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Representing Talent: Hollywood Agents and the Making of Movies Paperback – Illustrated, August 28, 2017

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A masterful excursion into one of Hollywood’s least familiar professions—its talent agents. Through diligent fieldwork, Roussel reveals their work routines, career inspirations, and occupational aspirations, and how the industry’s organizational structure defines their scope. With nuance and sophistication, Roussel explains agents’ essential contribution to the artistic valuation of talent and elevates and enriches our understanding of Hollywood as culture producing industry.”
Denise D. Bielby, University of California, Santa Barbara

“Roussel provides a much-needed sociological intervention into the growing field of production studies. She uncovers a different Hollywood than the ones charted by predecessors Rosten and Gitlin. A model of situated ethnography, this book details the in-between cultural work—of relationships, mentorships, and evaluation communities—that industry uses to counteract the creative precarity foregrounded by other scholars.”
-- John Thornton Caldwell ― author of Production Culture: Industrial Reflexivity and Critical Practice in Film and Television

“Talent agents are surrounded by popular myth and misperception—but who are they really and what do they do? In this pathbreaking book, Roussel draws on interviews and behind-the-scenes observation to cast a detailed, ethnographic eye on the ‘show’ and ‘business’ of Hollywood agenting in the new media era. Across large, mid-size, and boutique firms, agents must connect talent to jobs by harnessing their own capacity to broker personal relationships within and across deeply hierarchical structures where a dizzying array of industry stakeholders compete for power and influence. How and why agents foster ‘professional intimacy,’ build reputations, negotiate deals, and place a value on talent in a media landscape that is both risk-averse and ever-shifting is the subject of this book. A sociological tour de force of great depth and sophistication, Representing Talent is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the high-stakes game of Hollywood cultural production today.”
Laura Grindstaff, University of California, Davis

“Roussel’s analysis of Hollywood’s power dynamic is perceptive and convincing. . .This book will not help readers to find the good agent who is clearly an indispensable requirement for a successful career in the movies, but it will help them to understand something of Hollywood’s inner workings.”
Times Higher Education

About the Author

Violaine Roussel is professor of sociology at the University of Paris VIII and affiliated faculty at the University of Southern California. She is coeditor of Brokerage and Production in the American and French Entertainment Industries and How to Do Politics with Art and coauthor of Voicing Dissent: American Artists and the War on Iraq.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ University of Chicago Press; Illustrated edition (August 28, 2017)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 256 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 022648694X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0226486949
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 13.5 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2 ratings

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