Selling Shakespeare to Hollywood: the Marketing of Filmed by Emma French

By Emma French

Breaking from conventional opinions of Shakespeare motion pictures according to both the aesthetics of the flicks or on a comparability among the movie and resource textual content, this new research of modern Shakespeare video clips seeks to provide an explanation for what makes such motion pictures advertisement successes. Focusing relatively on 3 sub-genres—the teenager Shakespeare movie, the hybrid Shakespeare movie, and the “faithful” adaptation—the writer argues that the economic luck of the preferred movies stems from blurring the road among the “traditional Shakespeare” and a extra smooth interpretation of the texts.

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Extra info for Selling Shakespeare to Hollywood: the Marketing of Filmed Shakespeare Adaptations from 1989 into the New Millennium

Sample text

An important point of emphasis is that Shakespeare film directors and producers do not have total control over trailers, which are produced by a production company, a fact offering a useful insight into how Shakespeare is sold to the public, detached from the artistic concerns of the film-maker. It is necessary to emphasise the collaborative nature of film marketing as it ensures that no single artistic vision dominates in a primarily commercial endeavour. Russell Jackson indicates the place of trailer creation in the film-marketing process, as during its development a film must be marketed to a chain of buyers: First to the major distributors, then by them to the distributors in different territories, who in turn must sell it to their own clients, the exhibitors.

In order to be marketed to film audiences and those responsible for teaching Shakespeare, reverence for the text and the author are prerequisites. 39 Cartmell fails to fully acknowledge that both Jarman’s Tempest and Greenaway’s Prospero’s Books extensively and irreverently alter the Shakespeare text they adapt from. This study will indicate that, although a display of veneration was important for the education market, this did not preclude the simultaneous marketing of films such as William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet and Shakespeare in Love as irreverent adaptations.

Analysis of the changing politics of representation in late 1990s Hollywood film marketing, with particular reference to postmodernism, indicates that the marketing campaign for Shakespeare in Love exemplifies postmodern cultural transactions. This chapter will demonstrate to both film-industry professionals and film-marketing scholars how a joint British/American filmed Shakespeare project achieved such commercial and critical success. selling shakes ch 1 17/1/06 1:58 pm Page 25 introduction 25 The sixth and final chapter takes the opportunity to draw overall conclusions and to map the latest trends in how Shakespeare is sold to Hollywood.

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