures
· Stunt work
· Production and publicity of star texts
· Gender and exploitation in music cultures
· Production of user-generated media
· Cultures of documentary film production
· Cultures of live production (sports, news, live musicals)

Submission Guidelines:

Submissions should be between 8,000 and 10,000 words, formatted in Chicago style. Please submit an electronic copy of the paper, along with a one-page abstract, both saved as a Microsoft Word file. Remove any identifying information so that the submission is suitable for anonymous review. The entire essay, including block quotations and notes, should be double-spaced. Quotations not in English should be accompanied by translations. Photocopies of illustrations are sufficient for initial review, but authors should be prepared to supply camera-ready photographs on request. Illustrations will be sized by the publisher. Permissions are the responsibility of the author. Send electronic manuscripts and/or any questions to Submissions are due August 15, 2016.

About the Journal:

The Velvet Light Trap is a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal of film, television, and new media studies. Graduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Texas-Austin coordinate issues in alternation. Our Editorial Advisory Board includes such notable scholars as Charles Acland, Ben Aslinger, Miranda Banks, Caetlin Benson-Allot, Mark Betz, Corey Creekmur, Michael Curtin, Kay Dickinson, Bambi Haggins, Scott Higgins, Lucas Hilderbrand, Mary Kearney, Jon Kraszewski, Roberta Pearson, Nic Sammond, Jacob Smith, Jonathan Sterne, Cristina Venegas. For more information, please visit the journal’s website at