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Title: Working Title Films and Transatlantic British cinema
Author: Townsend, Nathaniel
ISNI:       0000 0004 5359 9790
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis presents a business history of the London-based film production company, Working Title Films. The focus is on the creative and business structures and processes through which Working Title has operated and, in turn, the individual and collective agency of the key players responsible for developing and maintaining these institutional determinants. The same set of research questions are applied to the principal filmmaking institutions with which Working Title has collaborated, and, more particularly, examines how Working Title has negotiated creative and business relationships with various larger film businesses. By taking a chronological approach to Working Title’s evolution, a detailed account of the company’s years as an independent production company (1984-1990), a subsidiary of PolyGram Filmed Entertainment (1990-1998) and a subsidiary of Universal Pictures (1998-present) is provided. The thesis also offers a historical and conceptual framework through which the business history of Working Title is analysed. In the first instance, this involves a reconsideration of the relationship between the film industries and cultures of Britain and Hollywood which combines the discourses of national cinema with more recent scholarship about transnational cinema. This conceptual reinterpretation is subsequently applied to three indicative business histories from the 1930s and 1940s: London Films, MGM-British and the Rank Organisation — and then to Working Title itself. The central concept of the thesis — ‘Transatlantic British Cinema’ — describes a type of cultural production that challenges orthodox accounts of British cinema as national cinema and indicates the ways in which representations of Britain and ‘Britishness’ function within transnational film culture.
Supervisor: Higson, Andrew Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available