Creative License and Collaboration in the Culture Industries
Publication Year: 2013
"Johnson astutely reveals that franchises are not Borg-like assimilation machines, but, rather, complicated ecosystems within which creative workers strive to create compelling 'shared worlds.' This finely researched, breakthrough book is a must-read for anyone seeking a sophisticated understanding of the contemporary media industry."
—Heather Hendershot, author of What's Fair on the Air?: Cold War Right-Wing Broadcasting and the Public Interest
Published by: NYU Press
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Title Page, Series Page, Copyright
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Introduction: An Industrial Way of Life
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To some, media franchising is a bit of a joke. In the 2010 mock educational video “The Science Behind Law & Order,” for example, CollegeHumor.com offers a satirical skewering of the “regenerative properties” that support the ongoing and multiplied industrial reproduction of the NBC television police procedural, spun off four times since 1990. “To understand the future of ...
1. Imagining the Franchise: Structures, Social Relations, and Cultural Work
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In August 2007, the premiere of High School Musical 2 on the Disney Chan-nel drew an estimated 17.2 million viewers, setting a new record for basic cable television viewership in the United States. The phenomenal reach of this made-for-television movie about singing teenage athletes extended far beyond the television screen, however. As an intellectual property owned by ...
2. From Ownership to Partnership: The Institutionalization of Franchise Relations
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In a world where cultural critics decry the consolidated power of “big media,” contemporary franchises like Pirates of the Caribbean and Harry Potter might be assumed to be “biggest media,” embodying the wide cultural reach of contemporary corporate institutions. Framed this way, the franchise could be most basically perceived as an expression — a product — of no fewer ...
3. Sharing Worlds: Difference, Deference, and the Creative Context of Franchising
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In the 2009 made-for-TV animated movie Turtles Forever, the villainous Shredder offers a surprisingly cogent theoretical model for understanding the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise. To celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the franchise, the film shows viewers what would happen if the more serious and edgier turtles from the 2003– 2009 animated series crossed ...
4. “A Complicated Genesis”: Transnational Production and Transgenerational Marketing
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In selecting their 2008 “CEO of the Year,” the financial experts at MarketWatch honored Brian Goldner, chief executive officer of Hasbro Toys, for his global management of toy properties like G.I. Joe and Transformers across films, television, and games. MarketWatch praised Goldner as a visionary with the ability “to turn Hasbro’s top nameplates into global power brands ...
5. Occupying Industries: The Collaborative Labor of Enfranchised Consumers
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In 2008, I was fired from a job for the first time. According to the email I received from a regional manager on behalf of my employer, my termination resulted from a persistent failure to show up for work. And all that required was that I occasionally logged onto the online interface that permitted me to telecommute from home. This seeming irresponsibility derived, in my ...
Conclusion: Future Exchanges and Iterations
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No longer just a soda company, but a massive corporate conglomerate, soft drink giant PepsiCo sought to reinvigorate its restaurant franchising in 1995. PepsiCo owned the Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and Kentucky Fried Chicken brands, yet their combined $18.5 billion annual share of the global fast food market left the company in second position behind the $26 billion McDon-...
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About the Author
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Page Count: 320
Publication Year: 2013