Mythologies of Chance: Historicising Luck In The Film and Television Industries

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When filmmakers talk about how productions come together, the idea of ‘chance’ is often cited as being important, particularly in the case of low-budget breakout ‘hits’ like The Crying Game (Neil Jordan, 1992) and Shallow Grave (Danny Boyle, 1994) the unlikely successes of which are often subsequently mythologised in interviews and press coverage. However, despite the importance of ‘being in the right place at the right time’ in film production, academics have never really adopted a way of couching this idea in scholarly terms. This paper will argue that we can to some extent engage with this phenomenon through studies of the pre-existing networks of informal relationships which are made possible by clusters of film companies working in the same area (Ivan Turok, 2003; Bahar Durmaz, 2010) and also by looking at the ways in which talent moves in the film and television industries (Helen Blair, 2001). Using a case study of the Channel 4/British Screen-funded short film strand and talent finding initiative ‘The Short and Curlies’, this paper will draw upon secondary literature, archive material and interviews with filmmakers in order to discuss some possible methodological approaches to this issue.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015
EventNew Directions in Film and Television Production - Bristol, United Kingdom
Duration: 14 Apr 201515 Apr 2015


ConferenceNew Directions in Film and Television Production
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

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