Monday, July 19, 2021

Kate Fortmueller's "Hollywood Shutdown"

Kate Fortmueller is an assistant professor in the Department of Entertainment and Media Studies in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. She is the author of Below the Stars: How the Labor of Working Actors and Extras Shapes Media Production.

Fortmueller applied the “Page 99 Test” to her new book, Hollywood Shutdown: Production, Distribution, and Exhibition in the Time of COVID, and reported the following:
My acknowledgements, which begin on page 99 open: "First and foremost, thank you to all the essential workers who provide care labor and sustain the national infrastructure for those of us who were able to work from home throughout the pandemic."

Page 99 is inscrutable from the perspective of the book's argument but reveals Hollywood Shutdown to be a unique academic book. First of all, this book is very short (the conclusion ends on page 98). The acknowledgements begin at the end of the book, which is common placement for fiction or popular non-fiction, but not academic books. Finally, the acknowledgements clearly explain that this book about Hollywood in the pandemic was written during the pandemic. My goal as the author was to write something accessible in tone and length that can initiate broader conversations about the effects and potential long-term ramifications of the pandemic for creatives and audiences. If you study media, work in media, or if you signed up for too many streaming services in 2020, this book is for you.
Learn more about Hollywood Shutdown at the University of Texas Press website.

--Marshal Zeringue