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Book Chapter: Stunt workers and spectacle: Ethnography of physical risk in hollywood and Hong Kong

TitleStunt workers and spectacle: Ethnography of physical risk in hollywood and Hong Kong
Authors
Issue Date2012
Citation
Film and Risk, 2012, p. 97-114 How to Cite?
AbstractThis essay examines physical risk in the commercial film industries of Hollywood and Hong Kong. Many of the films that emerge from commercial industries and garner profits in the hundreds of millions of dollars are composed of spectacular images of action and death.1 Through the anthropological method of ethnographic fieldwork, including on-site observation and interviews, I illustrate that the production of spectacle acquires a logic of its own, in which a range of commercial media personnel adhere to the industrial dictum that spectacle reaps profit. Most commercial film industries are engaged in an endless quest for spectacle, mirroring capitalism's infinite pursuit of profit. Profit making in these industries is dependent, in part, on the ceaseless quest for spectacle, since many of the global blockbusters are films that feature stunning action sequences that transcend language barriers. Thus, these industries are sustained by the various physical risks that the production of spectacle involves. Inasmuch as stunt work is integral to bodily spectacle, I explore stunt workers' attitudes toward risk, what I call "risk attitudes," as well as the practices in which such attitudes find expression. I focus on the labor of stunt doubles, since stunt doubles are hired to perform the most dangerous sequences of stunts, such as the impact of a car crash, in order to protect actors. The risk-taking practices of stunt doubles, I posit, also connote the uncanny of the double as representative of the dangerous and the deadly. © 2012 by Wayne State University Press.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/213961

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorMartin, Sylvia J.-
dc.date.accessioned2015-08-19T13:41:22Z-
dc.date.available2015-08-19T13:41:22Z-
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.identifier.citationFilm and Risk, 2012, p. 97-114-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/213961-
dc.description.abstractThis essay examines physical risk in the commercial film industries of Hollywood and Hong Kong. Many of the films that emerge from commercial industries and garner profits in the hundreds of millions of dollars are composed of spectacular images of action and death.1 Through the anthropological method of ethnographic fieldwork, including on-site observation and interviews, I illustrate that the production of spectacle acquires a logic of its own, in which a range of commercial media personnel adhere to the industrial dictum that spectacle reaps profit. Most commercial film industries are engaged in an endless quest for spectacle, mirroring capitalism's infinite pursuit of profit. Profit making in these industries is dependent, in part, on the ceaseless quest for spectacle, since many of the global blockbusters are films that feature stunning action sequences that transcend language barriers. Thus, these industries are sustained by the various physical risks that the production of spectacle involves. Inasmuch as stunt work is integral to bodily spectacle, I explore stunt workers' attitudes toward risk, what I call "risk attitudes," as well as the practices in which such attitudes find expression. I focus on the labor of stunt doubles, since stunt doubles are hired to perform the most dangerous sequences of stunts, such as the impact of a car crash, in order to protect actors. The risk-taking practices of stunt doubles, I posit, also connote the uncanny of the double as representative of the dangerous and the deadly. © 2012 by Wayne State University Press.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.relation.ispartofFilm and Risk-
dc.titleStunt workers and spectacle: Ethnography of physical risk in hollywood and Hong Kong-
dc.typeBook_Chapter-
dc.description.natureLink_to_subscribed_fulltext-
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-84859854342-
dc.identifier.spage97-
dc.identifier.epage114-

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