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The Hudsucker Proxy: Joel Silver and ‘independent’ film funding

STUBBS, Andrew (2016) The Hudsucker Proxy: Joel Silver and ‘independent’ film funding. In: Kick Starting Media: Cultures of Funding in Contemporary Media Industries, Bath Spa University.

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My paper takes the Coen Brothers’ fifth feature, The Hudsucker Proxy (1994), as a case study for investigating changing realities and perceptions of independent film funding in the early- and mid-1990s. Specifically, my paper foregrounds the role of producer Joel Silver who raised finance and organised domestic and international distribution for The Hudsucker Proxy. Prior to Silver’s involvement the project had remained in development since the release of the Coens’ first film, Blood Simple, yet the popular press described Silver as a ‘commercial’ producer, a potential interference, and a sign that the Coens might be ‘going mainstream’. By analysing trade and popular press journalism, my paper takes the collaboration of two practitioners with reportedly different economic/industrial backgrounds to investigate changing dynamics of, and attitudes towards, independent and mainstream Hollywood film.
In order to do so, my paper conducts critical discourse analysis to investigate the discrepancies between Silver’s actual supportive role in raising finance for The Hudsucker Proxy, and contrasts this against press concern over the producer’s influence on the film. My paper investigates Silver’s position in economic and industrial networks, and traces his ability to finance the film through Warner Bros. and Working Title. Simultaneously, my paper investigates the role that film practitioners or authors play in mobilising press judgement about independent film production, considering the effects that this has on promotion and critical reception. In turn, my paper uses the Coens’ collaboration with Silver to investigate changing attitudes towards independent film funding, and examine the implications that this has for Hollywood or conglomerate funding of indie film.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Faculty: School of Computing and Digital Technologies > Film, Media and Journalism
Event Title: Kick Starting Media: Cultures of Funding in Contemporary Media Industries
Event Location: Bath Spa University
Depositing User: Andrew STUBBS
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2019 15:16
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2019 15:16
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/5330

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