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Behind the Silver Screen

When we take a larger view of a film’s ‘life’ from development through exhibition, we find a variety of artists, technicians, and craftspeople in front of and behind the camera. Writers write. Actors, who are costumed and made-up, speak the words and perform the actions described in the script. Art directors and set designers develop the look of the film. The cinematographer decides upon a lighting scheme. Dialogue, sound effects, and music are recorded, mixed, and edited by sound engineers. The images, final sound mix, and special visual effects are assembled by editors to form a final cut. Moviemaking is the product of the efforts of these men and women, yet few film histories focus on their labour.

Behind the Silver Screen: A Modern History of Filmmaking calls attention to the work of filmmaking. When complete, the series will comprise ten volumes, one each on ten significant tasks in front of or behind the camera, on the set or in the postproduction studio. The goal is to examine closely the various collaborative aspects of film production, one at a time and one per volume, and then to offer a chronology that allows the editors and contributors to explore the changes in each of these endeavours during six eras in film history: the silent screen (1895-1927), classical Hollywood (1928-1946), postwar Hollywood (1947-1967), the Auteur Renaissance (1968-1980), the New Hollywood (1981-1999), and the Modern Entertainment Marketplace (2000-present). 

Behind the Silver Screen: A Modern History of Filmmaking promises a history of filmmaking, not just of films.

Acting: A Modern History of Filmmaking
Art Direction and Production Design: A Modern History of Filmmaking
Cinematography: A Modern History of Filmmaking
Producing: Behind the Silver Screen: A Modern History of Filmmaking
Screenwriting: Behind the Silver Screen: A Modern History of Filmmaking
Sound: Dialogue, Music, and Effects

 

About the series:

When we take a larger view of a film’s ‘life’ from development through exhibition, we find a variety of artists, technicians, and crafts people in front of and behind the camera. Writers write. Actors, who are costumed and made-up, speak the words and perform the actions described in the script. Art directors and set designers develop the look of the film. The cinematographer decides upon a lighting scheme. Dialogue, sound effects, and music are recorded, mixed, and edited by sound engineers. The images, final sound mix, and special visual effects are assembled by editors to form a final cut. Moviemaking is the product of the efforts of these men and women, yet few film histories focus much on their labour.

Behind the Silver Screen: A History of Filmmaking calls attention to the work of fillmaking. When complete, the series will comprise ten volumes, one each on ten significant tasks in front of or behind the camera, on the set or in the post-production studio. The goal is to examine closely the various collaborative aspects of film production, one at a time and one per volume, and then to offer a chronology that explores the changes in each of these endeavours during the six eras in film history: the silent screen (1895-1927), classical Hollywood (1928-1946), postwar Hollywood (1947-1967), the Auteur Renaissance (1968-1980), the New Hollywood (1981-1999), and the Modern Enterntainment Marketplace (2000-present). Behind the Silver Screen promises a history of filmmaking, not just a history of films.

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